We don’t normally ask questions on the weekend, but in the spirit of the holiday, coupled with the fact that too much excitement could aggravate your already elevated cholesterol and blood pressure, we’d like to know what you’re thankful for in the automotive realm. Hardly original, sure, but bear with us.
There’s one caveat here: this question only pertains to contemporary OEM products and features, not bygone equipment or aftermarket upgrades. There’ll be no giving thanks for three-speed manuals or the Oldsmobile brand today.
With bitching now the top-ranked pastime, let’s speak from the heart and pin down something automotive that makes being alive in 2019 great.
For one, yours truly is thankful that silver paint is continuing its rapid decline in popularity, though that sort of goes against the feel-good spirit of the question. No negativity today! Or at least, less of it.
In this week of giving and thanks and pointed questions from cousin Brayden from Williamsburg, I think many of us can agree that choice is something to be thankful for. And choice is something we still have. Sure, there may not be much on the dinner plate for lovers of cheap FWD coupes, nor a cornucopia of riches for those who harbor a love of wagons, but think of it a different way.
Right now, on this very day, a red-blooded North American can waltz into the dealer (or to their computer) and order a cheapish electric car. They can order an expensive, massively swift one, too. Or one capable of hauling cargo and engaging in some off-pavement antics.
There’s still a rear-drive, gas-powered roadster on offer that doesn’t come with a Germanic price tag. A triad of muscle-bound pony cars still awaits those who never plan to use a backseat, but like the idea of having one back there. Dodge has a family sedan topping 700 horsepower. SUVs and trucks in a dizzying number of trims and configurations tempt millions as you read this. Looking for a thousand foot-pounds in your daily driver? Ram has you covered, and Ford would like your vote in 2020. Hyundai feels it’s about time for a unibody pickup/SUV for the kids.
Regardless of your needs, interests, or personal ideology, there’s a vehicle out there for you. Maybe it’s not perfect, maybe it’s not priced exactly as you’d like it, and maybe there’s not enough selection to satisfy your particular kink, but choice remains. If compact cars are your thing, you needn’t worry about the Detroit Three bowing out — Japan and Korea are more than happy to sell you one of theirs. They’re practically begging you to come take a look.
We can gripe all day about what’s fading from the scene, what’s nearly extinct in today’s market, and what the ongoing eco push, cash-saving consolidation, and tech takeover is doing to the vehicular landscape, but this writer, at least on this day, can see the glass as half full.
It’s a broad, all-encompassing view of things; perhaps you’ve got something smaller and more specific in mind. A model, a solitary feature, a bit of content that you find particularly appealing. It could be import (or domestic) build quality that excites you, or even a cheap four-cylinder that returns gas mileage and performance. Maybe you just love wagging your foot under the liftgate and having it magically open on its own.
Let’s have it B&B — what are you thankful for?
[Images: Mazda, Fiat Chrysler, Nissan]