If you ONLY cared about cost and reliability, and were forced to buy a (used) American car, which would it be?
Ford Crown Victoria. The big police and grandma car.
I’d vote for the Crown Vic and similar series of Ford made cars; Lincoln Town cars etc.
A) FLAME ON… This question is a very loaded dice…
B) You need to give more info, what type of car/truck? Also What price range if you say cost is a big concern??
What determines an American car?
You know, Ford, Chevy, Saturn, etc.
Not a loaded question.
What’s the most reliable American car of the last decade?
Don’t get lost in the details.
Toyota Corollas are manufactured less than 10 miles from my home in Northeast Mississippi. Is it or is it not an American car in your opinion. Also, Hyundais, Volkswagons, BMWs and Nissans are manufactured within a few hours drive of my house. “What determines an American car” was not a loaded question. Although the last year of production was 2005, the Buick Park Avenue seems to hold its own in any comparison of customer satisfaction. I was impressed with the reliability and longevity of the dozens that I serviced, several lasted well beyond 300,000 miles with no major failures.
I think the best cars from the Big Three are the Crown Vic/Grand Marquis/Town Car and the Buick LeSabre/Park Avenue. The reason this could be a loaded question is because of Rod Knox’s statement. Many people argue that some of the Japanese and Korean cars are more “American” than comparable domestic models because the assembly plants for the Asian models are located in the United States, while the comparable domestic models may be assembled in Mexico or Canada. Others say only the Big Three can be considered at all “American” because the companies themselves were founded and are based in the United States. This topic has been debated at length on this forum before.
I meant cars that are identified as explicitly American (USA logos/manufacturers)
GM, Ford, Chevy, Saturn, etc. The cars that people say are junk and they’d never buy.
The anti-Honda, in other words. This was not a trick question.
I’d get a Ford Fusion.
The Ford Panthers, Crown Vics, Grand Marquis, Town Car were built from 1992 until 2012. The plant in Canada that built them was closed earlier this year…They used body on frame construction and shared many drive-train parts with F-150’s and Mustangs. Fleet buyers swore by them, (Police and Taxi). The small OHC V-8 (4.6L/280 cu.in.) delivered excellent mileage considering the size of the car…They are unequaled for long-distance interstate cruising. Their air conditioning sets the industry standard, their reliability is steadfast. The ones with dual exhausts have the HPP package, more power and improved handling. The P71models, Police Package, bring the chassis up to it’s full performance potential. These cars are a joy to drive in the 70-90 MPH range but the ride gets a little choppy at low speeds compared to the standard models…
For me, they deliver the lowest cost per mile in overall transportation costs. The 2005 and newer have some nice upgrades like rack & pinion steering and a 5 link rear suspension. I would avoid the “air-ride” rear suspension…
Crown Victoria, Mercury Marcouis, or Lincoln Town Car. If I didn’t need a 7 passenger I surely would get one.
Chevy Prism, you said American branded and built in USA. Not saying where the engineering happened.
For sheer reliability, excellent MPG and durability the Toyota Corolla(opps I mean Chevy Prism) is an excellent car that meets your criteria.
Of the three major American name brands – Ford, GM, and Chrysler – Ford is the highest rated by Consumer Reports.
The Chevy Prizm/Toyota Corolla with the 1ZZFE engines were good as long as you didn’t get one that had received less than fanatical maintenance throughout its life, and even that was no guarantee that it wouldn’t burn a phenomenal amount of oil. Lots of those things ended up with sludged oil control rings, leading to oil consumption ranging from excessive to unbelievable. Many that I’ve seen would burn a quart every 300-600 miles, one that I recall reportedly burned a quart every 150 miles. If you do get one of those that have the oil consumption problem, they can still be quite reliable as long as you don’t let it run out of oil, but I would rather not have to pull into a service station and say, “fill up the oil and check the gas!”
I’d vote for the Buick LeSabre because I prefer front wheel drive. The LeSabre I’m driving now is at 130K and is as near perfect as any car I’ve owned. I took it on two 1000+ mile trips last summer, and I’d go again tomorrow if I needed to.
I like the Crown Vic/Mercury Grand Marquis too. If I were buying one (and I have) I’d rather have the Merc as they are never acused of ever being an ex cop car. Crown Vics get that accusation all the time, whether they have been or not.
I’ve seen SEVERAL of all the above with over 300K miles.
I’ve not had a Lincoln Town Car in several years, but recall that the '92 I had was plagued by electrical gremlins, and had air bag suspension issues as previously noted. I think that was fairly common on those cars.
We had a '99 Town Car for a while with 197K miles on it and it was still a good car. Everything still worked.
Not sure there’s only one answer to the question. If you’re looking for a full sized car I agree the Crown Vic/Grand Marquis is going to be hard to beat. It has lots of room, great ride, great handling and very good gas mileage for a full size car. My mom still has the '00 Grand Marquis that my dad had when he passed away in 2010. The car currently has about 50K miles and all that’s been done to it since new is oil changes and a new battery. Last fall I drove it on a 540.9 mile trip from Russellville, KY to Indianapolis, IN and back with about 30 miles of funeral procession and Indianapolis city driving. I drove with the c/c set at 55 MPH on the interstate it took 17.181 gallons of gas so it got 31.48 MPG for the trip. I drove the whole trip on less than 1 full tank of gas. The low fuel light came on about 25 miles before getting back to the gas station where I filled up when I left. When dad drove it on the highway at 65-75 MPH it usually got between 28-29 MPG and since mom doesn’t drive and I’m the one who usually drives it when it gets drove, in local driving (rural roads and small town driving) I usually get 24-26 MPG. Would definitely be my choice in a full size car. If you’re looking for a small car I think the Ford Escort is a pretty good choice. They are reliable, easy to work on, and pretty good mileage for a small car. My '02 Escort usually gets 31-33 MPG in local driving and 36-38 MPG on the highway. I also have a '97 Escort wagon that gets 33-34 MPG local and about 38-43 MPG on the highway since the wagon has a 5 speed manual transmission where the '02 has an automatic. I have squeezed as much as 49.85 MPG out of the '97 wagon on one occasion and broke 45 MPG highway several times. Another good thing about the Escort is even though it has a timing belt it has a non interference engine so if the timing belt breaks there’s no engine damage just line up the timing marks and put a new belt on it.
The Crown Vics are reliable cars. The police package brings the 0-60 time down to 7.5 seconds or so, a little slow for a modern car, but not bad for something weighing that much. They are nice at 90 or so on an interstate… until the road curves… I have had one of these as well as a Chevy Caprice with a police package. It was also a very reliable car with similar performance. The Ford body on frame RWD car was made longer than the Chevy.
I don’t know if the Ford would be the best, but it’s certainly a contender. I have seen Lincoln limos with the same powertrain with over 300K on the clock.
I will be very specific.
1996 Lincoln Town Car.