: foreign vs. domestic observations



misfit6794
01-23-08, 11:53 AM
This is based on my personal experience. So my sister's 03 Grand Am needed a new battery, no problem, go pick the car up, and I am IMMEDIATELY reminded of why I dread american cars. Most of the interior trim has fallen apart. Almost every button on the door panel has fallen into the door panel. Thhe cruise control buttons are hanging from the steering wheel, the paint on the radio/window/lock buttons have all worn off and are now clear. Various trim pieces have just fallen off. Keep in mind, my sister is the only driver, doesn't abuse the car, and it only has 57,000 miles. Mechanically, the coolant has turned to mud, even though it is regularly flushed. The car eats through rotors and pads. Three of the windows have fallen off the tracks. The car is quick, but I can feel every single thing the motor/tranny does through the steering wheel. Oh and the "chrome plating" on the rims is cracking and falling off. After 5 minutes, I didnt want to drive it anymore. Drop the car off, hop into an 02 Camry with 95,000 miles. The interior looks the same as when it was bought, with the exception of the carpet. ALL the interior accessories work, nothing has fallen off or broken. THe engine runs as smooth as new, never had to deal with muddy coolant.

I just don't understand why anyone would want to buy a car thats going to fall apart in 5 years, if toyota can build a car that lasts, why can't gm?

I~LUV~Caddys8792
01-23-08, 11:58 AM
You shouldn't dislike all of GM's cars just because of that Grand Am. Those things are the biggest pile of shit that GM has rolled off the assembly lines in a long, long time. And most of the ones I see, are just like the one you've described. I've seen a lot of late model GM cars considering where I work, and those Grand Am's are by FAR the biggest POS's out there. Even when compared to the 97-02 Malibu and Aleros.....cars that share the Grand Am's N body platform. Everything else GM has made, even including Cavaliers and Sunfires, looks good when compared to those Grand Am's

Lord Cadillac
01-23-08, 12:40 PM
I'm not biased at all.. You can check out my posts in various forums over the past decade.. But domestic automobiles have come a long way since then. Today's domestic products are either nearly as good, just as good or better than their foreign counterparts.

Playdrv4me
01-23-08, 12:50 PM
Yea, you can't judge GM's current offerings based on the experience with that Grand Am. That was a terrible car just like you mentioned, but if you look at an 03 Escalade that has been well maintained for example, it still looks nearly new inside.

Fast forward to 2008 and they've made leaps and bounds in quality and construction since then. There is still some ways to go, but overall it's alot better than the old Grand Am.

Also, it's funny you mention the muddy coolant, because I believe it is that generation of Camrys if not the generation right before that which were notorious for oil sludging.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
01-23-08, 01:03 PM
With that being said, I'm not biased, I like both Domestic and Foreign. They've both got their good examples, and their bad ones.

Jesda
01-23-08, 01:44 PM
GM used to fart out some real duds, which is why they're trying to save the sinking ship.

Ranger
01-23-08, 02:00 PM
I found your post interesting and surprising. My daughter has an '04 with about the same mileage. The only thing I can identify with is the radio buttons. I did have to R & R the multifunction switch, but I think that is it so far. Hope my luck holds. You guys got me worried now.

malcolm
01-23-08, 02:11 PM
No offense to your sister but women can beat the crap out of cars.

Playdrv4me
01-23-08, 02:21 PM
No offense to your sister but women can beat the crap out of cars.

This is true. Some of the dirtiest worst taken care of trades come from women.

You know these cars because the service history is meticulous, and alot of times even performed at the dealer (my old range rover) but the interior is full of crumb snatcher leftovers, scratches, and dirt.

malcolm
01-23-08, 02:27 PM
I hear that, my wife and daughter are the worst offenders. Both are petit little females but brutal on automotive hardware. If I didn't witness it first hand I wouldn't believe it.

dkozloski
01-23-08, 03:20 PM
My stepdaughter buys four wheel drive trucks and they last 2-3 years and are junk. She's lost multiple transmissions in every one but never seems to run into anything.

LS1Mike
01-23-08, 04:49 PM
You should see my Buddy Chris's wifes 5 year old Civic lots of broken stuff on the inside, sounds just like your sisters Grand Am, although the Grand Am is shit when compared to a lot of GM stuff. A lot really depends on how you take car of a care of a car also. Chris's wife dosen't take care of her car at all that is why it is crap now. I don't think the Grand Am needs much help though.

Look at the new Malibu when compared to the Accord and Camary. It proves how far GM has come.

Playdrv4me
01-23-08, 05:48 PM
Oddly enough the one car in GM's stable that I hope gets some more help soon is the Corvette. Jesda has almost... ALMOST convinced me to get a Corvette more than once. Unfortunately it is really sad how much interior is at odds with the gorgeous exterior. I think my least favorite part though, if I had to pick anything for them to improve would be the Auto shifter. It looks like it was lifted right OUT of a Grand Am and always has. Following that would be the wheel, which has gotten a little better.

http://images.motortrend.com/roadtests/coupe/112_0506_09z+2005_Chevrolet_Corvette_Roadster+Inte rior_View_Dashboard.jpg

You can say that the interior is just an afterthought considering the performance... but for me the whole package does matter, even in a sports car.

The 2008 Vette has gotten some nice touches, including contrasting interior treatments as an option, but it has a little further to go before it fully reaches maturity. The XLR is a great example of what can be done.

malcolm
01-23-08, 05:50 PM
GM should consider a CTS style interrior in everything they build. Can you imagine the STS with that kick ass CTS interrior? Instead that car is probably toast.

gothicaleigh
01-24-08, 12:23 AM
I think my least favorite part though, if I had to pick anything for them to improve would be the Auto shifter. It looks like it was lifted right OUT of a Grand Am and always has. Following that would be the wheel, which has gotten a little better.

Anyone who would purchase the automatic version of a car like the Corvette doesn't deserve any better.




That said, I do agree with you on the cheapness of some of the 'Vette's interior materials though. But considering everything else that you get for your money with the Corvette, I would also have to think that it could be overlooked.

Playdrv4me
01-24-08, 01:19 AM
Anyone who would purchase the automatic version of a car like the Corvette doesn't deserve any better.




That said, I do agree with you on the cheapness of some of the 'Vette's interior materials though. But considering everything else that you get for your money with the Corvette, I would also have to think that it could be overlooked.

I disagree with you on this one, which doesn't happen alot...

The Corvette is one of the last great american "GTs" or "Grand Touring" cars. I.E. a large, relatively comfortable vehicle with superb acceleration, but yet fitted with all the luxury amenities one would need to practically travel across the country if they so desired. Ferrari has perfected this formula on their prime GT, the 599 GTB Fiorano, which actually shares the Delphi Magnaride suspension with the 'Vette.

I think where-as an automatic in an M3 is just plain idiotic considering that car's visceral dynamics, in a Corvette the automatic is just as important as the manual transmission, and the cars have very different, but equally relevant character traits.

gary88
01-24-08, 01:33 AM
I think where-as an automatic in an M3 is just plain idiotic considering that car's visceral dynamics, in a Corvette the automatic is just as important as the manual transmission, and the cars have very different, but equally relevant character traits.

The "automatic" M3s have the same 6 speed tranny as the standard, just with an electrohydraulically controlled clutch. Still have to shift through the gears, whether it be by paddle or knob, and still have to park in neutral with the handbrake as there is no park gear. Shifts faster at setting S6 than the Ferrari 360's F1 gearbox :yup: There is an automatic mode though, but it's garbage at best.

I'm still not a fan of automatic Corvettes, but if they were all standard Chevy would lose a lot of sales for sure.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
01-24-08, 01:48 AM
We got an SMG 330ci at work the other day. It was neat.

Playdrv4me
01-24-08, 02:34 AM
The "automatic" M3s have the same 6 speed tranny as the standard, just with an electrohydraulically controlled clutch. Still have to shift through the gears, whether it be by paddle or knob, and still have to park in neutral with the handbrake as there is no park gear. Shifts faster at setting S6 than the Ferrari 360's F1 gearbox :yup: There is an automatic mode though, but it's garbage at best.

I'm still not a fan of automatic Corvettes, but if they were all standard Chevy would lose a lot of sales for sure.

Well, i was speaking figuratively, not literally. I meant like back in 90's when the M3 had 4 doors and a real automatic trans. Probably the most docile of all the M3's ever produced.

Im aware that the current ones have SMG, not a traditional automatic.

gothicaleigh
01-24-08, 09:28 AM
BMW's SMG is different than an automatic and actually has more in common with a true manual. The auto trans in the Corvette is nothing at all like an SMG.

But ask a BMW purist what they think of SMG. The clutch is part of the driving experience.







My personal opinion on any BMW option is that if the e30 M3 didn't have it, it's probably taking away from the driving experience. http://www.8thdaycreations.com/images/gothicaleigh/gothiraspberry.gif

Playdrv4me
01-24-08, 12:13 PM
Yea, and the problematic SMG is about to be replaced by a twin wet-clutch DSG style unit that promises much smoother and quicker shift action. But I agree, I don't care how fast it is, I prefer rowing my own gears on those cars.

ryannel2003
01-25-08, 08:36 PM
Yea, you can't judge GM's current offerings based on the experience with that Grand Am. That was a terrible car just like you mentioned, but if you look at an 03 Escalade that has been well maintained for example, it still looks nearly new inside.

Fast forward to 2008 and they've made leaps and bounds in quality and construction since then. There is still some ways to go, but overall it's alot better than the old Grand Am.

Also, it's funny you mention the muddy coolant, because I believe it is that generation of Camrys if not the generation right before that which were notorious for oil sludging.

It was the Gen. 3 and 4 ('92-'01) using the 5S-FE engine. Can usually be avoided if the person does frequent oil changes (kinda like coolant on Northstar engines). But, there have still been cases of it happening with regular maintainence. My Camry hasn't had this problem... yet. :suspense:

As for Grand Am, yeah they are really horrible cars. The crash test ratings are horrible also; I believe it was 1 or 2 stars for front impact. The G6 is a much better attempt at a compact-midsize car. Too bad the interior still isn't up to snuff... I love the G6's design.