Satisfactory Subway Substitution
The U.S. economy is still dragging. Middle Eastern regimes seem to be imploding almost weekly, spiking the cost of oil and gasoline at the pump, and shaking consumer confidence. Unemployment remains around 9% with many older baby boomers and new college grads have dropped out of the workforce for lack of jobs. And because so many people have precarious incomes, they are hanging on to their vehicles longer.
It seems forever and a day ago ... those heady days of 2007 when the pre-recession economy had no idea the cliff that lay just around the corner. Back then enthusiasts were abuzz about the all-new 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8, the updated 2009 Ford Mustang, and almost-ready-for-production 2009 Chevrolet Camaro. Finally, we thought, Detroit was getting its act together and making exciting cars that reflected the true passion of The Motor City.
While walking through the displays at the 2011 Detroit North American International Auto Show, we thought about what we'd recommend to AOL Autos readers. As we studied the dozens of new vehicles ranging from hybrid sedans to full-size SUVs, we knew our recommendations needed to factor in future fuel prices.
Cars. Trucks. Crossovers. SUVs. Minivans. Add together all the different models from all the different manufacturers who sell vehicles in the United States and you'll end up with hundreds of choices. How is a consumer to choose, especially when there is such differentiation within a single model line? For example, you can purchase a 2011 Ford Fusion for as little as $19,720 to more than $32,000. Making a smart choice can be tough.
Ever played the superhero game? It's the one where friends or bar mates discuss the superpower they'd most like to possess. Inevitably, someone picks the ability to become invisible. Marvel Comic Books got it right with The Invisible Woman. Not far behind, Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry applied the concept to entire spacecrafts with the Romulan (and later, Klingon) cloaking device.