Join Date: May 2016
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I think we are also seeing a shift in the definition of what is a "car." When I was a kid, there were pretty much three types of vehicles on the road that were driven by the majority of people...two door cars, four door cars, and station wagons. Pick-ups and SUV's did exist, but they were usually work vehicles or very specialized in their design and application.
In the 1970's, cars got smaller and some developed a 3rd or 5th door - these were called hatchbacks. Hatchbacks were very popular with younger buyers. Older drivers tended to stick with the traditional 2/4/door/wagon design cars. The mini-van appeared in the 1980's. We heard that this was because the baby-boomers (who had fueled the hatchback craze of the '70's) were having families, needed more cargo space, and didn't want the 'traditional' station wagons that their parents drove. They wanted something that was like their hatchback...but with more room and utility.
SUV's and pick-ups started to gain in popularity in the 1990's. SUV's really just being pick-ups with a rear seat and an enclosed "bed." We heard this was in reaction to the Mini-van. Buyers did't want to be associated with the moniker "soccer moms." They wanted something that was rugged and tough looking, but could still hold a bunch of kids and all their crap. (In the mean time, pick-ups started to grow bigger cabs and smaller beds, until you got some 4-door trucks with huge cabs and almost non-existent cargo beds...almost like sedans with open trunks, but that could drive through a muddy field.) By the 2000's, SUV's started morphing away from their pick-up truck framed roots (cause looking tough is one thing - but riding tough is a whole different animal.) and starting to be built just like cars, only tougher looking.
Now, we have a world where traditional "cars" are starting to disappear, while manufacturers are marketing 3, 4, and even 5 different size and type SUV/CUV's in their line-ups. I contend that what you really have with an SUV or CUV is just a bigger version of the old hatchback from the '70's or even the station wagon from the 50's/60's. The fact that they are ugly, ill-handling, expensive, and boring is just my personal opinion. To everyone else, they have become the "car."
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2016 Mazda 6 Touring (w/6-speed manual transmission)
OE fog lights/navigation card/auto-dimming mirror/
Tanabe front strut bar/
Orange Virus 91-octane tune/Racing Beat rear muffler