3rd Nov 2010, 06:56

I would also take the Buick because of the nicer ride. The styling of the Toyota being a negative as well. At least it's nicer to drive and they go high mileage as well There are nicer riding enjoyable imports if you go the used route. I drove a coworkers Audi, now 10 years old, as a good example vs a new Toyota. It cost 16k, low miles, and dealer maintained. It's nice having a very enjoyable car to drive, especially if you drive a lot. To me, it's cheapness vs quality of life and enjoyment. I love driving my really nice domestic to and from work every day. I could retire, but I enjoy driving my car in every bit, as I'm still working and being stimulated by work.

3rd Nov 2010, 09:59

So you switched to "fun domestics"? What exactly was "fun" about them anyway? Were they fun because they were convertibles, because almost all "import" brands have those as well, or were they fun because they were "domestic", meaning they could have been any of the 20 or so "domestic" brands that exist out there?

3rd Nov 2010, 13:19

I think I'd opt for the new superior Toyota over a 20 something year old Buick. The 80's was the low point for GM vehicles, and I would never punish myself by owning one from that era. To say Toyota's are bland and boring really translates to most new cars out there. They all look similar and use the same interior materials etc, etc. It's all about what you're willing to spend to upgrade the model you want. Any car can be fitted with nicer interior components, sound systems, wheels, trim...

3rd Nov 2010, 16:27

The Buicks I've driven - including my Grandmother's - rides like a marshmallow - meaning it basically has no ride at all. Just a big lumbering brick of a car on a puffy suspension system. And if you're using Audi as a yardstick to compare quality of life, then that's interesting since Audi - especially the old models - were plagued with mechanical and electrical problems. Even now they are fairly low on the overall quality list.

Oh - And I just LOVE driving my "Import". It's so nice to enjoy a high quality of life and not have to take some "Domestic" car to the garage for constant repairs...

3rd Nov 2010, 17:51

But you cannot change the suspension. Although this is an older Buick, it's day and night. My son has a loaded 2004 Civic EX, and it rides terrible even with 15 inch wheels. Great sound system and every gadget, but the ride stinks.

4th Nov 2010, 09:26

I did not like Lexus marshmallow ride. I bought Acura TLs with better road manners and handling. If you spend a lot, you can get a nice ride out of imports. I do not like wheel hop, lane skips, bouncy rides, or the small wheel, short wheelbase cars or trucks I have driven. Maybe hard riding cars are OK for some, or they do not know the difference. I have changed shocks and tires to try to make a better ride. I usually try to upgrade components from the time I buy a new car.

4th Nov 2010, 10:20

You're comparing a small econo car to a full sized car. Of course the ride is going to be different, but I would argue that the Civic probably has a better ride quality. If you like floaty, marshmallow suspension then you probably prefer Buicks - much like old people do. If you like more feedback and more responsive handling, you won't. Simple as that.

4th Nov 2010, 10:38

I could have written the last paragraph myself! The Chevy service manager I was on a first name basis will be missing me... ha ha ha! I've never met the service manager for any import company... huh.

4th Nov 2010, 10:43

So you buy cars in the mindset that you'll put $thousands extra into them for suspension parts and tires? What a waste of cash. Just look for a car that is up to your standards when you test drive it. Why put extra money into something that already is losing 20% when you drive it off the lot? I've had many cars, and some that weren't perfect, but I never felt compelled to "customize" every last thing to my exact specifications. It is good if you keep your cars for 15 years and drive every last mile out of them, but otherwise it doesn't really make sense.

4th Nov 2010, 14:58

Perhaps the longer wheelbase is an additional factor. I have had some full size cars that have handled quite well. Nice factory suspensions, front rear sway bars made by Buick 455s and Pontiacs as well. Leave the marshmallows at home.

4th Nov 2010, 17:43

Anyone hear of new tire wheel takeoffs right after purchase? The tuners do it to all the time. I do not like Goodyear tires for example and heavy steel rims, and sell them and switch. There are thousands of companies across the country or the internet like Tire Rack. Import and domestic owners upgrade as soon as they buy new cars. Makes cars better to drive and look good as well. Maybe skinny tires and plastic hideous hubcaps are appealing. Even factory mags can be heavy.

6th Nov 2010, 08:19

My mom's 95 Century rides great at well. She has only bought an alternator, and just tires and brakes. The engines are great too. But I agree they are blah looking like the Camry. Lots of seniors don't care so much about styling as plain transportation. My best similar ones were Pontiac 6000 and a 90 Bonneville with 200000 miles on it. The 90 had great sporty suspension, and nice gauges like the Firebird orange dash. Great engine

6th Nov 2010, 11:53

This would be great if we all wanted 15 year old GM's! What does it have to so with Toyota? Thought so!

6th Nov 2010, 13:47

There was a ride comparison being commented upon, which would certainly pertain to a Toyota acquired new in 1995 or a current 2011 model. It wasn't a styling exercise, it was a ride quality comparison.

7th Nov 2010, 06:01

The poster of comment #16 claims to have a 1986 Buick LeSabre with a V8 engine and RWD?

Well, that must be one rare car, as the only V8-powered RWD Buick made after 1985 was the Estate Wagon, until the return of the Roadmaster sedan/wagon from 1991-1996.

8th Nov 2010, 08:40

I am sure either Buick rides much better than a Camry.

20th Jun 2012, 01:51

I like both domestics and imports. SOME of each. For even those who are very enthusiastic about imports, as they should be, because they are mostly very good cars, please consider that quality can be improved. I work at a body shop that repairs all makes and models, and most of the new GM and Ford vehicles are indistinguishable from the Toyotas and Hondas in terms of quality materials and assembly. I have generally observed that most vehicles, both import and domestic, go many miles without requiring major repairs. There are not too many terrible cars these days.

It is really not fair, most of all to yourself, to be totally closed-minded about whether a certain marque produces quality vehicles. There are a myriad of factors involved that determine how good a vehicle is in the real world. The vast majority of domestic cars I've worked with or owned have about the same reliability as the imports. And I've noticed that a few imports with reputations for quality, Mazda and Mitsubishi especially, seem very problematic for some. The old adage that imports are always designed and assembled better than all the domestics and have superior reliability is becoming a outdated. True, in the 1980's and 90's the differences were obvious, but not so much anymore.

Indeed, one of the greatest benefits of domestics losing massive sales volumes to the imports from the 70's until recently, has been the overall gain in quality of the newer domestics. Please don't generalize about vehicles with which you have little or no experience.