By on March 9, 2015

2015 Honda Accord coupe and sedan

In December, we conducted an informal survey of what TTAC readers are driving via a Question of the Day format. I’m happy to say that the results of that questionnaire are finally available, and we have our best look yet at what kind of cars TTAC readers are driving.

With the help of a B&B member who wishes to remain anonymous, the responses were compiled into an Excel spreadsheet and analyzed. Our own chart master Tim Cain drew up a couple graphs to better represent the pertinent data points in this exercise.

ttacmostpopularcarsAccording to our data, the Honda Accord is the most popular car among TTAC readers is the Honda Accord. This is probably the least surprising data point in the whole set. The Accord is consistently recognized by everyone from the buff books to consumer oriented publications as the best blend of driving dynamics, reliability, value and practicality, and all of these are attributes that TTAC readers seem to value greatly.

Other stalwarts like the Ford Mustang, Mazda MX-5 and Ford Ranger also ranked fairly high. What surprised me was the Toyota Corolla, the supposed paragon of appliance-like motoring, coming in at #6. Not a single Panther made the top 20 list. A mere 19 respondents admitted to owning Panther platform cars, which would rank them, in aggregate, just behind the Golf and ahead of the Cherokee. Of those, 8 were Town Cars, representing the single most popular Panther nameplate. Of the editors with recent new vehicles, Jack owns an Accord, Bark has a Mustang and I have a Mazda3, all of which rank in the top half.

Volkswagen, which has a nearly satanic reputation among the commenters for poor reliability, is evidently a fan favorite, with the Jetta ranking fourth, the GTI tied for ninth and the Golf coming in at #17. Volkswagen had three vehicles in the top 20, ahead of Honda, Nissan, Toyota and Mazda, and the Beetle and Passat came in tied for 20th place with the Mazda Protege and Jeep Wrangler.

popularbrandsSpeaking of Volkswagen, the German conglomerate ranks as the third most popular auto maker. Ford is number one with a bullet, followed by Honda. Mazda is also exceptionally popular relative to their position in the overall marketplace, and while no individual BMW model ranked in our top 20, as a whole they merited seventh place.

marketshare

To me, this is the most interesting chart. TTAC’s breakdown shares some distinct similarities with the United States automotive market, and also some major differences. Yes, Ford and GM dominate, but Volkswagen could only dream of 11.2 percent market share in America. Honda is also much, much stronger than Toyota on planet TTAC, which has Mazda (!!) nipping at its heels. Hyundai-Kia, a global juggernaut, is bested by tiny Subaru. But one thing that stays constant – a handful of auto makers duke it out for the spoils, with everyone else left waiting for table scraps.

 

 

 

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217 Comments on “A Comprehensive Look At What TTAC Readers Drive, In Three Charts...”


  • avatar
    highdesertcat

    Very interesting read. Thank you. It looks like a cross-section of what America drives.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      Interesting Pickups are well down the order. I get the impression a certain demographic reads TTAC?

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Exactly my sentiments too. And that could be a reason why I have not seen so many screen names appear over the last couple of years, eight screen names that I knew personally. They gone… in baseball parlance.

    • 0 avatar
      VW16v

      Another interesting topic would be finding out how many people make up things on this site. Some 20 something year old’s drive some expensive cars on this site. Yet, they hold down a job that will allow them enough time post on almost every topic. If you follow some it can be entertaining. Like those dating sites when a 300 lbs married person is pretending to be a 200 lb single millionaire.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        I busted out laughing when I read your comment. The mental picture it conjured up was just frightening.

        I would like to think that most people commenting on ttac do so in good faith and with the best intention of community. I do. I limit my comments to only those things I actually know about and have experience with. No embellishment.

        Then again, this is the internet, fraught with fraud, deception and lies. It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve been had. Maybe that’s why my faith in people is at an all-time low.

        • 0 avatar
          VW16v

          It is sad. But I guarantee some on this site embellish like it’s no tomorrow. One said he was thinking about getting a Tahoe for weekend drives. Yet he posts on every topic all day and is only in his 20’s.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            I know what you are saying. But I also think that most people can differentiate from the credible contributors and those who can’t dazzle us with brilliance and therefore baffle us with bullsh!t instead.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            You want a picture of my V8 Charger and my birth certificate? (And who would lie about owning a Dodge or Accord or Jetta anyway?)

            I don’t know of anyone that is part of TTAC’s under 30 crowd claiming to own a new M5 or anything. I don’t recall the Tahoe comment, but used ones do exist.

            Maybe this would be a good topic for DeMuro to cover.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            @VW

            I knew your comment was directed at me the moment I read it.

            You’ll note my comment said ~04 Yukon Denali. So if you’re going to accuse me of lying, get it right.

            ~04 Denalis are not that expensive.

            I am who I say, I have a good job, and I have the car I say I have. Some people went to college and got a good job afterward. Some people are in fact in their 20s and don’t weigh 300 lbs. I can post all day if I am so inclined, because my job allows for it.

            Please stop projecting your unhappy life on me.

          • 0 avatar
            VW16v

            Corey, “Please stop projecting your unhappy life on me.” You could at least try and pretend to be an adult on the site. If people want to believe you or anyone else on the site, it is there choice. I was just pointing out what many are thinking when it comes to a few on the site, Corey. My point was people make up a lot of crap on the internet.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            I don’t see how wanting a decade old SUV as a secondary weekend vehicle is that out of the realm of possibilities for a younger person making a decent living.

            Heck, it makes a lot of sense, I should know (except mine’s two decades old).

      • 0 avatar
        Sjalabais

        This might come as a shock, but in my experience, the richest people work the least.

        I work too f* much.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Damn! If you’re right, I must be dirt poor! I work all the time and have very little money. In fact, I don’t even clear the $22,700 cut-off this year to file a 1040.

          Yea!!!!!

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          Not sure if it’s a cultural thing or what, but the most well to do people I know personally are also hands down the hardest working, brightest, no-nonsense folks. Those are people to emulate and admire IMO, not demonize and assume that they cheated someone or did something unfair to get where they are.

          Sure, in college I saw plenty of frat-bros in their X5s and Cayennes, daddy’s money and all that.

          • 0 avatar
            Sjalabais

            Honestly no intention to demonize anybody here. It’s more about the kind of work that I have seen the truly rich do: Schmoozing, networking, delegating, leading. There’s a lot of dead room during travels, in between meetings etc, and a phone or other device to go about commenting or reading online is rarely way off. But…that’s just one person’s impressions. Second-generation rich though tends to be troubled, at least in literature. ;)

      • 0 avatar
        Car-los

        “Another interesting topic would be finding out how many people make up things on this site”

        Really? With Toyota Corolla at number 6 and you think people might be making their answers up?!?!?

        VW16v please don’t take me wrong but you really made me laugh!!!!!

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        “Another interesting topic would be finding out how many people make up things on this site”

        Would people actually lie about owning an Accord?

        • 0 avatar
          CooperS

          I was thinking something similar. Why would someone pretend to own an Accord? It was cute that CDL did not know that back in 2004 the Denali was just a loaded Tahoe. Still is today. Even closer back in 2004. Posting on sites like Bobistheoilguy type and this one people can be called out, which can be more useless then just letting them live a fantasy life. I was thinking about it to. Some people live on this site and still hold jobs and have more knowledge on cars then the people that make the cars. Maybe a lot of tech support telephone jobs could give people the time to post all day long. I did it myself 20 years ago. We even had a Doom server so we could play all the day.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I know what the Denali is. VW misquoted me, that was my point. Good grief you’re as bad as him.

            Furthermore, if I were going to lie about a car I was considering purchasing (not that it makes sense to lie about such a thing), don’t you think I’d aim a little higher than an 11 year old GM SUV?

          • 0 avatar
            CooperS

            CDL my bad, it sounded like you didn’t know Denali, and Tahoe were the same vehicles. VW does have a point about people living out their alter ego on sits like this one. You have to admit it is a compelling argument.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            “VW does have a point about people living out their alter ego on sits like this one. You have to admit it is a compelling argument.”

            The idea of someone’s life being so small that they would choose TTAC as their medium to live out an alter-ego here is laughable. What kind of mediocre lives do people have that they would live vicariously through the fantasy world of an Accord or Tahoe owner

      • 0 avatar
        tedward

        I agree with the sentiment of skepticism but I’ve met more than a few commenters randomly and all have been straight shooters so far. Hope that restores some faith. If anything the people I’ve met dumb it down to avoid work issues.

      • 0 avatar

        Doesn’t look like there’s that much lying going on here, since none of the top vehicles are in any way out of the reach of those with average incomes.

        If the top car was a Bentley or Countach then we would have something to talk about here …

        D

  • avatar
    energetik9

    Very interesting. Although my car apparently didn’t make the popular list :)

    Somewhat surprised an Accord made #1 with this crowd.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m not. The crowd here is pretty practical, and generally I think a bit older than your average Jalopnik reader. The Accord is seen as a respectable, practical choice with a reasonable portion of enjoyment to be derived by the car-lover (nice engines, availability of a manual in several trims, etc.).

      • 0 avatar
        George B

        The Accord is a good choice for commuting to work and the price is low enough to allow one to own a hobby car for the weekend.

      • 0 avatar
        superchan7

        Unlike the other site, the vast majority of commenters on TTAC actually own and drive cars. They leave comments which actually involve technical and ownership aspects instead of commenting on the styling and 0-60 time.

    • 0 avatar
      Internet Commenter

      Late entry: 2013 Honda Accord Ex-L and 2006 Scion xB

  • avatar

    I’d love to see what’s in the “Other” category. I bet there’s some interesting stuff.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    Wow, never would have thought that there would be so many Civics represented! It’s funny, I’ve actually toyed around with the idea of upgrading to a 10th gen Accord in the next few years, circumstances allowing, I suppose I’d be in even better company then.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      I love my 2009 EX sedan. It’s such an easy car to drive and it’s got great dynamics out of the box, just like the 3 4th gen Accords I had about 10-14 years ago. Everyone creams over the Mazda3 but the Civic delivers serious driving fun with a lot of potential and a strong aftermarket.

      • 0 avatar
        philadlj

        I love MY 2009 EX sedan too!

        I don’t care for the newest generation, however. Everything about it looked and felt cheaper when I sat in and tested one for some reason.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          I have the maligned 2012 MY, LX 5spd sedan. My only real experience with an 8th gen Civic was my friend’s 2008 LX coupe. I actually prefer the softer ride and cheaper to replace 15 inch tires. Also, the 9th gen seats are fantastic, again, for my body shape and size I suppose. I guess the door cards and dash plastics are cheaper? I think the beige interior helps mask it at least somewhat, I test drove a 2012 HF with a grey interior and was really turned off, but my LX in beige looks less dreary and cheap (IMO).

          My biggest complaint about the car is wind and road nose, apparently addressed in the 2013 refresh. I’m about to replace the tires, we’ll see if General Altimax RT43s help with some of the road noise, and hopefully wet traction. Stock LRR tires are terrible in the rain.

      • 0 avatar

        me, too! (’08 EX, stick.) Light, agile, and peppy.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        In terms of dimensions and power, I think of the 8th and 9th gen Civics as basically the equivalent of an earlier 3rd/4th/5th gen Accord. The R18 in our cars has a bit less torque than the F22 engine, but also better fuel economy by a solid ~5 mpg overall.

        What ultimately drove me towards a Civic, rather than just about every other contemporary compact car, was how low and far away the dash is (despite how long it is), the center stack does not protrude into cabin space, nor is it so wide as to cut into knee room. Getting out of my friend’s 1992 Accord and into my 2012 Civic, there was a common thread in how the driver sits in the car and what he sees. Now, the sills are definitely higher on the new car, and rear visibility is definitely worse. But the low dash makes all the difference, to me anyways.

  • avatar
    mikey

    Well it looks like my Mustang made the cut. I must be the only one at TTAC with an Epsilon II Impala.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    So what is the difference between TTAC readers and the rest of the North American auto buying public?

    1) Subaru a niche player is very popular with TTAC.
    2) VW, does this mean that some TTAC readers actually buy a vehicle based on perceived driving dynamics?
    3) Ford Mustang and Mazda Miata very popular with the TTAC crowd. Again demonstrative that more TTAC readers by cars for fun?
    4) Which GM products do we buy? What does this say about its future?

  • avatar
    Duncan345

    I don’t know what the deal is with the persistent Volkswagen hatred. I drive a 2011 GTI. In 50,000 miles I haven’t had any trouble. I perform the regularly scheduled maintenance (except I change the oil every 7,500 miles instead of every 10,000), I don’t flog it until it gets up to operating temperature, and I try to refill the fuel (with 93 octane premium) at 1/4 tank to avoid fuel pump issues. It’s been APR Stage 1 tuned since 7,000 miles. The clutch is starting to slip a bit, but that’s mostly my fault for installing an ECU tune. I had more trouble out of my 2000 Honda Accord than I have had out of this car.

    For some reason, when people have bad experience with Volkswagen ownership it really sticks with them. Just last week I had to listen to a complete stranger rant about Volkswagen’s poor reliability for an hour. Apparently he had some problems with his VW Beetle 10 years ago and he still hasn’t calmed down about it. Another friend of mine tried to talk me out of getting a GTI because his 2002 Passat drove him crazy with electrical issues. Another friend vowed to never own another VW product after encountering problems with his Audi A4. His Jeep Grand Cherokee has been recalled 4 times in the last 18 months or so, but apparently that is “no big deal.”

    When I ask these people about problems they have had with other manufacturers’ vehicles, they admit that their other cars have had problems too. What is it about Volkswagens that stick in peoples’ minds?

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      “What is it about Volkswagens that stick in peoples’ minds?”

      They’re worse, in an aggregate cost sense. They have some of the highest warranty costs per car in the business. While this might not necessarily get picked up on some of the 3rd party surveys that merely count “problems”, it suggests the problems that do crop up are more expensive. Mercedes and BMW have the same dilemma. People tend to be more forgiving of small issues than large ones.

      • 0 avatar
        George B

        The issue I’d heard regarding Volkswagen and Audi repairs was that they were expensive and it often took a couple days for the replacement part to arrive. In a different part of the world where Volkswagen is a dominant brand, repairs might be faster and therefore less memorable.

    • 0 avatar
      jfbramfeld

      So unspecified problems that drove a friend crazy with an A4 (let’s assume the “crazy” part is a comment on how bad the problems were and how well he was able to deal with them” seem the same to you as four recalls with a Jeep. A recall generally deals with something that is not currently causing any problem but might in the future and is costing you nothing to fix. I would say 10 or fifteen years is a reasonable time to hold a grudge. Any shorter and car manufacturers might take them less seriously.

      • 0 avatar
        ElAntonius

        My wife used to own a VW Beetle TDI. We sold it with about 50k miles on the clock.

        Let’s see:
        -It caught fire…several times.
        -A malfunctioning brake sensor half closed the brakes during a highway trip and made them fuse…several times.
        -Glow plug issues…several times.
        -The interior was falling apart after only a few years because the glue was melting
        -The window fell into the door…several times
        -The VW logo on the wheels would fall off constantly
        -Damn thing smelled like crayons (that’s the glue melting)
        -The automatic transmission dust cover would bunch up and prevent you from pulling it into the right position. If you weren’t careful you could end up in neutral (or worse, reverse) thinking you had chucked it into drive.
        -Everything cost way more than it should to fix, due to wonky sizing on parts.

        It was utter shit, never ran quite right (and it was bought new!), and was overall a total expensive disaster of a car. So yeah, VW, never again.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          You should’ve let it burn. But those are the kind of things happen to Porsche and Audis a lot, except owners of those expect them, and almost embrace them. VW owners are a bit shocked and taken aback. And wish they could take it back!

        • 0 avatar
          FractureCritical

          I had the same level of problems with a Jetta TDI.

          What does every VW owner have? a bulleted list of problems.

          as a counterpoint, we’ve gone through a number of Audis over the years and found them to be incredibly reliable. Some of them even more so than my 02 Tacoma.

          • 0 avatar
            Jeff Waingrow

            My early Passats were wonderful cars, but they were problematic. So I switched to Audis, two to be exact. Three years each, and zero problems. Since then, I moved to Golfs, one a 2.5, then a TDI, and now a GTI. Again, zero problems except for one recall that was set right in about an hour. My conclusion is that the more recent VWs are much more reliable than in the past. CR and others seem to bear this out. The Jetta and Beetle are below average but the other models are average or above. Jeep seems much below average while Buick is extremely good. I think it pays to look at the specific models rather than the general brand. Some Nissans and Infinitis rate very poorly. That was a surprise.

          • 0 avatar
            sproc

            Our 6.5 year old A3 (57k) has been similarly reliable. A few minor annoyances like the coils, but never, ever stranded with the car. While that’s just one vehicle data point, we have moved around a bunch and used five different Audi service departments across the country. Pricy sure, but the quality and experience of service from all of them has been exceptional. Haven’t owned a VW (except learning to wrench on my dad’s ’77 Rabbit), but it’s unfortunate there seems to be such a different service experience within the VAG brands.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            “My conclusion is that the more recent VWs are much more reliable than in the past. CR and others seem to bear this out.”

            This is true, but the recent ones still haven’t accrued serious mileage. Even if they hold up long-term, VW will need to wait for owners burned by MkIVs to be silenced by either senility or the grave, both of which are still decades away.

          • 0 avatar
            brewster12333

            Owned an 05 Tacoma from new. Paint chipped. Suspension rattled. Drivers seat wore through. A/C died at 60 Km. Trim peeled. Rims pitted and leaked. Undercarriage rust like crazy. Tail light sockets rotted out requiring new harness. New I say. Cared for. Driven sparingly over ~ 6 years. Gone at 65 Km. And not missed. What a disappointment. 2012 A4 now. 85 Km from new (500+ km a week). Not a rattle. Tight. One injector at ~ 50 Km. Pulls as strong as day one. No blemishes. YMMV.

        • 0 avatar
          Sigivald

          Yeah, one of my friends refuses to consider a Volkswagen, after his Jetta’s steering column wiring *caught fire*.

          Also that thing was plagued with electrical problems for its entire life [evidently endemic to that generation].

          And the side trim kept falling off.

          Will a modern Jetta have those problems?

          Probably not!

          But … it’s a big investment, a new car, and … no.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            “after his Jetta’s steering column wiring *caught fire*”

            That is an impressive feat, kudos VAG.

    • 0 avatar
      immortalsix

      People don’t hate VWs for miles 1-50,000 — they hate them for miles 50,001 – ???.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        I crossed that mileage threshold not long ago in my 2010 without problems, so I agree with the first part of your theory. Time will tell about the second part…

      • 0 avatar
        Jeff Waingrow

        Good point.

      • 0 avatar

        I’m only at 17,500 miles in the Jetta SportWagen after six and a half months, so we shall see…

        • 0 avatar
          Carlson Fan

          Wifes leased ’05 TT was flawless for the first 3 yrs/17K.

          The 2014 A4 has been perfect for the first 15 months. She bought that so we’ll see over the long haul.

        • 0 avatar

          My brother and two friends have Jetta SportWagens (and porbably more miles than you, although at the rate you’re going, you’ll lap them within 1-2 years. One friend has a Jetta sedan. Among all these, there are two sticks.

          • 0 avatar
            seth1065

            Over 100,000 on mine , 3 years old, one major issue which VW covered out of warranty and one big repair, I will give them the benefit of the doubt, it may have been driver error, so all in all not bad IMO

        • 0 avatar
          tedward

          I’m at 60k with mine, one shitty dealer but no actual car problems. If I hadn’t called out the dealer and yanked the car it would have been expensive and my wife would have been enraged. Ended up being a software flash, so… Your dealer experience may vary. Same applies to all brands.

    • 0 avatar
      RangerM

      @Duncan345

      “I try to refill the fuel (with 93 octane premium) at 1/4 tank to avoid fuel pump issues”

      For a 2011 model car, why is this necessary?

      • 0 avatar
        Duncan345

        @RangerM

        Some people speculate that the in-tank fuel pump lasts longer if you don’t dip below 1/4 tank because it is cooled by the fuel in the tank. It may be a bunch of nonsense, but it doesn’t cost anything to refill at 1/4 tank, so I figure that I may as well follow that ritual.

        • 0 avatar
          KevinC

          I remember the warning about the fuel pump that came with my new ’85 GTI. There was a warming to not let the car run out of fuel, because it would fry the in-tank pump, because the pump is cooled by gasoline flowing through it. Run dry and it pumps dry and quickly burns itself out. So assuming this is still the case, you should be fine running low as long as you don’t let it run completely out.

      • 0 avatar
        Extra Credit

        “For a 2011 model car, why is this necessary?”

        I believe he said his GTI has an ECU tune. The software probably requires the premium fuel.

    • 0 avatar
      superchan7

      Your evidence is anecdotal, and so is mine:

      My B5 Passat leaked every fluid except transmission fluid.

      Car got stuck in Park at 3k mi, fixed, stuck again, fixed.
      Rear bushing cracked at 10k mi, practically brand new.
      Turn signal stalk failed at 20k
      Cracked CV boots at 30k
      Cracked tie rod ends at 30k
      Turn signal repeater fell off at 30k
      Cracked oil pan at 60k (this cost 4-digits)
      Cracked radiator at 70k (this was nearly $1000)
      Headlamp fell off at 80k
      Heater core failed at 100k (this requires tearing out the entire dashboard)
      Headlamp fell off again at 100k. I discovered that the plastic (!) mounting bracket cracked
      The entire front suspension (all bushings and joints) was replaced at 120k
      Glove box handle fell off at 120k
      Car cranked and wouldn’t start at 125k. I gave up here, I’m guessing fuel filter clogged or engine seized.

      So, based on this experience, should I go back to my grumpy VW dealer and beg for a new car on my knees? Because that’s kind of how they treated me, sales AND service departments, 2 separate dealers.

      The terrifying thing is, this was a car that I depended on to get to school, and then to work. It averaged > $1000 per year over 11 years, and my parents bought this car brand new.

      I now DD a Honda Accord with zero problems at 102,000 miles. I save the drama for my weekend car.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        Cracked oil pan? Woah, I mean, did you hit something with it?

        Also I have no idea how a radiator job could possibly have cost $1000, bet the dealer loved you for that one! A quick look online shows “Behr” brand radiator for $110. Does replacing the radiator require putting the car in “service position?” (VAG speak for tearing the front clip off the car)

        I am by no means a VW apologist, infact one of their largest detractors around here.

        • 0 avatar
          superchan7

          I don’t know what happened with the oil pan; it’s possible the leak wasn’t coming from a damaged pan itself but around the seals, then the shop discovered the pan was damaged. I wonder if this is possible if the car bottoms out over bumps.

          The radiator job was just under $900 with the OEM radiator. This was back in around 2008, and I recall the part price was $300-ish.

          Most of this stuff was at an indie shop, too, but I suspect the shop was charging dealer parts prices.

          • 0 avatar
            05lgt

            No impact necessary. My wife’s Passat of s#!7 had a leaking seal “repaired” under warranty 3 times, 4th time they replaced the “porous and cracked” pan. And it still leaked. We gave up, it leaked when we sold it. I don’t have the energy to catalog the travails. We’re a no VAG household now.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Radiators can be expensive, depending on availability.

          I had to replace the radiator and AC-cooling condenser coil on a 1982 VW Quantum due to gravel damage and the two parts had to be Special Ordered. This was a long time ago but, as I recall, the parts had to come from Germany and the figure that comes to mind was ~$700 for the parts.

          I did the labor myself, but I did have to pratically pull the entire front end off to gain access to the fasteners.

          After that incident, I mounted a metal screen ahead of the cooling fins to reduce the likelihood of gravel damage to the fins and tubes.

        • 0 avatar
          MBella

          That Behr radiator costs a few more Deutsche Marks when purchased with a VW logo on the box.

    • 0 avatar
      87 Morgan

      I don’t think all of them are bad. I had a 98 TDI Jetta 5MT. Bought it new, put 90k on it and sold it. Never once did it return to the dealer for work. I did/do all of my own maintenance so I was able to avoid the reasonableness of the VW shop bill.

      I did however special order the unit with manual windows and no sunroof as I wanted as little ticky Tac items to potentially break.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      What is it about Volkswagens that stick in peoples’ minds?

      Probably the dealer treatment has a lot to do with why you might hate a brand. A number of people I know looked at me like I have a hole in my head for buying a GM. A quick ride usually shuts them up!

    • 0 avatar
      VolandoBajo

      Because my 59 (split window, I think) was reliable and easy to work on, and got great mileage. My early 60’s double cab VW pickup was unusual, but reliable, and very useful. My mid-60’s VW beetle sunroof, same thing, all of the above and I always had a great Florida tan. Late 60’s van also great, economical, dependable, easy to fix. And finally, my 76 carbed Rabbit with front and rear swaybars, legally deleted cat, correct mainjet, and straightened downpipe from a Canadian Rabbit, could run circles around new Beemers at traffic lights, and stick to the tail of Porsche 911’s in the mountains of Vermont.

      Having had a GF with a squareback (Type III) who got hosed for a new computer for several hundred bucks in the sixties. And having worked as a mechanic for an MB-VW dealer, I knew to avoid the 411, with its battery under the driver’s seat, which had metal springs. Hitting even a small bump was an electrifying experience.

      Then, after the 76 Rabbit died a warrior’s death, I made the mistake of buying an 82 diesel Rabbit. A very solid, useful car, great mileage, ran year round as long as you kept a little 1-K kero in the tank in the winter, but had two STUPID flaws, both involving screens.

      Screen #1 was the one that previously existed to prevent leaves from collecting in the A/C tank that drained condensation. Result: it saved up several gallons worth of condensation, then dumped that smelly water all over the floorboard carpeting. Took several trips and threats of calls to NHTSA and car mags to get them to fix it and clean up my carpets. All to save a dime in material cost…

      But wait, it gets better or worse, depending on your point of view. Around 70,000 miles and three years in, the car would fail to start at random times. Would get towed, nothing found, and suddenly the car would start again. Paid for five or six tows, all the inconvenience, the repair bills for diagnosis of an intermittent problem that defied all logic. Seemed to be starved for fuel, but changing fuel pumps, filters, etc. failed to correct it.

      Finally a great mechanic at Virginia Diesel in Richmond asked for permission to tear the car down, at no further charge to me, until he found what the problem was. Pull the tank, etc. the whole nine yards. I let him, and two or three days later, he reported that VW had done something neither of us had ever seen or heard of before. In addition to the inline fuel filter beneath the car, the put a SCREEN in the tank, right where the fuel exits. Over time, a greasy flap of gunk collected there, and it would randomly flatten and block the fuel line, or flap open and let fuel pass.

      I no longer had the confidence that I could discern which VW’s were great cars and which were hideous mistakes, and I never owned another one when that one got wrecked by someone I lent it to, after I got my next car.

      It was an 88 Thunderbird Supercoupe with a moonroof and all the right options: metallic titanium paint, midnight blue leather interior, aluminum billet wheels, 143mph top end (though the tires were only rated to 138 for continuous use – haha), and I had a chance to prove it. Got close to 300K miles before the arrival of a new bride followed by a new son made repairing it seem imprudent.

      And because of all the engineering stupidities I dodged, and the grief caused by the one I didn’t, I will never have another VW in my family, no matter how fast and/or economical and/or supposedly reliable.

      My wife has become enamored of Corolla S’s. And my daily driver? A 97 Grand Marquis GS bought from the original owner in mint condition, for a song. Power, comfort, ease of repair, an engine that gets in excess of 300-400K miles even in taxi and police interceptor use, seats six full sized adults comfortably, just the right amount of automation, none of it broken at going on 200K miles. Decent mileage, a fun amount of power and handling in the BASE version, 2.73 open rear, stock suspension, fifteen inch tires, no handling package (but sway bars come stock, and engine is not only V8 but OHC, once the realm of only expensive Euro cars).

      And if I want, there are some reasonable cost pathways to increased performance, in case I decide I want to make a sleeper out of it.

      My 61 Jaguar Mk II with the 190hp rated engine (though actually much stronger), wire wheels with knockoff hubs, British racing green, etc., purchased five years old for under a thousand and driven for three or four years, was a fun car to drive. So was the 88 Bird. And yes the 88 Turbo Bird may have had more hp, but also had a power curve that looked like a bobby pin standing on end.

      And my Grand Marquis is fun to drive in the same way those two cars were. And in a way that none of the VW’s I ever owned or drove (a lot more driven than I owned) ever was, with the sole exception of the 76 Rabbit, after I tuned the engine and suspension.

      I will miss the Mercury marque, because it is gone. But I miss the VW marque that once was, because VW killed it with repeated stupid design and engineering decisions.

      Oh, and I forgot to mention one other thing: to change the fanbelt on a 411, you had to pull the engine. The labor was 11.5 hours flatrate, and the best mechanic in the shop refused to ever do another after doing one. He typically could do do a four hour A/C job in about two, but it took him fourteen to get that belt changed.

      Stupid is as stupid does. Life is very much like a lot full of VW’s…you never know what you’re going to get.

      PS You can laugh at my G-Mark all you want for supposedly being a geezer car, but in a parking lot full of high-end Euro and Asian cars, there is only one that looks like it might be in a car show rather than an auto fleet. Guess which one it is. And unless you paid a hundred times what I paid for it, I am almost certain to blow your doors in at a light.

      And if you want to talk smack about it, I have two words for you: LS and Marauder.

      Now tell me why I shouldn’t be bitter about VW, or happy about Ford, in spite of the Turbo Bird and the Ecoboost V6, before I blast off and head down the road, with my retro double-DIN AM/FM radio and cassette player, with an IPod patched in by a ten dollar part, blaring my favorite cruising music.

      And PS, I only get mileage in the midteens around town, my own fault because I can’t keep my foot out of the firewall for a whole day, but on the road with cruise control, I get 25. Name me another car that cost less than $30K new, that can be bought today for less than two grand, seats six, has RWD and a V8, and has a coefficient of drag of less than 0.35. If there is one, I don’t know what it is. But it sure won’t be a VW.

      Those two screens in the 82 Rabbit, the one that should have been there and the one that shouldn’t, cost me dozens of repair tickets, thousands of (eighties era) dollars, and a couple hundred hours of my time. I know of no other manufacturer with such an abysmal record.

      Unless you want to dissect General Motors…but I’m not going there. I’ll just say I’m proud to be a Ford man, where never a Cimarron, Nova (or “no va”, as the say in Latin America), Vega or Citation has roamed. Ford Motor Company’s sole great sin was to have killed the Mercury brand.

      And before one of you other oldtimers says “Edsel”, my father did the research, found out the main problem was mechanical lifters, and that there was a factory recall to install hydraulic ones, relatively new at the time…he got a 58 Edsel for a song, and had a great driver for next to nothing for several years.

      Thank you. I feel much better, now that I have vented what VW did to me while I was still a loyal customer. Now do you understand why so many are down on them? I sure do, the hard way.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    I noticed a complete lack of Buick/Pontiac/GMC/Cadillac and nearly no Chrysler on the models list, how interesting.

    • 0 avatar
      Sjalabais

      B&B are supposedly informed about what is smart and/or desirable to buy.

      So…I guess the total percentage of GM and Chrysler consists of durable classics and the odd van?

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I actually put GM (when I meant to say every other part of GM but Chevrolet) and then was like wait a minute what am I saying (I’m actually working at work today so my signals got crossed). GM had such a big market share for so long I’m simply surprised none of the other divisions made the cut.

        I suppose you are correct, I take it to mean a greater percentage than I thought is driving very new cars.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      I’ve driven a lot of vehicles as have most here, and Chrysler has a few vehicles that are either very competitive, class leading, or even complete bargains relative to the competition.

      An example of the first category would be the Challenger & Charger, both giving muscle car fans the power, retro looks and sounds they want to hear at reasonable prices, being fairly durable/reliable as well.

      An example of the second category would be the Jeep Grand Cherokee/Dodge Durango. Unless someone reading this comment has driven them, I’d be surprised if they can fully appreciate how refined, comfortable, solid, well finished & good they are, besting many segment competitors that cost 20k and even 30k more, IMO.

      An example of the third category would be the Chrysler 300. It’s way more solid, refined and comfortable than many sedans costing far more (I’d pick it over any Cadillac sedan at any price).

      As for GM, there are four vehicles they make that are competitive – being the Cruze, Silverado/Sierra, Yukon, & C7 Stingray (I’d argue the base C7 Stingray is a relative bargain in the hi-po sports car category).

      The rest of GM’s products are overpriced and/or dated and/or ungainly and/or you unreliable POS.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        You could fix most of the car model’s problems with backseats and a 3800 standard.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          You know that I’m a fan of the Series II 3800 V6, and in fact, I believe many GM products would be better with a bored out and modernized 3800 than the less reliable, less durable motors they now are saddled with (to be fair and balanced, though, the 3.6 Liter DI GM motor has proven to be relatively trouble free, and has not been plagued by carbon build up that many competitors’ DI motors have suffered).

          GM should not have tried to fix that which wasn’t broken – they did a lot advancing push rod motors, and seemingly switched to OHC motors just to “be cool” in many cases.

          • 0 avatar
            NoGoYo

            I always found it interesting that the 3.8 could easily match Ford’s 4.0 SOHC V6. Granted, the Cologne engines were never particularly powerful, at least not in America.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @dw

            I’m going to go out on a limb and say emissions. You have to remember climatology has become a near religion for a lot of sick and otherwise confused people. I’m not up on the rules for passenger vehicle emissions but they are probably unreasonable, GM throughout the past thirty five years had blindly followed whatever regs dot gov gave them to the detriment of its customers.

      • 0 avatar

        “An example of the third category would be the Chrysler 300. It’s way more solid, refined and comfortable than many sedans costing far more (I’d pick it over any Cadillac sedan at any price).”

        Having spent much time in 300s as rentals (both V6 and HEMI), I think they are very good cars, and certainly well done…but I’m not sure they are better than *every* Cadillac at any price. The CTS has a nicer interior, and with the magnetic suspension, a better ride. The 300C is a surprisingly hard ride, although not necessarily unrefined. The ATS has a completely different focus, although its pricing is similar, so its a bit apples and oranges. The infotainment in the 300 is, of course, superior.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          A well equipped 300 can be had all day long new for under 30 grand, while a lowly 4 cylinder ATS with the pathetic 2.5 liter shared in the Equinox and Malibu is 30k, and the 2.0T is thousands more than that.

          The 300 is more solid than either the ATS or CTS, more comfortable, has more room, a larger trunk, I’d argue better fit/finish, a more stout/durable suspension & chassis – and is just more car.

          I think the 300 is more “Cadillac” than even the XTS, as I’ve often stated.

          • 0 avatar

            Indeed, as you have often stated.

            The 300 is cheaper, yes, but it’s a completely different vehicle. In base trim, it handles more like a yacht than a sport sedan…but the ride is comfortable. The interior *looks* better, but the materials aren’t as good. I’m not sure about this “stout” suspension, but according to almost every reliability reporting publication Chrysler still isn’t really that durable, even the 300. I can’t argue that it isn’t more car, because it is, but that in and of itself is not a good argument. It’s more car where the interior and exterior panels don’t fit as nicely, its more car where the leather isn’t as good, it’s more car where the sight lines aren’t as good, and more car where you can either have a harsh ride and good handling or a soft ride and marshmellowy handling.

            Don’t get me wrong, I like the 300…it does a lot of things well and I’m always happy to get one as a rental. But please don’t place it on a pedestal isn’t doesn’t deserve. I’ve spent thousands of kilometers behind both a 300 and ATS, both equipped to approximately the same price (or higher, in the case of 2 300Cs I’ve gotten), and the power differential, size, and infotainment does not make the 300 the runaway you think it is.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            Look at the Consumer Reports road test score, respective ratings, and reliability ratings.

            They praise the plush ride, interior materials, quietness, room, Uconnect, and reliability of the V6 Pentastar Chrysler 300, naming it their 2nd best large car, with a 83 score, and score its reliability as “good,” also.

            Alternatively, the criticize the motors, transmission, cramped rear seat & trunk space, price, CUE, and also the poor reliability of the ATS (full black circle).

            The interior materials of the ATS are crap for the price, plain and simple. They’re no better than CamCord levels, and in many cases worse.

          • 0 avatar

            You can find whatever you want to DW…

            CR also praises the ATS’ cabin fit and finish, saying it is better than a number of competitors, they also praise the ride, handling and braking, and rate it 79 which seems surprisingly good for a vehicle that, according to you, is basically a 1996 Cavalier.

            And reliability is a fault that they criticize with both.

            Look, I’m not saying I’d buy the ATS over the 300, I’m just saying that the difference in value isn’t as dramatic as you make it out to be, especially with the current cash on the hood of the ATS. In seemingly typical fashion, you engage in hyperbole to separate the two and, in my experience, it isn’t nearly so black and white.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        The rest of GM’s products are overpriced and/or dated and/or ungainly and/or you unreliable POS.

        You forgot the new Impala, Camaro, most all trucks, CTS.

    • 0 avatar
      bunkie

      Well, there is a cutoff, otherwise my CTS would have shown up.

    • 0 avatar
      S1L1SC

      I would assume Buick is lumped in with GM?

  • avatar
    BigOldChryslers

    Any chance of seeing a graph showing ownership by vehicle model years? (Vehicles stated as being owned currently only, of course.)

  • avatar
    Sjalabais

    Beautiful work. Great response back then!

    Surprise #1: Volvo isn’t represented at all. Meh.

    Surprise #2: Why do American and European perceptions of the Accord vary so massively? An English summary:
    http://m.whatcar.com/car-reviews/honda/accord-saloon/summary/24816-2

    /Volvo-fanboy in a Honda

    • 0 avatar
      Richard Chen

      re: #2 the EU Accord was the Acura TSX, EU and US buyers are just that different.

      FWIW the EU Camry was discontinued a decade ago due to poor sales. It’s #16 on the TTAC list.

      • 0 avatar

        That category tends to be represented by fleet sales for company cars. Mondeo, Passat, Vectra and the odd French sedan, with a diesel engine, tended to be what was bought by fleet managers, and hence, the dominant mid-size car.

        • 0 avatar
          Sjalabais

          Yes, fleet sales are strongly biased towards respective home-market cars. Yet a lot of these reviews are made from a consumer perspective and the Accord nonetheless comes out as inferior. I’m not sure if I’ve read a comparison with other more ambitious driving cars, but the European Accord is certainly not loved by reviewers. Too few trips to Spain’s sun coast on Honda’s expense? Anyway, sales numbers are dismal.

      • 0 avatar
        Sjalabais

        Wow, yes, you’re right. Even more of a surprise that it is usually described as non-competitive. The Accord has been abandoned in Europe from the new year onwards, I think.

        We own one of the few late model Camrys sold in Europe: A 2002 2.4 I4. It’s a huge car by European standards. All my friends just call it “the embassy car”.

        • 0 avatar
          dtremit

          Well, it was kind of non-competitive; it went ten years without a significant change, while the US Accord was pretty heavily reworked in 2008.

        • 0 avatar
          George B

          Part of the difference may be fuel costs and engine choices. In the US the base 4 cylinder gasoline engine Accord and Camry use the least expensive fuel at the fuel pump, 87 octane regular. Filled my gas tank with $2.07/gallon fuel yesterday. In Europe a car with a diesel engine would be more economical.

          The other difference is Americans have very little time available when they’re not at work so minimum time in the shop for repair or maintenance is a huge selling point.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      I am now driving a 2015 (not 2015.5) XC70 T6.

      But I got it *after* the questionnaire post was answered…

    • 0 avatar
      wmba

      Why is the Accord not popular? Surely What Car tells you straight out:”It’s also too pricey to recommend, both to buy and to run.”

      What Car has been around for 45 years. They don’t waste a lot of space arguing the toss, as the Brits would say.

      The Accord is too expensive to buy and run and has a crap interior. Seems straightforward enough to me why it doesn’t sell in Europe.

      We’ve discussed this dozens of times before here on TTAC. Honda is as clueless in Europe as VW is in America. Mazda and Hyundai outsell Honda in the EU. Subaru might as well not exist there either.

      Here in North America, Accords are cheap, so they sell. The CR-V is regarded as ugly in Europe – here there are so many we got used to its ungainliness, and it’s cheap.

      Different markets, different prices.

      • 0 avatar
        Jack Baruth

        That’s a diesel market in the EU and Honda has no reputation for diesel excellence.

        An Accord with the 2.4 — the old Accord — costs as much in the UK as a 328i Sport.

        Here in the US, there’s a six or seven grand gap between the TSX and the 328i Sport.

      • 0 avatar
        Sjalabais

        Well, it’s not that Honda is entirely clueless in Europe. The CRV is popular, too, and the Jazz/Fit is no insignificant sell. The Civic is a mainstay in the Golf class, even though it can’t compete with the locals for volume.

        To me, it sounds like Volkswagen is doing what Honda gets critic for in the text above to win Americans over: Cheapen down the whole thing. But that doesn’t seem to work out for VW.

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        I formerly subscribed to Car and found, like other non-Brits, that it was very provincial.

        Car regularly placed Jaguar par or above much better German cars. Back when people loved the Jag look but knew they were all show, mainly no go. Same was true for other British marques that later crashed and burned.

        It seems Car has a more plausible case for British marques now that they are foreign-owned but back then Car was an entertaining diversion rather than something to be relied on. I suspect the same is true now.

        • 0 avatar
          Sjalabais

          There’s definitely some slack for that. I cried foul at some 2 & 3 star ratings of superior Volvos, too. Ha!

          Anyway, it’s a more or less random sample. Can’t remember a distinctively positive review of the Accord – if publications even bothered to test it.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      I’ve got a Volvo C30 so I’ve got one of the least represented brands with one of the least represented models. Yeah me for being original. Accords… meh you people are boring.

  • avatar
    AustinOski

    I didn’t respond to the post that day, but I’m thinking none of our vehicles would have changed anything…

    1985 Landcruiser
    1988 560SL
    1994 E320 Wagon
    2013 LEAF

    We have the luxury of no daily commute for either of us drivers in the household. So, I read my own list and wonder – Why nothing less practical? Find a clone of my old MGC GT? How about a Fiat or Alfa or a…

  • avatar
    Redshift

    Great work, and an interesting insight into how people who car enough about cars to participate vary from the general public. (We tend to forgot that.)

    Related, I still take a certain amount of enjoyment in none of the 6 cars in my current fleet appearing in the top 10, and the only one that appears at all, only appears as a technicality. (Impreza at 11 vs the WRX we own.)

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      How is the WRX being counted as an Impreza a technicality. The WRX is the trim line of Impreza. That would be like me calling it a technicality that my Club was listed with other Miatas. The list is by models.

  • avatar
    Fred

    Despite how many folks rave for the Hyundai/Kia warranty and all it’s features, and of course it’s low price few of us are taking them up on heir offerings.

    • 0 avatar
      anti121hero

      It’s a great deal for a friend looking for a car but I wouldn’t be caught dead in one.

      • 0 avatar
        vwgolf420

        I had an Elantra hatchback before my Golf and when non-car people ask my opinion, I almost always steer them towards Hyundai. My Elantra was great for a number of practical reasons–reliability, space, decent fuel economy–but it was rather uninspiring for someone who cares about cars.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      I’ve yet to drive a Kia that I’d want to own or that I’d deem as good as the Japanese or much of the domestic competition. People will inevitably now rave bout the Optima or Cadenza, but even those don’t feel all of a piece or harmonious, IMO.

      As for Hyundai, I’ve driven 2 models that were either decent or good; a 2009 Sonata (the refresh with the updated interior that was a gen before the revolutionary 2011-2014 Nike Swoosh model), and the Santa Fe.

      I’ve yet to drive the new Sonata or Genesis for any appreciable distances so will refrain from judging them.

      Now that Kia & Hyundai price their offerings at or above the Japanese competition (excepting the base Genesis), I really do not understand how their business model/case is sustainable.

      • 0 avatar
        slance66

        Test drove a Sante Fe Sport two weeks ago, and while there was nothing objectively “wrong” with it, it just felt under-engineered. Minor annoyances were prevalent. The Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk I drove right after was comparably superior in every respect. I think H/K is close, but has another generation of cars to go to match those who’ve been in this market longer.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      Warranty or not, they’re still very much a sh1t tier brand among enthusiasts. Maybe in time if they keep making interesting cars like the Genesis.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      For all of their effort with unique sheet metal, luxury market forays, and half-hearted attempts at sportiness, H/K is still a very utilitarian and tepid brand with little to tempt someone eyeing an Accord Sport, Mazda3, or VW GTI.

      I’m not as discerning as some, so the turbo Optimas and Forte hatches are beginning to look interesting to me as Accord/GTI alternatives.

  • avatar
    ccd1

    Our main car is a 2014 Kia Sportage, top of the line model. I’m less than impressed. The Nav takes far too long to load and it requires agreeing to a legal disclaimer EVERY time it boots up, which is also very annoying.

    The car is generally loaded, but still feels kind of cheap. The side mirrors fold, but do so in a way that breaking down feels imminent. The leather in the seats already looks worse than the leather seats in my 3 yr old Audi.

    We have had the car less than a year and my wife is already thinking about what to replace it with the moment it is paid off

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Couple of things, Mr. CCD.

      -The nav waiver agreement is required by law. Manufacturers can’t get around this. Any car with nav will require an OK with each start up.

      -Most of the complaints about the car (disclaimer on nav, slow loading, mirrors folding, cheap feel) would’ve been solved via a thorough test drive and examination at the dealership before your purchase.

      So really, you’re sounding like a standard-Kia-not-informed consumer.

      • 0 avatar
        zaxxon25

        You sure about the disclaimer? My Chevy MyLink nav doesn’t pop up a disclaimer every time I use it. It does lock you out of putting in a destination while you’re moving, unless you have it previously stored in your address book.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Hmm. Is MyLink nav through the car, or is it linking to another program or app, etc? I dunno how MyLink works so I will have to claim ignorance on this one.

          • 0 avatar

            Well, there are actually four different systems called “MyLink”. The basest of these, the one in the Spark, Sonic and Trax, utilizes a paid phone app called “BringGo” to deliver navigation functions.

          • 0 avatar
            zaxxon25

            This is the factory optional voice-activated system in a 14 Malibu, I guess they legally figured out a way around the disclaimer.

      • 0 avatar
        AustinOski

        I was thinking the same thing, Corey. I often read consumer reviews of cars that complain of a small trunk, bad ride, don’t like the way it looks, seats are not comfortable (etc.) and wonder…Didn’t they drive it, did they sit in it or even look at it before making the purchase?

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

          Half the time, they buy it because they’ve seen them around and think “oh, ____ has one, must be a good car”

          This is true of my neighbor’s late model (2012?) Altima. She complains about how cheap feeling it is, how gutless it feels with passengers on board, etc. My question is “why did you buy it?” The answer: mpg and she sees them everywhere, and thereby assumed it must be a great car because its so popular. Totally illogical thinking in my book, but oh well. She’s pretty much stuck with it. Id have tried to get her to at least test drive a Honda Accord and/or Ford Fusion. Im sure if she had, she’d have bought one of them instead.

          I have a friend who owns a first gen Versa that she hates. She bought it because “it was cute”. Nevermind that its uncomfortable as hell, its slow, it has the driving dynamics of a shopping cart (with a ride to match) and it feels extremly cheap even when compared to other subcompacts. She regrets buying it, and says that she was much happier in her previous car, an 01 Focus. Im sure she took it for a ride around the block before buying it, but probably paid little attention to the details that would come back to bite her.

      • 0 avatar
        ccd1

        This requirement must have arisen in the last couple of years because my 2012 Audi does not flash this disclaimer for me to agree to every time I start that car up.

        And my wife would be the Kia not informed consumer. This is HER car, not mine! She picked the car with precious little input from me or research. My main job was getting her a decent price on the car.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Well now that seems inconsistent from the legal perspective.

          My 01 Lexus had the requirement, and so does my 09 M.

          So this has to be based on something else.

          • 0 avatar
            Sjalabais

            Why the disclaimer?

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            The disclaimer makes you click OK, and says something to the tune of:

            DON’T operate the vehicle while working the screen. This is dangerous and could cause an accident.

            It’s there so you can’t run over your neighbor while punching in the address of the mall, and then sue the car company and claim you weren’t aware it could cause an issue.

            Here’s the old Lexus one (A Canada example with Eng and Fr).

            http://www.clublexus.com/forums/attachments/gs-second-generation/92973d1161220971-2002-navigation-system-diagnostics-including-display-and-a-c-img_0918.jpg

          • 0 avatar
            dtremit

            My new nav-equipped MFT car (a 2014) does not have a disclaimer either.

            My guess is the requirement was dropped, but older nav systems haven’t caught up yet.

  • avatar
    GeneralMalaise

    A lot of folks view their car as an “appliance”. Nothing wrong with that, I suppose.

    • 0 avatar
      jhefner

      Actually, I don’t think so; if we all wanted appliances; the Camry would have been near the top of the list instead of the bottom. Sedans obviously rank high; but one that drives/handle well. That would also explain why Volkswagon does so well.

      The fact that the Taurus outranked the Camry by one, and the F-150 was #7 was the most surprising to me; neither of these are in line with the what Americans drive. I also assume that the Taurus owners are a three way split between the current generation, the previous generation, and all the previous generations.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      While most of us are “enthusiasts” to varying degrees, it seems that when it comes to daily transport, it’s much of the same old same old but with a bit of enthusiast bent to it. Somehow an Accord is more acceptable to enthusiasts than a Camry is, and Civic more than Corolla. Perhaps that comes from Honda’s greater popularity in the aftermarket tuner/enthusiast crowd.

      • 0 avatar
        Mandalorian

        A big part of that is Folks that live in rural areas may only have a GM/Ford dealer within 50 miles. Driving 200 mi for service is no fun.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

        I believe it comes from the fact that Hondas are generally a lot more fun to drive compared to similar Toyotas, at least thats how theyve always come accross to me. They handle well for what they are, and usually, the interiors are better as well. As for the Civic, the Si model really is a performance oriented car, especially compared to a Corolla S.

        I dont think a 30+ year old man/woman typically walks into a Honda dealer and says “I just watched all of the Fast and Furious movies, now I want a 4 cyl/automatic Accord sedan so I can be that cool.”

  • avatar
    poggi

    Data is inconclusive w/o average, oldest and youngest ages for each bar.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      It is also an excruciatingly small sample size and represents a niche car-enthusiast demographic. It works exactly as was intended for ttac readers. Nothing else.

      • 0 avatar
        stuntmonkey

        Actually, it wouldn’t look like it, but it actually is a meaningful sample size. Assuming ideal and uncomplicated conditions and on surveys with simple means calculations, a sample of 100 already gives a margin of error of roughly 10 percent. So yes, the various marketing departments will have had a look at this. It’s not scientifically airtight, but it is nonetheless useful.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          The sample size is a good one. But the data points themselves were self-selecting.

          It’s a meaningful measure of those who posted responses in the thread. It may or may not accurately reflect the readership as a whole, because those who reply actively on websites do not represent the average reader — they are a subset of a subset. I would bet that 99% of those who read this website will never comment here, and only a few of those will become regulars.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Pch101 – I do wonder how many hits this site experiences in a day?
            I’m not a software guru but it should be easy to set up a way to count hits per article. The weak point to that approach is a passion fueled “click bait” article will see much more traffic than a story about a 4 banger Camry.

    • 0 avatar
      Zoom

      Inconclusive of what? I don’t see any conclusions, only data.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s not a scientific study, it’s something I did in my spare time for fun.

  • avatar
    zaxxon25

    I’m assuming this chart is for currently owned cars and does not include the previously owned vehicles? I didn’t contribute my priors but it would have upped a few of the popular categories.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I’d love to know how many of those General Motors vehicles are dead brands.

  • avatar
    Russycle

    I’m surprised the Accord/Camry gap is so much greater than Civic/Corolla. I could see myself choosing a Camry under the right circumstances. But a Corolla over a Civic…it would have to be one hell of a deal.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      I’d agree with you for prior generations of these cars, but everything I’ve read about the current Civic and Corolla suggests they have never been closer in driving dynamics, with the Civic closing most of that gap by losing its sharpness. Both now have sluggish CVT powertrains and comfort-oriented ride and handling with low TCO seemingly a top priority.

      I haven’t driven them to personally compare, though.

      • 0 avatar

        I agree that behind the seat, the Civic and Corolla really don’t feel too different from one another. But the Civic just plain looks better. The Corolla looks much more like a college car to me. And even though I’m college-aged—and in college—that’s not what I want my car to project.

        • 0 avatar

          Owned the new Civic. Just rented the new Corolla. I would choose the Corolla interior and the Civic driving dynamics. The difference is subtle. I can tell you this, driving a Corolla in LA downtown freeways can shorten your life expectancy.

  • avatar
    suspekt

    Am I the only enjoying the Acura TL SH-AWD on the B&B???

    I am telling y’all, the TL SH is a very underrated vehicle whose biggest shortcoming (the “beak”) is a quick $300 body colour-match job away from being a damn near perfect full-size luxury car.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      I wonder the used price comparison on similar used options of TL vs. RL. I bet they’re pretty close.

    • 0 avatar
      Astigmatism

      I’ve seen a small handful of folks on here discussing their SH-AWDs. I have the 3G (’08) TL personally; what kept me from moving to the newer model actually wasn’t the beak but the interior, which I find far too scooped, bulged, metallic and, ultimately, claustrophobic. Whenever I’ve borrowed one from the dealer I feel like the dash is attacking me.

      But yes, if you can get past the styling it’s a helluva car.

    • 0 avatar

      The beak was actually made much more tolerable with the 2012 refresh, and those models I don’t mind at all…

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    I’m surpised there are more Subarus than Mazda 3s, I guess I can’t say 3s are “overated” anymore.

    I’m flattered that Panthers barely made the list, I’m too young to be hanging out with a bunch of old folk!

  • avatar
    superchan7

    Are we talking about daily drivers? I suspect a sizable community here on TTAC who have a DD plus a fun/project car.

    I am not proud to admit that I fall into the Accord camp, but that’s my DD and I have other cars. The Accord has been trouble-free: precisely the reason I chose it.

  • avatar
    raph

    Currently using as my daily an 09 GT500 with almost 90k on the clock purchased Ew in 09.

    Previous rides include;

    2007 Mustang GT premium m/t

    2002 Mustang GT premium m/t

    1991 Mustang LX 5.0 a/t

    1978 Olds Starfire 5.7 a/t

    1976 Oldsmobile Starlite V6 m/t

    1972 Camaro 5.7 a/t

    1969 Camaro 5.3 m/t

    Looking at retiring the GT500 to the garage for a 2015 Mustang GT.

    • 0 avatar
      superchan7

      OT: Have you test driven the new Mustang? You should consider doing a Reader Review when you get yours, especially since you have owned several generations of them!

      • 0 avatar
        raph

        Yes, I have test driven the new car and what really drew me in was the steering and braking on the new car. It was a premium GT with the performance pack. The brakes on the new car were the mist notable difference. Prior to the new car Ford seemed to favor soft pedal feel. I’ve Modded my GT500 with braided lines and used Hawk HP+ pads along with DBA rotors along with ATE brake fluid but there was always some spongy feeling to the brakes. Not so with the new ca, very solid. The steering on the GT was meaty feeling and reminded me of the weighting used by BMW. Hopefully if everything works out and I get the payment I want I’ll be able to report back with something more in depth.

      • 0 avatar
        TMA1

        There was a recent review on another site from an ’07 GT owner who was trying out a new ’15 GT. Great concept, but he mostly complained about the cost of a fully-loaded Mustang being $45K. I’d like to see someone take another crack at the idea. Obviously the new ’15 GT will better than an ’07, but I wonder how it would compare to a Shelby or Boss.

        • 0 avatar
          superchan7

          A lot of the cost is added features and improved interior quality. The latter is forced upon you, but if you don’t want to pay for the former, a base GT is still in the low 30s like it used to be.

          • 0 avatar
            TMA1

            We know that, and the author acknowledged it once, but saw fit to harp on the $45K price tag four times. And he was at a Ford dealership, I’m sure there are cheaper GTs available.

  • avatar
    TW5

    Strike A Chord: TTAC Readers Are Beige-Lovers

    Fixed the headline for you. BTW, I’m one of the beige-lovers. My DD is an EK Civic, but I must have missed the poll.

    It seems the only dominant trend is love for Volkswagens, which isn’t terribly surprising since the vehicles require constant care to be functional. Many enthusiasts are willing to give constant care.

    • 0 avatar

      I don’t necessarily think that Volkswagens require constant care, not unless they start falling apart. Mine certainly doesn’t. They simply aren’t resilient to being neglected the way that Japanese and American cars usually are.

    • 0 avatar
      superchan7

      No love for Volkswagens from me.

      I’m surprised their lease deals aren’t more competitive, because 3-4 years is the length of time I would be willing to tolerate owning one after my experiences with a Passat.

      I do not want to give “constant care” to my commuter car, especially if its reliability jeopardises my timeliness at the office far too often.

  • avatar
    shadow mozes

    I feel special that what I drive isn’t on that list.

  • avatar
    Mr. K

    The Accord is the best blend of fun and reliability. After you get married or into a LTR and take on responsibilities like a mortgage and all the rest of the adult accoutrements like responsibility, being where you say you will be when you say you will be there the clunkers of our youth must fade away.

    Once long ago while driving down the NJ Turnpike I was both flexible and stupid enough to get half way under the dash to fix the radio ground while my dad steered the car. Some years later while single I had a Ford Fiesta (German one, please!) that ate fuel pumps from Pep Boys every few months.

    Rather then go somewhere else and buy a better quality pump I developed the ability to change the free under warranty pump in about 10 minutes right under the “car repair in parking lot prohibited” sign.

    Now I say yes dear when SWIMBO decrees that our next car will have AWD and will be less then 5 years old and have less then 50,000 miles.

    Happy wife happy life – and gee BTW no unexpected breakdowns is nice.

    • 0 avatar
      superchan7

      “Fun” is a strictly relative term. Compared to the Camry which is super-numb (exactly what its target market wants), the Accord is a little more reactive to the driver, at the cost of some NVH. Older Hondas are remembered favourably because their smaller size, primitive design and primitive feature content made the cars transparent by nature (the enthusiast term is “full of feel and feedback”).

      Get into an Abarth 500, and a modern Accord turns into buzzkill.

    • 0 avatar
      tekdemon

      I think for older models the Accord vs Camry definitely swung in the Accord’s favor in terms of handling and sportiness but you also have to keep in mind that the Accord suffers much worse brake fade and has worse braking distances in general. For some reason the Accord is almost always below average in it’s class for real world braking distances while the Camry tends to be at the top.

      In the newer models I’m not sure the Accord is really the sportier option though, the fact that they’re all bound to a CVT-a relatively good CVT, but still a CVT, versus the Camry’s six-speed make it a much harder decision especially now that the Camry’s handling has been improved.

      But I’m guessing most TTAC people don’t own brand new cars. I’ve owned an Accord as well as a Civic and a Camry that I currently drive but man am I surprised at how much the Accord is sweeping this. I’m not really convinced the Accord is that much sportier than the newest SE and now XSE Camrys.

    • 0 avatar
      VolandoBajo

      Had similar fuel pump experiences with PBY pumps in a late 80’s Isuzu Trooper, til I found a mechanic who thought it might be a good idea to change the housing as well as the pump, and clean up the ground. After he did that, no more in warranty pumps were needed. FWIW.

      My SO, being a bean counter by trade, thinks the sweet spot is cars just under, or possibly just over, 100K miles, and with a cost under about $8k, about once every several years…puts another 150K or so on them, and when repairs start to become regular, analyzes if she thinks repairs are predictable and likely to last, or random, and a sign of more expenses to come.

      Her current DD is a Corolla S with lowered suspension she got from a dealer who was retiring and selling off his lot. Caught him about three weeks before his lease was up, and got a 2002 with about 85K miles for about $2K below blue book retail, and with a two year powertrain warranty thrown in for about $1500 below retail. Only problems recently have been a new coil about once every eighteen months, with one OEM left. Probably due for another timing belt soon if she doesn’t decide to bail for something newer. Has been a good car except for some paint flaking, and difficulty replacing one aftermarket headlamp.

      And she found me a great mint original owner 97 Grand Marquis that cost $1500 and that is rock solid and fun to drive. When I was younger, I liked to live dangerously…always attracted to smart, goodlooking tall blondes…but hit the lottery with her just as I was working through my midlife crisis. A single mom in her twenties with loads of character and loyalty on top of all else. I was driving a new 88 TBird at the time, but she taught me a thing or two about getting a deal on a used car. And that for a guy who once acquired a five year old Mk II Jaguar for under $1000 from a private owner who couldn’t find anyone to tune the Weber carbs.

      Maybe when and if your SWIMBO has a joint interest in your bank account, she will move in the direction of slightly older and less expensive cars. But I wouldn’t count on it. Just a possibility.

      My project now is to try to surprise her with a great buy on a Lincoln Town Car, preferably from the Aero or possibly Whale era, to let her enjoy her ride a bit more. But to make it a complete deal, I need to find another too good to be true deal. They are there, but you have to dig and be patient. Would like to be able to give her one with decent miles for its age with a moonroof and leather seats. Planning on finding one when she graduates again.

      But no more copy cat Troopers for her any more, as she did when our son was small. Now she has come to appreciate a big American RWD V8, and since she eked out a decade of savings in the Corolla, its about time to give her something a bit spiffier while still fitting her basic frugal parameters.

      But in the end, the SO/SWIMBO is going to get what she wants, unless you can show her that she would want something more than the idea she had. Good luck with that. But from where I sit, the difference between your SWIMBO’s parameters, and my wife’s, is probably an easy five figure difference, and if it also requires years of full insurance coverage, all I can say is “OUCH!”.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    I’m astounded there were so few Buick LeSabre drivers like me. I thought there were a lot more people here driving ten year old cars. Maybe there are, they just didn’t list it as their DD.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I would have collected data for DD but also any other cars owned, and then offered both datasets separately. Next time.

    • 0 avatar
      EAF

      My daily driver is a 20 year old Mitsubishi GS-T, a ten year old car is “new” tech to me! Did anyone own a Mitsu in this place?

    • 0 avatar
      Acd

      The Buick LeSabre was the second most popular car when The Truth About Mobility Scooters and Lift Chairs ran a similar poll recently. Which car was number one? Mercury Grand Marquis of course!

      • 0 avatar
        NoGoYo

        How did the Buick Century and Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera do?

        Also, the Grand Marquis, at least from 98-onward, is my favorite of the Panther trio. Good looking AND luxurious.

        • 0 avatar
          VolandoBajo

          The ’98+ GM’s had some mechanical improvements and minor power increases, but tend to look a bit bloated for my taste. The ’92-97 ones, the Aero years, are a bit more streamlined than the ’98+ Whale era ones.

          Still, I’d like to cannibalize the dual electric fan off the ’98+ and replace the mechanical one. And when my front brakes go, their warped probably cheapo aftermarket rotors are going to, and the larger, later model year ones are going to be swapped in.

          But for appearance’s sake, I am glad I have a 97. My complete list of vehicles I have owned looks like a po’boy’s version of a Hemmings catalog of cars, but the GM is one of the best.

      • 0 avatar
        VolandoBajo

        Long live the Grand Marquis! And the Crown Victoria, and the Lincoln Town Car, all from about 1985 thru 2010.

        You’ve got to love their looks, comfort, power, reliability, the whole nine yards.

        FoMoCo Panther platform cars rule!

  • avatar
    klossfam

    HEY! Where are all my fellow Honda Ridgeline drivers?!? Ironically, my other two vehicles are a VW GTI and a VW Tiguan…

  • avatar
    cpthaddock

    Why is it that the Golf and the Golf GTI are grouped independently when the Jetta and the Jetta GLI are together? Come to that, why aren’t the Golf and the Jetta grouped together – same sausage, different number of doors.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    The F150 #7 on the list. I am surprised since many bloggers are anti-pickup truck. There needs to be more pickup truck coverage and find a truck guy to do the testing.

  • avatar
    nels0300

    Camry driver here.

    Wanted a Jetta GLI, but couldn’t take the VW plunge. Have too much going on (commute from suburbs to downtown, 2 kids, mortgage, being a worry-wart, etc.) to have reliablity worries in the back of my mind.

    I’m perfectly content with my 268 hp, conventional auto-trans, port injected appliance that handles OK and shows it tail lights to 90% of the cars on the road.

    2nd choice would’ve been an Accord Sport with a 6 speed, but was worried about direct injection & too much road noise.

  • avatar
    maxxcool7421

    #1 car Accord.
    #1 brand ford.

    welp that means almost 30% of you are never allowed to criticize anyone’s performance car choices ever again ;)

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Upon further reflection I’d be interested in a chart that showed it broken down percentage wise by sedan, coupe, convertible, hatchback, pickup truck, BOF SUV, CUV, and wagon. Especially considering the malignment that certain body styles and classes of vehicles receive from the B&B.

  • avatar
    Whatnext

    It doesn’t suprise me that VW places high on the list. If you want a relatively inexpensive car with that Teutonic handling and feel where else would you go? And while the Japanese are doling out CVT slushboxes, VW is offering dual clutch automatics.And while everyone moans about VW quality, I see a lot more old Golfs on the road here than Civics.

    • 0 avatar
      superchan7

      And while a Passat leaked everything and cost my parents $10k in repairs over 10 years, my Accord at 101k miles has had 1 repair: a $12 gas cap seal that hardened and cracked.

      DCTs with internal clutches are not a reliable answer to a fluid coupling AT for long term ownership.

      VWs are interesting if you want a fun secondary car, but I would not trust one for DD use. Some have trouble-free cars, but for every one of those I read about, there is a matching nightmare story. YMMV, and IMO that is not good enough for a car that people depend on to put food on the table.

  • avatar
    brenschluss

    Sad to say, I could have broken the P2 tie with an honest answer instead of the bad joke I made instead.

    Interestingly though, I’m trying to configure a lifestyle that may allow the other P2 entrant to coexist. Does this make me the perfect TTAC reader or do I need a bigger Honda for that?

  • avatar
    05lgt

    Impressive write around of the 4 Subaru’s in the top 20. The actual by brand chart shows why, but mentioning VWs 3 entries and everyone they bested without mentioning the brand that somehow leveraged a sub 4% share into 4 of 20 top models must have taken mental effort.

  • avatar
    Aphidman

    Darn, I missed this survey when it came out. I would have been interested to know how many other Chevy Cruze Diesel folks were on TTAC.

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