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The most american car?
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scaught
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Apr 23, 2009, 10:33 PM
 
I'm kind of maybe in the market for a new car. My car is paid off, which is nice, but it's also to the point where every repair I make I think I should maybe just chuck it and get a new one. Its a VW Golf, I bought it used. I like hatchback cars, so that's probably what I'll get.

I'm trying to shop based on a few different criteria:

If I just go with what I lust for, I'll get a GTI or a Volvo c20. So hot.

If I try and be responsible as someone who works for the big 3 (contracted, but still. My dad was also a GM employee and UAW member for 30+ years), I would try and buy something as American as possible. Here's the rub. I went and looked at that Saturn Astra. Pretty good looking hatchback. Decent enough reviews on edmunds.com. Made in Europe (Belgium or something), there's an Opel model of the same car. GM obviously still gets their scratch, but it's not really an "American" car, or as American as it could be.

By this same logic, there are a few Honda plants in the US. Reliability and resale wise, they are damn near the top of the heap. The civic is a pretty nice looking car, I think there's a hatchback model. There's that honda fit too that rates really high on edmunds.com. It seems like a nice car for something that would be my coffin if I get hit by anything more substantial than a mailbox. The fit is made out of the US, but I think in one of these threads somewhere ghporter mentioned that the civic was like 80some percent American. More than some straight up Chevrolets that have a lot of parts from overseas and whatnot.

See what I'm getting at? Is there a list somewhere? I'm ready to call the UAW if I have to.
I found this link but it doesn't really help other than to say I should buy a Ford Expedition because it's 95% American. Not gonna happen. This link seems pretty good. I don't see a hatchback type ride unfortunately. I don't know. Anyone else know any sources? discuss.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Apr 23, 2009, 10:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by scaught View Post
I went and looked at that Saturn Astra. Pretty good looking hatchback. Decent enough reviews on edmunds.com. Made in Europe (Belgium or something), there's an Opel model of the same car. GM obviously still gets their scratch, but it's not really an "American" car, or as American as it could be.
Opel has made GM a *LOT* of money over the past 80 years, especially since their R&D department is way ahead of most anything else at GM and many of GM's patents (that they've currently put up as collateral for credit) are actually Opel patents.

All the while GM never paid a cent of taxes in Germany - Opel doesn't even have a bank account in Germany; all its bookkeeping runs directly via the mothership.

Meanwhile, Opel has been teetering back and forth on the brink of bankruptcy for the past six months, despite a decent and modern model palette.

Opel has almost 30,000 employees in Germany.


I'm not criticizing your intent, mind you, but just offering perspective:

The financial crisis is hitting all of us, and wherever your money goes, it's welcome.
     
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Apr 23, 2009, 11:04 PM
 
The Oscar Mayer Wienermobile (this may not have been a helpful post).

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Art Vandelay
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Apr 23, 2009, 11:11 PM
 
The Honda Fit is made in Japan and exported to the US. The Saturn/Opel Astra is getting old and is about to be replaced by a new model. However, we won't see it here in the US since Saturn is dead and is no longer receiving any model updates.

All the car companies are global corporations. It's going to be hard to find anything that's all one nationality. If I was in the market for a compact hatchback, I'd hold out for the new Ford Fiesta which will be on sale here in early 2010. It's selling like crazy in Europe and is very highly reviewed. Plus it's pretty snazzy looking.

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Face Ache
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Apr 24, 2009, 01:34 AM
 
The Fiesta is nice, but gutless. The Astra suffers from torque steer and ridiculous amounts of brake dust on the front wheels. I suspect the brakes are made of chalk. I nearly bought an Astra Turbo, but now, every time I go past one in my GTI, I'm glad I didn't.

GTI, scaught. You know you want to. GTI, GTI, GTI, GTI, GTI, GTI,
     
klb5090
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Apr 24, 2009, 01:46 AM
 
Originally Posted by Face Ache View Post
The Fiesta is nice, but gutless. The Astra suffers from torque steer and ridiculous amounts of brake dust on the front wheels. I suspect the brakes are made of chalk. I nearly bought an Astra Turbo, but now, every time I go past one in my GTI, I'm glad I didn't.

GTI, scaught. You know you want to. GTI, GTI, GTI, GTI, GTI, GTI,
GTI x 3, mine has taken over my wallet.
     
Face Ache
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Apr 24, 2009, 02:01 AM
 
Nice, but you are going a bit nuts.

Mine. Stock 4 door + sunroof.
     
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Apr 24, 2009, 07:54 AM
 
My Honda Ridgeline is made in the good ol US of A and the quality is top notch. If you need/want a truck but the comfort and feel of a SUV this is your baby. Gas mileage doesn't suck either, though cars and small hatchbacks will blow it away in mileage.
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Apr 24, 2009, 08:02 AM
 
Realistically speaking, GM is on the verge of collapse. Why don't you at least try to support those companies that have a chance of survival, but have also been hit by the current economic downturn? If, say, buying a Honda which is `60~80 % American,' that'd help save their jobs.

Personally, I'd buy what I like rather than buy a car you simply like less. If you want a Golf GTI, get one. In the end, no company can survive by selling products people don't buy (in sufficient quantity). Otherwise there is a little voice in your head nagging you about the fact that you're driving a car you didn't really want to buy.
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ShortcutToMoncton
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Apr 24, 2009, 08:03 AM
 
Ahhhhhh, the internet. Where someone wants a new hatchback, and someone else talks about a truck instead.

greg
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Phileas
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Apr 24, 2009, 08:11 AM
 
We just picked up one of these:


Rather than leasing or buying new I went and bought a 2 year old model. One owner, off lease, 30k miles on the clock with perfect service history. We paid about 50% of what it sold for when it was new, for a car that looks immaculate.

Great little city car with tons of space inside, but I have no idea where it was built.
     
OldManMac
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Apr 24, 2009, 08:41 AM
 
I'm hoping VW brings the new GTI diesel over here. I want.
     
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Apr 24, 2009, 09:29 AM
 
Originally Posted by Phileas View Post
I have no idea where it was built.
here
     
ort888
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Apr 24, 2009, 11:12 AM
 


AMERICA **** YEAH!

My sig is 1 pixel too big.
     
finboy
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Apr 24, 2009, 11:19 AM
 
Originally Posted by OldManMac View Post
I'm hoping VW brings the new GTI diesel over here. I want.
Yeah, they're nice. It's the whole "VW" thing you have to get around to own one, though.

Seriously, the "American" thing to do is buy the best car you can for the money. Consider the aftermarket for parts/service in the decision. For example, if you're planning to use dealers for service, evaluate the dealers in your area before buying. Example: the Honda dealer nearest to me (where the car was bought) are jerks in the service department. That would influence my next purchase (or, I'll go to the dealer 40 miles away, which is what I have to do NOW for dealer-only items). Seriously, if a Kia fits your needs best, buy it. The other stuff is irrelevant.

How many people over the years have remained absolutely loyal to the Detroit companies, and what has it bought them? I remember the whole debate in the 70s and 80s, and how the Big Three abandoned us then. THEY walked away, NOT the consumer. THEY built crap, when they could have done it different. I don't see the current situation resolving itself any differently, except that they're still in denial and unwilling to compromise on ANYTHING. This time the automakers are rolling over for the government, so we're more likely to end up driving the USA equiv. of a Renault or a Peugot. Ick. Chevettes for EVERYONE!!!!
     
olePigeon
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Apr 24, 2009, 11:56 AM
 
If you want an American car, buy a Toyota or Honda. They're at least assembled in the U.S. instead of Mexico.
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Laminar
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Apr 24, 2009, 12:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by olePigeon View Post
If you want an American car, buy a Toyota or Honda. They're at least assembled in the U.S. instead of Mexico.
A few of them are, but the majority aren't. Did you check the OP's link? You're about as likely to get an import built abroad as you are a domestic car built in Canada/Mexico (At least that was the case in '07).

http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/...nt-chart_N.htm
     
d4nth3m4n
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Apr 24, 2009, 01:01 PM
 
i've been in that car.

get a c30.
     
ghporter
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Apr 24, 2009, 01:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
A few of them are, but the majority aren't. Did you check the OP's link? You're about as likely to get an import built abroad as you are a domestic car built in Canada/Mexico (At least that was the case in '07).

http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/...nt-chart_N.htm
The USA Today chart is incomplete in that it doesn't break down where specific sub-models are assembled. I.e. The "Honda Civic" is built in either Ohio or Japan, but which type is built where? (the chart is also 2 years out of date, which makes the "US/Canadian content" numbers useless.) The solution to this is to just READ THE VIN.

The first character in the VIN says where the car was built. If it's a 1 or a 4, the car was assembled in the U.S. A 2 means Canada and a 3 means Mexico. "J" means Japan, and "S" means Korea... Read a good explanation here.

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scaught  (op)
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Apr 24, 2009, 01:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by klb5090 View Post
GTI x 3, mine has taken over my wallet.
Nice. The stance is perfect. Black rims with chrome lip = hot. This isn't helping.
     
angelmb
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Apr 24, 2009, 04:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by Phileas View Post
We just picked up one of these:
The B-Class is really nice, but they don't sell it in the States… do they?.

Wait until the Cadillac Converj is on the market, maybe you could get a huge discount… I have seen here in Europe some retailers undercutting a 45000€ SAAB 93 cabrio to 30000€, I know, it is a SAAB and it was a Diesel nonetheless.
     
NYK Ace
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Apr 24, 2009, 06:16 PM
 
im glad to see the Ford Fiesta suggested, nice looking ride and great reviews in Europe. Early MPG ratings are putting the us version around 45-50 mpg.

It will probably be my next car.
     
Face Ache
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Apr 24, 2009, 06:48 PM
 
Have you taken a GTI for a thrash... ah... I mean "test drive"?


GTI, GTI, GTI, GTI, GTI, GTI,
     
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Apr 24, 2009, 07:27 PM
 
If you drive it, you will come.
     
imitchellg5
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Apr 24, 2009, 10:50 PM
 
My Accord (and the current Accords) are 95% American. The Fiesta is a great car, but not American in the least. Designed and built in Germany, but the American version will be built in Mexico. Also, they aren't gutless, or so I've heard. But I'm going to be trying one out on Wednesday.
     
scaught  (op)
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Apr 24, 2009, 11:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by Face Ache View Post
Have you taken a GTI for a thrash... ah... I mean "test drive"?


GTI, GTI, GTI, GTI, GTI, GTI,
A friend of mine has a MKIV (modified a bit, bigger air intake and chipped) and it's really fun. I've never driven a MKV. I'm a bit afraid to, haha.
     
Face Ache
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Apr 24, 2009, 11:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by imitchellg5 View Post
Also, they aren't gutless, or so I've heard.
Dude, it's a Fiesta.
     
Face Ache
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Apr 24, 2009, 11:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by scaught View Post
A friend of mine has a MKIV (modified a bit, bigger air intake and chipped) and it's really fun. I've never driven a MKV. I'm a bit afraid to, haha.
Oh yes, be afraid.

Get the car you want. GTI, GTI, GTI, GTI, GTI,
     
CaseCom
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Apr 24, 2009, 11:56 PM
 
I don't think Honda has sold the Civic hatch in the US since the 06 redesign.

How about a Mazda 3 hatch?
     
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Apr 25, 2009, 12:02 AM
 
Originally Posted by CaseCom View Post
I don't think Honda has sold the Civic hatch in the US since the 06 redesign.

How about a Mazda 3 hatch?


My dad bought one last summer, sunroof, wonderfully maneuverable, and Its a peppy little thing too!
are you lightfooted?
     
Laminar
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Apr 25, 2009, 01:00 AM
 
Originally Posted by imitchellg5 View Post
My Accord (and the current Accords) are 95% American. The Fiesta is a great car, but not American in the least. Designed and built in Germany, but the American version will be built in Mexico. Also, they aren't gutless, or so I've heard. But I'm going to be trying one out on Wednesday.
The '07 Accord was only 70% American.
     
scaught  (op)
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Apr 25, 2009, 09:35 AM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
The '07 Accord was only 70% American.
Where are you getting this number from?
     
Laminar
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Apr 25, 2009, 10:08 AM
 
Originally Posted by scaught View Post
Where are you getting this number from?
A link hidden somewhere in this thread....twice.

Originally Posted by scaught View Post
See what I'm getting at? Is there a list somewhere? I'm ready to call the UAW if I have to.
I found this link but it doesn't really help other than to say I should buy a Ford Expedition because it's 95% American. Not gonna happen.
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
A few of them are, but the majority aren't. Did you check the OP's link? You're about as likely to get an import built abroad as you are a domestic car built in Canada/Mexico (At least that was the case in '07).

http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/...nt-chart_N.htm
Honda Accord 2007
US/Canadian Content: 70%
Assembled in: Ohio/Japan

Honda Accord Hybrid 2006
US/Canadian Content: 70%
Assembled in: Japan
     
k squared
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Apr 25, 2009, 12:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by finboy View Post
Yeah, they're nice. It's the whole "VW" thing you have to get around to own one, though.
OK, I'll bite: what's the whole "VW" thing?
     
Laminar
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Apr 25, 2009, 05:43 PM
 
     
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Apr 26, 2009, 05:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
A link hidden somewhere in this thread....twice.
I pointed out that the information on that page was dated-and not terribly easy to use, since it doesn't break down which sub-models are made where. Unfortunately, it's pretty darn difficult to get this information. If someone knows where to find it, reliably and for a very broad variety of vehicles, I'd LOVE to know where that is...

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klb5090
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Apr 26, 2009, 08:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
Good video, no idea how i've never seen that
     
klb5090
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Apr 26, 2009, 08:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by scaught View Post
Nice. The stance is perfect. Black rims with chrome lip = hot. This isn't helping.


I drove every car in the GTI price range and in the end, you can't compete with the total package, Great exterior styling IMO, a perfect match up of power/weight/gas mileage, fun factor, and a class act interior. Drive one, you won't be disappointed.

EDIT: Stay euro, remember no rice
     
d4nth3m4n
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Apr 26, 2009, 11:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by klb5090 View Post
EDIT: Stay euro, remember no rice
do you prefer kraut then? your tires are NOWHERE near fitting your wheels.
     
klb5090
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Apr 26, 2009, 11:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by d4nth3m4n View Post
do you prefer kraut then? your tires are NOWHERE near fitting your wheels.
its called stretch and i'm very aware of how my tires "fit" my wheels. and the rice thing is a joke for cars like this
     
Phileas
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Apr 27, 2009, 06:55 AM
 
The GTI is a sweet car, but I've gotta agree with d4nth3m4n, those tires are awful. Sorry.
     
PB2K
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Apr 27, 2009, 07:08 AM
 
your gti looks great !

i regard the new mustang, charger, viper and crysler 300c as very american i wouldn't mind having one of those. anyway, i stick to european unless i can afford high gas and maintenance bills
( Last edited by PB2K; Apr 27, 2009 at 07:16 AM. )
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ghporter
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Apr 27, 2009, 08:08 AM
 
Originally Posted by klb5090 View Post
its called stretch and i'm very aware of how my tires "fit" my wheels. and the rice thing is a joke for cars like this
Is it just me, or do other people think that those stupid "spoilers" look like hooks for the Fisher Price toy crane to use to pick up these cars? I had a Civic hatchback in that generation-a '93 LX. Nice car stock. I can't imagine what this particular car would sound like on the road...

There are a LOT of "customizers" in my neck of the woods, and far too few of them ever get to the finished stage that the above pictured Civic is at. I see a LOT of ABS and primer, a lot of empty light mounting holes and such. I understand it's a hobby, but it makes these cars look even less impressive to see them "in their skivies" like that.

I've seen some "interesting" custom jobs that actually seemed both finished and functional, but giving yourself only 1.5" of ground clearance around here is ASKING for your expensive ground effects stuff to get shattered...so I gotta wonder whether these guys thought it out...

ON topic, I have seen very few Civic hatch models lately, and they're all Si's. There aren't any on Honda's Civic page. My current car is a Civic EX sedan, which is a really nice car. My son's Fit is nice too, but in a different way-more "adventurous" maybe?

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Apr 27, 2009, 09:28 AM
 
Don't understand the hate on your GTI, dude. Great job, very classy, and the tires look great – not flashy, but classy and stylish. Don't mind the haters, it's a great little ride. If all goes well in the next few years I'd like to get a similar one - I love the John Cooper Works Mini, but the GTI definitely has the better price/performance/space for real life ratio.

Had a ride in an R32 Rabbit for the first time yesterday... that thing had some kick, too.

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Apr 27, 2009, 10:56 AM
 
I was going to suggest a Pontiac Vibe--hatchback, made in California (at a joint GM-Toyota plant), good quality. Today, though, GM announces it's euthanizing Pontiac, and the Vibe goes down with it. May be able to get one cheap and have it serviced at a Toyota dealership.
     
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Apr 27, 2009, 03:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by klb5090 View Post
[IM]http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3401/3446619748_eb660cd3ee_b.jpg[/IMG]

I drove every car in the GTI price range and in the end, you can't compete with the total package, Great exterior styling IMO, a perfect match up of power/weight/gas mileage, fun factor, and a class act interior. Drive one, you won't be disappointed.

EDIT: Stay euro, remember no rice
[IM]http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3330/3445804141_b8ecfa4dc3_b.jpg[/IMG]
Ya. I went and eye-****ed one yesterday. Black, 6 speed, cloth interior, sunroof, valences. So hot. I really need to not do this. Still haven't driven one
     
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Apr 27, 2009, 05:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by scaught View Post
Ya. I went and eye-****ed one yesterday. Black, 6 speed, cloth interior, sunroof, valences. So hot. I really need to not do this. Still haven't driven one
You need the DSG gearbox. DO NOT get the manual when you can get the best gearbox currently made for a car.

Cars for me had always been about just getting from A to B. Until the GTI. Now it's all about the drive. Hell, these days, I take the long way.

Go on - get one.
     
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Apr 27, 2009, 06:30 PM
 
I know I'm late in on this, but to the OP: You're seriously wanting to buy a car based on how "American" it is?

Why not base it on things that make sense, like fuel economy, engine and transmission reliability, build quality, and warranty?

I mean, it's nice and all that you want to support the floundering American auto industry (by the way, watch what brand you buy, in case yours is the next to get the axe five or ten years down the road), but it seems like a purchase as large as a car needs some more support behind the decision than where it's engineered and manufactured.
     
klb5090
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Apr 27, 2009, 11:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by scaught View Post
. Still haven't driven one
Its calling you...
Drive me...
     
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Apr 28, 2009, 05:21 AM
 
Originally Posted by klb5090 View Post
EDIT: Stay euro, remember no rice
In Europe that would be considerd rice Not to mention dangerous and performance degrading.

As for the topic: just get the car you WANT. You're not going to save the American car companies by buying one of their cars.. You'll still want that Golf or Volvo when you're driving around in your Chevy.

So get that Golf or Volvo.

If you're really hell-bent on getting an "American" car then get something European or Japanese that's made in the USA. You'll actually get a decent car that way.

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