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simple question...if you were to buy a fuel-efficient, reliable American car that's also fun to drive, what would it be?

As a consumer, we do sometimes rent cars. In the last few months, I've rented some Detroit products. I'd say the Chrysler Caliber and PT Cruiser were certainly better than the Neons I used to rent. But, that said, the Hyundais and Kias took a quality leap in the same period that makes me scratch my head. Better attention to detail....more responsive, etc. The layout of the Chrysler -Diamler's interior was quite good though.

btw, my grandfather used to have an Oldsmobile Toronado, but it didn't come with the model in the gown. Been a while since I saw retractable headlights....


Saturn AURA Green Line, (mild hybrid), Saturn ION (but upcoming ASTRA will be better), Ford Focus (redesigned recently), Chevy Cobalt, Dodge Caliber, Chevy Impala (for a large V6 sedan at 30 mpg highway), Pontiac G6, Dodge Avenger... All of these are decent alternatives. Although I really liked the AURA I test drove.

Yes, the Koreans have come a long way with their products, can't deny that. I just don't like their styling overall. Then new KIA Rio is beautiful though.

I'm not saying nobody should consider or buy non-Detroit imports, I just think they should be considered fairly versus other vehicles (with perhaps a bit of a patriotic bias), (by consumers and especially by the press). The impact that the press has is significant because car fanatics read these articles and tell their non car-fanatic friends what they read.

Your grandfather apparently had good taste in cars. That Toronado is one of the few classic cars I would actually buy. My dad had a few Corvairs. I wish he knew to hold onto them for their future classic status.


The Toronado in real life was not a great car. For such an enormous vehicle, the back seat was very cramped. Also it was fwd with one of the worst front rear differentials ever....like 60% of the weight was on the front end. so I think they tended to fishtail.

We'll look at the Saturns and the Chryslers next time we buy. I was fascinated by Fords for a while and bought two of them, neither one held up well. I thought about a Focus at one point, but the early model had a serious brake wear issue, so I wound up being relieved that I didn't do it.
The issues with the Fords never had anything to do with ride....was always some basic design flaw like weird air conditioner, electricals, little bits breaking off the interior for no good reason, etc.

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