|Why America needs to try harder...
||[Feb. 4th, 2008|05:29 pm]
"I'd rather be rich than stupid"
Don't tell me it's unpatriotic to not buy an American car. With garbage like that, it's no wonder so many people buy Japanese. Don't get me wrong, alot of us would LIKE to buy an American car, but drive one of those shits and you tell me. Aside from the simple lack of attention to detail, the build quality is still cheap feeling. I can only assume that it is arrogance that drives the Big 3 Execs to believe that we will swallow these stinky piles of poo that they call cars. You can't fool me, that Taurus is still a rebadged but slow Ford Five Hundred, and that Taurus X is just a Freestyle with the same crappy folding seats that get stuck. Why would anybody buy a Caliber SRT4 for the price of a decent car that's slower but not so crummy?
The Aveo which is what I've rented right now (at first I wanted a Versa but had to settle, then I wanted a Cobalt but they gave me "OR SIMILAR" grr), is what prompted this post. On the plus side, I give Chevy higher marks for trying at least. The Aveo and the Impala both got me about ~30mpg which is very good. Fuel efficient American cars are pretty impressive, and I'm not easily impressed. The transmission on the Aveo knows what it's doing when climbing a 3000ft elevation change and drove it all the way up the hill on D4 while keeping it in 3rd gear without me having to press the hold button (it has no D3). That's quite good in my book, for a 100hp I4 car to climb smoothly. Try to stay in the same gear when driving the same way in our V8 Explorer, which can't figure out what gear it wants to be in. The engine is healthy but the transmission or it's software is indecisive if left to it's own devices, and will self destruct itself. It's transmission had to be rebuilt at only 60k miles.
I've only mentioned cheap cars so far. I've rented a Charger and a Chrysler 300 before too. Those are better but still not truly American made cars in my book (rolling on modified E class chassis...). The Charger had a brake booster failure on a sub 20k mile car which almost caused me to rear-end a Corvette in normal city driving. The Chrysler had a check engine light at 10k miles. I credit Benz for the smooth ride, Jackie's E320 is holding up fine, despite a persistent Check Engine Electronic light.
I'd like to rent the new Malibu and see if our automotive magazine industry is truly biased once and for all. It looks like it might be good on paper. Inside looks nice. Outside is bland, and the trunk/rear end screams late '90's Maxima. We'll have to see, because I really want to believe America can make a decent car still (or ever depending on your point-of-view).
Oh and Saturns are looking pretty good. I'd like to try an Aura....
ETA: The headlights would dim when I pressed the power window buttons in the Aveo