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View Full Version : OT: Other than Toyota who makes a good car?



pgmrdan
11-03-2009, 03:28 PM
I've been buying Toyotas (not exclusively Toyotas) since 1978. I think they make a really nice, reliable car. We bought our 6th new Toyota a few months ago.

To make a long story short I've been dealing with a total CLUSTER FU(% at Toyota Financial Services for over 2 weeks now. We did absolutely nothing wrong. They hosed up some IT conversion of our account and those of who knows how many other customers. Good luck to anyone else affected. Their screw up *may* be corrected by the end of this week but I'm not holding my breath. They admit it's all their fault and all I keep hearing is, "I've never seen anything like this happen before." They're tripping all over their tongues apologizing but it's not enough.

Who else makes a nice, reliable car? I'm thinking about switching to Honda or maybe even Volkswagen if I can find a VW that's highly rated by Consumer Reports magazine.

What I'd really like to find is a nice car that has a good diesel engine.

My wife would like to look at the Honda CRV. The CRV with the diesel engine is supposed to be extremely popular in Europe and a heck of a good vehicle but Honda won't introduce the diesel version here. They were supposed to for 2010 but that's been stopped.

Any good recommendations?

Thanks,
Dan

Fasttrack
11-03-2009, 03:41 PM
Honestly, you can get a good deal on a new "American-made" car these days. Chevy and Ford have been consistently rated well these last few years in terms of quality. I'm sure some of their vehicles are still lemons, but it might be worth checking out.

I know the local police department bought up a bunch of Cobalts a few years ago and they've been very happy with their performance and reliability (or at least that is the word from one officer).

My sister and her father-in-law purchased new Chevy trucks - one is a 2007 and the other is a 2009. They are very well made and pleasent to drive. It's still too early to say much about their longevity, but based on what I saw, I'm optimistic.

Just a thought... I'm still driving around an '89 Chevy, so take my advice for what its worth ;)

Evan
11-03-2009, 03:43 PM
Get a VW Polo. Apparently they are really tough. :D

http://noolmusic.com/youtube_videos/volkswagen_terrorist_commercial.php

Doozer
11-03-2009, 03:46 PM
Of course, my first choice would be to buy American.
Second choice would be a Honda of some model.
They really think about the details and have good engineering.
--Doozer

boslab
11-03-2009, 03:47 PM
Get a VW Polo. Apparently they are really tough. :D

http://noolmusic.com/youtube_videos/volkswagen_terrorist_commercial.php
audi
mark

Bruce Griffing
11-03-2009, 03:51 PM
I recently rented a Hyundai Santa Fe. I think the Korean cars have become much more comepetitive. It is a very nice car and less expensive than Honda or Toyota.

The Artful Bodger
11-03-2009, 03:55 PM
I would never buy an American made car, all the ones I see around here are so poorly made I doubt I could reach the steering wheel from the drivers seat.:D

winchman
11-03-2009, 03:56 PM
Why would you let a temporary screwup at the financing arm of Toyota turn you off on their great cars? The two are totally unrelated operations.

Roger

Pete F
11-03-2009, 04:00 PM
We loved our old Accord (1994). We now have a 2003, and... not so much. The interior squeaks a lot, and it shudders under heavy braking. A guy at the local tire dealer told us he's heard that a lot. According to him, all the newer Hondas do that (Edit: he was talking about the shuddering, not the squeaking). It is really annoying.

However, it has 77K miles on it, and has never needed a repair beyond normal maintenance, brakes and such.

-Pete

pgmrdan
11-03-2009, 04:01 PM
I grew up in a Ford family. My dad worked at the Mercury plant in St. Louis for a while.

I drove several Fords over several years and got burned so badly I learned to despise Fords. The best Ford I ever owned was a 1993 Festiva. It was designed by Mazda, built by Kia (in Korea), and as far as I know the only thing Ford about it was the little emblem on the hood. After just a few years Ford orphaned the Festiva and I couldn't get replacement parts that I needs.

I've seen many good reviews for Ford products but I just can't stand the thought of buying one.

I've thought about Chevrolet and might go that route.

At this point I know many of the Hondas are top notch vehicles. That's why I'm considering them but I'm open.

If Mercedes made a highly rated vehicle I'd really be tempted but Consumer Reports makes them sound really, really bad.

MrSleepy
11-03-2009, 04:15 PM
I'm on my third VW passat ...never had a problem..except that the latest models bigger..less room to manouvre down the drive...

Rob.

Nicad
11-03-2009, 04:27 PM
In a Small car, the Honda Fit is excellent. IF you need traction, Subarus are great machines. I like the new Forrester and US built Legacies.The Mid sized GM's are good cars. The Saturn Aura is supposed to be good....and gone as a brand. If you want high performance in a mid sized car, the Pontiac G8 made by Holden looks interesting, especially wih GM LSX power. Toyotas are becomming less and less appealing to me. They are marshmallows when it comes to handling. The Chev Impalla is a good car as is the Malibu. I like the Nissan Versa when it comes to space utility and ride/handling.
The new Focus has been selling well, but ultimately I don't trust Fords.

If you go Euro, I like the base model BMW 3 series. Great machines IMHO.
I have owned a VW for 15 years (3 Corrados) I do not trust VW electrics. The new Golf GTI is very cool though. I would avoid Mazdas in general. Hyundai has made huge strides in my opinion.
Avoid car salesman and never make up your mind with them around.

Happy Hunting

tattoomike68
11-03-2009, 04:36 PM
We like Toyota here too, now if you can hold out for a honda diesel you would do well.

I know VW made some rabbit diesels long ago and folks have them running on fryer oil still today. Not sure what you can get from VW here in the states now. I do know a VW will haul azz. the Jetta may come in a diesel and thats the cats meow. its like 50 MPG and will hual azz.

have a look at the jetta, my dad had one in the early 80's and it would outrun fast cars, you could bury the speedo in 3rd gear, grab two more gears and hold it down and do 20 miles in about 9 minutes . man that car was fun. :D

saltmine
11-03-2009, 04:47 PM
My two cents....I won't buy European or Japanese cars (that includes Korean and Chinese cars too)
I have worked on and repaired damn near every kind of car made in the 45 years I turned wrenches. Reliability and parts availability mean a lot.
I know most people don't take those into consideration, but eventually, you'll have to have somebody fix it. And with five-year financing, it's always nice to have a car that will be paid off before you need major repair work.

To begin with, we'll leave Chrysler/Fiat out of the equation. Chrysler has been on a steady decline long before the Nazis took them over, and couldn't drop them fast enough. I was really surprised when Fiat stepped in to purchase a percentage of Chrysler. (BTW, The UAW (United Awful Workers) own a controlling share of Chrysler...so much for that)
Ford has been actually posting profits lately (mainly because most of the C4C clunkers were Fords, and Ford sold the majority of clunker replacements after the Japanese) But, unbeknownst to most consumers, Ford stayed solvent at the expense of the Ford employees, and stiffing several suppliers demanding payment. (most Ford mechanics have plenty of work, but can barely make a living)
GM has taken it's knocks. They used to be the number one manufacturer in the world, no questions asked. They're out of bankruptcy and have been making a fierce effort to climb back on top of the heap. GM's cars and trucks are solidly engineered, with great backing from the factory. (GM doesn't buy their engines and transmissions from somebody else)
Nobody else offers a 60 day return policy on their products...nobody, not the Europeans, the Japs, the Koreans, or the Chinese.....or Ford.
They must have a lot of faith in the product.

I drive a Chevrolet. I've never had a problem with one. My last sixteen cars and trucks were Chevrolets. minor problems with some....but I got them fixed without applying for a bailout from the Feds. Every GM car I ever owned lasted long after it was paid for. Most were driven an insane number of miles, and sold to somebody who's probably still driving them.
I never lost money on a GM car. In fact, I once owned one of GM's biggest lemons...the Chevy Vega. I drove it for years, never had a problem, and sold it for twice what I paid for it.

I knew Chrysler and Ford were in trouble when I saw they were putting toolboxes in the bed rails of their trucks (Dodge) to hold emergency flares and tow ropes. Ford offered a heated tailgate, so your hands don't get cold pushing one. Government Motors? I don't think so....

lugnut
11-03-2009, 04:49 PM
I am driving a Chevy pickup now, and the last two cars I have had and really liked was Subaru. They are rated high and great performance and economy.
Mel

mototed
11-03-2009, 05:02 PM
VW diesels are great cars, My brother has a 2006 Jetta model and the milage keeps getting better. He is up to 51 mpg hwy now at a cruise speed of 75 mph. He is 7' tall so the back seat behind his seat is a little cramped, but otherwise it would haul 4 "normal sized" people comfortably. Me and the wife have had VW's in the family for many years, and never had any of the problems Consumer reports has. Sometimes I just don't trust their car reports.
You may want to rent a car that you are considierng. I rented a few differnt cars for a couple of different trips a year ago and was really impressed by the Ford Focus. It was a very nice for a small car. I liked it just as much as a Toyota Avilon ( I think the Ford Fusion is the same size as an Avilon) And there was no comparison to the Krappy Kia

tattoomike68
11-03-2009, 05:07 PM
My two cents....I won't buy European or Japanese cars (that includes Korean and Chinese cars too)
I have worked on and repaired damn near every kind of car made in the 45 years I turned wrenches. Reliability and parts availability mean a lot.
I know most people don't take those into consideration, but eventually, you'll have to have somebody fix it. And with five-year financing, it's always nice to have a car that will be paid off before you need major repair work.

To begin with, we'll leave Chrysler/Fiat out of the equation. Chrysler has been on a steady decline long before the Nazis took them over, and couldn't drop them fast enough. I was really surprised when Fiat stepped in to purchase a percentage of Chrysler. (BTW, The UAW (United Awful Workers) own a controlling share of Chrysler...so much for that)
Ford has been actually posting profits lately (mainly because most of the C4C clunkers were Fords, and Ford sold the majority of clunker replacements after the Japanese) But, unbeknownst to most consumers, Ford stayed solvent at the expense of the Ford employees, and stiffing several suppliers demanding payment. (most Ford mechanics have plenty of work, but can barely make a living)
GM has taken it's knocks. They used to be the number one manufacturer in the world, no questions asked. They're out of bankruptcy and have been making a fierce effort to climb back on top of the heap. GM's cars and trucks are solidly engineered, with great backing from the factory. (GM doesn't buy their engines and transmissions from somebody else)
Nobody else offers a 60 day return policy on their products...nobody, not the Europeans, the Japs, the Koreans, or the Chinese.....or Ford.
They must have a lot of faith in the product.

I drive a Chevrolet. I've never had a problem with one. My last sixteen cars and trucks were Chevrolets. minor problems with some....but I got them fixed without applying for a bailout from the Feds. Every GM car I ever owned lasted long after it was paid for. Most were driven an insane number of miles, and sold to somebody who's probably still driving them.
I never lost money on a GM car. In fact, I once owned one of GM's biggest lemons...the Chevy Vega. I drove it for years, never had a problem, and sold it for twice what I paid for it.

I knew Chrysler and Ford were in trouble when I saw they were putting toolboxes in the bed rails of their trucks (Dodge) to hold emergency flares and tow ropes. Ford offered a heated tailgate, so your hands don't get cold pushing one. Government Motors? I don't think so....


I have to admit I can work on a chevy, its not as bad as some. I wont even work on our toyotas, its going to the shop.

goose
11-03-2009, 05:11 PM
I think pretty much all makes offer at least the 3 year, 36,000 mile warranty, so really it doesn't matter "who" makes the best car anymore.

I've had good luck with all my cars. The "I bought a -fill.in.the.blank- way back when LBJ was president and it was a lemon" isn't much to offer as an intelligent comment; as warranty, quality and car design has changed remarkably in just the past few years.

I've had Toyota, GMC, Ford, Subaru, VW, Nissan, Mitsubishi, - all good.

Gary

topct
11-03-2009, 05:36 PM
http://www.carsstink.org/

pgmrdan
11-03-2009, 05:39 PM
In 1986 I began working with a fellow that always bought VW's with diesel engines. For years he had been regularly getting at least 250,000 miles on them before they were replaced. He began buying them at least 30 years ago. They should be even better now.

The problem back then was the trim. The trim was crappy and practically fell off the cars but they kept on going and going and going.

RichTes
11-03-2009, 05:42 PM
Any comments on the Chevy Equinox?

Have 3200 GM points and want to replace my Subaru Legacy. 116K miles and have replaced the head gasket, cat converter and who knows what else.

If I get the Equinox I can sell my 2000 F150 too since the Chevy can tow a 3000lb trailer. Otherwise I'll keep the Ford and buy a Malibu.

Rich

pgmrdan
11-03-2009, 05:52 PM
I've never owned a Chevrolet but I know that in the past a vast number of their parts were interchangeable among different car models. Among Fords it wasn't the case. In fact, correct me if I'm wrong, there were at least 3 different Ford 351 cid engines on which many parts were not interchangeable.

What are Chevrolets like today? Are the parts still interchangeable among models like they used to be?

Tony Ennis
11-03-2009, 05:59 PM
2000 F-150, bought used. 2000 Ford Explorer, bought used. 2003 Honda Civic bought used. All have been a pleasure to drive though I am glad the Explorer is the wife's - I much prefer the F-150.

Son's Civic is a pleasure, if small.

pgmrdan
11-03-2009, 06:15 PM
My daily driver is a 2003 Toyota Tacoma with 80k miles. If it were to completely crap out on me I have no idea what I would buy to replace it. I wasn't totally thrilled with it when I bought it but it's been a good little pickup truck and I needed a truck for our little farm/homestead.

Quite honestly, I don't know of a car or truck made today that I like. Nothing 'trips my trigger'.

I'd rather have some of the cars from the '80's or '90's than anything I can find today no matter how high the quality rating is. But you can't beat the technological advantages of today's modern vehicles like...cupholders. :)

JoeBean
11-03-2009, 07:08 PM
Before you buy a VW, particularly the diesels, realize that 1. Their dealerships are hit-and-miss. There are a few that are decent, but a lot are SOBs due to the way they're overseen, 2. VWs are high-maintenance, and expensive to maintain, compared to that Toyota. eg. Oil has to be VW spec compliant, and it's not BS - a lot of engines have been destroyed or damaged due to wrong oil. And I'm not talking simply weight or synth-vs-nonsynth. It's got to meet the VW spec for that vehicle, eg. 506-01 etc. It costs a chunk for companies to be "registered" by VW as compliant and so the oil tends to be expensive. Some oils that meet the spec still cause problems in some engines (eg. B5.5 Passats had problems with Mobil 1 Syth that met the spec). An oil change on my last 3 VWs cost (from oldest to newest, an '06) $40, $55, $80CAD per, not including labour (I did it myself). My Toyota costs me $30 AT THE DEALER, and when I was in Minnesota this summer I found the dealer in Burnsville gave me excellent service for the same price. I wouldn't even by a part from the parts counter of a VW dealership in a different area without checking what others had to say about them. 3. VW engines tend to be (if you believe the hype) performance-focused. Many are interference and require regular tbelt servicing, which they tend to make as asininely difficult as possible to do and uber-expensive. My friend had his last 2 Passats quoted at the dealer as $1500 to do them - he traded them (for newer Passats) instead. Parts aren't that expensive ($250 or so for a kit) but you'd better know what you're doing. Also, (again if you drink them koolaid) because of their performance focus they are very picky with the need for regular maintenance, or you end up with a big bill and problem, and you tend to have to deal with odd issues other vehicles don't have, such as oil "usage" rates that are insanely high. 4. They have a history of having poor reliability in new equipment. For example, they've gone through a few spells of having massive failures of automatic transmissions. Their direct shift gearbox on the Jetta is a nightmare, for another example. And with the often shoddy dealerships many service departments have no clue how to service the equipment. It is still common (WHAT!?!) for dealership mechanics to not know how to check the transmission oil on their autos, or how to change it on the DSG!! They'll often say wrt the autos "They're sealed for life" despite their being direction to have the levels checked. It's also common for many dealerships to use the wrong oil in the engine of your vehicle, which can cause all sorts of problems as mentioned before. 5. VW is retardedly difficult to deal with in my experience for warranty work. My parents had one Jetta lose a DSG because the dealership lied about servicing it when it was brought in for it's service, then they had to fight to get it replaced under warranty. Here's the kicker, though - they overfilled the transmission, and used the wrong fluid, when they put the new one in! 10,000km later it wasn't shifting properly and they had to trade it. 6. Check the mpg ratings on the new Jetta diesels. They're heavier, and the mpg is not as good as you'd think. With regular driving you won't get as good of a mpg as a prius (I know - I own one, and I just recently (3 months ago) got rid of a new Jetta diesel). With hypermiling on the Jetta and regular driving on the Prius you'll be about the same. 7. Headspace - someone here said that their 7' tall friend drives one and is comfortable - he must have 6' of legs because I'm 6' tall, my father is 6'2, and the one thing we've always complained about is that their isn't enough headroom.

Up until my current Toyota, every vehicle I ever owned was a VW. My parents have owned VWs for 20+ years, I've got friends who've had them for 40 years. I used to recommend them (particularly diesels, which most of my own vehicles were) to friends and family. I've worked for Bentley Publishing and I've serviced almost every VW model made from 80-2008, excepting the Phaeton and some of the newer models. But I'll never have another one. Their quality really has been dropping. Do some reading at forums.vwvortex.com , forums.tdiclub.com , rb.com etc.

If you're looking for a diesel, I'd suggest one of the new BMWs. A bit more $$$ obviously but they're really, really nice. I was torn between that and my Prius, but for me fuel milage is king.

http://www.bmwusa.com/standard/content/vehicles/2010/3/335dsedan/default.aspx

Terry

pgmrdan
11-03-2009, 07:16 PM
Excellent information Terry! Thanks.

Pete F
11-03-2009, 07:21 PM
Oil has to be VW spec compliant, and it's not BS - a lot of engines have been destroyed or damaged due to wrong oil.

Wow, things sure have changed. I had an '84 Scirocco in college. It had a slight oil leak. I think from about 120K miles, I never changed the oil (I know, I was young). I just put fresh oil in whenever it got low. Finally junked it at 185K. Electrical failure :eek:. That engine was a rock. I think it would have run with NO oil.

-Pete

pgmrdan
11-03-2009, 07:25 PM
Well, once I do a little tinkering with my 1973 VW Super Beetle then well....

No, really! I have one with about 53k original miles on it. I snapped a bleeder valve off a brake cylinder. Once I fix that it's on the road again. :)

gnm109
11-03-2009, 07:26 PM
I would never buy an American made car, all the ones I see around here are so poorly made I doubt I could reach the steering wheel from the drivers seat.:D


Thanks for the vote of confidence. I'm waiting for the first New Zealand-built car so I can test drive it. LOL.


.

KiddZimaHater
11-03-2009, 07:26 PM
NISSAN
I have a '93 Nissan Pickup that still blows cold air out of the AC, and has never been in the shop (besides brakes & oil changes).
16 years, and it still purrs like a kitten.
When this one craps-out, I'll DEFINATELY buy another Nissan.

airsmith282
11-03-2009, 07:34 PM
i have owned ,driven and repaired more cars then i care to count, the only 2 have respect for as a car, is the toyota corrola, and my pontiac G5 pursuit, as for SUV id have to pick the tahoe,for trucks the chev 1500 or the ford f-150,

Steelmaster
11-03-2009, 07:37 PM
This car quality survey is quite revealing

http://www.theage.com.au/drive/motor-news/asian-carmakers-shine-in-big-us-quality-survey-20091029-hme5.html

It shows that the Asian/Japanese car makers seem to lnpw what they are doing.

Interesting to see where Mercedes/BMW/Audi sit, shows one doesn't have to spend an arm and a leg to get a quality car.

US cars don't fare well in those surveys, but that's nothing new.

My first choice would be a Honda, beautifully made and a delight to drive.

Wife drives a Honda Prelude and loves it.

aboard_epsilon
11-03-2009, 07:41 PM
In 1986 I began working with a fellow that always bought VW's with diesel engines. For years he had been regularly getting at least 250,000 miles on them before they were replaced. He began buying them at least 30 years ago. They should be even better now.

The problem back then was the trim. The trim was crappy and practically fell off the cars but they kept on going and going and going.

I hear all the latest vw diesels have some gizmo on them the cleans the cat ,.......some sort of a device that injects some volatile liquid into there every so often ..and you have to keep some sort of a tank of the stuff topped up ..

this means, so Ive heard that the cat is very very expensive.......and will eventually bugger up in short order of time .....

that together with all the other gizmo's just waiting to go wrong ..could undermine its reliability ..

found on the net.. ulsd ...ultra low sulphur diesel

"Like the switch to unleaded gasoline in the 1970s, ULSD enabled the development of exhaust-scrubbing technology that could not cope with previous high levels of sulfur. Though they vary in detail, most will utilize a three-stage system similar to that deployed by Mercedes to detox the exhaust: a catalyst that minimizes hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide; a self-cleaning filter that traps and stores soot; and a device that delivers a liquid urea solution, known as AdBlue, to the exhaust. Through a chemical reaction, the AdBlue converts nitrogen oxides (the culprit behind acid rain) into harmless nitrogen and water vapor. The AdBlue reservoir will be refilled at the time of an oil change, typically each 10,000 miles. "

hmmm if it runs out piss in it :D

and like already mentioned they run on special engine oil that has to be exactly what is specified.

YES......the old ones were very good ..

bob_s
11-03-2009, 08:02 PM
Second the Nissan recommendation.
I have a 1984 Nissan Maxima daily driver with over 250K miles, and having recently replaced the water pump and radiator it looks like its going to get another 250K.
Of course it always has been given priority care according to the Bedouin saying

"If a man looks after his own feet before his camel's, he soon has no feet to care for."

fasto
11-03-2009, 08:02 PM
I have owned a VW for 15 years (3 Corrados) I do not trust VW Electrics.
I've been driving my '93 VW Corrado since April fool's day 1993, having racked up 218,000 miles and the only troubles have been electrical. Oh, and wheel bearings. And the transmission self destricting twice. And.. Luckily I'm a glutton for punishment and can fix it myself. However, like all Euro cars it handles like a dream and can outstop anything on the road.

This replaced my '90 Corrado which was stolen & destroyed :(.

Of course nothing holds the candle to my new car.. a 1978 280Z.
--
Aaron

saltmine
11-03-2009, 08:07 PM
Before ANY of you run off to the Toyota dealer, I just heard on the news that Toyota is recalling 3.8million Toyotas for an "unspecified defect" regarding their propensity to take off wide-open, while driving. Originally thought to be the floormat getting stuck under the accellerator pedal, now, they're not sure. So far, 2000 Toyotas have crashed with many injuries.
One, actually driven by a California Highway Patrolman, had a "runaway", crashed and killed four people.
If you've got a Toyota, get in touch with your dealer, asap. Yeah, it includes Tacohomas and Prius models, too.

saltmine
11-03-2009, 08:13 PM
The "fluid" you heard about is urea. And yes, you have to keep the urea tank topped up so that the car can clean it's particulate filter properly.

Using common urea (urine) to keep the diesel catalytic converters clean is the latest in low emission vehicle technology. They started using the injected urea in Europe last year in an effort to clean up heavy truck emissions.

From what I've been told, suppliers are "harvesting" urea from stockyards where hundreds of cattle are present. BTW, It's not cheap, either.

bob ward
11-03-2009, 08:20 PM
Why would you let a temporary screwup at the financing arm of Toyota turn you off on their great cars? The two are totally unrelated operations.

Roger

Very true words.

aboard_epsilon
11-03-2009, 08:25 PM
The "fluid" you heard about is urea. And yes, you have to keep the urea tank topped up so that the car can clean it's particulate filter properly.

Using common urea (urine) to keep the diesel catalytic converters clean is the latest in low emission vehicle technology. They started using the injected urea in Europe last year in an effort to clean up heavy truck emissions.

From what I've been told, suppliers are "harvesting" urea from stockyards where hundreds of cattle are present. BTW, It's not cheap, either.

yup the krauts are taking the piss :D

all the best.markj

andy_b
11-03-2009, 09:15 PM
my wife and i have a 2005 Passat TDI. i will say we have an excellent dealer and their service is top-notch and reasonably priced (our timing belt change was only $880 and that included changing the water pump as well). we have 105k on the car and there was a recall to fix the brake light switch and change the glow pugs from ceramic to steel (or titanium or something). other than that, no problems.

my neighbor has a 2006 Jetta TDI. the problem with it is you HAVE to take it to the dealer for oil changes (probably due to the urea tank). i occasionally take ours to the dealer for oil changes, but usually do them myself.

if you want a small diesel car, there really aren't many options though.

andy b.

jmm360
11-03-2009, 10:25 PM
This car quality survey is quite revealing

http://www.theage.com.au/drive/motor-news/asian-carmakers-shine-in-big-us-quality-survey-20091029-hme5.html

It shows that the Asian/Japanese car makers seem to lnpw what they are doing.

Interesting to see where Mercedes/BMW/Audi sit, shows one doesn't have to spend an arm and a leg to get a quality car.

US cars don't fare well in those surveys, but that's nothing new.

My first choice would be a Honda, beautifully made and a delight to drive.

Wife drives a Honda Prelude and loves it.

I was surprised how poorly the MINI Cooper fared on that survey, I love mine. I only have 16K on it so far so I can't speak to long term, but when I was shopping I looked at many with 90-100k+ miles that looked like they held up well.

Willy
11-03-2009, 10:46 PM
The urea, or (DEF), diesel exhaust fluid, is a technology used by most major diesel engine manufactures to meet ever tightening exhaust emission standards, both in North America and Europe.

The process is called (SCR) selective catalytic reduction, and is a process where after the diesel particulate filter, a small quantity of DEF is injected into the catalytic converter of a diesel engine. The DEF in combination with hot exhaust gases and the catalyst in the converter react with nitrous oxides in the exhaust to form nitrogen and water. Both clean and harmless components of air.

The technology is so effective that a diesel engine using it has near zero NOX emissions. You have to stand next to one to believe the difference. In a large metropolitan center the the air is probably cleaner in the exhaust pipe than in the surrounding air!

That reminds me of an old saying about diesel engines, especially old ones.

"The good thing about diesels is they last forty years.
The bad thing about diesels is they last forty years"

It appears at this time that most engine manufacturers will be using this technology to meet 2010 EPA emission standards. Those that are choosing "in cylinder" or EGR approaches, although priced lower, are looking at a 5% reduction in fuel mileage.

fasto
11-03-2009, 10:56 PM
One, actually driven by a California Highway Patrolman, had a "runaway", crashed and killed four people.

That was a sad story, doubly so because the "runaway" could have been stopped by shifting to Neutral (or even Park, in extremis) or switching off the ignition.

RancherBill
11-03-2009, 11:10 PM
- 1 for Subaru Canada. I am having a transmission problem with my 2006 Imprezza and it took THREE DAYS for Subaru Canada to authorize the repair and I am having to wait FOUR DAYS for the parts to arrive. I am in a major city.

MickeyD
11-03-2009, 11:14 PM
We have been very happy with our GMC pickup and Chevy Tahoe. Built like tanks, ride great, very reliable and tow like mad. On the car side, I spent some time with a new Toyota Camry and a Chevy Impala (both rentals) and other than the Chevy dash looking a little "busy", the Chevy was a much nicer and sportier feeling car. The Camry felt really mushy and the brakes did not inspire confidence, whereas the Impala was actually fun to drive. If I was in the market for a car, I would look at the new Impala (and that is from someone who drove Volvos for 15 years).

tattoomike68
11-03-2009, 11:35 PM
[QUOTE=pgmrdan]My daily driver is a 2003 Toyota Tacoma with 80k miles. If it were to completely crap out on me I have no idea what I would buy to replace it.QUOTE]


We have a 2006 tacoma, it likes to go fast (Dont tell th old woman) :D

I drive the old beater 1995 tercell, when the plugs get crappy I run it to 50 MPH in second gear and it runs sweet after that. Its a cheesy gokart type car but is damn fun, beat the hell out of it and it fires off at -20F like nothing so im rolling in the cold.

I want to keep that tercell forever, its just a fun little car. and everything works on it still.

andy_b
11-04-2009, 02:06 AM
That was a sad story, doubly so because the "runaway" could have been stopped by shifting to Neutral (or even Park, in extremis) or switching off the ignition.

can the ignition in a Prius even be switched "off"? not saying the above was a Prius, but just wondering. they seem to start and stop at will. must be fun working on one and having it start unexpectedly. :)

andy b.

mdred68
11-04-2009, 02:31 AM
I would rather walk than drive a japenese or german car. My grandfather fought the japs on Tinian and Siapan and my grandmother said he never had a decient nights sleep until he died. My wifes grandfather flew a B-24 over germany, he took a set of rosary beads with him on every mission, and he dam near rubbed them away to nothing. And im sure plenty of japs and krouts went back home after the war and made a good living working for these car companies. And their governments earned plenty of money from tax revenues from the as well. Besides the American companies are starting to beat them in quality.

MrSleepy
11-04-2009, 02:50 AM
I usually get two years out of the oil in my VW Passat on the long life schedule..

A guy I do work for got three years out of the Prius batterys before he traded due to the cost..

He once ran out of fuel...then flattened the battery..cost way more to get it going again than oil costs..

Rob

JoeBean
11-04-2009, 07:41 AM
can the ignition in a Prius even be switched "off"? not saying the above was a Prius, but just wondering. they seem to start and stop at will. must be fun working on one and having it start unexpectedly. :)

andy b.

Yes, they can. There is a big power button on the dash that you push. That being said, because there's not always a running engine when I first had the car I made the mistake of starting to jump out of the car with it still in drive. Fortunately the car goes nuts with a screaming alarm and a notice on the display telling you to put it in park. I think a better option would be to automatically shift it into park if the drivers door opens, maybe the newest Prius does that.

As for the oil issues vis a vis VW, yes older VWs were different. We got into VWs because of the insane reliability of older VW diesels, and their ability to run under almost any conditions. I've got a friend who had a fleet of them, about 15 at peak, and some had only about 120 PSI compression - way too low. Still ran though. Just a bit of a pain to start. Actually, they wouldn't start if the outside temp was below 0C without rolling them down a hill and bump starting it. And he never, ever, ever changed the oil or any filters on any of them (thus the low compression). But don't try that on the new VWs. Here are some related links:
http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=2903803
http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=3618970

Sometimes a vehicle may keep running (like my buddy's fleet of diesels) but that doesn't mean there aren't problems. And eventually those problems will catch up. Eg.
http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=247194
http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=241279
http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=186108 (WVO conversion)

re: dealership wrong oil:
http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=227076
http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=261195

There was a mechanic who worked as top editor for Bentley Publishers (who publish the North American official VW service manuals). He was an ex dealer shop supervisor. His comment, which agreed with the opinion of the other editors who were also ex VW mechanics, with regard to the new (2005+) VWs which have had improvement like skinnable doors, etc. was 'The bodies will last forever, but the car [ie. mechanical/electrical components] won't.' Which is basically the opposite of the old VWs, which I personally preferred.

btw, I just realized Robert Bentley no longer own rb.com that I mentioned earlier. You can get them at bentleypublishers.com

And with respect to running out of gas and "flattening" the battery in the prius - I've done this a couple times by accident. Total cost of repair? $0. Just add some gas. It's actually fairly common. Check out priuschat.com

A.K. Boomer
11-04-2009, 08:13 AM
I got my start in wrenching over 33 years ago on volkswagon's (or "folks-wagon" as it translates too)

Read Joe beans post of #25 and you will find many of the reasons that I do not work on them anymore, They started out as being so user friendly to the do-it-yourselfer mechanic --- I still to this day don't know how those engines survived (well - actually I do - they were so de-tuned they had a tough time hurting themselves) being air-cooled, holding 2.7 quarts of oil, and not having an oil filter:eek:

Years past and they slowly turned into plastic, I remember many of people having only one functioning door handle to get into their car and that's what they used...
More Years past and soon this stuff was found under the hood --- EVERYWHERE... But;
The biggest thing that pisses me off about VW is the fact that they will spend so much effort to get away from keeping an ordinary joe from working on his own ride, so much so that they will increase complexity, sacrifice quality, and even dependability ----------- Volkswagon is the exact opposite of who they started out to be, They think their gonna pull that crap on me? Choke on it, last time I had one in my shop ( I think it was a V/6 passat ) I had to get the customers help (from above) in changing a typical drive belt, They suck... and I will not support them --- maybe some will get pre-maturely crushed because of that and the dealer will get less money ------- good, like I say -- they suck.

After getting a start on VW's I then worked on all foreign cars -- iv worked on about everything from around the globe, motorcycles too...

It's been one of the greatest teachers iv ever had is to see how different country's approach different problems --- from electrical to hydraulic --- from transmission to engine,
And iv worked on my fair share of "local" stuff also (by the way -- it rates about last in my book)

I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt that NOBODY has their act together like the Japanese --- NOBODY, they win hands down at being the most practical rides going --- and although im usually a decade behind due to being a repair shop (and they generally don't need any attention in that time ) I can at least attest that they are not "booby trapped" like some of the other crap iv worked on, and although I am seeing a little more plastic under the hood its nothing like other examples...

I really can't tell you who's better --- honda or toyota, to me their tied for first and it depends on the model, I would have to state nissan is next in line and not that far off, then Subaru and all the others kinda fall into place but there's a gap... iv got to put mitsubishi at the bottom of the barrel --- The material quality is there, but they generally have about double the moving parts and are over-engineered, and some of that is dedicated to a pre-determined failure rate...

My two cents.

I have to add that I don't like All toyota's and honda's, some are outright pigs and the Japanese need also to get back to their roots, focus on what made them great -- smaller more efficient vehicles --- Toyota can keep it's massive trucks and SUV's and in fact I do respect what america has done in that arena --- I think when there's real work to be done its tough to go up against a Dodge cummin's, Honda Can keep its gas guzzling uni-body ridgeliner, and its 14 mpg element -- junk.

Focus on what made you great, A nice little 2.4 liter turbo diesel tacoma would be a great start.

JoeBean
11-04-2009, 08:51 AM
To add to what A.K Boomer said, although VW (reluctantly now) have arguably the best/most affordable system available for DIYers to diagnose their own vehicles in VAG-COM (which was a product of reverse engineering, and not well pleasing to VW), they are very anti-DIY. When I worked with Bentley Pubs VW were constantly threatening to not release any more service info. They've made somewhat revisions to their own interface seemingly to try to lock out/slow down VAG-COM support. And they are requiring more and more specialty tools. I personally have over $10k in specialty VW tools and I have nowhere near everything. They seem to find joy in altering things just enough that you need a new damn tool to do the same thing to this years Jetta as last years.

And as for Toy/Hon, someone said one time on another forum that certain vehicles from them should be considered "North American", and not really Japanese. Seems true. I know my father's Ridgeline is the biggest overpriced POS I've ever sat in. And it's interesting how their fuel milage gauge works - when you're stopped and the engine is idling somehow you're using 0 litres/100 km. Hrm. Shouldn't that be infinite litres/100km? I actually had to argue with my father that he couldn't just let the truck idle in the driveway and somehow not run out of fuel :rolleyes:

Peter S
11-04-2009, 08:52 AM
If you're looking for a diesel, I'd suggest one of the new BMWs. A bit more $$$ obviously but they're really, really nice. I was torn between that and my Prius, but for me fuel milage is king.

http://www.bmwusa.com/standard/content/vehicles/2010/3/335dsedan/default.aspx

Terry

I recommend anyone test drive one of these BMW diesels - you won't believe it! I didn't realise BMW offered them in the US. Europe has been enjoying them for a while. 265 hp, pulls like a train! Higher hp versions available. I wonder if the US gets the high horspower petrol engine models? M5 etc. An M5 went past me the other day in aggressive mode - a civilised looking car becomes a rocketship with a 400-500 hp heart!

Nicad
11-04-2009, 09:11 AM
I've been driving my '93 VW Corrado since April fool's day 1993, having racked up 218,000 miles and the only troubles have been electrical. Oh, and wheel bearings. And the transmission self destricting twice. And.. Luckily I'm a glutton for punishment and can fix it myself. However, like all Euro cars it handles like a dream and can outstop anything on the road.

This replaced my '90 Corrado which was stolen & destroyed :(.

Of course nothing holds the candle to my new car.. a 1978 280Z.
--
Aaron
Aaron, I sold my 78 280-Z (Was a beaut) to buy my first Corrado in 94. It was an endurance racer that had two seasons under it's belt in Canada (Michelin and Firehawk) 13,000 KM wide open on a track. It was dead reliable till it was stolen at 60K. I then had two 95's. One was stolen at 170,000 KM and had $5000 of warranty work (mostly electrical stuff). My current 1995 has 190,000KM , on it's second motor and has had some electrical issues as well. Wheel bearings don't last at all , nor do suspension components. Other than that it is still the best driving car I have owned (I also have an M3)

Falcon67
11-04-2009, 09:42 AM
can the ignition in a Prius even be switched "off"? not saying the above was a Prius, but just wondering. they seem to start and stop at will. must be fun working on one and having it start unexpectedly. :)

andy b.

That was a Lexus, not a Prius. AFAIK, the Lexus the patrolman was driving did not have a key, it used a button. Holding the button for 10 seconds would have shut off the engine. The car - if I read right- will not let you take it out of gear while running. It's all electronic, no connection between the shifter and the trans. Just like most cars now, neither is the accellerator - all drive by wire. The car was a dealer loaner and the driver was not familiar with the car at all. Something in the design of the car mat hung the accellerator and he didn't seem to figure out how to shut it down.

I'll stick with my Fords. Put several hundred thousand miles on many with few issues. Ford also has it's problems, like the others. Plenty of screwups to go around. I get a good Ford, you get a junk one. You get a nice GM, the ones I've been exposed to had the interiors fall apart. Toyota Quality - IMHO - is the result of good marketing and capable sweeping of problems under the rug. They build the same junk as everyone else.

fasto
11-04-2009, 11:53 AM
Aaron, I sold my 78 280-Z (Was a beaut) to buy my first Corrado in 94. It was an endurance racer that had two seasons under it's belt in Canada (Michelin and Firehawk) 13,000 KM wide open on a track. It was dead reliable till it was stolen at 60K. I then had two 95's. One was stolen at 170,000 KM and had $5000 of warranty work (mostly electrical stuff). My current 1995 has 190,000KM , on it's second motor and has had some electrical issues as well. Wheel bearings don't last at all , nor do suspension components. Other than that it is still the best driving car I have owned (I also have an M3)

Hmm, like a mirror! The '78 280Z is replacing my cancer laden '77 280Z that I bought in 1985 while in high school (and have restored twice). The US didn't get the 1995 Corrado. I too had an M3, an E36 version from 1999, which I had to sell when I started my company. This bumped the Corrado back from a winter car to the daily driver, which explains the "low" mileage.
--
Aaron

Your Old Dog
11-04-2009, 12:28 PM
I've reached that age in life where it's time to buy my luxury-mobile. Been looking at some BMW's and the Cadillac DTS. If I can find anything else fullsized I'll give it serious consideration. I don't drive enough these days that gas mileage is a big deal, maybe $500 difference per year. I'd sooner give up my dailey designer coffee and ride around in the lap of luxury :D

aboard_epsilon
11-04-2009, 02:48 PM
I've reached that age in life where it's time to buy my luxury-mobile. Been looking at some BMW's and the Cadillac DTS. If I can find anything else fullsized I'll give it serious consideration. I don't drive enough these days that gas mileage is a big deal, maybe $500 difference per year. I'd sooner give up my dailey designer coffee and ride around in the lap of luxury :D

stuff that .i would rather have something i can fix myself ..

not many cars these days free of electronic problems......or free of problems with emissions related crap..........these cars can send someone to an early grave from the stress of the expense of it all....once it goes wrong ..which it will do....you'll give up more that your coffee if I'm right.

all the best.markj

lane
11-04-2009, 03:29 PM
I have had best luck with Honda`s Civic and Accord , also Nissan Altima.
Daughter has had 2 Civic`s easy 170,0000 miles Altima about same of 14 years. Honda`s are just super long runners .This my first but always wanter one ,and they hold value.

Rif
11-04-2009, 03:32 PM
I really wish I knew the answer to this one.

At one time, I had nothing negative to say about Mercedes Benz as I used to buy old ones, fix them up, and drive them. So, I have or had at one time a 1973 220d, a 1976 240d, a 1983 380sl, and my wife has a 1993 190e 2.3.

The '73, '76, and '83 all ran fine, were relatively easy to fix, rode great, handled great, etc., etc., etc. The 190, on the other hand, had a bad head gasket that I had to replace. It turned out that the new head gasket looked like it was designed better than the old one as it had extra reinforcement around where the old one failed. (Probably should have been a recall?)

Our latest problem, with the 190, is that it doesn't start easy, or at all, when it is cold. (under around 30-40 degrees) The dealer "shop" manual (on CD) doesn't help as it's troubleshooting section is very poor and requires a lot of special electrical tools. The wiring diagrams are sometimes wrong and I have made notes as to what I actually traced out. There are some resistances listed that are just plain wrong. To top it off, there is a temperature sensor that I cannot find in the manual. I have determined that it is clearly a temperature sensor; but, I have no idea what it does. :confused:

I have tried all of the on-line "fixes" for the cold start problem and it still doesn't work. I have been hoping that it fails to start completely as once it starts the first time it will always start until the engine gets cold again. Once it fails to start completely, maybe I can find the problem. On the other hand, if it were to fail to start completely, then it could be another problem.

My latest car is a 1993 Honda Civic. I really don't like anything about it with the sole exception that it gets great gas mileage. (Which is really the only reason I bought the thing.)

I just wish that I could find another Mercedes Benz that ran like the 1970's models; but got good fuel economy.

Regards,

Brian

David S Newman
11-04-2009, 03:43 PM
I grew up in a Ford family. My dad worked at the Mercury plant in St. Louis for a while.

I drove several Fords over several years and got burned so badly I learned to despise Fords. The best Ford I ever owned was a 1993 Festiva. It was designed by Mazda, built by Kia (in Korea), and as far as I know the only thing Ford about it was the little emblem on the hood. After just a few years Ford orphaned the Festiva and I couldn't get replacement parts that I needs.

I've seen many good reviews for Ford products but I just can't stand the thought of buying one.

I've thought about Chevrolet and might go that route.

At this point I know many of the Hondas are top notch vehicles. That's why I'm considering them but I'm open.

If Mercedes made a highly rated vehicle I'd really be tempted but Consumer Reports makes them sound really, really bad.

We've had a Merc c270 since 2005 and it's never missed a beat, had it serviced when needed and never a problem.

chief
11-04-2009, 03:48 PM
Doesn't matter which car is good or bad, you buy what the government tells you to buy.

Steelmaster
11-04-2009, 04:01 PM
I was surprised how poorly the MINI Cooper fared on that survey, I love mine. I only have 16K on it so far so I can't speak to long term, but when I was shopping I looked at many with 90-100k+ miles that looked like they held up well.

Considering it is owned by BMW, perhaps not so surprising.

Nicad
11-04-2009, 04:21 PM
Hmm, like a mirror! The '78 280Z is replacing my cancer laden '77 280Z that I bought in 1985 while in high school (and have restored twice). The US didn't get the 1995 Corrado. I too had an M3, an E36 version from 1999, which I had to sell when I started my company. This bumped the Corrado back from a winter car to the daily driver, which explains the "low" mileage.
--
Aaron
My M3 is also an E36 (1998 Sedan). The 95 Corrado is one of 87 95's imported to Canada that year. The rarest Winter car on the road. It is still in great shape corrosion wise. I might replace the M3 and buy a European E36 Station wagon and install a GM LS1 or LS2 with a 6 speed. That would be a hard core machine and my version of the Nomad.

Ries
11-04-2009, 04:22 PM
If you go by anecdotal evidence, polls, consumer reports, or the advice of mechanics, they all pretty much agree that Honda and Toyota are the most well built and trouble free of new cars.

But one big problem with a discussion like this is that there are a hundred different reasons why people buy, and love, different cars.

Some people buy cars for political reasons, or emotional ones. Some people care about low cost, or fuel efficiency, above all else. Others want luxury. Some want to be able to fix it themselves. Others never intend on opening the hood, EVER.
Sex appeal, nationalism, family tradition, your weight and height, allergies, where you live- they all enter in to this.

So one mans (or womans) absolute RIGHT answer is totally irrelevant to another.

I have owned, at the same time, a US full sized truck and a tiny japanese sports car- and loved em both, for totally different reasons. Was one "better" than the other? Well, the sports car was totally useless at hauling a ton of gravel, and the truck handled like, well, a truck.

So we need a lot more specific info to give really good advice.

Most all NEW cars these days are pretty well built, with much much longer lives, without breakdowns, than older cars.
I LOVED my various old american cars, like my 50's and 60's Falcons and 300's and Ramblers and DeSotos and Plymouths and Chevies- but they all were totally different cars, in terms of pollution, creature comforts, styling, fuel economy, cost, and maintenance, than my late model japanese cars.
Apples and Oranges.

If what you want is an appliance- no sex appeal, no go fast, just cheap, reliable, and longlived, Toyota and Honda.
If what you want is a full sized truck with trailer towing, Big 3.

Its amusing to me that the "america first" crowd is so big on GM.
I am not a GM hater- I have bought GM cars new, and owned, and loved, a lot of GM's over the years, starting with my first vehicle, a 54 GMC pickup. But of the big 3, GM is absolutely the most CHINESE. GM sells a million cars a year in China, and is moving more and more towards a chinese market over a US one. If the Obama appointees and democratic politicians hadnt stepped in and put the kibosh on it, GM would be importing Chinese made cars first, of any company- they desperately wanted to.
GM has been starting to sneak some of its chinese made Buicks in- as rental cars only, so far, but it wont be long before the start selling em to the public, and I cant imagine it will be too long before GM makes Cadillacs in China as well, and we start seeing those- the Chinese LOVE cadillacs.
Especially Escalades.

By contrast, Ford only sells about 100,000 cars in china a year- 10% of GM's totals.

Face it, the car industry has long since gone global, and only for marketing purposes does any company, including Ford or GM, PRETEND to be "american".

psomero
11-04-2009, 06:33 PM
get a honda. don't get a VW.

my sister has a vw and it's been nothing but repair bills. we've put enough money into repairs that we could have bought a new one already, but she's emotionally attached to it or whatever and refused to let go if it for a long time.

jstinem
11-04-2009, 06:46 PM
One more vote for Honda. Our American made Odyssey will turnover 200,000 miles by the end of year and just keeps going.

Willy
11-04-2009, 06:55 PM
Well as usual Ries is the voice of reason again.
The only thing he forgot to mention, and I'm sure he knows.

If it's got tits or wheels...you're going to have problems with it!

/

ulav8r
11-05-2009, 12:46 PM
My daughter bought a 95 or 96 Toyota with about 20,000 miles on it. She hates it with a passion. The doors lock automatically sometimes with no warning or reason if the key is removed from the ignition. Other times it takes several tries to get it locked or unlocked. Then the AC compressor went out at about 40,000 miles. She found that this was a common occurrence for that car. Recently it was in the shop for body work and she got to drive an F250 diesel for about a month. She loved driving it, but not buying fuel for it.

Dawai
11-05-2009, 04:53 PM
They'll soon be building VW's here in Chattanooga Tn.

We love our honda Fit. wife went after some 8 foot lumber in it. the seats all let down, perfect car for someone who never knows what they will haul.. easier to get into than a civic too, they lowered the roof line on them.

Seems mileage is not as good as our civic was. thou I did the synthetic oil and some other minor mods..

WIfe says it is time to flame it, half paid off.

I hauled 400lbs of stainless 3'x4' sheets, $600 in harley parts, a frame, laptop and big suitcase to Illinois, no problems. She drove like a boat, till I unloaded all the crap tho.

RTPBurnsville
11-05-2009, 05:24 PM
My vote is Honda..... The biggest lemon award goes to anything with a GM sticker.

dockrat
11-05-2009, 06:21 PM
My vote is Honda..... The biggest lemon award goes to anything with a GM sticker.

HEYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!! :eek: I love my 09 GMC P/U even if it doesn't get near the claimed gas milage LOL. Your right tho. My son has a honda fit and that is an amazing lil car

RTPBurnsville
11-05-2009, 09:40 PM
HEYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!! :eek: I love my 09 GMC P/U even if it doesn't get near the claimed gas milage LOL. Your right tho. My son has a honda fit and that is an amazing lil car


I had several GM Pickups and they got great mileage..... Could have something to do with the fact they were always connected to a tow truck.... Hope you have much better luck than I ever did.

goose
11-05-2009, 10:54 PM
Before I knew better, I, too, was once one of those "Toyota does no wrong" fools. Believing and propagating the Consumer Report's style nonsense that made every old geezer in America go out and buy a Camry. I actually predicted that the AARP crowd would switch en masse from their Buicks to Toyota Camrys. And sure enough, the excitement at driving that 4 cylinder bathtub on wheels for many was too much to resist.

The best "in quality" car I owned is probably a toss up between my current Subaru and the first car I owned, a Toyota Corolla. But, the worst quality vehicle I owned far and away was a Toyota T100, (predecessor of the Tundra), brand new, made in glorious Japan. Not complaining, just observing. I had the T100 for about 9 years, when it came time to trade in, I looked at the overpriced, over engineered, but still with car springs Toyota trucks and bought a better value, better quality GMC truck that actually was good for doing truck like things. I've got an F150 now, and other than one small thing fixed under warranty, it's been absolutely fine so far.


Gary

saltmine
11-05-2009, 11:48 PM
Oh, so it hasn't spit out any sparkplugs (denting the hood, from the inside), or burst into flames, yet. Eh Gary?

tattoomike68
11-05-2009, 11:56 PM
I am real pissed , my friend has a 2007 Cadillac escalate and it wont start and has 15,000 miles on it. the dealer treats him like a dumb old man. he is 81 years old and its not his first car. he is also a very well known member of the community.

the dealer punks best fix my friends SUV or I will go spank them. its not like he has a cheap peice of crap and abuses it. Im going to give those little boys a lesson.

GM is trying to fix it but thats bullzhit, it way too new to be bad, I hope he decides to tell them to stick that lemon up thier azz and gets a TOYOTA.

:D

danlb
11-06-2009, 12:15 AM
I've reached that age in life where it's time to buy my luxury-mobile. Been looking at some BMW's and the Cadillac DTS. If I can find anything else fullsized I'll give it serious consideration. I don't drive enough these days that gas mileage is a big deal, maybe $500 difference per year. I'd sooner give up my dailey designer coffee and ride around in the lap of luxury :D

The two (ecologically sound and luxury) are not mutually exclusive.

Wife liked my old ( 2002 ) Prius so much that when she replaced her 1993 Camry she got the 2010 hybrid Camry. It's fully loaded with all sorts of goodies live heated leather seats, power everything and rear view camera. It rides well, is quiet amd powerful, yet still has hit 39+ MPG on freeway trips.

RE: OP's financing woes... I would second the thought that a screwed up financial transaction does not reflect upon the car or the dealer. You can always finance through someone else.

RE: diesels last forever... That is a frequent quote, but using past performance as a guide is really only valid when you are using the same parts with the same fuels. We all remember the Chevy passenger diesels of the 70's, right? No? They were rather forgettable, since they self destructed rather fast. The new models are direct injected and turbo, with a different fuel (low sulfur) and very different pollution controls. In 5 years or maybe 10 we will know if the new designs are as bullet proof as the old ones.


Dan

Evan
11-06-2009, 02:20 AM
http://ixian.ca/pics6/cheaper.jpg

A.K. Boomer
11-06-2009, 08:27 AM
She's a little too heavy to be sitting on that beauty like that (plus she looks like she's got some really hard miles on her):p

goose
11-06-2009, 10:24 AM
Oh, so it hasn't spit out any sparkplugs (denting the hood, from the inside), or burst into flames, yet. Eh Gary?


So far no, knock on wood. I think I'll stick with Ford for the future, as they're the only one of the Big Three without a Peruvian style bailout. Since I (and you) own 60 percent of GM now, I feel I should be receiving a free truck sometime in the near future? No?

I used to work with a guy from Peru, old country fellow with a thick accent. Before he immigrated he worked at the Chrysler plant near Lima, times were good he said, until the communist government took over ownership of the factory.......


Gary

motorworks
11-06-2009, 05:47 PM
What ever happen to The Lada
A friend had one back in the early 80's (car 4 dooor)
Just could not kill it and we tried.
If I remember correctly $4995 or less :)

saltmine
11-06-2009, 07:28 PM
Good news! The Lada (a Russian built Fiat 124) is still in production in Russia.

They offered me the Southwestern distributorship of them...

jmm360
11-07-2009, 01:10 AM
She's a little too heavy to be sitting on that beauty like that (plus she looks like she's got some really hard miles on her):p

Spoken like someone who's never been to Williams Lake. Vancouver would be a whole 'nother story.

Evan
11-07-2009, 03:06 AM
Spoken like someone who's never been to Williams Lake. Vancouver would be a whole 'nother story.

Spoken like someone that has been to Williams Lake. If she were here she would have plenty of business... ;)

Vancouver, on the other hand, is a favorite recruiting town of Playboy Magazine. They are auditioning there right now.

EVguru
11-07-2009, 04:24 AM
Good news! The Lada (a Russian built Fiat 124) is still in production in Russia.

They offered me the Southwestern distributorship of them...

I had a Lada Niva 1300cc Estate (station wagon) for a while. It is indeed a licenced version of a Fiat 124, but with some differences. The 124 ran disc brakes all round, whilst the Lada used 10" Aluminium drums with Iron liners at the back. These were a lot less trouble than the Fiat setup (handbrake often sticking). Less good news is the increased weight and poorer handling. The Fiat was made from 'high strength' steel and the Russian rolling mills couldn't produce the grade or gauge, so the Lada weighed quite a bit more. The handling was down to Russian road conditions, all the suspension mounting points were moved down to raise the body and increase ground clearance. They still handled better than most of the American cars I've driven and were the basis of many a budget rally car.

Lada didn't adopt the Fiat Twincam, but the engine was designed by the same Aurelio Lampredi, who also designed the big block Ferarri V12s. In any case 75bhp from 1300cc (85bhp for the 1500) is a pretty good figure and my Lada would happily cruise at 85mph all day. It was equipped with a light for the engine bay and one for the back, remote headlamp adjuster and a full tool kit including tyre pump. It was also one of the most comfortable cars I've owned. I only got rid of it because my Mother had trouble parking it. The steering geometry was set up for narrow crossply tyres and equipping it with 185 section Radials was not the best move on the part of the importers.

They were at one time the most stolen type of car in London. They were either exported to the Carribean, or back to Russia where spares were in short supply.

Richard-TX
11-07-2009, 04:28 AM
Audi. I won't own anything but.

madokie
11-10-2009, 01:18 AM
Generous Motors makes the best auto trans.even FLOORED is buying transaxles from them to put in their cars(since FORD quit making the 5.0 engine all their vehicles have to be floored to keep up with anything else on the road).if milage is a major consern,VW and Pugot or is it Audi, has diesels in their cars,small to large,very reliable from what ive heard,Dawoo cars,south korean, are very cheap used ,i have rented 2, good car,liked the way they handeled & drove,plenty of power f 4cly,good to high ratings f reliability.GEO Prizim is rebadged toyota corola, but they all have too many miles on them now.

madman
11-10-2009, 10:07 AM
Well i still drive a 1984 Ford f 250 Pickup daily ,year round ,winters, salt and its still starting ,running not breaking down???I dont know whats wrong with it, now it has a big foot camper on it and im dragging that thing all over the country. Runs on propane and Gasoline. It gets good mileage cionsideruing a 460 lurks beneath the hood slightly modified. Just my 2 cents OH I bought a GM Yuch 70000kms on it and air conditioning repaired wheekl bearings replaced heater motor replaced, wipers have mind of there own once the power windeow went down but Up?nope finally it healed itself and went back up? Anyhow nuff said,

EVguru
11-10-2009, 11:46 AM
Dawoo cars,south korean, are very cheap used ,i have rented 2, good car,liked the way they handeled & drove,plenty of power f 4cly,good to high ratings f reliability.

Daewoo cars are no more, their parent company got into financial difficulties some time ago. They're now badged as Chevrolets in the UK. Most of their designs were (are?) pensioned off Vauxhalls (European GM). To me that's a BAD thing. Vauxhalls were always the worst for handling/ride compared to Ford or VW. They used to develop cars and then 'value engineer' them, removing spotwelds until the handling began to deteriorate. A Mk II Astra at 30,000 miles would often miss-align the tailgate if you parked with one wheel on the kerb. They brought in Lotus to work their handling magic across the range and I remember an ad campain claiming a 100% torsional stiffness increase for the Astra. By all accounts that made it average. They had some pretty good engines though. The 2litre 16v was if anything overbuilt (apart from forgetting to chamfer the big end bolt holes) and produced 150bhp stock. It didn't last too many years before being replaced by the EcoTec engine range.

Daewoo cut corners on suspension and generally weren't as good as the Vauxhalls on which they were based. I have to say I've been really impressed by my Ford Mondeos. I was looking for an ecenomical tow barge and the Turbo Diesel Mondeo had the highest towing weight rating without going to a Merc or Volvo that wouldn't achieve the 50mph (inperial) I get from the Ford. It's quiet, smooth, comfortable and even with 169,000 miles on the clock (low milleage for a TD Mondeo) feels tight as a drum on the handling front.

I have to say, when I was in the US each year in the late 90's prepping a race Porsce, I was deeply unimpressed by the US cars I drove (none of them new however). The one I really couldn't believe was the Chevy van. How could anything with a 5.7 litre engine and wasn't actually armour plated, be so slow? Come back Ford Transit 1600 enonomy, all is forgiven!

To see just how fast a Transit can be; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5KiC03_wVjc

Ries
11-13-2009, 12:16 AM
There is a world of difference between a new car, and a used car. Even if they are the same make, model, and year.

You can be pretty sure that if you buy virtually any modern car, NEW, especially something as well engineered as a Honda, and treat it right, change the oil and do preventative maintenance, it will last a long time. I have gotten 200k out of several Hondas, Nissans, and similar cars, with NOTHING going wrong beyond tires and brake pads and a battery.

But the exact same car, USED, could be a total dog. You have no way of knowing if it was driven for an hour at 50mph in second, or over a series of curbs, or in a crash and poorly repaired, or driven for 50k on one oil change.

The biggest sucker myth in the world is the "low mileage used car".

Lots of cars can be low mileage, and still totally worn out, or old enough that they need more money in repairs than they are worth. A nice 70's car with only 20,000 miles on it can be the biggest money hole ever. Rubber rots, aluminum and pot metal corrode, foam rubber disintegrates, gas tanks fill with rust, brake shoes rust solid to the drums- and the car still looks "brand new".

People also tend to get fixated on a particular model or type of car, because somebody told em it was good, and will spend way too much to get one, skipping over better, cheaper, lower mileage, newer cars, cause they arent the magic one with the best reputation.

I am old as dirt- and I remember when THE used car to buy was a 60's Dodge or Plymouth with a slant 6. Back in about 1970 or so, the classified ads in the newspaper every sunday (told you I was old) would have 3 or 4 of em, for $200 to $500. And, at that time, they WERE great cars. Cheap, they got good mileage, were tough, reliable, and less than ten years old. Parts were cheap and available.
Flash forward ten years, to 1980.
A lot of car buying nervous nellies were still being told- Dodge Dart, with a slant 6- you cant go wrong.

Except, they were a TERRIBLE used car in 1980. First, they were 20 years old, not 8. Second, because of that, there were a lot fewer of them on the road, almost none of em in the junkyards, and most of the previously common parts were a lot harder to find. And, due to the reputation, and the scarcity, the prices were up to $2000 to $5000. Compared to 60's cars, they got pretty good mileage. Compared to 70's japanese imports, they were gas hogs. And by then, many cities had smog inspections, and the slant sixes usually needed another few hundred bucks of work to pass em.

My rule of used cars is to buy the cheapest, newest, lowest mileage car you can find, and to purposely skip worrying about the way it looks, or the reputation.

In 1980, you could pick up a K car for $200, or a Dart for $3000. No contest. The K car was a piece of crap- but for $200, who cared? you drive em til they drop, or require more than $200 worth of work, scrap it for $50, buy another one.

In the early 80's, there were great deals on late 70's japanese cars like Mitsubishi Galants- ugly as sin, they looked like cartoon robots on steroids. Way too much gimmicky electronics. But a great cheap used car, that got good mileage- at the time.

At any given time, there are always unpopular, or ugly, used cars that are great deals. At various times, that might have been a Gremlin, or a Galant, a full sized Buick, or a diesel Isuzu pickup. It varies, from place to place, and time to time.

But if you go out to buy, with the preconceived notion that it MUST be a VW Vanagon, or an Audi, or a Toyota, you miss the really great deal on the Mitsubishi van, or the Ford 500, or the Pontiac Aztek.

If, on the other hand, you WANT, more than anything in this earth, a Corvette, or a Jeep CJ5, or 66 Toronado- well, just buy the damn thing, and enjoy it.

I personally like both- boring, reliable appliances, and fussy, hard to maintain high performance sporty cars with character and soul. Each has its place.