29th Jul 2012, 08:47

Have you owned the 96 Corolla since new?

30th Jul 2012, 20:46

Yes, sagging DOES occur on Japanese vehicles. Our Mazda sagged from its own weight, and my friend's three-year-old Corolla sagged from its own weight. The same alignment shop diagnosed both vehicles in my presence. In each case we were asked "Has the car been in any accidents or hit a curb or huge pothole?" The answer in both cases was "No." In addition my late brother's Mitsubishi skidded into a 4" curb at 20mph in a rainstorm and did $800.00 damage to the front suspension. The shop repairing it told him point blank "If this were an American-made car you'd have driven away with no damage."

Over the years my wife has hit a caved-in area of pavement in her Ford Mustang hard enough to damage the wheel. Still no alignment required. I hit a 6" curb at 50 mph in my 5.0 Mustang. The impact was hard enough to knock my glasses off. I was afraid to take the car in to be checked, but when I did I was told "No damage. The alignment is perfect." and I wasn't even charged for the check-up on it. My Fusion hit a glancing blow on a curb hard enough to bounce the car sideways about a foot and blow out the tire. Again, no damage nor even a charge for checking it out (incidentally my curb hits have been due to avoiding collisions with careless drivers).

Since most alignment shops will tell you you need an alignment just to get your money, I am certain that if mine had been out of alignment the slightest bit, the shop would have aligned it and charged me. This was, incidentally, the very same shop that diagnosed the sagging suspension on mine and my friend's Japanese cars, so I know they are honest. I've used them for many years, because I KNOW they are honest. In fact, I have never had to have an alignment done on ANY domestic vehicle I have ever owned. They've never found any of them out of spec regardless of age or mileage.

All it takes is a quick glance underneath a Japanese car by a car-savvy person to tell you that in most cases the structural components are smaller and flimsier than their domestic counterparts. They always have been. Check out the several-years-old comparison of the Ford F-150 and the vastly flimsier Tundra if it is still available on the net. It's an eye-opener.

31st Jul 2012, 14:12

Is it me, or is there a record player skipping in the corner? We've repeatedly seen these claims that somehow, import cars "sag" or have flimsy parts, or something like that.

Again - totally removed from reality. Sorry - but "import" cars don't sag - not anymore than their "Merican" or sometimes foreign-built, American badged cars.

1st Aug 2012, 13:14

Oh wow! I just realized it could be the same guy spewing this anti-import hate - the "imports sag, ad-hype, Fusion guy".

Wow! How does one person have all of this time to spew such rhetoric?

News flash - Your Fusion is based on the platform of the Mazda 6 & was assembled in Mexico - one less car built by a US Autoworker - but then you're not worried about the poor working guy, you're talking about corporate profits anyway. Is that it?

You can rant & rave about your sagging imports, how great Fords are and all the rest. I'll buy and drive whatever I choose, and I wouldn't even look at a Ford because of the comments you post on this site.

You've dominated this site ad nauseum, can we please move on and allow this site to return to focus on car reviews from owners, instead of biased opinions by a person or persons, who do not even own the vehicle they are bashing?

1st Aug 2012, 14:37

Refer to comment 20:46.

2nd Aug 2012, 06:51

Just to dispel a few myths.

Yes, there are some people who post quite frequently to the site.

Despite this, when it comes to the never ending import vs domestic debate that consumes some North Americans, there are always a number of people posting on both sides of the argument.

Asking for this to end is asking for the impossible (short of ruthless and arbitrary censorship). Every north american auto site that has comments seems to suffer from this. It's caused by the same tribal forces that drive the never ending Mac vs PC, iPhone vs Android, Mustang vs Camaro, and Ford Falcon vs Holden Commodore debates.

This cartoon pretty much captures the essence of the problem: http://xkcd.com/386/

No one will ever "win" in these debates. It will never stop. If you enjoy a bit of heated debate, great, but don't expect to change anyone's mind. If you find these debates frustrating and annoying, then I suspect that all you're doing is raising your stress levels, for very little gain.

Lastly, this review is for a Corolla from Australia or New Zealand. It's going to be substantially different from US Corollas (for good or ill), the competing vehicles will be different too, and regardless of the the virtues of the north american domestic vs import debate, the main issues are going to be of limited interest to the residents of Oceania.

Steven Jackson, CSDO Media Limited.


2nd Aug 2012, 09:41

The link doesn't talk about "Sagging frames". The topic was about a plastic cover - not the frame.

2nd Aug 2012, 13:37

Steven - Thank you for your ability to frame this in a context, which explains why this argument will never end.

One follow-up question - Any advice for those of us who have owned or do own both imports & (US) domestics, and find that both are equally enjoyable, reliable and capable vehicles?

2nd Aug 2012, 13:41

One last word on the "import suspensions don't sag" issue. In today's U.S. national media an article stated that Toyota is recalling nearly a million more cars. The problem? The rear suspensions can collapse. That pretty much settles that argument nicely!!

3rd Aug 2012, 11:14

But wait - I thought that the anti-import argument had been about sagging frames? Not suspension. Always good to try and change the argument.

But anyway, latest news shows Toyota making enormous profits and doing very well. Guess the rest of us already know they build good products, and hence why they're doing just fine.

3rd Aug 2012, 11:50

I don't feel that I should be offering advice on the domestic vs foreign issue, especially given I live in the UK, and my first hand experience of north american cars is limited to riding in a Pontiac Sunfire hire car in Florida in 1999, and riding in Crown Victoria taxis in New York in 1998.

Steven Jackson, CSDO Media Limited.


3rd Aug 2012, 11:56

Why don't you explain the actual nature of the recall?


Let's be fair here, personally I have owned about 30 cars over 40 years of driving. Almost an equal spilt between imports & domestics, but perhaps a few more domestics than imports. I currently own 2 domestics and no imports, and personally have never owned a Toyota (although I did once own a Geo Prizm, which is pretty much a Corolla, and my wife did own a Lexus). That being said, I can honestly say that I believe both domestics and imports are pretty equal and are all basically reliable, well-built vehicles.

I guess Steven is right, this argument will never end, but in the interest of fairness, when you mention Toyota's recalls, have you mentioned Ford's recent recalls? Any manufacturer could have a recall at any time, in fact my Jeep was just recalled last month, so I took it to the dealer and got the recall taken care of.

My point is - this entire argument is pointless, but apparently there are a lot of people on this site that disagree with that.