13th Dec 2008, 09:11

Wow, I never would have considered that driving a 1987 Nissan Maxima for 21 years would be a privilege. More like penance, I would say.

There were plenty of good cars in the 1980s. For instance, the Dodge Ram, the Plymouth Reliant, the Pontiac 6000, the last of the Plymouth Volares, the Chevy vans. My family owned them all and they were good, reliable cars. I remember the Maxima of the late 1980s and was not impressed. The Chevy Cavalier wasn't that great and gave us more trouble than our previous Dodges, but it got good mileage and lasted to over 200,000 miles. I think you had bad luck buying the low-end GMC Sonoma, which was just a slapped together Chevy S-10 with a bigger price tag.

13th Dec 2008, 11:31

I hardly regard DOMESTIC car buyers as "ignorant of what they're buying". I have not seen even ONE domestic owner make comments about "4 CYCLE" engines, maintain that lack of competition makes cars more reliable, or maintaining that Ford and GM are not American-owned companies. Do some research before posting unfounded comments... PLEASE!!

13th Dec 2008, 16:17

I just LOVE seeing these comments about "high repair costs" for domestics. Since 1988 my TOTAL repair costs for our domestics has been exactly ZERO. Just how are you supposed to beat THAT???

14th Dec 2008, 14:45

I'm afraid that's all the answer you'll EVER get to that question. My family has owned Japanese and German imports as well as domestics. The domestics were clearly and indisputably better, more reliable vehicles and a better overall value. I see no advantage to imports.

15th Dec 2008, 02:02

Repairs such as a timing belt (changed preventively) and alignment, tires, oil changes are necessary repairs. As much as he wishes domestics are perfect, they are not by any stretch of the imagination.

15th Dec 2008, 02:26

"I remember the Maxima of the late 1980s and was not impressed."

By being a domestic car buyer I wouldn't expect otherwise of you. Likewise, I felt the same way about EACH of the cars you listed. None of them impressed me at all. NONE. I made what turned out to be a positive, long-term investment I regretted not once.

"I think you had bad luck buying the low-end GMC Sonoma, which was just a slapped together Chevy S-10 with a bigger price tag."

Actually if domestics were so great it wouldn't have mattered which trim level I purchased. As it turns out all of them were crap, even my top-of-the line SLE. This justifies my point that domestics are crap and by your response, you seem to agree.

One minute domestics are the greatest, the next they're crap; you need to develop a position and stick with it, you're confused.

15th Dec 2008, 02:33

"I hardly regard DOMESTIC car buyers as "ignorant of what they're buying"."

Let me restate this position. Many domestic car buyers are ignorant of what they are buying. Just a few examples:

Ford Escort = Mazda Protege

Ford Fusion = Mazda 6

Ford Five Hundred = Volvo S80

Ford Ranger = Mazda B series

Mercury Villager = Nissan Quest

Chevy Colorado = Isuzu Hombre/I-Series.

These cars each have the underpinnings of a foreign vehicle. However, most consumers are ignorant of this fact, therefore justifying my opinion.

15th Dec 2008, 10:27

02:33 again states not only incorrect information, but has the audacity to infer that DOMESTIC buyers are ignorant.

First of all, Mazda is owned by Ford. A Mazda IS a Ford.

The Ranger is NOT a rebadged Mazda, the Mazda (since 1992) is a rebadged RANGER (including the engine and drive train, that's why they are now much more reliable vehicles).

Volvo is a FORD product as well. Ford owns Volvo.

The Mercury Villager WAS based on the Nissan Quest. That is why it was a flop and is no longer made.

The Isuzus use GM platforms, not the other way around. The Isuzu Ascender is a Trailblazer/Envoy, and the Hombre is a rebadged Colorado/Canyon.

15th Dec 2008, 11:18

"15th Dec 2008, 02:26.

You need to develop a position and stick with it."

You mean such as donning the Pro-Import Blinders and chanting "Toyota is better"? That is called being close-minded. I guess that's the only way to pretend that spending $600 on changing a timing belt at 60,000 miles is somehow superior to replacing a timing chain at 200,000 miles. Oh no, that's not a "repair"... it's "merely" preventive maintenance.

So, you were disappointed with one vehicle made a dozen years ago, and since then, "all domestics are crap." Well, you only are hurting yourself by missing out on better vehicles. Go ahead and keeping telling yourself that Japanese is better. You only punish yourself.

15th Dec 2008, 17:46

I have loads of answers for you. First of all, open the hood. Look around. On a domestic car, you'll notice plenty of weld splatter on the frame. I know because I pay close attention to detail. I've looked under the hood of even the top-of-the-line Corvette and found welding splatter.

Secondly, look at the machining and tooling of the engine parts, particularly the aluminum block. I've rented several new GM cars on trips. The castings are done so using a Styrofoam process... and the castings have a Styrofoam texture. Nothing says "quality" like engine parts that look like chunks of Styrofoam.

Next look at the layout of the wires and hoses. On Domestic vehicles you'll often find the hoses and wires snaked haphazardly across the engine, back and forth. Next look under the wheel wells of a domestic car that's at least a year old. Notice the rust? Yes. The domestic vehicles I've seen have scant amounts of paint on the frame. I've even seen rust on brand new domestic car frames at the dealership.

Now do all of those things on a Japanese brand car. For one, you'll find zero weld splatter. Even on my $9,000 Tacoma, the welding is near-perfect.

Next look at the quality of the engine components. Excellent tooling and machining. No shortcuts here.

Also notice that most of the bolts are anodized versus cheap black painted like on GM and Fords.

Now look at the layout of the hoses/wiring. See how neat it is? They do that so you can get to things easily.

Lastly, look at the frames of an older Japanese car. No rust. Nope, because there's enough paint in the first place.

The bottom line is that the proof is in the details, care, and execution, and as someone who's very perceptive, there is no comparison. Japanese cars are simply engineered by people with a higher degree of care and understanding. I can't say the same for US cars... that is unless they're simply a re-badged Ford or GM product.

16th Dec 2008, 02:49

Let me reiterate: Owning the Maxima was a privilege, owning the Sonoma was unfortunately penance. Please read the statements for what they are, not what you wish them to be.

16th Dec 2008, 10:27

I have no idea what domestics 17:46 has been looking at. Obviously some from the late 40's or early 50's. Definitely not anything newer.

I really had a good laugh over the rust comment. I had a friend several years ago who owned a dealership that sold both Nissans and Dodges. He advised his friends to purchase the Dodges. The reason? The Japanese cars had virtually NO rust proofing and would be a pile of rust in a few years.