Kiplinger says that it’s a “buyer’s market” for automobiles, and invites you to check out their 2008 buyer’s guide.

They say that American auto makers are going the extra mile to try to win back those of you who’ve been buying foreign cars:

To win back consumers from foreign carmakers, Detroit is rolling out the most attractive vehicles that it has offered in decades–at competitive prices. The Big Three are closing the quality gap with manufacturers abroad, generating excitement with models such as the new Chevrolet Malibu and Cadillac CTS.



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  1. MalcoveMagnesia says:

    Even though I don’t own a car, I rent plenty of them. My impression has been that there isn’t an obvious “quality gap” between American manufacturers and foreign ones anymore.

    But a number of the American cars I have been seeing lately have been uninspiring, so I don’t feel too motivated to move from the category of renters into ranks of parking ticket contributors. At least Chrysler and Generous Motors have a couple cool looking new models coming out for this year (Charger, Chrysler 300, will the “Volt” ever become production?). Ford hasn’t done anything interesting (re: styling & design) in years, which is a bit of a bummer.

  2. m4ximusprim3 says:

    In my mind, the best american made cars are the Aptera and the Tesla.

    Detroit can go fuck itself and die.

  3. jaydez says:

    Not attractive? No.

    Most accurately assembled? Yes!

  4. ethanrik says:

    Sorry, the only way I’d own an American car is if they paid me. Too many bad times, bad luck, with them.

  5. Jaysyn was banned for: says:

    Yeah, if these are the “best looking cars” they’ve offered in decades they may as well just throw in the towel.

  6. DeltaPurser says:

    People are drowning in debt, and now Kiplinger wants them to run out and buy a new car… It’s the American way: spend, spend, and then spend some more.

  7. timmus says:

    Detroit vows to take back quality from the Asians… didn’t we hear this in 1995 and again in 2000? Even Saturn wasn’t exactly trumping Honda in quality, from what I remember.

  8. TechnoDestructo says:


    The gap always used to become apparent when the cars were 10-15 years old, and the American cars started having their interior panels and headliners fall off while the Japanese cars don’t start falling apart until the steel holding it together rusts away. (And to be fair to American cars, they’ve never had quite the rust problem that the Japanese did until the late 90s)

  9. IndyJaws says:

    Last 2 cars I bought – Nissan and Dodge. Dodge was against my better judgment, but wife wanted a “larger” car (Intrepid) that imports didn’t offer.

    Results after 6 years?
    Nissan=0 problems.
    Dodge=New transmission at just under 50k miles. Bad suspension. Bad stereo.

    Verdict? You couldn’t pay me enough money to buy a domestic vehicle. FU Detroit.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Until Detroit can match Japan on fuel economy, I’ll stick to my Honda.

  11. TechnoDestructo says:


    “even Saturn?” More like “especially Saturn.” What with its 70 and 120k mile plateaus of failure.

    Good General Motors cars in the last 20 years:
    A, B, F, W, Epsilon, and Kappa platforms, the GTO, the CTS, and the Corvette. Am I missing anything?

  12. boreddusty says:

    their 2008 buyer’s guide from November 2006. Maybe they could’ve at least updated it with some new information about the cars’ reliability or something.

  13. TechnoDestructo says:


    Was it an automatic?

    I don’t think it’s fair to paint GM and Ford with the same brush as Dodge. Maybe half of GM’s and Ford’s cars over the years have actually been good (which when compared to the Japanese at up around 90 percent isn’t that great). I don’t think Dodge has many anything worthwhile that wasn’t a 4 cylinder with a manual transmission, a truck or full sized van, or powered by a truck engine (Viper) in my lifetime.

  14. TechnoDestructo says:

    @boreddusty: ‘


    The GM Epsilon cars are doing quite well thus far. (That’s the Pontiac G6, 04-present Malibu and the Saturn Aura).

  15. trinidon2k says:

    They expect real men to drive a car called Malibu?…I bet if they sold that car under a different name or even something like Y10, it would have better sales.

  16. j03m0mma says:

    how about until Detroit starts building cars in America instead of just having their corporate headquarters in America I’m going to buy my Honda Civic which is 80% made in America and the companies treat the employees fairly compared to the Ford or Chevy’s that are made in Canada and Mexico. Support American workers buy foreign cars.

  17. Wokcus says:

    Going the extra mile to win us back? They’re going to have to go a lot further than an extra mile to win me back.

    My wife and I both grew up in areas of the midwest dominated by the auto industry. Driving an American car was the only way to go. For years we stubbornly stuck with American cars, because we wanted to support the people we knew who depended on that industry. We were incredibly loyal to the American companies, despite numerous bad experiences. We’re now in our late forties and between the two of us we’ve owned 10 American vehicles (8 purchased new). Now we’re the proud owners of two Hondas. All of our loyalty and goodwill has been pissed away by the incompetence of the American companies.

    They’ve had their chance and more, but they blew it. I can’t imagine any circumstance where I would buy any American car now; and I’m sure there are many others who feel the same way. Extra mile? Good luck with that.

  18. IndyJaws says:

    @TechnoDestructo: Yes, an automatic.

    I realize it’s not fair to paint with such a broad brush, the same way it’s not fair to automatically assume that ALL Best Buy employees are mindless cretins. It primarily comes from me kicking myself for having purchased a domestic in the first place, even though my gut told me it was a bad idea.

  19. TechnoDestructo says:


    “Domestic” doesn’t mean “Dodge.”

    And it’s Best Buy’s corporate policy that their employees all be mindless cretins, whether they all follow it or not.

  20. marchhare22 says:

    Funny i’m about to buy a car this evening… buy American? HA! American cars have left my blood pressure permanently at 180/110 and a hole in my wallet. They dug themselves in this hole and I hate when people say im not patriotic if I don’t buy American.

  21. theblackdog says:

    @IndyJaws: That’s like my parents, they went through three transmissions on their Dodge.

    Needless to say, they now own Hondas.

    Oh, and I’m not buying a new car until the engine basically falls out on my 12 year old Hyundai.

  22. esqdork says:

    Growing up, our first family car was a 1979 Ford Mustang hatchback and that car was a POS. It was poorly put together and had several expensive mechanical problems and the dealer was a douche about it while it was still under warranty. The second family car was a 1988 Honda Accord. It ran like a dram and never had a single mechanical problem. My first new car was a Honda, my sister and brother’s first cars were also Hondas and my parents last 2 cars have been Acuras.

    Here’s my point: had we gotten a a decent car from Ford for our money and better service thereafter, my first car would have likely been a Ford and my parents would have traded up to more expensive cars in the Ford family (maybe Mercury). Ford screwed my family and were rude about it and my family voted with their pocketbook.

    Runaway pension and health care costs are a killer, but my guess is that had Detroit made quality cars back in the 70’s and 80’s, they wouldn’t be in the mess they are today.

  23. GearheadGeek says:

    Interesting that only one of their best “Sedans under $20,000” is a sedan.

  24. adrock75 says:

    I gotta say, I rent a lot of American cars and really like the Malibu. The new one is hot.

  25. MYarms says:

    I dislike American cars so much I wouldn’t even take a free one. Detroit can go F themselves.

  26. CumaeanSibyl says:

    If the Big Three wanted to move its factories to Mexico, they should have just done it and closed down all the US factories at once. Instead, they’ve dragged it out over decades, because bleeding to death one drop at a time is so much better. Fuck em.

  27. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    I know this is subjective, but new Malibu is pretty ugly. The front end looks very similar to the Chevy minivan. The rest of the car is pretty uninspiring also. The CTS and other Cadillac vehicles have gone over the edge in design as well.

    GM really needs to import some of the Holden cars to the states. They’ve got some sharp looking cars. I think the Commodore would sell very well here. And sell it under the Holden name, instead of slapping on Chevy sticker, or a Pontiac sticker like they did with the GTO.

  28. SpenceMan01 says:

    We just bought our first new car at the end of November. We test drove the Camry and the Accord, and bought the latter. We couldn’t be happier and I’m confident that this car will last us a very long time.

  29. GearheadGeek says:

    @LatherRinseRepeat: The Holden Commodore will be sold here any day now as the Pontiac G8. They’ve put an unfortunate nose on it, and fake hoodscoops so it looks silly enough to pass as a Pontiac. I’m sure there’ll be a significant amount of commerce in importing Holden parts to fix the looks of the thing.

    And Maximum Bob Lutz has killed the Sportwagon version of the car, but is threatening to bring in the Ute because they can probably convince the feds that it’s a truck and skip on car CAFE regs. Lutz is a schmuck, I liked the wagon.

  30. @LatherRinseRepeat: Good idea with the sticker. Man, that Chevy “+” is teh fugles. GM’s log is getting better, and Ford’s is fairly non-offensive but doesn’t age well.

  31. Gorky says:

    Why do they always offer these kinds of incentives only for the basic cars and trucks. Why do they always exclude vehicles such as Corvettes, Vipers, Ford GT, Ford F-550 dumptrucks, Dodge Super Duty Diesel dually’s. It makes me angry that these types of cars are always excluded from special financing and incentives

  32. Gorky says:


    The reason a lot of American cars/trucks kind of suck is because the nasty Unions that infected the industry. Toyota, Mazda, Honda etc.. Dont have to pay their employees $50/hr to install wiper blades. On top of that the union promotes mediocrity in work because there is no incentive to work any better the the guy standing next to you who always goofs off and never gets fired and gets paid the same as you

  33. Custom Reality says:

    I’m getting a huge kick out of all the Domestic hate and Detroit bashing on here. All cars can make it to 300K+ miles and not fall apart as long as they have regular maintenance and some TLC (tender loving care). A neglected car, even the might Swedish tanks like Saab and Volvo, will fall apart before 50K when you treat them like crap. I don’t know how many times a day I see an import that is rusted through and looks to be on its last legs while I see Domestic cars passing by in pristine condition, from as far back as twenty years ago.

    I don’t care who makes it, be it Italy or China, when a car is taken care of correctly they can last near forever or at least thirty years or so. My family’s old Ford Taurus Wagon (1993) lasted over 400K miles before the – first – transmission finally went. My old Ford Crown Victoria (1991) was sold off at 150K+ miles on it, no major repairs and it could – still – lay rubber on the road on command. I’m tired of people coming on here and assuming that a foreign car is some gold-plated turd shat out from God’s ass. My 400lb neighbor is still driving an Eagle Vision around, and I’ll be damned if I didn’t see the girl across the complex having to flatbed TWO Hondas away.

    Be smart, any care that is taken care of will last. Just because you happened to get a fluke from off the assembly line doesn’t mean the whole brand is bad. Use some common sense and quit being so Consumerist.

  34. bdslack says:

    how much does Kiplinger pay this website to get posts on their site almost every day?

    They give out the worst advice – yet they are on here EVERY DAY!

    Just wondering what backroom deal that was worked to get their bad advice posted over and over.

  35. smallestmills says:

    As a Detroiter, what has disenchanted me through the years is hearing about the line problems. The Focus started out as a great car and on the Consumer Reports Best Buy list until it ran into recall problems because of the line. There’s no reason why the myths of “Don’t buy a car made on a Tuesday because it’s payday,” or “Don’t buy a car made on the Thursday before or Tuesday after a holiday,” should even exist. Although I am dependent on car money (isn’t everyone in this town?) I shouldn’t feel obligated to support something because it’s American. Perhaps they should get a better quality of person to build the damn thing.

  36. TechnoDestructo says:

    @Custom Reality:

    All cars can make it to 300000 miles. The number of transmissions and head gaskets it takes you to get there can vary from model to model, though.

    It is NOT just a matter of maintenance.

    Also all this “I had a bad Dodge therefore I hate all American cars” crap makes me think it would be REALLY, VERY good for GM and Ford if Chrysler were to go under.

  37. Hey, the recession is on…let’s all go buy a new car! As far as styling goes….1990’s Japan called and they want their designs back.

    I’ll pass.

  38. G-Dog says:

    Why ain’t yooz all be by’n ‘Merican Au-Toes? Ain’t ya’ll done leaned thayt there ‘Merican car c’n go fayster th’n un u dose Jay-Panny cars?

  39. Me - now with more humidity says:

    ESQDORK: “…ran like a dram?” And you complain about auto maker quality control?

  40. ZekeSulastin says:

    @G-Dog: What in the hell? I think the only thing you managed to mock with your application of ‘dialect’ is your own sorry self.

  41. redkamel says:

    yeah, all I know is this:
    1995 suburban: transmission failure in 1998 (needed a new one), then it started turning off by itself (!) and had bad gas mileage (even for the late 90s).
    1993 lexus: 160K miles, never needed a single repair (literally), except for some power window belts which I did myself. Dad drove it to work, now I drive it. And it still looks good.

    american cars will always be bad quality, and bad interior, and even worse styling, to me. Sorry Detroit. Shoulda hired some Japanese talent.

  42. Chigaimasmaro says:

    American companies have come a LONG LONG way, but they are STILL ways away from their imported counterparts. I don’t see as many American cars with faded paint and rusting paint (older Ford station wagons and sedans).

    @Custom Reality: Unfortunately, I can’t agree with your statement. Build quality, part quality and line quality have profound effects on a cars longevity and performance. You put in a terrible gear system or the manufacturing line does a horrible job putting your car together, then no matter how you maintain the car, its gonna fail.

  43. esqdork says:

    @Me: Hey, Captain Red Herring, you’re right, I had a typo in my post. I meant “dream” but I dropped the “e.” Sorry. Guess what? You didn’t pay for my post and it didn’t cost you thousands of dollars to fix. My attitude, however, is exactly what you would get from the dealer.

  44. backbroken says:

    This is like the 18th year in a row that I’ve been told “American cars have narrowed the quality gap” and “Detroit is rolling out exciting new designs to win back foreign buyers.”

    I’ll pass.

    2001 Lexus RX 300 (80k miles) FTW.

  45. backbroken says:

    The demise of the American automobile started the day GM/Ford/Chrysler dismissed Dr. Edward Deming’s quality control ideas as trivial.

    The rise of the Japanese automobile started the day they embraced the same ideas.

    Deming was treated as a demigod in Japan, and as a fool in America. The big 3 get what they deserve.

  46. coaster.n3rd says:

    This place cracks me up.

    Why is Toyota better than GM? They just are.

    Why is Apple better than Microsoft? It just is.

    No one could pull a valid argument if their life depended on it.

    Remember when CR dropped Toyota this year from their recommended list?

  47. coaster.n3rd says:


    2001 Chevrolet Silverado 1,000,000 miles for the win.

  48. mac-phisto says:

    @Gorky: actually, the problem is they’re too cheap to run the operation correctly. the reason german & japanese cars are built better stems first & foremost from their attention to design. after the vehicle enters production phase, engineers tweak design issues.

    in america, we lay off all the engineers after the car is designed. not all of them, but we certainly don’t have engineers working the floor like the foreign companies.

  49. backbroken says:

    @coaster.n3rd: That’s a lot of sitting on your ass!!

    Just kidding. Obviously you got a great vehicle. How many miles did you get on the original engine/tranny?

  50. coaster.n3rd says:


    I didn’t. This guy did.


  51. kcrusher says:

    “The Big Three are closing the quality gap “

    Um, where ya’ been for the last 20 odd years? (I still don’t believe it).

    Ford – Found On Road, Dead.

    Need I say more?

  52. kcrusher says:

    Anyone notice the best cars under $20k on that site were all foreign cares? *snickers*