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Buying American Cars What Does It Mean?



  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,584
    Small cars really aren't my thing, but there were a few things I actually liked about the Cobalt. First off, for me at least, it had about the best seating position of any small car out there. Maybe the seats weren't contoured and bolstered like a Civic Si or Mazda 3 or whatever the benchmark is in small cars. But it had enough legroom to more than make up for that. And, even though the interior took a lot of flak I'm sure, for being too plasticky, at least it all lined up fairly well.

    If I ever got into a situation where I needed to do a really long commute for work or whatever, a Cobalt would actually suit me better than a modern Civic or Corolla, as the seat goes back far enough for me to be really comfortable. I'd have to test-sit again to make sure, but I think the Cobalt actually fit me better, up front at least, than its Cruze replacement!
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,345
    It is possible that no CR subscribers owned the first year and no complaints or praises were available. Does CR ever state how many vehicles their advice is based on?

    I'm not aware of them posting that information. My guess is, I bet they have information on the '05 Cobalt, being a high-volume car even in its first year. The vehicles they have insufficient data for, usually seem to be ones you'd expect...oddball Isuzu products, etc.
  • berriberri Posts: 4,000
    Maybe the seats weren't contoured and bolstered...

    Actually, the only thing I didn't care for on my last Equinox rental was "over" bolstered seat bottoms. Sometimes with all the heat they are taking, I think there can be a tendency to take Car & Driver stuff too seriously. Most people don't buy for the same reasons as the car mag reviewers get into. Often the Asian seats have two big issues, particularly if you are driving for any length of time, or in heavy rush hour traffic - short seat bottoms and inadequate leg and headroom. Doesn't seem like as big of a deal until you're tired or stressed behind the wheel.
  • berriberri Posts: 4,000
    My guess Uplander, either CR data or your ownership was a statistical anomaly. My complaint with Cobalt rentals was that I felt like my [non-permissible content removed] was on the ground driving it. Otherwise, it drove better than the interior quality would have led you to believe.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,584
    I've noticed that as long as a seat can support my thighs and my lower back, I can pretty much drive until I fall asleep behind the wheel. Side bolstering is nice to hold you in place in spirited cornering, but in generic day-to-day driving, if my thighs are left hanging, and the seat puts me in a slouching position, that's what kills it for me.

    And yeah, I've noticed that about some Asian cars. IMO, it seems like they'll sometimes take what should be a compact car seat, and slip it in a midsize. I noticed that with the 2013 Accord, and as a result wasn't overly impressed.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,931
    too cumbersome, and it sits up too high and is a bit hard to get into.

    That's pretty much the story with all new pickups we get. And don't forget trying to get something in or out of the truck bed.

    My brother's newish F-150 doesn't feel too stiff but I don't have too many hours in it, and most of those hours were with four of us inside. If you don't care about the mpg hit, you could try tossing (er, forklifting) eight or ten sandbags into the back and see how it rides a bit loaded.
  • berriberri Posts: 4,000
    Some years back, my wife and I were in the UP. I was parked in a grocery store lot waiting for her when this big old Dodge pick-up truck pulls in the space next to me. Much to my amazement, the passenger door opens, a stool gets lowered on a rope and this little old lady gets out, stuffs the stool and rope back in and heads to the store. They beat my wife back and she reversed the process. American ingenuity!
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,584
    That's pretty much the story with all new pickups we get. And don't forget trying to get something in or out of the truck bed.

    Yeah, that's one thing I learned with my Ram...don't try to lift anything over the sides of it...just drop the tailgate and go in from behind!

    I really wish they could have kept full-sized trucks about the same size as my old '85 Silverado, which I held onto even though I bought the Ram. My friends refer to it as the "real" truck because I use it for dirty stuff, while the Ram is still too new and purty to muss up like that! :blush:

    But, the Silverado is actually better for 3 across seating. It gives up some shoulder room, but both are so wide it's ridiculous. We're talking like 66.5" here versus 65", while I don't think there's a car out there anymore, now that the Crown Vic is gone, that has more than 60". But, the old Chevy has a much better seating position. Lower floor, less intrusive dash, and thicker seat cushion.

    And, at 6'3", even I have to climb up into the Ram, a bit. With the Chevy, it's more like just stepping in. And it doesn't sit up so high that it's hard to lift things over the side, hop into the bed, etc. On the plus side, the Ram has better legroom, more storage behind the seat, and I'm sure a MUCH better crumple zone. But it's also 233" long, whereas I think the Chevy is only 212".
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,931
    lol, have to confess I use a sturdy 8" step (really and old drawer) when we haul the mother-in-law around in the minivan too. She's maybe 5'2". Maybe. :)
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,681
    And, at 6'3", even I have to climb up into the Ram, a bit. With the Chevy, it's more like just stepping

    My Nissan Frontier is just perfect for getting in and out of. So we drive it more than the other vehicles. I like to sit on the side of the seat with my feet flat on the ground. Then swing my feet in. The Sequoia is just a bit to tall. The LS400 is WAAAY TOOO low. No more sedans for us. The mid sized SUVs like the Touareg and ML350 are just about right.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That's one reason people are flocking to crossovers - they're the perfect height, you don't step up or down, you just slide in.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,599
    That's one reason people are flocking to crossovers...

    That's true. The hip point of crossovers is perfect for those aging boomers.

    I will admit that even though my 11 Explorer is a crossover, the hip point is high. Even with my 33" inseam, I find it high.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,902
    I like stepping down, just not too far down.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    In the Miata I'm pretty much an inch from scraping my butt on the road. ;)

    An inch and a quarter with the new tires.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,902
    That would be too far down :shades:

    I like sitting low, but not so low that a Civic towers over me, or that I have to avoid roads with speedbumps. I don't mind sitting high as a passenger, but as a driver, it always feels tipsy.
  • dave8697dave8697 Posts: 1,479
    Brought my DeVille in because I didn't want to mess with replacing a power window regulator. Besides the window fix, they told me it needed some other stuff.
    rear lower control arm rubber bushings were worn a little. They can't be replaced without new arms too....$1106 to do both sides
    Front axle brgs were not perfect. New ones were $910 for both sides.
    rear brake pads had 2 mm left . New rear disc pads installed for $486 or OEM pads for $562.
    At that point, he went into the ride quality loss if I didn't do it all. I said that I would ask my son who takes home $5 an hour if he had a couple years worth of future income to give to ease the hardship of having to endure such ride problems. In effect, the car was nearly totaled as a quick check showed it has a book value of $3100 and needed the window repair and had 90% worn out front brakes.

    I saved myself over $900 by changing the front and rear brakes Saturday. One side of the rear were actually down to 1 mm left at the low point.

    Did an oil change too and it took 9 qts. for '01 DeVille to refill.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Speed bumps are tolerable now with the bigger tires.

    I'm basically staring at exhaust pipes, though. :D
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,445
    Tell me about it. I have a Z4 Coupe, and I "roll" out of the car when exiting... It's a fun car, but I could never accept it as a daily driver.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,599
    I sat in the FR-S at the auto show back in January. I thought to myself "what the hell are you going to do to get out?"
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,445
    If you think that's fun, try getting into and out of a Lotus Elise in a rapid fashion.

    It's not a model for those with back/spinal issues...
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