12th Jul 2012, 06:50

Because it's the human nature of tribalism, the feeling that what "tribe" you belong to defines your beliefs and you as a person. That feeling is stronger in some people.

The same kind of personality that considers any negative comment about a Toyota (or Chevy, or whatever) as a personal attack upon their core beliefs, and responds with desperate vitriol and rhetoric is the same that uses terms like "Rethuglican" or "RepubliCON" or spits the word "Liberal" dripping with scorn. You can't have an intelligent, constructive conversation, debate, or open exchange of ideas with such people. You have become their sworn enemy by expressing a different opinion, and you must therefore be crushed in order to preserve their world-view and values.

If you were to take away their belief that Chevy/Toyota is the best, they would have nothing to believe in any longer, and their world would crumble.

12th Jul 2012, 12:51

The thing is that if you read sites like these, you seldom if hardly ever see any unrelated comments being made on any of the domestic vehicle reviews: There are good and bad vehicle reviews and usually that's that. BUT whenever there's a Toyota, Honda, or Nissan review, you see the exact same overly generalized negative comments or cherry-picked stats being made - that "Imports" are bad, followed by loose, anecdotal stories that they had some Grandpappy or far-off acquaintance who owned an "Import" that fell apart driving out of the dealership lot, BUT somehow they've owned like 20 Domestics, and none ever had a lick of problems.

I guess what I don't get, is if there are those who obviously spend so much time coming to sites to make negative comments on unspecified cars they've never or never will own, then exactly how constructive is that?

All I can say, is that I grew up right in the middle of fly-over-land, and this same anti-import sentiment - no matter how outdated or untrue - still runs rampant in those parts. That they don't like "Them-Thar' "Furrin' cars". Has nothing to do with actual quality or a serious debate in the least.

13th Jul 2012, 11:09

The majority of "grandpappy" drivers I am aware of have historically bought new larger domestics; some still going strong 3 or more decades later.

As far as my Toyota Corolla experience; I bought one new as a first new car. I was in college and was driving my grandmother's domestic V8 station wagon. I parked it in the back row over vanity. No fault of the car, and it was very reliable. In high school it was not so much an issue as having any car to drive.

The only comment I can make is if you are driving an old family car and migrate to a new small import, it's hard to compare maintenance history. You may rave about the new small import while comparing it to a well worn parent's hand me down large domestic. Even in high school, I saw classmates driving the old domestics such as Delta 88s or old Cutlasses, Century etc, and then they eventually bought a new small import.

I don't know any elderly people personally driving Corollas. My mom and I went to her large senior center, and if anything it's the mid to larger size domestics that I am seeing. A car like a Corolla to me is a starter car or a young family car. Maybe a commuter. But I do not see it as grandpop car that they bought and it's failing in the lot. Although I do agree with the newer maintenance issues others are sharing.

13th Jul 2012, 12:44

I fail to see why anyone stating personal experience or known facts regarding a particular car is "attacking" anyone. Are newspapers "attacking" Toyota for publicizing their numerous recalls? I think not.

Also, people (contrary to the beliefs of import owners) DO have good experiences with domestics. Reporting those good experiences is not an "attack".

I started driving in 1962. Since then my family has owned several dozen cars. At times we have owned as many as five at one time. We have owned cars from Ford, GM, Chrysler, and Studebaker, as well as several imports. The facts are that not one of the domestic brands (including the used Studebaker bought during the 60's) had any mechanical problems. The imports had too many problems to list. That is why we traded our last import (for a domestic) in 1999 and have never bought another one.

For us it is simple economics. Our imports cost us a lot in repairs. Our domestics haven't. Therefore the choice for us is domestics.

13th Jul 2012, 18:06

And what about the import fans who claim the same story, only the other way around, where somebody had awful Ford or GM cars, but yet of course their imports, along with everybody else they know (neighbor, landlords, bosses, etc. etc.), never had problems.

As far as domestic reviews on this site; take a look at Trailblazer or Envoy reviews, where the same individual has stated the same insulting comments over and over again, even to people that had great experiences with those two particular vehicles. Thankfully we don't hear from that individual any more, at least for now.

14th Jul 2012, 14:38

I use the example of the Trailblazer owner who supposedly had ALL FOUR rotors and ALL FOUR calipers go bad AT THE SAME TIME as an example of either 1) Gross exaggeration or 2) Extreme gullibility in letting a shop take advantage of him. The odds of such a thing occurring are higher than the odds of winning the lottery.

I also get a kick out of the statement "domestics require TEN TIMES the repairs that imports do". At no time in automotive history has the difference between frequency of repairs between domestics and imports varied by even a full percentage point.

15th Jul 2012, 08:21

12:51 The "them thar" stereotypes over imports are baseless and unfounded. I live in the Philadelphia metropolitan area, and have owned imports such as Acura, Mercedes and Audi. I personally far prefer domestics at the moment. They have come a very long way with features, appointments, durability and especially service life. Before 2000 I was on the other side of the fence. I have also owned Honda, Toyota and Nissan when they were made in Japan and had low production #s. I feel the builds were better late 70's thru early 90's, based on vehicles we purchased all new. We saw quality diminish, and have saved on service costs since.

16th Jul 2012, 11:39

I think the problem with these "debates" again - is that the term "import" and "domestic" means absolutely nothing, and especially today, and perhaps as long as 20+ years ago. Truth be known, none of the huge land yachts the Big 3 made for decades are being made any more. All of the formerly grandpappy-mobile brands have now been completely overhauled, and in many cases they're not only smaller, but riding on global or sometimes entirely non-domestic platforms. There has been a Renaissance in the domestic luxury car segment, and the cars of old are gone simply because they were not competitive. This change was needed and has been a success.

But digressing back, there is a BIG difference between discussing the merits of "domestic" and "imports" versus debating the merits of specific brands and models of those brands. These are two totally different arguments. More often than not, the arguments of "import" versus" domestic" is just that - an idealogical argument based on the idea of something American produced or one that isn't. That something that was simply produced in one geographical location is better than another. That argument has zero merit or fact. It's impossible to found a discussion on something that broad. ALL countries, no matter where they're located, make good and bad products. The same goes for cars.

It even goes further than that. Not ALL older people drive old land yachts. Come out to California - one of the biggest car markets in the US, so yes - a substantial market with close to 40 million people. A LOT of older people do in fact drive Corollas. But stepping back, it's sort of an over-generalization to state that older people only drive specific types of vehicles anyway. They're like everyone else: They drive what they choose.

I use specific brands and models for my personal choices. We've had extremely good luck with the Toyotas we've owned in our family. And yes - several are post-2000 models, and their quality and reliability was the same as its always been: One vehicle now has close to 300,000 miles and it's a 2003. Another is pushing 150k and it's a 2007. Now - that isn't to say that a domestic automaker can't also make reliable cars. They can and do, and the quality gap has been closing for a few years. There are a few models from domestic manufacturers I would consider. Many of which are based off of international platforms. But the choice is never about nationality. Again - that basically holds no merit, especially in a global economy where name doesn't indicate location of production anymore. The choice is and should always be about customer satisfaction. So in the end we all win. Buy what you like and let it be.