1st Sep 2017, 20:53
Much anecdotes and speculation. The average age of cars on the road has steadily increased over the past twenty years (up to 11.6 now), which contradicts your assertions that new vehicles don't last.
1st Sep 2017, 21:33
Gentlemen, we can talk all day about which car/time period is best but the research can be done for yourself for those of you asking for proof - Carsurvey itself is a good place to start. From the percentage of "who would buy again" from whatever car in which era is a good rough guide.
Also, other car websites like Parkers and AutoTrader in recent years have added the ability to leave reviews on used cars, and since Carsurvey and those other sites I guess is where the data is best gathered, plus I think I heard somewhere the average car on the road is at least 7 years old, so since most people drive used cars, we need older reviews, and Carsurvey is perfect for that.
I'm not part of the "vocal-older-car-is-better-group", but I am from the UK and I'm the guy that left the comment about the 90s being best in my humble (and well researched) opinion. Change the oil and timing belt and you are good for 150,000 miles plus without major issues, wear and tear aside. More modern cars however seem to have very complex expensive problems at way less than 100,000 miles. Unacceptable, for me anyway. I don't know about you guys in the USA, but I like hearing about cars from all around the world. And the general consensus from my 20 + years experience driving and reading reviews about cars is that used beats new every time in regards to value for money in the long run, but only if you find a well looked after car.
2nd Sep 2017, 13:43
People are holding onto cars longer today due to balancing their budgets. It's expensive to live for an average family today. Paying a mortgage, raising kids etc. I don't think it's mainly over quality. It's a mindset to pay out for some repairs vs buying new. Cars are quite expensive. Then many realize they are pumping a lot of money keeping late models on the road. Even a Toyota or Honda are expensive today to buy. Back in the 60s and 70s you could buy a full size car on one income in the typical household. With gas several times less as well. Loans were only 3 years. Some people I know will drive a car into the ground today vs adding on new debt. Long car loans and car done. My main point was that older cars were used daily and very reliable. It was super easy to change plugs for example due to clearance under the hood. An hour after dinner. Every time my newer cars go in the shop, it's typically over $500. I can't work on most of them with the complexity. Even with Youtubes and Autozone. No room to work on them. So we buy vehicles and replace them regularly.
3rd Sep 2017, 18:41
A lot of cars from "30/40/50" years ago had some pretty severe rusting problems on the body, door jambs, rocker panels, and even frames. In the northern climates some would end up in a junkyard after 6-8 short years. Today you have much better anti-corrosion, and even vehicles made from aluminum.
This factor had little or nothing to do with drivetrain reliability. Many cars went to their grave site way before the engines were finished. I will hand it to Ford, all the GM divisions and even Chrysler, that they built some sturdy and simple V8 engines many decades ago.
4th Sep 2017, 08:08
I am with you on how modern cars being disposable. I recently just purchased a 17 Impala, and posted a review on it.
As much as I love the car and all the new features it has, including the way it drives, I don't consider it being a classic, or gathering any sort of significance in the future like how my older classic cars from the 60s and 70s do. Modern cars simply cannot compare in terms of styling, character, presence, and that cool feeling you get getting behind the wheel of something fully mechanical.
Sure the new stuff is reliable in all, but they are getting impossible for any DIYer to be able to work on them, without some sort of special tools, a laptop, and having tiny hands just so you can be able to access a hard to reach part.
Also, I feel that the body and interior parts not might hold up in 10-20 years. Paint is thin, the door handles are plastic, and use plastic hinges, this is an issue in all new cars, the old metal door handles were built to last, and I worry that that will probably be one part that will need replacing in the near future because of constant use. Too many plastic engine parts to fail, and plastic trim pieces that will eventually break in a short amount of time.
Another big problem I cannot stand, and this goes for the majority of FWD unibody cars, is how they ride. NVH is getting better in them and this Impala is a perfect example, but you still hear high amounts of road noise in the majority of new cars, and the ride quality is very bumpy, uneven and stiff. There's hardly any wheel travel either, so when going over a pot hole, you tend to feel it more often than not. Added foam and sound deadening materials are helping improve NVH, but even with all those improvements, a body-on-frame car will still ride so much better, and block out tire noise than a uni-body in my experience, especially if it is big Chevy, Ford or Chrysler sedan of the late 60s-70s. Cadillac or Lincoln being the ultimate ride back then, nothing can touch those classics as far ride smoothness goes, they are pure heavenly to drive. Only a modern Bently-Rolls compares.
In an RWD luxury based car, or even an old Buick, Pontiac or big full-size Ford sedan of the 60s and 70s, the ride was, and still is so much more comfortable, and smoother vs the modern FWD. The reason for this is because you cannot compare front struts with its limited suspension geometry to a Short-L-Arm suspension in an RWD car that has a lot more wheel movement and is able to absorb road shocks much better.
Add to the fact that the big RWD cars of yore were beefy and had a full frame underneath of it, the driveability and road smoothness is almost impossible to obtain these days unless you purchase a Chrysler 300 or something much more expensive. I know my new 17 Impala doesn't ride nearly as nice, like my uncle's 65 Impala did; that car glided down the road with such a calmness, that it makes you wonder, with all the new state of the art technology with modern body design, and engineering improvements that have been made in the last 20 years in new vehicles, why on earth can't automakers design a car that can ride as nice like those big old RWD 60s-70s American cars using old suspension technology?
Sometimes progress isn't so great after all in certain cases.