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US-made Cars suck....

Discussion in 'Whatnots' started by Kitrax, Nov 29, 2006.

  1. Kitrax

    Kitrax Pantaloons are supposed to go where!?!?

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    [​IMG] I just read an article put out by Consumer Reports listing the top 10 cars that hold their value, and the top 10 that don't. Every vehicle in the bottom 10 was an American make...while every vehicle in the top 10 was either Asian or European.

    You would think that at some point in Ford and GMC's buy-ups (i.e. Ford recently bought out Mazda), that the companies would take a lesson from the engineers from the other countries...obviously they're doing *something* right!

    I mean, if your company's name becomes an acronym for "Fix Or Repair Daily" ("Driver Returns On Foot" if you spell Ford backwards :p ), then you think their engineers would take a 180 degree turn in design...and not just with the body style.

    I don't really know why American made cars suck so bad, but I have a feeling that on the truck side of things, the US makes might be trying to sell only to the rednecks of the nation. Think about it...they make a big truck with a huge engine that makes waaaaaay too much noise and wastes too much fuel, and have some redneck in their commercial playing redneck music. If stick a redneck in a Honda Civic Hybrid...he would probably say, "Aw come on man! This here's a sissy car!" Rednecks don't care about fuel economy...they want a big engine with big noise. The Ford F-250 V10 truck for example gets about 12mpg on a good day! :eek:

    Personally, if I get a truck (which is what I do want...) it will be a Toyota Tacoma. And if there comes a time where the Tacoma just isn't powerful enough for whatever I need it for, I would just upgrade to a Toyota Tundra. You get all the benefits of a truck, minus the hick status, crappy fuel economy, or overly loud noise. :D

    But whatever...that's just me. Why do you think US-made cars suck? And don't say it's because of Bush... :p :shake: I'm trying to keep this in the Whatnots forums if you know what I mean. Oh, and here's the link to the article: http://autos.msn.com/advice/CRArt.aspx?contentid=4024366 .

    One thing to take into consideration, many of the bottom 10 are "twins" of other company's vehicles that are still owned by the "mother company". :bad: I don't know how many twins the Chevrolet TrailBlazer has, but I know it has at least 3... :nono: :rolling:
     
  2. Mesmero

    Mesmero How'd an old elf get the blues?

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    The only reason I can think of why American cars suck would be the poor handling. But considering that American cars are almost exclusively made for the American market, they probably prefer power and comfort while driving long stretches of road over handling. There isn't even enough space for them on the Dutch roads (and probably also most other European roads), and fitting a Suburban on just one parking space is impossible.

    Honestly, I kinda like American cars. My dream car would be a 60s muscle car (that or a Volkswagen T1 van). If a lot of car brands got a bad name from breaking down in the past, that name probably stuck with them, even though they make better quality cars nowadays (Asian cars might still be more reliable, but it can't be that bad). It's kinda hard to loose a bad name. (Just look at Harley-Davidson, yeah I know, not a car brand, but I'm more of a motorcycle guy anyway. They make decent motorcycles nowadays, but still a lot of people think they are unreliable as hell and parts will just fall of because of the terrible shaking).
     
  3. Sydax Gems: 19/31
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    Everytime we watched (my friend and I) an ad on Fox Sports or ESPN about a car (45% ads about sedans, 45% about trucks, 10% about burguers) we said the same thing: how can you drive those giant cars/trucks in cities like ours (in Argentina).
    Here in Spain is the same, most people don't want those 'big FBI 4 door sedans'; too big to park, to big to drive in the hell of traffic we have here and very few people live in big houses (outside the cities) with big garages where to put them cars.
    So I think that is more a practical issue than a 'suckiness' issue.
     
  4. JSBB Gems: 31/31
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    Around here most people have a high level of contempt for American cars for the usual reasons - poor handling, poor fuel economy, and high rate of breakdowns.

    To me the main one of those is the handling. I am used to driving Toyotas and VWs and quite frankly compared to those every American car that I have ever driven has felt like an unstable deathtrap. It is no wonder that the speed limit on US highways is so low - driving a US car at Canadian highway speeds is downright scary.
     
  5. Morgoroth

    Morgoroth Just because I happen to have tentacles, it doesn'

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    I'll have to agree with the poor handling part. After driving my sister's Ford (can't remember the exact model) the Renault Megane that I usually drive felt like heaven. I'm never again going to drive an American car if I can help it. I'll have to admit though that I don't have expirience from other American car brands but the general impression I have is that the other brands and models are not much better.
     
  6. henkie

    henkie Hammertime Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    What I think sucks about american cars is not necessarily why the resell value is so low, though one could argue if enough people think american cars suck, they wouldn't be in much demand and thus the resale price would be low.

    Around here, if you want a car with a high resale value, take a german car. Basically every german car brand will have a high resale value, with the possible exception of Opel.

    What I think sucks about american cars is their poor quality. This is mostly about the interior, which creaks and generally looks and feels cheap, and apparently the quality under the hood is also pretty poor. Then there's of course the fact that a lot of the american cars are humongous in outer dimensions, making them impractical in everyday use here, but somehow manage to have much less interior space than comparably large cars from Europe or Asia.
     
  7. iLLusioN' Gems: 16/31
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    eh, it all depends on the car....my pontiac grand prix handles like a dream. I have yet to have any problems with it and it's a 97. Interior looks sharp, and i get about 30 mpg.Honestly i think that pontiacs are probably the best made US cars.
     
  8. Barmy Army

    Barmy Army Simple mind, simple pleasures... Adored Veteran

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    US cars... overpriced plastic fantastic sh!t-mobiles that can't handle corners.

    They're also far too big. Great big petrol guzzling behemoths that are ruining the o-zone layer. Why does nobody over there have a nice small economical car?

    European manufacture, with anything, is by far and away the best. The Germans usually top the pile.
     
  9. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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  10. Kitrax

    Kitrax Pantaloons are supposed to go where!?!?

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    I couldn't have said it better. After a few years with a Ford van (needed an entire engine overhaul, and needed a new transmission 2 separate times), the only cars my family has every owned are VW, Toyota, and Acura. My VW Jetta handles like a charm, gets good fuel economy, and has been very reliable. It feels very stable when I'm on the freeway going around 90+ mph. :thumb: The same *can't* be said about the time I drove my friend's Ford sedan home from his wedding. I got up to 80 and it felt like it was going to fall apart. I asked him about it later on, and he said it's always been like that...the wheels are balanced, the steering is aligned, and the car in general is in very good condition for a Ford...he's the head mechanic in his Army unit, and has looked over the car thrice over, but still can't find anything wrong with the car. I guess it just wasn't made very well. :bad:


    BTA, considering that the 2 American makes in your link are 'exotic' cars don't change much. :rolling:
     
  11. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    Well, that's just the thing - the reason why many Americans buy American made cars is because they AREN'T overpriced on the American market. Generally speaking, an American made car is going to be cheaper than a comparably equipped foreign car. That's why they sell. Toyota and Honda have tried to keep their prices down by opening manufacturing plants in the U.S. to cut down on the transportation costs, and Hyundai has also done a good job at keeping their cars cheap.

    Don't get me wrong - I like foriegn cars too. I currently drive a Honda. Plus, I absolutely love the way a lot of foreign cars handle. I know a lot of people who would love to have BMW, but not when they can buy a Ford at half the cost.
     
  12. Tassadar Gems: 23/31
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    Far too large, fuel inefficient, and break down too often. Even the European cars are starting to be overtaken by Asian cars when it comes to safety, fuel efficeincy and reliability.
     
  13. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    The Corvette is hardly an exotic, but the main point I was making is that American cars are not universally crap. Sure there are crap models, but there are great models, and everything in between.
     
  14. ChickenIsGood Gems: 23/31
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    I would argue that the Asian models have long surpassed the American cars.

    As for the size of the standard American four door sedan... I love it. Our roads are probably significantly wider than yours, so we have no trouble with the size issue. The mileage is another thing altogether, the low fuel economy isn't even a huge financial burden on Americans, because we buy fuel for much cheaper.

    All in all I think that Toyata's are the best available car at a good price (in the states at least). They handle well and history shows that they have great longetivity. With that in mind I don't think American cars are terrible. I haven't driven a new one, but the early 90's Chevy Sedan I have works perfectly for me. The speedometer only goes to 80mph, but even at speeds closer to 90mph it feels fine.

    With all that said, if I lived in another country I'd probably think American cars were crap as well, due to size and fuel restraints.

    [ December 01, 2006, 06:07: Message edited by: ChickenIsGood ]
     
  15. Kitrax

    Kitrax Pantaloons are supposed to go where!?!?

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    While I don't object to low fuel costs, I do object to the obvious fact that US makes are only now acting like they care about the environment. Hummer H2, V10 trucks, huge V8 SUVs....come on. Hell, each one of GMC's companies has it's own version of the Trail Blazer and the Suburban... How about a hybrid suburban? Have the V8 only kick in when you're actually towing something, and not being a typical soccer mom. :hmm: :rolling:
     
  16. T2Bruno

    T2Bruno The only source of knowledge is experience Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Resale value is NOT an indicator of reliability. Let that sink in for a few seconds.

    Resale value is based entirely on the frivolous buying habits of the American public. When gas prices go up, the cars with low milage have lower resale value. It's just that simple. Notice the article did NOT rate trucks -- which typically have a much better resale value than cars (by truck we are talking full sized pick-up and possibly Surburbans).

    For low end cars, I believe the asian vehicle manufacturers have a considerably better product. At midrange prices the American cars are at least equal to all foreign cars in handling and reliability. At the high end there are very few American vehicles, but those few are equal to the foreign autos. I'd like to see any foreign car match the value of the Chevrolet Impala in performance, comfort and price. I'd put the new Cadillacs up against any vehicle in the same price bracket -- they keep coming out on top in nearly every driving magazine comparison (and are typically up against much pricier foreign cars).

    You mean like the new Chevy 1500 Hybrid Pick-up?

    JSBB: Canadian speeds? What are you talking about? Last time I was in Canada I had to slow down from the speeds I was used to in the US. Michigan has a speed limit of 70 mph -- which means everyone travels 80-85 mph (~130 kph). There are roads in Texas, Montana and Wyoming that don't have speed limits. Here in Chicago you're taking you life in your hands driving below 70 mph (~110 kph) on the tollways.
     
  17. catbert

    catbert Midnight Snack Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    Anyone who says american cars suck sure hasn't tried to maintain a $60k+ Mercedes or BMW for over three years. They start to crumble into dust.

    There are vehicles which are tailored for the lease market. People have a habit of buying new cars, and switch them to newer cars when they get bored. Distributors have a habit of offering lease options to those people, and manufacturers are acquiring a habit of creating cars that last for the duration of the lease period to maximize the profits. For example, high luxury cars are like trophy wives or prestigious mancandy - you don't need them once they're out of the current model generation. So why even make them to last longer?

    So why do Hondas and Toyotas drive like new after ten years? American cars have not-so-great reliability, but a huge domestic parts and repair market and very competitive prices (especially used). Japanese cars don't, so if they don't come reliable, nobody would buy them. On the other hand, they keep resale value and are much more expensive to buy used. Meh, it's all about balance.

    Ford and GM are not going out of business soon, so the tactic works. And if you don't like US-made cars, buy Japanese. It's a free country! :D I personally am setting to drive a US compact from the sixties just because I can fix it by hand if something goes wrong.
     
  18. JSBB Gems: 31/31
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    Most of the highway speeds I have come across in the US have been in the 55 M/H range. I have only ever driven around the NE U.S. and it has been a while so things may have changed there. I had heard that some states had raised the speed limit but I have never driven there. Around here the speed limit is 100 KM/H but the normal highway speed is between 120 and 130 KM/H so that sounds like around the same as Michigan.
     
  19. henkie

    henkie Hammertime Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Well, I'd certainly challenge the fact that they'd crumble to dust. Though I'd agree that expensive cars tend to be expensive in maintenance and insurance as well. The problem with the lease cars you mention is that the people who drive a lease car usually don't drive as gently with it as they would if they had actually bought the car. A problem similar to rental cars.

    Around here, Volkswagens are the number 1 lease cars, and I haven't seen a single Volkswagen that's been build to last just three years. Maybe you had the more expensive car brands in mind when you said what you did, but those car manufacturers wouldn't risk the bad publicity associated with such short life spans. In fact, cars are build more durable nowadays, with longer intervals between maintenance. Of course, after the three years, with their 90000 - 120000 km, some parts of the machinery need to be replaced, but cars and engines can easily last 300 to 400000 km.

    In short, I'm not really seeing any proof of the three year life span you mention.

    Actually, GM was having a lot of trouble last year. They laid off a lot of people at the plants from Opel and Saab, and cancelled a planned take over of Fiat (which was bordering on contract breach, I believe, I'm a little fuzzy on the details). All to cut costs so they could continue paying off their rather large debt.
     
  20. catbert

    catbert Midnight Snack Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    Challenge all you want. Naturally, the dust part was a dramatic exaggeration, but I happen to know a number of people who decided to make what they hoped a long-term investment and buy an S-series Benz or a 7-series BMW. It's the kind of a car that you baby because you can pay off mortgages with their prices, but when your air ride suspension computer fails, interiour panels fall off, and the transmission gets stuck in the third before the first 40k of mileage on a car of that class, there's just no justification to the failures. Service centers don't even ask why things happened, they just sigh and say that they'll keep the car and fix it in four to six weeks after they get the necessary parts. The cars are just built like **** because nobody keeps them for long. I personally have no experience with low-end Benz and BMW, but it's likely not much different. Yet again, I don't claim to be an expert, just speaking from experience.

    Around where? Around here, low-end VWs are MIM, and are some of the least equipped and poorly assembled cars in the price range. Underpowered problematic engines, trim panels coming off, paint peeling. You name it, they got it. I used to really want the Golf for its all-wheel disc brakes and a fresh look, until I made a point of checking with quite a few of their users.

    In that sense, I'd rather have a Chevy that was mass-stamped in Detroit with parts for it available at every scrapyard, than just as shoddily built VW for 150% of the price. Of course, the way you drive it matters. But good cars aren't affected by that dramatically. A good friend of mine used to push his Acura TLS to the limits of human imagination, and it endured everything up to a DUI accident in which it got smashed into a brick wall. Nothing ever fell off that car - once again, japanese make, scarce expensive parts, marketing based on quality. Same goes for Lexus and Toyotas and Hondas. But then, I'm sure that once their plants start popping up in the USA, quality will fall accordingly.
     
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