By on January 23, 2018

Image: Warner Bros. Pictures

Early on in the film Gran Torino, which I’ll admit is a guilty pleasure of mine, we see the curmudgeonly Walt Kowalski watch grimly as his no-good, ungrateful son drives his family away from his decaying Detroit home in a brand new Toyota Land Cruiser.

It’s 2008, and the financial crisis is threatening the very existence of the American auto industry. Meanwhile, we see in Walt’s driveway the evidence of a lifelong allegiance to the Ford Motor Company —  a 1972 Ford F-100 bearing all the scars of three-plus decades of hard use, and his spotless, cherished ’72 Gran Torino.

“Would it kill you to buy American?” Walt mutters as the pristine Toyota drives off, wishing, no doubt, that he could turn his M1 Garand on the four-wheeled interloper.

Chances are you know someone just like Walt. Or close to it. Maybe it’s a friend, an in-law, your own father or mother, sister or brother, or maybe … it’s you.

These people live one-brand lives. For whatever the reason, be it patriotism, employment history, or the good luck of once owning a reliable model they never turned away from, these people view the purchase of a vehicle built by a rival automaker with the same guilt and shame as a devoted man cheating on his spouse.

Instead of Barbara from accounting at the No-Tell Motel on Route 61, it’s the alluring Ram Rebel offered at a cut-rate price at Bob Hinton’s Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram on Evergreen Avenue.

While I can’t claim to be a one-automaker man, I can attest to owning four GM sedans at one time or another. Loyalty? Uh, more like (rock-bottom) prices and ample front legroom. Sorry, Ford and Chrysler, but your seats don’t have nearly as much rearward travel. Growing up, it seemed every friend, and certainly every parent of every friend, settled for GM before any other car maker. How else could I have known, in high school, a friend with a Chevrolet Lumina, Chevrolet Lumina Euro, and Chevrolet Lumina APV? Not to mention the guys with the Chevrolet Celebrity and Chevrolet Celebrity Eurosport. (I’ll let the other divisions go unmentioned in the interest of brevity.)

At the time, of course, I could be found driving one of my parent’s two Chevrolet Corsicas, one of which I spent a grand on to call my own. GM sedans outnumbered shrubs at the time, so clearly there were more than a few General die-hards kicking around. Still, a good friend’s mother owned Toyotas and nothing else.

What say you, Best and Brightest? Is there one dealer you’ll always visit first come trade-in time? Have you sworn a silent oath to keep a certain HQ in Detroit, Japan, Germany, or South Korea in business until the day you shuffle off? If not, does this fit the description of someone you know?

Let us know in the comments.

[Image: Warner Bros. Pictures]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

114 Comments on “QOTD: Is One Automaker Enough in Your Life?...”


  • avatar
    Sub-600

    I’ve always been a Chrysler guy but I’ve gone off the reservation if they haven’t offered something I liked, and I’ve purchased about two dozen cars in the last 39 years. The folks I know who are 100% brand loyal have either worked for a manufacturer or had a close relative who did. GM and Chrysler deserted this area years ago but some folks still seem obligated to buy their cars, but I’ve noticed a few cracks here and there. Trucks are a bit different, guys I grew up with will NEVER abandon their F-150s, Silverados, or Rams, those badges became a part of them over the years.

  • avatar
    gtem

    My in-laws were a classic case of GM driving Midwesterners with a whole string of GMs (Calais, Astro, Jimmy, Montana) but dipped their toe in foreign waters with a stick shift Mazda 626 in the early 90s. After the Montana ended up being a total sh*tshow of constant electrical problems and fuel pump issues that left them stranded several times, a Highlander Limited graced their driveway. 170k and 9 years of almost fault-less trouble free service later, they were hooked. A Prius in ’09 found its place in the garage, also 90k with nothing but basic maintenance, then a ’12 Camry SE for my now-wife upon her graduation, a Camry XLE Hybrid replaced the Prius and was subsequently passed on to my sister in law when she gradauted, a Rav4 Limited replaced the Highlander (this one they really don’t care for and kind of regret), and most recently a Lexus ES300h. They’re hooked on the ‘yotas, and have had good luck so far, aside from some qualms of the rough ride on the Rav4. Having a ton of Toyota’s products made right on our doorstep makes it an easier pill to swallow as far as any objections to “buying foreign” one may have. Camries are damn near 80% domestic content last I checked, assembled in Lexington KY. Highlanders and Siennas in Princeton Indiana. Driving around anywhere in Southern Indiana or Kentucky you can’t drive 30 minutes without running into a Toyota supplier making headlights or bearings or whatever else. For our future family car, a Sienna or Highlander (or Subaru ascent, made in Lafayette Indiana) are top of the list.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Yup. I’m going to be checking final assembly and parts content stickers on my next automotive shopping trip.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      My own family’s ownership history in the US has been heavily Honda since we immigrated in ’92: rusty ’82 Civic Wagon 5spd bought for $750, slightly less rusty ’85 Civic Sedan 5spd, ’90 Civic Wagon (fwd, auto) bought in ’95 as a newish used car with 60k miles, then we dabbled in MPVs: ’89 MPV bought in ’96ish that my brother still owns with 245k miles, ’98 MPV Allsport 4WD bought in ’01 that my folks just sold last fall. ’07 Base 5spd Fit was our first car bought new to replace the ’90 Wagon in 2006. Finally my folks bought a lightly used ’09 RX350 back in 2012 ish. My brother and I just in the last two years have finally dipped our feet into domestic ownership, me with a ’97 Ranger to use for projects, him with a ’96 Mystique GS (very well maintained one owner car, 5spd Zetec that fell into his lap for $500). Japanese cars just had a comfort level for us, they always felt familiar both mechanically/wrenching-wise, and interior layouts/ergos. But the initial taste of ’90s era Fords has been mostly positive, I’ve had domestic rentals and they’re largely perfectly competent and decent cars. In general I get the sense that the difference in those ergonomic/engineering things has been narrowed substantially, there is a lot of homogenization in the industry. Domestics I feel are better built in terms of little things like switch gear than they used to be, and the Japanese are missing that extra something that made the 90s ones feel special and extra-well built.

  • avatar
    Dilrod

    I’ve owned too many brands over the years to have demonstrated any consistent loyalty, but I sure saw this a lot as a kid. Like farmers who were either all green or all red.

    I think it’s like sports team loyalty. The 2018 Patriots aren’t the same guys you watched in 1978, just as a 2018 Ford has nothing in common with a 1978 Ford. A brand legacy isn’t tangible, but I guess it’s fun for some.

    • 0 avatar
      deanst

      The sports analagy is so true. Go to a fan site like allpar and it’s really ridiculous how people think FCA is so great, if only they add 12 models to Chrysler, let dodge be dodge, and bring back Plymouth from the dead. And the 200 was so good it can’t be compared to mainstream brands, but perhaps Lexus ES. (The original review of that car was the greatest unintentional parady I’ve ever read).

      I’ll buy whatever suits my needs best, but do admit to a soft spot for VW – others can debate reliability claims, but I feel nothing comes closer to the ideal car than a gti.

  • avatar
    CaddyDaddy

    One brand for me is easy, we have exclusively run Packards. :)

  • avatar

    I don’t have an unfailing devotion to a single brand, I do however tend to favor one brand over others for maybe a decade then my preference may change to another. I exhibit loyalty, just not a lifetime loyalty.

    At one time I had all Fords. Another all GM. Now I have all Nissan. I see in the not too distant future a shift to Tesla. If the M3 works out well then my wife’s car will be a Tesla also, if the experience isn’t good then I’ll search out another brand or maybe stick with Nissan. Time will tell.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    Mentally going through my 50 year ownership history…

    mostly GMs but also
    MG
    Datsun
    Toyota
    Mazda
    Honda
    Isuzu (GM affiliate at the time)
    Jeep

  • avatar
    tylanner

    I’m doing just fine with my Pontiacs.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    I grew up in a Ford family, which was kind of weird since my folks emigrated here from Germany (my dad had 2 and 4 wheeled BMWs in the old country) and we lived not too far away from the GM Lordstown assembly plant.

    I loved Fords until I didn’t, mostly after a string of new and used ones that let me down completely. I had a couple of Chrysler products which were a mixed bag, but I liked them enough to consider one again. My wife’s family was a GM family, which is where I really got my exposure to various GM makes. In addition, I had friends and relatives who either worked for GM or their suppliers. I also worked for a Tier 1 supplier, too. My last new GM was a Pontiac, which I still have and still like driving.

    However, with the loss of some of the divisions, I’m not so sure I will stay “in the family”. Actually, I must be approaching the “curmudgeon” stage of my life as very little from any manufacturer appeals to me right now.

    Well, the Challenger Hellcat REALLY appeals to me, but not really a practical car as I approach my dotage… Bummer.

  • avatar
    sgtjmack

    It is an internal emotion that goes back to the beginning of human life called tribalism. This is also evident in sports team affiliation.

    Although there are some that can wander across the street and do what ever to or with whom ever they please and still return to the cave without an ounce of guilt, and live their lives just the same. I believe those people are more advanced in evolution.

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    I grew up in a GM family, but when the old man’s Olds 98 diesel died an early death, he went all-in on the Nissan route. We had an 1984 Nissan pickup but a 1987 Stanza was added for his highway driving.

    I drove both of those cars in college and – first job – I bought a 1994 Hardbody for myself. And then a 1997 Altima for my wife after two troublesome 80s Accords.

    Now – I hate to say it – we’re a MINI family. I have three of them in the driveway. And yes they all run and haven’t driven me to bankruptcy. ;)

    Though for my next car I want something larger and more muscle car than spritely handling. Looking at a stick shift Challenger R/T, or maybe *kaff* a used (!) Jaguar.

    • 0 avatar
      PenguinBoy

      “Now – I hate to say it – we’re a MINI family. I have three of them in the driveway. And yes they all run and haven’t driven me to bankruptcy. ;)

      Though for my next car I want something larger and more muscle car than spritely handling. Looking at a stick shift Challenger R/T, or maybe *kaff* a used (!) Jaguar.”

      You have good taste in cars;)

  • avatar
    brettc

    I’ve owned VWs exclusively since 1998 (except for 2001-2003 when we owned a problematic Hyundai Accent).

    After the TDI scandal and them not making anything I really want, I’ll be moving away from VW to domestic brands.

  • avatar
    Steve Biro

    From my first car in 1974 until 2001, I owned all Fords. And every one worked out well for me. Circumstances allowed me to buy a Subaru Impreza in 2001, which was a lot of fun. Two years later, circumstances dictated that I needed a truck. So I returned to Ford – in a Ranger – for seven years. In 2010, I was back to Subarus (a WRX) and a Forester in 2016.

    Now, here’s the thing: Psychologically, I was never consciously wedded to Ford. I got to drive many other brands over the years and my wife never had a Ford. But I did try to buy American if I could and the Fords never gave me any real trouble. Plus, Ford was making vehicles that interested me.

    And that’s why I switched to Subarus in more recent years: Ford stopped making cars that really interested me. In fact, I think it’s safe to say that, generally, most new cars don’t hold my interest these days. America’s long-standing love of boring, four-door sedans and now trucks and SUVs has always been out of synch with my own interests. It’s just that now, automakers no longer want to build anything they can’t sell a zillion copies of. So that cuts people like me out of the customer base.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Right now the Ranger seems to be the only interesting model Ford makes. The rest are just plain ugly.

    • 0 avatar
      bunkie

      There is just something about Subarus that I just can’t get past. I can’t explain it and I certainly understand the brand loyalty although, in the case of a friend of mine who remains so despite having to have the engine block on his latest Forrester replaced (the engine block!?!), said loyalty stretches beyond reasonable boundaries.

      I’ve owned many brands (outliers: AMC and Triumph) over the decades but will tend to make make repeat purchases when I’ve had good experiences. What usually drive the switch is either a lifestyle change or the end of a particular beloved offering from a given manufacturer.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    I have owned German, domestic, & Japanese. It was never intentional to become a one brand household it just sort of happened. Shockingly, the most problematic vehicles I have ever owned for DD were Isuzu, Subaru, & Nissan. I am probably one of the few who can lay claim to 7 problem free years in a Dodge and 9 months of torture with a Subaru. Go figure.

    Currently I own 4 GM: 57, 05 ,08, 14 3 Chevy & 1 Buick. I tried to be Lexus guy when I bought the Buick, test drove several GS 350/400 models. Found them each to be awful compared to the Buick; slower, louder, more costly to buy and operate.

    As for the other 3: 57 210 resto mod is just fun and IMHO the best looking car every made, next to the Jaguar XJ8 of Mid 00’s vintage. 05′ Vette, too much fun for too little $$. Nothing else came close to the fun factor for the dollar except a Miata which I did not want as v8 was mandatory. Finally the Suburban, nothing else comes close to the value for your dollar a pre-owned Suburban offers if you have a family, pull a trailer periodically, like to go to the mountains and drive on roads that can get really gnarly in the winter and sometimes 4×4 or snow chains are mandatory.

    It just kind of happened, so for now I am a pre-owned GM homer. I get a lot of car for not a lot of $$. I like that.

  • avatar
    a5ehren

    Brand loyalty in any arena is for chumps.

  • avatar
    Jhawk455

    We were dyed in the wool GM, Oldsmobile, Buick, GMC for me, Chevrolet for my husband. Husband’s father was a GM retiree. Until we went off the reservation with our first out of brand purchase, a 1992 Jeep Cherokee. 200,000 miles later we turned it into a rock crawler. But we needed a truck to haul it. Enter the big slap in the face, a 1999 Ford F350 Dually with a 7.3 diesel. Since then we’ve had more Jeeps, a Chevy half ton that squeaks like nobodies business, a Kia (because I needed an inexpensive dependable car) and finally a 125000 BMW 3 series that my husband absolutely loves because the engineering “just makes sense” to his German mind. The next major purchase will be a new F250 with the large gas engine and an XLT trim level. Why? Because GM doesn’t think you need that lower end trim level with windows, locks, tilt and cruise.

  • avatar
    burnbomber

    I grew up American in a Chrysler family, and my first was a hand me down Dodge Coronet. But lately, my money went to GM in a series of GSA auction buys for GM sedans, 4 in total. They were cheap, drove great because they were equipped heavy duty with HD brakes, cooling and suspension, and easy to maintain. This trend continued into the SUV revolution with the acquisition of the previous generation Chevy Equinox.

    You’d think it would continue, with the new Equinox and the new big GM SUV trio available here and now, but fate (and their crazy high pricing for puckered leather seat seams) intervened. Now, gracing our garage, with 300 miles on it, is a .. .. .. ..

    Honda !!!

    Every time I look out in the garage and see that Honda Pilot, I think I’m in the wrong house. But, it was cheaper (top end models), with more kit and much better interior fit and finish.

  • avatar
    jack4x

    Different automakers do different things well. And different products within an automaker are not always as well executed relative to competitors. To me, it’s foolish to overlook those opportunities to look outside your preferred brand and stick with just one.

    I’m much more sympathetic to the idea of avoiding a brand or two, because it’s easier to lose my trust forever with bad product, than it is to secure it forever with good product.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    As a young man, I so wanted to buy one of those brand-new. I even went so far as to put in an order for the Ranchero version… WITH the lazer stripe. Unfortunately, while I was able to put down the deposit on it, the monthly payments at the time were more than I could afford and I ended up not able to take delivery.

    Things have changed for me a lot since then. It didn’t take me long to realize that smaller is better. My ’02 Saturn Vue and ’08 Jeep JKU Wrangler have been the largest vehicles I’ve owned in the last 25 years… outside of a 3-year, 4,000-mile stint with a ’90 F-150.

  • avatar
    200k-min

    Interesting since my in-laws from Detroit (suburbia) were raving about their Subaru over Christmas and made a comment about how we’ll “probably buy domestic” for our next vehicle.

    Growing up my father always had company cars as he was in sales, which was a string of every GM sedan imaginable from my birth until the 1990’s. Mom drove a couple different makes – GM, VW, Chrysler…but I remember my Dad always saying our cars were crap and we needed a Ford. So, we’re a Ford family, but didn’t drive any??

    That changed when my Dad got a 1990 Taurus as his company car. Through the 90’s it was all Ford metal. Granted, they were all much more reliable than the former vehicles in the 70’s/80’s but I’m not sure how attributable that was to them being newer and better technology or what.

    Fast forward to today and my father is a Honda/Acura guy…and they are bland-mobiles for his retirement life. Meanwhile my garage has Ford’s in it – after I ditched Honda because they got too boring. Funny how things work out. Guess we are a Ford family…for now…

  • avatar
    Nedmundo

    In my adult life, I’ve bought from Pontiac, VW, Saab, Mazda, and Acura. This track record obviously doesn’t evince much loyalty, but if all else is equal, I prefer to go with Honda/Acura, and after eight trouble-free years with my TSX, this bias has only gotten stronger.

    My father has transformed from a Honda/Acura guy into a hardcore Ford “buy American” guy. After more than 20 years of Hondas and Acuras, he’s driven a succession of Fords, and he and my mom now have three: Thunderbird, Escape, and C-Max. His C-Max replaced a 2010 Fusion, which is now mine, and let’s just say it isn’t exactly pulling me away from Honda!

    My maternal grandfather transformed from a pure Lincoln guy into a Cadillac guy, in entertaining fashion. Some time around 1980, he was driving to a business meeting in his Lincoln, when a wiring problem set the trunk liner on fire, charring some of the paint around the trunk. He pulled into a Cadillac dealer, bought one on the spot, and simply continued to the meeting. He was all Cadillac for the rest of his life.

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    We have been mostly Mopar, but unless they bring out a decent mid sized sedan then I don’t have a problem looking at Mazda or Subaru. Or Korean for that matter.

    We have had a couple Chevy’s and a longhood 911 (insurance followed the pricing on that). Right now we are sitting with three Dodge powered and one Nissan.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    3 Ford (+1 Mercury)
    1 Fiat
    1 Chrysler (+2 Dodge, +1 Plymouth)
    1 Volkswagen
    1 Scion
    1 Nissan
    1 Honda
    1 Hyundai
    2 Kia

    Some have been great, some have been good enough, a few have been terrible. This may have as much to do with the former owners and the era in which they were built, as anything else.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    To answer the primary question of the article, I, too, used to be a GM person–more specifically Oldsmobile, though I’ve owned 2 Chevys, 1 Buick and 1 Saturn mixed in with those 3 Olds. First Ford I ever owned was a dog… had to swap engines at less than 90K miles because the previous owner had pulled the ‘guts’ out of the original hauling 5,000# travel trailers around with it (and the 302 Windsor only rated at 175 horses.) I think it was lucky to have 90 horses left, if that much, before the engine swap. Dropped in a 351W to replace it and that one shredded belts on a weekly basis.

    But no, no longer am I a GM person. They screwed the pooch with their policies leading up to their bankruptcy and their quality today is little, if any, better than their 80s models, which had their own problems. I’m not a fan of Fords either, and not just because of that one; people I know who have bought Fords brand new all have complaints about fit and reliability… except for their trucks. On the other hand, my experiences with Chrysler/FCA have all been good, with one (and only one) exception.

    So no, I can’t claim a lifetime devoted to one brand… any more. I can’t even claim a lifetime devoted to US cars. I buy what I think looks good and drives good while meeting my needs. My father used to say, “A car is nothing but transportation,” but I’ve learned it’s far more than that when you truly like what you drive.

  • avatar
    ajla

    My loyalty is to engine configurations, not to brands.

  • avatar
    izido

    Nah. I+m strictly numbers guy, when it comes to cars. Whatever gives me best bang for my buck at the moment I’ll go with it. Just not Renault. Or any French car for that matter. Anything else is fair game…

  • avatar
    izido

    Nah. I’m strictly numbers guy, when it comes to cars. Whatever gives me best bang for my buck at the moment I’ll go with it. Just not Renault. Or any French car for that matter. Anything else is fair game…

  • avatar
    NN

    The answer is no, one is not enough. However, when I look back with rose-tinted glasses on my childhood, we always had a Chevy in the household. A brown diesel Caprice wagon, a light blue Astro van with rally wheels, a two-tone (green and tan) S10 Blazer that was sharp looking and that I drove cross country & into Mexico when I was in college. Then a Tahoe that my younger brother still drives with 200k+ miles on it. My Dad also grew a love for Honda/Acura cars that continues to this day, but those Chevy family vehicles were constant, almost a reflection on an American family upbringing.

    It continued with me for awhile…I had a 2 door Blazer Zr2 stick that was fun, then bought a new Malibu in 2010. Then I had multiple kids and sought out a minivan, which Chevy has abandoned. We now have a Nissan Quest and a Ford Transit Connect and really like both.

    What’s more, with Chevy outsourcing crew cab Silverado production to Mexico, and Suburban’s/Tahoes commanding insane prices, I just don’t see a Chevy in my future right now. I wish they’d bring back a RWD Astro man-van!

  • avatar
    Polishdon

    Let’s see:

    Dodge: 5
    Mercury: 2
    Ford: 3
    Oldsmobile: 2
    Eagle: 2
    Lincoln: 1
    Chevrolet: 2
    Chrysler: 4
    Jeep: 2 (soon to be 3)
    Plymouth: 1
    GMC: 1

    I’ve covered most of the American makes. The one I am the most loyal to is Mopar. As I’ve said before, they have been very dependable. Fords have been the worst in dependability.

    That said, my current leased 2016 Jeep Patriot ALMOST made me switch to GM or Ford. It’s not a bad car, but a WRONG car for me. It is too small and not very comfortable to ride in. And worst part, I knew it when I test drove it. But I got talked into it. Thankfully, it’s going to be turned in soon. Replaced by another Jeep.

  • avatar

    It would seem like brand loyalty today is (mostly) a result of a steep employee discount, or that of a family member or relative.

    Even when I find a car I really like, the manufacturer cancels / has cancelled it or moves on to something less compelling.

    I can’t imagine sticking with one brand my whole life. That seems really very boring.

  • avatar
    gearhead77

    No, variety is the spice of life, but I have my preferred brands. For domestic it’s Ford and for “foreign” it’s Honda. I’m still in the honeymoon phase with my new Golf, but is has rekindled my love of VW. My 04 Jetta GLS 1.8 wagon that I bought used was pretty trouble-free for three years I had it. If VW made a legit “mini”van for the US market, I’d be there for the next family hauler (I don’t want an Atlas)

    Having owned a Sienna back to back with an Odyssey, both designed to be contemporaries (14 Odyssey and 17 Sienna) I can safely say I prefer Honda’s way of building a people mover to Toyota’s. I prefer Honda’s in general to Toyotas and it might be because we had at least six Honda/Acura products in my family, with only a handful of Toyota/Lexus. Same with Ford v GM, we’ve had more Fords as a family than GM products. My 16 Cruze didn’t change my opinion either.

    We’ve never owned any Chrysler’s as a family, though my old school car guy uncle, an avowed GM fan through most of his 42 cars, is now on his third Challenger ( V6, V8, 392). I had an 04 Mitsu Lancer Sportback, my sister had an 06 Eclipse GT in that garish orange.

    Buying from the same family is one thing. But buying the same car again to me would be torture! I enjoy my Golf and I want(ed) a GTI, but I don’t know if I could do it again.

    It’s the same reason that even if I wanted to, I wouldn’t buy vacation property or do that Disney vacation club thing. There’s so much to see and do, why tie yourself to one place?

  • avatar
    Detroit-Iron

    My dad ran three Oldsmobiles because of something his father said, but they got progressively worse over the years. After he got a manual transmission Acura/Honda as a rental overseas he changed his tune.

    I don’t think it’s cynical to say that I could not possibly care less about the executives of any given auto company. My Scoobie’s final assembly in Indiana fed more Americans than most Chryslers

  • avatar
    ernest

    I think it’s easier to say what brands I HAVEN’T owned over the past 45 years. Nothing British, no Porsche, nothing French, two Fiats (both met an untimely end), two Volvos. Toyota and Honda were the only Asian brands in the garage. Looking back, I can see a few common threads. The best vehicles we’ve owned had a Blue Oval on them, of the four “lemons,” three were GM products, one was a Fiat.

  • avatar
    Wunsch

    I have a friend who grew up in a GM-driving family, and that’s all he’s ever driven too. Interestingly, when he talked about shopping for a new vehicle, he’s moderately open to considering other brands from Japan or Korea, but flat out refuses to consider competing Detroit brands. A Kia might be okay if it’s a good deal, but he wouldn’t be caught dead in a Ford or Dodge.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    My dad is GM loyal to his core – though I haven’t been able to figure out why. Each one seems subtly cheaper than the last as far as quality is concerned.

    I’ve had Chevys, Oldsmobiles, Pontiacs, GMC, Ford, and Toyota.

    Honestly my Fords have been my favorite but my next vehicle I’ll have as many dealers as possible bidding against each other for my business.

  • avatar
    zoomzoomfan

    I bought a 2008 Mazda3 S Touring hatchback in August 2009. It served me well for six years and 63,000 miles. I traded it for a 2016 Mazda6 i Touring in October 2015. So far, the 6 has served me very well also. My wife owns a 2013 Mazda CX-5 that we bought new in December 2012. It has given us five years of trouble-free service as well. So, when it comes time to replace the CX-5, we see no reason to stray from what has treated us well. In that case, a CX-9 is in our future.

    We are sticking with what works well until it no longer does.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    I suppose if I was going to be one-anything, it would be Bush-41-era Nissan (I’ve had six). On the other hand, I’ve also had a Chevy, GMC, Isuzu, Honda, two Hyundais, two Toyotas, and a smart.

  • avatar
    Griffin Mill

    My parents were GM loyalists, more specifically Buick. My father couldn’t be more proud of C body 1986 Buick Park Avenue. He got 220,000 miles out of it. Which was the ultimate expression of reliability to his engineer mind. It didn’t matter to him that the clear coat was peeling like a Florida tourist with a sunburn, the CV joints failed every 50,000 miles, or that the driver’s seat fell off one of the tracks which caused the seat cushion to lean towards the door. To the Buick’s credit. It always started in the morning, and got almost 30 miles per gallon on the highway, a big plus for his 50 mile each way daily commute.

    He gave his first Park Avenue to my brother to take to college (he wrecked it the first semester and bought a used Merkur XR4-ti which never ran right). My father father bought two more Buicks but they never matched his first for longevity. He stayed in the GM camp for one more vehicle after he retired, a Chevy Tahoe which was supremely reliable. He then went off the reservation with a series of Chryslers, Dodges and now drives a Honda Odyssey. Why an 81 year old man with no children in the house needs a minivan is still mind boggling.

    Personally, I owned 3 used Cadillacs in my 20’s and early 30’s. They caused me much anguish and financial hardship with their frequently expensive unreliability. I just loved the baroque styling and the serene quiet way they drifted down the interstate. After I shook my Cadillac addiction I owned a series of different makes, Oldsmobile Toyota, and two Fords. I must admit part of the reason I was drawn to purchase my current 2016 Ford Edge was because of how good an experience I had with my Ford Flex previously. That said, I am pretty brand agnostic. And have owned the following vehicles in chronological order throughout my life.

    1974 Chevrolet Caprice Classic
    1984 Buick Century
    1979 Chrysler Cordoba
    1984 Cadillac Seville
    1989 Cadillac Coupe DeVille
    1997 Cadillac DeVille
    1999 Oldsmobile Intrigue
    2007 Toyota Camry
    2009 Ford Flex
    2016 Ford Edge

  • avatar
    ernest

    I think it’s interesting to see how my kids buy cars. My son buys Ford pickups- period. Just got his third. His sister gets a work supplied truck, drives a lot of miles on logging and BLM roads, but prefers Dodge Rams. She’s on her third as well.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    I have been lucky to have company cars for most of my life so it was Honda accords and Ford taurus mostly, when I moved to a car allowance it was best bang for the buck sedans mostly, Infinity, 4 Saabs, 3 Volvos; a VW TDI wagon is the only one I bought new, We have a Honda Pilot for years no issues , I wanted to buy a Accord when I was looking about a year ago but they did not excite me at the time so it was another saab, growing up we were a Buick family.

  • avatar
    Blackcloud_9

    I’ve always had an affinity for Buicks – not that I’ve ever owned one…yet. I guess it goes back to the day my dad brought home his brand-new 1970 forest-green Le Sabre.That was his “finally made it” car. Meaning the family was finally doing ok enough that he could afford to buy a car of his choosing instead of some used “beauty” (58 Chevy station wagon – which rusted out from under him) or the last loss-leader at the end of a model year (66 Biscayne -did not even have a radio).
    As for myself, the only brand I bought twice in a row has been Chevy (2013 Volt – lease, 2015 Spark EV – lease). The rest have been a wide array of foreign and domestic.

  • avatar
    01 Deville

    8 years of car ownership history has

    92 Chevy Cavalier Coupe-2 years
    95 Cadillac Fleetwood-2 years
    01 Cadillac Deville-4years
    03 Town and Country-5 years and counting
    01 Volvo V70-2years
    00 BMW 740IL-6months
    00 Mercedes S500-2 years
    06 Cadillac Deville 3 monhths
    04 E320 wagon-3 months
    06 E350 Wagon-2 months
    00 Chevy Suburban-3 months
    04 E320 wagon (again)-6 months and counting
    07 Ford Expedition EL-1 year and counting

    All bought used. Really loved Cadillacs, but Volvo got me hooked on to European with its handling and steering feel. I am enamoured with MB as far as I can afford, but it doesn’t matter as I plan to buy used unless I make 250k/year.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    No brand loyalty for me. Since my 16th birthday I have owned (3) Nissans, (3) Mazdas, (2) Buicks, (2) Fords, (2) Volvos (1) Land Rover (1) Honda.

    Of the cars I have driven over the years, Honda is the only one who has probably driven me away for life. They others I just drop because I have fallen for another.

    The only brands I have sort of intentionally avoided for one reason or another were Chrysler, Hyundai/Kia and Toyota. I am coming around on those brands though, have looked at Lexus, Genesis, Jeep….I find the new V6 Camry rather enticing.

    So probably the only sure thing is that I wont have another Honda in my driveway ever again.

  • avatar
    IBx1

    I’m not sure I’ll ever own two cars from the same brand. I’ve had a Buick, a Honda, a Ford, and an Abarth in that order. My wife had a Toyota and I convinced her to get a Honda when it was totaled, but that second Honda is hers, not mine. Life is too short to put yourself in one corner and compromise to stick with one car brand; explore how other people build other cars.

  • avatar
    volvo

    My parents were 100% GM until VW came to the US.

    For me not many vehicles over the past 50 years since I tend to keep them till the wheels fall off

    In order starting late 60’s

    BMW 69
    MBZ 72
    Porsche 86
    Ford 89
    Ford 93
    Honda 07
    Toyota 09
    Toyota 95

    Bought the first Ford because I wanted a convertible and not many offered in 89. Turns out it had the lowest total cost of ownership during the 16 years/150K miles I owned it mainly because ford warranty replaced failing paint/AC/Transmission which occurred in first 50K miles at no cost to me.

    Looking back I have no “brand loyalty” but do seem to have followed perceived quality/reliability for each decade.

  • avatar
    YouFredo

    I never saw this coming, and had zero brand loyalty before, but as of now my last three cars have been Kias. I love them all, and (contrary to prevailing opinion) have had great dealership experiences.

  • avatar
    Boff

    My wife will only drive BMWs. We are on our 4th. At first she was enamoured of the drive and the badge, now she feels she has mastered the gadgetry and does not want to try anything different.

    I’ll drive anything with a stick shift.

  • avatar
    KevinB

    I came from a GM/Anti-Ford family. Once out of college I bought a Ford, much to my family’s chagrin. I have bounced around auto brands over the years as they rose and fell in quality. I have bought GM vehicles over the last 18 years mainly because I have a GM credit card which has saved me thousands.

    P.S. Walt’s son is a dick.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Walt Kowalski: I worked in Ford for 50 years and he sells Japanese cars.

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        Gran Torino is a fantastic movie btw. There were a few old guys in my old neighborhood (working classic Catholic neighborhood clinging on to civility surrounded by ghetto that was creeping in) that fit that archetype perfectly, including cruising around on weekends in old El Caminos and such, with rusty 90s pickups as daily drivers.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          Interestingly when my wife was teaching Confirmation classes the priest recommended that the kids (all 15 to 18) watch “Gran Torino”. He wanted them to pick up on the Christ like nature of Walt’s sacrifice.

          I would have never watched it otherwise.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            The end of that movie was a let-down for me, I’d rather see Walt pick those gangbangers off one at a time with his Garand while they hopelessly shot back with poor aim. Then it would have been a classic Clint Eastwood Western with a happy ending.

  • avatar
    OzCop

    Being an old guy, 75 in a couple of months, I could write a book on the cars I’ve owned, assuming I could remember all of them.

    In terms of one brand loyalty, I would have to admit Chrysler products were my go to cars, particularly in my younger years. I don’t know why other than my first car was my grandfather’s 49 Plymouth that got me through high school. My first adventure with anything Ford came in 1961, shortly after graduation from high school. A friend and I headed to California from Kentucky in a 57 Ford Fairlane, 2 door hardtop. Good looking car, with 312 “interceptor” engine. During that 2500 mile trip we had to stop every 200 miles or so and remove the valve covers and squirt oil on the rocker arms since there was an issue getting oil into the head. (Later found that was an issue with the Y block motors. The center cam bearing fed the rocker arms and it had a tendency to spin that bearing and block the oil galley hole.)

    After that, I was not too happy with Ford, so my next car was another Plymouth wagon. Wish I still had that one. Over the years, when I became able to buy new, my first new car was a 63 Plymouth Valiant, 2 dr. Signet hdtop, although I did own a 63 Savoy for a few months until I learned I could not afford to keep the 426 Max Wedge engine tuned and running. Fast, furious, but spark plugs, carb issues, and fuel consumption was a bear. Sold it and went 180 degrees the other way with the slant 6 Valiant.

    Another Plymouth Valiant followed that one after a Buick put the rear bumper into the back seat at a pedestrian crosswalk in Norwalk, CA. A 65 273 V8 with 4 speed.

    From there, through out the 60’s and 70’s it was all Mopar, everything from Barracuda to Swinger 340, to a 3 seat wagon. I bought one of the first Plymouth Mini Vans in 84 and took an 8000 mile round trip in it when it was only 2 weeks old. A V6 Voyage replaced that one in 87. I had gotten into SCCA Autocross in 85, and my first dedicated Autox car was an 86 GLH Turbo Dodge. Kept it 8 years.

    Into the 90s, still rocked Mopar stuff, with the exception of a used 86 Ford 3/4 ton pickup for a tow vehicle…bought it cheap. Good truck and renewed my interest in Ford and actually bought a new hi-top custom Ford 1500 van. Not a good move as it turned out, so sold it before it was a year old. They were hot items back then so no biggie…

    Moved to Texas after retiring from Lex, KY PD in 95, still in Mopar stuff, Wife had a 95 Grand Cherokee, and I had a 95 ACR Neon, street and Autocross car. Our first foray into foreign cars, with the exception of a Plymouth badged Mitsu Plymouth Arrow in 77 and a 84 Dodge badged D 50 PU, was a 98 Toyota Camry sedan for my wife. Turned out to be a good reliable car for her, but the most bland, boring car either of us had ever owned. She had leased it and could not wait for that 3 year lease to end.

    Next it was a 99 GMC Suburban SLT for me, my first foray into a new GM vehicle. Great truck, loved it! In Y2K when her lease was up, we purchased a 2000 Buick GN Sedan. Danged good car, but she hated it after a year or so. Her commute was 45 miles each way in heavy traffic, and it sucked fuel as badly as the V8 Grand Cherokee. Plus, to her it was a boring sedan.

    If you have read this far you have probably fallen asleep, so I will cut to the current fleet in my garage…My wife drives a 2013 Titanium Escape, I bought a 2017 Ford Focus ST for daily driving and Autocross car, and recently traded my Longhorn Ram in on the Ecoboost Ram. I also have an SRT 4 Dodge in the garage, former Autocross car, with only 70 K miles, and a Ford V10 Class C Mothorhome in storage. The cars and trucks between this paragraph and the previous one would take up a lot of space, so I will spare you.

    Bottom line, used to be a Mopar fanatic, today, much more diverse. But to be honest, if Dodge had built a better small turbo car similar to the Focus ST, I would most likely have gone there again…

  • avatar
    Stanley Steamer

    I’ve been quite partial to Stanley Motor Carriage Company. I could never justify the expense of a Doble just to save myself 15 minutes every morning before my commute.

  • avatar
    ptschett

    I’ve owned a Ford and 4 Mopars, all from new. I have a preference for those manufacturers (and have had access to a good employee discount on Mopars in the last few years after changing jobs) but wouldn’t call myself strictly loyal.
    I was happy with my Ford (a ’96 Thunderbird) but when I was shopping for a pickup in 2005 I preferred the Dodge Dakota over the Fords, and when I was shopping for the T-bird’s replacement in 2010 I again preferred the Challenger over the Mustang. The only really brand-loyal purchase I made was when I decided to trade the 2010 Challenger for a 2015 Challenger, on account of wanting the midcycle improvements badly enough, and the biggest decision was whether or not to buy a Charger instead. I wanted to drive the Dakota till all the new midsize pickups were available, but needed to replace it last year and wasn’t happy with the current midsize offerings so I bought a Ram 1500.

  • avatar
    kenwood

    I’ve mainly been a GM guy (Cadillacs and Suburbans) with an odd Jeep or Porsche thrown in for fun, but GM hasn’t built a Caddy or a Suburban I can appreciate for many years now, so I found myself enjoying the space and comfort in Lincolns new large vehicles. I’m in a Navigator now and I wouldn’t mind a Conti Black Label if I can find a great deal.

  • avatar
    srh

    My tally:
    Ford: 9 (Escort, F-150, F-350, F-250, Raptor, F-350, F-150, Transit, Focus RS)
    Subaru: 6 (Outback, Outback, Outback, STI, Impreza, BRZ)
    Chevy: 2 (3500, 1500)
    Mazda: 2 (6s, MS3)
    Chrysler: 1 (Cherokee)
    BMW: 1 (4-series)
    Nissan: 1 (Leaf)

    Ford has most consistently checked the right boxes for me across a range of vehicles. I’ve generally found their “enthusiast” vehicles (RS, Raptor, GT350) to be more desirable than the competition’s. Subaru is the other big winner, but that’s half because of my ex-wife’s Outback obsession. I could see myself buying another Subaru if they’d spice up a Forester or give the BRZ another 50HP.

    Nothing from Chevy inspires me, except the now gone SS.

  • avatar
    mikey

    I think I’ve bought nine new GM’s . ( 36 years GM Canada, hourly retired ) I can’t count the number of used ones. Today my only vehicle is a “bought new” 2015 EB Mustang. Other than a little wear issue with the leather seats (Ford replaced the cover under warranty) no other problems.

    If and when I replace the Mustang I’ll probably go back to GM and lease ??? I would like to see GM build a BOF Canyon sized SUV. I could also be interested in a sedan. Ideally I would like GM to drop the Malibu, and shrink the Impala. In the meantime I guess I’m a Ford man.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      A friend who worked for GM for ~15 years is now driving an F-150 he bought used. I almost fell over. I think his GM discount expired, so he expanded his horizons.

  • avatar
    junkandfrunk

    Can’t really be totally brand loyal to a company that doesn’t exist anymore (Oldsmobile), but if you count GM as a whole, sure. I’ll always look at a GM vehicle before any others.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Love the C7, but **** GM. He’s dead Jim.

  • avatar
    Kendahl

    My parents gave me my first car, a 1962 VW beetle. When it wore out, I bought, with my own money this time, another beetle. Otherwise, I have never bought two consecutive vehicles from the same manufacturer. I have owned two Toyotas. One was a 1984 Tercel wagon I bought used in 1994. The other is a 2014 Sienna I bought last year. At each purchase, the question was which vehicle would best meet my needs at the time.

  • avatar

    I grew up with my grandfather and uncles all being die-hard Mopar guys, and I picked it up, even though my Dad drove a ’78 Corolla for much of my childhood before going through a series of late ’80s to late ’90s Chrysler products. Chrysler minivans hauled our family from the time I was seven until well after I was grown and moved away.

    For my part, when I started driving I was very limited in what I could afford, and ended up with a rusty high-mileage Datsun, then a Honda, then a Dodge Dakota during my “truck phase” at the time I graduated college. Then I got nostalgic for the Datsun (and had relocated to the rust-free South), so I had a series of Nissans for 15 years, but never lost the Mopar love.

    It’s not logical or rational, it’s in the blood. You can’t get rid of it even if you wanted to. Like my love for the Buffalo Bills, it may cause me pain but it’s a part of me whether I like it or not. So when life progressed to the point of new-car buying, and FCA progressed to offering vehicles I was actually interested in, it didn’t take much before FCA products graced my driveway, with one old Nissan under refurbishment in the garage. “Dodges & Datsuns”, that’s what fuels my engine.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    Have had one Ford, a 1979 Fairmont that was a total pile and then went GM mid size from their onward. Other than one engine going bad on a 1979 Lemans that never had it’s oil changed i have never had any major issues with any of my GM mid sizers since including 1980’s G-body Cutlasses and Grand Prix’s, 1994 and 1995 Cutlass supremes, two 1996 Lumina LS sedans that went well over 200K with little other than routine service and the past 3 cars have been W-body Impala sedans. My next car choices are an Epsilon Impala, a 2017 Fusion or a 2017 Sonata but so far the Epsilon Impala has blown me away after spending time with a 2017 Rental LT V6 so that remains top choice.

  • avatar
    jimmyy

    I was a loyal GM and Ford buyer. My last was a new 2007 Ford. Too many problems that interfered with my life. And, the resale was a disaster.

    I switched to Honda and Toyota. I have had a few minor problems … like sun visors and bulbs. What a world of difference. And, the resale … dealers want these rigs for their used car lots.

    Will I go back? Not yet. Being Detroit born and raised, many family members still drive GM and Ford products. And, they still have problems. The problems are a little less frequent, but they are much more expensive.

    If I lived in the metro Detroit area, I would only drive GM and Ford. But, I don’t. Every so often, I toy with the idea of a new Tahoe. But with so many bad memories, I just can’t do it. I think I have psychological damage surrounding GM and Ford vehicles.

  • avatar
    crtfour

    I’ll be the oddball here and say that I’m partial to British vehicles. Growing up my dad was a pretty diehard GM guy but then got a Jaguar, enjoyed it and then a couple more and had good luck with them.

    Right now my daily drivers are a 2009 Land Rover LR3, a 2002 Jaguar XKR and a 1997 Toyota T100 all of which have been good vehicles and I enjoy too much to part with

  • avatar
    George B

    I’ve owned a couple Hondas and generally like the trade-offs they make at their price point. I grew up in a Chevrolet family and my Dad still only owns Chevrolets. When I bought my 2nd car after college, GM cost cutting on interior plastics too blatant and I chose Ford instead. I used to say that GM had a Cheesy Plastic Dash Division that made their cars look cheap, but now I think in-your-face cost cutting is what GM had to do to stay in business with high legacy costs.

  • avatar
    Russycle

    I’ve had 2 Hondas, 2 Fords, and an assortment of others, and I’d say I have a bit of an affinity for those two brands. But it’s pretty weak, currently own a Scion and am thinking maybe Golf for my next ride.

  • avatar
    threeer

    Until my mother bought her 2012 Buick Verano new, she (and my late father) were pretty dedicated Toyota owners, having just three over three decades. When it came time to replace the 2003 Corolla, nothing in the Toyota stable interested her, and the Buick felt “just right” in terms of size, style and features. This is likely her last car, which is a little sad, as she had always had her eye on a Mercedes as the final aspirational vehicle, but at (almost) 74 and already seeing the signs of reduced driving ability, I’m not sure she’ll spend the money in another four years on another car.

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    I’ve always considered myself a Ford guy, but in my 14 years of driving I’ve owned more GM products. However, my vehicles have come from all over (I’ve not had a German car yet, unless you consider the German designed Focus and Focus ST. I’ve not yet bought new from GM, but I have from Kia, Ford (several times), and Mazda (twice). I trade often and for no particular reason than boredom.

  • avatar
    427Cobra

    numbers buyer here, as well… no particular brand loyalty, tho was somewhat of a Ford fanboy for a while. I tend to shy away from imports just because of the potential for high parts/labor costs. I generally have 2-4 cars in the driveway at any given time. I believe this is the order of purchase/lease…

    1970 Dodge Dart
    1974 Ford Elite
    1978 Pontiac Grand LeMans
    1981 Ford Thunderbird
    1987 Ford Taurus
    1996 Ford Thunderbird
    1991 Ford Ranger
    1986 Ford Mustang GT convertible
    1998 Lincoln Mark VIII LSC
    2004 Saturn Vue V6
    2001 Mustang GT convertible
    Backdraft Racing ’65 Cobra replica
    2005 Ford Mustang GT convertible
    2013 Ford Edge Limited
    2008 Mercury Grand Marquis LS
    2016 Ram 2500 ccsb 6.4L hemi 4×4
    2004 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

  • avatar
    glwillia

    Not loyal to any one automaker per se, but I hope to keep driving my manual sport-package 6-cylinder E39 5-series until electric/autonomous vehicles fully take over.

  • avatar
    TW5

    Brand loyalty is a different phenomenon these days because the industry is a mature oligopoly, which means branding and mechanical DNA are less differentiated. Back in the day, if a manufacturer made a really good family of engines or transmissions or chassis designs, buyers were naturally attracted. Something about the way the vehicle was built appealed to people on an individual level.

    With a few exceptions, differentiation is gone. Vehicles are clones. If you buy a compact car, it will have a sub-2-liter I-4. It will drive like all of the others. Even if there is a defining characteristic of some sort, it’s unlikely the manufacturer sees it as part of their engineering DNA. Reliability ratings are all over the map because executive teams change with regularity and their philosophies evolve with a frenetic pace. One minute all they care about is quality, the next minute they are realigning their supplier relationships to drastically cut costs.

    Toyota seems to be the only car company that seems to cut through the BS. The reason people were always seeking a unique design and experience is because they perceived it to be inherently more valuable than the rest. For most car-buyers, the value was in the reliability because cars were not nearly as reliable or as well tested many decades ago. When someone made a good car, it was a big deal. Toyota is complete devoid of any engineering DNA, but they are universally known for reliability, as is Lexus. The older I get, the more I appreciate their company ethos. It never changes, and it never really needs to change.

    Thankfully, some manufacturers still have specific DNA, which can be a help and a hindrance. I’m loyal to Jeep Wrangler. Most of the vehicle DNA has been maintained, but I’m not happy with the powertrain changes, and the Wrangler brand is being diluted to keep FCA afloat. The 4-door Unlimited is a vehicular travesty. Subaru is also largely unchanged in the last 25 years. I’ve always wanted one, but I don’t care for the complexity or expense of a boxer-4. Porsche is more-or-less holding the line. I’ve owned an air-cooled 911 before, and 911’s are the only sportscars I really want.

    My point, I suppose, is that brand loyalty seems only to exist in niche segments for special vehicles. Though Subarus explosive growth could challenge that claim.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      TW5, Toyota’s engineering DNA is to choose old, proven solutions to minimize unscheduled trips to the repair shop. Toyota engineers also appear to make choices that reduce the time and cost of those repairs. Non-interference engines that survive failure to replace timing belts before they break, for example. My girlfriend and her daughter have cars that use the same oil and oil filter. The girlfriend’s Escape requires me to crawl under the car, undo nine fasteners to take off the underbody shroud, change the oil, and reverse the process. Damn Europeans. Her daughter’s hand-me-down Avalon has the oil filter where you can grab it from the front and the 5.0 quart oil capacity matches the 5.0 quart container from the store. I can change the Avalon’s oil before my coffee goes cold.

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        I love Toyotas, ask anyone around here, but I’ve had 2 “Golden Age” ™ 1990s Toyota products with stupefyingly bad oil filter placements:

        1996 4Runner (5VZ-FE): reach through the driver’s wheel-well with said wheel turned out, and try with all your might to unscrew the cooked on filter with zero leverage available to your arm, you have to basically twist a fully extended arm and try to provide enough torque that what. The filter is angled down so there’s no way you’re NOT spilling its contents all over the skid plate below, which will then distribute drips all over your garage floor.

        1996 ES300 (1MZ-FE): filter is tucked underneath the front exhaust manifold, reach under the hot manifold, proceed to spill all of the filter contents into a hidden nook formed between the front motor mount and the engine block. This 1/4 cup of oil will spend the next few days slowly oozing out from this cavity and dripping onto the exhaust manifold, creating a burning oil smell and convincing you that you wrenched too hard on the filter and disturbed some old gasket, possibly the oil pan gasket. Truly maddening.

        It’s my favorite maker of autos from my favorite era of automobiles, but man they had some bone-headed filter placement. Would love to talk to the engineers who came up with this nonsense. Favorite filter placement is newer Subarus. Up top under the hood, with a neat little catch for all of the oil to drain into as the filter is removed.

        • 0 avatar

          Doesn’t someone make a Toyota oil filter grabby arm extender?

          Like a cup, on a stick.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            yeah if I bought the right sized filter cup I could just stick it on an extension+ratchet, but I appreciate setups where no tools are required.

        • 0 avatar
          bumpy ii

          Yeah, I have to use a strap wrench to get the filter off the Echo. The T100 is much easier (being a longitudinal 4-cylinder in an engine bay sized for a V6).

          My experience has been that the cups are good for installing a filter, and just short of useless for taking them off.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            “just short of useless for taking them off.”

            With the right diameter and right number of flats, how do they not work? I personally haven’t had one slip yet. I just don’t like buying a special cup for every size/style filter I encounter. With the rate that I flip through cars, I typically only get to do a single oil change lol. Although I should finally buy one for the 4Runner since its a keeper. I also have this dinky three-armed adjustable contraption with a 3/8 inch drive, it occasionally helps in a pinch but is quite finicky to use. I find some clean shop/gardening gloves, the kind with grippy rubber impregnated into the fabric, plus all the strength that I can muster is the most universal and versatile filter-removal tool I’ve found so far.

          • 0 avatar
            bumpy ii

            The few times I tried it, the cup either slipped around the flats, or jammed between the flats and I had to pry it off after removing the filter. Now, it’s either the claw (if it fits) or the strap.

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    Currently have a single brand household (Honda/Acura) and I doubt my next car will also be a Honda/Acura. Maybe…but probably not.

  • avatar
    Mike-NB

    Of 14 cars in 34 years of ownership five have been Ford, including my current vehicle. Volkswagen is next with three. Two Hondas, two Chryslers, one Buick (don’t ask) and one Mazda round things out. If you consider the family fleet it is more heavily skewed to Ford and VW.

    Though I do have to admit that with the new Mazda 6 with the turbocharged engine there is a distinct possibility that could grace my garage in a couple of years.

  • avatar
    rhduff

    82 Accord Hatch 5 speed bought new
    87 Prelude 5 speed bought new
    94 Prelude Si 5 speed bought new
    2001 Accord EX-L V6 coupe bought new
    2013 Accord EX coupe 6 mt bought new
    So yeah, all I’ve ever owned are Hondas. I like the buying experience because you buy it the way it’s built without options, or packages, or any stuff like that. This makes it easy to compare identical cars and their pricing from dealer to dealer. I also like driving Hondas because their engines and transmissions (except the tranny in the V6) are smooth, dependable, and reliable,

  • avatar
    suspekt

    Im a 2 brand loyalist.

    1. Honda – Acura
    2. General Motors

    If I had to stick with one, I might actually go GM

    Daily Driver- Chevrolet SS 6MT
    Family car – GMC Yukon Denali
    Weekend toy – Chevrolet Gran Sport

    ***interesting how all 3 employ the GM sbc

  • avatar
    dal20402

    I started as a dual-brand Ford/Honda guy. (Sounds like some other people around here.)

    But then I had 2 unreliable Fords, so I turned into a Honda fanatic.

    But then around 2008 a lot of new Hondas in a row kind of started to suck, so I became pretty brand-agnostic. I had (and still have) a bias against Hyundai/Kia largely because I drove so many of their products with bad steering and suspension tuning, but I was willing to look at just about any other brand.

    And most recently I have found myself gravitating to Toyota and Lexus. I will only buy from if the product is appropriate (they had nothing to compete with our C-Max Energi), but I appreciate their reliability record that is more consistent over time than anyone else’s, and also the way that Lexus approaches the engineering of luxury cars. I’m thinking about either trading my current Lexus or buying a fourth car, and in both cases everything I’m considering is either a Toyota or Lexus product.

  • avatar
    Erikstrawn

    I like to think of myself as having no brand loyalty, but one manufacturer has cropped up in my vehicle purchases more than any other, and that’s GM. I don’t like GM, but I do like the 472/500cid Cadillacs, and have owned two. My ’81 Camaro was the car that turned me against GM, but the ’99 Suburban was just too cheap to pass up. I married into a Lumina, traded around with a ’51 Coupe, and am currently eyeballing 68-72 GMCs.

  • avatar
    JustPassinThru

    Brands vie for position all the time – and management changes, and focuses change. When I was a young’un, GM had the world by the testicles – their cars were the best-looking, the best assembled; the most desired. VW was still ironing out bugs on their Type I. BMW was making Isettas. Nissan had taken up a fake name to import their heavy English-license BOF cars (and truck) and Toyota’s offerings were so poor the company pulled out of America for five years to restart.

    GM had a management shift – to callous exploitation, flash over substance. It began with the Vega project, which was mis-engineered not by Chevrolet but by the shadow GM Corporate line…and then ordered to Chevy. Against their objections.

    Ford, in typical Me-Too fashion, cheapened things as well. Hank the Deuce was getting older and losing interest. The bean-counters and bookkeepers were gaining power. Iacocca was all about SELLING cars, not engineering them. Ford follwed GM down the dead-end of Low Quality.

    The German brands, seeing the exchange rate turn unfavorable, decided to shift to high-status, high-perceived-quality over economy. And the Japanese, continued to learn from the Continuous Quality Improvement process they had borrowed and implemented.

    The Japanese brands became high-quality economy cars…and, finally, just high-quality cars in any segment. Able to charge a premium price.

    Chrysler, meantime, led by the bookkeeper Lynn Townsend, abandoned engineering, and then any pretense of quality. Once the company was rescued, Lee The Deposed took his lieutenants over and made New Chrysler, Old Ford.

    Engineering improved but was still not a strength that it had been – until AMC took over it from the inside; and for a short decade, gave Chrysler a Golden Era.

    So, which car company was company to patronize? Old GM? New Chrysler? Ford, before or after Hank II became a drunken man-whore? Ford, of the fast-rust recycled steel and heavy, underperforming V8s….or Ford of the Zincrometal and turbo-four Erica platform and the Fox Mustang?

    It shifts all the time, as change never stops. Caveat Emptor.

  • avatar
    JustPassinThru

    Oh…and, that “secret pleasure” of Gran Torinio? Keep it secret. I learned to drive on that car…a four-door model, but the same one. 351 Cleveland V8 and Cruise-O-Matic.

    The other car in our family was a 1968 Jeep Wagoneer. The truth?…the Wagoneer was a better road car. Better balance, and also faster.

  • avatar
    Sam Hall

    Interesting question. As a teenager in the days of Japan, Inc. before the “lost decade”, I pestered my dad to buy domestic. As a young adult spending my own money I owned a Ford Escort, followed by a Honda Civic and a Subaru WRX. I’ve now been back to Ford twice, first for a Focus and now an Escape.

    Looking back, the Escort (actually had two) was dead reliable, cheap to run and did everything I needed it to. The Civic was mostly the same, but both it and my wife’s Accord Coupe had cheap-feeling interiors. The WRX … had nothing wrong and a lot of things right. I called it “my sport-utility vehicle, with the sport and utility in the percentages I prefer”. I went back to Ford for better gas mileage and less road noise, and somewhat to my surprise I’ve found myself becoming a Ford guy. That could change, though. I still remember the weak T-bird turbos, laughably unreliable Tempos, the Contour with its 2+2 back seat…

  • avatar
    Znueni

    Call us a serial monogamists. Went the rounds of
    – Ford (due to employee family discount, even had a ’76 Torino)
    – Buicks and Cadillacs (until one too many big mechanical issues)
    – Saab hatchbacks (loved them, were very reliable, bought 3 of same model in a row until major GM design change)
    – German (BMW for smaller, MB for larger – unbelievable minor repair hogs)
    – finally Honda sedans and SUVs for past decade
    I think I’m in the Honda camp for a while – not the most exciting drive but reliable, easy/cheap to maintain, and no heart attack when the guy parking next to you bumps or dings it. However, did test drive a Tesla……

  • avatar
    raph

    Despite DeadWeight’s and EBFlex’s commitment to elevating society by exposing Ford’s many flaws if I’m going to finance it Ford is the first place I’ll be stopping and it will always be to see what Mustang has to offer.

    I’ve been doing that directly from Ford since 2001 and for Mustang since 1994.

    There are many intriguing cars out there but I just can’t find it in myself to be locked into a 5 or year note and run the risk of becoming bored with my purchase.

    I like Mustangs ( blame the old man and his Awesome Autobahn Mighty T-5 Mach 1 tales – the guy could spin a helluva yarn and I got several good compliments in my creative writing class plagiarizing him ) and it provides access to a great community of like minded enthusiasts ( made several life long friends through my Mustangs ) and of course had plenty of fun since that first fox car.

    Ergo it’s an easy choice for me. Especially when coupled with the fact that the product at least has never seriously burned me ( dealerships notwithstanding).

  • avatar
    formula m

    Got my license in 1998

    89 GMC Tracker 4×4 non-convertible
    86 VW Jetta (worst car I have owned)
    92 Buick Regal
    95 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
    69 Chevrolet C10 pickup
    07 Chevrolet Cobalt
    97 Nissan Hardbody 4wd
    01 Nissan Maxima
    98 Toyota 4Runner 4wd
    04 Honda Fourtrax atv
    05 Acura RSX
    03 Toyota Highlander Limited 4wd (best vehicle)
    06 Chevrolet Silverado 4×4 reg. cab

    I thought I would be GM for life but after working for them out of college and leaving because of the impending bankruptcy I first experienced Japanese import ownership. I have since worked for Hyundai/Ford and would never spend money on either.

    As a child we had GM brown station wagons that were garbage
    78 Pontiac
    81 Chevrolet Malibu

    Then moved to Plymouth Voyagers
    86, 89 and 91 with an 83 Dodge Ram as second vehicle

    My dad returned to GM for an 01 Pontiac Montana that was again garbage while my mom had a 95 Buick Regal.

    They switched them both for Nissans when the Montana blew the head gasket at 3.5 yrs old.

    I have since picked out their vehicles since working in the industry and it’s all been Toyota and Honda SUV’s

  • avatar
    WallMeerkat

    Renault x1, the successor to LeCar. Wouldn’t go back as nothing they sell in the UK market interests me, and the Megane GrandCoupe and Talisman they won’t sell here.
    Ford x1, total lemon. Vowed I wouldn’t go back. However the current Mustang is tempting, and even the Mondeo/Fusion is a nice family car.
    Citroen x3, wanted to go back but they axed the C5 and the DS5 commits the cardinal sin of being an uncomfortable big Citroen.
    Alfa Romeo x1, the wife has memories of it being sat up one bad winter waiting on parts from Italy and wouldn’t let me go back
    Peugeot x1, the 508 was almost tempting
    Honda x1, brilliant Accord coupe, however they have axed the Accord in Europe and now sell nothing I would buy
    Toyota x1, not as reliable as I thought it would be, and they’re axing the Avensis
    Saab x1, couldn’t go back if I wanted, OK the closest would be a GM product, however they sold Vauxhall-Opel off to PSA, and Vauxall dealers are notoriously poor for customer service
    Skoda x1, highly practical VW TDi fastback sedan shaped hatchback. Will I replace it with another? That Mustang looks tempting for when I don’t need so much practicality….

  • avatar
    sgeffe

    1. 1978 Olds Cutlass Salon: inherited from an aunt. Used-up before I obtained it.
    2. 1984 Pontiac Sunbird hatch: purchased from my Dad’s cousin after his Mom stopped driving. Failed head gasket on a college commuter budget (along with my Dad’s travails with a 1986 Century) drove me into the Honda camp.
    3. 1994 Honda Civic EX.
    4. 2000 Honda Accord V6: had the common failure of the transmission, which Honda covered.
    5. 2006 Honda Accord V6.
    6. 2013 Honda Accord Touring.

    Going to stick with Honda, despite their dropping the V6 from the Accord; any other manufacturer’s midsize offering is a compromise.

  • avatar
    road_pizza

    There’s been several exceptions over the years but the vast majority of vehicles I’ve owned since I got my license back in ’79 have been Ford products. No Ford has ever left me stranded and all of them have treated me well so I see no reason to change loyalties.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • brn: I wish others the best of luck. For me, it’s not worth getting on yet another marketing distribution for...
  • bufguy: Cite your source for that statement. Short of natural disasters, power on the east coast is very reliable
  • bullnuke: On my ’75 Scirroco, that was the issue – the carburetor. The service techs could never get it...
  • Inside Looking Out: It will produce too much greenhouse gases.
  • EBFlex: “ Like I said…call me when you really can’t buy a gas powered car anymore. I’ll probably be dead by then,...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Jo Borras
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber