How many people here who hate imports have ever owned a newer one? Looong. [Archive] - Glock Talk

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vart
03-06-2005, 00:21
I used to be a hard core "Buy American" kind of guy up until about the late `90s.
Before then, I had owned almost exclusively domestics, except for a `92 Toyota 4x4 I bought new and sold it 6 months later because it was too small.
I was a big Ford fan and owned countless Fords, a few Mopars, and a 1965 GTO that ran 11's.
I learned to drive in a `70s Datsun B210 wagon in a potato field in Southern Idaho in `84, and my first car was almost a mint `80 Datsun 200SX, but it was $1500 and that was over my budget.
I ended up getting a `70 Ford Torino coupe with lots of bondo and a 2v 302 for $300.
I loved American cars and owned dozens of them up until I bought that `92 Toyota. I was impressed by it's capability off-road, but it's regular cab was just too cramped for me and I ended up getting rid of it.
I then went back to domestics. I owned an `82 Buick Electra Estate Wagon that was a great car, then a `91 Tempo that was junk, then an `87 Cadillac Fleetwood D' Elegance that was great for about 6 months before the brakes went out and I was quoted $2500 to replace the master cylinder ;P . Then came a wife and two kids and a couple of Tauruses, a Crown Vic, and finally a `97 Nissan Pathfinder in `99.
I had started to notice that ever since the `80's, the domestics were just not very solid feeling. I started to have a lot of problems with them and they seemed to be falling apart pretty quickly.
I bought the Pathfinder and was amazed at how nice and tight it felt. It never had any check engine lights coming on, no rattles, no squeaks. It just worked and never complained. Sure, it didn't have as much power as I was used to, and wasn't as roomy as I'd liked, but it was a great little rig.
I bought a couple other full-size domestic trucks after the Pathfinder got totalled after it rolled 5 times down an embankment. I was in the shop at least once a month with each truck; a `99 F150 with 36K miles on it and a 2001 Dodge Ram 1500 with 16k miles on it.
We then bought the Infiniti for my wife and I just bought a 2005 Nissan Sentra S for me. Haven't been in a shop since `03 when we bought the QX4.
After looking at cars today for fun, I can't believe how cheap and crappy these new domestics are inside, especially when compared to the new imports.
You'd have to be retarded to not notice the difference in quality and fit and finish between a Ford Freestyle and a Toyota Matrix.
Then I remembered a remark my grandma made a couple years ago when I asked why she kept buying domestics when they gave her so much trouble.
She said that she rode in her friend's Toyota Corolla once and the seats were too firm and it seemed too plain inside for her tastes. She said she never considered owning an import since then.
When I told her that I didn't think the new Corollas were plain inside, or had uncomfortable seats, she remarked, "well, that was in 1982 or so when I sat in that one Toyota. Maybe they've gotten better".;P ;Q
That got me to wondering just how many of the current import bashers here on GT have actually any extensive experience with a newer Toyota, Honda, Nissan, etc.
After driving my entry level cheap Nissan and then getting into a $30k Ford cutting-edge Freestyle, the Ford really looks bad.
So, if you hate imports, have you actually owned one newer than a `90?

El Duderino
03-06-2005, 00:27
My wife just had to have an Xterra. I have no idea why, but that never matters. We both grew to hate it within a matter of months. Ok, her within months and me the first time I had to deal with Nissan on a service issue. They were masters of..."Technically sir it's just a TSB at this point, when it becomes an official recall we can better assist you...."

Long story short, we traded what was quickly becoming a full fledged foreign lemon on a brand new, nice and shiny Ford Expedition. Smooth sailing and happy camping ever since.

vart
03-06-2005, 00:49
I've heard of lemons, and occasionally an import will be one, but it is much rarer than domestics. How many imports have you had before the Xterra?
So, did you notice any difference in the fit and finish of the Expedition? The door panel on my `99 F150 just reeked of cheap material and sloppy engineering.
I thought my `01 Dodge was much better, and the `01 Infiniti to be way better than both.
If your Expedition has the 5.4 V8 and is an `01 or older, then you better check your passenger-side cylinder head for leaking oil. Seems Ford sold tens of thousands of 5.4s from `98-`01 with improperly machined cylinder heads that cause oil leaks. My `99 had the same problem and was in the shop for a week to get it fixed.

El Duderino
03-06-2005, 01:03
The Xterra was my first and last foreign vehicle. As for fit and finish, I'll take my Ford any day. I drive an F150 personally and it's doors close like bank vaults. The Nissan sounded more like a screen door. No offense to anyone and no racial stereotypes implied here, but foreign cars seem to be designed by smaller foreign people for small foreign people. The window switches on the Xterra were tiny and flimsy, the doors are paper thin, the AC knobs are a joke, the door handles are the thickness of a credit card, the seats are thin and torturous if you are over five foot eight, turn signal stalk was like a straw and had too many functions assigned to too few buttons, etc...And that's not even mentioning the actual mechanics of the dang thing. Break rotors, balljoints, differential, steering were all under engineered and in no way meant for any real use let alone abuse. I had never cared for foreign cars and the Xterra just served to reinforce that. And yes, I've been in plenty of new ones. My brother and I are somewhat polar opposites. He has never owned an American car and I never claim a foreign one. At present he has a Nissan Xterra and a Nissan Murano. We have the Expy and the F150. I'll stay with my blue oval babies.

Wmarden
03-06-2005, 01:19
The main reason I don't drive an import is I don't like smaller cars in general. And I don't like the looks of any new midsized(which to me is a small car) imports. About the only big import I would want would be a older rolls.

Well my daily driver was made in Mexico, so I guess you could call it an import. It is smaller than I would like, but it has a style and look that I like.

I might consider a cheap real(not the modern euro ricer) VW bug if I could find one to modify. The old ones are or can be really cool.

I also do not like small high revving motors. If I had my druthers I would drive a nice medium to huge v-8 car or truck every day. If i had the money. The deep bass rumble and feeling of power is something I miss in my daily driver.

Texas_Preacher
03-06-2005, 06:43
I don't hate imports, at least not the ones with rear-wheel-drive and some actual torque in the usable range. Since so few of them fit the bill, and those that do tend to be more expensive than their domestic counterparts, I drive domestic.

Scrappy
03-06-2005, 20:29
Only thing I hate about Imports is what "KIDS" do to ruin them!

Huge wings, huge exhaust that make that "FART knocking sound! Stupid lights.........It's called "RICE"
There is also no such thing as buying American anymore because the parts that are in them are from all over the world, mostly foreign parts at that.
Now make mine an Honda S2000 please:)

c5367
03-07-2005, 01:33
In my experience, imports are generally very solid cars, particularly the Hondas and Toyotas. A buddy of mine had an '88 Toyota 1/2 ton pickup that we regularly loaded with twice that weight for work. He crashed it a few time but it never missed a beat. 200,000 before it finally died. If it was batter taken care of, I have no doubt it would have gone much longer. I have a old '87 Prelude that is incredibly reliable. I hadn't started it since I bought my VW in July, but when I busted my oil pan I figured I should see if it worked just in case the dealer was slow on the repair. Jumped it, and it started right up. Last winter, even on the coldest days it would start with no hesitation while my girlfriend's '97 Saturn with a 1/3 of the mileage wouldn't turn over for anything.

That said, I do hate those idiots that put huge wings an a Civic. I wonder if they realize it actually makes their slow car even slower.

S9Man
03-07-2005, 02:36
I bought a Toyota after the last two American lable cars feel apart after 50K. GM's. Now have 2 Toyotas. Would consider a Ford. I had a Ford F150 as a company car and that held up well for the 3 year lease, 50K. I never hated imports, but I was buy american, but after two new GM cars that were killing me on repairs and working with people that had Hondas and Toyotas with 200-300K on then and only doing normal wear items I went to a import. Windshield wiper motor failing on a 3 year old car in southern California??? 2 water pumps under 100K, power seat died, alternator after 30K? Cam chain pully? I can't afford to own an American car.

Ghetto
03-07-2005, 07:29
Originally posted by Scrappy
Only thing I hate about Imports is what "KIDS" do to ruin them!

Huge wings, huge exhaust that make that "FART knocking sound! Stupid lights.........It's called "RICE"


^6

Rick O'Shay
03-10-2005, 06:25
I was a Toyota convert, beginning in 1978. I strayed back to domestics twice, and got burned terribly both times. First time was a Pontiac, and it actually cost me more to keep it on the road than it cost to make payments on the Mazda I replaced it with.

In 1999, I saw a '97 F150 on a Toyota car lot, and it looked so nice in the red/silver paint job I just had to have it. Had it 9 months, had it in the shop 10 times. I traded it in (at substantial loss) for a 1998 Toyota T-100 with about 30,000 miles on it. Best decision I've made in the past decade. The T-100 has 93,000 miles on it, gets 22 mpg, and is a "marvelous piece of engineering". If you don't believe it, check the ads in your local newspaper. You will hardly ever see a T-100 for sale. That's because nobody wants to sell theirs.

My Corollas fit my family, and I generally get 125,000 miles on them before spending any money, other than routine maintenance. The best bang for the buck I've ever known of.

My $.02.

Cochese
03-12-2005, 02:10
Originally posted by Rick O'Shay
If you don't believe it, check the ads in your local newspaper. You will hardly ever see a T-100 for sale. That's because nobody wants to sell theirs...

My $.02.

Heh, no it's cause they stopped making them after a few years!


;e
93-99 right?

soflasmg
03-12-2005, 05:30
I've got a Toyota Avalon as a company car and I love it.

Had Pontiac Grand Prix (01) and Taurus (02) before and the pontiac was OK but the taurus was a POS.

It saddens me that the Avalon is such a well engineered car. The styling is kind of grandpa, but man what a joy to drive.

It makes a lincoln look like junk, ford's flapping interior door skins, cheap materials, failing torque converters, leaky engine and trans seals, etc...

My next vehicle will be a chev or ford 4x4 though. Any suggestions?

Rick O'Shay
03-12-2005, 05:58
Yeah, a Tundra!
Seriously, if the choices are only Chevy and Ford, go with the Chevy every time. Their affiliation with Toyota has improved their focus on quality. Ford.....well, I had an F150 for 9 months, had it in the shop 10 times. POS, indeed.

vart
03-12-2005, 09:21
Originally posted by soflasmg
ford's flapping interior door skins, cheap materials, failing torque converters, leaky engine and trans seals, etc...

My next vehicle will be a chev or ford 4x4 though. Any suggestions?
Yes, re-read your post and see if you can spot the insanity;) ;f .

If you need a half-ton that is close to 3/4-ton capability, why not get a Nissan Titan?
305 hp, 380 ft. lbs. of torque, Dana 44 rear axle, import fit and finish.

https://www.wsupdate.com/sites/whiplashsuspensions/site_images_system/user/nissan_titan_lifted.jpg

http://pictures.dealer.com/connellnissan/23ead13cd1175f8501140709f0e19f5e.jpg

Texas_Preacher
03-12-2005, 10:07
Originally posted by vart
Yes, re-read your post and see if you can spot the insanity;) ;f .

If you need a half-ton that is close to 3/4-ton capability, why not get a Nissan Titan?


Because it is butt-ugly? ;g ;f

Ford302Glock21
03-12-2005, 18:52
Answer..both sides have their problems...that means American and import and I see from both views not just the side I choose to take and tell everyone to go my way. You get what you pay for either American or import. I do like SOME imports...and I do HATE many American cars. Thats where everyone gets it wrong. You still have to choose the good ones. Theres many cars you shouldnt buy.

Yea heres some good high quality fit and finish for you. My girlfriend got an 01 or 02 Corolla about 2 years ago. It was like a topend corolla. It drove pretty good. Well didnt take long for the fancy woodgrain applique(or however you say it) to start pelling off and turning yellow, then driver's door handle broke so she couldnt open her door. Its plastic. Luckily I found a generic black one from a junkyard seller on ebay for 20 bucks and spray painted it white and put it on myself. Toyota: not covered under BUMPER TO BUMPER WARRANTY(I guess thats the middle of the car and not anything higher or lower than 2 feet off the ground). They wanted something like 300 bucks to replace it. It took me about 20 minutes.

Another friend got something like an 03 Corolla. the driver door handle on the inside broke. Hmmm. Good luck getting that fixed. My girlfriend is now driving a 94 or so Chevy Lumina her parents gave here with about 160k miles. Still runs great and tranny kind of works. Well her outside door handle is broken imagine that...only its nearly impossible to change out. You see you can't win no matter which side you choose.

So you know what I tell people, I'm a Ford guy because I know how to fix them and repair them daily. Hope you can fix that chevy/toyota!

Sidenote: Nissans can be fully disassembled with a snubby philips head screwdriver.

Scrappy
03-16-2005, 11:44
If you want a great car buy an import. If you want a great big truck get american.

-=DFOX=-
03-16-2005, 15:09
Toyota Trucks and Honda cars for me, now Honda even has a truck. I sold my 88 toyota truck wehn it hit 189,000 cause I needed a commuter car. That truck is still in town, driven by a young punk, it has 265,000 miles on it, same motor.

Just picked up a used Honda Accord EX with 19,000. fit and finish is awesome, no need to mention how long the motor will last.

Bought a 2000 S10 pickup new awhile back, I was in the shop 4 times in 4 months. When I decided to drive it to Tucson to trade it in, the fan fell off at 75 MPH.

Never again.........

Ford302Glock21
03-16-2005, 16:43
Well depends I guess. I wouldnt mess around with a 4 cyl S10 but I had two friends with 95 S10/Sonoma with the 4.3 V6 and one had about 160k and other higher I think and both running quite strong. Both still driving them. Also had a little 89 Acura Integra with 206,000 miles which is owned by a friend now and probably has more like 210-215 now and still running very strong. I'm sure it burns plenty of oil and leaks some water but dman if that thing aint still running like a champ. 2nd gear synchro is messed up but I'm sure that the original tranny and still workin fine. I say, do your homework and you will end up much better. The internet can really help there.

gixxer11
03-16-2005, 17:56
BTW ford302, the wood trim is dealer installed aftermarket crap. The only problem you had with it was a door handle? Some people tend to be hard on cars. Not driving them hard, just things like slaming doors, using entirely to much force to move switches, etc. I my opinion, a well designed car/truck shouldn't have to be forced to do anything. The controls should be light and feel precise. Toyotas do an excellent job of that. I've had several, and my girlfriend at the time, used to grab, slam, bash, everything on them. Yes stuff broke, but I chalked that up to "user error" which it was! A door should close easily, not have to be slamed into place. No imports will not take that abuse. What do you want them to make the door handles out of? Cast iron? If they were built heavier, then it would feel like crap. I'm with you on some cars are better than others, but you can never go wrong with a Toyota.

fnfalman
03-16-2005, 18:13
I have never owned an American Big Three. The closest I did was the 1989 Ford Probe GL, but that was made by Mazda, albeit in the USA. The next one was a 1996 Honda Prelude Si. Loved that car. Then it was the 1999 BMW 328Ci convertible and now the 2003 Z4. I must admit that fit and finish wise, the Germans could take a lesson or two from the Japanese. But everybody could take a lesson or ten about suspension setup from BMW and Porsche. And frankly, I like the austere design that BMW feature. Not too many buttons and lights to distract from the driving experience. Only if they can get that iDrive squared away or ditch the damn thing altogether.

CGuns
03-16-2005, 18:23
I agree.
I have used the Idrive once in the 7 series, it is a PIA.
I drove the new Audi A8 and the Audi MMS or whatever it is called it so much easier to use and it is very trick. Puts Idrive to shame.

CGuns

Ford302Glock21
03-16-2005, 18:28
Well door handle broke on a what 2 or 3 year old car? My girlfriend wasnt abusing it either from what I could tell. Now my 87 Lincoln has some chrome plated metal handles and they look good and still work. I can come up with plenty of arguement on stuff like that. But like I said nothing is perfect. As good as the german cars are, they still have problems too like mentioned. I have a 89 Mercedes and it has great fit and finish but when something goes wrong nobody can fix it but a dang MB tech because nothing makes sense on them. If you ask me, you pick a car you can deal with or fix yourself and thats the ideal car. Thats why I'm into Fords. I've gotten kinda familiar with them plus always wanted a mustang. My mustang has plastic door handles by the way which are known to break ;f . But They also make metal replacement handles for it if it ever does.

epsylum
03-16-2005, 22:42
not trying to stir anything here 302, but your GF broke door handles on both a foreign and a domestic car (one inside, one outside). I am seeing a trend here. If it were somebody I knew I would tell them to quit taking thier frustrations out on car-door handles.

Personally, I have a 95 mercury cougar XR7 I would gladly unload for a Toyota right now. There are several reasons, It is sarting to give me problems. They are kind of small now. But domestic cars have HORRIBLE resale value compared to Hondas or Toyotas. I looked on www.kbb.com and an '88 camry 4cyl AT with over 200,000 miles in okay condition is worth more than my '95 v-8 cougar. There is something wrong there. Since my car isn't worth crap, I have very little urge to fix any problems that present themselves. I could literally have some wearing part fail and it would total my car. I would rather take that car fixing money and go put it down on a used Toyota pickup of some sort (i don't even car how old it is, as long as it can hold my quad and drive). At least I would feel I got something out of my money instead of just delaying my cars death by another couple of months.

Toyotas are investments (especially their pick ups). They hold their value like mad. Don't beleive me, go check out how much 3 or 4 year old toyotas bring at www.automart.com. Then compare with domestics. That gap grows as the cars age.

kels
03-17-2005, 01:47
KIA = trash
They can take their 100000 warranty
and drop it in the bathroom for toilet paper.
NOT a happy customer.




Datsun
Toyota
Subaru
Nissan
Suzuki

were good buys for the money.

CZ-75A
03-17-2005, 11:50
Originally posted by fnfalman
Only if they can get that iDrive squared away or ditch the damn thing altogether.

The new 3-series will have it, so you'll have to suffer (along with the atrocious styling for everything BUT the 3).

chris93473
03-17-2005, 13:38
I also HATE ricers !!!

fnfalman
03-17-2005, 13:53
The 2006 3-series BMWs don't come standard with the iDrive. It's an option, but knowing BMW dealerships, they'd probably order 99% of the car with the stupid iDrive.

I can understand the need for something like that in order to keep the dash from being cluttered up (Mercedes & Porsche, are you listening?) and I applauded BMW to first come out with that sort of interface, but Jesus H. Christ! Four years already and they can't get the gadget to work right, or at least user-friendly. I wonder if Audi had consulted the Japanese with their electronics interface gadget?

CZ-75A
03-17-2005, 14:18
Originally posted by fnfalman
The 2006 3-series BMWs don't come standard with the iDrive. It's an option, but knowing BMW dealerships, they'd probably order 99% of the car with the stupid iDrive.

I can understand the need for something like that in order to keep the dash from being cluttered up (Mercedes & Porsche, are you listening?) and I applauded BMW to first come out with that sort of interface, but Jesus H. Christ! Four years already and they can't get the gadget to work right, or at least user-friendly. I wonder if Audi had consulted the Japanese with their electronics interface gadget?

Germans don't do electrical engineering very well, IMO. I'm willing to bet half their quality/reliability issues are electrical.

CGuns
03-17-2005, 14:18
The Audi MMS is a dream. I played with it in the new A8L for a day.
It took me 5 seconds to learn how to use. WITHOUT reading the stupid manual. I like intuitive stuff.
Audi I think builds a higher quality vehicle than both Mercedes and BMW, but, it doesn't have the panache of the star, nor the performance history of the roundel. But they build a damn fine product that is an excellent value, to boot.

CGuns

CGuns
03-17-2005, 14:20
Originally posted by CZ-75A
Germans don't do electrical engineering very well, IMO. I'm willing to bet half their quality/reliability issues are electrical.


The Germans do do electronics very well. But, the more stuff you have onboard, the more stuff can break.
The Brits are the worst. Anyone remember the Lucas electrical systems that plagued so many cars? They have to be the worst. Italians are better at electrical than the Brits in my book!
It is easy to be good at electrical, when you don't have power windows and door locks. I can't think of an Audi/BMW/Mercedes that is currently produced without power windows, door locks, and other convenience features.

CZ-75A
03-17-2005, 14:35
Originally posted by CGuns
The Germans do do electronics very well. But, the more stuff you have onboard, the more stuff can break.
The Brits are the worst. Anyone remember the Lucas electrical systems that plagued so many cars? They have to be the worst. Italians are better at electrical than the Brits in my book!
It is easy to be good at electrical, when you don't have power windows and door locks. I can't think of an Audi/BMW/Mercedes that is currently produced without power windows, door locks, and other convenience features.

http://www.ai-online.com/issues/article_detail.asp?id=191


Over the years Japanese carmakers have produced the best E/E quality by far. In model year 2002, Honda, Mazda, Subaru, Toyota and Nissan were still the best with an average score of 1.1 problems per hundred. Korean carmaker Hyundai matched the Japanese in E/E reliability in 2002, scoring just 1 problem per 100. Lately, U.S.-based carmakers GM, Ford and Chrysler have done second best, averaging 2.4 problems per 100. German carmakers are worst; Mercedes, BMW and Volkswagen averaged 3.5 problems per 100.

CGuns
03-17-2005, 14:52
My post still stands.

Hmmmmm....Hyundai scored even lower than the Japanese automakers at 1.0 versus 1.1.

I wonder why!

CZ-75A
03-17-2005, 15:02
Originally posted by CGuns
My post still stands.

Hmmmmm....Hyundai scored even lower than the Japanese automakers at 1.0 versus 1.1.

I wonder why!

The last Hyundai rental I drove had PW/PL/PM, etc. (no power seats though). American cars, if anything, usually have as many or more gizmos than the nazis put in their cars.



I should also say that my Braun shaver crapped out after a year and my Panasonic iron is still going strong after my aunt's $100 Rowenta crapped out. German wiring looks like it was done at a school for the blind when you take a look under the hood of a BMW or VW. Honda and Toyota are BY FAR much better wired and assembled.

fnfalman
03-17-2005, 16:59
No dispute there about Japanese automobiles' electricals and electronics.

BMW is good at making a driver's car, but their electronics were never hot. Their stereos were always behind the time. So's their nav system...whenever they work. And now the iDrive.

One of the reasons why I went with the Z4 instead of the M3 convertible is because of the lack of doodads in the Z4.

On the Z4, the nav system is totally crap. I'm glad I didn't buy it as an option. My "premium" sound system with Carver amplifier was great for probably half a year and now the equalizer does whatever it feels like. It's a good thing that I'm not an audiophile or else I'd be really pissed.

I think that it's a cultural mentality thing. The Germans don't believe in fooling around with things when they drive and I truly think that electronics are more of an afterthought than anything.

CZ-75A
03-17-2005, 17:05
Originally posted by fnfalman

I think that it's a cultural mentality thing. The Germans don't believe in fooling around with things when they drive and I truly think that electronics are more of an afterthought than anything.

Which is why they should have fewer than they do.

fnfalman
03-17-2005, 18:27
I totally agree with you.

Electronics are good, but keep them to the essentials to the driving experience and keep them low keyed. But you know what? Lots of people judge a car's quality by the number of buttons and lights.

You won't believe how many griped about the first two years Z4s that don't have buttons on the steering wheels for stereo volume and whatever. The latter Z4s have the buttons on the steering wheels now.

Anyway, I am hoping that BMW will keep the new Z4 (or whatever they are going to call it) austere.

streeter69
03-17-2005, 21:28
Reading all these posts makes me think of one thing. It is all personal taste. Yeah, I will admit I am a Ford fan. I just bought a 2002 mustang gt. I used to work as a used car mechanic, I have driven them all. I like the mercedes komp. series with there power. I like the BMW road feel, the Honda S-2000 for the quickness. HELL, I like alot. What did I buy. An 02 GT, cause I feel at home in it. I wish I could afford an 8series komp.

Everyone has there own.