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General Automotive General automotive discussion. This is intended to be a discussion about other not VW and Diesel cars you may have or interested in.

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Old March 8th, 2006, 22:21   #1
curi0us
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Default american cars vs european cars

Hello,

I wonder what's your opinion about european cars comparing to american cars? I know that you like european TDI but let's leave it and talk about the rest.
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Old March 8th, 2006, 23:17   #2
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It depends what you're looking for a in a vehicle.

If you want something that weighs a lot, doesn't handle very well, uses large amounts of fuel, can haul six children, two adults, a weeks worth of camping equipment, can be cleaned out with a firehose (inside and out), can tow a trailer full of ATV's, and will be worth 10% of what you paid in 5 years, an American car is what you want.

If you perfer something that gets good mileage, holds two adults and two children, handles very well, last forever, is just as good when it's 5 years old as it was when you bought it, then get a European car.

If you want a good car that does all that and won't cause you any trouble, get a Japanese car.
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Old March 9th, 2006, 03:06   #3
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You're right! I also guess that I was to general saying european cars, because in fact we are talking about german cars. Not all european cars are ok, french ones are bad, they even have diesel engines (common rail) but rest of car is very sensitive and french cars often cause problems.
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Old March 9th, 2006, 04:18   #4
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The problem with a question like that is that most cars are manufactured by multi-national companies. What's an American car? What's a European car? Is a Saab American or European? It's made in Europe by an American company. Is a Chrysler an America car? It's made in America by a European company.

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Old March 9th, 2006, 04:47   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curi0us
Not all european cars are ok, french ones are bad, they even have diesel engines (common rail) but rest of car is very sensitive and french cars often cause problems.
je l'aime


Used American cars, say 2 years old, can represent a great value. It's typical to be able to purchase a premium used American car for a 50% reduction in price when it's two years old. Kilo for kilo, it's a lot of car for the money!
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Old March 12th, 2006, 14:10   #6
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I've always had trouble with the quality of seats on "American" cars - even the newest Corvette has vastly improved seats from the previous model, which were poor, IMO. The big three are known for cutting corners - saving a penny or two over a million vehicles is part of their general business culture, it seems.
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Old March 12th, 2006, 15:01   #7
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Euro cars more closely reflect European realities then do the US cars. The successful imports (exports to you as a Euro zone person) are those Euro cars that are designed more for the rural roadways (autobahn, autopista, motorway, etc...) They tend to be bigger and have the comfort for longer distances.

For many of the smaller Euro cars it is a marketing and perception issue. Americans think the cars will be unsafe so with few exceptions the smallest Euro cars that ones sees in the Euro cities are not going to sell here in the States. The US and Asian sub compacts marketed in the US are bland and mono-dimensional compared to some that are in the Euro-zone

Unfortunately these perceptions are from the 1970s to 1980s and will be hard to overcome without a normalization of emissions and safety regulations. The cost to design and qualify the smaller urban cars for the US market is too expensive for an uncertain market demand.

Too bad to because it has been my experience that there are some great cars in the sub-compact class that I think would be winners in the US. Even a few French ones.

The midsize and large cars are pretty much the same with varying degrees of quality and drivability. Many of these cars have to compete in both zones or with cars that do, so they are becoming similar in a lot of ways.

The biggest differance is in the thing you didn't want to talk about and that is the diesel powertrain availability. Also, I think American cars compete the best in the specialty or niche areas. Like True off-road vehicles (jeep) and midlevel sports cars (Corvette and Viper).
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Old March 12th, 2006, 18:09   #8
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Cars are multinational. The Chevy Equinox has an engine made in China, transmission in Japan. Chrysler minivans are assembled in Canada. And Jettas are made in Mexico, Golfs in Brazil.

Having said that, the culture of the parent company bleeds through. I've owned one American car, a 1988 Ford Taurus wagon. Bought new, six recalls in four years, sold it with 60K for 20% of what we paid. My Peugeot was a better value.
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Old March 12th, 2006, 22:37   #9
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One thing I've noticed about our German cars is that the interiors / fit finish is a lot better then our American cars. Not that the Grand Prix or the Caravan are bad... the Jetta and Passat are just better. The controls are easier to operate. The gauges are easier to read (I have a real hard time with the red in the Pontiac). The ABS works a little better. I'm about 6' now and visibility for me is a lot better in the Passat and Jetta.

In fact, in the Grand Prix, I can't sit straight up, my head hits the ceiling. If i were in a crash, I would probably skin the top of my head on the sun visor The cruse control also works better in the Jetta and Passat... it's pretty good in the Grand Prix.. but the Caravan's isnt very good... can't keep the speed constant going up and down hills.

-Jason
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Originally Posted by BRUSSELS BELGIAN View Post
Maybe I should pay MYSELF to do bad work on my car!
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Old March 12th, 2006, 22:49   #10
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US carmakers used to be the standard of the world. They lost it in their stupid corporate culture somewhere in the 1970's. I don't know exactly why, but the UAW strike of 1967 seemed to change things a bit toward less quality.

The leftist mantra is that capitalism is equivalent to greed and corruption. I wonder if today's US businesspeople actually ended up believing this tripe, and created what essentially may be a self-fulfilling prophecy. I remember the only body parts available for my 1979 Pontiac were factory seconds! The dealer could not return them as defective!

The German, Japanese, and to some extent the English, Swedish, and French cars are made by people who are passionate about them, if not entrenched in great family traditions. I remember personally meeting a great grandson of Carl Benz who exuded quality in every move he made. American cars have less of this corporate culture, it seems, and it reflects in the product.

Good business, traditional values, and good ethics go together, not the other way around.
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Old March 13th, 2006, 16:15   #11
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Too many bean counters run the show these days. Everything is measured against how much it'll cost. Granted, you have to make a profit. But, when you measure everything against cost...and treat cost as king...the product suffers.
I had the misfortuned of renting a Gran Prix in LA a few weeks ago. The seats were terrible...no one was comfortable, there was noticable lag in power from a stop to about 15 mph...then it lurched ahead like it was on fire, and the overall feel of the car was wrong.
When it all comes down to saving a few bucks per car...and you lose your passion...this is the result.

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Old March 13th, 2006, 16:17   #12
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Hm. The 3.8 V6 in our Grand Prix gets along nicely... good low end troque. Only makes as much power as the 1.8t in the Passat though!

-J
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Old March 13th, 2006, 16:57   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by compu_85
Hm. The 3.8 V6 in our Grand Prix gets along nicely... good low end troque. Only makes as much power as the 1.8t in the Passat though!

-J
That's about right considering the turbo on the 1.8t can effectivly double the engine's displacment.
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Old March 13th, 2006, 17:11   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by compu_85
but the Caravan's isnt very good... can't keep the speed constant going up and down hills.
Maybe the intake is clogged
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Old March 13th, 2006, 17:29   #15
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Not with how mom drives it 18.5 MPG last tank

-Jason
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BRUSSELS BELGIAN View Post
Maybe I should pay MYSELF to do bad work on my car!
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