21st Jul 2009, 15:03

"1) The Fusion IS the highest rated car in CR's projected reliability listings. It beats Camry, Accord and Altima... PERIOD. No "opinion" there, just FACT."

The Ford Fusion was introduced in 2005. Thus it has only been on the market for 4 years, which isn't long enough to prove any kind of real-life reliability ratings. But the engine in it is derived from the same engine used in the Mazda Protoge, which has had a history of faulty intake manifolds and EGR valves. Thus going on that alone, I'd say stay away from it until its actually been out there long enough to make a factual call on reliability.

The Camry has been in continuous production since 1980 - almost 30 years - and has had an almost solid streak of outright stellar reliability with the exception of a limited number of 2006 V6, 6 speed, US-built models which has since been corrected.

2) A Buick and a Ford tied for best LONG-TERM reliability (NOT initial quality, which doesn't make a HOOT of difference over the long run) in J.D. Powers reliability survey of long-term required repairs. Again, just fact.

-Again- these numbers are more like 2 and 3 year reliability. Hardly what I would call "Long term". Long term to me means more like 7-10 years.

3) The longest lasting truck featured in CR's article on long-lasting vehicles was a FORD. It had gone 488,000 trouble-free miles. Again, A fact.

Back when I bought my Tacoma the dealer took me around back to take a peek at their late 80's Toyota delivery truck. It had 520,000 miles on it and had yet to have even the valve covers removed. I saw this in person. So at least one Toyota truck has that many miles. One of my buddies has a 95 Tacoma with close to 450,000 miles. No problems so far.I've been on blogs where Toyota owners regularly have 300,00, 400,000 miles or more. In other words, it's quite common for Toyota get extremely high amounts of miles no problem. But we sort of expect that and it's nothing unusual or amazing. The trucks are bulletproof, hence no proof needed.

4) The Ford F-150 is in its 30th year as the best selling full-sized truck. Tundra is struggling just to hang on.

Yes, well Ford has been making this truck for almost 50 years. The Tundra came out in 2001. Given those facts, the Tundra sells quite well.

5) Both Honda and Toyota have had NUMEROUS problems in recent years. CR pulled its "recommended" rating of the Camry in 2008 because of poor reliability. The Camry is STILL rated only "average". The Fusion is 2 full ratings HIGHER. Again, no speculation, just FACT.

That's rather vague. Still doesn't really mean anything since quality reports still shows Ford, GM, and Chrysler below the avg quality and reliability ratings of the big 2 Japanese automakers and their divisions. Again - the Fusion is a new car with no long term track record.

6) No Toyota or Honda has EVER made it to the "million mile club". That means vehicles that are still running the same engine and transmission after 1,000,000 miles. Both Ford and Cadillac have made this milestone.

The highest miles acquired on a Toyota is a 1991 Toyota 2WD with a 22r engine documented at over one million miles and still going strong.

7) Personal experience matters when the numbers give sufficient data (consult any qualified statistician). Out of over 30 domestics owned by our family, NONE, not ONE, required a repair to the engine or transmission before 100,000 miles. ALL THREE of our imports had MASSIVE engine problems before 100,000 miles. The mathematical odds of that are out of the realm of pure coincidence. Getting 30 "unusual" good domestics and 3 "bad" imports is stretching the limits of reality. Conclusion: The domestics were better... PERIOD.

My family has also had scads of cars. We had a Chevy Malibu, Olds 88', a Buick Riviera, a 95' Ford F-250, and a Ford Ranger. Of all of these, only the Ranger was halfway acceptable. The others had short, unreliable lives with massive amounts of mechanical and electrical problems. The Buick was so bad that the dealer actually agreed to take it back after a month. On the other hand we have had 2 Camrys, (85 and 92) a 98' Avalon (brother still drives it with 265,000 miles), A 4runner, a 2002 Tundra (Dad still has it with 225,000 miles) a Tacoma (I still drive it with 220,000 miles), an 88' Celica, and a 2002 Prius (Wife drives it now with almost 100,000 miles).

We have never had any major problems with any of the Toyotas we've ever owned. So it's rather curious to me that you claim that ALL the imports you've ever owned (what kind of imports are they?) had problems while all 30 of the domestics you've had were flawless? Somehow I don't buy your story. But I'm sure we're going to hear this same story anytime someone posts a new post about a Tundra. The thing is, if you hate Toyotas so much, then why post comments on Toyota posts? Obviously you aren't going to convince any Toyota owners that Ford Fusions or Dodge Omni are superior. We know better and you're not doing yourself any good trying to make vague arguments.

21st Jul 2009, 23:13

I have a relative, now retired, that was a mid-level Ford manager in the early 1990's. At that time he told me Ford had solid market research that had everyone in Ford convinced that there was a sizable part of the American population that would never buy a Ford, GM, or Dodge product for the rest of their lives because of reliability problems from the 70's and 80's. So I would say they have a pretty good understanding of the situation.

On a lot of things, people decide their brand preferences between the age of 20 and 30 and never change. To understand the phenomena, ask someone 50 or 60 years old who they vote for president, ask why a few times, and just wait for how long it is before they start talking about Richard Nixon or Jimmy Carter. You'll be asking yourself, "Does this person have any idea what has been going on in the country for the last five years?" It's kind of the same with cars.

22nd Jul 2009, 10:06

The biggest factor to me in the domestic versus Japanese car debate is the huge number of American citizens who are being hurt by the "It doesn't hurt the U.S. economy to buy Japanese" argument. It has a ripple effect. If you buy a Toyota or Honda you are not helping ANYONE in the U.S., not even YOURSELF.

22nd Jul 2009, 19:16

If imports are as bad as you say they are, couldn't the million of auto workers get a job repairing them? I'm an import fan, every American car I've owned has failed me. I've never had a problem with imports. They last longer, they're built better, and when you sell them, they're actually worth something.

22nd Jul 2009, 19:25

If you really abuse a car, any car, it's obviously going to break at some point. The fact of the matter is, every car should be able to take some abuse, but you should never abuse a car to its breaking point and then say it's the cars fault.