How does everyone feel about the American Car Companies and their products? I've noticed that lately TCL has been in a circle jerk over how terrible any car under the big 3 is, new or old. Almost every thread discussing an american car leads to everyone trashing it, even if its just over the name of the car.
I personally haven't driven any of the new offerings (since the whole bankruptcy). So I can only go off reviews of the cars, which seem to be fairly positive. I have driven an 09 Silverado and an 06 GTO though, both were pretty great, and have seemed to be pretty reliable.
dont forget the huge portion of TCL that has the exact same feeling towards VWs.
I, for one, dont hate all american cars. There are actually a few that i would rather enjoy.
g1 camaro, g3 camaro, newer crown vic (manual swapped obv), and a few more i cant currently recall off the top of my head.
what i AM against, is automatic transmissions and barges, and so many american cars happen to fit into that.
so yeah, carry on.
How does a rotary work? This one's easy: the magic triangle spins in the peanut and then apex seals come out.
I've felt for a long time American car companies had lost their way. I bought a brand new Saturn SL2 in '92, then a year later (after it was wrecked) I bought a Ford but after that I really didn't see anything I could warm up to. In the last, say, decade or so I've felt American cars were making a comeback and I voted with my wallet to back up my statement.
So here's my first American car in 20 years :
The Big Three American automakers screwed themselves by offering crap for years. I have family that worked for Chevrolet, so for some strange reason I "pull" for Chevrolet like a sports team with a losing record. Even though other than the 'Vette I wouldn't buy a Chevy. Leaving trucks aside, let's look at the cars. The Lumina, updated Monte Carlo, Cobalt, SS Caprice (oh yes, sporty but ugly land yacth) any Camaro after the seventies, other than the Vette, all crap. How do I feel about them now? Well, I think the new Camaro has the performance but misses in the looks department, so I'll say that's my issue, might be a good car, don't know. After the Camaro and Vette, nothing strikes me a something I would buy. I think Chevy is still lost, cars on the horizon look boring and what is on the lot now doesn't appeal to me.
I like what Cadillac is doing, the new ATS looks like it may be something I would look at. The CTS V rocks, like it.
Buick? Well, just the Regal GS. but too many better choices out there for the money, I think Buick is going in the right direction though. Buick scores well in some quality comparison institutions.
Ford, oh boy, super biased against them at first but now that is gone. They made crap for years too (I was a Ford mechanic during the late eighties, early nineties), Tempo, Escort, never die but crappy to drive Crown Victoria, Taurus (exterior design a hit/advanced, four banger a problem and not fun to drive. The SHO was a torque steer demon, but fun could be had with it) and Thunderbird, crap (I was there when Ford put a tiny four cylinder tirbo in the T-Bird, too much weight for that tiny motor).
How do I feel about them now. Now, I think that Ford did the best in outward appearence with the Pony cars with the Mustang versus the Chevy Camaro (proportions all wrong with the Camaro, too high a belt line, car too big) and the Dodge Challenger (too big too, good looking though). The Mustang has the look of the originals with updated safety/performance tweaks. I like the soon to be released Ford Focus ST, neat little car with some cool features for the money. After those two vehicles, nothing strikes me.
Dodge and Chrysler should get the schizophrenia award for making the best looking pieces of crap. I mean, their cars consistantly rank low in reliablity, not one model but their whole model range. That takes dedication to mediocraty and incompetence. They hang their hat on the Hemi (as well they should, awesome it is) but surround it with half hearted attempts. Hot in the sixties, crap since then. There are tons of Chargers with twenty inch wheels around here so somebody buys them but not me. I think Chrysler/Dodge has a big hill to climb. I see them lower than Hyundai, not saying anything bad about Hyundai with that statement. To the contrary, Hyundai has righted their ship and offer some exciting cars now. They are way ahead of Chrysler/Dodge at this point.
Last edited by Burnette; 05-21-2012 at 12:11 AM.
I think it is laughable how some of the TCL members call anyone who dislikes American cars to be euro fanboy's.
The fact is that many of these said "American" cars are just rebadged European cars, built and designed overseas. Kinda negates most their arguments. A rebadged Opel Astra (Buick Regal) is NOT an American car.
Last edited by JDBVR6; 05-21-2012 at 12:20 AM.
Also want to point out that I like a few vws. The golf r is rather nice, and I really enjoyed my friends 2012 golf that he purchased recently.
Sorry for the off track, just wanted to clear up a few things.
thats how I think most people feel. And I can understand that when you put out years of garbage, most will be brutal on a product. But like you said, you have noticed a great improvement by all the companies. As enthusiasts, shouldn't we be looking at the product itself rather than the brand?
I mean a lot of people will agree that some of their interiors are very cheaply made but they build some pretty damn good cars. I miss driving my parents yukon denali. 6.0L V8 vortec engine really packed a punch with a beautiful noise to boot. I'll vouch for it anyday
"How does everyone feel about American car companies and their products" for me encompasess American cars derived from models over seas. It's what you see when you go to the car lot, it's what Ford, Chevy/Buick/Cadillac/GMC, Chrysler/Dodge is trying to sell you today. Here in America.
And yes, even as an enthusiast, a car company that has tarnished their brand will suffer and rightfully so. Once you get past a basic car for basic transportation you enter into the world of vanity and want. To compete there you have to maintain your image. I mean, when you buy a car most only get to drive it a few miles and read about the car in mags and on the net. Then you hand someone thousands of dollars or agree to pay hundreds a month for a few years. You built crap but I should give you a pass because you came out with a hot car? Enthusiast, connoisseur may do their homework and take a chance on it, but companies make their money on the majority. not us. And the big three have pissed too many of them off. They do have some hits, some good cars, but the auto industry is a gamble. If they don't get it right these next few years they'll be back into trouble. Making news by having your entire product line rate lowest in reliability (Chrysler/Dodge), offering crappy rental fleet interiors (Chevy) and hanging on by a muscle car thread (Ford Mustang). It leaves the door wide open for Toyota/BMW/Subaru/Mercedes/Audi/Volkswagen/Kia/Hyunda/Suzuki/Honda/Nissan.
Last edited by Burnette; 05-21-2012 at 12:59 AM.
As for GM, post bankruptcy - they certainly seem like a different company. Lots of models that one could certainly live with and a few expecially great one coming soon (Caddy ATS)
You have a point dcmix5. Not sure what Honda is thinking. Other than the Accord their stylistic approach (which honestly has never been great) is lacking. Nothing really draws me to Honda now. And I totally don't get the Acura brand anymore either. Go to an Acura dealer's lot and look across all those ugly front grills on everything. Beautiful interiors though in both Honda and Acura and they still hold a better image in regards to reliability than say Chrysler/Dodge.
Fe203, I guess we have gotten so use to sound bites and instant gratification that we now have no patience for fully thought out opinions.
To summarize, Big Three made mistakes in the past, some a have some interesting models available some, some makers seem lost.
How do you feel about American car companies and their products?
Toi the OP, good topic, interesting responses.
I was never a fan of American cars. I had Hondas, and Volkswagens almost exclusively, and my toy right now is a Miata.
I've always liked American trucks - though the Japanese do build a great product.
However, I got myself a 2011 Ford Fusion after lots of cross-shopping and comparisons and test drives. It may be one of the best cars I've ever owned. Great mileage, amazing build quality, etc. etc. etc. It's everything you would hope the Americans could build.
I've started shopping Ford products now when looking around at cars, and with the new Malibu (I saw one in person yesterday that looked ok) I may start looking at GM also.
Still not a ChryCo fan. It will be a little still before I spend hard earned greenbacks on a Chrysler product.
Team 30k Jetta - Frat Boys
I'm 44, and grew up loving and driving everything American. Any of the Big 3, didn't have a preference. Yet when I look in my driveway right now, I see 3 German cars. The shift didn't happen because of reliability, because my American cars were far more reliable than the German ones have been. For me it was a combination of driving dynamics, ergonomics, and precision...things that were always lacking in my domestic rides.
That said, the German cars seem to have taken a turn for the worse IMO...really the whole auto industry... toward more and more weight, complexity, features, and just needless complication that I never asked for. The ONLY new car that even remotely interests me right now is the lowly Kia Rio5. I drive a 22 yo Porsche and a 17 yo VW as my daily drivers.
And coming full circle, the vehicle I'm shopping for right now is an older Wagoneer. Why? Because it is simple, cheap, classic, and does a couple of things really really well.