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Old 12-15-2009, 07:40 AM   #16
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Re: In search of a new vehicle.

I do agree that ford has come a long way, only because it is starting to incorperate its european designs into its north american line. however the fusion and the turbo charged focus would be my only pics. The ford escape is riddled with problems because plain and simple it was made cheaply. Pretty good truck for the money but Ford overlooked too many small details for me to suggest this truck. The other reason i said stay away from american is because she was driving a saturn sky which estetically is a nice car but dependability and longevity are in question. If she was my sister i would suggest going japanese, but then again that is only my opinion, no right or wrong simply an opinion.
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Old 12-15-2009, 08:57 AM   #17
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Re: In search of a new vehicle.

Ray, I'll say from the get-go you're right - Ford and GM (not so much Chrysler, yet) are building cars that we can compare head-to-head with the best imports and have a fair fight. Unfortunately there is a decade and a half of bad experiences that need to be worn away before people will run to Ford, GM and Chrysler with open arms. It will take a solid product line 3-5 years of good quality, and when these products have actually demonstrated quality, people will come back. I think they want to, but those who are trying to save money just can't take the risk of spending their hard-earned dollars on another money pit. It may be flawed but lots of people look at Consumer Reports, and when most everything from the Big 3 is a black circle and everything from Japan is a red circle, people get the impression they are getting a better investment with the import and you can't blame them for that.

Personally I have not bought a lot of North American cars because I like hatchbacks - they make more sense than sedans, but for some reason the Big 3 don't like to build them. So, I have resorted to import cars, and have been impressed with their driving dynamics. As North America slowly loosens the reigns on gas guzzler engines, overweight/oversized vehicles and lazy dynamics, I hope to be able to buy a 'fun' hatchback from a local brand. Ford, GM and Chrysler are making better cars than then were even 3 years ago, no question, so if they keep up the momentum they will flourish again. I'm not that old but even I can remember the day when owning a Domestic was a proud thing - now if you buy a Focus over a Civic, a Cobalt over a Sentra or an Impala over an Accord people look at you like 'wow, that's unfortunate...' and it should be (used to be) the other way around. When we start building world-leading vehicles, I'll come back!
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Old 12-15-2009, 09:39 AM   #18
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Re: In search of a new vehicle.

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now if you buy a Focus over a Civic, a Cobalt over a Sentra or an Impala over an Accord people look at you like 'wow, that's unfortunate...' and it should be (used to be) the other way around.
Like for like, the Ford Focus is arguably the better car when compared to the Civic. It just loses out a little in terms of design and doesn't feel as mechanical but that was part of it's design; to be more "luxurious" so this may be a moot point depending on what you're after.

The only exception is that the Civic Type-R is one of the all time greats but even then, if you compare to the Focus ST and RS models, whether it's better will depend on what you're after.

Now I'm a confirmed Hondamentalist but even I can't deny that the Focus RS is simply astounding and ST isn't that far behind it.

Of course, I base my opinions on UK spec cars.
I don't even know if they are available to you guys or if they're even the same if they are. I recall the old Focus SVT you got was a poor imitator of what we got here.
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Old 12-15-2009, 01:21 PM   #19
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Re: In search of a new vehicle.

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Of course, I base my opinions on UK spec cars.
I don't even know if they are available to you guys or if they're even the same if they are. I recall the old Focus SVT you got was a poor imitator of what we got here.
Nope, we get crap. Americans prefer tall tippy gas-chugging SUV's to sporty, athletic wagons and hatches that do more for less, all while being much more fun to drive. Now admittedly I'm generalizing SUV sales to urban buyers, whereas there are legitimate reasons to own them in Suburban and rural areas.

Our SVT Focus was actually a decent car (for us) but it doesn't hold a candle to the Euro-spec ST. And we haven't had a Civic Type-R since...well, I don't know, the late 90's I think, maybe early 2000's. But our current SI is decent with 197 hp but not enough torque. We also don't like 'screamers' - driving to work at 9000 RPM just gets old quick.
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Old 12-15-2009, 04:02 PM   #20
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Re: In search of a new vehicle.

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Excuse me, are you still living in the 80's and early 90's, I don't like your comment " Stay away from American "

Yes the imports have ruled, but good old Ford today has got more bang for bucks with products like the Fusion compared to end of era designer names like Camry where today you pay for the label if you compare value.

The Ford Escape is another example, name me one SUV import where you get more valid value for same type money ?

Ford is on it's way top Imports, I would have excepted stay away from GM and Chrysler.
Really? C'mon. GC, Wrangler, Durango, Journey (<-- not exiting but VERY well built and reliable ), 300C. Given most Dodges/Jeeps/Chryslers get pretty pathetic gas mileage but their good cars. The ones that get great gas mileage have turned out to be compleat POSes though, ex. Avenger, Sebring, Neon, Caliber, etc.....

AS for GM? Well I really dont care about GM lol.
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Old 12-15-2009, 04:10 PM   #21
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Re: In search of a new vehicle.

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Nope, we get crap. Americans prefer tall tippy gas-chugging SUV's to sporty, athletic wagons and hatches that do more for less, all while being much more fun to drive. Now admittedly I'm generalizing SUV sales to urban buyers, whereas there are legitimate reasons to own them in Suburban and rural areas.

Our SVT Focus was actually a decent car (for us) but it doesn't hold a candle to the Euro-spec ST. And we haven't had a Civic Type-R since...well, I don't know, the late 90's I think, maybe early 2000's. But our current SI is decent with 197 hp but not enough torque. We also don't like 'screamers' - driving to work at 9000 RPM just gets old quick.
Where as thats a little insulting, gona have to admit thats true lol. But to be honest, the Euro version of the new Focus SVT or whatever it is, doesn't look to bad.
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Old 12-17-2009, 05:15 PM   #22
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Re: In search of a new vehicle.

I think chrysler's are actually the worst made most ubreliable cars on the market, just because you drive a chrysler doesnt mean it's reliable. Seriously anybody who says a Grand Caravan is reliable doenst know jack about cars, if you consider changing the tranny after 30000 kms dependable than you have some serious issues.
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Old 12-18-2009, 03:12 AM   #23
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Re: In search of a new vehicle.

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I think chrysler's are actually the worst made most ubreliable cars on the market, just because you drive a chrysler doesnt mean it's reliable. Seriously anybody who says a Grand Caravan is reliable doenst know jack about cars, if you consider changing the tranny after 30000 kms dependable than you have some serious issues.
... I hate it when people take shots at Chryslers trannys. The newer models all have a better setup, all the older ones have it replaced already...

I'm really trying to figure out your complete hatred of Chrysler LLC. did you get screwed in the hind end by a Ram when you were a kid or something?

Though come to think of it. I never said anything about the Grand Caravan....... Actually I don't belive any sort of Mini-Van has been mentioned at all.
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Old 12-18-2009, 07:54 AM   #24
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Re: In search of a new vehicle.

Whe you wrote GC could have meant Grand Caravan or Grand Cherokee
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Old 12-18-2009, 08:01 AM   #25
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Re: In search of a new vehicle.

In 45 years the absolute worst cars I have ever owned were a Cadillac Seville and a Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited. One was made by Government Motors and the other by Chrysler.

The best ones so far have been a 91 Honda CRX, SI and a 91 Honda Accord Wagon that is out in my driveway now and just turned 210K on the odometer. Never had a single problem with either of the Honda's but I do care for my cars.

I have an 02 F-250 diesel that has been a great truck but it is rusting away far sooner than it should because of garbage metal and the wife drives an 08 Rav4 that seems to be a well made car but too soon to pass judgment with only 20K on it.

Toyota did the right thing and bought back all the trucks they made with the garbage metal but I doubt Ford will ever step up and do that.

One thing I have learned over the years is the more gadgets a vehicle has the more problems you are sure to have. Drive trains and mileage aside, when door locks and heater systems break it gets very expensive very fast to keep a dog vehicle. The Jeep cost me $1200 to install a new $3 flap that goes from heat to AC. Cheap plastic junk and it took an entire day to rip out the dash to get to the heater box. The Caddy had such powerful solenoids on the door locks that they broke off a plastic stop tab and I had to climb in the passengers door and over the console to drive it-----TWICE and at $400 a pop.

I am always fearful when we need a new car and I absolutely hate the prospect of deciding which one to buy.

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Old 12-18-2009, 08:34 AM   #26
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Re: In search of a new vehicle.

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I am always fearful when we need a new car and I absolutely hate the prospect of deciding which one to buy.

Gary
You can't stress yourself out like that dude, we all win some, we all lose some I don't think there are any guarantees when you buy a car, foreign or domestic. The best advice I've been given is your best car is a paid off car. Make as little of an investment as you can while still being satisfied, and you'll come out on top. I know people who want to drive like a king and buy up a car that's way out of their budget, and when the repairs come they had to give up the car completely and lost a lot of money in the process. If you can be humble enough to drive a 'lesser model' or even buy used, any repair headaches are glossed over by the fact that you already saved a bundle on your purchase.
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Old 12-18-2009, 10:00 AM   #27
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Re: In search of a new vehicle.

Trust me Gary you are gonna be really happy with you 08 Rav4 it is a beautiful looking suv aswell.
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Old 12-18-2009, 10:21 AM   #28
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Re: In search of a new vehicle.

So far, so good with the 08 Toyota Phil.

Sorry if you think I am stressed out here AKboss. No stress at all because both of my least expensive vehicles have out lasted all the others and made me a happy camper for close to 20 years each.

I try to keep the wife happy with one nice car for her all the time and it is those nice cars that tend to give me the willies. There is a pretty long list of full size cars we have owned that would be considered higher end vehicles and not one of them gave us the performance per dollar that any of my less expensive kickers have. It just seems the fancier the car is the less value it really has and especially when you go to trade it in. My Honda wagon is almost 20 years old and people drive by and knock on my door wanting to buy it. Same thing happened with the CRX and one guy came back 3 times before he flashed too many hundreds and drove it away. No one wanted the Caddy or the Jeep GC limited!

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