27th Nov 2011, 16:09
I've have owned about 30 vehicles for both business & pleasure - nearly an equal split between "Imports" & "Domestics". I can say with all honesty that I do not see a huge difference between the two. Therefore I stand by the statement that this argument is pointless, and much of what is written here is pure opinion (just as this is my opinion based on my experiences).
BTW, I see plenty of bashing going both ways, and just so you don't think I am slanted towards imports, I currently own 2 vehicles, both domestic - I like them both, however they are no better or worse than the imports I have owned.
Again, folks should just allow people to drive what they enjoy without trying to convince them that "their" vehicle of choice is somehow "better" than the other person's.
27th Nov 2011, 23:38
The commentor from 15:20 was asked what imports they had that lasted 100k, seeing how we always hear about the poor domestics, but never what particular imports have made it that far.
As for your experiences well, it's nice to read about them all over again, and really, who is asking you to switch?
Also I have owned some of the so-called "crap" that GM and Ford used to make, and a good amount of them made identical mileage to your family's imports.
28th Nov 2011, 10:14
"Most of the cars are 10 years ago. Look again in 2012. We switched."
Why should age have anything to do with the argument? The cars in the above list are all variant in age. From the 80's - 2008. All of the above had the same exact performance and reliability. Somehow I fail to see the point. If the argument is that somehow the "new" Toyotas and Hondas as if by magic suddenly became unreliable, then I've already proven that to be incorrect.
28th Nov 2011, 11:30
I'm not saying new imports are all junk, but for somebody who has been repairing cars for years, I can testify that import quality HAS gone way down compared to 15 years ago.
In the late 80's and through the 90's, the common repairs on a Toyota were CV boots, oil leaks and some minor electrical repairs. Compare that now to sludged up engines, transmission flaws, head gaskets, and a variety of other repairs you see today.
Again, I'm not bashing anything, this is what I see all the time on vehicles that have been properly maintained.
28th Nov 2011, 13:30
There are two ways this argument could end. One is if certain people who comment on this site, would accept the fact that there are many domestic buyers that have had a flawless ownership with the cars they have owned.
The other is if certain people could accept the fact that there are many import buyers that have had a bad ownership with the cars they have owned.
The problem is a good domestic seems to always be a lie, and a bad import seems to always be a lie.
Therefore the argument is never going to end.
28th Nov 2011, 17:04
10:14 Age has everything to do with technological advances. If you are buying a 2012 new car, are you going to pull out your 1984 Consumer Reports out to make a decision? I drive a new crossover, so am I to read about an 80s minivan? I don't go with dated specs. If so, I would have had no major engine issues and trans issues on my late model imports. My low production, made in Japan models then were far superior. I have seen major changes within a couple years, new car to new car. More hp, features, economy improvements. If you do care about 2012 cars, it's important when we buy.
28th Nov 2011, 17:28
I think you can say that about nearly everything manufactured though. In the past 15 years everything has gotten cheaper. It is about the bottom line for companies, and nothing more.
28th Nov 2011, 17:53
I am also an automotive technician who has worked on both imports and domestics, ranging from the 80s to 2011 (haven't seen any 2012s yet, but I hope they aren't breaking that quickly!). I have seen major failures occur in both imports and domestics. The "increase" in major failures occurring in imports doesn't necessarily mean that quality has declined, rather the number of imports on the road today compared to the 80s and 90s has increased significantly. The number of cars in general has increased significantly.
Yes, Toyota did have an issue with sludging in the late 90s and early 2000s. Chrysler also had sludging issues with their infamous 2.7L V6 (and no recall has been made.) Toyota also had rust issues on their pick-up trucks. Unknown to most people, GM also had rust issues on early 2000s pick-up trucks (and there has yet to be a recall. Granted the rust was not as severe as on the Toyota's, but I have seen dozens of early 2000s GM trucks sent to the scrap yard due to serious frame rot, and know several other techs in my field who have seen the same thing.)
Having seen both good and bad from both import and domestic, I can't really claim to be on either side. All cars are machines, and all machines can (and will) break down at some point. Imports tend to be better at making smaller things.
Try looking at the sub-frames on some of the older imports. They are made of thick, fully-welded steel. The older small domestic cars? Cheap, squared-out designs that are simply pinch-welded along their seems. Interior quality is older domestics is pathetic, and exterior quality is seriously lacking as well. The domestics really had something going with the use of polymer panels on the Saturn S-series cars, if only it had caught on, because with a few tweaks to help quiet the noise these Saturns were known for, cars could have been made much simpler and more durable with this design.
When it comes to trucks, domestic is king (except on the small pick-ups, the Tacoma really is the best in this segment.) OHV design engines truly are more durable and are better suited to heavy duty applications like large pick-up trucks. An example where imports fall short on this? Belt-driven overhead cam engines on their older pick-ups (they are now using chain driven, which is far better.) Perhaps a bit more power, but service intervals and overall durability suffer. The frames on domestic trucks are better built for the long haul. I wouldn't call import truck frames weak, they are more than capable of doing their job, but the proof is in the tow ratings and domestic trucks win this one.
It all boils down to what each side of the argument is most interested in. The imports focused more on smaller cars, and therefore built better cars than the domestics. The domestics, they focused much more on trucks and SUVs, and so built better trucks and SUVs than the imports.
With today's new cars, everyone is about equal. And I would say, that in my opinion, while the domestics have improved greatly, the imports have declined slightly. Not in mechanical build quality, but mostly in interior quality. The domestics win this one for once. Wonder how long it will be till everything gets switched up again?