5th Apr 2006, 12:28

Well, for Volkswagen in America the real reason is that the company really could care less about the American market (we are FINALLY getting the Mark 5 Golf that has been in Europe for nearly two years) and builds most of their cars in the quality-impaired Mexican plants.

But the overall reason is really two-fold: Intense competition coupled with the need to add more and more high technology to their products.

Car buyers end up being beta testers as cars are brought to market faster and faster without any real concern for quality. This is a shame, since some traditional strongholds (such as Mercedes and BMW) have fallen victim to this.

Used to be that you couldn't go wrong by a Mercedes (as far as quality) and that BMWs were generally great even in their first year models. Now Mercedes has worse quality than Hyundai and even the BMW Car Club of America has warned its members against buying a first year BMW and to wait until the bugs are worked out.

For me, I long for the days when cars were relatively simple, even if they had smaller engines. Where are the CRX's, Sentra SER's (original models), and Eagle Talons today? I know that Honda has a new Si out (and soon a four door version) but it is still overloaded with electronics that aren't really necessary. Of course, the four door Si might be my next car since it is still relatively affordable.

Yes, cars are more sophisticated, but they are also losing their soul. I recently drove a 2006 BMW 325i and was shocked how "fat" the car was. Yes, it can do amazing things on the highway/backroads, but this car was so overburdened with weight and electronics it was no longer pleasing like my past 5 BMWs were.

5th Apr 2006, 14:35

"Well, for Volkswagen in America the real reason is that the company really could care less about the American market"

The ethno-centric German superiority is a myth. The Volkswagen de Mexico plant is state of the art, and any problems one encounters with recent Volkswagens is due to German design flaws, not the people putting the car together. Let's debunk this myth.

5th Apr 2006, 14:53

This is also another reason you cannot take your car to a mom and pop garage to get it fixed. With all the gadgets, these cars need to go to the dealership. And sometimes I'm not certain even they can figure out what's wrong.

21st Aug 2006, 17:26

I have a 1972 Cutlass supreme that runs like a dream. Turns heads everywhere I go. It's a bear on gas, but even at these prices it a whole lot cheaper that owning one of these things.