29th Jan 2007, 18:18

Well considering your perameters, I'd check out the Chevy Malibu, Ford Fusion, Five Hundred (very safe, AWD), or maybe a 2007 Chrysler Sebring. But if you want something more sporty like the Audi, test drive Cadillac CTS. Also the Lincoln MKZ is nice. I was in a Mazda 3 V6 (not a wagon tho') and it was fairly nice, but I wouldn't buy one.

31st Jan 2007, 09:28

Hmmm, interesting...

I'm curious as to why the Pontiac G6 didn't make your list. Reliability? Performance?

Also, the Volvo S40 T5 would seem to be in the ballpark, but like I said, I haven't driven anything yet. Probably will get serious this summer.

31st Jan 2007, 11:07

I would vote for the Volvo! Highly recommended.

31st Jan 2007, 12:09

Ya, I forgot about the G5 and G6, I suppose they're just as good, but I don't like the way they look. Check into those too, tho. The only Volvo I've seen that was even remotely interesting was the XC90, the rest are just really ugly. I Don't know if I mentioned this before, but check out the Buick LaCrosse, and Lucerne. Buick makes very reliable and safe cars so that should definitely be on your list.

16th Feb 2007, 17:25

Having a number of friends who have really gotten burned with the Camry and Tundra, I don't recommend anyone spending any of their hard-earned money on any Japanese company's vehicles. Honda has had DISASTROUS problems with transmissions (including their pricey Acura lines). Toyota has had so many problems this year I've lost count. Most were major safety issues that could kill you.

I highly recommend the new Ford Fusion, the Pontiac G-6 or the Buick LaCrosse. All are very well built, very safe, and more reliable than Camry or Accord.

As for Volvo, my mom just got a new S60 2.5T and I DO NOT recommend it. The ride is very harsh, the interior very cramped (the console rubs your leg while driving), the power brakes are way too touchy and the power steering has no road feel at all. The Ford Fusion or Lincoln MKZ is a Rolls Royce in comparison.

Of all the cars in this size range that I've driven the Ford Fusion is the absolute BEST. It drives like a car costing twice as much, and Ford's reliabilty is world-class. We also own a Pontiac, and it is a great driving car that has never had a single problem either.

I'm very sorry to read of people getting bilked out of their money by Toyota. Hopefully enough people will speak up (as you have) to tip people off to the myth of "Toyota quality". Thank you for sharing your all-too-common story with us.

16th Feb 2007, 20:57

About four years ago a very good friend of ours fell for the Japanese car myth and bought a used Camry with almost 100,000 miles on it. At the time his wife was sick and they had very little money to spend on anything beyond the absolute necessities. Well, within just a couple of months they began to have really major problems with the Camry. Finally, after about 6 months the transmission went out and they were told that it would cost more to fix than the car was worth ($3500). They decided to junk the car and they bought a NINETEEN YEAR OLD Chevrolet with over 200,000 miles on it for $800. The Chevy served them flawlessly until they were able to buy a newer car recently. It grieves me to see so many people who work so hard for their money lose it on over-hyped, poorly built cars because of myths perpetrated by car companies.

17th Feb 2007, 00:39

Yeah, my uncle bought his 96 Avalon with 80,000 miles and commuted for about 4 years from Minnesota to California every six months. Today the car has 260,000 miles and runs very well for a man who was always complaining that his GM cars would break down all the time. I know him to not treat his cars well and his Toyota's seem to last forever. This is like you guys like to hear a real life story from a real life person--who just happens to drive an Avalon.

17th Feb 2007, 00:57

If that story is even true, it's an exception to the rule. The other 999 times out of 1000, the Camry would have been perfect and a 19 year old Chevy would have be in a junkyard, as is usually the case. The quality of Japanese automobiles is not a myth, it is a proven fact. They are the best. Some people don't agree with this, but it is true just the same.

17th Feb 2007, 04:38

Bad Camry is a rare Camry. There are SO many factors. Previous treatment being huge. Almost all pre-owned imports I've heard of that have failed were abused previously - buyer be ware!

17th Feb 2007, 07:19

Though for the most part, Japanese cars are VERY dependable, I think we tend to discredit the American cars way too much. I own two Malibu's (one being the notorious 01 v6 version), and have had no significant problems. Any car can have issues, and just because it's a japanese car doesn't mean it can last forever. I will admit however that one of these stories does sound a little far fetched.

17th Feb 2007, 08:05

What about all of the hard working people who dump of their hard earned money into their wonderfully crafted by the big 3.Toyota might make a lemon here or there, but the chances are much lees than a domestic. You could also have the best built car with the worst service and vice versa. Some dealership's just stink and only care about the sale.

17th Feb 2007, 08:47

I agree its better to buy a new import then experience very expensive mechanical problems that had nothing to do with overmaintaining the vehicle at the dealership. I usually stay with a car model unless this happens. Imports are not what they were in my opinion after 2000.

17th Feb 2007, 13:33

I have a 28 year-old El Camino with 140,000 miles and it gets me to work everyday. I certainly am hardpressed to see any 1979 Toyotas or Hondas on the road nowadays.

17th Feb 2007, 16:41

8:05 I agree about the dealerships only caring about the sale. I bought 2007 GM's this time.

17th Feb 2007, 18:37

To 13:33; that's not that big an accomplishment to have 140,000 on a 28 year old car. That's 5000 miles a year. See if it gets 240 or 340,000 miles on it like many (or most) of the Toyota's or Honda's that I have had some experience with. It won't. If I only drove my Toyota 5000 miles a year, it would probably last me the rest of my life. It might anyway.

17th Feb 2007, 20:28

Live in the rust belt and find out how long your car last. You don't find many cars that last 15 years.

18th Feb 2007, 13:33

I seriously doubt that there are a total of a DOZEN Hondas or Toyotas on the PLANET that have gone 340,000 miles. Import owners tend to grossly exaggerate. I've never even HEARD of a Japanese car with over 250,000 miles on it. Only a good domestic is usually capable of that sort of mileage.

18th Feb 2007, 14:57

To 00:57 and 07:19,

The story of the Camry is very much true. Sorry your heads are set for foreign cars, but as for the one I purchased, it's a piece of crap. That's whats wrong with our country now, everybody seems to think that foreign is better so there goes our jobs here. This vehicle changed my belief a long time ago. Just this past Friday, the dealer finally picked the car up to have those issues addressed. This car was brand new with only about 10 miles on it at purchase and as of Friday, I have approx. 8-10 work order receipts to prove that it's a pile of crap. Now at 12,000 miles, the dealer admits that the power window regulator has gone bad and has issued yet another work order. If either of you want a dependable vehicle, I'll let you have this one, but lets see who will stop to pick you up beside the road when another problem occurs. Then maybe you won't be so quick to assume that a story like this is so far fetched and unbelievable.