My little rant

Here is a little rant I went off on on youtube. I felt like some people here might need to read this, and some people might find justification in their thoughts by reading this.

[quote]You say American cars are bad; it is very short sighted and rather galling that you would say such a thing. The only thing which you have enough credibility to say is that American cars are bad TO YOU based off of your values; this I would understand, and potentially agree if you could give me valid reasons. I have no doubt that you have reasons, so I will not get into that.

Lets look at this debate this way. I am going to say straight out that you are incorrect for saying American cars are bad IN GENERAL. Specific cars (I’m looking at you, Pacer, Pinto, and Gremlin) are bad at some things, but they are not bad cars because they have some merits, being cheap, economical, and easy to insure (minus the Pinto after a point). I challenge you to name a single American car that was bad at every single thing; I doubt anyone could, and since every human being has different values, one human could value one thing over another and make that car a good car for them.

Yes, I do even say (hesitantly) that that one thing can be brand loyalty.

Now, for some examples. I hate the comparison between the Tesla and the I8. I am thinking about buying a Tesla, and I will tell you, based off of my values, there is no car that I know of that is better for me. I love the handling, the performance, and the cost effectiveness. Were I to value overall interior plushness more, I might have buy an CLS AMG, but I didn’t. Were I to value outright luxury more, I would go for an S class AMG. I don’t. My values match the Tesla’s advantages, making it a good car FOR ME. A good car for you? Probably not. I do, however, struggle to find a reason for buying the i8 over a Tesla because it is a wholly different class. For a second, let us say that the Roadster was still in production. That would be a better comparison, but still not head on, since the Roadster’s technology has already been advanced upon, and the i8 is new. You must wait for the Model R to do that comparison.

I don’t understand why you had to call my '69 Mustang shitty. As a weekend toy, this thing fits my values very well. It turns heads, it is loud, and it performs very admirably at both the autocross course and the drag strip, being fairly light. Anything that can match a Hennessy Venom through a quarter mile with the exact same trap speed and a tenth faster time cannot be called slow or bad or SHITTY. Does it get 4 MPG? Yes! Do I have fun with it? HELL YES! On top of all that, it has history with me.

My F150, once again, is not a bad car; in fact, it is a great car, even an amazing one. It does everything I need, from towing a 10,000 lb Parker CC to hauling ATVs to outrunning E46 M3’s. Thus, it is safe, fast, comfortable, and easy to drive. Once again, a good car.

I do have 2 other cars which are European. My wife has a 2009 Infiniti M35s. This car is, for all that it is mostly a rebadged Nissan, good. My wife wants a car that goes from A to B, is fast enough to get her out of tricky situations, pretty fun to drive, and comfortable. It ticks all of these boxes. Even though we are selling it soon, for she drives the Tesla daily and I drive the F150.

The other one is a brand new 2014 VW CC (My daughter’s). Yes, this does mean that my 2 most recent car purchases are European. No, this does not mean that I think new American cars are awful. This car is very nice, with great interior quality and great performance; it also has great styling.

Now, I would like you to notice something. All of these reasons I have given you are valid enough reasons to purchase these cars. How many of them are quantitative and how many of them are qualitative? At the end of the day, car purchases (in a segment more than the most basic) are not done by the numbers, but by these things you feel about the cars. Were we to go by the numbers, people would not be buying M3s and would be buying Mustangs, and everyone who wanted a supercar would buy a GTR.

I, personally, am glad this is not the case, because it makes it virtually always incorrect to say “My car/country/brand/house/etc. is better than yours!”

Things are more interesting this way.

Also, before people say I was too harsh in the beginning, this guy was rather insulting. I did manage to calm down a bit before the end though.

To an extent I’d probably agree with you. I don’t think, within reason, there is such a thing as a bad car. To a lot of people, stuff like the Yugo or the Trabant was a joke. However to someone struggling who didn’t have much, that crappy old Trabant may be an absolutely fantastic car. People own and maintain what a lot of people would think was pointless crap, because they love it. So based on that alone, it’s a good car.

On the topic of American cars, I could use my neighbours 2008 Chrysler Sebring 2.4 Limited as an example. To me it was crap. It was unreliable, slow, uncomfortable, noisy, badly built, uneconomical, naff handling and was going rusty after 2 years. But it was cheap, and despite it’s faults it never let them down. As that’s all they wanted, it probably fulfilled the requirements of being a good car for them.

At the end of the day, it’s the same with most things. Who cares what other people think of your choice in a car? If you like it, and it’s not causing them issues, then it must be good for them that they have no other problems to worry about than your choice of car. I bought a Prius, so I expected the abuse to come with it. :stuck_out_tongue: But I like it, and it does what I want well, so it’s a great car. That should be all there is to it.

I just realized that this does almost perfectly go with your decision (minus the American part). I’ve helped myself change my own opinions to a more sensible standpoint by stating my opinion!


My stand points:

1 (quick note): Infiniti is a rebadged nissan. Like mentioned. Nissan is Japanese. Japan is not in Europe.
2: What’s luxury seems to be a very varying statement. Why? Because for many americans it just kind of seems like luxury is just making something bigger.
3: What pleases me in a car:
-Performance (American cars do ok in this department)
-Economy (American cars don’t do well in this department)
-Comfort (Depends)
-Looks (Depends)
-Reliability (Not so well)
4: I’ve owned american cars. Such as my Chrysler Crossfire I sold a while ago. It was fine, the styling was nice, but the interior was horrible. I was surprised at the performance and comfort, handling and all compared to it even having reasonable economy for it’s class. Well I found out later. It’s a redressed mercedes.
5: The thing that bothers me that american car makers don’t seem to get what economy is all about. Ford is bragging about their fiesta with 28mpg in the city. If you sell a hatchback in europe or asia saying that’s great mpg, well you’d definately be wrong. Even petrol engines from here and asia seem to be heading towards higher and higher closer and closer to the 100mpg mark. Many cars are already doing over 70mpg.
6: Just again about the economy, even a 2003 lamborghini gallardo (A SUPERCAR) has better mileage than a 2008 Chrysler 300C.
7: Many of my dream cars by looks are actually american. But what bothers me is the mileage.
8: I really want a new Lincoln.

Why a new Lincoln? Which one?

1: They’re practically fords so no worries about reliability or some things of that kind.
2: They look amazing.
3: An MKZ

I agree they are reliable, but they look ugly to me, and they are overpriced for what they are.

Beauty is in the eyes of the buyer.

Indeed, that was a stupid mistake. We all make them :laughing:

Honestly, I like the new Lincolns. Do I like a fully loaded MKS over a base Model S? Not a chance. But then again, that’s just me.

American cars aren’t that awful with fuel economy. My Chevrolet gets well over 30mpg (my personal best was 37mpg) and it’s almost 8 years old (2007). It’s a 3000 lb 4 cylinder, so that is actually quite good. As for luxury and Americans, bigger is part of it, but it isn’t the only part. Cheap American cars are meant to compete with cheap European and Japanese cars. They are boring, for the most part, just like their competition. Unlike Euro and Japanese cars, however, they only compete well here in America, because they aren’t often exported outside of the US. They do sell American cars in Asia and Europe, but for the most part they are not “American” cars. They are cars designed for use in foreign markets, and as such, I cannot comment on them since I live in the US. I don’t see them, drive them, or quite frankly care about them. American cars (used to be at least) are all about style. Look at the C7 Corvette! That is sexy! And loud! And fast! And…omg! :slight_smile: Anyway, Americans like bigger cars. Big, bold, and beautiful cars. What else would you expect from a nation of arrogance??

I agree with what’s a good car is circumstantial. America has cheap fuel and straight roads, thus fuel economy and handling are less important.
Bad cars simply wouldn’t sell. There were loads and loads of car companies 60-110 years ago, it’s like darwinism on car companies, the companies that still exist have survived a long struggle, and usually know what they’re doing.
The exception to this ofcourse are design flaws causing reliability issues, which I think nearly all cars have some, and for example some of these. And these examples mostly didn’t sell because they were bad cars, they were just ugly :laughing:

TBH 37mpg was good by the year 2000 standards.

37 US mpg is about 44 mpg imperial. That’s pretty good for a normal 2.0 car (assuming it’s not a 2.4, in which case it’s fantastic). To use a japanese example, ur old 2001 Toyota Avensis would see 40-42 imperial mpg in normal combined driving, and it’s a bit lighter than the Chevy Cobalt. It was fitted with the VVT-i version of the 1ZZ-FE, which at the time was Toyota’s new hotness economical low emission engine. That engine was used mainly up to 2007, and the engine that replaced it only had marginally better fuel consumption. Considering the Cobalt is a 2.0 and is supposed to be a fairly sporty car, it doesn’t do too badly at all for economy.

Also to say that American car companies can’t do economy is an old statement, maybe because fuel costs are a fair bit lower there, but they are putting some good stuff out now. When driven well the new Ford Ecoboost stuff returns pretty good economy figures, and performs well to boot. Even GM are working with small turbo engines now that aren’t just tiny pushrod V8s… :stuck_out_tongue:

Yes but if you still compare fiesta mpg to for instance a Lancia Ypsilon which has around 70mpg, it’s probably still much more than a fiesta.

Erm, no, it isn’t. There are many troubles in comparing a Fiesta with a Ypsilon (or a 500 or a Panda, they are all underneath the same car). First of all, the Fiesta is heavier. Second, those cars can get 72.5 mpg (UK), with 104 g/km of CO2, in the diesel version, the Fiesta 1.6 Econectic Diesel can get 76.3 mpg, emitting 98 g/km. The petrol version of those cars get 70 mpg in the official tests (real life figures are closer to 47 mpg) because of their amazing technology, which no one else has. The 2 cylinder ultra-efficient turbo, combined with the new Multiair heads improve the economy massively in the testing lab, but not that much in real life.
BTW, the Fiesta was engineered and is built in Germany.

EDIT: The Fiesta Ecoboost 1.0 gets 65.7 mpg in the tests, which is quite close to what the less-powerful, lighter Fiat group cars get.

Okay fine and everything but if you look at fords US website (which is hard to go to from europe) it says 28mpg.
Just saying
And i knew that many fords are german.

It says 28 mpg, but you’ve got to consider some things.
First, those are the city economy numbers, which are always lower, so you should compare to the 31 mpg (37 mpg UK)of the combined number.
Second, the engine in those US Fiestas are the last-gen 1.6 16V so it is a cheaper and older engine,they’ve done so because those cars in the US are the cheapest ones in the market, in Europe the 1.0 Ecoboost is quite expensive.
Third, the testing system is different, often the cars in the US really get what the manufactures claim, otherwise they are prosecuted by false marketing (Kia and Hyundai had to pay millions recently because of that). In Europe the tests achieve huge numbers, that can’t be reproduced in normal driving.

Basically the moral of the story is that if fuel costs actually was an important factor in purchasing and the market was deregulated, American Car companies would go bust within the year. :stuck_out_tongue:

Not necessarily, in America, fuel itself is much cheaper than in most, if not all of Europe.

Fuel costs are an important factor for most American car buyers, it’s one of the biggest reasons why so few soccer moms are driving v8 powered 3+ ton truck-based SUVs over here these days. But since fuel prices are still much lower here than in Europe (purely because of the lack of government interference, ie. massive gas taxes), it’s a much smaller concern. Most Americans would love to get better gas mileage, but we’re not desperate enough for it that we’d be caught dead driving a 70hp “city car” to get it, well… none of us except for the idiots that are buying Smart Fortwos.

If gas taxes and gas guzzler taxes where abolished and “corporate average fuel economy” regulations were rescinded American car companies would do just fine. :wink: