Here's the thing. None of the anti-import commentary has anything to do with whether imported cars (I can only assume specifically Hondas or Toyotas, since you never see these comments on OTHER imported brands) are good or bad. I grew up in the rural south, and we were about the only family that had a couple of Toyotas in the driveway. People constantly made snippy, negative comments about them simply because they were "Them-Thar' For-in' cars". It didn't matter that they spent their weekends working on their supposedly better American cars and trucks, while we went about our business, since we never had to repair ours. They would NEVER admit that perhaps our cars were actually better. Never. The wheels could've fallen off their cars and you'd never hear a peep. But somehow our cars were supposedly awful, poorly built products. No debate.
Thus I read these non-stop anti-import comments with a grain of salt, because they aren't really supporting any real information or facts. Simple as that.
The reason a lot of those older, smaller cars got such great fuel economy back in the day, was because emission control requirements were a lot less than they are today. Back then you could have a carburated 4 cylinder engine, that had what would today be considered crude emission equipment, getting 45-50MPG, simply because the engine was not as restricted.
It's also safe to say that cars have simply gotten bigger, and this is especially true with Japanese cars. Today's Civics are as big as the Accords from the 80's. Back then those cars were TINY. We had an '85 Camry that I swear was about half the size of the Camrys they make today. It's gone from being a compact car to a full sized family sedan.
Lastly, in addition to not only being bigger, a lot of modern cars are heavier because in the time since the 80's, new cars require more safety equipment and structural reinforcement in the frames. People also want their fancy stereos and wizz-bang features too. As a result, the cars are heavy. So heavy, that believe it or not, a modern Camry weighs as much as some of the full sized cars from the 50's.
But what IS impressive, is that the amount of torque and power today's smaller cars have today is amazing. I had an '86 Toyota Celica at one point. That car was slow as molasses. I more recently drove a Chevy Cruze that had an even smaller engine, and it was amazingly quick. Engine technology has gotten a lot better. Many of today's 4 bangers have more power than some of the V8's from the 50's-70's. Amazing.
Well that is why I came up with the conservative 75 mpg figure. I know cars are larger. There still is no excuse for a product that has a certain level of efficiency, to not be substantially improving in more than 20 or 30 years. It is more about the pay-offs to make technology stagnant then anything else. They have had carburated engines that made it into the 90's for mileage... many decades ago. Big oil keeps these things under wraps though in favor of profits and control.
Cars are like computers... They string us along with tiny "improvements" just to keep it interesting, and make you feel your new car is better than your old one was. They do the same with electronics. The technology is far advanced over whatever you'll actually see for sale. They give us bits and pieces so we'll keep on buying.
Yes, most 4-cylinder cars of today put out more horsepower than most older V-8's. The new I-4 Fusion has 30 more horsepower than the first Fox 5.0 Mustang GT (and is faster).
I recently had a good friend riding with me in my mildly modified I-4 Fusion, and he was amazed at the incredible power and acceleration. What is really amazing is that cars like the Chevy Cruze not only will outperform older V-8's, but are now getting incredible mileage. Several test drivers have gotten 50mpg out of the Chevy Cruze Eco running the speed limit on the highway. That's amazing. Not even hybrids do that well.
Original poster here. Thanks for your comments. I am a close personal friend of the original owner. I know this vehicle's history from the first week he purchased it.
When I got it from him, although he ran winter tires on it, the original tires were ruined and worn out on the inside edges.
This car has NEVER been in a wreck or ditched. It has always been well cared for, carefully maintained, and driven only on the highway. I am at a complete loss as to how the alignment on this particular car is constantly going out.
I drove a Camry in the exact same conditions for 200000 klm, a Highlander for 60000, and never did a single alignment, and never had issues with uneven tire wear.
Original poster here.
My comment on mint condition is simply this. Body and interior all show like new condition. The car has been meticulously maintained by me. The car was not beat on in any way. The original owner is a close personal friend, who like me, did a lot of driving on the freeway. It has never been in an accident, ditched, or driven in an abusive manner.
Protesting over getting offered $4000.00 on a trade? Wouldn't you? I have an offer sitting on the table right now from a purchaser for 3X that amount. Unfortunately the "Black Book" price for this car is only 4000-5000 approximately. Doesn't mean I have to be happy about it.
I still maintain this is the worst car I have ever owned. It is rock solid reliable and economical in every other way. The fit and finish is beautiful, but this rear tire issue, handling issue and alignment issues will break the bank.
A quick search on the Internet, and you will find that the issues I am having with rear tire wear, poor handling etc. are common place on 2006-2008 Honda Civics.
Original poster here.
Further to your comment about the dealer knowing the car was wrecked. The funny thing is, up here in Canada, it's an occurring trend.
Back in the day, sales managers would come out, look at your car, drive it, appraise it, and tell you what it is worth.
While doing serious car shopping for my son and his truck, I noticed that there is a trend now where they open their black book or check online, and tell you what they will give you on a trade.
They DON'T even bother looking at the car. I mean they don't even go outside.
We spent hours cleaning and detailing my son's truck, with the intent of going to trade it on a new Ram 1500. Without even seeing it, the dealer offered a ridiculously low trade in price. After asking the salesman to come and look at it, he basically refused to until he had a deposit and a signed deal first. We walked.
To 21:33: Good for you for walking. A dealership that refuses to examine your trade-in does not deserve your business (or anyone else's).
Some years ago I took an 8-year-old Ford Ranger to a Ford dealer to see about trading for a new Ranger. They insulted me by offering me a ridiculous $1100 for the truck. My wife (an avid auto enthusiast) suggested compounding and waxing the truck, and doing a full-out clean-up and detail on it. I took her advice, and the truck did look brand new. I then drove to a Dodge dealer, and arrived at a buying price on a Dodge truck (always bargain for a price before even MENTIONING that you have a trade. That way you KNOW what you are actually getting for your trade). The used car manager looked my immaculate Ranger over, drove it, then came back and said "We'll give you $3500 for it." I instantly said "DEAL!!", and drove my new Dodge truck home.
With a good dealer, the condition of your trade-in DOES make a big difference. Never deal with any dealership that uses just the Bluebook value without looking at the car. My heeding my wife's advice to clean up and detail the trade-in paid off for me to the tune of $2400 more in trade-in value. I took her out to a nice dinner in the new Dodge to celebrate, and will never again visit the Ford dealership that offered me the puny $1100.