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Discussion Starter #1
I have test driven dozens of cars. I have decided to make the Murano my next car, when my Acura TL lease runs out in May.

I am very excited, naturally. The Mo is awesome. I test drove it 3 times, and loved it more each time. Besides the radical styling, it's so roomy. The powerplant is terrific, and it drives great. I work extremely hard as an ER physician, and I feel I should get whatever car makes me happiest, in this case the Murano won out.

But I do occasionally feel pangs of guilt over not owning a domestic car. I lived in Michigan the past 7 years before moving to Maryland. Many of my friends were in the industry. The auto industry is the 2nd largest industry in the country. The big 3 (or big two and a half as some people now say) have steadily lost market share for 20 years.

In addition, the auto industry provides health care coverage for almost a full percent of the entire U.S. population!

I realize that GM has been putting out crap for years, and making people feel somewhat better about owning it by paying them back with rebates and zero interest. Their cars look ugly, are underpowered, unrefined, and unreliable. They are being served their comeuppance by the foreign competition.

Yet at the same time, they are handicapped by other countries use of slave labor, not having health benefits to the workers (estimate is that $2000 of every GM car is for health care), and lower minimum wages.

All I can say, is that I fear for the future of this country if Ford and GM don't right their ships.
 

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Hmmm... Maybe I should look at the Dodge Magnum. It's built in Brampton, Ontario, just next to Toronto.

But seriously, you're right... I used to love GM, but that ended in the eighties.

Still miss my Dad's '58 Fleetwood. He sold it when I was 15 and a half for $600. I told him after, I wanted it. He told me he would have given it to me. :banghead:

Now I ask for everything, no matter how outrageous.
 

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I use to be a GM fan but they lost out in the 70's due to poor quality that I can only assume they thought that we would not notice or care about. I now buy qualaity instead of quanity. I think if the Big 3 car makers want to get more business they need to improve the way they build cars. I think that most people have woken up to that and the N.A car makers are either trying to ignore it or are hoping that we will buy there product just to support the Big three. Those days are long gone and they should have a serious look in the mirror to see what they want to do and how to do it. Otherwise they may not be around in the future.

This rant applies to all the workers, as a company is only as strong as their weakest link. If they want to stay in business then build us the cars we want and the quality that goes with them. That is why we buy import cars now instead of domestic.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
it's more than just quality

domestic makes really aren't that much less reliable than Japanese (see April consumer reports), though certainly they are less reliable.

I find domestic cars boring in terms of styling (see new Chevrolet Malibu, an otherwise acceptable car), ugly (Aztek), or stodgy (pick any Buick). The Cadillac line is the only one that is handsome, in my opinion.

They also are UNDERPOWERED. Geez, look at the new Ford Five Hundred and it's wimpy 200 hp. Ford desperately needs a more potent (and smooth and quiet) six.

American cars also lag behind with new gadgetry. Xenon HIDs, Navigation, etc. All done elsewhere first, and then we jump on the bandwagon.
 

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I haven't owned a domestic ('69 Plymouth (Police special) wagon) since 1971, and I don't feel a bit bad (or guilty) about it.
 

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It really depends on the car if I am honest. I did own in the past a Firebird a Camaro and a Ford Taurus. They were all reliable and dependable. I was soured by a Pontiac Grand Am and the worst car I ever owned a 1976 Olds Starfire. My 1977 Vette used to blow up at least once a month. I had a Jeep Grand Cherokee from the Chrysler family and that was like a bucket of bolts. The final straw was hearing the rear end hum and I knew from other owners the differential was trashed and would take 1800 bucks to fix. When I was young I used to own British sports cars. Man talk about a mechanical junkbox nightmare. The GM's were good compared to those. The GM, Ford and Chrysler people only have to do a few things. !- Produce a car that rides as good as the imports. 2-Produce a car that looks as good as imports. 3-Produce a car that will be as mechanically reliable with 200,000 miles plus as an achievable mileage number before a meltdown. 4-Give me the same dollar for dollar trade in as my Nissan or a Honda, Toyota.
5-Don't give me some POS with a 140HP engine designed 15 years ago when the imports are giving me 100 more horse on a new lightweight fuel effiecient engine. Give me that at a good price and I'm back to cars built in America.
Bob1
 

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Given that this is a Nissan website, I wouldn't expect too many of you to be big supporters of domestic autos. However, too many people aren't giving the domestics fair consideration. Cadillacs are very competitive these days (just read Car and Driver, where the SRX is the best luxury SUV.) The Corvette is universally praised, and has no equal for the price. I go on like this, but the point is that some of you need to open your eyes a little. :4:
 

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Yet other GM products are still junk. I loved the old GM and always felt they built excellent rear wheel drive products.

Corvette? You can't even classify that with the other vehicles, as it's always been it's own animal and designed by enthusiasts. Both it and the Caddie have gone from good to junk to good again.

So GM's trying, but I'm still P.O.'d at them for my 1988 Jimmy and it's two transmissions and engine. Come on, since when is a crankshaft supposed to break at 80,000 miles?

I'd buy a vette, and even the new GTO (Australian Holden) has my attention, but as long as there's other choices, it's unlikely I'll buy GM again.

Looking at DC, you can tell which vehicles are designed and/or built by the germans. They're the ones with the good fit and finish and no orange peel on the paint. The domestic vehicles look like junk still.

Ford? Middle of the pack. Nothing jumps out at me, except maybe the new 'Stang... Oh and of course, the GT. But again, different animal, not their standard product.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
There are a few domestics worth looking at

The new Chevrolet Malibu and Maxx are highly regarded. They look flat-out butt ugly is all. The CAdillac CTS is actually quite nice too- in fact, it gets my nod as best GM product overall. The Pontiac Vibe is a great little car- though it's technically a Toyota, not a GM. The new Chevrolet Cobalt is a very competitive small car that gets good reviews and accolades in the car magazines.

Ford's new Five Hundred would be quite nice except for two things. The interior looks like crap. The wimpy, noisy, coarse V6 stinks.
 

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I must say, GM's trying harder and reaching beyond the homeland to improve. Have to hand it to them for trying.

I wonder how the dealers are these days. In the mid 90's I never found a Ford dealer I didn't like, but I found a number of GM dealers that constantly had their hands in my pockets.

Product is the larger part of it, but even Nissan has a problem with dealer quality.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
How GM and Ford ruin otherwise good cars:

The Chevy Equinox:
decent styling
innovative moveable rear seat
otherwise acceptable SUV

RUINED BY

China made 20+ year old 185 hp pushrod engine.

Saturn VUE
decently styled
inexpensive
Honda's outstanding V6 250 hp (because GM finally sheepishly admits we can't do better ourselves)

RUINED BY

not only rolling over during crash tests, but the entire rear suspension caved in during the test!


Fords new Five Hundred
-attractively, though somewhat plainly styled
-offers commanding road view and AWD
-built on a nice Volvo P2 platform

RUINED BY

coarse, noisy, weak, wimpy fuel inefficient V6 206 hp
 

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Re: How GM and Ford ruin otherwise good cars:

DocCat said:
The Chevy Equinox:
decent styling
innovative moveable rear seat
otherwise acceptable SUV

RUINED BY

China made 20+ year old 185 hp pushrod engine.

Saturn VUE
decently styled
inexpensive
Honda's outstanding V6 250 hp (because GM finally sheepishly admits we can't do better ourselves)

RUINED BY

not only rolling over during crash tests, but the entire rear suspension caved in during the test!


Fords new Five Hundred
-attractively, though somewhat plainly styled
-offers commanding road view and AWD
-built on a nice Volvo P2 platform

RUINED BY

coarse, noisy, weak, wimpy fuel inefficient V6 206 hp
Why is it that the Big 3 cannot build cars that we need and want, it is not rocket science. Maybe the the people opeating the company need to get out of the office and look around on what is going around them. Its their market share that is dropping.:banghead:
 

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Here is why I don't feel the least built guilty about buying a foreign car.

1. Many domestic cars are built outside of the U.S.
2. Many foreign cars (although not the Murano) are built inside the U.S.
3. Most importantly, buying an American car just because it is an American car will actually hurt the American car companies in the long run. If enough people will buy an inferior product because it is American, it will encourage the American companies to keep churning out inferior products. Foreigners aren't going to buy those inferior products, and eventually, neither will the Americans.
 

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When domestic companies build a vehicle that is competitive with the Murano (I do not know of any, except for maybe the boring Ford Freestyle and expensive Caddy SRX) that doesn't get recalled a half dozen times within a year, I might consider it.

With the exception of the 350z (Japan), Murano (Japan), and Sentra (Mexico) all other Nissans are built in the USA. All Infinitis I believe are built in Japan (except the QX56, which is built alongside the Armada).
 

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My Murano was a POS for the first 6 months that I owned it.
And I wasn't alone.

There will be no recall on the alternator.
This is another case similiar to Mitsubishi who defrauded the American Public for years by not admitting serious flaws in design and workmanship.





Homer
 

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Before online forums, it was word of mouth as to how good a vehicle was, or magazines...

So now, the guts get laid out on the table for us all to see. It's an interesting change.

Had this forum not existed, I would have no idea that there were a lot of alternator failures. Mine's been fine and I know no one that has had one fail. So how would I know?

I'm always trying to weigh the information I get and wonder just how bad it would have been, 20-30 years back if we could share info like today.

That reminds me, I have to schedule mine to look at the CV joints. No one's reported that as a problem yet!
 

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if ford, dodge and gm put some of there race engineering technology into there engines and then tweaked them from there to get the competitive efficiency that everyone is yerning for these days slapped together with increased quality and craftsmanship(in my opinion this would be achieved by lowering the amount of vechicles produced) they'd retake the car market in north america.
 

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Most automobiles has multi national content and GM, Ford and Chrysler don't build all their products in the USA. Honda, Toyota, Subaru, and Nissan all have USA manufacturing sites so they are just as much built here as the "big" three.

GM in the past had many poor designs which lost them market share. Examples are the Chevy Vega, the Oldsmobile diesel engine in the 80's and the promised rotary engine which at the last minute failed to make it to the marketplace.

GM, Chrysler and Ford seem to build some nice products lately and hopefully will be able to compete in the global economy. The Cadillac, Chrysler 300 and the Ford 500 look to be nice products.

I don't believe everything I read in Consumer Reports , but the Japanese cars in general have much better maintenance ratings than the european and USA models. The BMW, Mercedes and VW maintenance ratings don't look very good lately although the cars rate very well in the driving and performance arena.
 

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nissanlove said:
if ford, dodge and gm put some of there race engineering technology into there engines and then tweaked them from there to get the competitive efficiency that everyone is yerning for these days slapped together with increased quality and craftsmanship(in my opinion this would be achieved by lowering the amount of vechicles produced) they'd retake the car market in north america.
I think your right in that it is primarily an engineering problem with the traditional Big Three (Ford-GM-Chrysler). They don't specifiy enough quality in the parts and components they use in the manufacter of their vehicles.

The Japanese companies seem to engineer their products (and the components) for a life cycle (or duty cycle) of ~200,000 miles, while most Big Three vehicles seem to use ~100,000 mile duty cycles.

That said I have had parts fail in Nissans, most recently the main power door switch in my 00 Maxima at 143k. The part was $90 and I literally changed it in less than 10 minutes, without any manuals.

I just hope that the US built Nissans don't develop the same problems over the next few years as their Big Three counterparts.

I'm encouraged that they won't as Honda and Toyota have been building high quality dependable vehicles here for a long time.
 

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I do not feel bad about my Murano purchase, My money spends anywhere and I felt the Murano was the best buy for what I wanted. I wanted something with style not a Box on wheels.
 
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