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Rant: New 2019 cars SUCK & ride like crap. Test drove many and didn't like most of them.

kiltedscotsman

Full Member
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Calgary, Alberta
Buick Ownership
Roadmaster Wagon Limited
So the TLDR of this rant is that I will need a new, smaller fuel efficient daily driver sooner or later when the Toyota Yaris I use to DD gives up and theres very few out there as options without the government ruining everything.

I'm open minded, I can give up fuel efficiency and smallness for a lovely cushy ride. Probably buy a year old leaseback for newer.

Is it just me, or do newer, 2018/19 models ride like absolute ass? Now, okay, my summer play toy is my cherished 95 RMW and the ride is softer on those things, but it seems for the longest time, the rides in cars have been getting firmer to the point of jarring. I test drove a whole bunch of cars.

It seems the motoring press, are IMHO seeminly are a bunch of performance and track ability obsessed morons. Yeah, sure, it's nice to be able to sling the latest Camry or Buick big sedan around the Nurberging and all with minimal body roll and record lap times, but honestly, I just want to have a relaxed drive to my local supermarket over crappy potholed city roads or a chilled 3 hour commute to a conference without feeling like ive gone hours sitting on an angry out of balance washing machine on a spin cycle. I don't need to be going round corners sideways, nor do I want to. Ive been even thinking about getting even HIGHER profile tires for my RMW!

Theres other things in newer cars now that will all end in tears, for example, the gradual adoption of GDI (direct fuel injection) over port fuel injected cars, and slapping turbos on everything. The cynics out there will probably be thinking that its regulation that's driven that and yes, you would be right. Gubmint ruins everything, including cars.

The US federal CAFE standards are set to rise to almost an impossible 50mpg (US gallon, not imperial, which would be less unrealistic) all whilst simultaneously demanding more safety features, harder steel, thicker A, B C pillars. This results in heavier cars, and engineers tearing their hair out how they are going to get power out of smaller engines to keep the gov quiet but yet still somehow get the heavier cars to move.

In comes GDI injection, inside the cylinder, coming in at 1500psi, over MPI's 50 approx. Slap a turbo on it to get even more power... you have a ticking time bomb of intake valve rear carbonation needing walnut shell blast cleaning every 50,000 and failing turbos. But hey! At least it's fuel efficient! (when you aren't lead footing it....) An example being Fords ECO/Boost, where it's either eco, or boost, good luck getting both.

Details on the ticking time bomb that is GDI that's being forced on the unwitting public (thanks to federal nanny hippy CAFE fuel economy standards nobody asked for) here:

So, I have spent the last several weeks going into car stealerships and having to tolerate sometimes moronic salesmen, but to their credit mostly pleasant, if rather unaware of how cars work in general, and having to explain at great pains that no, what they had wasnt what i wanted, and no, that I wouldn't "get used to it". It's quite tiresome having to test drive cars when one ends up knowing more about how the engine works than their own salesmen.

On to the car test drives, and how the car failed to get on my 'short list':

Honda:
1. Accord. Lovely car, but disqualified as a manual tranny was only available in the sport, the salesman wasn't willing to buy back the stupid low profile rubber band tires (another gripe of mine, massive wheels and stupid low profile tires= hard ride) and to sell me steel wheels that *just* cleared the brakes, and to throw on tires that would make up the size differential in aspect ratio. Other disqualification ride was awful on the low profile "sport" rims - Honda has dropped port injection for 2019, has gone with GDI, dropped the venerable 2.4 litre inline 4, they also dropped the bulletproof Honda V6 and put in a ridiculously small 1.5 litre engine from the Civic, and yep you guessed it, slapped a turbo on it to make up the power. So may have to be a manual tranny pre 2019 used.

GDI and turbo....Can you say *GUBMINT MANDATED* fuel economy?

2. Civic. Nicely built again, disqualification points: 2019 roofline even lower than a few years ago so you hit your forehead leaning forward when looking around at a stop sign (thats gubmint pedestrian rollover standards for you), sitting in it like dropping into a hole in the ground, stupid digital speedo, stupid low profile tires, GDI injection and turbo over a few years ago 1.8 litre normally aspirated.

3. 2019 Fit. This would have fit my bill to a tee, alas, Honda dropped port injection in the 2014 model year so it will have to be a used one from that year. So new ones disqualified.

Acura (honda): Out of my wallet league.

Toyota:
1 Camry - beautifully built but again, GDI injection mixed with port to mitigate the GDI design weakness, but its size and class has bloated over the years and its cost has risen too much to be a contender. Coupled with Toyota's new 4DS injection system means more complexity and another set of injectors to worry about instead of jut FOUR. Other minus points, way too complex inside, starship Enterprise syndrome, intrusive centre console/wall.

2. Corolla. Nicely built. Disqualified because of GDI/turbo and newer, lower roofline means bonking forehead on ceiling again leaning forward, even on seat height on lowest. Stupid electronic downshift rev matching driving nanny. Which is annoying as I learnt to drive manual tranny, I think I can rev match myself thank you. Hate the way newer cars driving you instead of the other way around. If I wanted to be driven I would hire a chauffeur.

3. Yaris 5 door hatchback. Manual tranny. Of all the unlikely things, ironically, Toyota's lowest cost car in Canada and the US, is still, mechanically the simplest, easiest and cheapest to repair, and also doesn't come with newer complex tech.
Still has port fuel injection. 5 speed manual. Mechanical heater switch, heat knob and mixer flap adjustments. No intrusive centre console, just a simple small 2 cuphoders at front and OMG a REAL handbrake! (e-brake to you American brothers ;) ] She's simple basic transportation, and currently on the shortlist of DD replacements. Dealer made a face when I asked if they could buy back the 16" alloys and throw on 14" steels and make up the diff in aspect again. Screw them, I can just throw on the 14" 185/70/14's from the old Yaris and get a better ride.

4. Avalon. The poor mans lexus. Lovely inside but way out of my budget and ride isnt as cushy as it used to be.

Lexus (toyota): Out of my wallet league

GM:
Buick -
Too many SUV's, more or less none of them, MAYBE the regal, in a manual, with small wheels and high profile tires. Will have to investigate but suspect the price they want is way too ambitious, centre consoles on seemingly all of them is too intrusive, too many buttons and too complicated inside.
Chevrolet - Too many SUV's, the new impala IMHO is junk, gimme a 2012 impala LS with a column shift and a BENCH SEAT any day. Their smaller cars like the spark and sonic are heaps of junk, spotted a plastic intake manifold on one of them. Lifted the rear spare tire area and could flex the steel underneath with my FINGER.
Cadillac - Nope, no good since the B body and DTS era. Ride too stiff and they all look like they were designed with a set square.

Mitsubishi: Nothing suitable since they killed off the perfectly good Lancer. Not the most exciting of cars (the regular, not the evo's) but quietly reliable and proven over time.

Ford: Test drove a few SUVs, and some sedans, but TBH they were all so samey and even the SUV's rides were harsh and jarring over expansion joints. Quite liked the Ford Flex and ride was nice on that one, imagine smaller wheels would be even better...it was a big boxy station wagon...i wonder why I liked that one hmmmmm.... :p. Most models disqualified due to GDI injection, only have the fiesta left to test drive, it still has port injection with a manual tranny.
They don't make the Crown Vic or Mercury Marquis anymore so too bad so sad.

Nissan: None, all french garbage since mid 90s, crappiest CVTs and auto trannies in the world.

Chrysler: Hahahahaha nope. Not unless we are talking something from maybe the mid to late 70s.

Kia/hyundai: Good value but all GDI so NOOOOPPPPE.

In short, we have a absurd situation where most except maybe 1 or 2 2018/2019 cars, used or new, I find severely underwhelming, or ridiculous massive 20" etc wheels with terrible harsh rides, too complicated push/touch buttoney, massive berlin wall like centre consoles, noisy on the highway, are all blown away by cars from years or even decades ago for simplicity, ride comfort, ease of repair/cost of repair, somewhere to put your right knee and overall character. Most cars these days look the same, from a fair distance all seem to resemble a cross between a squashed frog and a cough lozenge.

My shortlist is now:
1. Toyota Yaris 2019 and older (newer one will be the rebadged Mazda 2 from 2020, and Auto only with GDI injection)
2. 2014 honda fit or older.
3. 2011 ford crown vic/mercury marquis
4. 2005 Buick century.
5. 2012 Chevy Impala LS with bench seat/2011 buick lucerne with bench seat/2011 caddy DTS with bench seat non northstar.
6. Last model year Pontiac Parisienne (Canadian version of a car) Good luck finding these in good condition.
7. 1996 Chev caprice/Buick Roadmaster/Caddy Fleetwood.
8. 2019/2019 Ford Fiesta port injected.
9. 2011 Lincoln Town Car.
10. 1996 Buick Park Avenue.

Seems the golden age of the relaxed, easy, effortless ride is over. Comments gentlemen? What modern car trends get on your goat?

Edit: clarity, explanation links, grammar, more shortlisted cars.
 
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Skylarkin'

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2015 Buick Verano Turbo
The OP could buy a vehicle off the list above then change the tires and/or wheels to something that's more your liking - 235/75R15 or 225/70R16, etc.

Alternatively, the OP may want to consider going further back, to the marshmallow suspension era, if that's what he truly desires, when tire sidewalls under 60 were uncommon. My daily driver has 45-section tires but it rides so well that jarring bumps are few and far between. My previous car had 55-section tires, which on most vehicles, is as slim of a sidewall as I thought I'd want until I bought my current daily driver.
 

stoopid

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Las Vegas, NV
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2017 LaCrosse 1SL
The OP could buy a vehicle off the list above then change the tires and/or wheels to something that's more your liking - 235/75R15 or 225/70R16, etc.

Alternatively, the OP may want to consider going further back, to the marshmallow suspension era, if that's what he truly desires, when tire sidewalls under 60 were uncommon. My daily driver has 45-section tires but it rides so well that jarring bumps are few and far between. My previous car had 55-section tires, which on most vehicles, is as slim of a sidewall as I thought I'd want until I bought my current daily driver.
Agree, changing rims/tires is the easiest way to get the ride and handling you want.
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kiltedscotsman

Full Member
624
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18
Calgary, Alberta
Buick Ownership
Roadmaster Wagon Limited
Agree, changing rims/tires is the easiest way to get the ride and handling you want.
Agree! And well aware, downsizing rims is the way to go to avoid donkey cart like new car characteristics... I just wanted to rant haha...

For newish, man....a 2012 Chev Impala LS with front bench, seems to be the way to go. Ahhh lovely squishy cushy ride, for my poor aching back! It's funny, the motoring press is like the movie press, the cars they say suck are good, (chev impala 2012) and the cars they say are good, in fact, suck and are unreliable money pits. (chrysler 300, All VWs, Mercedes, BMW).

So just like movie reviewers, whatever motoring press say, do the opposite!
 

stoopid

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Where are the good reviews of the 300? I think it's common knowledge they're a turd wrapped in a Bentley cosmetic package. :p

I also don't see a lot of good press for VW, especially after the cheating scandal. It matches the actual quality of their lower end model cars. We only needed to drive one for 20 minutes to realize what a bag of bolts they are (and went with a Mazda instead).
 

kiltedscotsman

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Calgary, Alberta
Buick Ownership
Roadmaster Wagon Limited
Where are the good reviews of the 300? I think it's common knowledge they're a turd wrapped in a Bentley cosmetic package. :p

I also don't see a lot of good press for VW, especially after the cheating scandal. It matches the actual quality of their lower end model cars. We only needed to drive one for 20 minutes to realize what a bag of bolts they are (and went with a Mazda instead).

Agreed haha. Nice when they are new, but since they are Chrysler, with their infamous biodegradable automatic trannies (so bad that they have to use their own specially formulated pink Chrysler tranny fluid to help) as they age they are absolute engineering junk. The ridiculous postbox rising beltline almost-a-slit windows are also an annoyance.

RE: VW and no good press- not sure where you are looking, but in North America, its just surreal the amount of lavish praise the motoring press give to VW cars. Last time I recall, consumer reports, motortrend, car and driver etc are all raving about them- I can only assume that these journalists are either morons, or paid off.

Because, VW in the US and Canada, are absolute pieces of sh1t. They drive well, handle well and are fun, when they are new. But as they age? Different story. Meanwhile, 'boring' reliable small cars like the honda fit or toyota yaris/corolla get slagged off for 'non sporty handling this' or 'poor 0-60 that'.

Oddly, back in Europe, BMW, Merc and VW are bulletproof and well regarded. They are built in Germany or Belgium/England etc. But here? Mostly built in mexico or the US. If you are going to get a BMW, Merc or VW, for gods sake, get one with a door sticker that states "made in germany".

The funny thing with Dodge Chysler, is that sometimes they can get it right, eventually. Eg, I owned a Dodge Neon, I bought it because in the last 2-3 years of final production, all the incompetence had been shaken out, AND....mine was a 5 speed manual tranny. Those actually were not bad at all, mine was a last year production car.

What Chrysler then does, once the model gets good, it gets killed off, and then the incompetence cycle beings anew.... Dodge Nitro anyone? Ewwww. Even their truck trannies were so bad they has to use AISIN ones (half owned by toyota).

Oh, so I discovered to my delight last night that the old W body shape Impala, (not the new one...nasty...its like sitting in a coffin) produced up to 2016 at a 'fleet limited' model is actually available as a 2016 model with a ...BENCH SEAT! ***Rejoice!!!*** It was on autotrader.com as a 9C3 ex federal car with 9500 miles on it. Absolute STEAL.

Wether bench seat 2016s are only available as a federal/police package im not sure, if anyone knows that would be great. Only downside with the 9C3 package is that it seems to have bluetooth removed...? Oh well.
 
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stoopid

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Las Vegas, NV
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2017 LaCrosse 1SL
Unsure about the availability of bench seats 2016 Impalas, but I can't say I've seen one in a decade or more. I drive a bit too spirited for bench seats anyway. 🤣

VW praise is mostly at the Atlas. Most reviewers panned the Golf R once the competition came up to speed the following model year. The best I've read was "it's a hot hatch that would be a good daily driver.". Like people in the market for a WRX or Type R are looking for compliant ride and slower 0 to 60 times.

I know one person with a VW. He got a Golf R used for a great price. Otherwise he would never have chosen that. My associations is a limited sample size, but it's a truly random sample (I know people from all walks of life). Most of them drive Toyotas and Honda's.

Chrysler has great ideas and I like the styling of their larger sedans. I wouldn't own one if you paid me.
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kiltedscotsman

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Calgary, Alberta
Buick Ownership
Roadmaster Wagon Limited
Ok so I have finally made my mind up. It's (ideally) gonna be a 2009 Buick Lucerne CXL with the 3.8 litre 3800 Series III V6.
Been doing a lot of research.
1. Ride comfort, very low NVH due to Buick's QuietTune process, acoustic windscreen and all passenger glass for 2009 (apparently?)
2. Mechanics everywhere tell me that the 3800 is a bulletproof engine thats a piece of cake, and inexpensive to work on/repair. Also, proven old tech, pushrod, with port injection.
3. Leather seats. Whee!
4. Column shifter. Niiiiice.
5. Looks realtively modern and 'neutral' looking, much like the 13-16 W body impala did, but obviously has more kit and better sound dampening (?)
6. Doesn't look like a grandad car, like the Park Avenue etc can look like...I still love those older models, but hey....gotta think of the girl like factor....

Sooo now on the hunt for a low mile Lucerne. I suppose a LaCrosse is a fallback position, as basically the same (?) just a bit smaller.
 

2007LucerneCXL

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2007 Lucerne CXL. and 1995 Lesabre currently, past 1973 Riviera, 1968 Riviera
I enjoy my 07 3.8L CXL Lucerne as it's basically getting a Cadillac DTS for the price of a Buick. Only one area that you may notice is the A pillar is a little on the large size, have a 95 Lesabre as a comparison. Not a off the line monster, but does well enough and can cruise at highway speeds plus very comfortably that if you don't set the cruise control it will climb up until you look down at the speedometer. 3.8L starts to wake-up at about 1800 on these, so low end doesn't feel impressive but then it's designed for driving and not light to light performance. Good luck on your search.
 

kiltedscotsman

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Calgary, Alberta
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Roadmaster Wagon Limited
I enjoy my 07 3.8L CXL Lucerne as it's basically getting a Cadillac DTS for the price of a Buick. Only one area that you may notice is the A pillar is a little on the large size, have a 95 Lesabre as a comparison. Not a off the line monster, but does well enough and can cruise at highway speeds plus very comfortably that if you don't set the cruise control it will climb up until you look down at the speedometer. 3.8L starts to wake-up at about 1800 on these, so low end doesn't feel impressive but then it's designed for driving and not light to light performance. Good luck on your search.
Good to know, thank you. Can I ask you about interior noise levels and long drive comfort? I drive like a granny anyway so performance isn't a priority. How does it compare interior noise wise to other cars would you say?

Feedback from any Lucerne owners would be great. I was also considering the sister model 12-16 impala W body but would imagine they are noisier as doesn't have as much sound deadening as Lurcerne/LaCrosse, hence why I narrowed down to the Lucerne, and also because supersitions about the 3800 series III pushrod V6, despite only having 4 gears, will have better longevity than the newer direct injected DOHC 3.6 litre V6 in the Impala.

The weathered/frost/ice/snow worn rutted roads in Canada can really intrude into the cabin noise wise on my little daily driver, and after a long day driving around, it can seem worse when one is tired.

I gather the CXL has 17" wheels, although IIRC the brochure seems to state that 16" are also an option. Would anyone know the smallest wheel possible that would fit on a 2009 Lucerne? I'm thinking that 16" downsizing on the CXL is probably the lowest I could go, but would love to go to 15" and make up the difference in sidewall height. Throw on some Bridgestone Turanza Quiettracks, and ahhh....squishy comfy bliss!
 

2007LucerneCXL

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17 on the Lucerne and as a comparison 15 on the LeSabre, the same road I drove on for 9 months and there's a difference as the Lesabre seemed a little more forgiving. Noise levels in the Lucerne are extremely low even at highway speeds. Surface conditions might be noticeable, each state I've been through has a slightly different asphalt formula, but a bump on the + side of the volume is all that might be needed.

For few possible issue, no trunk key so if remote trunk lock doesn't work the only option is the emergency trunk pull, PITA engineering. Fuel pump relay, back seat fuse box info on forum. Door handles and rear door latches have come up in the forum. Headlight bulb replacement, lets just say it's not a user friendly project. Water leak in the trunk, check spare tire well and it's also on the forum. Backup camera would be a recommendation if not already installed.

The 3.8L in the Lucerne is pretty accessible for most service needs, which is a big plus over the Northstar, so shop hours should be minimal on basic repairs.
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