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Archive for the ‘American Automakers’ Category

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.

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