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Old 03-07-2012, 01:25 PM   #41
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Right. The JD Powers surveys and other indicators of initial quality have very little to do with how long a car is going to remain reliable. Much of that depends on the subcomponents used to assemble the car (many of which are made by other companies). Compressors, pumps, sensors, actuators, power steering racks, motors, suspension components, etc. The Japanese companies have established good ways to choose and buy high-quality components--they care about this a lot. When parts fail, they have entire processes used to provide feedback to the manufacturers to allow them to improve quality, and they follow up to assure the components really get improved. In many respects, Detroit has cared less, buying where they could get the best price provided the part met the initial spec. If US companies wanted to have my business in 2012, they needed to start this full-court press to improve quality 20 years ago so I could know they have their act together. They didn't.
Agree 100%. The Chevy Malibu is a an example of a car that GM should have and COULD have made 15 years ago, but chose not too........
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Old 03-07-2012, 06:32 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by ziggy29
American cars are certainly closing the quality gap compared to the garbage Detroit was cranking out about 30 years ago. Old perceptions die hard, though, if at all -- so the hole they dug for themselves decades ago is a tough one to get out of, no matter how good their products may be today.
I must confess that I have bought what I wanted more than what is reliable. Sometimes this has bit me in rear. But my current vehicle is an 02 Chevy Trailblazer bought used in '03 and has been a champ. Has 175000 miles on it. Only money spent on it has been tires, 2 batteries, one brake job, new shocks, new set of plugs. I change oil every 4-5 k. I must confess I have never touched the transmission fluid ever. Paid it off over 5 years ago, and said I would trade one year after payoff. As long as it treats me good, I will keep it. I never knew Trailblazers to be the best made product, but this one sure is!
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Old 03-07-2012, 06:41 PM   #43
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I just bought the Apr 2012 issue of CR. I was surprised that best automakers overall were:

#1 Subaru
#2 Mazda
#3 Toyota
#4 Honda

Not sure I believe it #1 & #2 either, but it's just one data point, and we all have our own unique car buying priorities...
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Old 03-07-2012, 08:28 PM   #44
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I love Land Rovers,
Do you own a Land Rover? If so what year and model?
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Old 03-08-2012, 10:12 AM   #45
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Another ranking of automakers overall...
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Old 03-08-2012, 10:24 AM   #46
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The day after we bought a Subaru Impreza, the CR auto edition came out and rated it #1 small car. Serendipity. It's our 1st Impreza, but 4th Subaru. My mechanic (who I trust) swears by them. Last one lasted to 170k miles before I destroyed the engine by delaying the replacement of the timing belt, which broke and wreaked havoc.
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Old 03-08-2012, 10:24 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
I just bought the Apr 2012 issue of CR. I was surprised that best automakers overall were:

#1 Subaru
#2 Mazda
#3 Toyota
#4 Honda

Not sure I believe it #1 & #2 either, but it's just one data point, and we all have our own unique car buying priorities...
Subaru I can believe, Mazda, I have no idea where they came up with that. The problem with CR is the subjective data they use for their ratings. For instance, the Honda Civic got very low scores, because people didn't like the interior, though it looked cheap. That does little to measure reliability. Does anyone really think Mazda is more reliable than Honda?
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Old 03-08-2012, 10:31 AM   #48
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The day after we bought a Subaru Impreza, the CR auto edition came out and rated it #1 small car. Serendipity. It's our 1st Impreza, but 4th Subaru. My mechanic (who I trust) swears by them. Last one lasted to 170k miles before I destroyed the engine by delaying the replacement of the timing belt, which broke and wreaked havoc.
Subaru makes a very good reliable solid car. They have come a long ways sicne the 80's. My mechanic works on all types of import cars. He is a certified tech in Honda, Toyota, and Subaru. He uses "tiers" when he talks about overall reliability and longevity and low maintenance costs.

His ratings?

1st tier:Toyota and Honda tie (Acura and Lexus too): He describes them as the only cars engineered for a 200,000 life.

2nd tier: Subaru, Hyundai, Nissan He thinks Hyundai is less than 5 years away from being in tier one with Honda and Toyota.

3rd tier: Mazda, Kia, Mitsubishi, VW. He is less keen on these imports, they need more expense to keep running.........

He puts Volvo, Audi, Mercedes, BMW, Porsche, and Saab in their own category, he calls them "more money" cars, says you have to be rich to keep them running..........
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Old 03-08-2012, 10:36 AM   #49
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Subaru I can believe, Mazda, I have no idea where they came up with that. The problem with CR is the subjective data they use for their ratings. For instance, the Honda Civic got very low scores, because people didn't like the interior, though it looked cheap. That does little to measure reliability. Does anyone really think Mazda is more reliable than Honda?
I don't doubt that Subaru is a nice, reliable car, I know two people who own them (one because she insisted on a car with 4WD). But they are pricier than Honda & Toyota and fuel efficiency/mpg they get is awful for their size/class IMO, the latter is what has always kept me out of Subaru showrooms. I see the new Impreza has better mpg, so maybe they're addressing their fuel economy issues. YMMV
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Old 03-08-2012, 10:52 AM   #50
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I don't doubt that Subaru is a nice, reliable car, I know two people who own them (one because she insisted on a car with 4WD). But they are pricier than Honda & Toyota and fuel efficiency/mpg they get is awful for their size/class IMO, the latter is what has always kept me out of Subaru showrooms. I see the new Impreza has better mpg, so maybe they're addressing their fuel economy issues. YMMV
We live on a steep hill, and the AWD of Subaru is almost a requirement for us in the winter (well, maybe not this winter.) I just took the Impreza on a 400 mile mostly hilly highway round-trip, and averaged about 35MPG.
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Old 03-08-2012, 12:00 PM   #51
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Does anyone really think Mazda is more reliable than Honda?
Yes, as indicated by recent repair history data. Both brands, however, would make my list of highly reliable automobiles likely to perform well in terms of longevity.
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Old 03-08-2012, 12:08 PM   #52
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I don't doubt that Subaru is a nice, reliable car, I know two people who own them (one because she insisted on a car with 4WD). But they are pricier than Honda & Toyota and fuel efficiency/mpg they get is awful for their size/class IMO, the latter is what has always kept me out of Subaru showrooms. I see the new Impreza has better mpg, so maybe they're addressing their fuel economy issues. YMMV
When you were reviewing the data to come up with your conclusion that Subaru's are pricier than Honda and Toyota, specifly which models did you bump up against one another? When I've been doing my shopping, I find the Subaru line-up is pretty unique. For example, which Honda model would you price compare an Outback against?
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Old 03-08-2012, 07:25 PM   #53
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I don't doubt that Subaru is a nice, reliable car, I know two people who own them (one because she insisted on a car with 4WD). But they are pricier than Honda & Toyota and fuel efficiency/mpg they get is awful for their size/class IMO, the latter is what has always kept me out of Subaru showrooms. I see the new Impreza has better mpg, so maybe they're addressing their fuel economy issues. YMMV
All that PLUS, my sister was going to buy a Subaru so I went with her. I asked a lot of questions and was shocked at the amount of maintenance a Subaru requires! I've owned Hondas for 25 years and I never did half the maintenance that they said was routine maintenance, this was for a Legacy. I told her not to buy the car but she did and now she regrets it. She says never again. Funny my brother has one too and says the same thing. My 91 Honda Civic with 4 snow tires would go 95% if not more of the places an AWD Subaru could. I wouldn't buy a Subaru.
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Old 03-09-2012, 06:37 AM   #54
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I told her not to buy the car but she did and now she regrets it. She says never again. Funny my brother has one too and says the same thing.
veremchuka, would you mind shedding more light on your sister and brother's regret of their Subaru decisions? I'm interested because Subaru OB is on my candidate list of next car I'm going to buy. Admittedly Subaru AWD is inherently more complicated. I can see that there is extra maintenance on differential/transfer case fluids, greasing drive shaft u-joints (if equipped), etc. Also because of its constant AWD engagement, the fuel efficiency suffers a little.

Another car on my list is the new Mazda CX-5. I prefer the diesel model (because of its flat torque curve and better mpg) which could arrive in US market starting from 2013. Not sure if any member on this forum already tried it somewhere outside of US.
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Old 03-09-2012, 07:07 AM   #55
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Which AWD cars require 4 new tires for one blowout? That would be a consideration for me.
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Old 03-09-2012, 07:52 AM   #56
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Which AWD cars require 4 new tires for one blowout? That would be a consideration for me.
Our Subaru Impreza had a flat (unrepairable) and a prematurely worn tire and in both cases the tire shop urged us to replace all 4 tires, or at least both sides. They said Subaru agreed and said so in the user manual - that different levels of wear affected the AWD system. IIRC Subaru does say something about making sure the tires are even, but it not a "do this or else" thing and replacing good tires for a reason like that really irritates me (we didn't). I like the Subaru ('02), but the mileage is less than a comparable front wheel drive and it has needed a bit more maintenance. It is a good option if one needs AWD.
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Old 03-09-2012, 08:47 AM   #57
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I have used 4 wheel drives for as long as I can remember and I own a 4 wheel drive pickup now. If I were to choose to drive a vehicle in the snow, it would be a front wheel drive car with good tires. I live in the midwest and see some bad winter driving, I would not buy a car with awd for the simple reason you are using all those components 99 percent of the time without actually needing them. Anytime you are using all those components it causes wear and actually takes more fuel to use those parts.
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Old 03-09-2012, 09:08 AM   #58
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Yes, as indicated by recent repair history data. Both brands, however, would make my list of highly reliable automobiles likely to perform well in terms of longevity.
The key word is RECENT......... Heck, the Chevy Malibu has a good RECENT reliabiltiy record. Show me 10 year results that match Toyota and Honda and I will start listening.........

heck, who thought Hyundai (the 1980's and 1990's throwaway car) would have some of the best quality out there? Shows what spending money on quality parts will do, maybe GM and Ford are finally listening.........
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Old 03-09-2012, 09:09 AM   #59
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When you were reviewing the data to come up with your conclusion that Subaru's are pricier than Honda and Toyota, specifly which models did you bump up against one another? When I've been doing my shopping, I find the Subaru line-up is pretty unique. For example, which Honda model would you price compare an Outback against?
AWD is not cheap. You can compare a CR-V to an Outback..........
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Old 03-09-2012, 09:10 AM   #60
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When you were reviewing the data to come up with your conclusion that Subaru's are pricier than Honda and Toyota, specifly which models did you bump up against one another? When I've been doing my shopping, I find the Subaru line-up is pretty unique. For example, which Honda model would you price compare an Outback against?
CRV or Rav4 vs Forester, Accord or Camry vs Legacy, not sure there is an Outback equivalent. But to be clear, poor Subaru mpg is the biggest question for us, and hard to believe they are more reliable. To then pay a higher price for lower mpg and potentially less reliability just doesn't appeal to us. We've had 4 Hondas and 2 Toyotas, all with excellent long term results. Easy to maintain and no major issues with any of them out to 170K miles for two of them. However, I know we won't agree here, but that's why there are so many automakers and models. YMMV!
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