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Old 07-09-2008, 02:47 PM   #161
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Both cars received 5 star ratings in the crash tests...neither is safer than the other. I understand sometimes people "feel" safer in larger cars, but those feelings are often not backed up by facts.

Some people rely more on how they feel, some more on facts. I think it's obvious which way I am. Neither is right or wrong...just different. I just wanted to point this out to the posters so that each can make their own decision.
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Sorry, but I don't think that is exactly accurate. I believe stars can only be used to compare two vehicles in the same weight class.

Given a 2,000 pound car with a 5 star rating, and a 20,000 pound car with a 5 star rating.

If they both run into immovable walls. They are about equal in safety.

However if they collide head first, you definitely want to be in the 20,000 pound vehicle. Physics still matters.
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Old 07-09-2008, 03:05 PM   #162
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After that I was ashamed of myself for whining about cloth diapers! At least I had a washer and clothes line.
“I cried because I had no shoes, then I met a man who had no feet.”
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Old 07-09-2008, 03:07 PM   #163
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BTW, HHR stands for High Head Room.......and it has it! I'm 5'10" and easily have about 5" to 6" of spare head room. Also plenty of shoulder/hip/leg room....good thing for me!
Actually, HHR stands for High Heritage Roofline, but your description is better........
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Old 07-09-2008, 03:50 PM   #164
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I almost forgot, escalate your prestige among those who still think Cadillac is a prestigious brand.
Being an "old guy" I remember well the days of "big chrome". As an early teen, my "hormones were raging" in two directions at the same time (one was cars, the other was girls ).

Anyway, in the early '60's I "craved" what the car market place was shown as the "best in the world" - that was Detroit Iron.

Coming from a lower middle class family, working at the family business for the "pay" of having a roof over my head and food to eat, owning a car was not to be.

In those years, Nissan was Datsun. A cheap, small underpowered vehicle that few would want to be seen in (as a young child of the '50's, I still remember taking apart toys with the "made in Japan" label and seeing that they were stamped out of old soup cans on the inside!).

Even though I was entranced with "power" (Hemi of course with the Dodge 426), luxury was represented by the Lincoln and Cadillac labels (who can forget the "suicide doors" of the early '60's Lincoln/T-birds - assuming you were from "that era").

I didn't purchase my own "first car" until '69 (Dodge Dart GT), the same year I returned from Nam. Oh yes, in the same month I got my first car, I also married my "first wife" (BTW, we're still married ).

While I'd admit that it's hard to go into any business parking lot today and see a place where US brands (regardless of where they are assembled) of cars are outnumbering the "foreign plates" (other than a new car lot!) I still remember the "old days" when U.S. meant superior (in a car sense).

When I retired last year at age 59, I mentioned to my wife that one of the things I wanted to do was to get that "old man's car" (meaning Cadillac) by the time I turned 70. Why? Just to fulfill an old man's dream.

Anyway, a local Cadillac dealer was sold and his inventory went to another dealer late last year. Since they were running specials to close out the year, I thought I'd go look. Not to buy, but just to check out my "old mans car" for the future. Well, you know how that goes ...

Now I have my Cadillac (SRX) and find it very useful for my volunteer work (delivering with the Meals on Wheels organization) a couple of times a week. Could I do it with a Suburu? Of course. Could I have bought a Lexus for delivering meals? Of course. The point is either of these "non-US brands" would have "scratched that itch" that started many years ago.

I can't (and won't) debate you on the car, either in features or maintenance (however, I believe you will find that reviews for past years SRX's have been very positive, within the brand, since I did the same research before I purchased). Nor do I need to debate the fuel it uses. I have the all-wheel version with the Northstar V8 (320 HP). Since I drive very little in retirement (a couple of hundred miles a month) I usually fill the tank (never near empty) once a month.

Just to give a response to why somebody would buy a Cadillac. To me it still is a "prestigious brand", based upon my "ancient history ", and yes, I "love" the vehicle.

Oh, BTW, my other car is a '02 Mustang GT convertible. Purchased it new (had it special ordered from the factory). Has 16k on the odometer and has never been "wet" (out of the garage). Another "mistake"? Nope - just getting the "toy" I could not have in my "raging homone years "...

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Old 07-09-2008, 04:06 PM   #165
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I hear you, rs. Some people still consider Caddy and Lincoln to be objects of desire and buy accordingly when they can.

I never really had the material itch for cars. If my car were totaled tomorrow, I would be looking at really exciting stuff like a Kia Rondo, Subie Outback, Honda Element, or perhaps a Ford Fusion or Chevy Malibu. Exciting, I know.

Makes me wonder what itch I will be dying to scratch when I get older. Don't really care about cars or boats or houses. Not really interested in chasing younger women. I suppose the things I never got to do in my youth were backpacking across Europe or hiking the Appalachian Trail. Prolly be too old for either by the time I have the time and money for it.
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Old 07-09-2008, 04:19 PM   #166
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I suppose the things I never got to do in my youth were backpacking across Europe ... Prolly be too old for either by the time I have the time and money for it.
Same here. From a working class family, I rushed through college to start making money ASAP to support myself and get married. Only in recent years decided to do some travel, when I realized if that's what I wanted, there was no guarantee my health may permit later.

No need to backpack though. Two carry-ons, and you can hop on trains, bus, boats, just like the movie "Trains, Planes, and Automobiles".

PS - This morning out walking, the guy two houses from me got a Lamborghini parked on driveway. Way out of our neighborhood class! Parked on drive way overnight! I did not circle it, admire it like I would 20 years ago. That tells you how I am way older than my age, when it comes to cars. I told my wife my neighbor had gone completely crazy with midlife crisis. My wife later talked to the neighbor's wife, and learned their son (in his early 20s) borrowed from a rich friend and came to stay the night. What impressed me is not the car, but the fact it was parked on the driveway overnight! Showing off, maybe?? Made a hell of an impression on my 19-yr old son though.
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Old 07-09-2008, 05:10 PM   #167
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My last SO rented an HHR. I was bound and determined to hate the thing, the PT Cruiser wannabe that it was, but I was actually surprised at how comfortable it was around town and on the interstates. The price is close enough to a Honda Element that I'd rather have that though, I wouldn't need anything over the base model.

I always used to imagine myself squealing tires around switchback turns in whatever supercar found its way into my fantasy. The Z06, the EVO VIII, the WRX STI, Porsche's and Lambos. Now I commute to work every day through a neighborhood where there are at least two Lamborghini's, a Bentley GT, too many Porsche's to count, and a few Lotus Elise's and an Aston Martin DB9. I don't want to stop and look at any of them and I can't figure out why. It's the same with the most remarkable motorcycles, I just don't care. Maybe it's because I can look but not touch?
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Old 07-09-2008, 06:04 PM   #168
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Maybe it's because I can look but not touch?
There are some places that rent them. Even more expensive by the day/week rental but probably worth it if one is still curious.

I asked myself who would rent it, and if I were the renter, which of the three things could happen with this trial
1) if it is a disappointment, I waste rental money for finding out what I suspect all along,
or 2) if it gets me hooked, that would be even worse (trading in a home for a car?),
or 3) it's worth it but I cannot afford it, and get myself back to drooling over it.

I would think it's more likely 1), but then I am already predisposed.
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Old 07-09-2008, 06:58 PM   #169
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I still like my '03 GMC Sierra 4WD pickup and don't regret buying it, although I did have to swallow hard at the $85 fill-up this morning. GM stuff "fits my butt" more than anything else I've ever driven. If I had it to do over again I'd get the 3/4 ton instead of the half-ton.

But on average I use about a tank and a half a month, at the moment we're doing a lot of repair/renovation work at my FIL's house and if I didn't own a truck I'd be renting one or making a lot more trips in a car to haul stuff.

The inside of the truck is as quiet as most cars I've ever been in, the A/C is terrific because there's room for a huge condenser behind that grille, the interior is luxurious by my standards, and the ride/handling/quiet is as good as one can expect given that it is, after all, a truck. The quiet is what surprised me - it's quieter than most cars I've been in.

And so far there has been no unscheduled maintenance on it.

When it's worn out in (hopefully) 15 years or so I'll look at what my uses are then. Not sure how much hauling stuff I'll be doing at age 70+.

If I win the lottery I'll get a Corvette too.
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Old 07-09-2008, 07:38 PM   #170
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... Not really interested in chasing younger women.
By the time you're retired, younger women mean 35 year olds.

And come on, look at this Donzi video. Can't you just imagine yourself at 70 (MPH and years old) with a couple of hot 35 year old babes in bikinis?
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Old 07-09-2008, 09:14 PM   #171
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My last SO rented an HHR. I was bound and determined to hate the thing, the PT Cruiser wannabe that it was, but I was actually surprised at how comfortable it was around town and on the interstates. The price is close enough to a Honda Element that I'd rather have that though, I wouldn't need anything over the base model.
Back when I was shopping around, I'd narrowed my choices down to either the Honda Element or the HHR. Like you say, the prices were pretty close. I liked each of them equally as well. The #1 reason I chose the HHR over the Element, was because I found a current year, lightly used HHR, and hadn't yet located the same in an Element. My HHR is the base model with the only factory option being the auto-trans.

The local used car dealer I got it from had done some pin-striping to dress it up a little. After I purchased it I had a friend of mine who is parts manager at a GM dealership (owned by the same family as the used car dealership) order a bunch of the trim and detail parts for it....some of which were actually cheaper than having it put on at the factory. One of their mechanics did the installations for free.

Then I went to a local 'after-market' detail and accessory shop that another friend owns, and had them install a remote start unit, some custom body-side mouldings, and a set of vent-visors on the side windows. I've also added Sirius satellite radio, and a Garmin GPS for cruisin' convenience. I didn't want to soak a lot of money into it, but I wanted it to be a little unique......I succeeded.
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Old 07-10-2008, 12:32 AM   #172
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What research is that exactly?
I don't have them handy...although if I run across the studies again I'll gladly post links. The studies looked at cars that were built in multiple plants/countries and compared their quality from one plant/country to the other. The findings were that a very high percentage (I believe it was around 85-90%) of the quality of an auto was determined in the design phase, not at the point of assembly.

*** cut and pasted
Foreign car or domestic? Reputation isn't the only factor
By Aviya Kushner • Bankrate.com

Mechanics, consumers and car analysts all tick off the same names when asked for the most reliable cars: Honda and Toyota.

But, they add, not all imports are so impressive.

Some models from luxury brands such as Mercedes and Audi are turning in below-average reliability numbers, according to new data from J.D. Power and Associates, the independent research firm. And complaints are popping up in car magazines from luxury buyers who feel disappointed.

Meanwhile, some budget imports continue to turn in beautiful performances year after year.

"The Japanese Big Three have been at the top of the dependability charts since 1990," says Joe Ivers, partner and executive director of quality and customer satisfaction at J.D. Power and Associates in Detroit.

"Toyota, Honda and Nissan tend to do very well, and there's very little difference from one to the next," Ivers says. "In the luxury category, Lexus is the best with 163 repair incidents per 100 cars, and Infiniti is next with 174 per 100."
**** end of cut and paste

Note that the Japanese Big Three are at the top of the quality ratings (although admittedly this is IQS, which I already stated is not my favorite measure of quality), yet some of their cars are assembled in the US, and some are assembled in Japan.

It's interesting that no matter where Toyota and Honda assemble their cars, they still come out as the most reliable/durable according to JD Powers, Consumer Reports, and also unscientific (and somewhat aged) anecdotal data from my 8 years of being an auto mechanic and working on over a thousand cars each of those 8 years.

There are many different measures of quality, and the data may be slightly different depending on which measure you look at. I don't trust the IQS (Initial Quality Survey) as much as I do the reliability and durability numbers. The IQS will 'ding' a car for having body panels that don't line up exactly right. While I agree this is a defect, it's not the most important measure of quality IMO...I care about a car that starts every time, works as advertised, and lasts a long time with minimal repairs.

I'm still am an enthusiast and work on cars. I also designed and built engines for my company for 8 years. We had lots of data showing that if you find a problem in the design phase of a product, it would cost you $X to fix it. However, if it was not found during design, but rather slipped through to production, and then found, it would cost $20X to fix. The implication is that it's smarter to design the quality in rather than do quality inspections on the back end of the production line.

As a result of this concept, which has been known for a number of years in the manufacturing industry, companies spend more time on up-front design hoping to save money on the back end...and it works. As a result, the overall quality of ALL products has improved over the decades (although some would argue this in terms of things not being made "like they used to be). Just look at our cars today...100,000 miles without a tuneup, tires that last 40,000 miles, much rarer breakdowns (although a breakdown is probably more expensive now) and so on...a vast improvement from 30-40 years ago.

Dave
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Old 07-10-2008, 12:42 AM   #173
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More fun reading:

This article talks about how Toyota is slipping, but still high quality - Consumer Reports: Toyota Quality Sees "Cracks in its Armor" - Auto Observer

talks about the GLOBAL auto industry Are Import Cars better than domestic vehicles? - and here's a quote "it is the management and business culture which shape how cars are engineered and built. " note if you read the article, the context is that it's not where the car is built/assembled, but rather the culture of how they are engineered.

Reliability report: Honda bumps Toyota from top spot, domestics still lag behind imports

I know none of these articles speaks directly about the issue of quality being independent of what country the car is assembled in, but again...keep in mind that you don't see Camry quality average because the ones built in Japan (not anymore...but used to be) were above average and the ones assembled in Kentucky were below average....rather the Camry has been ranked very high in durability up until the recent "crack" mentioned in the above article.
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Old 07-10-2008, 08:08 AM   #174
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By the time you're retired, younger women mean 35 year olds.

And come on, look at this Donzi video. Can't you just imagine yourself at 70 (MPH and years old) with a couple of hot 35 year old babes in bikinis?
Don't find it all that appealing, frankly. The men I see doing that stuff appear to be quite pathetic and mostly getting their jollies out of it by attracting attention to themselves, rather than anything having to do with the women in the car.
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Old 07-10-2008, 09:57 AM   #175
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OMG! Cadillac Escalade came in 2nd to LAST! I better run out and buy one!
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Old 07-10-2008, 10:13 AM   #176
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they have these new cloth diapers where they have these cartridge like things you put in a pant and easy to change and wash with no ironing. my wife counted up that we would need at least 8 or so pants and 200 or so of the cartridges and the cost was about the same as regular Seventh Generation diapers. too much work
200 seemed a huge number, so from curiosity I counted our cloth diapers today - we have 27 of them, most with inserts you are talking about, some one-piece. Washing it roughly every other day. Not too much additional work.
As far as cost, DW gets them second hand for about $15 and is typically able to resell for $10-12 a piece (we have Swaddlebees, Happy Heinys, Fuzzi Bunz and few custom made).
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Old 07-10-2008, 06:04 PM   #177
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Old family joke (father was an electrician):

A man traded in his 40 year old wife for 2 20 year olds; but it didn't work out: he wasn't wired for 220.
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Old 07-10-2008, 08:01 PM   #178
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Old family joke (father was an electrician):

A man traded in his 40 year old wife for 2 20 year olds; but it didn't work out: he wasn't wired for 220.
At least it wasn't 110.
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Old 07-10-2008, 09:27 PM   #179
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At least it wasn't 110.
Oh, that was baaaad.
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Old 07-10-2008, 09:33 PM   #180
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Oh, that was baaaad.
Bad? It was childish...
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