Unwanted Complexity

I'm doing the lower intake gasket on my '97 Lumina. 160k miles, and hasn't failed, but since they are known to fail, I'm not taking any chances since I decided to keep it a couple more years,
and do the annual Florida trip again. That's about 3K miles total.. Rocker panels starting to rust through. Anyway, at the dealer to pick up some parts, I took a look at the Cruze. No drive, just showroom. I just told the story here of the airbag exploding on my kid's '95 Bonnevilles. So what's the first thing the salesman brags about the Cruze? IT HAS TEN AIRBAGS!!!
I told him I don't want to hear about it. Then we get in the car and he brags about the key fob, where the key folds into the remote unit. Pretty small package. Can't say that impressed me much. So I'm at the wheel and he turns to ignition only and says press the button on the wheel. The display shows all four tires and their pressure. I told him I don't like that, just adds complexity, I can tell when I have a low tire by looking at my tires, or feeling it when I drive. He says, "Ah, old school guy, eh?" Anyway, we didn't get much farther. He mentioned GPS, On-Star, the sound system. Not interested. I did note to him that what he pointed out to be the radio/sound system looked like it was part of the dash and I wouldn't be able to replace it with an aftermarket. He said, "Why would you want to replace it? It does everything!" Showed me the engine and pointed out the hood insulation and what looked like a modernistically formed baffle down low. Said the car is as quiet as a Cadillac. I liked the under hood part. But I was thinking of the 10 airbags and all the gizmos that can go bad and cost me a lot of money. Maybe I'm wrong. But I'll probably buy a new car within a few years, maybe a Cruze, maybe an Elantra, maybe a Malibu. And I'm scared.
--Vic
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Your only recourse as far as new cars are concerned seems to be either going the course of total minimalism (barebones compact/subcompact, probably a jap) or euro entry level luxury hoping that is was not screwed yet.
Another option is a decade old car.
Midside "family" segment is utterly screwed as you have just discovered. even bmw 5xx is screwed by electric steering.
I was eyeing jeep compass lately until discovering that off road group is coupled to cvt and can't be had with a manual.
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Unfortunately the euro entry-level luxury cars available in the US are pretty over the top as well. I looked at the Mercedes C class recently, since it's about the only Mercedes available with a manual. It comes with a million "standard options" that cannot be removed. In Europe, you can purchase it without those options, but not in the US.
BMW 128 is even worse.

I'm driving a 40-year-old BMW to work every day and while BMW still has parts available for it, miraculously, there is a limit to how long it is going to last.

See...the current BMW 5-series is just gargantuan. I would call that bigger than midsize, personally. Maybe that's part of my issue.

The CVT isn't a bad thing... I would actually love to have a manually adjustable CVT! That would only involve adding one control and some software! --scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

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On May 31, 4:17pm, snipped-for-privacy@panix.com (Scott Dorsey) wrote:

Yeah, last time I checked porsche 911 on carsdirect had a LOT of delete options. Some at no charge, some were $$.
But don't kid yourself: europarliament has a lot of retarded laws affecting carmaking, just in a way different from US.
I could not imagine US lawmakers getting away with mandating carmakers into mandating ESP sold outside some expensive bundles just because some of them have perception that it's a safety enhacing feature.
This would be a fun area for car journalists to explore: "How legislation fucked up automotive industry in the last 4 decades"

Yep, you don't even get i116/118/120 four bangers let alone 120d which make a lot of sense in that smaller 3xx
bmw of the usa does not want to break $30k barrier downward into mini territory I guess. Part of the brand image preservation program (TM).
Speaking of which: is basic cooper or cooper S bare enough for your tastes or you share my aversion for fwd?

it's fullsize, had been for a long time I suspect. Any problems with bmw bread and butter 3xx? last time I checked it was not screwed up in a major way with options overload
Childseats are problematic in compacts: kid legs touch the backs of front seats. Not a problem if you are done reproducing (see cooper above)

If I were in the states and was married at the time, thusly not caring about chickmobile perception, I'd given it a thought along with the forrester.
being where I am now I went for 2003 A4 1.8T quattro avant shipping somewhere from princeton area. I guess I'm not contributing to "save the manuals" campaign run by car and driver :-]
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Cooper S is right out. FWD, no spare tire. The basic model I might be able to live with. It handles amazingly well for FWD although I don't think I would be able to change a clutch. Changing the clutch on the 2002 is about two hour's work in the driveway with some 2X4s to lower the transmission. And a spare gaibo since I have wrecked one every time I have dropped the thing.

I think that's probably where I'm going to be going. Still lots of junk on it.

I have been avoiding reproduction. As a child I remember sitting between my parents on the parking brake of the MGB on long drives. So while I think child seats are a good idea, I do find the current obsession with safety to be a little over the top. --scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

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On Jun 1, 6:17pm, snipped-for-privacy@panix.com (Scott Dorsey) wrote:

I drove 1997 520i stripper last night you get dual zone climate and as far as junk goes there is sunroof and that's it. Still could be handy to vent hot air out when it's hot outside.
I could not feel any engine vibration or heard any unpleasant noises from that 4 banger :----------O
Not an issue for you since you are in the states.
Good luck finding bare bones bmw there.
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