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Car rant.

by Brandon on June 20th, 2005

They say my car won’t arrive until the 29th… I’m hoping that it will come sooner, but the auto shipper’s tracking site says it hasn’t left my hometown yet.  Until then, the Chevy Classic will have to do.  It’s similar to the rental they gave me when I interviewed.  I’m happy to have something to drive while I wait for my car, but man oh man do these American cars feel so cheaply made.  Most of my friends drive Acuras or Toyotas or VWs, and that Chevy that I drove last time I was here was only the second American car I’d ever driven (the other being my cousin’s Saturn).  Needless to say, I was none too impressed.

The Ford Focus is the only car that looks like a decent offering from a US manufacturer.  Unfortunately, we don’t get the cool version (the Focus RS) here in the states.  Seems odd doesn’t it?  That the coolest sport hatchback from an American manufacturer isn’t sold in the Americas?!  Never figured that one out.

The new Five Hundred looks nice, but only because it’s an exact copy of the VW Passat and old Audi A4. 

2005 Ford Five Hundred

2000 Audi A4

2002 Passat (based on the same platform as the 2000 A4) 


Of course, the Ford is designed by the same guy.  Guess he likes making the same car over and over 🙂

As for other American manufacturers… GM seems desperate as of late.  Their “employee discount for everyone” reeks of ill confidence in their products. 

At the higher end Cadillac finally learned how to build a compelling sports car (the CTS) but still hasn’t figured out how to make a quality interior.  Still, progress is progress and they deserve credit for that.  Meanwhile Chrysler is making eye-catching but otherwise second-rate cars like the 300.  Dodge is still advertising HEMI like it’s a good thing, going back to an idea that was abandoned decades ago for a reason.  Meanwhile the Germans (Audi) have mastered a new technology called Stratified Fuel Injection which provides the same benefits without the inherent sacrifices of a hemi (like only have two valves per cylinder, and added heat).  It improves both power and fuel efficiency, and includes the injection of fuel directly into the combustion chamber (not into the intake manifold like most fuel injected engines).

Happily my A3 has that “FSI“ technology, and soon all Audis and many VWs will.

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