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  1. #1
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Well, I bought American

    After years of owning imports, (2 Hondas, a Toyota, and currently a Nissan) I broke down and bought a Chevrolet today. 2011 Equinox.
    My pregnant wife needed a people mover than could accommodate 2 rear-facing baby seats. You'd be amazed how few vehicles other than mini-vans can pull this off. Of the several models we tested, the Equinox really appealed to us.

    My family sold GM's once upon a time. After I sold my old iroc-z, I never thought I'd buy a GM again, but, Honda, Toyota, and Mazda didn't have anything we liked other than the Mazda 5.

    I finally got to use $1500 in accumulated GM Visa points, marking the first time I've used points for anything other than travel. That helped convince me.
    Last edited by kexodusc; 02-17-2011 at 04:47 AM.

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    Congrats on the new Equinox

    Good idea to apply accumulated cc points to your purchase. I would have never thought of that. I have a co-worker who got a 2010 Equinox and he likes it alot and reports that he gets really good gas mileage too.

  3. #3
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeRoy
    Good idea to apply accumulated cc points to your purchase. I would have never thought of that. I have a co-worker who got a 2010 Equinox and he likes it alot and reports that he gets really good gas mileage too.
    Yeah, that's probably the other big selling feature on this vehicle, the reported gas mileage is a lot different better than vehicles this size from even a few years ago would get. It's a good baby mover. Digging finally having XM Radio too.

    Some how I ended up with a GM Visa card several years ago - I think it was at hockey playoff game where they were giving out free shirts and towels in Ottawa, but I could be wrong. When we built our house a few years ago I racked up a ton paying for everything with it then paying it off because it was easier for the contractors etc. Forgot I had them since I use electronic billing and only review the purchases. So I completely lucked out on that.

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    Sgt. At Arms Worf101's Avatar
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    Interesting...

    Having owned a couple of pretty good Japanese brands you'll be perfectly positioned to tell me/us how the U.S. offering holds up over the long term. I believe I could buy a new Ford and be satisfied, I'll be interested in hearing how Chevy's stepped up to the plate. Good on ya mate.

    Worf

  5. #5
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Worf101
    Having owned a couple of pretty good Japanese brands you'll be perfectly positioned to tell me/us how the U.S. offering holds up over the long term. I believe I could buy a new Ford and be satisfied, I'll be interested in hearing how Chevy's stepped up to the plate. Good on ya mate.

    Worf
    I've owned nothing but American cars. I'm on my 7th car. The first was a Chrysler and everything since then has been Ford...mostly leased because I tend to get bored once the new car smell wears off. I've always been happy with my vehicles and think that I've received way better value for my money with Ford over other manufacturers. Besides, aren't most Fords really Mazdas in Ford clothing?

    Congrats on the new car and the soon-to-be new babies, Kex.

    Isn't satellite radio the bomb? I have six months free on my car and I've already decided that I'm purchasing it once the free trial is over.

  6. #6
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Worf101
    Having owned a couple of pretty good Japanese brands you'll be perfectly positioned to tell me/us how the U.S. offering holds up over the long term. I believe I could buy a new Ford and be satisfied, I'll be interested in hearing how Chevy's stepped up to the plate. Good on ya mate.

    Worf
    I drove a Ford Edge for a week and really liked it. They've got some great vehicles right now. I also test drove a Kia Sorento and have to say it wasn't near as "cheap" as I expected it to be. We drove a lot of cars, sometimes multiple times. Mazda CX-7, Kia Sorento and Sportage, Hyundai Tucson and Santa Fe, Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, Nissan Rogue, Chevy Equinox/GMC Terrain and even a VW Tiguan. I did not try the RAV-4 but I've been in enough over the years to know I didn't like it.

    I've had a few front-end problems with my Civic and Accord, and a water leaks in the Corolla. I don't know if a Focus or Cobalt would have been much worse. Especially considering they were less to buy. I don't believe all imports are better than their domestic counterparts. Just me.

  7. #7
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Kex, congrats on the purchase. Hope it works out for you.

    For all the flak that GM has caught, they seem to have made recent strides in their car designs and quality control.

    Like you, I needed to find a happy medium when shopping for a car, given that I don't like SUVs and most "mini"vans have gotten way too big for my needs. I would have been happy with a good ole station wagon, but I guess they're just too practical and understated for the North American market.

    We wound up with a Mazda5 a few years ago. Great car for the price, and the perfect size for hauling a baby and family dog around. We also strongly considered the HHR, but liked the versatility (and driveability) of the Mazda better. Would have liked to look at the Jetta wagon, but it was not yet available when we were shopping.

    Tall wagons like the Mazda5 are a lot more common overseas, where gas mileage and space efficiency are more of a consideration. Ford though will start selling the C-Max later this year, and Chevy is about to come out with the Orlando compact tall wagon in Europe with plans to bring it to North America as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by ForeverAutumn
    I've owned nothing but American cars. I'm on my 7th car. The first was a Chrysler and everything since then has been Ford...mostly leased because I tend to get bored once the new car smell wears off. I've always been happy with my vehicles and think that I've received way better value for my money with Ford over other manufacturers. Besides, aren't most Fords really Mazdas in Ford clothing?
    Well, you could also say that about the Mazdas, since they use Ford engines in a lot of their models. Ford also cross-engineers their cars with Volvo. Ford though started selling off their interests in other car companies, and you are starting to see more autonomous designs coming out from the companies that Ford has stakes in.

    Still though, Ford uses the same platform for the Focus that Mazda uses for the 3 and 5 models. Volvo also shares that platform for the S40, which is very well regarded for its performance and versatility.
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    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woochifer
    Kex, congrats on the purchase. Hope it works out for you.

    For all the flak that GM has caught, they seem to have made recent strides in their car designs and quality control.

    Like you, I needed to find a happy medium when shopping for a car, given that I don't like SUVs and most "mini"vans have gotten way too big for my needs. I would have been happy with a good ole station wagon, but I guess they're just too practical and understated for the North American market.

    We wound up with a Mazda5 a few years ago. Great car for the price, and the perfect size for hauling a baby and family dog around. We also strongly considered the HHR, but liked the versatility (and driveability) of the Mazda better. Would have liked to look at the Jetta wagon, but it was not yet available when we were shopping.

    Tall wagons like the Mazda5 are a lot more common overseas, where gas mileage and space efficiency are more of a consideration. Ford though will start selling the C-Max later this year, and Chevy is about to come out with the Orlando compact tall wagon in Europe with plans to bring it to North America as well..
    We looked at a few smaller vehicles like the Kia Rio, Hyundai Elantra Touring wagon thing, and the Fit, but they just couldn't handle the 2 rear facing baby seats and stroller. A few more wagon options would have been appreciated - but there's lots of interesting crossover designs. I've never had such a hard time picking a vehicle before, usually 1 or 2 brands really stood out but there were plenty of vehicles that impressed me this time.

  9. #9
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kexodusc
    We looked at a few smaller vehicles like the Kia Rio, Hyundai Elantra Touring wagon thing, and the Fit, but they just couldn't handle the 2 rear facing baby seats and stroller. A few more wagon options would have been appreciated - but there's lots of interesting crossover designs. I've never had such a hard time picking a vehicle before, usually 1 or 2 brands really stood out but there were plenty of vehicles that impressed me this time.
    Two rear facing seats?! Are you expecting twins?

    Indeed it seems that the choices have gotten more interesting as of late (although Kia has stopped importing the Rondo, which was the only other tall wagon option aside from the Mazda5). And if options like the C-Max and Orlando make it to North America, then it potentially expands the landscape quite a bit.

    And last time gas prices went above $4/gallon, Mazda5 sales went through the roof. Ford and Chevy might have actually timed their tall wagon introductions perfectly this time around.
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  10. #10
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woochifer
    Two rear facing seats?! Are you expecting twins?

    Indeed it seems that the choices have gotten more interesting as of late (although Kia has stopped importing the Rondo, which was the only other tall wagon option aside from the Mazda5). And if options like the C-Max and Orlando make it to North America, then it potentially expands the landscape quite a bit.

    And last time gas prices went above $4/gallon, Mazda5 sales went through the roof. Ford and Chevy might have actually timed their tall wagon introductions perfectly this time around.
    The Mazda 5 has had rave reviews from various sources, e.g. Consumer Reports. Which are the Ford and GM models? Is Ford's the C-Max? Is the C-Max "related" to the Mazda 5? Are both, plus the Ford Focus, related to the Mazda 3?

    Is the Chevy model the Orlando?

  11. #11
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    I have a Mazda3 on which the Focus is based. Canada gets some neat cars we never see in the US.

    But as a people hauler nothing beats the Mopar Minivan and they are so much cheaper than any of the imports. I'm on my 3rd since Lee introduced them in 84. I think nothing of driving down to Florida with all my camping gear, a wife, a golden doodle, two kayaks on top, 2 bikes in back and a double air mattress behind the front seats.

  12. #12
    RGA
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    I bought the Mazda 5's only real competitor in the Kia Rondo - they still sell them in Canada and it's one of their better sellers - but didn't go in the US - which is odd since it's bigger than the Mazda 5 and it looks more like a car because of the four doors over the sliding door.

    I also don't necessarily buy into the view that foreign is better. Although my personal experience has generally been that the Honda was a lot better than all the other cars me and my family and most of my friends have owned from American models - which have often been truly terrible. But times change - one noted magazine said "Toyota is the new GM and Hyundai is the new Toyota - and they may have it right if recent history is anything to go by.

    The single best book on new and used cars in my opinion and experience is the Lemon Aid guide by Phil Edmonston - but it's Canadian and it seems lots of Americans on forums have never heard of it - which is a shame because he was going on about the trouble with Toyota sudden acceleration back in 2000 (ten years before it gets press now).

    And Phil called it like it was based on mounds of statistics, user satisfaction surveys and all sort of stuff. The book has all the secret warranties listed and is mainly about safety and reliability. He was sued by Honda for calling the original Civic a rust bucket. Honda lost because the truth was that they were rust buckets. Still the Civic has been a 5 star staple in that book for over a decade. Interestingly, the last couple of years the Civic only got 3 stars while the Hyundai Elantra got 5 stars. Hyundai bought Kia some time back.

    The Lemon aid isn't pro Japanese or Pro-American - you will see cars like the Taurus rated as 1 star but you'll also see a Corolla with 2 stars. You'll see him rip virtually every Mercedes and BMW on reliability and give a whopping 5 stars to certain Camero's which get very high scores on their safety and above average reliability.

    And the things that have gone wrong in all my cars - have been things the Lemon Aid mentions as something that has often turned up as failing. I use that book combined with Consumer Reports - which also very much liked the Rondo (and Mazda 5) - I figured both would be a lot more popular.

    My Kia is a V6 with nice passing power and I get the same mileage I got with my 4 cyl Corolla - granted I do a lot of highway driving - a big 3.5 hour drive from where I work to where I live on weekends on Vancouver Island. I was truly amazed I was getting that kind of mileage - city driving isn't great but not terrible. I can fit a full single bed and box spring in the back flat down and I can still close the lid.

    7 year bumper to bumper warranty and 180,000km warranty. And I am impressed with the safety - 5 stars front and side and 4 rollover with ABS, ESC, EBD, front, side and curtain airbags. They even put on Kumho tires which were rated as one of the 5 best all - season tires on the road for grip in snow and rain.

    Still the annoyances are there - engine light came on - turns out the gas cap was loose - WTF? That's a scary light for a minor thing - they should have a gas cap is loose light or something. Geez. I almost had it towed if I didn't check the internet first.

    The Buick line in China looked very nice - I had a ride home in one and it was really posh for not much money.

  13. #13
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woochifer
    Two rear facing seats?! Are you expecting twins?
    Twin girls, May 7 or sooner.

    Indeed it seems that the choices have gotten more interesting as of late (although Kia has stopped importing the Rondo, which was the only other tall wagon option aside from the Mazda5). And if options like the C-Max and Orlando make it to North America, then it potentially expands the landscape quite a bit.

    And last time gas prices went above $4/gallon, Mazda5 sales went through the roof. Ford and Chevy might have actually timed their tall wagon introductions perfectly this time around.
    We looked at the Rondo, a friend has one and she loves it. Again, us taller folk can't quite get behind the wheel with a baby seat back there. I liked the Sorento. It felt just a tad bit, well, cheaper than most of the other brands we tried. It wasn't the nicest driving, the quietest, didn't have the highest quality look or feel, nor was it the best on gas, but it wasn't completely outclassed in these areas, had a better warranty, and the price was as good as any. I must say Kia has jazzed the looks of their cars up lately. I didn't buy one but I know if things were a bit different I could have bought one.

    The gas mileage in my Equinox so far isn't far off from the 5-speed Civic we had, incredibly. Finally manufacturers on this side of the world are adapting to the new petro-realities.

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    RGA, thanks for the info on the Lemon Aid Guide. I think I'll go to that website right about now.

    Kex, glad you're enjoying your new wheels.

  15. #15
    RGA
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    "Phil Edmonston Born in 1944, a native of Washington, D.C., trilingual (English, French and Spanish) and a graduate of Canal Zone College and Bowie State College (Maryland).

    He is married and has a son, Michel. He spent three years as a US Army infantry medic (1961-64) attached to the 508th Airborne Division in Panama

    One of the few Americans ever elected to the Canadian Parliament (C.D. Howe was the other American).

    Phil is founder and past president for almost 20 years of the non-profit Automobile Protection Association (1968-1987), a former elected member of Consumers Union (Publisher of Consumer Reports) Board of Directors, and a colleague of Ralph Nader.

    Mr. Edmonston is the author of 125 best-sellers dealing with consumer rights and the automobile industry."

    And I like his

    10 Biggest Auto Myths

    1. You get what you pay for. No, cheaper cars are often better than luxury lemons.

    2. Mercedes makes the best cars. No longer; even German drivers say they prefer Toyota and Lexus.

    3. Hybrids are the future. Don’t bet on it; fuel economy is over-stated by half and they can fry you in an accident.

    4. Saturn is a different car company. Yeah, it is a pain in Uranus.

    5. Toyota and Honda have impressive reliability. No longer; Trannies, engines and sliding doors are their nemesis.

    6. New cars are better than used. Only if you are a new car dealer..

    7. US car companies are on the rebound. Call it a ‘dead cat bounce’ before rigor-mortis sets in.

    8. You get a better deal paying cash. Only if you are from Bogota.

    9. Dealers are more honest today. No, they just cheat you differently.

    10. Cars are better made today. Partly, yes. Bodies are safer and more durable; engines and transmissions are less reliable and costlier to fix.

    Now i get where some comments come from that he's Canada's Ralph Nader.

    You have to get the book - can be ordered from Chapters.ca and probably can get it through Chapters USA http://www.lemonaidcars.com/about.html

    But it is for Canadians but it doesn't matter - the cars are virtually the same models entirely so it will still be an excellent guide - I have no idea why there isn't a US version - there should be and there needs to be!

  16. #16
    I put the Gee in Gear.... thekid's Avatar
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    Kex congrats on the new car and the new family additions!!
    I have worked around cars for the past 20+ years and have seen the good, the bad and the ugly from every manufacturer so I will stay out the foreign vs domestic debate.
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  17. #17
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor
    The Mazda 5 has had rave reviews from various sources, e.g. Consumer Reports. Which are the Ford and GM models? Is Ford's the C-Max? Is the C-Max "related" to the Mazda 5? Are both, plus the Ford Focus, related to the Mazda 3?

    Is the Chevy model the Orlando?
    The C-Max uses the same C1 platform as the Mazda3, Mazda5, Volvo A40, and overseas versions of the Focus. The upcoming Mk3 version of the Focus will unify all of Ford's versions of that model around the C1 platform.

    Not sure about the exactly name of the Chevy model. I was going off of the name of the concept vehicle and European model. As far as I know, there is no set date for when/if that model will go on sale. The Ford C-Max is definitely coming to North America, albeit early next year several months after the Focus Mk3 lands this summer.

    Quote Originally Posted by kexodusc
    Twin girls, May 7 or sooner.
    Enjoy your quiet time and your sleep. Life's about to get turned upside down (and you wouldn't have it any other way!). Congrats!

    Quote Originally Posted by kexodusc
    We looked at the Rondo, a friend has one and she loves it. Again, us taller folk can't quite get behind the wheel with a baby seat back there. I liked the Sorento. It felt just a tad bit, well, cheaper than most of the other brands we tried. It wasn't the nicest driving, the quietest, didn't have the highest quality look or feel, nor was it the best on gas, but it wasn't completely outclassed in these areas, had a better warranty, and the price was as good as any. I must say Kia has jazzed the looks of their cars up lately. I didn't buy one but I know if things were a bit different I could have bought one.
    That was what kept me from taking a harder look at the Kias. In my experiences with the Rio and Sorrento as rentals, they just felt cheap and didn't drive especially well. The Rondo had just come out when we bought the Mazda5, so we didn't have a chance to do any real comparisons.

    The C1 platform shared by Mazda, Ford, and Volvo is versatile and makes for very responsive drivers' cars. About time Ford brought the C1-based Focus and C-Max to North America.

    Quote Originally Posted by kexodusc
    The gas mileage in my Equinox so far isn't far off from the 5-speed Civic we had, incredibly. Finally manufacturers on this side of the world are adapting to the new petro-realities.
    I'm also starting to see more stations selling biodiesel and E85 (ethanol blend that can be used with flex fuel vehicles, which are primarily found in fleets -- 105 octane rating and the E85 gas is about $1/gallon cheaper, but mileage is worse). With high fuel mileage that ventures into hybrid territory and newer engine designs that are responsive and torque-happy, I think that diesel might be poised to mount a comeback. But, it will take a big-time marketing and educational effort given how poor a reputation diesel still has in the U.S.

    Quote Originally Posted by Poultrygeist
    I have a Mazda3 on which the Focus is based. Canada gets some neat cars we never see in the US.
    Actually, the current Ford Focus in North America still uses the same C170 platform as the original model. The overseas Ford Focus models use the same C1 platform as the Mazda3/5 and Volvo S40. Ford will finally unify the Focus globally when the Mk3 model comes out in a few months.

    Not sure how many cars Canada would get that the U.S. doesn't given that Canada shares many of the U.S. safety standards, and follows California's emission standards. Those factors have kept a lot of European and Asian models from reaching the U.S. and Canada. I know that tall wagons sell better in Canada, as do certain smaller cars.
    Last edited by Woochifer; 03-01-2011 at 05:00 PM.
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  18. #18
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woochifer
    The C-Max uses the same C1 platform as the Mazda3, Mazda5, Volvo A40, and overseas versions of the Focus. The upcoming Mk3 version of the Focus will unify all of Ford's versions of that model around the C1 platform.

    Not sure about the exactly name of the Chevy model. I was going off of the name of the concept vehicle and European model. As far as I know, there is no set date for when/if that model will go on sale. The Ford C-Max is definitely coming to North America, albeit early next year several months after the Focus Mk3 lands this summer.
    ...
    The C1 platform shared by Mazda, Ford, and Volvo is versatile and makes for very responsive drivers' cars. About time Ford brought the C1-based Focus and C-Max to North America.
    ....
    Actually, the current Ford Focus in North America still uses the same C170 platform as the original model. The overseas Ford Focus models use the same C1 platform as the Mazda3/5 and Volvo S40. Ford will finally unify the Focus globally when the Mk3 model comes out in a few months.

    Not sure how many cars Canada would get that the U.S. doesn't given that they share many of the same safety standards, and use California's emission standards. Those factors have kept a lot of European and Asian models from reaching the U.S. and Canada. I know that tall wagons sell better in Canada, as do certain smaller cars.
    Yep. Ford is already already advertizeing and pricing the new Focus in Canada and it looks like it will be here very soon, (see here). The C-Max is advertized but not yet priced or available, (see Here); (IMO and FWIW, it's a better looking car than the Mazda 5). Of course, the Ford Fiesta is based on the Mazda 2.

    Looks for sure that the Orland is the competition from Chevrolet, see Here. Advertized but not yet available or priced in Canada.

  19. #19
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor
    Of course, the Ford Fiesta is based on the Mazda 2.
    I haven't driven one, but those Ford Fiestas are nice looking cars. We sat in one in the showroom while buying my Escape and the interior was much nicer than I expected. I thought they'd feel kind of cheap, but they're quite nice. We're probably replacing Hubby's pick-up truck in a couple of years and, right now, but before test driving, the Fiesta is high on our list of cars to look at.

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