Discussion in 'Chrysler' started by Chuck, Apr 30, 2009.
GM will be observing the Chrysler bankruptcy as what might be in store for them.
To an extent i have to agree with you. But remember, when you are talking styling, you are really getting into subjectives. If i was trying to convey "manhood", i would not own a triple white VW cabby, a smart, or a Scion xB. I like the styling because it is different. I truly HATE how pretty much every Honda(except the S2000) looks. I think they are either boring or ugly. I think the Camry is UGLY. (i like the yaris though)
BTW, MPG in my AWD Caliber is superior to what i got in any of my first gen neons.
I don't think this applied to you or everyone that bought Chrysler, but the marketers did go overboard on this theme. It makes you wonder about this country though that many are obcessed with it....it comes up with hybrids....you give up your "Man card" driving one. .
With the PT Cruiser up there, I have one I can vote for.
I have to say I was extremely excited about it before it actually came out. It was a very nice looking car (to me).
However, after taking a ride in one (taxi cab), I found it very cramped inside. As far as the engine goes, it is totally gutless; but that would have been fine if it got any kind of FE.
Since i am on a number of different auto forums, i hear that kind of crap all the time.
"that's a chick car" (why? does it have breasts?)
"Hybrids are for Greenie Vegans"(Are all vegans "greenie')
"VW's drivers are all gay" (does that mean they are happy?)
And on and on and on.
I see your point about going overboard on the theme. That actually seems to be the Dodge division that did that, moreso than the Chrysler/Jeep end of things. Looking at the cars in its size and price class, (Cobalt, Focus, Civic, Sentra, Corolla, etc) i saw a big sea of boring sameness. Also, looking for an AWD car at that price point that offered good fuel economy narrowed my choice. I see where they tried to style the Caliber as "macho", but honestly, when i bought mine, all i saw was "different". As you can see by what i drive, i do not have to drive a certain vehicle to "prove my manhood" LOL.
Which brings the following cartoon to mind.
Taliesin, it is interesting how differently you an i saw the PT. Considering its size, i found the car very roomy, with tremendous cargo carrying utility. I found the ride to be comfortable, the handling to be sharp, and the power to be sufficient(mine was a 5 speed). I owned mine for 6 years, loved every moment behind the wheel, and regret trading it in. I actually owned 2 at the same time, having bout a used 02 in 03. The 02 was an automatic, which i did not care for, but still loved that car also.
One thing i do agree with you on was its economy. They simply made that car too heavy. That was great for durability, but horrible for economy. The weighed nearly 3200#, which IMO was about 500# overweight.
Do remember that I was only in it for a short time, and in the passneger seat as well.
I felt like the dash was too close and the windows were too small. The ride was comfortable enough, and your are quite right about cargo capacity.
I might not have made myself understood. The power would have been sufficient if it had better FE. More power would have given it an excuse for it's poor FE (I wasn't a hypermiler at the time).
I feel sorry for the poor sap that bought this with the towing package option.
Also realize that at the time I had been driving a '88 Nissan Pulsar. Much more room for the driver for it's size, easy to see out of, and cargo capacity to haul me and my fishing equipment. It also got better FE with more power.
It's no surpise to me at all that Chrysler was the first to go. For as long as I can remember they have had the worst fuel economy in nearly every car class. The Durango got worse gas mileage that the Excursion. How is that even possible? You start putting up numbers close to single digits and you won't have too many cars leave the lot when gas hits >$3/gallon.
My experience with Chrysler does not really center on the recent models but rather those from about 97-03. Can't say anything back then was something to write home about. I liked the driving experience of the Dakota Quad Cab when it came out, but yet again this was a mid size truck that suffered worse fuel economy than any full size out there. My first car was an 88 Aries K car. Do I really even need to detail the problems with that car or is it pretty obvious?
The PT had 3 big strikes against it when it came to FE. First, as i mentioned, was the weight. Second, the only engine available was the 2.4. That engine has never been particularly efficient. I had a 2.7 V6 in my stratus that got better MPG than the same car with that 2.4. Third was the aerodynamics. There were compromises in that car due to the unique styling. I had no problem living with them, but many did. It was a polarizing car when it came out. You either loved it or hated it. I loved it.
When talking about the K car, you have to evaluate it with the cars of it's era, not the cars we drive today. The K car was a simple rugged cheap easy to fix sedan that could carry six people, get MPG over 30, and basically saved Chrysler. It actually was a lot of car for not a lot of money, and it was FWD, which was just beginning to become popular. When the K car came out, the GM answer was the X car, which actually made the K car look good. Ford had the RWD Fairmont, which traced it's lineage back to the 1960 Falcon.
The K car was the basis for the Minivan, which was another Chrylser innovation(if yo don't count the VW microbus). The problem with the K car was that it existed twice as long as it should have, while it was passed up in technology along the way. IMO no auto manufacturer in the 80's built a very good product, including the Japanese (unless you don't consider rusting to powder in 5 years a problem).
With the exception of the Caravan, I can't think of any Chrysler product in the past 15 years that stood as an equal or superior to its competitors.
The Fiat products will take at least a year to pass US crash and emissions and at least another to be manufactured. Maybe the country should focus on the domestic brands that actually have a chance of making it without continual injections of billions of taxpayer dollars. Let this lemon company die.
"I drive a Dodge Stratus." - Will Ferrell, SNL
Don't get me wrong. I loved the looks and had great hopes for it.
But it fell very short of my expectations.
Jeep Wrangler.- Has no competition
PT Cruiser--Had no competition, but now has imitators
Jeep Cherokee-Original compact ute
LH cars-original cab forward design-set new standards for interior room
SRT4-Nothing within $10,000 could equal it's performance.
I know i swim against the tide by defending a domestic car company, but i am used to swimming against the tide. I am probably the only person here who hates Hon-duhs too. Like i said, swim against the tide..LOL
- FJ Cruiser.....
:biglol: :biglol: :biglol:
Cherokee = Luxury Land Boat.
I also have an "all-domestic" driveway, and have never had any reliability issues with any of the cars - GM, Ford, or Chrysler. I base my buying preferences on what my extended circle of relatives, friends, and business contacts experience. And I don't agree with the way the domestic manufacturers are being run, and I am not a fan of their truck-heavy lineup.
I've never owned a Honda, and very likely never will. But I certainly don't hate them, and I don't have a problem recommending them for those seeking auto buying advice. As you noted, there are many Honda owners here. And I rely on the experiences of these people to gather my own information as to which Honda models are a "safe" buy or a "not so safe" buy. Each member - whether they own a Honda or other make - will bring along real-world experience from different climates and terrains and traffic conditions. And they drive with different techniques at different times of the day/night. And the members here are people who are knowledgeable and mature and can be considered a reliable and honest source of information.
The whole composite shows us how the cars perform in everyday use, and I thank everyone here for sharing their experiences - both the good and the bad. When somebody says, "I hate xyzabc - they're junk", my first question is "How many of them have you owned? Within the last 10 years? How was it driven? And maintained?" If their in-law or cousin owned one in the '80s, I dismiss the whole statement. If they say their '88 version was crap because the dashboard creaked, I smile and promptly forget about it. It's irrelevant.
Car companies change their products all the time and one car can go from horrible to stellar with one redesign. My brother owned a '90 Hyundai Excel. Well driven, well maintained. Over the years/miles, it developed its quirks but he'd fix whatever broke. He'd say it was "reliable". Others who need to go to a dealer for a repair would find it "unreliable". In the year before it was totaled by a bouncing loose truck tire on the expressway, he was still driving it 90 miles a day to work. The neutral safety switch was bad, so he'd start it by holding the key on "start" with his left hand while finagling the shift lever with his right hand. It'd start every time when you got the lever in the right spot. He left it that way figuring it was the world's best anti-theft device. Would I recommend a 2009 Hyundai Accent after remembering my brother's '90 Excel? Without question, yes. The Hyundai cars of today are nothing like those of 20 years ago. When I hear of a '90 Ford Tempo with a bad head gasket and bad trans, I do not count that as a cause to avoid the '10 Ford Fusion.
I'll swim with you on this one and add this:
I believe the Ram is a very good vehicle for those that really do need one of that type.
The unfortunate part is that they advertised to those that don't really need it.
Our driveway is all domestic right now:
Dodge Ram (Kansas City Plant)
Nitro 898 boat (built in Clinton, MO)
The only real issue we have had is with the cavalier transmission. It's a sealed tranny that does not require adding fluid under "normal" driving conditions. However, my room mates often drove over "mountain terrain" which meant they needed to add fluid. There is no way to add fluid to it though.
From what I've seen of the original FJ Cruiser, I'd call it a Wrangler imitator. It hasn't been made in years. During most of that time the Wrangler had no competition. The new FJ is more of the 'pick-up with cab' SUV design than the Wrangler's iconic 'jeep'.
The Grand Cherokee was and is a luxury land boat. The original Cherokee was pretty no-thrills and close in size to the Wrangler.
I voted "Ram" as the worst model based on two factors. I had experience with the mid 90's Rams as work trucks. While they always ran they always threw codes or had ABS system troubles --lack of dealer mechanical expertise may have been an issue. We hated it when the company made us replace our '91 F150s with '95 Rams. Probably the mechanical issues have been worked out by now.
More importantly, they are also worst because they broke new ground in the styling and marketing of trucks as an aggressive macho "take life by the horns" fashion accessory. That trend, IMHO, led to uglier, larger and less useful pickups over the last fifteen years.
I have an HHR now, and noticed the lack of dip stick for checking the tranny fluid. It is, however, a flat-towable auto.
There is a fill plug that is accessible from under the car. In severe service, the trans fluid should be changed, and there are provisions to do that via the plug. Since they found that most people and/or low-budget oil-change shops overfilled the transmissions or used the wrong fluid, resulting in increased warranty costs, they sealed the trans and said "change it at 60k only if used during mountain driving, towing, solar eclipse, etc". The only time the fluid level will drop will be when there is a leak, and the sealed transmission encourages owners to take the car to a shop to get the leak fixed and then have the fluid topped off.
Unfortunately this model was the first year with that tranny, and they hadn't put in that fill plug yet.
Fortunately my room mate worked in a mechanic shop and can do it with his eyes closed.
Also, they no longer have those ddriving conditions so it's not as big a deal anymore. I think their biggest beef with it was that there was no way to check the level. how do you know if something is wrong if you can't check it?
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