Here Are The Automotive Hills You Are Prepared To Die On

Here Are The Automotive Hills You Are Prepared To Die On

What’s that saying about opinions and how everyone’s got one?

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A photo of a Volvo wagon with the caption "less reliable than general motors?"
Well, is it?
Photo: Vovlo

There’s a good chance that if you’re reading Jalopnik then you’ve at least got some thoughts on cars. That’s what brings you here, it’s what leads you to comment on our blogs and, ultimately, it’s what drove all of our writers to work here. We have a LOT of thoughts about cars.

But in all your opinions, are there any controversial ones that you will defend until your grave? Something like the fact that the Fiat Panda 4X4 is the most car anyone really needs?

These are the kind of mountainous opinions we wanted to uncover when we asked what automotive hill you were prepared to die on? And thankfully, you had a lot of such takes to share. So flick through the following slides to see the outlandish opinions some of your fellow readers have.

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All Sports Cars Should Be Manual

All Sports Cars Should Be Manual

An orange Mazda Miata sports car.
Photo: Mazda

“A sports car isn’t a sports car unless it has THREE pedals and a shifter. Mashing little flappy pedals on the steering wheel, steering and pushing the gas hoping the computer does the right thing, does not a sports car make.”

Let’s get the obvious one out the way first. A sports car should always have a manual gearbox and three pedals on the floor. If it doesn’t, it’s no better than a Chevy Spark.

Suggested by: Paullubbock

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Prowler For Life

Prowler For Life

A photo of a red Plymouth Prowler.
Photo: Plymouth

“The Plymouth Prowler is a neat car that deserves our respect and admiration, and we should acknowledge that just about nobody but mid-90's Chrysler would put a concept car into production virtually unchanged just because they wanted an excuse to play around with some production technique (in this case, working with aluminum).

“Going one step further, 90's Chrysler in general was a high point of swinging for fences that I think gets ignored because it’s not a socially acceptable brand to like (or they weren’t doing it in a way that’s acceptable to like, like today’s “Hellcat’ing all the things”). They redefined the pickup truck (maybe not a good thing, but the ‘94 Ram is still great looking), their minivans were pretty much untouchable, the Neon’s a wonderful little car, and we’d be remiss if we forgot that’s when Jeep built the Holy Grail™ manual ZJ Grand Cherokee. They had some of the best concept cars (and ones that actually got built!), and I honestly have a soft spot for the LH’s (an Intrepid was my first car, it was a big comfy highway cruiser, but it didn’t handle terribly). Yes, quality and reliability are occasionally middling, but if that were an issue, VW Vortex wouldn’t exist.”

Everyone complains about manufacturers’ reluctance to make interesting cars, but then people bemoaned interesting creations like the Prowler. Sometimes, you just can’t win.

Between 1997 and 2002, Plymouth churned out more than 10,000 Prowlers, each packed with futuristic features like keyless entry, power windows and leather-trimmed bucket seats that matched its outlandish styling.

Suggested by: maymar

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How Many Doors?

How Many Doors?

A photo of a lime green Honda Civic.
Photo: Honda

“Coupes have *two* doors. Two shall be the number of the counting, and the number of the counting shall be…*two.*

“*Exceptest thou mayst count to three in the case of liftback coupes and those neat suicide doors on RX-8’s.”

Is it a two-door or a three-door? Is the hood a door? What about the glove box? Does anyone really know the true number of doors you’ll find in a coupe?

Suggested by: SchwarzeEwigkt

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Land Rover Sucks

Land Rover Sucks

A photo of two Land Rover cars parked in a forrest.
Photo: Land Rover

“Land Rover must employ several full-time hypnotists to haunt the wealthy neighborhoods of North America. There is no better explanation for the perseverance of the brand because those cars suck, period, and there is no way for a person who knows one or more Land Rover owners to avoid hearing horror stories.

“Spare me the anecdotes about Land Rovers that have run for 30 years with minimal problems, or the, ‘You just have to keep up with the $5000 maintenance visits,’ or any other bullshit. Just for fun, I test-drove one this weekend and the fucking window switch failed and the brake light came on and stayed on while I was in the parking lot – brand new car. Guy says to me, ‘Yeah, sometimes that happens...it’s a quirk with these cars.’ I said, ‘It’s $138,000, what the fuck are you talking about?’.”

A lot of car makers can be filed away with Land Rover in the list of “companies that have a bad reputation, but people continue to buy them regardless.” But, the running costs and maintenance fees on anything coming out of Land Rover’s UK factories carries a hefty premium.

Suggested by: theanarchistsneedlogisticalsupport

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GM Keeps Running, Running

GM Keeps Running, Running

A photo of an Oldsmobile sedan parked on a cliff.
Photo: Oldsmobile

“GM cars will run like shit longer than many cars will run at all.

“Sure a lot of them a dull as dish water, many models are simply badge-engineered clones of one another, and the quality of the interior trim is often times sub-par compared to their competitors, however they can be repaired at nearly any garage in North America and GM parts-bin engineering ensures you can likely find an alternator for your ‘68 Impala at Pep Boys.

“I owned a 2002 Olds Intrigue for 10 years and 215k miles. My coworker went through THREE Volvos in that time.”

While this is impressive to see an Oldsmobile break 200,000 miles, I’m more concerned about the three Volvos required to match that! Must have been an off day at the Swedish carmaker when those models rolled off the line.

Suggested by: earthbound-misfit-i

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PT Cruiser Isn’t A Loser

PT Cruiser Isn’t A Loser

A photo of a purple Chrysler PT Cruiser
Photo: Chrysler

“The PT Cruiser was a fantastic car. Unique looking, practical and reliable. They even made a sporty version with a turbo motor and manual transmission!”

Manual transmission, eye-catching styling and a reliable motor? That’s all you can hope for in a car. Why, then, aren’t the streets flooded with pristine PT Cruisers? We’ll let this poster try and get to the bottom of that conundrum.

Suggested by: fijist

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I’m Minivan ‘Til I Die

I’m Minivan ‘Til I Die

A photo of a Chrysler minivan driving in snow.
Photo: Chrysler

“99% of the people driving large SUVs, body on frame or unibody, would be better served by a minivan.

“And before someone who routinely drives off-road with 7 passengers while towing a trailer full of livestock protests, please note that I said 99%.”

There were a lot of comments in this vein, with other suggestions for station wagons or panel vans also fitting the needs of anyone that buys a truck or SUV. Maybe if manufacturers could ship some desirable minivans or wagons that don’t break the bank, people might be interested?

Suggested by: nameiwillregret

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Crossovers Are Good, Actually

Crossovers Are Good, Actually

A white BMW crossover driving on a highway.
Photo: BMW

“Crossovers are destroying sedans because they are the better overall vehicles for most owners.

“With pricing, insurance costs, maintenance and fuel mileage are nearly identical between them, and you don’t care about a lower center of gravity or a little more spirited driving, why would anyone pick the option with less space and no towing capacity or roof racks?”

But, in contrast, this commenter argues that the reason nobody is buying sedans, wagons and minivans is that crossovers are just too damn good. Maybe we need to put these posters in a room together to answer this once and for all.

Suggested by: caddywompis

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All Of The Wheels, All Of The Time

All Of The Wheels, All Of The Time

A photo of a VW SUV parked on a salt flat.
Photo: VW

“Part time AWD systems are garbage, and any manufacturer that uses one should be ashamed.

“Do they eventually kick in, when there’s enough slip? You’d think the answer would be yes - and I’d be a total ass to insist they never do, but there are an awful lot of them that don’t ever power the rear wheels, no matter what (looking at you especially, Honda). Why waste the weight, cost, and pretense? Just say you only offer the vehicle with FWD, or design a full-time AWD system.

“Gas mileage suffers, of course. That’s to be expected with that much more drag in the drivetrain. That’s why AWD, much like 4x4, is a bit of a niche product, that most people will never take advantage of outside a handful of times a year, in very specific circumstances and environments. I’m willing to accept 10-20mpg less for what I’m getting, since AWD electric vehicles are outside my price range. If you aren’t, why bother spending so much extra money on the vehicle, to begin with?”

Name and shame all of the part-time AWD producers.

Suggested by: skamanda42

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Bring Back Land Yachts

Bring Back Land Yachts

A photo of a vintage Ford Crown Vic sedan.
Photo: Ford

“Oh yeah, I’ll die on this one: The dawn of BOF trucks as luxury vehicles has many factors, but one I don’t think we talk enough about is the death of the land yachts.

“I have a friend to worked in a Chevy dealer in the early 2010s, and she claimed it was a regular occurrence that people as young as Gen-Xers would come in looking for something the size of an old Caprice or whatever, and would wind up driving off the lot in a Tahoe/Yukno/Crew Cab Silverado because that was the closest thing to it.

“That 2010 ish Impala was a decent car, but it wasn’t riding around in your living room like the GM B-Bodies were.

“I don’t know if CAFE would allow anything like that to exist now, but it begs the question what sort of mileage you would get if you put one of the modern LS drivetrains in a 90's B-Body, or an EcoBoost in a Crown Vic.”

If you just want a big car to show that you’re a big personality, then pickings are slim on the ground. But, if you can settle for a truck then not a lot of cash can buy you quite a lot of luxury, and that’s exactly how we got where we are today.

Suggested by: mosko13

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