If it\’s got an engine. . .

Dorri probably likes it

What’s wrong with American automakers, part ?

Posted by ifitsgotanengine on January 6, 2007

In the latest Car and Driver, there is a comparison test of $22k to $24k sedans with automatic transmissions. Bread and butter cars, very mainstream. There were two domestic cars in the test – the new Saturn Aura and the newly updated Chrysler Sebring. One could make a case, however, that neither of those are domestic cars. The Saturn is a mildly reskinned Opel Astra, and Chrysler is now a part of Daimler-Chrysler, a German company. These cars were campared to the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima, and Kia Optima.

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In this test, I noticed that the Chrysler Sebring, which Chrysler has been advertising heavily, was slowest to 60 miles per hour, even though it was middle of the pack in power-to-weight ratio.

Looking more closely, I discovered the reason: the Sebring and the Aura were the only cars in the test with four-speed automatics. All of the imports had five-speed automatics, except the Nissan, which had a CVT.

It seems that the American automakers will never learn.

5 Responses to “What’s wrong with American automakers, part ?”

  1. Mitch Rapp said

    You should do a little research before you express an opinion. The base Aura has a 4-speed. The AURA XR has a 6-speed.

    And what is your response to the Aura win a North American Car of the Year…over the Toyota Camry?

  2. Dorri732 said

    The base Aura has a four speed auto. The imported cars it was tested against were all base models, and all of them bettered the Aura’s transmission and acceleration times.

    As to the award, it was named the NORTH AMERICAN car of the year. What was it competing against, the Ford 500?

  3. Dorri732 said

    Motor Trend’s Car of the Year, by the way, was the Camry.

  4. Leroy said

    It’s 2007 folks. Four speed autos went out of style many years ago. It’s time to leave them in the dust along with their 2 and 3 speed cousins.

  5. Chris Watson said

    I’ve had the same complaint a lot lately. To me it seems odd that there is a big push from the domestic manufacturers to bring their muscle cars back into the show while the whole world talks of environmental problems and makes constant pushes to go hybrid. Don’t get me wrong, I think its cool that the Challenger and others are back, I just think their timing sucks.

    “The world is worried about the depletion of fossil fuels, global warming, soaring fuel prices, etc… Why don’t we bring back the HEMI, that will boost sales and give us a good image!” -Folks at Chrysler/Dodge

    I hate to say it but I stopped really watching the typical domestic commuter cars a while ago. Their quality seemed to hit a point and then stay at that same point even though their foreign competitors were going ahead full steam.

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