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Poll: What nationality's carmakers build the better car?

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / June 20, 2007 8:25 AM PDT

For the average consumer, what nationality's carmakers build the better car?

American (Why?)
British (Why?)
Chinese (Why?)
French (Why?)
German (Why?)
Italian (Why?)
Japanese (Why?)
Korean (Why?)
Swedish (Why?)
Other (What is it?)

Please remember to be considerate of other members when posting your opinions and replies. Thanks!

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by jimth / June 20, 2007 1:13 PM PDT


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Which Nationality produces the best cars
by mickeyuze / June 21, 2007 12:06 AM PDT
In reply to: Japanese

I totally agree, it is Japan. Their cars really stand up. I kept my first Nissan Maxima for 14 years and people were begging to buy it when I was ready for a new car. The current Altima is 9 years old and still no problems. Who else can match that!

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The Japanese have the upper hand.
by msilvia / June 21, 2007 1:33 AM PDT
In reply to: Japanese

The Japanese can thank W. Edwards Deming and his 14 points of quality system.
History, as I understand it, W. Edwards Deming developed a 14 point quality system and presented it to the big 3 American automakers and was laughed at. As a result, he presented his system to Japanese automakers and they embraced his system and continue to use it today. For more information about W. Edwards Deming 14 points of quality please see

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No, they don't.
by Mannyd99 / June 21, 2007 5:44 PM PDT

If the Japanese have the upper hand, why do they copy German designs? I mean, look at Lexus from a distance, thats a copy of a Mercedes. Look at the nissan centra, thats a copy of the BMW325. The new Toyota Camry is a copy of the BMW 525. The Japanese auto makers are copy cats who use cheaper parts so they could sell their cars cheaper. Most German cars can go for over twenty thousand miles on one tune up. I don't know any Japanese cars that can go that long without a tune up. There are BMW's, Mercedes and VW's that are over thirty years old, that look pristine and run like new cars. I don't know of any Japanese cars of that age that are not rusted and sitting on blocs.
Japanese cars are cheaper than German cars initially, but in the long run German cars are cheaper to maintain and in the long run are more durable than anything that comes out of Japan. Personally, I think that Germans build the best cars, followed by American Cars. I think U.S. car makers get a bad rapt because of the gas guzzlers that came out of Detroit in the seventies and early eighties. But Detroit produces the most comfortable cars and the best automatic transmissions. The Japanese are light years away from producing anything that can match the comfort and smooth ride of a cadilac or the durability and work horse ability of the chevy caprice or ford crowne victoria.
I think Germans build the best perfomance cars, and Americans build the most comfortable cars. As for durability, I don't know if I would choose a VW bug or a 67 mustang.

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Accord Tune up
by atapul / June 22, 2007 5:14 AM PDT
In reply to: No, they don't.

Accord's First Tune up is recommended by the manual at 100,000 miles. I drove mine to 60K miles with no tune up.

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about the mileage
by crabsclaps / January 25, 2008 3:44 AM PST
In reply to: Accord Tune up

for me i think it would depend on the perspective of the user because we cant have it all. but for overall rating, it might be japanese cars because much cheaper than german cars, although durability wise, i would go for german cars.

BTW, a bit off the topic, as you have said that they could run until 200,000miles++, what if you completely overhauled the engine. would still be ok to use? would it still run for another 200k++ mileage?
tnx.. ^^

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by Andy77e / June 23, 2007 4:54 AM PDT
In reply to: No, they don't.

Yes all car companies copy each other all the time. Further, some designs come out very similar because there's only so much you can change. 4 doors, 4 wheels, trunk, hood, bumpers... you know all cars really are, pretty much, the same. So design changes can only go so far within each class of car.

This thread is impossible to answer. Which is better is so broad, most people will just answer with their personal preference. For example I hate Japanese cars because I'm a big guy, and I can't stand being shoved into a tiny box. I like BMW but they are small too.

Each country has some good areas and not so good areas.

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200,000 plus i have seen them with over 400k
by LOVE-VOIP-LINGO-PHONE / June 24, 2007 1:36 PM PDT
In reply to: No, they don't.

200,000 plus i have seen them with over 400k and still going Its like anything treat it well and it will return the favor. Most *** cars are this way Honda, Toyota, and Subaru are the best from what i have seen.

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Sure they do.
by msilvia / June 26, 2007 3:57 AM PDT
In reply to: No, they don't.

Americans are great an inventing new technology, but the Japanese are good is building on that technology in terms of quality and consistancy. The good news is that American carmakers have caught on and have quality systems in place and making much better cars.

What I would really like to see is synergy between auto makers and power companies and develop a plug in hybrid that plugs into our power grid and use batteries to not only store power to power the cars, but to power the grid during peak times to avoid having to power up addional power plants and to make wind and solar power more feasible. An average commuter uses a car twice a day to go to work and to return home. The rest of the time the car's battery.

Solar power only works during the day, the wind, in most areas, dusk and dawn. The rest of the time we are asleep.

The goal is the reduce our oil consumption and power consumption and to maximize our use of free power from the sun, wind and water (hydroelectric and ocean currents). Biodiesel and Hydrogen just doesn't cut it because it takes roughly a gallon of gas to make a gallon of biodiesel and drives the price of corn and everything that depends on corn up. It still take a lot of energy to separate hydrogen from other elements. We may have an abundance of hydrgen, but getting to that hydrogent can be quite an effort. If we can continue to develop and improve technology of storing power. Li-ion batteries, which are used to power laptop and cell phones are a good start. Even nuclear power would be a good source of power if we can find a way to reuse the spent fuel rods or at least neutralize them so we can avoid having to store them deep inside a mountain.

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Must be the reason why Porsche...
by make_or_break / June 26, 2007 7:39 AM PDT
In reply to: No, they don't.

...went out and hired former Toyota execs and engineers in the '90s to guide them on their makeover that directly lead to their current rebirth and renaissance. So who's copying who?

In Porsche's case, it's not the first time they looked to the Rising Sun for guidance (Mitsubishi's balance shaft technology for the 944 four-banger). And certainly there are specific technologies (VVT, for instance) that started in Japan that have found their way around to the world's other automakers, including Germany's.

I don't really think that one nation's entire industry is intrinsically better than another's. Such blanket statements are ridiculous because different personalities and attitudes run each of these companies. I DO feel that specific companies--Toyota and Honda, in particular--do lead the pack in terms of overall quality across their entire product line, particularly when value is taken into account. From past experience--often quite repetitive, I might add--in their respective service departments, I can't say the same about Nissan or Mazda, for example, so again this idea of one nation's auto industry being inherently superior...all just nationalistic hogwash.

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german engineering
by batman823 / July 19, 2007 2:07 AM PDT
In reply to: No, they don't.

Germans are well-known for their engineering. They go from airplanes to cars. But their cars are not cheaper in any aspect. The Jetta is one of the cheapest and will not stand to the same mileage as an altima or sentra will. If VWs, Nissans, Toyotas are well maintained, they will all last to 300k+ miles. But the japanese cars are cheaper to repair and get about the same mileage, if not better.

BTW a light-year is a measure of a vast distance. It is the distance that light will travel over the period of one year. In order to sound intelligent, you might want to use terms like decades or millenia when you want to say that one company is behind another in R&D.

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by catbird / June 21, 2007 3:41 AM PDT
In reply to: Japanese

Why are we discussing cars on an internet forum?
Waste of time

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I agree with Catbird!
by morninglory / June 21, 2007 11:51 AM PDT
In reply to: WHY?

I have a Windows update problem and here we are talking about cars! I can't seem to find out where to go on Cnet to solve this problem!

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Forget Windows. What about satellite radio?
by alantilden / June 22, 2007 3:38 PM PDT
In reply to: I agree with Catbird!

Your problem with the windows can probably be fixed quite easily with some Windex. It doesn't streak or leave a film, nay, nary a sticky spot. I would be more concerned about the satellite radio being installed in a number of cars these days. I've got news for you... those satellites are in outer space. You can't see them because they are so far away, but they are out there, telling everyone what to buy and news channels telling everyone what to think. Come to your senses, people, those satellites are the vehicles of space aliens! We need to build some type of fence to keep these aliens from coming into our cars and our country. They will soon have their kids in all the schools, and before you know it, you will have to wait in line at the Emergency Room because these illegal aliens want treatment just like the rest of us. I say NO! Send them back to where they came from, or else make them go to the end of the line and apply for citizenship just like all the other illegal aliens. And we need to have some real solid rules about inter-species sexual relations. There is no good science at this time, and until there have been some double-blind, studies on people who are already blind, we need to proceed very carefully. If those illegal aliens have eyeballs on stalks, the next thing you know they will be driving and watching the ball came on the built-in satellite receiver (get it?) all at the same time.

Well, that about covers it for me. If you have any questions or comments to make about this email, please write me at
Love, Alan

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WHY? Waste of time
by mike.searles / June 21, 2007 3:41 PM PDT
In reply to: WHY?

You just wasted your own time by responding. If you don't like it, don't read it.

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Have you read the title?
by me4 / June 22, 2007 10:35 PM PDT
In reply to: WHY?

The forum name is "Car Tech"... meaning... about cars and the technology used in them! Maybe you should start looking at titles and the headlines on pages...

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Have you read the title? (Yes)
by morninglory / June 22, 2007 11:53 PM PDT

Hey, no offense, but if I want to read about cars I will go to Car & Driver website. I thought this was a site about computers, internet problems, new electronics, etc. (Yeah, I see the sidebar).

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Which cars are Best
by dmc83501 / June 25, 2007 4:59 AM PDT
In reply to: Japanese

Japanese cars raised the bar for dependability, quality and overall performance. Lexus, Acura and Toyota usually rank near the top in dependability. The european cars still rank highest for overall performance, but seem to lag behind in dependability, they require more maintenenance and cost more.

American cars have improved tremendously over the years and are among the best in the world, now. These improvements can be credited, in large part to the Japanese for providing superior quality and affordable prices. All American manufacturers have improved quality and design in response to this competition.

The consumer is the winner, regardless of the national origin of the manufacturer.

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by jimsuhy / June 20, 2007 1:16 PM PDT

The Japanese cars have out performing and outlasting other cars for years now. They are more innovative too. Look at the hybrid system from Toyota that other manufacturers are now OEM'ing. Their cars are smarter and better made than even the German cars who have been lagging. Forget about American cars. It's too sad to even talk about.

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What does the "nationality" of the car mean in this poll??
by nylentone / June 20, 2007 3:14 PM PDT
In reply to: Japanese

Most of these "Japanese" cars that are praised for their quality and reliability are built in American factories, by American workers, using components made in China, Japan, Mexico, Canada, and who knows where else.

I have a Ford Focus which is a great car. It's essentially a Mazda with a Ford nameplate. So where do the boundaries fall?

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by me4 / June 20, 2007 10:27 PM PDT

If you notice, most import cars' designs try to copy off American cars. What trucks do major companies use for their trucks? GM. It's the reliability and quality. In some places, Fords or Isuzus may be used, but because of their cheaper price. Think of it this way: Ford and many other companies make their cars cheap and less quality because it is a business strategy. You buy a cheap car, use it, it breaks down, get it fixed, breaks down and you get it fixed a couple more times, and then you finally realize, in the one year this all happened, it's cheaper to just get a new car. The company gets all the money from the two cars you bought and all the repairs needed to be done. They don't care about the quality, they just want your constant money.

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Wrong! It's because they're cheap
by tcj226 / June 21, 2007 10:24 AM PDT
In reply to: American

Companies use GM because GM gives companies huge discounts to use their vehicles. This in turn helps GM because it gets their vehicles "seated" with the drivers who will think first of GM vehicles when they go to buy a new car. Don't forget, also, that most US companies are going to stick with buying from a US auto maker because they fear the negative publicity that going with a non-US auto maker would cause. There are no other reasons they go with US vehicles - it is not because they are inherently better. It is because they are cheaper and a safe publicity choice.

Also notice what brands are represented by kids' toys - those made by American auto makers. It's because the US auto makers help out the toy manufacturers by giving them access to their designs and allowing them to use them cheaply to keep their presence first and foremost in the minds of consumers (not the kids - the parents.)

Most import cars copy off of each other and ignore trends in US automobiles. Most embarassingly, however, GM copied the Honda Ridgeline for their Avalanche, rushing what was essentially a Suburban with the back cut off into production before Honda got their far superior vehicle on lots. Honda had the Ridgeline in design long before GM thought of the Avalance.

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by jty12388 / June 25, 2007 5:18 AM PDT

Your telling us that GM "rushed" the avalanche to production to get it out 4 years before Honda's Ridgeline. Thats an interesting theory...get that off of a cereal box?

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Reply to Yeah?
by me4 / August 19, 2007 3:29 AM PDT
In reply to: Yeah?

Good one!

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GM and Your "Discounts"
by me4 / August 19, 2007 3:40 AM PDT

GM doesn't give any more discounts than Ford or any other company. They're more reliable, and that's it. Fords are also ugly and look like little toenails. After unbolting a deck from the house and any ground supports and putting it on dolleys, a truck should be easily capable of pulling it away from the house, say, for a future extension. An old Ford F-350 Diesel ripped it's bumper (the one mounted on it's frame) off! Then, we brought in a Chevy Silverado 2500 gasoline (equivalent to an F-250) and it pulled the deck out with ease! And what's all this about copying these Hondas and rushing? WTH? First, the Ridgeline was not a great sucess because there are more Avalanches on the roads today than your little Japanese Ridgelines, and the Avalanche was built on a Suburban frame because it was built for the family of four who carried more cargo than a family that had a Suburban. Anyone can tell the difference in appearance between the plain-old small, low-performance Japanese imports; the hideous Fords, Mercurys, and Lincolns; the British look of European cars; and the unique styling of GM vehicles.

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Nylentone's boundaries
by Swartswaan / June 23, 2007 4:06 AM PDT
In reply to: American

The operating phrase here is "components made in Japan or China somewhere". Funny, we had the Ford Meteor and the Mazda 323 lookalike coming out of the same factory east of Pretoria in South Africa, the Mazda's lasted longer than the Meteors, with less repairs. I stumbled upon the Mazda 323 in 1982 after My VW Golf 1300cc packed with a patent defect in the radiator, it was under-designed for the hot-and-high Gauteng weather. I drove all three of the first 323 models and to say I am impressed with build quality, road holding and other aspects of this range of cars will remain under statement. To you and me4 I say , vote with your wallets, gentlemen. That actually goes for the lot of us all. Much to be said for Ayn Rand's resentment of mediocrity.

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Focus IS NOT a Mazda
by eeee / June 20, 2007 10:40 PM PDT

That is wrong. The Focus was Ford designed and is NOT a MAzda at all. That is similar to the Myth that all Chrysler motors are Mitsu. One optional motor on Chrysler original minivan in the 80s was a Mitsu motor and the myth spread that the whole van was a a Mitsubishi
The American car firms still have engineering talent and no amount of ignorant comments by gullible people negates that.
This discussion board are 70% ignorance maquerading as fact most of the time.

People are so damn gullible by any old myth or salesman who bad mouths another brand to make a gullible person buy something. People should do real research before buying something; talking to a salesman IS NOT research. Listening to some guy in a club is NOT research.

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the more you know, the better you know.
by arondan / June 24, 2007 5:00 AM PDT
In reply to: Focus IS NOT a Mazda

I acquired my vast knowledge of cars from over thirty years of reading the buff magazines; going to car shows and talking to the various representatives of the car companies, often discussing the merits and deficits of the products; test driving up to fifteen vehicles a year,evaluating by the seat of my pants; talking to salesmen;e-mailing automotive editors; and listening to auto-themed talk shows.
I can usually tell someone who asks me what is a better vehicle to buy, within a marketing segment, as opposed to them going out and spending time themselves, often getting confused.
Every once in a while I misspeak of a car history or a car history statistic, as I believe someone has here regarding the chassis origins of the Ford Focus. The current car, as it is sold in the U. S.,is on a chassis formerly shared with both Mazda(on its Protege[nee 323]) and Volvo (on its V40, V50), two auto companies wholely owned by Ford.Both the current replacement vehicles, the Mazda 3 series and the current Volvo V40 and V50, use the chassis of the better European Ford Focus.

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by oo7cuz / June 21, 2007 12:22 AM PDT
In reply to: Japanese

American is better because it's made in the heartland. Ain't no heartland in japan or euroasia!!!! Heartland nuff said!!

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