This battle between domestics and imports is rather foolish. I simply buy whatever the best deal is at the time, and I've owned many different domestics AND imports. Some of my best domestics have been a Ford Focus that 143,000 miles without ONE SINGLE repair, and a Ford Taurus that went 130,000 without any repairs as well. That's just to name a few.
Some of my worst domestics have been a Ford Escort, purchased new and needed many major repairs within the first 20,000 miles, and a Chevrolet Lumina that went 60,000 miles at which time it had a catastrophic engine failure. Those were really the main two failures I really had in any domestic vehicle, there were some small repairs on other vehicles, but nothing really out of the ordinary.
I've also owned plenty of imports. My first Honda (and actually my first car) had 350,000 miles on it when I bought it from my mother. And it had over 400,000 when I sold it. It was an excellent vehicle. Biggest repair I can remember it needing was a radiator at 367,000 miles. I also had a Mercedes 300SL diesel, and that was excellent as well (I never got to see it reach 100,000. It was stolen in a mall parking lot at around 67,000.) My second Honda made 200,000 miles without any major repairs as well.
But it hasn't been all good with the imports either. The first Toyota I ever owned, a Corolla, was an absolute nightmare. It needed multiple repairs and left me stranded numerous times all within 60,000 miles. That was the only issue I ever had with an import, but I never did by a Toyota again.
These aren't all of the vehicles I've owned, if I listed every single one of them this would be more of a book than a comment. These were just the main highlights. A summary of what I have owned.
Cars are machines, machines can break, and machines can be repaired. Car manufactures don't design cars to fail, when they do, it's all just the luck of the draw.
Buying imports not just cars returns profits back to the parent. Not just cars, I would rather see it stay here to help engineering etc.
I've been reading over this thread, and I've seen quite a number of people claiming that Japanese vehicles were poorly built, etc. Quite frankly, that isn't necessarily true.
As a mechanic, I personally have always owned domestic vehicles. However, I have worked on many imports before and not all of them have been all too bad. I've seen Honda's well into the 200,000 mile range, and I've seen Toyota's with over 300,000. I've seen plenty of American cars with just as many miles too.
Too me, any car is capable of being a good car, it's all in how you take care of it. Members of my family have owned imports before, and they have performed exceptionally well. Better than even some of the domestics we've owned. We've had Honda's with well over 300,000 on them with no problems.
Japanese vehicles are not poorly built. If they were, they would not have been so successful to begin with. If a car sucks, then people find out about it, tell other people to avoid it, and so on. People aren't going to say they love a car if it's constantly breaking on them. And Consumer Reports and the like aren't going to jeopardize their reputations by supporting a lame vehicle.
All cars are machines, and machines only perform as well as the owners who maintain them. Neglect a machine, and of course it's going to break. Cars need maintenance.
Also, for the people who had transmission failures with Honda's at 30,000 miles, I can't help but notice, but that number is very close to the time you should be changing your trans. fluid. Honda transmissions are picky about their fluid. And yes the fluid they use can be a bit more expensive, but as long as you change the fluid regularly and use THE CORRECT FLUID TYPE, then your pretty much all set. Honda's are very picky. ATF+4 and other trans. fluids just don't seem to cut it in Honda trannys. But use the correct fluid recommended by the manufacturer, and it'll be fine. (I would recommend purchasing the correct transmission fluid from a certified Honda dealer for your Honda vehicle.)
Just my opinion and advice. Good day to you all.
"I too think that the domestic/import argument is foolish."
Supporting a foreign industry to the detriment of U.S. citizens is "foolish"?? Odd. I guess that's why our economy is in such a mess.
Okay, please explain to me why buying a Honda is a detriment to U.S. citizens.
Should we buy only "Made in USA" goods? Well, good luck finding anything.
Your own domestic brands are outsourcing many of their operations to cut labor costs so you are supporting Canada and Mexico more each day by supporting American car companies. Honda and Toyota have U.S. factories that employ U.S. workers.
I'm not saying it is better to go with one or the other, but the U.S. companies are just as guilty of sending money out of the country in labor pay and parts suppliers as any import that is designed and built here in the U.S. (which is the majority of larger names like Honda, Toyota, Subaru, etc...)
I just can't see the argument of domestic vs. import anymore. This isn't 1975 when imports were ALL imports and domestics were ALL domestics. The cross marketing and cross building of cars that has been going on for decades makes it impossible to even tell what an import or domestic is these days.
To close our borders and not trade with any other country would be more of a detriment to U.S. citizens then you neighbors Honda. By not purchasing anything but American cars and other products you are saying we should cut off the rest of the world economically and only support our own products.
It doesn't work that way. Freedom of choice is freedom of choice and it generates much better products for much better prices. It would be impossible to stop that in today's world as we would have a global meltdown and everyone's economy would tank.
Maybe you should thank your neighbor for using their freedom to buy that Honda, creating an economic balance in the world, instead of shunning them for it.
I see this a lot, people saying Buick matches or exceeds Honda and Toyota reliability.
This is all good and well, but have you noticed how much more expensive a Buick is to a Honda or Toyota? You could buy 2 or 3 Civics for the price of one Buick. Why would I spend $30,000+ on something that has equal reliability and build quality to something that costs about $15,000? Look at a Buick in that perspective sometime. It doesn't make it look so good anymore.
What if trans fluid was changed and it's a poor trans design. See Honda TL reviews many with numerous issues and more trans.
It never ceases to amaze me how much maintenance Japanese cars require and how expensive it is, yet they are regarded as so "reliable". My GM owners manuals says (and I quote) "Under normal driving conditions the automatic transmission fluid NEVER NEEDS CHANGING". In over 200,000 miles of driving I have NEVER changed my transmission fluid, nor ever had the slightest hint of a problem.
Brakes are another issue. Our first (and LAST) Honda required brake pads ever 30,000 miles or less. Our current GM has 80,000 miles and has had absolutely nothing but one set of tires, one battery and one light bulb. That's why we now drive nothing but Ford or GM vehicles. I don't want a car that requires expensive service and repairs every 6 months.