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The Current State of the US Auto Market

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  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,650
    The TL's from the mid '00 are excellent cars. I'd love to have one even if it cost 4x to maintain vs. a comparable domestic of that period.

    I test drove a few used one's a while back and was more than impressed. My wife was considering a different position which she would have lost her company car and I was shopping for a car for her. I test drove a new Saturn Aura XR and a used 04 TL with 35k miles on it the same day. I liked the TL much better. It was tight, smooth, and responsive and definitely was a nicer car. I thought the Aura was a decent car (except the one I drove while only having a few miles on it had a buzz in the dash), I would have bought the TL in a heart beat if we would have needed a car at the time.

    I've yet to sample a domestic that has a powertrain that is as smooth and responsive as the v6 Acura's I've driven.
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,650
    edited May 2013
    And now, at around 91200 miles, it's telling me it doesn't recognize me as a driver! :mad:

    Seems to me GM vehicles were prone to electrical issues back then. The two Park Ave's my grandpa had both developed numerous electrical gremlins as they got close to 100k. Tire monitors not working, wipers that would just turn on randomly etc. HVAC control problems

    My '00 Suburban had a bunch of electrical issues too. If I turned on the fog lights, the washer pump would run. When in reverse, the rear wiper would occasionally move an inch or two and go back down. The 4wd selector switch would sometimes be inoperable (common problem), then the heat would get stuck on which required a $600 control unit to be replaced.

    My Expedition has had similar issues too. The auto climate control when haywire where the fan blew on high all the time and I've had issues with with the driver window regulator.

    The most disappointing area with my expedition is the paint and trim. The paint is flaking and bubbling on the tailgate (common problem) and the plastic trim along the the top of the doors is faded and cracking. It looks like it has been sitting in the sun for 20 years.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,951
    I don't know the exact timeframe, but I really liked the TL that was around from around 2004-2008. Seemed like just the right size, inside and out. Even though I prefer bigger cars, it still seemed to fit me well. And I thought the style was just about the perfect balance between sporty and conservative.
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,650
    I don't know the exact timeframe, but I really liked the TL that was around from around 2004-2008. Seemed like just the right size, inside and out. Even though I prefer bigger cars, it still seemed to fit me well. And I thought the style was just about the perfect balance between sporty and conservative.

    I think that is roughly the model years I really liked. Just a nice sporty sedan. The current model looks over styled and bloated. Probably still a nice car, but I'm certainly not drawn to them like the previous generation.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,683
    A friend of mine had an 03 Accord that puked a transmission around 70K and had several related issues after that. I remember that car liked to make whining noises at lower speeds, like an old car with gear issues. I saw an 04+ TL yesterday that I could hear whining from the street.

    That 04-08 model was such a nice design compared to the messes (across the Acura line) that have come since.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,683
    edited May 2013
    Relative to and defined by what? This is a "chart" where the three types of lies could come into play.

    No matter, we get to play the same game as the competition, or not allow their game to be played on our playground. No other options.

    Oh yeah, I will also add the direct and indirect military and related aid provided by the American taxpayer to the competition as part of that trough.
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,650
    edited May 2013
    Honda is no different in that they can have issues too. My dad's 09 Accord v6 has gone through two engine tear downs between 70k-90k miles. But I will say Honda has stepped up and taken car of him as each incident cost him $100 and they provided a new car to drive while performing the repairs. He never received that kind of service during the 40 years he drove domestics (not saying the domestics never give out goodwill, but I've never received it and I don't personally know many who have).

    Back in the mid '00 there simply weren't many domestic cars I liked at all. That has changed with the current line up. There are several domestic cars I'd consider today.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,162
    Sheesh! I've had even fewer repairs in my 1989 Cadillac Brougham at close to 159K and 24+ years!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,781
    Here again the "cost per mile" to maintain a given car is not the sole determinant in buying it in the first place--it might not even be a *major* determinant for some people.

    I'm a perfect example. A Mini Cooper, for its size (is there a formula for 'cost per inch"? :P ) costs just as much, I would figure, as a BMW 5-series to maintain and repair, and I'm SURE way more than a Chevy Malibu.

    But I don't want a Chevy Malibu or a BMW sedan. So I fork up to drive what I like.

    QUESTION: do you think the majority of people buy cars they don't like all that much? In other words, do things like gas mileage and cost of repairs overrule things like styling and performance and "fun"? Do people who pay $35,000 for a minivan get into it every morning and hate it?

    Or is it all more or less "neutral"? You know, "well you gotta drive something and this will do".

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  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,175
    Nissan Leaf sales hit 25,000 in US

    Certainly lowering the price helped.

    All told, Nissan, which recently started producing US Leafs at its Tennessee plant, has sold 62,000 Leafs globally. :shades:
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    Honda is no different in that they can have issues too. My dad's 09 Accord v6 has gone through two engine tear downs between 70k-90k miles. But I will say Honda has stepped up and taken car of him as each incident cost him $100 and they provided a new car to drive while performing the repairs.

    I know you're not a GM fan, but that would have been free from GM, and they would have also provided a rental.
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,650
    edited May 2013
    I'm a perfect example. A Mini Cooper, for its size (is there a formula for 'cost per inch"? :P ) costs just as much, I would figure, as a BMW 5-series to maintain and repair, and I'm SURE way more than a Chevy Malibu.

    I've heard Mini's can be expensive. I have a BIL with an 05 or so Mini Cooper S. He recently replaced the power steering pump and cooling fan. It was like $1,800 (in Honolulu).

    QUESTION: do you think the majority of people buy cars they don't like all that much? In other words, do things like gas mileage and cost of repairs overrule things like styling and performance and "fun"? Do people who pay $35,000 for a minivan get into it every morning and hate it?

    I don't have a good answer. I think a vehicle means different things to different people. I drive an Expedition because it's flexible enough to haul 8 people when needed (my daughter has a large group of friends) and I can tow our boat with it. We like to be on lake and that's where we splurge.

    If it wasn't for the boat, I'd have a luxury/sport sedan. Something like Fintail's E class or a 5 series, maybe even a CTS. While I'd love to have a dedicated sports car, I can't justify spending that much money on something only I would enjoy (maybe when the kids are gone). We just have to much going on and I'd rarely be able to drive it. Like most of my neighbors with their corvettes always sitting under a cover.

    I think many people want/need something that is comfortable, and relatively inexpensive to get from point A to point B. Just put gas in and go. Probably why the Camry has been on the top of the sales charts for so long. My MIL likes hers. It's reliable and gets her to work. Nothing more.

    Few dream of owning a minivan, but with kids, car seats, and strollers, they are the ultimate family vehicle in terms of room/economy and they don't drive like a truck. We had one years ago before all our friends had kids. We got made fun of. Funny thing is as they all started families, many now have a minivan.
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,650
    I know you're not a GM fan, but that would have been free from GM, and they would have also provided a rental.

    True, but that's part of the implied warranty. Honda didn't have to do it.

    I may by a new GM vehicle in the future, but the warranty won't be a deciding factor;)

    I'm waiting to test drive the new Silverado and see what happens with the redesigned Suburban.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,781
    I did a little mind experiment just now...

    I concentrated on the idea of me buying myself a brand new pickup truck.

    What popped into my mind (the truck I'd look at first) was the Ford F-150.

    In truth, I have no freakin' idea why I chose that. WHO got into my head and made me think that?

    I really don't know one pickup from another these days.

    Of course, if I really went shopping, I would start my homework and might end up with a different make.

    But it was interesting to discover what my "lean" was, and how basically irrational it might be.

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  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,650
    What popped into my mind (the truck I'd look at first) was the Ford F-150.

    Oh me too. I test drove an Ecoboost f150 Lariat a year or so ago and it was a really nice truck. It was comfortable, powerful, and refined (for a pickup). The crewcab has a insane amount of room. The rear seating area offers more legroom than most large sedans and a lot more than my Expedition.

    I'm a little hesitant regarding the Ecoboost. It's by far the strongest gas motor I've sampled in a pickup, particularly at low to mid range rpm. It just pulls. But FE doesn't seem to be anymore than a v8, though it does have more torque at a lower rpm than any of the gas v8's available.

    I'd definitely drive a 5.0v8 model before pulling the trigger. Also a few weeks ago I test drove a '13 Ram Laramie crew cab which also was a very nice truck. It also drove nice and was comfortable. It definitely appeals to those who want more visual excitement inside and out. It has the nicest looking interior by far of any truck I've been in.

    The Ford has more capability in terms of weight capacity and towing. The same for the new Silverado. I don't care for the current Silverado, but I expect the new model to me much improved, but from pictures the styling inside and out leaves me a bit cold, but I certainly would like to check it out.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    I'd guess the F-150 idea arose because so many are sold. It's been a best seller for years and years.

    That must say something about the expectations of quality being somewhere in the ballpark of the actual quality owners experience in ownership of the vehicle.

    And, you've been smothered in advertising over the years by Ford. Some of it stuck with you.

    Here's another little mind game. Think about buying a new car. What brand comes to mind first? Why do you think is was that make and model?
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    I always thought that having two truck divisions at GM was a bit silly, because it simply handed the 'best-seller' crown to Ford, when for a lot of years, GM pickups outsold Fords, but since GM broke them into two brands (same trucks), they couldn't brag that up like Ford.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,781
    You know, given all the police, speed traps, and oppressive gadgetry on new cars, I can't even muster any enthusiasm for owning a 2013 ANYTHING (at least not anything in my price range).

    So anything "new" for me would have to be utility oriented, rather than peformance oriented---I'll get my performance from a used vehicle.

    I mean, really, you can pick up some very good performing used cars these days for not a lot of money. It's not like there have been HUGE gains in performance these last ten years. A 2003 Corvette or Porsche or even MINI is plenty fast and plenty competent.

    Have you seen the SIZE of the owner's manuals in some 2013 cars? It's absurd!

    Reminds me of my friend who asked me the other day wondering if he should get the new Galaxy S4 android phone or the new iPhone.

    I looked at the list of features, then look at at my friend, and said--"just buy a cheaper HTC because you are NEVER going to use 90% of what those phones do"

    I'm the same way about new cars. I'm paying for stuff I will never use, or care about.

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  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,951
    Have you seen the SIZE of the owner's manuals in some 2013 cars? It's absurd!

    The owner's manual for my 2012 Ram won't even fit in the glovebox. I have to keep it in the center console. And, I'm ashamed to say, I have yet to even open the thing...
  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,175
    edited May 2013
    Have you seen the SIZE of the owner's manuals in some 2013 cars? It's absurd!

    Would be nice to see some of these newer models with the In dash Interface contain the user manual data. heck, there are APPS being built into cars nowadays, might as well include one for searchable car info...
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,781
    So what do you do when you need to look up a mac n' cheese recipe on your Driver Communications Data Screen? :P

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  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,951
    Here's another little mind game. Think about buying a new car. What brand comes to mind first? Why do you think is was that make and model?

    Dodge Charger. But, that's because I've been kinda wanting one, ever since the 2011 restyle.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,951
    So what do you do when you need to look up a mac n' cheese recipe on your Driver Communications Data Screen?

    Oh, mine's a fairly strippo model, so it doesn't have that. Heck, it took me a couple months to even notice the little "step" and "reset" buttons on the steering wheel! One day I pressed the "reset" button out of curiosity to see what it did, only to see the trip odometer go to zero. There's a button on the gauge cluster that cycles through the odometer, two trip odometers, the "Eco" setting which lets you know if it's running on 6 or 8 cylinders, and outside temp. Turns out the step button on the steering wheel just does the same thing.

    Actually, I did open the owner's manual once, when the tire pressure warning light came on. It mentioned that sometimes, even after you've properly inflated all of your tires, it can take up to TWENTY miles for the damn light to go off! Luckily, I discovered that it usually goes off after a few seconds worth of continuous driving. It's rare my truck even gets driven 20 miles at a time, so in theory that light could almost forever!
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    Have you seen the SIZE of the owner's manuals in some 2013 cars? It's absurd!

    When I buy any new product (of any significance) I go to the manufacturer's website and download the manual(s) to my laptop and iPad. Much easier to go directly to the section you want and get your answers, and much faster/convenient. All your manuals in one place.

    If I was younger I would also download them to my iPhone, but at my age, presbyopia has set in, and my arm isn't long enough to hold the phone far enough away from my face so I can read the tiny text.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,683
    Ha, that reminds me of when I visited my mother last week, she had somehow made the temperature display in the car (Camry, of course) switch to metric. She had no idea what happened, she was assuming some of the pixels had died :shades: ...didn't even think to look in the manual. One button changed it back.

    My new car has the major manual topics loaded into the car's computer to be read on the nav screen - but minor details refer to owners manual.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,951
    I'll never forget one time, when I was driving my grandmother around in my uncle's '88 LeBaron coupe (the one he ultimately sold me when I got married), out on the highway I switched the display to metric, where the speedo was reading over 100, and then said "hey grandmom, check out how fast we're going!"

    She had a fit! :P Even after I showed her it was just the mph/kmph conversion, she still wasn't overly impressed with me that day.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,683
    Yeah, every company can make lemons - even Lexus (I see quite a few complaints over interior materials on later models). My friend had bought the warranty on that Accord, so it was fixed several times under that, too.

    Can't think of many domestics I would want from Y2K either.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,683
    Digital speedometers, always just on the verge of coming back. New trend is digital simulated analog units. I wonder if I can get my new car to speak in German, my previous car would do it.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,781
    Actually, now that you mention it, a black on black 300c might interest me. :P

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This discussion has been closed.