The first car I ever bought, in 1989 midway through my senior year in college, has just been dubbed one of the “10 Cars That Sank Detroit” by U.S. News & World Report.
My Cavalier became a drain on the family budget by the time it hit 80,000 miles, and the engine was dead soon after it broke the 100,000-miles mark. We replaced it with a Dodge Caravan that had to have the transmission rebuilt at a relatively young age. We also had repeated mechanical problems and recalls on our Oldsmobile Silhouette before ditching it about two years ago.
Those experiences explain our family’s move toward Toyota. I’ve been driving Corollas to work since 2000 — I just bought a new one a few weeks ago — and the family car is now a Sienna.
I’d love to buy American cars again someday, in part because my father has been a loyal GM fan most of his life and because it’s the red-blooded, redneck, American thing to do. But I’ll definitely be a tough sell for Detroit going forward.
My goal is to buy cars that will last 7-10 years and 200,000 miles or more. I don’t see GM or any other U.S. automaker meeting those expectations reliably anytime soon.
Filed under: Business and Culture