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Sun Apr 11, 2021, 09:12 PM

My next new car

I was born in 1955. Like so many my age (boys), I have had a deep love affair with American cars. When it came time to buy something I owned a couple of used Buick sedans with a 350 V8 engine. Got about 12mpg. Then around 1980 I bought a really terrible Chevy Chevette new. It later had the reputation as one of the worst cars ever made. It actually lasted until I was in a bad auto accident (my fault). For some reason I then bought a Mazda 323. This was all the rage. Japanese cars were so much more reliable than American cars. Of course with mine the engine blew a few thousand miles after the warranty expired. After that it was back to American cars, for some reason usually GM. Always sedans. The SUVs always seemed sort of wasteful. At any rate, I was happy with the next four cars. They were reasonably reliable GM sedans. I did have a bias toward Ford and GM. I thought it was important to buy a union made car. Although I favored Buicks, I have been a long time share holder of Ford. I thought that since the Ford family controlled the company through a special class of shares, the owners and investors interests would be closely aligned. I also cherished the story that when Bill Ford, then CEO of the company, learned of an accident at a Ford plant, he dropped everything and rushed to the scene, against the advice of many in the home office. He did his best to comfort the families, assuring them that they would be taken care of. The union rep on the scene came up to him and said "I will never forget what you did today." (That's a family company). For decades Ford's reputation with the UAW was that in negotiations, they were the easy company to deal with.
Well, my last car was a Buick Regal. Highly rated by Consumer Reports at the time, it's been very quiet, all leather, a pretty luxe ride. My Quaker wife thinks it's pretty luxurious. (Does anyone remember when Buicks used to be referred to as 'The doctor's car?). My theory of car ownership has been to drive until death. The Buick has 100000 miles on it. I'm retired so I'm only racking up 10000 miles a year. So it has a way to go. But I am at the point where I am checking out the new models. I looked at the April CR and I guess I shouldn't be surprised but Ford and GM offered no sedans. It was all SUVs and trucks.
At my age it was a bit of a shock. A sedan still appeals to me as a bit more modest than the big trucks. And maybe it's a lonely cause, but I would prefer an automobile built by American union workers.
I really am at a loss. I read a review in the latest CR of the Subaru Forester. Seemed very desirable, but not union made. I am at a loss.
Does anyone else out there have these issues? Is the Toyota Prius the answer to all moral issues? I wish we could unionize those damn southern states. That would make things a lot easier. Does anyone have any thoughts?

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Arrow 13 replies Author Time Post
Reply My next new car (Original post)
Tomconroy Apr 2021 OP
mahina Apr 2021 #1
dweller Apr 2021 #2
TheBlackAdder Apr 2021 #5
OAITW r.2.0 Apr 2021 #3
appalachiablue Apr 2021 #4
DetroitLegalBeagle Apr 2021 #6
WHITT Apr 2021 #7
discntnt_irny_srcsm Apr 2021 #8
PoindexterOglethorpe Apr 2021 #9
3Hotdogs Apr 2021 #10
Freddie Apr 2021 #11
3Hotdogs Apr 2021 #13
mitch96 Apr 2021 #12

Response to Tomconroy (Original post)

Sun Apr 11, 2021, 09:20 PM

1. We're a Prius family

But two out of the three of us have had our catalytic converter stolen. Anti Iheft devices are imperfect as mine was stolen after I had already had bolts welded on that were supposed to prevent that from happening. Somebody tried again last night after I put a riveted antitheft metal plate and two welded rebars. I still feel like a sitting duck, donít know when heís coming back with whatever tools he needs. Itís tedious.

Electric cars donít have catalytic converters but need you to drive them regularly as the battery can crap out early otherwise, same with the Prius.

I donít know what unions are still in which manufacturing centers. I only drove Chevys for decades to support but then they lied to me after an antilock brake failure and I was done.

I think hatchbacks are great.

My old mechanic said always get something theyíve made 1 million of.

I hope any of that was helpful but itís really all I know about cars. Iím thinking about it too. Look forward to hearing what you learn.

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Response to Tomconroy (Original post)

Sun Apr 11, 2021, 09:30 PM

2. Subaru is a great car, imo

Iíve had 2 legacyís, loved them both
I like them for the engine configuration, flat four, but also because I could do minor repairs as needed, but those were my younger years, so the 1 Iím driving now will be retired soon, as the $ of repair is more than itís worth ...
If I found a used Forester Iíd go for it, (me,not you) but they sell fast
My 97 yr old dad bought a used 2001 Forester about 15 yrs ago, said it would be the last car he ever drove ... and it was since we pried the keys away from him last year ... he still misses it (and driving)

✌🏻

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Response to dweller (Reply #2)

Sun Apr 11, 2021, 09:47 PM

5. With Subarus, just avoid Boxers with Turbo, GDI, VVT and Auto Stop/Start if you keep over 100K miles

Last edited Sun Apr 11, 2021, 10:49 PM - Edit history (1)

.

That combination is really hard on a flat engine Boxer.

If you plan on having the car for a couple hundred thousand miles, or for two decades, keep with a normally aspirated version and disable that Auto Stop/Start feature which is abusive to starters, ring gears and any engine.

When I take my Outback Touring to the dealer and get their free loaner Foresters, they right a little more nosily and rougher. The Outback is the best of both worlds.

.

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Response to Tomconroy (Original post)

Sun Apr 11, 2021, 09:31 PM

3. 2 years older than you. Have a 2007 VW Passatt that just turned 118K.

Invested in a new vuccum pump sensor for oil delivery. Cost a lot, but, it beats a monthly payment - for 10 years. And it's a 6 speed with awesome seats....Love to drive it, keeping it for the long haul. And I get 33 mpg for HW mileage! A poor man's Audi A4.

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Response to Tomconroy (Original post)

Sun Apr 11, 2021, 09:46 PM

4. Subaru, 2 Foresters in the family

it's a great vehicle, very reliable and has a good reputation.

Purchased a 2012 Ford Escape trying to support American, but it rides like a bread truck with uncomfortable seats and tight front legroom, esp. after driving a Honda Pilot. Maybe it's been improved since then.

I know SUVs are out of favor, but with the intense traffic congestion in my area they seem sturdier and safer. I'm also used to the storage and passenger space in SUVs.

Good luck with your search Tom.

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Response to Tomconroy (Original post)

Sun Apr 11, 2021, 09:50 PM

6. GM has a couple left.

GM still makes the Chevy Malibu. Cadillac has the CT4 and CT5. Ford is seemingly out of the sedan market. The Fusion, Continental, and MKZ all ended in 2020. Chrysler still has the 300 and Charger. Sedan sales have cratered in recent years. They simply do not self enough to justify making them anymore. Even Toyota is selling more RAV4's then they are Camry's now. Crossovers have gotten much more fuel efficient, to the point that a sedan's advantage in fuel economy has narrowed to the point that many buyers have chosen the increased space and available AWD found in crossovers over the few mpg increase a sedan may offer.

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Response to Tomconroy (Original post)

Sun Apr 11, 2021, 09:51 PM

7. If

you don't want an suv or even a crossover, Chevy still makes the Malibu sedan. They recently redid the whole car, and got good marks from J.D. Power when they rolled it out.

The other thought, given I hear there could be substantial subsidies in the Infrastructure Bill for electrics, would be the Chevy Bolt, as the latest year further extended the range.

I'm a GM guy.

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Response to Tomconroy (Original post)

Sun Apr 11, 2021, 09:59 PM

8. re: Sedans

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Response to Tomconroy (Original post)

Sun Apr 11, 2021, 11:45 PM

9. I have become a strong fan of Hondas.

I have never owned an American car. I have always been far more interested in reliability and good gas mileage than anything else. My first two cars were VW bugs. Then a Subaru, an Infiniti, another Subaru, and finally Hondas. My current car is a 2017 Honda Fit. Standard transmission, for what that's worth.

As for your desire to buy a vehicle built by American union workers, you might want to research specific cars very carefully to make sure what you want to buy really is made that way.

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Response to Tomconroy (Original post)

Mon Apr 12, 2021, 12:22 AM

10. October, '20, I bought a Hyundai Sonata Hybrid.

Its got enuf pep. Gets 45 per gallon. Smooth ride.

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Response to 3Hotdogs (Reply #10)

Mon Apr 12, 2021, 05:15 AM

11. My best friend is on her 2nd Sonata

She wanted a car that would be easy for her elderly mother to get in and out of. She loves them; very comfortable and all the bells and whistles (backup camera, heated seats, etc.). I personally prefer something smaller (I drive a 2011 Dodge Caliber) but sheís always had a family sedan and says the Sonata is the best of them all.

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Response to Freddie (Reply #11)

Mon Apr 12, 2021, 07:51 AM

13. I've been through 5 Sonatas. I put 50k on a car each year. Less during covid.

Heated seats? They also blow cold air during summer when air conditioning is on. Now THAT is wonderful when I have been hiking and cold air blows on my back when I sit down.

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Response to Tomconroy (Original post)

Mon Apr 12, 2021, 07:43 AM

12. At this point in my "geezerhood" I want something that I can get in and out of easily

I had a 2005 Forester XT TURBO. Great car but had problems with the rear end. Thank god for the warranty. I was a Honda guy for years. Had about 10 or 15 of them over the years.
Had a Prius that was easy to get in and out of (2017 "V". Did not get such great mileage and had "problems". Lucky I sold it for a good penny after 3 years.
To me compact two wheel drive SUV'S are just jacked up station wagons or 5 door hatch backs. Never gonna go off road. Saying that I have a Mazda cx30 which I can get in and out of pretty easy, gets good fuel miles and is quick.. It's comfortable. I'm happy with it and I'll see how well it lasts. It's got all the bells and whistle that keep me safe. YMMV..
m

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