So a Toyota Corrolla with a 4-speed automatic transmission and no platform update since 2003 is a complete package?
The mahogany-tinted high-gloss wood looks like it came from a downmarket furniture store, and what's with the old Mercedes-style shift gate for the shift lever? And we nearly called an anthropologist when we spied the ES 350's cassette tape player. Sure, Lexus drivers are known enthusiasts of books on tape, but does Mark Levinson know it's still there?
That is the high quality and completely packaged Lexus for you.
Or Honda with its 5-speed transmission, no direct injection engines and design that will put GM's 90s design blandness to shame is a complete package? The quality of my 2005 TSX is better than the new TSX. But yes, they are cars that people buy.
How about the howlers from Nissan - Sentra and Versa. Are they complete packages as well?
BMW's fit and finish is nothing short of glaringly deficient. The plastics of my 2005 BMW 330i are terrible, the upholstery is peeling off, leather is blemished. The TSX and my 98 Lumina look better in shape than the BMW. The car has had electrical gremlins and also seen all its windows motors replaced. That is indeed a quality product! Have you heard of BMW's HFPF problem? The F30 has no design theme, the plastics look cheap and the interior is virtually unchanged since 1990s. At least Bangle had balls to be creative and polarizing.
And as for the Corvette and the stereotypes you are adding to the car - the ignorance is similar to the one in your comment about Prius and Volts. Yes Porsche may put clubbed baby seal leather in its anemic 320 odd hp Boxter S but then it clubs the customer $85k for that car. For half that price you can get the 370Z and club the Boxter if you are willing to forget the 85% quality at 105% performance. If I was shelling $200k on a Panamera Turbo S, I will expect the car to have clubbed baby Panda leather sewn by Matthias Muller with his own hands.
I still stand by my statement that GM lacks in perception game that Japanese and Germans have mastered and now Koreans are mastering. The GM products except for a few are vastly better than the perception you have. Is there a room for improvement? Sure, but they are not howlers as you claim to be.
Observing and Reporting, on 07 August 2012 - 05:27 PM, said:
I agree, "Observing and Reporting" was making stereotypes of GM owners. I just wanted to point out that same can be said of car brands his cohorts own.
I was not trying to be rude, this is what came up in a lively conversation, in all fairness it was over dinner at a restaurant/pub and was very animated.
Neither was I. What I mentioned about those brands also came casually in a lively conversation with informed automobile enthusiasts.
I know nothing of the Corolla, I have never driven or owned a vehicle in that class. I would certainly value that car over the latest GM cavalier-class car. You always see Cobalts driving about in various states of self-destruction, yet you see many nicer old Corollas, although this may have to do with demographics. As for a Civic, so many have been wasted by "enthusiasts" and "tuners."
My business partner has a new Lexus ES, it certainly has no cassette player, so I can not comment on your snippet of info. Even though his ES is little more than a Camry with gadgets it feels modern, comfortable and well made.
You GM people certainly are touchy. I would take the Boxster over the Corvette or a Nissan any day of the week. It feels good. Even if the performance of the Nissan and Corvette are better, the experience would be ruined each time I looked at the tacky wheels or cheap interior. As for stereotypes. the Corvette has always been the "everyman's" sports car, there is certainly nothing wrong with this. It is a high performance "exotic" style car that is within reach of the average person, I like the Corvette, it has character.
As for your issues with BMWs, perhaps they stem from a lack of care on the part of the owner. I have owned three BMWs since 2000, two 7 series and one 5 series and other than hating earlier versions of iDrive I never had an issue. I have since moved to Audi A8s because they are more attractive to my eye. Even though it is an 8-year-old car "Blemished" leather would indicate that you do not care for your car or have it regularly cleaned. From your vehemence and description of yourself as an "enthusiast" I would assume you are the type of person that likes to beat on cars because you feel it is fun. The Corvette is well suited for this as it is simple and anvil-like.
As for Honda's five speed automatic, the vast majority of of people who buy cars in this class do not care. The Accord is smoother, more comfortable and a better value than the Malibu. One drive and it is immediately clear that it is the better car all around. It does not rely on gimmicks or "camaro-style" tail lights to distract from the cheap materials and poor American low-cost engineering. With this being said, the "Americanization" of the Camry has done it no favors.
From my perspective there are also two tiers of Japanese Cars. Honda and Toyota are known for their quality. Manufacturers like Mazda, Nissan and Mitsubishi frequently push loaded "sporty" cars whose quality is dubious. The Americans are not alone in playing this game.
With the Europeans, Mercedes quality has gone down drastically since the mid-1990s. The 124 E-Class and 90s vintage S class and SL were the last of the quality Mercedes. Now they have shunned the engineers for the marketers, and their tacky AMG versions appeal to the same gold chain-wearing people that flock to old BMW M3s.
At the end of the day you can defend GM all you want. I can afford to buy what I want, as can most of my friends, there are no GM vehicles on the list because they are American cars at their worst. GM takes advantage of customers by cutting corners with their manufacturing and engineering. This is old school Detroit, no doubt this is to both maximize profits and make up for the UAW leeches that squeeze every penny out of the manufacturers with their unreasonable demands.
This is not an anti-american car issue. I recently traded a Toyota Tundra for a Ford F150 Ecoboost to tow our boat and horse trailers. This vehicle has proven to be modern, comfortable and fuel efficient.
What I find most interesting is that GM can get it right in other areas. The Saab 9-5 and 9-4, even with their cheap GM stereos and displays, were far nicer than their Buick and Cadillac equivalents, their dashboards were clean and uncluttered, and the Opel Insignia is also more appealing than the Buick version for the same reason. GM in America seems to tart everything up, even when it was unnecessary, and they cheapen the vehicles in the process.