Home » Here’s A Good Scale Of How Fast Cars Really Are: COTD

Here’s A Good Scale Of How Fast Cars Really Are: COTD

Slowcotd
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Ask two car enthusiasts “What’s a good enough 0-60 mph time?” and you’re likely to get two different answers. Heck, ask those two car enthusiasts to define what makes a fast car and the answers you’ll get might be wildly different. What’s fast to someone who drives buses for a living might be a bit different than someone who has a McLaren in their garage.

In a return to Prove Me Wrong, Jason argued that a car that gets to 60 mph in 16 seconds is ok, and a car that hits 60 mph in 10 seconds is probably good for most people. If you want to have a little fun, a 7-second time to 60 mph can still put a smile on your face.

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Acceleration times are silly things. As Jason noted, decades ago, a Porsche 911 hit 60 mph in 7 seconds and that was considered fast. Today, a Honda Odyssey minivan is faster than that. In my garage, I have a 2006 Smart Fortwo CDI, a baby diesel car with 40 HP and an official 0-60 time of 20 seconds. Mine’s tuned, so now it does the job in a blistering time of about 16 seconds.

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On the other end of the scale, my Saturn Sky Red Line can hit 60 mph in 5.2 seconds, and that’ll put your head into the headrest! My Triumph Rocket III also does the job in about 3.5 seconds, which is legitimately fast even for today. Since we missed a couple of COTDs, I’m nominating a couple of people today!

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In terms of scale, I think Dogisbadob nails it with this COTD winner:

0-60 in 12 seconds is adequate ????

15+ slooooooooooooooooooooooooow
12-15 moderately slow
10-12 adequate
8-10 more than adequate
6-8 fucking fast
4-6 extremely fast
<4 ludicrous

I feel Eggsalad’s pain here. Back in 2020, I owned a Mercedes-Benz 240D. The fastest time I clocked for 0-60 was 25 seconds. That makes the diesel Smart seem like a sports car:

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I owned a 1977 Mercedes 240D with 4-speed manual. Factory quoted 28.5 second 0-60 time, which seemed pretty accurate. I’m still alive.

For another nomination, we have Flat6Fever, who perhaps describes the nightmare of buying a not-actually-flooded Aston Martin DB9 in a single sentence:

Somehow this is how I imagine it would be to date Taylor Swift.

Sorry Taylor, I still listen to some of your music! Have a great evening, everyone!

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Small Fact0ry
Small Fact0ry
8 months ago

My 2022 Tacoma with the 2.7 auto requires a calendar to measure it’s 0-60 time.

HOT_HATCH
HOT_HATCH
8 months ago

0-60 is cool but 40-70 after letting your 8-10 speed slushbox settle into the wrong gear is even cooler.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
8 months ago

My pickup does 0-60 in about 14 if you rev the shnot out of it, more like 20 at reasonable rpms. That is fast enough, but you will end up floored semi frequently in traffic and short on ramps aren’t ideal.

My Accord is about 11.5 seconds. That is fast enough that I have never needed to floor it to navigate traffic, not even merging onto 80mph interstates.

I once read a Car and Driver review of the Crosstrek that talked about little except how UNBELIEVABLY SLOW the car was. The spec sheet at the end of the article said 0-60 in 11 flat. I take everything from Car and Driver with a grain of salt now.

John J Gerding
John J Gerding
8 months ago

Come on down to Florida and I will show you zero to sixty times in the low threes with my Durango Hellcat. The g force pushing your head into the headrest is incredible!

HOT_HATCH
HOT_HATCH
8 months ago
Reply to  John J Gerding

That’s one quick minivan!

LarsVargas
LarsVargas
8 months ago

I once owned a 1978 Mercedes 240D 4 speed. It had an auxiliary fuel tank of about 30 gallons in the trunk in addition to the factory tank.Fully loaded, it had a 0-60 time of “perhaps”.

Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
8 months ago

Yay I made COTD!!! 😀

R53forfun
R53forfun
8 months ago
Reply to  Dogisbadob

It was a good’n. Congrats!

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
8 months ago
Reply to  Dogisbadob

*drapes cloak sleeves over sad face*
* remembers time I got COTD*
Good luck younger fellow!
May the social validation loop treat you better than it did me.
*shitposts constantly *

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
8 months ago

You haven’t replied to yourself in a while. Are the new meds working?

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
8 months ago

Brains are mysterious things.
Remove a tumor here or there at an early age and you never know what you’re gonna get 30 years later.
Or if you’re even gonna make it to 30 years later.
“Meds”? There aren’t many out there that help when you are missing literal chunks of grey matter from your frontal lobe.

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
8 months ago

Sounds like commenting on the internet is not for you?

Last edited 8 months ago by Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
8 months ago

I can do better. I can will myself to be less inane (me thinks).

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
8 months ago

Sure you can?

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
8 months ago

Watch me.

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
8 months ago

*sets up security system of some sort *

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
8 months ago

Good lord that is a dumb move..
I could sneak into your garage so easily.

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
8 months ago

*winks knowingly*

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
8 months ago

We’ve got this!

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
8 months ago

Not replying to yourself would be a good first step.

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
8 months ago

Thank you. That’s helpful.
I’m thinking that keeping our comments kind and on topic with the article would be a good next step.

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
8 months ago

You mean talk about cars?
Yeah, that’s kinda why we’re here…

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
8 months ago

*muffled comment*

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
8 months ago

*ignores muffled comment, acts distracted*

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
8 months ago

*sets down chloroform soaked handkerchief casually*

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
8 months ago

I’ve gotta avoid hardware stores for at least two months now (leave my phone at home if I visit one).

I’m sure I’ve got enough tools and tarps laying around to take care of this?

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
8 months ago

Yeah, nobody but you was really enjoying that multiple personality shtick from the get go.

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
8 months ago

*dissolves into the ether*

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
8 months ago

*buys a roll of visqueen and some chicken wire with cash and a baseball cap on*

FuzzyPlushroom
FuzzyPlushroom
8 months ago
Reply to  Dogisbadob

Congrats, and I’m completely with you here! The quickest car I’ve owned was a non-turbo five-speed NG900, and the slowest was my automatic 740 Turbo wagon with the wastegate bypassed, with extra holy god points allotted after a seal completely failed and that previously-worthless turbo belched a quart of oil every ten miles on the 30-mile ride home.

The Yaris’s maybe-under-12-but-not-under-10 (never timed it) is plenty quick, and of the handful of times I’ve wanted more power, most were due to the occasional crappy ramp (hello, MA Route 2!).

Peter d
Peter d
8 months ago

0-60 is useful for drag racing, but somewhat useless for an indicator of acceleration for everyday usage. This is because in everyday driving we do not run the engine up for each start. 5 to 60 is a better indicator for everyday usage; or even 5 to 30, which is where I want my speed to make it easier to merge with traffic. Turbocharged cars will give you a much better 0 to 60 than naturally aspirated, but the non-turbo cars will be more fun around town when compared to a turbocharged car with the same 0 to 60.

In today’s world a good 0 to 60 is between 6 and 8 seconds. Anything starting with a 5 is really fast, with a 4 super fast, and anything under 4.0 is too fast and will get you in trouble.

Bucko
Bucko
8 months ago
Reply to  Peter d

“….because we do not run the engine up for each start.” Clearly you did not spent 1/2 million miles behind the wheel of a diesel Rabbit and a 240D. I wrecked the syncros on the Benz in my futile attempt not to hold up the Chevy Citation behind me. To appreciate how slow these cars were, I would drive the Volkswagen cross-country westbound in 4th gear (headwinds) and eastbound in 5th. Non-issue for the 4-speed 240D.

Ted Fort
Ted Fort
8 months ago
Reply to  Peter d

The Prius is a great example of this. From 20-45, a 2nd Gen Prius is actually pretty quick. Because that’s the majority of around-town scootin’, it doesn’t feel nearly as slow as the numbers would lead you to believe.

AC2DE
AC2DE
8 months ago

My company finally sold off a 1997 F-350 crew cab, long bed dually, with the 7.3 diesel and a 5-speed. By the end of that truck’s tenure, I think it might have needed over a minute to crest 60 when not fully warmed up. And that’s unloaded!

Rapgomi
Rapgomi
8 months ago

You are going to need a slower slooooooooooooooooooooooooow.

I learned to drive a stick in Juneau AK in a 1982 Diesel Vanagon. Everywhere you went you just floored it like a lawn mower – the top speed based on its speedo was 57mph.

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Gunnar Gissel
Gunnar Gissel
8 months ago
Reply to  Rapgomi

I mean, with 10 miles between valley and downtown, how fast do you really need to go?

Old Hippie
Old Hippie
8 months ago
Reply to  Rapgomi

My ’85 Vanagon with stock 1.9L gasoline engine and four-speed stick topped out at around 70-75, depending on slope, road surface and wind. I never tested top speed after swapping in a 2.1L, largely because the speedo cable broke and I never replaced it.

But yeah, for highway driving, the throttle was pretty much floored at all times.

Last edited 8 months ago by Old Hippie
Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
8 months ago

Well 0 to 60 is irrelevant unless you are looking at 0 to 60 times. When do you need accusation from zero? Dragrace. For a DD 30 TO 60 is a better measure. I wonder if AT is better in between measurements.

Bucko
Bucko
8 months ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

This goes to show how everyone has a different life experience. Mine was in metro Detroit. Every day meant Woodward Avenue or Telegraph Road. 4 lanes across in each direction. 50 mph speed limit, but 60 mph is a norm. Every traffic light was 0 – 60. Interestingly, I spent a bit of time in Modesto last month (home of American Graffiti) and their beltline roads also had 50 mph roads with plenty of traffic lights. I still find 0 – 60 very relevant.

PaysOutAllNight
PaysOutAllNight
8 months ago
Reply to  Bucko

Metro Detroit is still very much the land of 0-60. For survival in traffic, not just street racing.

Spikedlemon
Spikedlemon
8 months ago

That’s only because you need to get down to 0 for the pothole, and back up to 60 to get out of that neighbourhood.

Oldskool
Oldskool
8 months ago
Reply to  Bucko

I went to Detroit last month for a Tiger game and car show. The freeways were a nightmare. Several times got run off and almost into a bridge column. Grand Rapids is a cakewalk compared to that.

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