6th Oct 2010, 16:07

I have been driving company cars since 1984. I read these comments on here, but actually see first hand cars that are not mine, but are a tool for business, as it is imperative to be on time daily. I drive 4 states and rack up the mileage, as do my counterparts.

My best cars have been Crown Vics; very well made with heavy duty components. We have fleets of company domestic trucks with some 275k (same drivetrains). We have a mixture of Ford, GM and Dodge V8s. The Impalas are also excellent with great gas mileage as well. We have tried imports, but they did not compare as far as power braking, longevity, handling and room.

When you drive 200 miles a day stop start, many times the imports are flimsy for us. Maybe our applications are more severe, but drive 200 miles daily plus and see what holds up in heavy traffic stop starts every day. I am not a Camry candidate.

6th Oct 2010, 16:25

Those who continue the pointless import vs. domestic argument should read the article on AOL today, which makes the argument & illustrates how there really are no true domestics or imports anymore - rather vehicles made up of parts manufactured throughout the world. In my opinion, this entire import vs. domestic argument is just a waste of time and web space.

6th Oct 2010, 19:47

Wait... let me get this straight... you had a couple of Hondas and you sold both of them to get GM products because they "had a better warranty"? How does that make any sense?

7th Oct 2010, 10:07

You are right but the argument is more about what companies to support... the lame American ones that need bailouts and overpay their employees or the leaner, more efficient import companies that can survive and thrive on their own, while actually assembling their cars in the U.S.

7th Oct 2010, 12:17

Funny... since just about every single delivery truck I see around here happens to be small econo-Tacomas. Two of our local newspaper delivery people drive Toyota vans. Lastly, whenever you see TV shows about some 3rd world country where the roads are almost non-existent and full of pot holes, what are you likely going to see? Well you aren't going to see any Crown Vics. More than likely all you're going to see are Land Rovers and Toyota Hilux trucks.

I seriously doubt the average American car, which was made for smooth as glass freeways, would ever make it anywhere that had even remotely rough terrain. The argument that a product made somewhere else besides the US is "flimsy" is a moot point.

7th Oct 2010, 13:17

One can only assume that comments like that are fabricated, as why do you sell perfectly good cars and buy new cars just because of the warranty? Also, for over 90% of drivers, the GM warranty is no better than the Honda warranty. If you actually drive more than 60K miles in 5 years, you may benefit. But who does that?

7th Oct 2010, 16:42

And don't forget they are now using Toyota Sienna's for NYC Cabs. They are the best ones to get as they ride smoother and are much more comfortable than the Crown Vic cabs.

7th Oct 2010, 17:25

Sure, sold Acura for GM, and I sure enjoy GMs Corvette. Go read the trans issues on here on Honda's Acura TL sedans and see how pleased many are. Trans after trans on here. Police and Cabs are Impalas and Crown Vics, also Mustang GTs and Camaros in our locale. Not up on the bread truck choices.

7th Oct 2010, 21:30

"If you actually drive more than 60K miles in 5 years, you may benefit. But who does that?"

I do drive more than 60K miles in 5 years (I drive more than twice that. 130,000 miles every 5 years). But you still won't catch me in a GM vehicle. For me, reliability wasn't high enough when it came to GM. My GM vehicles spent more time in the shop than on the road.

8th Oct 2010, 09:12

Maybe they buy Toyotas on the city streets because of size. And maybe they replace them more often than say a Crown Vic's heavy duty cooling and drivetrains.

8th Oct 2010, 12:29

My newest GMs have been flawless, so it must be attributed to careful driving habits and likely the model selected as well. And I keep them clean and garaged. My vehicles all have the GM LS motors and drivetrains (V8s). Maybe that should be the direction to go. I had bad luck with V6 imports.

Again, I like power and had drivetrain issues. Maybe go with 4 cylinders on imports or V8s on domestics are my thoughts. All my money is spent on upgrades vs repairs at this point. Better intakes, wheels, tires, upgrade stainless Magnaflow exhaust sound systems with IPOD and sub. I like Alpine; not needed, but improves driving enjoyment.

I drive more than most perhaps, but I really like what I own. If a car fails me over poor service, I will switch quickly. I remember it was me that paid for them, and if repairs hit too soon, I quit buying that brand.

8th Oct 2010, 15:46

"I seriously doubt the average American car, which was made for smooth as glass freeways,..."

I would like to know which state you are driving in that has smooth as glass freeways. All the ones I drive on in the west and southwest US are a bit beat up. Even when they are new, they are not all that good.

I would have described Germany's freeways as "smooth as glass" until I had occasion to drive in Holland. Wow, those were even better (because of the huge amounts of money pulled in from the North Sea oil.) But nothing I have ever driven on in the US has been any near as good the European roads I have driven on.

8th Oct 2010, 16:03

Excellent point. Besides, Toyota ranks 21st out of 33 car makers in build quality and Ford ranks 5th, so there is no real comparison. Our Ford cars have proven far more durable than most import trucks. Our office security force switched to the higher-ranked Ford Ranger for service vehicles, and my friend's company uses only the bullet-proof Crown Vic. No import can handle really severe driving. We drive hard and aggressively and our imports lasted less than 100,000 miles. No domestic we've owned has ever even required a repair in 100,000 miles.

I've heard of the frames sagging just from the weight of the car on imports, and this happened with one of ours. They are just not very solidly built.

8th Oct 2010, 16:40

"That may be, but when it comes to all-out safety and durability, the mighty Crown Victoria and any body on frame full sized sedan will be safer than any uni-garbage, FWD minivan. PERIOD!"

That's actually not accurate. Compare any crash safety result showing a vehicle with a frame versus a unibody, and the unibody frame will always win hands-down. The reason is that a Unibody frame actually has more tensile strength than a box frame. More often than not, the box frame will shear sideways versus the unibody, which will merely crumple in the zone it was hit, thus keeping the driver safe from the impact. Besides - the Crown Vic is a dinosaur that is being discontinued. Police departments will begin using modified Ford Tauruses, which is a unibody car built on a Volvo platform.

Anyway... I think those of us who have been reading these "foreign versus Import" arguments back and forth know what's going on. The folks who are ranting and raving about "imports" don't like them only because they're made in another country, regardless of the cars or trucks themselves. Call it what you want. It's bias that has nothing to do with the cars. If a Camry was made by Ford, I'm certain those same people that hate imports would be tripping all over themselves to defend them - because they trusted "their domestics" way more than any "import" At the end of the day, if Toyota and Honda made such bad products, they would have never risen to the prominence and success they did. GM and Ford had sales volume and for a time - exclusivity in the US car market.

The irony here, is that those who claim they will only ever drive GM or Ford cars, should probably be thanking Toyota and Honda for making GM and Ford get off their rears and be forced to make improvements. Had Toyota and Honda not come into the scene, the Big 3 would probably still be making junk. As of today their quality has greatly improved - not because they necessarily wanted to, but because the Japanese automakers upped the ante and were making a better product. It's called competition, and you and me as the consumer benefit from it.