It seems like every day there is a new segment of the automotive universe created. There are more sub-species of BMW or Mercedes now than there are heroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The burden of choice is real, and how can any of these manufacturers expect consumers to make an informed choice when there is an all-new or first-ever every few weeks? No, no, friends, we must find a way to fix this scourge, and I think I’ve figured it out. There should only be six cars.
We are wasting so much time, space, and money by allowing the current model of manufacturer/dealership/customer relationship. As with all things these days, we should be able to spec out a car exactly as we want it online from the comfort of our home without pushy salespeople, then have it delivered straight to our driveway. Leave the dealer experience to the plebs shopping the used market.
Why should we allow anyone to purchase an inferior product for their needs? Surely everyone’s needs can be fulfilled with any of these six; Porsche Boxster/Cayman, Mercedes Sprinter, Honda Accord, Mazda 3, 9th-generation Ford F-150, and Lada Niva 4x4.
If you need to transport lots of people and gear, surely you need a big van, not a horrendous Compromise Utility Vehicle. And if you need a sedan, surely a choice of sizes will provide for your family. Can you buy a truck? Yeah, only the best truck ever built. Do you want to go off-roading? Here’s an inexpensive option that will go damn near anywhere.
Now, I know you might be concerned about your freedom to choose, and I’ve got you covered, friend. From any of these six models, you’ll be able to choose from an offering of internal combustion engine, plug-in hybrid, and battery electric propulsion, plus a few body style variants.
If you want a sports car you should get the best one. Every mid-engine sports car I’ve ever driven, including the Italian ones with nearly 700 horsepower, has felt more or less like a Porsche 981 Cayman with more power and slightly worse steering. Surely you can see where I’m going here. I’d take my Boxster Bergspyder in plug-in hybrid variant, please.
Vans are really good for moving people and things. Much better than SUVs, in fact. The Sprinter is already available with a few powertrain options and a variety of wheelbases and passenger configurations. Your three-row SUV can’t haul a whole soccer team, but a 15-passenger Sprinter can! And there are already plenty of aftermarket upfitters willing to turn your Sprinter into a luxurious Rolls Royce-beater or a wild off-road mobile home.
There was a time when every manufacturer’s bread and butter was the three-box upright sedan. And for decades that sedan served as the basis for a coupe, convertible, wagon, and perhaps even sporty car version. It’s time for that to come back, and there’s no better candidate in this size category than the Mazda 3. Besides, no compact sedan is styled as well as the Mazda 3.
And if the Mazda 3 is a little too small for you, there is always the Honda Accord, indisputably the best mid-sized sedan on the market today. The 2.0T Sport 6MT is already exquisite, but how great would it be as a two-door 2+2? Or brown hybrid [Diesel is out, hybrid is in, sorry!] manual wagon Jalop-edition?
Trucks are no longer trucks, they’re symbols of what trucks are supposed to stand for. They’re too large to be practical, and everyone sharing the road with one suffers for it. Trucks need to be right-sized, and the 7th/8th/9th gen Ford F-150 was the perfect size for a truck to be. That’s an outright fact that cannot be argued against. I understand that many people, especially in America, still need trucks to haul and tow, so this theoretical change-up of the auto industry won’t ignore that fact, but it will look truck buyers in the face and ask them who the hell they think they are.
Oh, and pickup trucks should only seat three people.
Lada Niva 4x4
SUVs are for going off the beaten trail, which makes it so sad to see all of them trundling along the interstate serving as family carriers. If you’re going to carry people, get a sedan, wagon, or van meant for those things. If you want to go somewhere that a regular road-going car can’t get you, take the Niva.
This idea has been floating around in my head for quite some time, as you can tell from this tweet. I did concede, however, that some people would still want an SUV. But as we all know, SUVs should only have two doors, so the Niva is clearly the only correct answer.
And before I get hate comments, as the hate tweets that preceded them, this is not a suggestion that all cars should be shredded and replaced with only these six cars. I’m saying that all new cars sold should be these six. Bring the price down on parts with economies of scale, bring the price of manufacturing down, as many plants will produce the same cars. This isn’t just a good idea in America, either. Other countries should follow suit, though perhaps replace the F-150 with a supermini.