By on August 26, 2015

 

Sick of recalls and rising costs, Americans are buying cars now, more than ever, and apparently they don’t like it, the Associated Press is reporting.

An annual survey of 4,300 new car owners revealed that overall satisfaction with new cars is at its lowest point since 2004. Most of that is due to repeated recalls, according to the American Consumer Satisfaction Index. Overall, consumer satisfaction dipped 3.7 percent, to 79 out of 100 points.

“While it is true that all cars are now much better than they were 10 to 20 years ago, it is alarming that so many of them have quality problems,” Claes Fornell, ACSI Chairman and founder, said in a statement. “The number of recalls is at an all-time high. This should not happen with modern manufacturing technology and has negative consequences for driver safety, costs and customer satisfaction.”

Lexus ranked highest among manufacturers with a score of 84, followed closely by Mercedes (83), Acura (83) and Lincoln (83). Foreign automakers, generally speaking, did well in the survey — Subaru, BMW and Toyota all scored 82 points, despite dipping from last year’s survey.

Domestic automakers such as Ford (81) and General Motors (79) did well, however Fiat Chrysler (75) had four of its brands — Dodge (76), Jeep (75), Chrysler (74) and Fiat (73) — at the bottom of its list.

Interestingly, Japanese and Korean automakers have gained ground in satisfaction on domestic and European brands.

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59 Comments on “Americans Buying More Cars Than Ever, And They Can’t Stand Them...”


  • avatar
    JMII

    I wonder how much of this is like some of the Ford Sync related issues. IE: they hate their car because the cool technology doesn’t work the way they think it should, or its slow, or just plain glitchy due to software / user interface issues. For example my parents got a new Escape, which they love… except the navigation system often gets addresses wrong due to voice command confusion. Years ago this wasn’t a problem because voice navigation wasn’t a mainstream option. Thus, for example, you can’t complain about the automatic climate control until you buy a new car with that feature and only then find out it doesn’t work that great. In other words: first world problem here.

    • 0 avatar
      OneAlpha

      I think you’re on to something here.

      I wonder what history will ultimately have to say about the electronic computer. Is it ultimately beneficial or detrimental? It’s an incredibly powerful technology, but it’s made society fat, lazy and entitled. Here’s a good example.

      What will historians say in a thousand years about our civilization, that’s so heavily influenced by an IT industry which has conditioned us to expect Instantaneous and It Just Works Every Time and Free Download and High Definition and Billionaire From A Silly App?

      We expect cars to be perfect and run forever. When people whine about new cars, what sorts of complaints do we hear? Things like “my engine blew up at 10,000 miles” or “my chassis rusted through at 50,000 miles?”

      Nope.

      It’s “the infotainment system isn’t intuitive” and “these panel gaps aren’t consistent.”

      First world problems, indeed. Let me go get my little violin and you can tell me all about it.

      • 0 avatar
        hreardon

        Funny you should say this, OneAlpha, we were just discussing this with my staff yesterday. The biggest issue I have is with the demand (not desire, *demand*) for instant-on, always-available, never inconvenient . While these are all great things to strive for, the level of support (and abuse) it requires on the backend to fulfill these desires on the front is non-trivial.

        Whereas in the past you’d see men physically burn out from physical labor, there are a lot of technology jobs that churn through employees because they quickly become mentally/emotionally burned out due to the grinding demands of ‘instant convenience’.

        • 0 avatar
          redav

          My complaint is that the level of reliability already exists on other products, but not in cars. For example, the Windows Media Player in MS Vista from 10 yr ago has worked flawlessly for music playback (never freezing/crashing/restarting, proper random playback, proper display of tack info, etc.) but a 2014 car has trouble doing the exact same things with the exact same files read from the exact same USB.

          All my non-smart car entertainment systems have been instant-on, never-fail. It’s the addition of functions & features that I don’t want that have caused the product to not work to my expectations. Given the choice between those new features/abilities and rock-solid reliability, I will take reliability every time.

    • 0 avatar

      They’re mad they couldn’t get that BEEMER, BENZ or BENTLEY cause their credit scores are screwed, their 401K’s lost tremendous amounts of cash and their children’s college bills are draining the life out of them.

      • 0 avatar
        NMGOM

        bigtruckseriesreview @ Youtube – – –

        I think you meant “Bimmer”.
        Nonetheless, getting one of those (or two, in my case), was NOT necessarily a good move.

        ================

    • 0 avatar
      DAC17

      I agree totally with your “first world problem” comment. We seem to have a lot of these lately.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    So really, FCA, dragged down the US average with Ford leading the way and GM behind – nothing much has changed it seems.

    Euro “quality” remains legendary, Japan and Korea rule.

  • avatar
    Joss

    I’d say the new Maxima’s a prime example. An improperly installed O ring on the fuel line. No leaks or fires reported but buyers faced a stop sell and lack of clarity from Nissan.

  • avatar
    brn

    Blah blah blah.

    Another crazy index that doesn’t mean squat, but gets you published.

  • avatar
    wmba

    ““While it is true that all cars are now much better than they were 10 to 20 years ago, it is alarming that so many of them have quality problems,” Claes Fornell, ACSI Chairman and founder, said in a statement. “The number of recalls is at an all-time high. This should not happen with modern manufacturing technology and has negative consequences for driver safety, costs and customer satisfaction.”

    I’d like to know on what basis cars are better than they were 10 years ago, because I believe it’s just claptrap and repeating of self-generated PR hollow musings. Twenty years ago, sure. The man contradicts his first statement with the second – typical of the empty minds occupying such positions. And his organization says things are as bad as 2004 when quality Cobalts stalked the landscape but things are better now. Huh?

    My man the Chrysler warranty slave for 30 years says things are no better now, actually a bit worse. And fiascos like the ZF 9 speed are more common too. Then you get German brainpower at VW still installing defective Takata airbags in 2015 models and getting investigated by NHTSA:

    http://www.edmunds.com/car-news/feds-investigate-takata-airbag-rupture-in-2015-volkswagen-tiguan.html

    I swear these industry associations are designed to be run by airheads specializing in uttering meaningless platitudes, because they cannot remember what they said 30 seconds before. And nobody gives a sh*t what they say anyway.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    This story is about buyers’ responses to new cars purchased but the photo shows junky used cars. Why? Were the balloons and the idiot vibe too good to pass up?

  • avatar
    ajla

    The HVAC system in my Charger stopped working today.

    • 0 avatar
      Steve Biro

      See, this is the kind of thing that would make me just trade in a car. There’s no excuse for that kind of failure. Climate control is something that was solved decades ago. If the HVAC system failed, I’ve have to wonder about the brakes and steering while driving at 80 or 90mph.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      Your Charger is one of the top 3 lemons on this site. First being Dave’s Verano, and Omer333’s Dart is in there too.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        I’d be very interested in having some sort of open forum discussion to get a census from the B&B as to what late model cars they drive and what (if anything) has gone wrong.

        Here’s my contribution: 2012 Civic LX Sedan (manual), 43k miles. The “folder Up” button on the head unit sticks sometimes, and in certain weather my drivers side window weather stripping makes a squeaking sound on the glass as it goes up past the immobilizer sticker. Oh and the clutch makes a slight clunk sometimes when re-engaged when driving in the city, something to do with electronic throttle hang(?), if I re-engage slower it never happens. That’s all there’s been, changed tires at 35k miles, cabin air filter and engine air filter at 30k, and just oil changes and tire rotations.

        • 0 avatar
          NMGOM

          gtemnykh – – –

          Sorry. My latest model is the 2010 Frontier, and absolutely nothing has gone wring with it.

          You may want to refine your request by defining what you consider to be a “late model”.

          ==============

  • avatar
    dolorean

    My very first response to the hook “and they hate them” was to gaze upon the Happy Face Car Sales picture. I can’t help but notice that nearly every car in the frame minus the Mini is a base model of the sort that people buy because they either don’t know any better or just dont give a $hit. I’d hate my new car too if I was to buy the beater. That red Mazda 3 is a fantastic little car in GT trim for example. I’ve met many people who still go car shopping and come away with the the rental stripper and who tell you about how much they hate the car but man, did they make a great deal off that salesman!

    • 0 avatar
      ItsMeMartin

      If they hate the car they just bought, I’d say their problem was not choosing the wrong trim level but rather choosing the wrong car to begin with. Choosing 18″ rims instead of 16″ steelies with hubcaps won’t make them love it, and neither will buying the quad-zone AC instead of the single-zone one. It’s been said around here time and time again: for most people a car is an appliance. All those gimmicks that would supposedly make them satisfied with the purchase no longer matter soon after leaving the showroom. As long as the car drives and gets acceptable MPGs, they’re satisfied. They treat cars like we treat kitchen appliances.
      Imagine a microwave oven with mother of pearl knobs. Sure, if you saw it in a showroom you would be like “wow much luxury” but if you bought it, you wouldn’t give it a second thought after a little while. It would become irrelevant to you as long as the oven itself continued to function. Same goes for TVs. Look at the manual and see how many modes or functions it has. Now tell me: how many of them have you used? Not many I’d wager. That’s how the general public sees cars. As long as they’ve got enough power, as long as they get decent MPGs, as long as they’re fashionable enough, they are satisfied.

      I won’t even try to think why the people you mention could hate their new cars. But consider this: if a person is so clueless that he buys a car he immediately regrets buying, chances are if he spent more money, he would buy a car just as badly suited to his preferences anyway. For such a person, he’s better off getting a good deal on a base model and not being fully satisfied with the purchase than splashing out on a fully-loaded snobmobile with the faint promise that those gimmicks will somehow make basically the same car significantly better.
      That’s where we differ: you think that getting a more expensive model or ticking more option boxes can somehow improve a car in a significant way. I think they don’t. I think most of those options are just a cynical way in which manufacturers prey on the status-chasing nature of the consumer. There is, in my opinion, one exception to this: the engine. That is the one element which can really make or break a car, even to the average, indifferent buyer.

      I think you’re also wrong in deriding base models. What makes you think that they are somehow only for people who “don’t know any better”? Why would you call them beaters? Go look at the equipment list and power ratings of a random mainstream, mid-market vehicle (and please don’t bring up the Versa or Sandero as these are explicitly budget-minded vehicles and even their top trims are spartan, as they were expected to be) and tell me, why would you think so? In my opinion, the only thing they lack is snob appeal, given that their equipment and power levels often trump those of luxury cars of recent times.

      • 0 avatar
        dolorean

        “If they hate the car they just bought, I’d say their problem was not choosing the wrong trim level but rather choosing the wrong car to begin with. Choosing 18″ rims instead of 16″ steelies with hubcaps won’t make them love it, and neither will buying the quad-zone AC instead of the single-zone one.”

        Here’s where I agree and disagree with you. Personal example for myself, I bought an ’08 Saturn Astra XR 5 dr 5 spd which I loved, however. I loved the big sunroof, it was a hoot to drive at its 132 HP limit and had many options for such a small car that you just didn’t find. The HOWEVER is the wish that I had gone up a trim level for a stereo that had a USB port instead of just a CD player, heated seats for the bone-chilling winter mornings of Iowa, and as much as I loved the 5 spd manual, that final gear just left you begging for a sixth gear.

        IAW I should’ve bought the trim level that fit the bill of the optons that I wanted, not what was available at the time at the lot. I think that many people are not happy with their cars because they didn’t know what they wanted in the first place, ended up with the loss leader or the beater farm that the salesguy was itching to off load and regretted the decision. That Dodge Calibre is a pretty terrible car to be sure, but at least it’s tolerable at it’s SXT trim, but completely atrocious at base trim. My sister owns one in fact and she HATES it and has told me more than once she wishes she took more time to shop around.

        I disagree with your thought that the only thing beaters lack is snob appeal. Typically the higher a trim level, the higher the resale value. The higher trim levels are generally taken better care of by the owner who took the time to shop for what they wanted.

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    Kind of silly.
    OK, so cars ARE better by far than they were.
    What is the big deal and all the complaining then?
    Mostly the recalls now are forced when the old days saw them go unannounced. Everybody had cars with things falling off but couldn’t do anything about it. Nothing even fit together!
    Today you car will die to save you and come equipped with many computers, luxuries once only the rich experienced, un-imagined electronics and media and and even environmentally clean.
    And still the people bitch.

  • avatar
    canddmeyer

    Too many doo-dads that don’t work are constantly lighting up the dash. Remember the good ole days when all this crap wasn’t integrated, but it worked? Nowadays one needs a software update to get too many things to do what they should have done before the buyer became a beta tester, and even after an update something else manages to fail some of the time.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      I will gladly forgo features and ‘luxury’ for reliability.

      I know I’m not representative, which means no automaker will cater to my wants, but I would much rather spend my ‘upgrade money’ for superior mechanicals and materials that will cause the car to last without worry for decades. I want extra-durable paint & finishes. Interior materials that won’t crack or wear (I don’t care if they are soft if I don’t touch them every day). Chains instead of belts, LED lights that never need replacing. That sort of thing.

      • 0 avatar
        ahintofpepperjack

        The economy cars made today are exactly what you say you want.

        The Mitsubishi Mirage has a 10 year old engine without direct injection with a timing chain and is as reliable as they come. It has a hard plastic interior that doesn’t wear. It has a manual transmission and gets 50MPG.

        There are several cars like this. The Honda Civic. The VW jetta with the 2.0L. The Non-ecoboost Fiesta. Etc.

        • 0 avatar
          redav

          No, not old products, not anti-tech products. There’s no reason to assume that because it’s old it will have durability or work well.

          Also, I said I’m spending ‘upgrade money,’ money to make the car better. Cheap cars are cheap because they cut corners. Yes, some of those corners are for materials that never needed to be upgraded, but most of the it is actual compromises to the quality of the car.

          I want good, not cheap.

  • avatar
    Menar Fromarz

    There is one thing I wish vehicles did not have, the check engine light….frickin hell…if I had a dime for all the time I’ve had I glowing for some marginal asinine reason, I could pay to have it fixed to make th light go out….only to have it come on a week later….

  • avatar
    beastpilot

    “This should not happen with modern manufacturing technology and has negative consequences for driver safety, costs and customer satisfaction.”

    I was under the impression most recalls were design issues, not manufacturing issues. It would be interesting to see the statistics on failures caused by something not being made as designed in manufacturing recalls (Z06 oil)vs design issues (floor mats, airbags, key switches)

  • avatar
    NMGOM

    I am not at all surprised by this analysis.

    When I looked to trade in my old 1996 Dodge Ram 1500 for a new one, I took one ride, and walked away:
    High price. Huge Size. Electronic do-dads all over the place. No manual transmission.

    So, I put ~$7K into that old Dodge, and am happy as a clam. Even though it has 180K miles on it, it now has no rust in/on body panels, and had the frame cleaned and reinforced. Since I had been using “Mobil 1” since Day 1, the engine, tans, and diff are nearly factory new. Yeah, it threw a “Check Engine” code last year: turned out to be an O2 sensor that I should have replaced 50K miles ago anyway. Bingo: it’s done and all set for another 100K miles and 10 years.

    I will do the same with keeping the 2010 Nissan Frontier, which was a model essentially unchanged since 2005. Ditto for my 2007 Jeep Wrangler: a real keeper: easy to fix and great after-market support.

    So, I am dropping out of the new vehicle game. No more. Frankly, new vehicles and their ridiculous prices scare me to death, — and now irritate me by forcing me to pay for electro-junk I don’t need or want.

    Hey, Detroit! Are you reading this? Is anyone in those ivory halls with a large salary listening? All you gotta do is make a simple BUT GOOD QUALITY vehicle in each segment, and people will be happy again.

    =======================

    • 0 avatar
      beastpilot

      I just looked- a 2015 Dodge Ram 1500 4×4 is $33,470 MSRP at a local dealer.

      In 1996 dollars, that’s $21,000 in 1996. I looked it up and the MSRP in 2006 was $18,500. So it’s gone up 13%. The new truck gets about 25% better fuel economy.

      Are you seriously arguing that a 2010 Frontier was reasonably priced but a 2015 one isn’t?

      • 0 avatar
        NMGOM

        beastpilot – –

        Doesn’t quite work that way.

        My ’96 Dodge Ram is a Club Cab Laramie SLT with 6.5-foot box, premium cloth interior, V-8 engine, and manual transmission: its price was $19.5K. (It gets 20 mpg in combined driving.)
        Now, try redoing your analysis to configure a 2015 Ram to meet those same features, and see what price you get.

        The 2010 Nissan Frontier is Long-Bed Crew Cab with V-6 engine and manual transmission: its price was $24K. (It gets 23 mpg in combined driving.)
        Again, try redoing your analysis to configure a 2015 Nissan Frontier to meet those same features, and see what price you get.

        ====================

        • 0 avatar
          beastpilot

          The MSRP on a 2015 Frontier with a V6, long bed, and manual tranny is $24,540.

          $24K in 2010 is $26,265 today.

          Doesn’t look like the new one is more than the old one.

          Love that your avatar is of a BMW Z4. That’s another car that has stayed the same price or gone down over the last decade (assuming you keep the same HP engine choice).

          • 0 avatar
            TW5

            Obviously, real dollar calculations are not sophisticated enough to capture changing trends and public sentiments regarding vehicle costs. If you have any doubts, examine the obscene financing arrangements in the current market. Why do they exist, if cars are appropriately priced?

            Incomes are stagnant. Taxes are rising. The consumer market is more competitive. Flattering real-dollar comparisons do not excuse the auto industry’s refusal to adjust. Cars are much too expensive, and that’s why consumers and manufacturers are leaning on the crutch of subprime auto lending to keep sales strong.

          • 0 avatar
            NMGOM

            beastpilot – – –

            You are not quoting an MSRP for the 4-foor, 5 passenger Crew Cab, with SE appointments. That vehicle is much more expensive now.

            Yes, the 4th vehicle I own, and rarely drive, except for car club tours, is the overpriced, underpowered BMW Z4. It is fun, but not my “thing” anymore.

            I also had another BMW, a plain vanilla 2006 325i, which was an expensive mistake, and which I sold. BMW = “Bring My Wallet”.

            ================

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Some are forced to buy brand new, but they’d rather have an ’80s mini-truck re-popped, even if paying today’s prices. But I highly doubt they’d go through with the purchase, while considering old crash standards and bare bones interiors. Mostly they like to hear themselves whine. What’s up, Vulpine? Get off your lawn??

  • avatar
    George B

    I believe that the survey is capturing dissatisfaction with time wasted on new car problems that shouldn’t have happened. Many people buy a new car to escape from problems that they had with their old car. The old car inconvenienced its owner one too many times and they dumped it. The new car may be objectively much better than the one they got rid of, but there’s going to be dissatisfaction any time the buyer has to waste time going back to the dealer for any reason no matter how minor. Maybe buyer satisfaction would go up if buyers could get software updates directly sans dealership.

  • avatar
    jthorner

    The study asserts that recalls are the main cause of dissatisfaction, but I question that. There are four increasingly common issues with the latest cars which put me off:

    1) Ever harder to use controls as the world follows BMW down iDrive lane.

    2) Ever worse visibility as a combination of massive pillars in which to stuff airbags and a designers-gone-wild ethos have resulted in new vehicles often having horrible outward visibility for the driver. The classic Volvo 240 was the peak of providing the driver with outstanding visibility. They even put slots through the headrests to improve visibility.

    3) Turning radius: Most new cars are a massive pain to park and maneuver as turning radii get worse and worse with each new generation.

    4) Running costs, especially for tires. Even lowly sedans are now equipped with performance tires which can set a person back $1,000 or more when a new set of four is required. Crazy.

    So yes, there are many things to dislike about modern vehicles, and if the average satisfaction only slipped four percentage points that doesn’t seem like much.

    • 0 avatar
      NMGOM

      jthorner – – –

      Amen! The ride characteristics of my (now sold) BMW 325i changed enormously when I got rid of the low-profile run-flat Bridgestone Turanza tires, and got high-sidewall Continentals. It actually rode like an automobile, not a skate board.

      ===========

  • avatar
    jthorner

    One more thing: Even more annoying than the problems with new cars are the idiotic headlines which now are normal. Roughly 80% of new cars buyers like their new vehicles. In other words, 4 out of 5 new car buyers are happy with their choice. But the headline says: “they can’t stand them”. The facts do not support the headline. Everyone in modern media seems to be following the Huffington Post off the edge of Mt. Exaggeration.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    While I may be completely off base, it’s my impression that car makers are making more models than they used to. Most have 3 to 6 different versions of 5 to 8 platforms. It seems like if you spread your lineup out so far, you lose the ability to make each one as solidly as you could with a small lineup.

    Example:
    (not counting cars with gas vs. hybrid drivetrains)
    1995 Toyota had 13 different models in the US.
    2015 They have 16

    1995 Ford had 15 different models in the US.
    2015 Ford has… 16

    Well, never mind then. I got nothing.

  • avatar
    LS1Fan

    Not surprised.

    The more electronic stuff automakers put into cars, the more and more people have to treat them like really big cell phones. Show of hands-who WANTS to visit their carrier store?

    That’s what I thought.

    Good luck with these nine speed transmissions, VVT systems, DI setups and whatnot. Go ask the BMW SMG owners how well advanced trans tech works after a decade.Say what one will about 2000-2010 cars, but only the high end cars had tech which could really hurt reliability long term. Today base cars have dual clutch transmissions and direct injection . One things sure; were in for some interesting times when it comes to long term reliability and user friendliness of modern cars.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      I agree, and I think this has been said before. Cars took a huge leap forward when electronic fuel injection and computer-controlled engine management systems became standardized in the early to mid-90’s. They carried on that way into the mid/late-2000’s, where the only real advancements were in safety.

      The iPhone made its splash in 2007 and within 3 years smartphones were everywhere and needed to be integrated. So you had car companies trying to be telecom/tech companies. They’re only now starting to work with Apple and Google to do the job correctly. What was Ford thinking, going with Microsoft?

      The rest of the problems seem to stem from the effort to maintain performance while meeting increasingly high CAFE goals. Well, direct injection provides more power, but we’ll worry about the carbon buildup problem later…

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    Did the OEM’s think the overtly complicated new cars would not cause more problems as they wore out? First they say that new cars are so well made that they will outlast the ones from 10 or 20 yrs ago. What they failed to mention is that it wold cost more to keep them on the road and repairs would get more expensive cause the corner guy could not take care of many of the modern day electronics and equipment and most likely you had to go to the much more expensive dealer to fix the problems.

    • 0 avatar
      ItsMeMartin

      They ain’t lying; they will outlast the ones from 10 or 20 years ago. They just omitted the caveat that it will cost several times more to have them do that.

      “Did the OEM think…” – they sure did, and they liked what they saw. It’s better for them to have their cars disintegrate, or at least have some expensive parts fail, just after the warranty period ends. They are making little money on the second owner, and even less on further ones.
      Couple that to the increasing obsession over one’s image, and the general acceptance of the idea of having something without owning it (a.k.a. leasing), and you’ve got half of the work of selling cars already done for you, because you WILL get customers. Your disposable model from 5 years ago made sure of that. The only thing left to do is stop your customers from defecting to other makes.

      All of that is why I am very disappointed with the car enthusiasts as a group (and the B&B is no exception). They treat every new invention in automotive tech as an improvement by default, without giving much thought to its long-term usefulness or reliability.
      I’d say sure, let them drive those disposable contraptions that they praise so much if they want. It might never happen to them that the complexity of their chariots will bite them in the ass, although I personally find it likely that many of them are one financial crisis away from having their expectations forcibly reduced. And even if that never happens, Aaron’s recent QOTD on what a person earning minimum wage should drive shows that the automotive prospects for anyone not affluent enough to buy a new car are very, very bleak.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Yea, the further out I look the less eager I am to get something new. My Civic is an 09, but it is still pretty old school. Flashable standalone ECU. Double DIN hole for the radio. No traction control. It does have EBD and ABS though, which have saved my bacon many times.

    With the sad state of OEM infotainment, coupled with the increasingly deepening marriage of car electronics, I’m turned off.

    The saddest part of the whole thing is the aftermarket has handled the smartphone integration thing phenomenally. No worrying about apps or w/e. They just turn their head unit into a “remote desktop” for your phone. So literally everything the phone can do, the car can do, because the HU is just an extension of the phone. Phones already have GPS so monitoring speed or w/e is no biggie. I just dont see the value in the OEM’s approach. An in dash with screen mirroring costs about $350.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    With a third operating used car dealership and an ear to the ground and through the grape vine the most 10 common complaints I hear almost daily are the following:

    1) Cost of newer cars, especially the latest replacements
    2) Complicated and annoying technologies such as touch screens, sync, Cue etc to name a few.
    3) Rotary or push button shift knobs- people keep reaching for these thinking they are fan speed or wiper speed adjustments
    4) Lack of interior color choices- a major sore point in today’s cost cutting world
    5) Fake cloth seat material- the abrasive sand paper feeling stuff that makes getting seat stains out nearly impossible on light gray and tan colors
    6) Gun slit windows and massive A-pillars- yes I’m looking at you LaCrosse, Taurus, Camaro,300, Mustang etc.
    7) Lack of choice when it comes to options- many single items like remote start or a seat or radio upgrade come bundled into 2-4K option packages full of crap that many don’t want or need.
    8) Considerably more complex computers, electronics and bus systems that make troubleshooting and diagnosing intermittent issues very very difficult if not impossible in many cases. If one little thing goes wrong chances are you will be stuck on the side of road and not to resolve it yourself
    9) Rock hard seats- I understand that everything has to have lateral support and major grip around corners if it’s going to get Car & Driver’s stamp of approval but come on. Some of these newer cars and Cuv’s seats are like sitting on park benches.
    10) Turning radius and tire sizes- yes folks we have approached a time when turning around in the middle of the street is impossible without several corrections going into reverse. The FWD layout of the vast majority of today’s cars, SUV’s and CUV’s coupled with massive over sized tires has seen to that. And speaking of those tires, costs have skyrocketed with many vehicles using 18, 19 and even 20″ rubber and some are even using 21 and 22″. These also can have the affect of increasing road noise, impact harshness and foul weather traction is very poor in many cases, especially in snow and ice forcing yet another cost on the consumer- snow tires!

    • 0 avatar
      NMGOM

      ponchoman49 – – –

      Wow. Excellent comment. Parallels my experience and observations exactly.
      Makes me long for the cushy days of a 1950’s Buick Roadmaster.

      ================

  • avatar

    As new vehicles become increasingly complex, there will be more rather than less of this. This is a two sided coin, as most are. Increasingly we see people looking for low mile older vehicles to escape the complexity of new ones. I’m still pained I can’t check my own oil with a dip stick. I’m still pained to have to drive around with a warning light on because of some small glitch that the dealer handles in a few seconds, yet charges me $95. just to “look at it.” Yea, I know, he has to hook me up to an expensive machine, which is what has fueled the growth of companies like CarMD.

    On the other hand, we see increased pre-owned value volatility for some vehicles that lack more current and desired technology. For a while it was NAV systems, which many now eschew because they have it on their phone. Back up cameras and lane change warning systems seem to have particular value to consumers. At some point, a vehicle without Flex Fuel capability may have reduced value on the pre-owned market.

    Lots to consider going forward.

  • avatar
    JD-Shifty

    New cars are for schmucks. 393,000 on my S-10 and no complaints here.
    b-b-b-but it might break down….lol

    • 0 avatar
      NMGOM

      JD-Shifty – –

      Yup, and I done been “schmucked” too many times, — with cars, never with trucks.
      Congratulations on the good care you gave your S-10, and the success you are heaving with it.

      Had a ’74 Dodge D100 Club Cab, with a similar (but not as high a milage) success story.

      ===========================

  • avatar
    unimoged

    Actually it is not hate that drives this equation. It is clarity of vision that millennials exhibit at a higher level when compared to the generations they are preceding.

    Why would anyone want to own a car outright. Does anyone own a private electric power generation station, or a water treatment plant or cellphone anymore?

    Car ownership is heading for a major demise since people need transportation that varies by location, day of the week, time of the day, season, life style, health condition, age and family size.

    OEMs are way behind on finding a solution to this catastrophic change that is coming.

    Instead, OEMs continue to mass produce cars blindly in highly automated factories, with an approach of “build it and they will buy” and since not all these cars can be sold, the OEMs tack on these major incentives that range between 2000 and 10000 dollars so the iron can be moved off the dealers lots, to make space for more cars.

    Even worse, OEM finance companies have lowered their standard for loans and they are no different now then the Buy Here Pay Here sleaze used car lots that put people in debt at 28% interest.

    This model is broken and it is no more than a house of cards supported with rear view style sales methods.

    The millennials have wised up to this game. I am sure they will drive the change necessary to move away from owning a car to subscribing for various forms of transportation needs.

    Wouldn’t that be great. No more car salesmen on TV at all hours of the day hogging the broadcasts with car ads for vehicles that we can do without.

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