4000 Pounds (car post)

4000 pounds is big and heavy. For anything, really. 4000 pounds of anything is pretty big.

I had a Ford C-Max Energi that weighed 4100 pounds. The Energi is a plug in hybrid that has a 20 mile battery in the boot and has a gas engine and tank. Despite being h-e-a-v-y and having the world’s largest turning circle, it had decent acceleration and was maneuverable enough to handle San Francisco traffic.  It was also one of the more practical cars I’ve owned.  It’s footprint is small so it fits into parking spaces.  It’s tall so there’s a lot of room inside.  What it doesn’t have is boot space because much of that is taken by the hybrid battery.  They can be purchased used for a good price, kitted out.  Mine had all options except the moonroof.   I was able to get 500 miles/tank driving in hilly, uber/lyft choked, traffic calmed San Francisco. The current owner in flat Sacramento gets 1000 miles/tank.  See?

Not bad for a 4100 pound car.  Now in comparison, I have been looking at other cars that weigh about 4000 pounds.  The Alfa Stelvio, for one.  It’s about 4000 pounds, but it’s a crossover SUV.  It’s built on the Giulia chassis so there’s some of that “fun to drive” element to it.  Or at least, as much fun as you can get driving an SUV fast.

It’s a good looking SUV and although I drove it in Monterey and was less than impressed (because I had just driven its really fast sister, the Giulia Quadrifoglio), on retrospect, it wasn’t bad.  Definitely better than all the other SUVs that aren’t made by a company that starts with “P”.  It’s just hard to compare race cars with people movers.

Another 4000 pound car that’s interesting is the Kia Stinger.  It’s front engine, rear wheel drive.  Its Kia’s first full blown performance car.  The car looks good.  The specs look good.  James May likes it.   Kia may run into the same problem that Volkswagen had with the Phaeton.  The Phaeton was a tour de force; it had every option and gadget cars were capable of having.  It has a W-12 engine.  It was the cousin to the Audi A8.  And when it was new, it went for over $100K with options.  And that was the problem.  “$100K for a VOLKSWAGEN???”  Kia has made its name with nice, inoffensive, affordable cars.  $52,300 for a Kia???  It’s tough going upmarket.

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