Hobbyist Forums banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,345 Posts
Yes, interesting read. I am curious of this paragraph though:

One case in point might be the new Saturn Aura (see BusinessWeek.com, 10/4/06, "Saturn's Awesome Aura"). With a five-star safety rating, a more than competitive price and strong styling both inside and out, it also has the most remarkable ride and drive of any midsize sedan in GM's history. In a direct comparison against the newest generation of the Toyota Camry, the Saturn is the superior car for those who truly appreciate a fine automobile. But it's not the automotive reality that matters to the car-buying public these days, it's the perception.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Camry's "Legendary" reliability record is NOT perception, it's fact. While Saturn's vehicle may have alot to offer, it does not have the reliability record that Camry does, yet. Maybe it will someday, but that doesn't help it sell now. It seems US car makers used to offer long term warranties to get buyers to give in, figuring that would prove they were reliable. Well a warranty is great for saving money on repairs, but if the repairs are still frequent, it makes owning the car unattractive to say the least. I gave up on American cars in the 80s and have owned Japanese cars since 1987. It would be extremely difficult for me to fathom ever owning a late model American car in my lifetime.
 

·
Old School Dinosaur
Joined
·
2,130 Posts
In part I believe he is right, but on some things I think he's off base. The comments about the Charger, the statements on Ford/Lincoln/Mercury. Around these parts Lincoln and Mercury have allways been sold in the Ford dealership. And usually the people wanting to buy Lincoln Navigators were'nt interested in Expeditions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,373 Posts
Let me give you my take on perception VS. reality here. My wife bought a 2006 Focus wagon. Now, let me be the first to admit that I had no love for the car right out of the box because I was hoping she would opt for the Mustang. Up until this car I have had really good luck with Fords and the Escort wagon we had was perhaps the best running car we ever had. This Focus however is very different. In less than a year it's been recalled once. Taken back for non functioning rear seat belts, an electric rear window that is going bad and just this past month the center console busted. Since they have never been able to service the car the same day, I choose to show them the problem and have it ordered rather than drop the car off only to pick it up an hour later because no parts are on hand any more. I stopped in just this morning to ask where the part was. The service rep took my name and number and I still don't have an answer.


I know that's not too bad but here's the real kicker. My wife wanted me to change her air filter. I took a look at the car and honestly could NOT figure out how to do that (a first for me). I took it to my friend Rusty, a man who can swap out engines in his sleep and right away he said there was no way you could change it from the top. We put it on his lift and after some grunts and noises of disgust he said he would have to either remove the front inner fender or part of the tie-rod wheel section and it still looked like it was a special enclosed unit. FOR AN AIR FILTER???????

So I ask my friendly Ford rep if this is true. Get this, 500.00 to replace this "non serviceable unit" that has a little guage that tells you when it is dead. Fine for now but what then?

We were given two keys when we bought it. My daughter lost one. 45.00 for the key slug and 35.00 to program it. This did NOT include another door lock remote. The other cars I had dup keys made for .79 each at Walmart.

Perception......PERCEPTION!!!! Please.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,373 Posts
Oh, one more thing. My daughter was actually leaning up against this fine car one day. When she pushed herself away it actually left a big dent in the quarter panel above the break I assume was placed there for rigidity. Now if it was me, I could understand it but my daughter may weigh soaking wet 85 pounds and that's if she's holding one of the dogs in her arms.

Perception?
 

·
Old School Dinosaur
Joined
·
2,130 Posts
Hey Mark, dont sugarcoat it , tell us how you really feel. :lol: :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
972 Posts
Here is the reality..........the Japanese cars get their "superior" rating because nobody bothers to look closely and scrutinize them as they do American cars. Everyone goes on the perception that they are superior and leaves it at that. I have taken notice lately and here is what I have found: Try finding a four door Japanese car where the door sill trim even remotely lines up, most do not. Try finding one with no orange peel in the paint, sorry, no can do. Try finding one where the bumper color matches the rest of the car....most do not there either. And I have also noticed the fabled Camry seems to have issues with wheelcovers that do not fit. And the American carmakers are always chastised for plastic cheap looking interiors...well, every Japanese car I have ever seen has cheapo, plastic interiors. I am old enough to remember Accords that rusted out within the first year on the road, Toyotas and Mazdas with head gasket issues, Nissans, Toyotas, Mazdas and Hondas that broke timing belts and turned the engines to scrap metal and who can forget those wonderful Toyota pickups that rust out at the pickup box welds? Come on, the Japanese have made their fair share of mistakes too, yet nobody keeps harping on those. They only know how to do so with cars made in this country. When Detroit had annual model changes they were chided for planned obscelecence. The Japanese have had model changes every 2 years now and it is branded as Technological innovation. OUr cars were getting wider, longer and heavier, it was wasteful. Japanese cars have steadily gotten wider, and heavier and more expensive, yet they do not get reprimanded for it. Their cars are notorious rusters, yet nobody seems to ever point that out. Here is my summation.......when was the last time you saw a Classic Toyota, Honda or Nissan? That's right, never! There is no such thing! I will admit, that right now, Detroit does not make much I would care to own. But I have never seen a Japanese car I would want to own, ever. They just look like garbage and always have.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,345 Posts
jimhowie2000 said:
Here is the reality..........the Japanese cars get their "superior" rating because nobody bothers to look closely and scrutinize them as they do American cars. Everyone goes on the perception that they are superior and leaves it at that. I have taken notice lately and here is what I have found: Try finding a four door Japanese car where the door sill trim even remotely lines up, most do not. Try finding one with no orange peel in the paint, sorry, no can do. Try finding one where the bumper color matches the rest of the car....most do not there either. And I have also noticed the fabled Camry seems to have issues with wheelcovers that do not fit. And the American carmakers are always chastised for plastic cheap looking interiors...well, every Japanese car I have ever seen has cheapo, plastic interiors. I am old enough to remember Accords that rusted out within the first year on the road, Toyotas and Mazdas with head gasket issues, Nissans, Toyotas, Mazdas and Hondas that broke timing belts and turned the engines to scrap metal and who can forget those wonderful Toyota pickups that rust out at the pickup box welds? Come on, the Japanese have made their fair share of mistakes too, yet nobody keeps harping on those. They only know how to do so with cars made in this country. When Detroit had annual model changes they were chided for planned obscelecence. The Japanese have had model changes every 2 years now and it is branded as Technological innovation. OUr cars were getting wider, longer and heavier, it was wasteful. Japanese cars have steadily gotten wider, and heavier and more expensive, yet they do not get reprimanded for it. Their cars are notorious rusters, yet nobody seems to ever point that out. Here is my summation.......when was the last time you saw a Classic Toyota, Honda or Nissan? That's right, never! There is no such thing! I will admit, that right now, Detroit does not make much I would care to own. But I have never seen a Japanese car I would want to own, ever. They just look like garbage and always have.
Those defects you described above, must have been on cars made in America. :D The rusted out Hondas are a thing of the distant past, actually, rusted out ANY cars are pretty much history. Cars just don't rust like they used to. The Japanese corrected their mistakes and reaped the rewards at a time where American cars were subject to budget cutbacks and reliability problems.

As for classic imports, most imports weren't made to become classics. They were made to put hundreds of thousands of miles on economically and be retired. A car of practicality, not collectibility.

I have noticed the cars getting bigger and bigger. That was just a reality of gas prices being reasonable. I would suspect they should start contracting a bit now that prices are so unstable but that remains to be seen. There were lots full of SUVs last year for a while when gas was $3+ per gallon.

Wheelcovers??? Wheelcovers??? Come on now I'd rather have a car with no wheel covers than a car that doesn't run when you need it most.

This is a debate that could go on forever, but it comes down to buy what you have had good luck with. But as Mark H. so eloquently pointed out, that isn't always a guarantee of success, either. :wave: Until Nissan fails me, and they haven't in the nearly 20 years I've owned them, I will stick with them. I'd rather have a car that looks like "garbage" that runs than a car that looks great waiting for a tow truck. :freak:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,335 Posts
Mark Hosaflook said:
Let me give you my take on perception VS. reality here. My wife bought a 2006 Focus wagon. Now, let me be the first to admit that I had no love for the car right out of the box because I was hoping she would opt for the Mustang. Up until this car I have had really good luck with Fords and the Escort wagon we had was perhaps the best running car we ever had. This Focus however is very different. In less than a year it's been recalled once. Taken back for non functioning rear seat belts, an electric rear window that is going bad and just this past month the center console busted. Since they have never been able to service the car the same day, I choose to show them the problem and have it ordered rather than drop the car off only to pick it up an hour later because no parts are on hand any more. I stopped in just this morning to ask where the part was. The service rep took my name and number and I still don't have an answer.


I know that's not too bad but here's the real kicker. My wife wanted me to change her air filter. I took a look at the car and honestly could NOT figure out how to do that (a first for me). I took it to my friend Rusty, a man who can swap out engines in his sleep and right away he said there was no way you could change it from the top. We put it on his lift and after some grunts and noises of disgust he said he would have to either remove the front inner fender or part of the tie-rod wheel section and it still looked like it was a special enclosed unit. FOR AN AIR FILTER???????

So I ask my friendly Ford rep if this is true. Get this, 500.00 to replace this "non serviceable unit" that has a little guage that tells you when it is dead. Fine for now but what then?

We were given two keys when we bought it. My daughter lost one. 45.00 for the key slug and 35.00 to program it. This did NOT include another door lock remote. The other cars I had dup keys made for .79 each at Walmart.

Perception......PERCEPTION!!!! Please.
Every manufacturer makes good'un and bad'uns. I buy American and mostly Ford. My 2003 Sable has 121,000 miles and gets more comfortable every mile. Original plugs, synthetic oil and filter change every 10,000 miles, air filter when required, tire rotation at 10,000 miles, trans service every 30k and except for horrendous brakes is one terrific car. My 95 Buick had 125,000 when I sold it and was still running well. Is that Focus a lemon? Probably but so was my brother-in-laws Accord. I buy American because I get terrific service from them and it's the right thing to do! :thumbsup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
521 Posts
My perception about the Toyota Camry is that is has been one of my most unreliable cars, it 's a 2003 bought new, the water pump broke down twice ( the car doesn't even have 55 000 miles on it) and the dealership told me it's a problem with a lot of Toyotas. The driver's seat mechanism had to be replaced also( starting to break apart) rust on the truck lid due to ill fitting chrome trim.

Needless to say it's my last Toyota... one of my cousins also bought a Toyota, a 2003 Corolla, and the transmission broke down and the car didn't even have 40 000 miles on it... reliability? yeah right...
 

·
Geico ad . . . Offensive?
Joined
·
6,702 Posts
jimhowie2000 said:
. . . Detroit does not make much I would care to own. But I have never seen a Japanese car I would want to own, ever. They just look like garbage and always have.
I agree -- Jap cars have never done anything for me stylistically. Jap bikes, however . . . :)

GM is making these two babies that I wouldn't mind owning:
Saturn Sky --


Pontiac Solstice --


Those or of course a Corvette C6.

'doba
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
972 Posts
CTWLSMIKE said:
Those defects you described above, must have been on cars made in America. :D The rusted out Hondas are a thing of the distant past, actually, rusted out ANY cars are pretty much history. Cars just don't rust like they used to. The Japanese corrected their mistakes and reaped the rewards at a time where American cars were subject to budget cutbacks and reliability problems.

As for classic imports, most imports weren't made to become classics. They were made to put hundreds of thousands of miles on economically and be retired. A car of practicality, not collectibility.

I have noticed the cars getting bigger and bigger. That was just a reality of gas prices being reasonable. I would suspect they should start contracting a bit now that prices are so unstable but that remains to be seen. There were lots full of SUVs last year for a while when gas was $3+ per gallon.

Wheelcovers??? Wheelcovers??? Come on now I'd rather have a car with no wheel covers than a car that doesn't run when you need it most.

This is a debate that could go on forever, but it comes down to buy what you have had good luck with. But as Mark H. so eloquently pointed out, that isn't always a guarantee of success, either. :wave: Until Nissan fails me, and they haven't in the nearly 20 years I've owned them, I will stick with them. I'd rather have a car that looks like "garbage" that runs than a car that looks great waiting for a tow truck. :freak:
Yeah that's right, wheelcovers! If they can't even get the cheapie plastic wheelcovers to fit right, then waht on earth would make me think things I can't see are done right? Sorry, I have had my sister borrow my Chevy far more times than I care to say when her crappy Honda Civic has been in the shop for ongoing transmission troubles. And as for Japanese cars not rusting.....you surely must not live in the midwest!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,345 Posts
jimhowie2000 said:
Yeah that's right, wheelcovers! If they can't even get the cheapie plastic wheelcovers to fit right, then waht on earth would make me think things I can't see are done right? Sorry, I have had my sister borrow my Chevy far more times than I care to say when her crappy Honda Civic has been in the shop for ongoing transmission troubles. And as for Japanese cars not rusting.....you surely must not live in the midwest!
Maybe the wheelcovers were subcontracted to an American firm. :tongue: Maybe your sister is a bad driver. ;)
Maybe I'll win the lottery tomorrow. :wave:
Oh, and yeah I don't live in the midwest, I live in NEW ENGLAND. (The CT does stand for SOMETHING!)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
896 Posts
Yes, it's interesting how perceptions and reality work... among my friends and coworkers of my generation (Gen X thirtysomethings) very, very few drive domestics except for SUVs...most drive Japanese and European sedans.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,693 Posts
OK, my turn. I have owned Subarus for many, many years. (haven't seen this brand mentioned in this thread, yet) I put a ton of miles on my cars but I also take care of them - oil & filter every 3K miles - regular tune-ups - timing belt every 60K miles. I sold my '98 Legacy wagon with 192K miles on it. Still running strong and the body had no rust. My wife still has her '02 Legacy w/ 94K miles and no problems whatsoever.
In December '05 I shopped for a new vehicle. This was before my son bought his own car and I wanted something bigger (he's 6'5") for him to get some driving experience in. The Legacy is a bit small for him. I DID NOT want an SUV. But, I had gotten used to all wheel drive. The answer? The 2006 Ford Five Hundred with AWD. Very roomy, very comfortable, plenty of power, better than my Subaru in the snow, and VERY tough! My Ford sustained a front end collision with only minor scratches on the bumper cover - the VW Jetta that hit me didn't fair as well :freak: . I'll admit, I was hesitant about buying an American car. So far, I've had 30K trouble free miles. :thumbsup:
BTW, Ford dealers wish Ford would advertise this car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,373 Posts
DadsCoronet said:
OK, my turn. I have owned Subarus for many, many years. (haven't seen this brand mentioned in this thread, yet) I put a ton of miles on my cars but I also take care of them - oil & filter every 3K miles - regular tune-ups - timing belt every 60K miles. I sold my '98 Legacy wagon with 192K miles on it. Still running strong and the body had no rust. My wife still has her '02 Legacy w/ 94K miles and no problems whatsoever.
In December '05 I shopped for a new vehicle. This was before my son bought his own car and I wanted something bigger (he's 6'5") for him to get some driving experience in. The Legacy is a bit small for him. I DID NOT want an SUV. But, I had gotten used to all wheel drive. The answer? The 2006 Ford Five Hundred with AWD. Very roomy, very comfortable, plenty of power, better than my Subaru in the snow, and VERY tough! My Ford sustained a front end collision with only minor scratches on the bumper cover - the VW Jetta that hit me didn't fair as well :freak: . I'll admit, I was hesitant about buying an American car. So far, I've had 30K trouble free miles. :thumbsup:
BTW, Ford dealers wish Ford would advertise this car.
Does it also have a 500.00 air filter?:p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,967 Posts
harry_ca said:
it is mostly perception.I`ve had plenty of camry`s and accords on my car lot and overall every chrysler product I had was in better shape for the age and miles.
My mom and I also bought cars on the same day,her a 99 civic and me a 99 neon r/t. Hers was in the shop 8 times within a year,I had a belt tightened up once .I also put 26k miles on mine and she put 8k on hers.
Same thing with the 2 2005 camrys they bought 2 years ago.They always have noises and whining in both of them.There gas mileage is no better than an American car of the same size. Only thing is the `perception` of 75% of the people helps in the resale of the car but IMO I would rather drive something that`s nice to drive rather than what`s the safe thing to do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,693 Posts
Mark Hosaflook said:
Does it also have a 500.00 air filter?:p
Hardly!! The other day, while changing the oil, I took the VERY ACCESSIBLE air filter out to clean it. Looks like a $7.00 Fram air filter will do the trick! ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,361 Posts
I"ve had lots of trouble with American cars; hardly any with Japanese. My 88 RX-7 did have an interesting problem once: there was some kind of spring thingie that kept the stick from feeling too wobbly. The only way too replace it (an $8 part) was to remove the tranny! I let it go until I replaced the flywheel. :p

My wife and I have owned nothing but Acuras since 1998, have been very happy: Integra, CL and MDX, TSX and 2nd MDX. Good styling, great value, no headaches.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top