Was 90s the best automotive decade?

Spectre

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Did those sedans also have stupidly narrow footwells, or is that an XJS thing?
All of the classic Jags have narrow footwells. It's because you're sitting next to the transmission and not over or behind it. So, yes, the XJ sedan has narrow footwells as well. I am tall and have large feet, but honestly never found it to be a problem.

Here's a Series II (74-78) RHD XJ interior shot, the Series III is the same:


Of course, that's caused by the fact that the fat part of the transmission bellhousing is directly to the left of that brake pedal, under the sheet metal. When the platform was designed transmissions that could handle the power of the available engines were large and had large bellhousings, so that's what they ended up with.
 
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prizrak

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Which in turn was built off the short wheelbase XJ sedan of 1968. :D



Purdy

You even had the XJ41 inspired but XJS-based DB7 being introduced in 1994 and running through 2004 - which turned out to be the most numerous Aston in history not to mention probably the most reliable and easy to fix.
So you are saying I could realistically own an Aston?
 

Labcoatguy

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All of the classic Jags have narrow footwells. It's because you're sitting next to the transmission and not over or behind it. So, yes, the XJ sedan has narrow footwells as well. I am tall and have large feet, but honestly never found it to be a problem.
It does make the idea of a manual swap into an XJS less tempting.
 

Spectre

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It does make the idea of a manual swap into an XJS less tempting.
I never had a problem driving a manual XJS around even with the small footwells. Think Miata or MGB footwells and you'll get along fine. :D

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So you are saying I could realistically own an Aston?
Yup, they made over 9000 DB7s and they start at about 30K. The DB7 was emphatically a parts bin vehicle, and it drew a lot of parts from both the Jaguar parts bin (which in turn was drawn from other makers) and the Ford bin. Steering wheel and switchgear from a Taurus and the I6 is a destroked XJR motor, for example.

Of all the Astons made to date, the DB7 is the one I'd buy if I found one cheap and didn't have unlimited money to support it.
 
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Labcoatguy

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I never had a problem driving a manual XJS around even with the small footwells. Think Miata or MGB footwells and you'll get along fine. :D
Maybe that's why I prefer the MR2: no transmission tunnel to speak of. I did try out both an XK8 and XJS, and it was more of an initial shock at footwell size than any real discomfort. I might get used to it.
 

Spectre

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Maybe that's why I prefer the MR2: no transmission tunnel to speak of. I did try out both an XK8 and XJS, and it was more of an initial shock at footwell size than any real discomfort. I might get used to it.
I've got size 12-ish feet and I never had a problem with driving a manual classic Jag, even in work boots. YMMV, of course, but I find it more of a psych issue than any actual physical barrier. The glove-like closeness of the design, in psychological terms, is actually preferred by quite a lot of people. The odd thing is that you'd think it would evoke sensations of claustrophobia for many, but usually it doesn't unlike a lot of other designs that don't have a lot of free space. Why that is I haven't a clue.
 

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I've got size 12-ish feet and I never had a problem with driving a manual classic Jag, even in work boots. YMMV, of course, but I find it more of a psych issue than any actual physical barrier. The glove-like closeness of the design, in psychological terms, is actually preferred by quite a lot of people. The odd thing is that you'd think it would evoke sensations of claustrophobia for many, but usually it doesn't unlike a lot of other designs that don't have a lot of free space. Why that is I haven't a clue.
Yeah, it's definitely psychological. Don't get me wrong; the X300 feels just fine even after the comparatively airy Saab 9000, and I'm sure I'd get used to the XJS footwell after a while
 

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RHD manuals have no place to rest your left foot next to the clutch..... just speculation on the RX-8, since the passenger footwell on mine is approximately 70% transmission tunnel, but proven with the Blizzard.
 

Spectre

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RHD manuals have no place to rest your left foot next to the clutch..... just speculation on the RX-8, since the passenger footwell on mine is approximately 70% transmission tunnel, but proven with the Blizzard.
Not all LHD manuals do either and I'm not just talking about Jags in this case.
 

argatoga

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I have yet to own a truck with a place to rest my left foot. Neither my Disco nor my current Ranger. This was fun with my Disco's first clutch which required the strength of three gorillas to operate.
 
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prizrak

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I have yet to own a truck with a place to rest my left foot. Neither my Disco nor my current Ranger. This was fun with my Disco's first clutch which required the strength of three gorillas to operate.
Weakling! :p I remember when my friend got a competition clutch (Exedy Stage 3 I think) in his project car and kept stalling out because of how heavy it was. I on the other hand had perfect take offs (even though I didn't really know how to drive a manual) because the extra weight actually helped me feather it better.

Relevant!
 
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mjk

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The 90s as a whole weren't bad, but I would actually say that the mid-80s through the mid-90s were actually the best 10 year stretch. Certainly Toyota's best cars all predate the 90s.
 

Spectre

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The 90s as a whole weren't bad, but I would actually say that the mid-80s through the mid-90s were actually the best 10 year stretch. Certainly Toyota's best cars all predate the 90s.
The last unkillable Toyota gasoline motor, the 22R-E, made it until 1995. Not coincidentally, this was also the last year for the original strength Hilux in America.



The next year brought new engines and a deliberately weakened, more carlike but even more rustprone Hilux variant, the Tacoma.
 

prizrak

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Too bad we never got the GT4 aka All-Trac Turbo variant of this one, probably my favorite body style of the Celica (aside from the RWD 70's GT).

Though truth be told the last gen Celica and MR-2 were better cars than the 90s versions, even if I never did like the styling of the MR-S
 

NooDle

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i'm ashamed to admit, that when i get in an older car, i miss the BT, automatic AC, central locking, automatic lights & wipers, ...
Up until my current car I had none of the above so I don't mind a car without. I've yet to drive a car with proper wiper control that requires no fiddling by me. Modern 3 series is the only one thar comes close.

When I think about a best decade of cars I don't immediately think supercars but rather the boring everyday stuff. And in that respect the 80s > 90s by far. 00s are a bit hit and miss and only recently have everyday cars become interesting to drive again. So my classificatipn would be 10s>80s>00s>90s

Yes I know the Mclaren f1 was a 90s car. I don't think I've ever heard of anyone owning one aside from Mr Bean. So it's competely irrelevant for nearly everyone
 

prizrak

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When I think about a best decade of cars I don't immediately think supercars but rather the boring everyday stuff. And in that respect the 80s > 90s by far. 00s are a bit hit and miss and only recently have everyday cars become interesting to drive again. So my classificatipn would be 10s>80s>00s>90s
Not sure what you are talking about here, the 90's is when the Japanese really came into their own with sports cars, aside from the NSX none of them were supercars. As far as boring every day stuff being good to drive, I can't think of any decade where that was the case. When I'm thinking boring everyday stuff I'm thinking Camry not MR-2, sure Honda did relatively well with their regular cars not being a complete snooze fest but that's very uncommon.
 

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The Japanese made some good sports cars in the 90s but the late 90s particularly did become a snooze fest for their more everyday cars. Toyotas started to become decontented, Mazdas lost their quirkiness, Suzuki just didn't do anything new, Hondas became fatter and less fun.

The 80s was way more exciting I think from a design and technology standpoint, it's when manufacturers really started becoming experimental with new features and styling, and it wasn't just sports cars that benefitted. The 90s saw some of that tech become more refined, like EFI in pretty much everything and electric things inside cars becoming common, but the 80s just had that space age feel about it, that they were really just trying things to be different or just because they wanted to impress. The 90s just took the things that started in the 80s and made them more refined, and dare I say, boring.

Looking outside of Japanese cars, more seems to condemn the 90s. The 90s also saw the ruination of Mercedes, the end of the E30, E34 and E32 and what I would refer to as 'classic' BMWs. Alfas all became FWD in the 90s and Audis lost their uniqueness and became posh VAGs. 90s VWs were boring - IMO the Mk3 Golf was the least appealing of all of them. Citroens became Peugeots and lost their weirdness in favour of profits. Hyundais and Kias were still crap.

For the most part, I see the (late) 90s as the blandification of cars for profit motives. The beginning of the focus group designed car.
 
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NooDle

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Not sure what you are talking about here, the 90's is when the Japanese really came into their own with sports cars, aside from the NSX none of them were supercars. As far as boring every day stuff being good to drive, I can't think of any decade where that was the case. When I'm thinking boring everyday stuff I'm thinking Camry not MR-2, sure Honda did relatively well with their regular cars not being a complete snooze fest but that's very uncommon.
We don't really buy many Japanese cars over here.... Let alone sportscars. So most of the models you're mentioning were such a rare sight they were almost invisible. Most of them I only heard about in the 00s...
 

prizrak

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Hbriz,
The 80's was an important decade but very far from the best IMO. For one the styling was basically based on this 025_GBPackaging.jpg.

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We don't really buy many Japanese cars over here.... Let alone sportscars. So most of the models you're mentioning were such a rare sight they were almost invisible. Most of them I only heard about in the 00s...
Interesting, I kind of thought that they were selling everywhere.
 
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