Max Q
Topic Author
Posts: 7621
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

Why Are American Cars Still So Bad?

Thu May 19, 2016 4:13 pm

I had to take my Toyota in for some repairs recently and had a rental for a week.


They gave me a Chevy Malibu.



I could not believe how uncomfortable and badly designed it was, not to mention the poor build quality, the shifter that didn't line up with the selected gear and general user unfriendliness. Frumpy is the word that best describes them.



There's a good reason most American cars are fleet sales to rental companies, the remaining demographic they target seems to be senior citizens that buy 'American' no matter what, misleading because many Japanese cars are built here, but their quality and good design is simply streets ahead of Chevy, Ford etc..


We build nuclear powered submarines, aircraft carriers, the best fighters in the world, have sent men to the moon, have the best aerospace industry in the world and of course, Boeing, manufacturer of the finest commercial jet transports in the world but we can't make a decent car.



What's the problem ?
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


Guns and the love of them by a loud minority are a malignant and deadly cancer inflicted on American society
 
User avatar
Aesma
Posts: 11738
Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2009 6:14 am

RE: Why Are American Cars Still So Bad?

Thu May 19, 2016 4:19 pm

Quoting Max Q (Thread starter):
We build nuclear powered submarines, aircraft carriers, the best fighters in the world, have sent men to the moon, have the best aerospace industry in the world and of course, Boeing, manufacturer of the finest commercial jet transports in the world but we can't make a decent car.

All of these cost either millions or billions. American cars are dirt cheap, on the other hand.
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
A332DTW
Posts: 922
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2015 3:54 am

RE: Why Are American Cars Still So Bad?

Thu May 19, 2016 4:24 pm

Your first sentence is you took your Toyota in for repairs.  

Personally, I'v had a very reliable Ford for several years now. The only major work it ever needed was new struts. My brother's Passat on the other hand has been a different story, but I still think the Germans build some good cars and wouldn't hesitate to go with a VW once my Ford sees its end. That being said, it's all about research and a little bit of gamble to make sure you are left with a safe, reliable car, regardless who makes it.
 
User avatar
einsteinboricua
Posts: 7504
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 4:11 pm

RE: Why Are American Cars Still So Bad?

Thu May 19, 2016 5:55 pm

Quoting A332DTW (Reply 2):
Your first sentence is you took your Toyota in for repairs

Even the sturdiest of vehicles needs to see a doctor once in a while. The fact that, in personal experience, American cars require a visit earlier than expected or more often than their Asian counterparts suggests their quality is not as good.

We had a 1996 Dodge Caravan. Not one year passed and it had been taken for repairs 3 times. My dad had a Ford Explorer. It was bulky and not exactly family friendly. It passed away a few years ago but not before requiring a few visits during its lifetime.

My mom has a Mitsubishi Endeavor: nearly 10 years after it was bought, no trips to the mechanic at all. I had a Suzuki SX4 back in 2008. Up until I left Puerto Rico back in 2014, six years of use and over 50k miles and not a single trip to the repair shop. I now own a 2013 Kia Rio. Still as sturdy as the day I drove it off the lot.

Quoting Max Q (Thread starter):
What's the problem ?

I suggest you read Death of a Salesman where you'll find the answer to the question.

The irony of American sales is that products aren't built to last; they're built to work until the next release is out. Look no further than phones. Pre-smartphone, a phone could last 5 years before it needed replacing (drained battery, cracked screen, etc.). Nowadays, our phones barely crack the 2 year mark before we contemplate on replacing them because they're breaking down, and they're so fragile that the slightest bit of damage could render them unusable.
"You haven't seen a tree until you've seen its shadow from the sky."
 
KFLLCFII
Posts: 3490
Joined: Sat Sep 11, 2004 7:08 am

RE: Why Are American Cars Still So Bad?

Thu May 19, 2016 5:59 pm

Singling out a Malibu to make a sweeping generalization about American cars is like singling out a Cessna 172 to make a sweeping generalization about American airplanes.

[Edited 2016-05-19 11:00:44]
"About the only way to look at it, just a pity you are not POTUS KFLLCFII, seems as if we would all be better off."
 
flipdewaf
Posts: 2855
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2006 6:28 am

RE: Why Are American Cars Still So Bad?

Thu May 19, 2016 6:46 pm

The persuit of cost savings too late in the process and the want for more/bigger cars.
I believe it was explained to me as:
American cars: designed and built cheaply
Japanese cars: designed to be cheap to build.

Fred
Image
 
User avatar
seb146
Posts: 20474
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 1999 7:19 am

RE: Why Are American Cars Still So Bad?

Thu May 19, 2016 6:53 pm

I test drove a Ford Fusion and rented a Ford Flex. I liked them both. The room, the size, the way I fit into the driver's seat, the reach to the controls, the engine sound, the transmission. I also test drove a Ford Focus and the transmission seemed horrible. I have only sat in a Chevy Volt but I liked how it felt.

Having said all that: why are all Porsches poorly built? I mean, I could barely fit in the 911 I sat in the one time.

See how that sounds?
You bet I'm pumped!!! I just had a green tea!!!
 
User avatar
Polot
Posts: 9423
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 3:01 pm

RE: Why Are American Cars Still So Bad?

Thu May 19, 2016 7:01 pm

The general stereotypes in the US:

-Japanese cars: good quality, good reliability, but boring.
-American cars: Hit or miss quality, hit or miss reliability (both better than in the past), but cheap to fix and usually more dynamically engaging than the Japanese. Often mechanically sound just everything else around the car is falling apart.
-German cars: Good initial quality/engineering, bad long term reliability due to being unnecessary complex that can be expensive to fix
-Non-German Euro cars: bad quality, bad reliability, but appeal by emotion (i.e. Italian cars) or quirkiness (Swedish/French cars, not that any French cars are sold in the US at the moment).
-Korean cars: Use to be laughing stocks but very cheap with great warranties. Have basically caught up with the American/Japanese cars in image and market acceptance.

[Edited 2016-05-19 12:05:12]
 
User avatar
Dreadnought
Posts: 10202
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2008 6:31 pm

RE: Why Are American Cars Still So Bad?

Thu May 19, 2016 7:06 pm

Quoting seb146 (Reply 6):
Having said all that: why are all Porsches poorly built? I mean, I could barely fit in the 911 I sat in the one time.

LOL, you must be one of those stereotypical fat Americans...



Seriously, every American car I have ever driven has felt cheaply put together, with cheap materials. And the engineering seems very sub-par as well. Can you imagine - the Mustang and the Camaro - the foremost American sports cars (or shall we say, sporty) only got independent rear suspension in the past few years, some 30 or 40 years after it became standard everywhere else.
Democrats haven't been this angry since we took away their slaves.
 
User avatar
seb146
Posts: 20474
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 1999 7:19 am

RE: Why Are American Cars Still So Bad?

Thu May 19, 2016 7:48 pm

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 8):
you must be one of those stereotypical fat Americans...

And you are a sterotypical....

I won't go there.

I was just saying how silly the OP sounds generalizing to ALL American cars because s/he had one bad experience with one car one time.

I dated a guy who refused to drive anything but Mercedes. He let me drive many times it and I loved it. It was a higher quality than a Ford Fusion, but it felt about the same size.

What you always fail to grasp is that every person is an individual. We all have our own personal likes and dislikes. We all have our own history and back story. I happen to dislike the Porsche 911 because I am "large" by gay standards (6 ft, 200 lbs) and I do not fit in it comfortably. I happen to not like the Suburban or Excursion because they are too damn big. But, that is me. I am an individual. I have my personal tastes and opinions.
You bet I'm pumped!!! I just had a green tea!!!
 
vikkyvik
Posts: 12484
Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2003 1:58 pm

RE: Why Are American Cars Still So Bad?

Thu May 19, 2016 7:55 pm

Quoting einsteinboricua (Reply 3):
The irony of American sales is that products aren't built to last; they're built to work until the next release is out. Look no further than phones. Pre-smartphone, a phone could last 5 years before it needed replacing (drained battery, cracked screen, etc.). Nowadays, our phones barely crack the 2 year mark before we contemplate on replacing them because they're breaking down, and they're so fragile that the slightest bit of damage could render them unusable.

Maybe it's a user thing, then. My iPhone 4 lasted 5.5 years, including about 6 months after I cracked the screen.

Also, how does this:

Quoting einsteinboricua (Reply 3):
Even the sturdiest of vehicles needs to see a doctor once in a while.

...align with this:

Quoting einsteinboricua (Reply 3):
My mom has a Mitsubishi Endeavor: nearly 10 years after it was bought, no trips to the mechanic at all.

?

Quoting KFLLCFII (Reply 4):
Singling out a Malibu to make a sweeping generalization about American cars is like singling out a Cessna 172 to make a sweeping generalization about American airplanes.

  

Quoting seb146 (Reply 9):
And you are a sterotypical....

I won't go there.

Dude, pretty sure he was joking, much the same as you were....
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
 
Kiwirob
Posts: 12195
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 2:16 pm

RE: Why Are American Cars Still So Bad?

Thu May 19, 2016 7:56 pm

Quoting seb146 (Reply 9):
. I happen to dislike the Porsche 911 because I am "large" by gay standards (6 ft, 200 lbs) and I do not fit in it comfortably.to

You're my size and I have no problem fitting into a 911
 
User avatar
LAX772LR
Posts: 12406
Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2014 11:06 pm

RE: Why Are American Cars Still So Bad?

Thu May 19, 2016 8:01 pm

Quoting einsteinboricua (Reply 3):
The irony of American sales is that products aren't built to last; they're built to work until the next release is out. Look no further than phones. Pre-smartphone, a phone could last 5 years before it needed replacing (drained battery, cracked screen, etc.). Nowadays, our phones barely crack the 2 year mark before we contemplate on replacing them because they're breaking down

The only Irony here, is that what you're complaining about are primarily Asian-made products.


Quoting KFLLCFII (Reply 4):
Singling out a Malibu to make a sweeping generalization about American cars is like singling out a Cessna 172 to make a sweeping generalization about American airplanes.

   Thank you!
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
User avatar
Moose135
Posts: 3069
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 11:27 pm

RE: Why Are American Cars Still So Bad?

Thu May 19, 2016 8:45 pm

I have a Dodge Durango - just hit two years old, and just rolled over 60K miles. Best vehicle I've ever owned. Other than when I hit a deer, the only times it's been in the shop have been for routine service. It replaced a 10 year old Dodge that I put 210K mile on. Would have kept that longer, but it was coming due for some larger maintenance, and it wasn't cost effective to put more money into it.
KC-135 - Passing gas and taking names!
 
Max Q
Topic Author
Posts: 7621
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

RE: Why Are American Cars Still So Bad?

Thu May 19, 2016 9:13 pm

Quoting A332DTW (Reply 2):
Your first sentence is you took your Toyota in for repairs

Because someone sideswiped me in the parking lot.


Nice try.
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


Guns and the love of them by a loud minority are a malignant and deadly cancer inflicted on American society
 
User avatar
Revelation
Posts: 21221
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 9:37 pm

RE: Why Are American Cars Still So Bad?

Thu May 19, 2016 9:17 pm

Quoting KFLLCFII (Reply 4):
Singling out a Malibu to make a sweeping generalization about American cars is like singling out a Cessna 172 to make a sweeping generalization about American airplanes.

What American sedan would you suggest provides a fair comparison to its equivalent European or Japanese competitors?

[ PS: IMHO Cessna 172 has a lot more redeeming features going for it than most American sedans ]...
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
The heart has its beaches, its homeland and thoughts of its own
Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
The heart has its seasons, its evenings and songs of its own
 
Max Q
Topic Author
Posts: 7621
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

RE: Why Are American Cars Still So Bad?

Thu May 19, 2016 9:18 pm

Quoting KFLLCFII (Reply 4):
Singling out a Malibu to make a sweeping generalization about American cars

I've rented plenty of other American car brands over the years, the quality is all cr*p.

Quoting Aesma (Reply 1):
All of these cost either millions or billions. American cars are dirt cheap, on the other hand.

Not true, American cars are the same or even more expensive than their Japanese counterparts, you can spend over 40K on a Taurus these days !


Japanese cars are not only of a much better quality they are cheaper up front and to own.
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


Guns and the love of them by a loud minority are a malignant and deadly cancer inflicted on American society
 
luckyone
Posts: 2791
Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 1:50 pm

RE: Why Are American Cars Still So Bad?

Thu May 19, 2016 10:04 pm

American car manufacturers have only just started to back themselves out of the corner of trying to be far too many things to far too many people--or at least Ford and GM, Chrysler still can't figure out what it is. Ford caught on a bit earlier, but it took GM many years to get rid of their badge engineering nightmare.

That being said, I had a Toyota Corolla. In the year that I drove it, it required more repairs than my Ford Explorer that I drove for 11 years.

Quoting Max Q (Thread starter):

If you're judging a car you own versus a rental car, you're going to be disappointed. I've had American-made rentals, and I've had Japanese and Korean-made rentals. All were garbage that I would never put in my driveway. Rental cars are almost always purchased for short term use for the rental car company, poorly maintained, and usually have the weakest engine, with interior trim that is in some cases not available to a dealer.

Quoting Max Q (Reply 16):
Not true, American cars are the same or even more expensive than their Japanese counterparts, you can spend over 40K on a Taurus these days !

One can approach $40,000 on a Honda Accord or Toyota Camry, and just as easily pass it when purchasing the Taurus' size competitor the Toyota Avalon. Japanese cars are only cheaper at the low end of the price spectrum.

Quoting Polot (Reply 7):
-Non-German Euro cars: bad quality, bad reliability, but appeal by emotion (i.e. Italian cars) or quirkiness (Swedish/French cars, not that any French cars are sold in the US at the moment).

As the owner of two Volvos I can attest that the stereotype is not valid in terms of quality and reliability. I also wouldn't by any means put Volvo in the quirky category of Citroen.

[Edited 2016-05-19 15:07:27]
 
LMP737
Posts: 5902
Joined: Wed May 08, 2002 4:06 pm

RE: Why Are American Cars Still So Bad?

Thu May 19, 2016 10:42 pm

Best car I ever owned was an American car, a 2003 Saturn SL2. Never had any problems and the only money I spent for maintenance was scheduled and normal wear and tear.
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
solarflyer22
Posts: 1517
Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2009 7:07 pm

RE: Why Are American Cars Still So Bad?

Fri May 20, 2016 1:19 am

Is the new Corvette bad? That's the pinnacle of American engineering and it certainly looks great.

American cars used to be great but I think the switch to front wheel drive really hurt them. They've suffered poor handling since then. Quality is not great but mind you the Honda Accord is assembled in the USA along with many other types. GM has improved a lot though since the 2008 crisis. Their cars seem better and more imaginative. Ford was never that bad imo its just that they focus on good SUVs and Trucks not sedans.
 
User avatar
Dreadnought
Posts: 10202
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2008 6:31 pm

RE: Why Are American Cars Still So Bad?

Fri May 20, 2016 1:30 am

Quoting solarflyer22 (Reply 19):

Is the new Corvette bad? That's the pinnacle of American engineering and it certainly looks great.

I heard that it was a big improvement in terms of engineering and the interior. But the Corvette still has leaf springs in the back, which would be fine for vans and trucks, but not for a sport car.

As for the looks, I'm one of those who really doesn't give a damn about how my car looks. I'm normally INSIDE the car - I can't see it. Interior quality and finish, drivetrain and handling is what is important to me. If I could have a car that drives like a BMW M5, has the interior of an Aston Martin, but has the body shell of a Lada, I'd be fine with that.
Democrats haven't been this angry since we took away their slaves.
 
ual777
Posts: 1637
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2003 6:18 am

RE: Why Are American Cars Still So Bad?

Fri May 20, 2016 1:30 am

Quoting Max Q (Reply 16):

Quoting KFLLCFII (Reply 4):
Singling out a Malibu to make a sweeping generalization about American cars

I've rented plenty of other American car brands over the years, the quality is all cr*p.

I recently sold a Mercedes C350, and bought a 2016 Mustang GT. While the interior isn't as good as the Benz, it's 90% of the way there and an equivalent German car would have cost me $30,000 dollars more.

So far very pleased with the purchase.
It is always darkest before the sun comes up.
 
A332DTW
Posts: 922
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2015 3:54 am

RE: Why Are American Cars Still So Bad?

Fri May 20, 2016 2:44 am

Quoting Max Q (Reply 14):
Because someone sideswiped me in the parking lot.


Nice try

Had to give it a shot.  
 
User avatar
WildcatYXU
Posts: 3086
Joined: Sat May 06, 2006 2:05 pm

RE: Why Are American Cars Still So Bad?

Fri May 20, 2016 2:49 am

Quoting luckyone (Reply 17):
Rental cars are almost always purchased for short term use for the rental car company, poorly maintained, and usually have the weakest engine, with interior trim that is in some cases not available to a dealer.

Well, in some cases the weakest engine may mean 295 hp. I also had a rental Flex with the biturbo Ecoboost, delivering something around 350 hp. i really enjoyed the power while driving HWY3a/HWY3 from YCG to Creston.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 20):
But the Corvette still has leaf springs in the back, which would be fine for vans and trucks, but not for a sport car.

Actually, these composite leaf springs may be exactly what a sports car needs. It doesn't have to be soft and the leaf spring is self dampening, so lighter shock absorbers could be used. Low build height and lower mass works for a sports car really well.

Quoting Max Q (Thread starter):
I could not believe how uncomfortable

Well, I'd rather say you felt it uncomfortable. I rented one few months ago and I found my place in it very quickly.

Quoting Max Q (Thread starter):
badly designed it was,

Drove it through the mountains of British Columbia and haven't seen any problems. Handling was just fine, the power was sufficient, surprisingly even the transmission wasn't so sluggish as the wast majority of crapomatics. There wasn't anything about the vehicle that would be worse than an equivalent Japanese car.

I personally drive a Japanese designed US made truck, Mrs. Wildcat drives a Japanese designed US made sedan. I'd have no problem with buying American - if the american manufacturers wouldn't fire me as customer long time ago. And now the Japanese are firing me too. Well, I guess I'll stop buying new cars.
310, 319, 320, 321, 321N, 332, 333, 343, 345, 346, 732, 735, 73G, 738, 744, 752, 762, 763, 77L, 77W, 788, AT4, AT7, BEH, CR2, CRA, CR9, DH1, DH3, DH4, E45, E75, E90, E95, F28, F50, F100, MD82, Saab 340, YAK40
 
Max Q
Topic Author
Posts: 7621
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

RE: Why Are American Cars Still So Bad?

Fri May 20, 2016 2:56 am

Quoting Moose135 (Reply 13):
have a Dodge Durango
Quoting luckyone (Reply 17):
One can approach $40,000 on a Honda Accord or Toyota Camry, and just as easily pass it when purchasing the Taurus' size competitor the Toyota Avalon.

Just talking cars here, not an SUV or truck fan but since they sell in the trillions here they must be doing something right.


You can spend 40 grand on an Accord that's true but you get a far better built car than when you spend the same amount on an American car.

Quoting luckyone (Reply 17):
If you're judging a car you own versus a rental car, you're going to be disappointed. I've had American-made rentals, and I've had Japanese and Korean-made rentals. All were garbage that I would never put in my driveway. Rental cars are almost always purchased for short term use for the rental car company, poorly maintained, and usually have the weakest engine, with interior trim that is in some cases not available to a dealer.

I just don't buy that argument, i've test driven American cars and been just as unimpressed as when I drove American rentals.
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


Guns and the love of them by a loud minority are a malignant and deadly cancer inflicted on American society
 
Viscount724
Posts: 19316
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:32 pm

RE: Why Are American Cars Still So Bad?

Fri May 20, 2016 3:16 am

Quoting Polot (Reply 7):
-Non-German Euro cars: bad quality, bad reliability, but appeal by emotion (i.e. Italian cars) or quirkiness (Swedish/French cars, not that any French cars are sold in the US at the moment).

I disagree. I've lived in Switzerland for 20 years and have had a cheap Citroen Saxo hatchback with a 1.4 L engine for just over 19 years and just short of 200,000 km (124,000 miles). It's without a doubt the most reliable car I have ever owned. All my previous cars were in Canada, all GM models except for a 1967 Mustang (my first car), all bought new. They were all far more unreliable and with much worse build quality than my little 1997 Citroen.

Apart from once-a-year routine servicing and replacement of things you expect to wear out occasionally like tires, brakes, battery etc, I have never had any unexpected problems/repairs apart from a minor cooling system leak about 10 years ago. No rust after 19 years (it's always been parked indoors) and the paint is as good as new. Always starts on the first turn of the key and I have never even added oil between its annual routine service visits.
 
User avatar
WarRI1
Posts: 13056
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 10:51 am

RE: Why Are American Cars Still So Bad?

Fri May 20, 2016 3:20 am

I was hit in a parking lot the other day, when I asked about renting a car, I was offered a Honda. I politely told the woman that I do not drive foreign cars. I am getting a Ford of which over my many years I have driven many along with many other American brands including cars and trucks.

I am so sick of this shit about Amercan cars and quality. It is funny, how come I have never had a bum car made here? I have been crashed into, smashed head on and never been seriously injured, thank God. I have never had a major problem mechanically. I have spoken to foreign car mechanics, the one thing I know for sure, it is very expensive to have all these fine foreign cars repaired. They do break just like US cars. I have also known people who traded their cars in because of the expense. I call Bullshit, buy American.
It is better to die on your feet, than live on your knees.
 
LMP737
Posts: 5902
Joined: Wed May 08, 2002 4:06 pm

RE: Why Are American Cars Still So Bad?

Fri May 20, 2016 3:52 am

Quoting WarRI1 (Reply 26):
I was hit in a parking lot the other day, when I asked about renting a car, I was offered a Honda. I politely told the woman that I do not drive foreign cars. I am getting a Ford of which over my many years I have driven many along with many other American brands including cars and trucks

There's a good chance that the Ford was built in another country and the Honda was built in the US.
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
User avatar
Dreadnought
Posts: 10202
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2008 6:31 pm

RE: Why Are American Cars Still So Bad?

Fri May 20, 2016 4:22 am

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 27):
There's a good chance that the Ford was built in another country and the Honda was built in the US.

Yep. According to this article from last year, the most American car you can buy is (drum roll please...) a Toyota.

http://fortune.com/2015/06/29/cars-made-in-america/

Buick is now importing SUVs built in China for sale in the US. They asked around, and apparently their customer base does not give a shit whether their car is made in the US or not - if the badge says Buick, it must be American, right?

The same logic goes for Walmart shoppers. If Walmart were forced to buy American TVs (if they could find a source), that 50-inch TV might cost a bit more than the Korean TV. They don't care if it provides employment for Americans (that would be jingoistic and xenophobic) - they just want something as cheap as possible.
Democrats haven't been this angry since we took away their slaves.
 
Kent350787
Posts: 1044
Joined: Wed May 28, 2008 12:06 am

RE: Why Are American Cars Still So Bad?

Fri May 20, 2016 4:54 am

At least the Daewoo Malibu was better than the Daewoo Epica. Has the new model improved at all?

US cars have generally not sold well in Australia since the 1960s, and the Malibu sold here is Korean. Jeep Cherokee sells OK, and I see a few Chrysler 300C around, but that's about it. The Mustang has been insanely popular, but neither Ford or GM has any other US car in its line-up here
 
MSPNWA
Posts: 3345
Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 2:48 am

RE: Why Are American Cars Still So Bad?

Fri May 20, 2016 6:01 am

I have yet to ride/drive an Asian car that I was impressed with. Honda, Toyota, Hyundai - all fall well short of American cars, IMO. In general, their interiors are uncomfortable and chintzy, the engines are weak, and they have just as many design flaws. Plus I know parts are easy to get for the American cars. Domestic cars have a come a long way in the past 10 years, and I don't believe they were all that bad to begin with. I'll give consideration to a Euro-made car, but Asian-made is not on my radar.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 28):
Yep. According to this article from last year, the most American car you can buy is (drum roll please...) a Toyota.

The problem with those rankings is that they only focus on where the parts are made/assembled, and not where it's designed/tested, or where the purchasing money goes.
 
User avatar
seb146
Posts: 20474
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 1999 7:19 am

RE: Why Are American Cars Still So Bad?

Fri May 20, 2016 6:25 am

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 28):
the most American car you can buy is (drum roll please...) a Toyota

That would explain why mine is a piece of junk. I hear people talking about how great Toyota's are and how Toyota's are reliable and so on. Mine has noises and pings and scraping that no one can find but they can all hear. Ever since I bought it. Why are all Japanese cars junk?

Have I made my point?
You bet I'm pumped!!! I just had a green tea!!!
 
lostsound
Posts: 648
Joined: Mon May 21, 2012 1:43 pm

RE: Why Are American Cars Still So Bad?

Fri May 20, 2016 6:32 am

American cars are becoming more and more reliable, it's just taking some time. Ford is by the best American car manufacturer in my opinion, in terms of technology and driving performance. Their whole line drives way nicer than any of the asian equivalents (and honestly looks nicer than any Honda or Toyota). However the build reliability can't be ignored when coming down to the final purchase so it all comes down to how long are you planning on keeping the car. If you just need a reliable appliance to get you from A to B that you can hand down to your child, Toyota and Honda are the way too go. If you trade your car up every 3-4 years, you can have a little more fun with your purchase.
 
User avatar
2707200X
Posts: 6307
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2009 5:31 am

RE: Why Are American Cars Still So Bad?

Fri May 20, 2016 8:16 am

I have a Ford Focus that I have had for five years, I have not taken it to the shop for repairs so far.
"And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by." John Masefield Sea-Fever
 
ABQ747
Posts: 648
Joined: Wed Dec 20, 2006 8:22 am

RE: Why Are American Cars Still So Bad?

Fri May 20, 2016 8:43 am

Quoting Max Q (Thread starter):
There's a good reason most American cars are fleet sales to rental companies, the remaining demographic they target seems to be senior citizens that buy 'American' no matter what, misleading because many Japanese cars are built here, but their quality and good design is simply streets ahead of Chevy, Ford etc..

Calling all American cars inferior because of a junky Chevy is simply unfair and inaccurate. And I say that as someone who owns a Japanese-built car (Lexus). My newer Lexus has required more repairs than my old Ford Ranger, and there are some other issues developing that will require yet another visit to the Lexus dealership.

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 27):
There's a good chance that the Ford was built in another country and the Honda was built in the US.

Oh, really?

Chicago Assembly Plant-Taurus, MKS, Explorer
Dearborn, Michigan Truck-F-150
Flat Rock, Michigan Assembly-Mustang, Fusion
Kansas City Assembly-F-150, Transit
Kentucky Truck Assembly-Super Duty, Expedition, Navigator
Louisville Assembly-Escape, MKC
Michigan Assembly-Focus
Wayne, Michigan Stamping & Assembly-Focus, C-MAX

Quoting Max Q (Reply 16):
I've rented plenty of other American car brands over the years, the quality is all cr*p.

The worst vehicles I've rented have been Japanese and German. The 2013 Nissan Altima I rented featured a low quality plastic interior that rattled, weak air conditioning, a jerky CVT transmission, awkward driving position, small windows and mirrors that resulted in poor outward visibility, and awful fuel economy. The car only had 13,000 miles on it and it was already junk!

The 2015 Volkswagen Passat I rented last October also had a long list of issues. For example, the driver's door was loose from the frame and would creak and rattle whenever I opened or closed the door. According to two different employees I spoke to at the Enterprise rental car facility in Albuquerque, their Volkswagens often times require trips back to the dealership in order to repair the loose doors. The car also had weak air conditioning and a touchy throttle and brake pedal. It was almost impossible to drive that car smoothly because of how touchy the throttle and brake pedal were. Enterprise ended up giving me a substantial discount because of how bad the car was.

Ironically, the best rental cars I've had were Chrysler products. I know they have a poor reputation for long-term reliability, but I had zero issues with the Chrysler 200, Dodge Avenger, and Jeep Compass I rented. They performed flawlessly.
 
blrsea
Posts: 1912
Joined: Fri May 20, 2005 2:22 am

RE: Why Are American Cars Still So Bad?

Fri May 20, 2016 8:54 am

The chevys at rental cars seems pretty bad compared to even Hyundais. Rented a Hyundai Elantra the other day and it was pretty good. Good ergonomics and had no complaints.

The resale value of American cars are pretty bad too. I was in the market for a used car couple of years back, and saw that a 4-5 year old Honda/Toyota car would retain their value a lot more than a similar US car for similar mileage. And other than regular servicing and replacing regular wear&tear items, didn't have any other issue with my Civic. Unfortunately, someone rammed into it and it was totalled. Still have fond memories of that car!

[Edited 2016-05-20 02:54:27]
 
JJJ
Posts: 3304
Joined: Wed May 31, 2006 5:12 pm

RE: Why Are American Cars Still So Bad?

Fri May 20, 2016 9:23 am

Drove a Ford (Mondeo) for 3,5 years and it was OK.

Well put together, nice feel of quality, no creaks or whistles after being driven for 240K kms (often on dirt/bad roads), no mechanical issues other than regular maintenance and a headlight that seemed to go poof every 6 months or so (some electronics's issue probably but the lights were replaced as warranty so that's up for the next owner to care about).

Really my only issue with the car was that it was too big and had a turn radius like an aircraft carrier.
 
T prop
Posts: 963
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2001 4:33 pm

RE: Why Are American Cars Still So Bad?

Fri May 20, 2016 9:29 am

In a nutshell this is my take on it.

A new clutchless variable displacement airconditioning comppresor comes out and Lexus starts installing them in thier vehicles. On the internet the oohs and aahs, how cutting edge, how inovative of Lexus to use this compressor! At the same time Chrysler starts installing this exact same compressor on thier vehicles. On the internet; what the hell! Damn Chrysler cutting corners and foisting this junk on the public, no wonder American cars suck.

Buy whatever you want! Cars of today are much better than the 20 year old examples people keep trying to compare them to.
 
User avatar
pvjin
Posts: 3614
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2012 4:52 pm

RE: Why Are American Cars Still So Bad?

Fri May 20, 2016 10:11 am

Quoting MSPNWA (Reply 30):
I have yet to ride/drive an Asian car that I was impressed with. Honda, Toyota, Hyundai - all fall well short of American cars, IMO. In general, their interiors are uncomfortable and chintzy, the engines are weak, and they have just as many design flaws. Plus I know parts are easy to get for the American cars. Domestic cars have a come a long way in the past 10 years, and I don't believe they were all that bad to begin with. I'll give consideration to a Euro-made car, but Asian-made is not on my radar.

If you think Asian made cars aren't reliable then I would highly recommend to steer away from Euro cars too. Statistics here in Europe very clearly show that they tend to be less reliable than Asian cars, Japanese ones in particular. German cars are not an exception, the reliability of German engineering is nothing more than a myth nowadays.

Personally me and my family have driven Toyota's for a long time, they have always been extremely reliable. Never driven an American car, but at least those sold here sure do have crappy interiors.
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." - Martin Luther King Jr
 
luckyone
Posts: 2791
Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 1:50 pm

RE: Why Are American Cars Still So Bad?

Fri May 20, 2016 11:34 am

Quoting ABQ747 (Reply 34):

It's worth noting that the Passat sold in America was designed for America, and built in Chattanooga. My mother in law had one, and I liked the car. I didn't notice any of the complaints you did. I still say rental companies maintain their cars very poorly.
 
rta
Posts: 1413
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2015 2:01 am

RE: Why Are American Cars Still So Bad?

Fri May 20, 2016 12:26 pm

I do not think American cars are unreliable, however I agree with the OP that American cars generally feel cheap. I think Ford is doing a good job with their newer cars. Looks aside, Chevy objectively is not that bad either.

But I still wouldn't buy any of those new though. American cars will still cost as much as a "foreign" equivalent but won't even come close to retaining its value. Might be a good car to buy second hand though.

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 27):
There's a good chance that the Ford was built in another country and the Honda was built in the US.

  

Quoting WarRI1 (Reply 26):
I have spoken to foreign car mechanics, the one thing I know for sure, it is very expensive to have all these fine foreign cars repaired.

Foreign is a broad term and doesn't tell much. Some are really expensive to fix, others are just as cheap, if not cheaper, than American cars to fix.
 
User avatar
seahawk
Posts: 8622
Joined: Fri May 27, 2005 1:29 am

RE: Why Are American Cars Still So Bad?

Fri May 20, 2016 12:34 pm

No manufacturer builds only good cars and builds only bad cars. People have reported really bad Toyotas and problem free Renaults.
 
Calder
Posts: 204
Joined: Fri Apr 24, 2015 1:34 pm

RE: Why Are American Cars Still So Bad?

Fri May 20, 2016 12:37 pm

First car was a '97 Ford Ranger - It was cheap, it was a 5-speed, and I couldn't get any tickets because it literally would not go over ~70mph on the highway (that's downhill with a tailwind).

Second car was an '01 Chevy Malibu - I forgot what trim, but it had all the fancy stuff (leather, moonroof, cruise control, etc.). That car lasted me all of highschool, and then all of college making ~6 trips a year ~350 miles from northern Maine to Mass, and back. I get that's not really a torture test, but it was a lot of driving for me. On one of those trips I was able to make it the entire drive home (lightly loaded) on one tank of gas! That was my proudest moment in the car. Mechanical problems were rare, but she did grenade a water pump near the end of her life. Thankfully it was on the way to the scrap yard when it happened. I pulled in the yard with the coolant temp buried in the red.

Current vehicle is a Nissan Frontier - Imagine my surprise when I look at the door jam and it indicates it was made in Smyrna, Tenn! Pretty good vehicle, it's been 2.5 years now and it hasn't let me down yet. Mileage isn't great (~20 summer, 17 winter) but she's a total beast in the snow and off road. I've pulled many friends out of snowbanks/ditches. Minor mechanical issues, but they were solved by replacing bum relays.

An "American" pickup would have gotten slight preference, but quite simply put, no American company builds a pickup with the specs I want.

As for the pinnacle of American automotive engineering..

C. T.
 
ABQ747
Posts: 648
Joined: Wed Dec 20, 2006 8:22 am

RE: Why Are American Cars Still So Bad?

Fri May 20, 2016 12:46 pm

Quoting luckyone (Reply 39):
It's worth noting that the Passat sold in America was designed for America, and built in Chattanooga. My mother in law had one, and I liked the car. I didn't notice any of the complaints you did. I still say rental companies maintain their cars very poorly.

I'm glad you liked your mother in law's Passat, but the one I had was awful. It only had a few thousand miles on it, and it was already falling apart. The Chryslers I rented had more miles and were still solid and running smoothly. Considering what the Enterprise employees told me, it doesn't sound like the issues I had with that car are isolated. Other Volkswagens they have in their fleet are problematic and need repairs from the dealership.
 
User avatar
pvjin
Posts: 3614
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2012 4:52 pm

RE: Why Are American Cars Still So Bad?

Fri May 20, 2016 12:57 pm

Quoting seahawk (Reply 41):
No manufacturer builds only good cars and builds only bad cars. People have reported really bad Toyotas and problem free Renaults.

True, but some manufacturers have a better good car ratio than others.
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." - Martin Luther King Jr
 
User avatar
falstaff
Posts: 5720
Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2006 6:17 am

RE: Why Are American Cars Still So Bad?

Fri May 20, 2016 3:05 pm

As a car mechanic I look at things a differently than most car buyers or owners. I know that all cars break down, especially if they are not maintained properly. Here in Michigan there is no inspection of any kind and there are lots of cars that are very poorly maintained, even though their owners may disagree. I judge a car's quality by how many miles (or kilolmeters) it can go and still be economically repaired.

In my mind quality isn't about how something feels quality Is about reliability and reparability. I find American and Japanese cars the cheapest to repair and easiest too. When I need wheel bearing I find that one for a Toyota or Chevy is $75, but one for a BMW is $300. I had a heater hose on a BMW cost me $60 once. The customer freaks out when you bill them. This is especially true when somebody buys a 10 year old high mileage German car and then brings it somewhere for service. Most of them have no clue the service costs.

Americans are very good at building full size trucks. I see several 200,000 mile plus trucks a week. They are usually in for routine repairs, like brakes or suspension issues (the roads here are murder on ball joints and tie rods). My '78 Ford F-100 has unknown amount of miles and still runs great.

You can't really compare US market BMWs and Mercedes to Chevy's and Fords. You should be comparing them to Lincolns and Cadillacs. You also can't really compare cars from 30 years ago to cars today regardless of who built them. The 1980s were dark days for a lot of manufacturers. Even then Mercedes had great powertrains, but their accessories were AWFUL. Try working on and MB automatic climate control system from the 1980s.

Quoting pvjin (Reply 38):
German engineering is nothing more than a myth nowadays.

I would agree. The cars are great to have when they are new, but once they get old they will kill you on repair costs.

I wonder about what people's perception of quality really is. I once dated a woman who loved VWs. The only American car she ever had was a 150,000 mile Ford Tempo. It was a turd. She based her entire opinion of American cars off of that used car she got in high school. She only ever had new VWs. She had a VW Golf that she bought new and it was in the dealer for warranty repairs all the time. It actually qualified for Missouri's lemon law, but she still claimed it was reliable. She was so in love with VW that she couldn't see she had a bad one.



Quoting einsteinboricua (Reply 3):
Suzuki SX4 back in 2008. Up until I left Puerto Rico back in 2014, six years of use and over 50k miles and not a single trip to the repair shop

You got lucky. Those are not known for being reliable.

Quoting seb146 (Reply 9):
dated a guy who refused to drive anything but Mercedes. He let me drive many times it and I loved it. It was a higher quality than a Ford Fusion, but it felt about the same size.

Completely different level of automobile. MB and Fusion aren't going after the same buyer.

Quoting luckyone (Reply 17):
If you're judging a car you own versus a rental car, you're going to be disappointed. I've had American-made rentals, and I've had Japanese and Korean-made rentals. All were garbage that I would never put in my driveway. Rental cars are almost always purchased for short term use for the rental car company, poorly maintained, and usually have the weakest engine, with interior trim that is in some cases not available to a dealer

Yes, rental cars are usually pitiful. If people want to compare cheap American cars to European cars they should be comparing the tiny econo junk sold in Europe to the econo junk sold in the US. Comparing a BMW 3 series to a Chevy Cruze, or something along those lines, is not a proper comparison.
My mug slaketh over on Falstaff N503
 
User avatar
WildcatYXU
Posts: 3086
Joined: Sat May 06, 2006 2:05 pm

RE: Why Are American Cars Still So Bad?

Fri May 20, 2016 3:22 pm

Quoting falstaff (Reply 45):
You got lucky. Those are not known for being reliable.

That's very interesting. It is considered OK in the old country.
Similarly, the Suzuki Baleno was not considered reliable around here. And yet I've put 267k kms onto one before selling it when moving to Canada. It had one repair done that was a result of a failure. There was a small oil leak on the distributor drive shaft seal. At 60 kkm, fixed under warranty. Other repairs were just replacement of worn brakes, shock absorbers and control arm bushings (the quality of roads the car was driven on wasn't exactly the best)
310, 319, 320, 321, 321N, 332, 333, 343, 345, 346, 732, 735, 73G, 738, 744, 752, 762, 763, 77L, 77W, 788, AT4, AT7, BEH, CR2, CRA, CR9, DH1, DH3, DH4, E45, E75, E90, E95, F28, F50, F100, MD82, Saab 340, YAK40
 
User avatar
Revelation
Posts: 21221
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 9:37 pm

RE: Why Are American Cars Still So Bad?

Fri May 20, 2016 3:34 pm

Quoting lostsound (Reply 32):
American cars are becoming more and more reliable, it's just taking some time.

I've been hearing this so long, it's worn out its welcome with me.

Given the difference was so obvious going back to the 1970s, how long should we have to wait?

Quoting ABQ747 (Reply 34):
Calling all American cars inferior because of a junky Chevy is simply unfair and inaccurate.

What is a good example of a higher quality American made car to use for comparison?

Quoting ABQ747 (Reply 34):
Oh, really?

Chicago Assembly Plant-Taurus, MKS, Explorer
Dearborn, Michigan Truck-F-150
Flat Rock, Michigan Assembly-Mustang, Fusion
Kansas City Assembly-F-150, Transit
Kentucky Truck Assembly-Super Duty, Expedition, Navigator
Louisville Assembly-Escape, MKC
Michigan Assembly-Focus
Wayne, Michigan Stamping & Assembly-Focus, C-MAX

And now, start listing the rest of the world, starting with Mexico and Canada...

Quoting ABQ747 (Reply 34):
The worst vehicles I've rented have been Japanese and German. The 2013 Nissan Altima I rented featured a low quality plastic interior that rattled, weak air conditioning, a jerky CVT transmission, awkward driving position, small windows and mirrors that resulted in poor outward visibility, and awful fuel economy. The car only had 13,000 miles on it and it was already junk!

I encountered a Mitsu that I refused to take off the lot based on visual inspection alone. A few different discussions led me to a Fusion. It was good looking but a bit heavy/ponderous on the road and had dreadful steering and turning radius.

Quoting ABQ747 (Reply 34):
The 2015 Volkswagen Passat I rented last October also had a long list of issues. For example, the driver's door was loose from the frame and would creak and rattle whenever I opened or closed the door. According to two different employees I spoke to at the Enterprise rental car facility in Albuquerque, their Volkswagens often times require trips back to the dealership in order to repair the loose doors. The car also had weak air conditioning and a touchy throttle and brake pedal. It was almost impossible to drive that car smoothly because of how touchy the throttle and brake pedal were. Enterprise ended up giving me a substantial discount because of how bad the car was.

Yep, Passat and the equivalent Audi are pretty disappointing mechanically.
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
The heart has its beaches, its homeland and thoughts of its own
Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
The heart has its seasons, its evenings and songs of its own
 
User avatar
WildcatYXU
Posts: 3086
Joined: Sat May 06, 2006 2:05 pm

RE: Why Are American Cars Still So Bad?

Fri May 20, 2016 3:38 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 47):
Yep, Passat and the equivalent Audi are pretty disappointing mechanically.

There is no equivalent Audi to Passat today. The last (and only) Passat that had a drivetrain comparable to a similarly sized Audi was the Passat B5.
310, 319, 320, 321, 321N, 332, 333, 343, 345, 346, 732, 735, 73G, 738, 744, 752, 762, 763, 77L, 77W, 788, AT4, AT7, BEH, CR2, CRA, CR9, DH1, DH3, DH4, E45, E75, E90, E95, F28, F50, F100, MD82, Saab 340, YAK40
 
User avatar
Revelation
Posts: 21221
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 9:37 pm

RE: Why Are American Cars Still So Bad?

Fri May 20, 2016 3:49 pm

Quoting falstaff (Reply 45):
In my mind quality isn't about how something feels quality Is about reliability and reparability. I find American and Japanese cars the cheapest to repair and easiest too. When I need wheel bearing I find that one for a Toyota or Chevy is $75, but one for a BMW is $300. I had a heater hose on a BMW cost me $60 once. The customer freaks out when you bill them. This is especially true when somebody buys a 10 year old high mileage German car and then brings it somewhere for service. Most of them have no clue the service costs.

At least in my experience my BMW has been very reliable but also expensive to repair. The best approach is to find a good third party mechanic. If you try to maintain it at dealer rates on dealer schedules you'll chew through a lot of money. I've learned to be prepared for large repair bills, but the car is comfortable and very fun to drive so I put up with it.

What do you recommend for oil replacement in terms of time/miles? I get so many different answers on that. Given it's synth oil it's supposed to last a lot longer.

Quoting falstaff (Reply 45):
Americans are very good at building full size trucks. I see several 200,000 mile plus trucks a week. They are usually in for routine repairs, like brakes or suspension issues (the roads here are murder on ball joints and tie rods). My '78 Ford F-100 has unknown amount of miles and still runs great.

Hard to argue, the F-100s have been a very good product for a very long time. The prices these days for new ones will make you choke, though.

Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 48):
There is no equivalent Audi to Passat today. The last (and only) Passat that had a drivetrain comparable to a similarly sized Audi was the Passat B5.

Interesting, Back about a decade ago, Audi A4 == Passat, at least in the US market.
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
The heart has its beaches, its homeland and thoughts of its own
Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
The heart has its seasons, its evenings and songs of its own

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: 777222LR, afcjets, anrec80 and 34 guests

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos