Less to do with spicy eats and more to do with spec' sheets.
Heated seats. Check. Aircon. Check. Multiple Airbags. Check. Etc. etc...
Doesn't matter if the toys are useless, the unwitting buyer will have parted with their cah before they find out. In the case of the multiple airbags, they may work in themselves but if the structure of the car is second rate, which it probably is, they won't help much in a smash. Same goes for most of the other kit fitted to such low-rent vehicles. It's just there to lure the less savvy into buying something which looks good on paper but is rubbish in reality.
I have a 2005 Hyundai Sonata GLS. Rides nice, was not pricey and has some
"luxuries". However, don't get into an accident with it.
A couple of years back I did. The bozo in front of me, who had no brake lights, came to a stop on a major highway here. I confess that I wasn't paying as much attention to said bozo as I should have been. Nevertheless I rear-ended him at about 10-15mph. After rear-ending him, he hit the person in front of him.
The damage to his vehicle was negligible. I think it was along the lines of $200. The damage to the vehicle in front of Mr. Bozo was even less. The damage to my Sonata? $8,700. The entire front end of the car was pushed back to the engine block and was quite the mess.
When I inquired at the repair facility as to why there was so much damage to my car and negligible amounts to the others the reply was along the line of "crumble zones".
Well, that may be but I think it's more along the line of "pathetically built Korean Crap".
I don't think this has anything specific to do with Korean auto technology. There has been a quest to make stuff cheap, cheap, cheap, cheap. It is hard to buy anything that is designed to last. The Asians are supplying OUR DEMAND for cheap stuff. They are used to it. I guess it is their culture and soon to be ours.
I beg to differ. Agreed that original Japanese vehicles were 'inferior' to western standards, but they soon engineered their product for reliability. Much of the initial reticence to buy Japanese was overcome when motorists realised how reliable they were.
Chinese vehicle manufacturers are some years behind the Koreans (who are behind the Japanese) but given time they will catch up. Maybe the Indians will too . . .
Same goes for most of the other kit fitted to such low-rent vehicles. It's just there to lure the less savvy into buying something which looks good on paper but is rubbish in reality.
Korean cars have improved by leaps and bounds in recent years. I remember a recent report that ranked one model higher than it's Mercedes counterpart and one point below Lexus. Couldn't find that, but found the following:
2009 Genesis "Most Appealing Midsize Premium Car in the U.S" - J.D. Power and Associates 2009 Sonata Winner of the AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Award 2009 Elantra "Highest Ranked Compact Car in Initial Quality in the U.S." in J.D. Power and Associates 2009 Initial Quality StudySM 2009 Elantra Touring "Highest Ranked Compact Car in Initial Quality in the U.S." in J.D. Power and Associates 2009 Initial Quality StudySM 2009 Genesis 2009 Canadian Car of the Year Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) 2009 Genesis 2009 North American Car of the Year North American Car of the Year (NACOTY) 2009 Genesis 2009 Best New Luxury Car under $50,000 Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) 2005 Accent Named Most Dependable Sub-Compact Car in the U.S. in J. D. Power and Associates 2008 Vehicle Dependability StudySM 2009 Genesis 5-star crash test rating, highest government ranking, for frontal and side-impact crash tests NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) 2008 Santa Fe 2008 Top Safety Pick Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) 2008 Veracruz 2008 Top Safety Pick Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)
In case you're wondering, I'm not in the car business.
Last edited by Latearrival; 7th Jan 2010 at 19:21.
By comparison with most American cars I've driven I exepect even a Hyundai feels quite dynamic and sophisticated, which may explain why they score so well in US tests. I know you recall that they scored well against Mercedes and Lexus, too, but I just can't see it. They're simply cheap, horrible things.
Also why is the Santa Fe the '2008 Top Safety Pick Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)'? It's only got 4 Euro NCAP stars, which is distinctly ordinary in terms of safety.
Weren't Daewoos just slightly cosmetically adjusted cast offs from other manufacturers?
I know for sure one was simply a mark two Astra, only made to look much uglier, and well past its sell by date when Vauxhall axed it.
They never see them because the sort of folks who buy them harldy ever drive them, so they don't break.
The typical purchaser has never had an interest in vehicles, wouldn't know build, ride or handling quality if it hit them in the face and, most telling of all, are probably buying 'a last car to see their days out'.
Just the thought of touching the plastic they use for the interiors in them sets my teeth on edge.
Daewoo "rebranded" as Chevrolet, in the UK at least, 3 or 4 years back: they're part of GM (for the moment...). They provide the reasonably priced car for Top Gears' celebrity challenge, the Lacetti & the same bodyshell featured in last years British Touring Car Championship, driven by Jason Plato.
SC, I'm not sure how current your experience is or what models you're talking about. One of my friends had driven only high-end Japanese cars--Toyotas and Hondas--over the past 20 years or so. Being pretty careful with his money, after reading reviews and on a recommendation from his mechanic, he bought a Hyundai three years ago and says it compares favourably with his previous cars and considers it exceptional value for the money. He puts on a lot of kilometres because of his job.
Based on his recommendation, another friend also purchased one of the higher end models a year later and he's a convert as well. I've ridden in both cars and they don't feel tinny and the interior finishing didn't strike me as cheap. The tinniest cars I've ever ridden in were American models, but to be fair, I haven't even sat in an American car for several years--other than a truck ...and that particular truck had the most uncomfortable seats I've ever had the displeasure to experience. However, I wouldn't condemn all American trucks based on that experience.
Opinions about cars are quite subjective but when a particular model gets numerous exceptionally positive (or exceptionally bad) reviews, I tend to pay attention.
Last edited by Latearrival; 8th Jan 2010 at 00:26.
Reason: mental lapse
Aged mother-in-law was attacked whilst driving by a drunken, unlicensed, teenage driver who hit the front of M-i-L car, hardly a dent, but the airbags went off.
M-i-L. car was an 8 yr. old, low mileage, one careful lady owner etc. car in immaculate condition, but the cost of replacing the airbags was more than the book value of the car, so Ins. wrote it off and gave M-i-L the ridiculous low book figure.
M-i-L wanted to spend a few dollars on replacing the broken headlight and have the car back - like now, stuff the airbags, didn't need them, first time ever used them, never had an accident herself, waste of time etc. illogical I know but you tell her !! but I do agree that if she doesn't want airbags she is entitled to that standpoint.
Unfortunately, manufacturers car spec. calls for airbags, so without them the car is unregisterable, therefore uninsurable etc.
Only option is to accept the low pay out, then spend gadzillions of dollars on finding a similar 8 yr old car, which will be less perfect than the one she already has.
Not fair. Suing the other driver is a non-event, financially.