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What is more reliable for the long haul

When a company is drifting towards bankruptcy, corners are cut everywhere…Plants are closing…Suppliers are getting paid late…People are getting laid off…Company moral is very low, quality control becomes haphazard, the product line suffers…

2001 Chevy Cavalier, 100K miles, value today, $3700.00 ($13,276 new)
2001 Toyota Corolla, 100K miles, value today $5500.00 ($12,600 new)

@Caddyman, Where you see problems, I see opportunity. The Cavalier was a tired design in 2001, but it is $1800 less than the same year Corolla today. For a used car, I’d be more inclined to buy the Cavalier. But for a new car, I’d be more inclined to buy the Corolla if the price is less initially, as it was in your scenario. But you were talking about the Prizm and Corolla before. Why did you change the GM vehicle?

I’m not a big Chrysler basher but some of you don’t remember the old Chrysler and the old old Chrysler. Back in 66 we had a 318 Plymouth. Great car, couldn’t be beat-no problems. That was a great company. I had a 68 and no big issues. Folks had a 72 which was ok, and a 74 with a troublesome stalling problem. In 78 folks bought a Volarie. Air conditioner leaked, tore the engine apart for oil consumption problem. Radio problem, parts literally fell off of it. At the dealer when trading the tire went flat. These were all brand new cars and you could just see the deterioration of the company as they went into bankruptcy the first time. I’ve never had faith in them since, though it may not be justified, but being bought by investment bankers sure doesn’t bode well for long term investment in engineering.

Imperials were great cars in the 50s, too.

@Caddyman, again, I think you are making a link without proving cause and effect. Like build bankruptcy, depreciation might be a factor of build quality, but depreciation is also affected by market forces and demand for the used vehicles, which is often based on build quality, but sometimes demand is based on other things.

You might be right, and a company on the cusp of Chapter 11 debt reorganization might build lesser vehicles, and it might not. Likewise, a car’s resale value might be related to build quality, and it might not. My only point is that you are ascribing a cause-and-effect relationship where none has been proven. For all I know you might be right, but I am not convinced until I see some proof.

I guess we will just have to wait for Jimmycc’s daughter to check back in a year or two and she can tell us how she made out with the Sebring or Impala…I’m not going to hold my breath…

I’m not going to hold my breath either, but I don’t think we need to wait. Both vehicles were made 11 years ago, so reliability statistics for both vehicles should be available somewhere, like CR’s used car reliability ratings.

In the end, if you want to judge or estimate a used car’s reliability, I think you should avoid distractions like resale value and the manufacturer’s financials, and just look at how that particular model has fared over the years. Going by anything other than reliability statistics could lead you astray, and you might miss some really good deals on reasonably reliable cars with low resale value.