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Slick Pinkham
11-18-2008, 04:17 PM
not me.

In thinking about the crazy bailout talk, I think maybe they just need to stop making and selling crap. I dont want this thread to get political, just tell me if the small sample size of my experience is inconsistent with yours.

In the past 25 years I have owned, chronologically:

AMC Hornet: It had a good jeep engine (though poor gas mileage), but it had tons of mechanical issues, the doors, windows, gauges, electrical components, everything would go bad. 100,000 miles was a pipedream. Sold it for next to nothing to a sucker once it got to 70,000 or so miles.

Ford Mustang: This was a crappy 80s 4-cylinder incarnation, it had constant issues with carburator, eventually died in a car fire on my way to a job interview, had <70,000 miles at time of its fiery death.

Chevy Cavalier: The paint started flaking off badly after 50K miles. It looked so bad it was once reported as an "abandoned vehicle". Mechanically it was incapable of reaching 100K miles. It limped along until 90K, then I traded it in for $1. The dealer drove it around the lot and was amazed that I considered it "driveable".

Dodge Grand Caravan AWD: This POS had constant transmission troubles (3 rebuilds!), leaking gas tank issues, and it was sold for scrap metal, undriveable, at 72,000 miles. It was easily my worst car ever. It left me abandoned at the roadside more often than all other cars I have ever owned, COMBINED.

then I began to do things right...

Acura Integra: I put 180,000 nearly trouble-free miles on it. It was reliable, and it got over 30 mpg. I eventually wrecked it, or it would have lasted many more hundreds of thousands of miles and still looked good.

Honda Pilot: I got in line when they first came out. Now it has 160,000 miles and counting. It has yet to have a non-preventative repair other than things like headlamps.

Honda CRV: Maybe it's too early to tell, but 3 years and 50,000 miles and so far, so good


4 American cars, all were pieces of excrement
3 Honda products, all were great cars

Granted, the Hondas were three of the four most expensive,even accounting for inflation, but the Grand Caravan was 2nd most pricey and easily the worst of the 7.

Until you prove it to me otherwise, one of my guiding principles of car buying is that American cars are pieces of crap.

Hicks
11-18-2008, 04:19 PM
He says it in his post, but I'm sure some still won't see it: Don't let this get political, folks. Just stick with what he's trying to do here, please.

Hicks
11-18-2008, 04:23 PM
As for myself, I briefly drove a Chrysler minivan when I got my license, which was already about 8 years old and I have no idea on the mileage. No problems during that stretch.

Since then, I had a 2000 Honda Civic that lasted quite well until it got totaled in November of '07. I think I had about 50,000 miles on it, but I could be dead-wrong. It was low, though.

Now I have a 2007 Honda Civic that I got in mid-December of '07. So far, so good.

Putnam
11-18-2008, 04:36 PM
I have.

My first car was a '73 Chevelle, and I ran it up to 230,000. I'd drive it today, If I could. Loved that car. A couple of my high school friends had '74s, and those were inhibited by the crude catalytic converters they installed that year, so my car was beastlier.

Right now, I've got a '96 Dodge Grand Caravan and a '06 Taurus and they both run very well. the van has 190,000 and only has two defects: the seat adjustment has stripped gears so it reclines when I don't want it to, and the heater only works on high. Truly, I'm amazed at how well it runs. There's a touch of rust, and I've had to repair the rear end once and replace rusted brakelines, but that doesn't make it a problem vehicle. I'd say the Taurus was still new if my wife hadn't clobbered a deer with it. (Guiess I should come all the way out of the closet: we've also got a Honda Civic. I don't know what year it is, but it look like it'll run forever.)

I've also driven a variety of Pontiacs, Chevys, and (while overseas) an Audi 100 and Russian Niva. Keeping the Niva going was a full-time job. I had the engine out of it five times in one year, and it was not uncommon that the replacement parts were badly machined and would damage the parts they connected to. Talk about a POS.
http://z.about.com/d/4wheeldrive/1/0/v/U/1/Michur_Pol_92LadaNiva_RR.jpg

Pacertom, I would venture to guess that you sampled American cars at their nadir, and then haven't given them a chance since they've restored the passion. The Hornet and the Mustang II are certainly not proud moments in US carmaking. The Grand Caravan you got was obviously a lemon, but there's hundreds of them still on the road. You just got (un)lucky with what is otherwise a pretty reliable model.

Since86
11-18-2008, 04:36 PM
Had a '97 Pont. Bonneville SSEI that I bought off my uncle. When I got it, in 2004, it already had 180,000+mi. I put a new starter in it and then drove the crap out of it. I ended up selling it to my parents, who turned around and sold it to one of their tennants, and it's still going strong. I imagine it's well over 230,000.

My dad drives a '95 Dodge Ram 1500 2wd, that he just loves. To be honest, I can't remember that he's ever had any problems with it.

Mom drives a '97 GMC Safari. She gets periodic tune-ups, but she's not had any problems with it either.

Knucklehead Warrior
11-18-2008, 04:36 PM
I have owned two distinctive American cars (among others without distinction).

One was the worst piece of crap you could ever imagine. It died if you turned left too sharply, try that with oncoming traffic. If you put the emergency brake on, you had to crawl under the car with a hammer to unset it.

The other had so many repairs that I swore the next time it needed one I was leaving it at the scene, which is what I did @ I believe the corner of 26 and 52 in Lafayette. Took my toolbox out of the trunk, unscrewed my license plate and walked.

Since then, for 21 years, I owned two cars, both the same, just different years, and last year bought the third one in a row, all foreign.

Good decisions come from experience; experience comes from bad decisions.

Putnam
11-18-2008, 04:52 PM
I see a pattern. Both pacertom and Knucklehead Warrior had bad experiences 20 or more years ago. There WAS a bad time for domestic cars from '74 to the late 80s.

There's also no doubt that the quality of domestic cars has been very substantially improved since then.

Major Cold
11-18-2008, 05:08 PM
This is a subject that I know a little about.

When the Japanese companies tried to make a splash in the automotive industry in the 60s they sought American companies.

Our once American Juggernauts advised that the Asian companies should work on making a reliable product and and build on that rather than a marketing first stand point that we've seen. Well they did and over time their product made a splash in the world-wide market, but it barely dented the American market until the mid 80s. While those companies were emerging from the lowly stature, our massive companies began to outsource their parts, attempting to find the highest profit margin. They grew by leaps and bounds. GM and Ford grew so large it caused even Chrysler to take risks that they were unable to overcome on their own (1980 bail-out)

When this nation practices free trade the lesser of the product loses? Add to that the Unions demands and the over failure to launch GM in Asia (a project my aunt was on), no wonder we are here. (free trade does not exist in Asia as it stands here. There is a loyalty to their reliable product, as was the case here many years ago.)

Now I have to ask what years you cars are. While I agree that the 80s and early 90s domestic cars were not reliable. From 98 to the present the gap in little if not gone over the entire scope of each company's lines.

So the question remains for me. Should these companies (almost 100 year companies) be dissolved because of 15 years of risky practice? Should their workers be punished? The ones who are to blame are the top notch executives.

mods you can delete this post if you want. Or just the last part.

Slick Pinkham
11-18-2008, 05:17 PM
I see a pattern. Both pacertom and Knucklehead Warrior had bad experiences 20 or more years ago. There WAS a bad time for domestic cars from '74 to the late 80s.

There's also no doubt that the quality of domestic cars has been very substantially improved since then.

The worst car I ever had was the Grand Caravan, which I bought new in 1997 or 1998 and suffered through until 2003.

I have no doubt that some cars are better now. I rent American cars when I'm traveling on business, and usually like them, but I figured it might be because the major rental fleets are fairly new models.

Last time I was buying (in 2004/2005) I considered a Saturn (my wife called me crazy) but living in Massachusetts and commuting at the time, I needed 4WD and over 20 mpg. I loved the Acura and had wrecked it, so the CRV was an easy sell.

Trader Joe
11-18-2008, 05:20 PM
I had a Honda Accord which was reliable and now I had an Audi A4 which has also been reliable. Both were fun cars to drive. There are a handful of cars that are domestic that I would be willing to drive. I.E. Saturn Sky Redline. However I don't ever think I'll buy a domestic daily driver.

grace
11-18-2008, 05:28 PM
My last 3 cars have been Tauruses. I never really had any problems with any of them. I might have driven the last car forever if it hadn't been totaled.

DisplacedKnick
11-18-2008, 05:28 PM
When I was right out of college I bought a used Mustang - couldn't give you mileage but I had it 5 years and drove the wheels off it without any serious trouble.

Had a 1-ton Chevy pickup/454 engine that I had for 5 years and over 300,000 miles - no major trouble.

Got a 1/2-ton Chevy pickup now that I bought new in 1990. Has about 220,000 miles. Has some rust but runs great - engine will never die. I've replaced the front brakes.

Have a '97 Ford 3/4 ton now. Not as good as the Chevy's but still no major troubles at about 120,000 miles.

I need something that gets 30-35 mpg though and I'm buying next spring. I have 13 cars on my list and only 2 American cars - both Saturns - are on my shopping list. My number 1 based on reliability, price and mileage is a Mazda 3.

But I'll test drive 'em all before I decide.

ilive4sports
11-18-2008, 07:04 PM
My family almost always buys domestics, mainly fords as my dad used to work at a ford dealer.

While i was growing up we had a Plymouth Caravan (over 120,000 miles) never had a major problem, two Ford Windstars (one over 100,000 miles and another just under 50,000 when we upgraded to our next) neither had a major problem.

My dad used a few Ford E350 vans for his job and all had reached over 250,000 miles before being replaced because they never had any real problems. Now he is using F-150s and F-250s, some have over 200,000 miles on them as is now and are just getting phased out.

Our cars now are:
Dad has the F-150 from work, and a 2000 Ford Mustang GT which has 90,000 some miles on it. Runs perfect. Plan on pulling the engine at 100,000 miles just to add more fun:devil:

Mom drives a 2003 Lincoln Aviator. Has 60,000 miles on it I believe. Only thing we have had to do is change the brakes.

I drive a 1998 Ford Contour SVT. Has about 95,000 miles on it now. Right before I bought it at the 80,000 mark and then the front springs and struts had just been replaced and thats the only big thing that happened to it.

Obviously regular maintenance has been taken care of on all of these cars. Thats the key right there. If you perform regular matenance on your cars, you will be fine, no matter which brand it is. It pains me to see people say American cars are crap because I know for a fact they are not.

cgg
11-18-2008, 07:16 PM
97 Chevy s10, worked well until an accident

97 Chevy Lumina, Blown intake manifold gasket at 70k, sold it.

02 Malibu, 98k miles, runs about the same as when it was new. Still have it.

04 Corvette, 55k miles, Worked great until it was stolen.

05 Corvette, 55k miles, mechanic screwed up my transmission. They put in a new transmission but I got rid of it shortly after that

Los Angeles
11-18-2008, 07:56 PM
Interesting to note: I currently drive a 2001 Subaru Legacy Wagon. At the time of its release, it was one of the most "American" cars available from any manufacturer. Over 90% of its parts were made in America and final assembly happened right smack in Kokomo, Indiana.

IIRC, at the time even Ford and Chevy Pickup trucks had more parts imported from overseas than my Legacy.

The car now has just over 100,000 miles and I can see it getting twice that before I consider an overhaul or a replacement.

I love this car and despite its Japanese name, it is a testament to the quality manufacturing coming from in my home state of Indiana.

jeffg-body
11-18-2008, 11:28 PM
I had a 1977 Chevy Caprice that had 425,000 miles and never gave me any problems.

I had a 2000 Chevy Cavalier that ran good until 90,000 miles and it had an ignition switch problem and would die driving down the road. They did a recall two months after I sold it.

I have a 2003 Alero that has never given me any problems at 90,000 miles now.

Trader Joe
11-18-2008, 11:49 PM
Fun fact: Of the cars being used in Nascar the only one produced on American soil is the Toyota.

Pig Nash
11-19-2008, 01:00 AM
I drive a 96 Mercury Sable. It's got 180K miles and runs pretty well. It has it's issues but nothing major. New tires/brakes etc.

Only things wrong with it is that it basically eats oil, so I add more instead of changing it mostly and it loses vacuum sometimes because the tubes come loose, but that's an easy fix.

ilive4sports
11-19-2008, 01:13 AM
Fun fact: Of the cars being used in Nascar the only one produced on American soil is the Toyota.

Fun fact: those cars you see on sundays have about as much in common as I do with Usain Bolt. I actually probably have more in common with him haha.

Trader Joe
11-19-2008, 01:37 AM
Fun fact: those cars you see on sundays have about as much in common as I do with Usain Bolt. I actually probably have more in common with him haha.

FUN FACT:
But you missed my point, those cars are all competing with each other at that price level and the Camry is the only one actually built in America. The Charger, Impala, and Fusion are all not built in America.
Domestic cars are only domestic in the sense that they are headquartered here.

GM, Ford, and Chrysler are three of the worst companies in America right now. They have run themselves into the ground and they should have to face the same fate of any other company that deserves to fail.

ilive4sports
11-19-2008, 01:42 AM
FUN FACT:
But you missed my point, those cars are all competing with each other at that price level and the Camry is the only one actually built in America. The Charger, Impala, and Fusion are all not built in America.
Domestic cars are only domestic in the sense that they are headquartered here.

GM, Ford, and Chrysler are three of the worst companies in America right now. They have run themselves into the ground and they should have to face the same fate of any other company that deserves to fail.

Oh no, trust me i know that most of your "American" cars arent built here any more. I was just making a little joke at those so called "stock" cars.

But I am a Ford fanboy, always have been and always will be. I will take a Ford Mustang GT any day of the week. I mean i didnt spend 2 days cleaning my dad's for no reason.

I dont want to get all political and get into the UAW and their relationships with the Big Three and all that because it doesnt belong here.

indygeezer
11-19-2008, 07:39 AM
DO NOT LET THIS GET POLITICAL, PLEASE

I couldn't begin to count all of the cars I've owned. But the first was a 1956 Ford Crown Victoria. Back then you changed the oil every 5000 and the filter everyother oil change...and a car with 80,000 miles on it was a dinosaur due for extinction. So when people say they don't build them as well as they used to....meh. I have had three Corvairs that I dearly loved but couldn't go 100 miles w/o adding oil. My alltime favorite had to be my 1967 Mercury Cougar and my 1975 Chevy Pick-up. One of my least fav's was my '98 F150 extend cab...driver seat very uncomfortable and took a football field to turn.

But if the question was longevity that would be my two Jeep Cherokee Sports. The first blew two computer chips the same week (sold her then) she had 190K on her and was still tooling along fine, the family hated it but it was great for deer hunting. THe other Jeep had 146,000 on her when I traded her for my present Used Caddie, which I dearly love. THe only problem with the Caddie is it's Nortnstsar engine burns a quart of oil every 1000 miles. There is not a drop of oil on the ground, it burns it. (I have essentially changed the oil between every oil change) Now I love the Caddie for comfort and handling. I do not like it being rear wheel drive but it's weight makes up for some of that. But it ain't cool to stick a dead deer in the trunk. BTW...I bought her used.

I like my Broker's thinking on buying a car. I have always loved buying a NEW car but he taught me one lesson. You drive the car the first 60,000 miles for $50,000 and I'll drive her the second 60,000 for $12,000. Be picky, know what you want and be patient. Especially in this economy, the car you want will show up at the price you want to pay, unless you insist on a new one.

I figure in a few months I will be able to get Geezerette the pick-up she wants by just about naming my price. Then I'll have something to haul a dead deer in too.

count55
11-19-2008, 08:41 AM
I had a 72 Cutlass which was fantastic, an '86 Olds Calais which I loved, and a '93 Saturn SL2 that I drove into the ground.

I currently drive a Nissan Altima, which I'm pretty sure was assembled in Smyrna, TN. It's our second Altima (my wife had a '96). They've both been great cars.

Between my Saturn and my Altima, I had a Toyota Camry for a couple of years, which I absolutely hated. For the last 10 years or so, my wife has driven Mitsubishi's, first a Montero Sport, now a Montero Limited.

I've known people who've had quality Big Three cars, and crappy Toyotas. There are reasons that I went away from UAW-produced automobiles after working at Guide for a while, but quality wasn't one of them. I'm not horribly surprised at pacertom's experience because, with the exception of the Caravan, the American cars that he bought were notorious pieces of ****. It's the rough equivalent of buying a few Fox Deluxe generic pizzas, then deciding you hate pizza.

However, I feel no compelling reason to prove anything. If you don't want to buy American, don't.

Unclebuck
11-19-2008, 09:31 AM
No, I haven't.

I had a series of company cars - two Chevy Luminas and a Pontiac Grand Prix - and they were all pieces of junk. Brakes having to be completely replaced after 16K miles, - I only had each car for 18 months and I was shocked at how cheaply made they were. This was back in the 90's.

Now, I don't get a company car. Several years ago, I needed an inexpensive dependable car - so I got a Honda Civic. Talk about no frills, but wow was it a great car. I had it for 5 years around 75,000 miles, and nothing, I mean nothing ever broke or had to be replaced or changed. Had to get new tires and replace battery - but other than normal oil changes - nothing ever went wrong. Hondas are great cars.

In 2005 I bought my current car a Nissan Altima - has 45,000 miles and once again it has been perfect so far. Looked at Honda Accord's but I got a discount for Nissan where I worked, so I got a Nissan. But Honda's are great cars

Bottonline if I am spending my own money, I would not consider a Ford, GM or Chrysler. Honda, Nissan, Toyota - just much better

Knucklehead Warrior
11-19-2008, 09:48 AM
My alltime favorite had to be my 1967 Mercury Cougar .........

This just proves that different people have different experiences. It was the 67 Cougar I abandoned in Lafayette. :laugh::laugh::laugh:

cgg
11-19-2008, 10:03 AM
Wait a sec... you're telling me they called a 4 cylinder car a Mustang???

travmil
11-19-2008, 10:14 AM
In high school I had a '69 Road Runner. It had the 440 engine with the 6 pack carb. It was fast and dangerous. I didn't have the money to do it up right so I sold it to a friend who did. It had 74k on it when I bought it for a steal. I sold it for twice what I paid for it to my buddy with 108k on it. He turned it into a show car and today it still only has 114k on it almost 15 years later. Out of all the cars I've owned selling this one is the equivalent of letting the girl get away. I think about that car almost every day. I did it for a good reason. It was a classic that deserved better than I could give it at the time. But if I had it now...

I also had a 1986 Pontiac Sunbird. I had trouble with it but it had 120k on it when I bought it for next to nothing. I would say that I put into it roughly what I paid for it but I drove it for 3 and a half years and it had 160k on it. The engine blew and I sold it to a scrapyard for $250.

After that I drove a 1992 Chevy Corsica. It had around 50k on it when I bought it at a used car dealer. I had tons of trouble with it. Put two transmissions in it over the course of 4 years and even though it still had relatively low miles for a 10 year old car I cut my losses on it after fixing it up a bit and sold it to a gal that worked for my dad for $800. This was in 2002, and even though that girl no longer works for my dad she STILL drives that car around. It's gotta be getting close to 200k by now.

I had a 1997 Ford F-150 that I bought off of my dad. He must have gotten all of the good use out of it because I had problems immediately. I drove it for a year and traded it in for $3,000 on my...

2005 Ford Focus. Nothing but good things to say about this car. It's currently got 80k miles on it and all I've spent on it is routine maintenance. Oil changes, tires, brakes, etc. My plan is to give this car to my daughter when she turns 16 in three years and so far it has given me every reason to believe that it will still be going strong when that happens. It gets over 30mpg to boot. Of course, this car is American in name only as it was actually built in Mexico.

Putnam
11-19-2008, 01:26 PM
Wait a sec... you're telling me they called a 4 cylinder car a Mustang???


Yep. They were actually called a "Mustang II."




Travmil. I covet.

duke dynamite
11-19-2008, 01:33 PM
My 1997 Cavalier Z24 lasted long, until my brother wrecked it.

Trader Joe
11-19-2008, 01:45 PM
I don't want to get political, the teachers in Kelley make fun of the Big Three a lot so it has just become ingrained into my personality.

In truth, the Big Three make a lot of really good solid cars now. The Focus that Trav referenced being one of them. The problem is, they have marketed themselves so horribly and backed themselves into such a corner, that not that many people know it, and even if they do they don't want to drive it because of the stigma. Honestly, GM has to be one of the most cannibalistic companies in the world. So many of their brands directly compete with each other that it blows my mind just thinking they have lasted this long.
But I digress.

The main reason I don't like domestics isn't because of reliability, it's because I think their technology in car is vastly inferior to their Japanese or European counterparts.

ilive4sports
11-19-2008, 01:48 PM
Yep. They were actually called a "Mustang II."




Travmil. I covet.

Actually in '82 and '83 they produced the normal fox body mustangs with a 2.3 liter 4-cylinder engine. They also made the Mustang SVO which was a turbo-charged 4-cylinder made from '84 to'86. SVO's are quite rare.

So normal mustangs did come with a 4 cylinder too.

Peck
11-19-2008, 05:27 PM
I've been very lucky in life in that all of my vehicles have been in good shape. I have never owned anything other than one of the major 3, not out of some sense of loyalty but just because they were what I got.

Right now I have a 2007 Dodge Durango and I love it. Before that I had a Chevy Tahoe. Before that I had a GMC Jimmy. Before that I had a Ford Bronco. Before that I had a Ford Fairmont. Before that I had a Chevy Cargo Van.

Anthem
11-19-2008, 05:48 PM
Interesting to note: I currently drive a 2001 Subaru Legacy Wagon. At the time of its release, it was one of the most "American" cars available from any manufacturer. Over 90% of its parts were made in America and final assembly happened right smack in Kokomo, Indiana.
Yeah, I've been trying to figure this out as well. What defines an American car? Big three, or built in America?

My luck has not been good, to say the least. We had a Pontiac Bonneville that ended up getting a lot of miles, but boy howdy did we pay for it at the mechanic.

Doug
11-19-2008, 08:49 PM
1981 Olds Delta 88 - Great car. Traded in with over 150K on it.

1988 Mustang V8 - Very solid mechanically. The paint starting pealing at around 100K, but Ford repainted it for me. Sold it at 150K about almost 40% of the original sticker. Loved that car.

19?? Saturn SL2. First year the made them. I was an "early adopter". Engine was a little noise, but another well made car for the price. A Firestone dealer ran it without oil trying to troubleshoot an oil leak they caused. The replaced the engine, but I sold it a year later - it was never quite the same.

1991 Suburban. It had a small transmission problem at about 100K but other than that was great. Sold at 150K.

2000 Camaro V8 Convertible. Flawless for 8 years and 80K.

2006 Yukon XL. 80K. No problems to date.

2008 Jeep Wrangler. Too soon to tell, but I've had it for 8 months with no problems.

http://i528.photobucket.com/albums/dd323/torpex77/JGW%2011%2015%202008/JGW_111508-05.jpg

So, that's 6 with nothing really major. The transmission problem on the Suburban is the closest thing. They did have to replace some of the gears.

Los Angeles
11-19-2008, 08:57 PM
Yeah, I've been trying to figure this out as well. What defines an American car? Big three, or built in America?

My luck has not been good, to say the least. We had a Pontiac Bonneville that ended up getting a lot of miles, but boy howdy did we pay for it at the mechanic.
In the end the responsibility for design and quality control are at the feet of the brand. Chevy designs and oversees the manufacture of cars under the Chevy brand.

I think for a long time, the perceived poor quality of American autos were blamed on the American workers. Nope, I think it's just sub-standard product design and QC.

But this isn't necessarily an American/Foreign issue. I have several freinds who have owned VWs from the 90s and 00s. Those cars are by-and-large total hunks of junk and the repair costs are extreme.

Ironically, sister company Audi makes (imho) some of the best cars out there.

Los Angeles
11-19-2008, 08:59 PM
2008 Jeep Wrangler. Too soon to tell, but I've had it for 8 months with no problems.

http://i528.photobucket.com/albums/dd323/torpex77/JGW%2011%2015%202008/JGW_111508-05.jpg


I SO want to get a 4-door wrangler.

I'm full-on jealous.

:thumbup:

The Toxic Avenger
11-19-2008, 09:21 PM
My First Real Car of any significance was a 95 Lincoln Town Car and boy it was a beut!

I got it with 110,000 miles I think and drove it for three-four years getting the mileage up to 160,000 and aside from several wrecks that I got into I have not one complaint. It had been wrecked two times, both rear end-ers and the last time I was hit so hard that I hit the car in front of me and both times I drove away with no problems. It LOOKED like crap after those two incidents but honestly it wasn't bad to drive at all and even got good gas mileage.

After a while, as a kids do, I neglected it and stopped any and all upkeep. Battery, Spark Plugs, Oil Change, Filters, standard Tune up stuff. It STILL ran until I got a new car Last Year.

Sigh, Its a wonderful car. :)

Trader Joe
11-19-2008, 09:32 PM
In the end the responsibility for design and quality control are at the feet of the brand. Chevy designs and oversees the manufacture of cars under the Chevy brand.

I think for a long time, the perceived poor quality of American autos were blamed on the American workers. Nope, I think it's just sub-standard product design and QC.

But this isn't necessarily an American/Foreign issue. I have several freinds who have owned VWs from the 90s and 00s. Those cars are by-and-large total hunks of junk and the repair costs are extreme.

Ironically, sister company Audi makes (imho) some of the best cars out there.
I love my A4. The lease is up in April, and I'm really torn on where to go next. I love the new A5 in terms of looks, but I just don't know if it's quick enough with BMW's twin turbo engine in the 335. I really want to test drive one, but they are impossible to find(A5 that is, there are 335s all over the damn place). Pretty much all of them are sold before they are finished being built.
Really though the A4 is about as dependable as you can get right now. They made big strides in quality since the days where your car might back over someone on accident. I have a couple buddies who have owned them as well, and the only issue arose when a middle of nowhere dealership put the wrong kind of oil in a turbo engine.

Doug
11-19-2008, 09:36 PM
I SO want to get a 4-door wrangler.

I'm full-on jealous.

:thumbup:

I love it.

I've always pretty much been a sports car kind of guy. Had the Mustang, then the Camaro. Give me a big V8 and a stick-shift and I'm pretty happy guy.

I'm also very partial to convertibles. And I have 3 kids. So when the Camaro started getting up there in years, I started looking for a 5 passenger convertible.

Problem is, nobody makes one. At least not in the traditional sense.

But the 4-door Wrangler is 5 passenger.

So that made most of my choice for me.

I've had to adapt a little to not having a sports car, but it's been worth it. I use to put the top up and down on the Camaro a couple of times a day. With the Jeep, I just leave it down unless I'm pretty sure it's going to rain.

This summer, I managed to go 6 weeks straight without the doors on. Then another 4 weeks after that. I did get caught in a couple of rain storms, but it didn't get too wet once I put the top up. I pulled out all of the carpet after the first time, so there's not a lot to get wet except the seats. There's drain plugs in the floor, so I just pull them and let all the water drain out.

Next year I'm hoping to make it from May through September with no doors. Nothing like driving around with the top down, the doors off, and Radio Margaritaville cranked up.

The picture is from an off-road trip I took last weekend. That was a blast. I can't believe what the Jeep can do.

It certainly has it's quirks. It's fairly noisy. Gas mileage sucks (16). I don't leave anything of value in it, because the soft top windows are zippered - and I don't have doors usually anyway. The ride is much better than I thought it would be, though.

Plus, apparently Jeep ownership comes with a desire to add things to it - lift, bumpers, winch, rock rails, bigger tires, etc. My wife has managed to keep my spending in check so far, but with any luck I'll eventually get those things.

Stryder
11-19-2008, 10:13 PM
1987 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera - Piece of Crap.

1995 Pontiac Grand Am - Piece of Crap.

1998 Pontiac Sunfire - Piece of Crap.

2003 Oldsmobile Alero - Ok. I liked this car alot for some reason.

2003 Chevy Malibu - Ok car. Just ok.

2005 Mercury Mariner - I like this small SUV.

2005 Suzuki Forenza - Small, cheap car, but it gets decent gas mileage and has a 7 year, 100,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty.

2008 Mercury Mariner - I love it.

Los Angeles
11-19-2008, 10:27 PM
I love it.

I've always pretty much been a sports car kind of guy. Had the Mustang, then the Camaro. Give me a big V8 and a stick-shift and I'm pretty happy guy.

I'm also very partial to convertibles. And I have 3 kids. So when the Camaro started getting up there in years, I started looking for a 5 passenger convertible.

Problem is, nobody makes one. At least not in the traditional sense.

But the 4-door Wrangler is 5 passenger.

So that made most of my choice for me.

I've had to adapt a little to not having a sports car, but it's been worth it. I use to put the top up and down on the Camaro a couple of times a day. With the Jeep, I just leave it down unless I'm pretty sure it's going to rain.

This summer, I managed to go 6 weeks straight without the doors on. Then another 4 weeks after that. I did get caught in a couple of rain storms, but it didn't get too wet once I put the top up. I pulled out all of the carpet after the first time, so there's not a lot to get wet except the seats. There's drain plugs in the floor, so I just pull them and let all the water drain out.

Next year I'm hoping to make it from May through September with no doors. Nothing like driving around with the top down, the doors off, and Radio Margaritaville cranked up.

The picture is from an off-road trip I took last weekend. That was a blast. I can't believe what the Jeep can do.

It certainly has it's quirks. It's fairly noisy. Gas mileage sucks (16). I don't leave anything of value in it, because the soft top windows are zippered - and I don't have doors usually anyway. The ride is much better than I thought it would be, though.

Plus, apparently Jeep ownership comes with a desire to add things to it - lift, bumpers, winch, rock rails, bigger tires, etc. My wife has managed to keep my spending in check so far, but with any luck I'll eventually get those things.
I could leave the entire top off for 7 months straight. Plus it would be a ferfect fit for my 9'6" Stewart Hydro-Hull Longboard:

http://www.windandwave.net/surfboards/stewart%206-16-08/96%20eps%20HydroHull.jpg

Putnam
11-20-2008, 08:36 AM
This is a great thread. I'm glad so many people have had good relationships with their cars.

The testimony of this thread suggests that if you are categorically down on domestic cars, chances are good your impression was formed in the 80s, when American cars really had problems. (After my beloved '73 Chevelle, I had am '81 Camaro that never excited me.)


Does anyone know: weren't the problems right around that time caused partly by new exhaust regulations, the catalytic converters, etc. that took away performance and caused problems?


.

ilive4sports
11-20-2008, 12:48 PM
This is a great thread. I'm glad so many people have had good relationships with their cars.

The testimony of this thread suggests that if you are categorically down on domestic cars, chances are good your impression was formed in the 80s, when American cars really had problems. (After my beloved '73 Chevelle, I had am '81 Camaro that never excited me.)


Does anyone know: weren't the problems right around that time caused partly by new exhaust regulations, the catalytic converters, etc. that took away performance and caused problems?


.

Yes, and thats why some cars today are just so so. With having to meet the 35 mpg law soon, its challenging car companies not only to put out an exciting product, but be fuel efficient and all.

indygeezer
11-20-2008, 04:48 PM
Yes, and thats why some cars today are just so so. With having to meet the 35 mpg law soon, its challenging car companies not only to put out an exciting product, but be fuel efficient and all.

Ah yes, catalytic converters. Remove carbon and substitue in sulfur which becomes sulfur dioxide which mixes with moisture in the air to become....Acid Rain. Another great idea.....thank you EPA. (or whoever)

But I digress.............AAAAAAAAAAACCCCKKK you deserted a 67 Cougar???? A fate with Sadam Hussein awaits you.
Jr. bought his g-ma's 95 Saturn at 80K...had trannie trouble almost immediately and consistently until we traded it back in Sept, for an 02 Jetta which has been PERFECT (knock on knucklehead warrior's head).
My wife's 04 Honda Odyssee started out great but now...meh. No problems but it is getting uncomfortable to sit in and loud inside (or am I just used to the Caddie??) plus whoever dreamed up those automatic sliding doors should have to stand in the rain and sleet and wait on them to close.

idioteque
11-20-2008, 07:56 PM
My first car was a 1994 Mitsubishi Galant, which was kind of a crappy car but I also drove the living hell out of it. This was in high school. For all the hell I put it through, it was relatively dependable. The week before I moved to DC to sold it to a friend and we signed a contract saying that the purchase was as is. Thank goodness for that because a week later I got a call from him saying the transmission was shot.

When driving out to DC (in 2004) I borrowed my mom's 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee. When she came to get the car and drive it back with my Dad, she got it back to Indiana but the car wouldn't start after she got back. It turned out there were so many things wrong with it it wasn't even worth the price of the car to get the repairs.

My sister used to drive a Ford Taurus, no frills at all and seemed like a decent car but she completely totaled it like the third day of her driving home from high school. In his infinite wisdom, my Dad bought her a 2001 Volvo S4 which she has driven and trashed to ultimate oblivion, yet the thing continues to hold up quite well.

For reason I can't go into on this board, I will never buy a UAW-made vehicle, at least not with the way things are now.

Trader Joe
11-21-2008, 02:49 AM
Well and the fact that domesitc car companies use cheap crappy plastics in their interiors. I don't know if anyone else has been inside a Dodge Calibre but all I can say is yuck.

Major Cold
11-21-2008, 08:51 AM
I wonder how long the big three are going to market employee pricing. It sends bad vibes for a conglomerate that wants a bail out and their exceutives fly private planes. It will remind people over and over again.

I think the big three need to have a 10 year 100,000 bumper to bumper on all cars. This is the only way to back up their product.

ilive4sports
11-21-2008, 01:54 PM
Just thought this would be a little relevant. Especially since I just saw Indy's post about interiors. Ford seems to be really trying to improve that aspect of their cars lately. Here is the 2010 Ford Fusion which is hot imo. Also the 2010 Mustang seems to have a nice new interior.

http://cache.gawker.com/assets/images/jalopnik/2008/11/2010-Ford-Fusion-Sport.jpg

http://jalopnik.com/assets/images/gallery/12/2008/11/medium_3042391422_cc44dcab4d_o.jpg

Putnam
11-21-2008, 03:16 PM
:drool:

ilive4sports
11-21-2008, 05:16 PM
Agreed. I wish the six speed manual they are putting with the 4-cyl was going to be available on the Fusion Sport. Id be all over that (if I had money of course).

indygeezer
11-21-2008, 05:41 PM
BTW....anyone....I MIGHT be interested in a 4WD F150 or older 4x4 Chevy if one is found for under $2500. It might be a bit early money wise....but if the right deal comes along. And one of my older kids is a paint and body man so as long as the frame ain't bent.

Again, no promises

Trader Joe
11-21-2008, 06:38 PM
I think that Fusion looks better, but its still nothing special. I know that's not what they're going for, but looks can be deceiving. How do the plastics feel? Do they feel like they will last like in an Audi or do they feel flimsy kind of cheap like they do in a lot of domestic cars.

ChicagoJ
11-24-2008, 01:31 PM
My '98 Blazer has 120k+ and is in great shape. The Vortec engine was the best thing Detroit (or was it Ft. Wayne) had going for a number of years.

My newer Pontiac (G6 GTP) had one expensive clutch problem but is fine. And I'm still fighting with GM over the clutch issue.

My advise is to stick to the trucks/ SUVs.

Shade
11-26-2008, 11:56 AM
All of my cars have been American.

Not coincidentally, I've been through 4 in 12 years.

At least Toshiba doesn't make cars.

Since86
11-26-2008, 02:50 PM
Now, I don't get a company car. Several years ago, I needed an inexpensive dependable car - so I got a Honda Civic. Talk about no frills, but wow was it a great car. I had it for 5 years around 75,000 miles, and nothing, I mean nothing ever broke or had to be replaced or changed. Had to get new tires and replace battery - but other than normal oil changes - nothing ever went wrong. Hondas are great cars.

I know they aren't considered 'American' because of where their headquarters are located, but Honda is made in the US. More Honda parts are made in the US than most domestic cars.