For those of you who don’t know, we Seattleites are very outdoorsy. Seattle is located on the Puget Sound smack dab between two mountain ranges, the Olympics next to the Pacific Ocean, and the Cascades which run like a spine up the middle of Washington State.
The Cascades divide our state into the west side and the east side. West siders have a plethora of outdoorsy pastimes to engage in any of the four seasons: hiking, kayaking, biking, running, skiing, snowboarding or snowshoeing. East siders have two outdoor pastimes: shooting wild animals and rooting for lousy football teams. Now if you are an outdoorsy Seattle resident, you need a specific vehicle to support your outdoorsy endeavours. It has to be four-wheel drive, even though you only put it in the four-wheel drive mode about 0.00001% of the time you are actually driving it. Second, it needs to get fairly good gas mileage since all your outdoorsy venues are a fair distance from Seattle. But the most important criterion is that the vehicle must be able to support a mammoth roof rack to accommodate all our outdoorsy gear: bikes, kayaks, skis, snowboards, surf boards, etc. Our dream outdoorsy car is the Subaru Outback.
Most of the Subarus tooling around Seattle sport such a rack and most of them are green. Subaru drivers in Seattle exhibit a few dominant traits. First, they drive very slowly, often with an expression that seems to scream, “I am sorry, but I am driving a Subaru Outback in Seattle so I have to drive this slowly!” Second, they are extremely tentative. Four way stops with stop signs are agony for Seattle Subaru drivers. They are forever waving for someone else to go. Finally, despite all their outdoorsy activities, most Subarus in Seattle are so clean, you could eat your dinner off their rear quarter panel. Very strange.
Today’s post is the third in my series on American made cars. After covering the “Big Three” and the “Big Two” of Japanese cars made in this country, I wanted to give you some other Japanese car choices made by members of your extended American family. Subaru makes three models in this country at its facility located in Lafayette, Indiana: the aforementioned Outback, the Tribeca and the Legacy.
Mazda has two plants in the U.S. and is a long-term partner with Ford though Ford has recently reduced its ownership stake in Mazda. The Mazda 6 in made at Mazda’s Flat Rock, Michigan plant.
The Mazda Tribute is made in Claycomo, Mo.
Mitsubishi Motors has a one assembly plant in this country in Normal, Illinois. Mitsubishi assembles three models in this country, the Galant, the Endeavor and the Eclipse. The Eclipse is a pretty cool looking car.
Nissan builds 7 Nissan models in one of its two plants located in Smyrna, Tennessee and Canton, Mississippi: two trucks (the Titan and the Frontier), three SUVs (the Armada, the Pathfinder and the Xtera) and two sedans (the Altima and the Maxima). I would hazard a guess that there is a large number of people in this country who spend most of their waking hours figuring out names for cars and trucks. Most of them are pretty stupid but I think Armada is a winner. It just screams “Man, is this a huge V-8 SUV!!!!” I mean, if you are driving an Armada, it is very unlikely that anyone is going to mess with you.
Now that we are done with the Japanese American automakers, tomorrow I will be discussing German vehicles made by members of our extended American family.