Are European cars as bad as they say?

General discussion about cars. Looking to buy a new car? Have a great driving story? Post it here!
User avatar
bk7794
Master Standardshifter
Posts: 1509
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 3:16 am
Cars: 00 Civic (Stock)
Location: Central CT

Are European cars as bad as they say?

Postby bk7794 » Sat May 23, 2015 3:37 pm

I'm sure there are tons of threads on this exact topic. However, I believe this forum needs some waking up. I've always been kind of intrigued with a European car. I've contemplated buying a BMW multiple times but always feared the identity that comes along with the brand. I've recently kind of got interested in Volvos. I found a V70 near me with the 5 cylinder 5 speed.

I've also contemplated looking at a VW product with the 5 cylinder engine. How are these engines in terms of longevity? Anyone know? I know they have decent torque down low and seem like a kind of hyper motor that is eager to rev.

I'd be interested in knowing your thoughts.
2000 Honda Civic EX 5 Speed
Volvo S60R 6 Speed - Sold

User avatar
potownrob
Master Standardshifter
Posts: 7241
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2005 11:35 pm
Cars: '16 Golf; '07 Altima
Location: Dutchess County

Re: Are European cars as bad as they say?

Postby potownrob » Sun May 24, 2015 12:14 am

bk7794 wrote:I'm sure there are tons of threads on this exact topic. However, I believe this forum needs some waking up. I've always been kind of intrigued with a European car. I've contemplated buying a BMW multiple times but always feared the identity that comes along with the brand. I've recently kind of got interested in Volvos. I found a V70 near me with the 5 cylinder 5 speed.

I've also contemplated looking at a VW product with the 5 cylinder engine. How are these engines in terms of longevity? Anyone know? I know they have decent torque down low and seem like a kind of hyper motor that is eager to rev.

I'd be interested in knowing your thoughts.
you may not remember, but I used to have a vw with the 5 cylinder engine. This engine is said to be bulletproof and is, in my opinion, underrated. So much so that they replaced it with a new 1.8 liter turbo. Even though the engine that replaced it performs significantly better while achieving better mpgs, the 2.5 was a torque monster (for an engine its size) and had a unique sound and character to it. As with most if not all German cars, you need to do the preventative maintenance to ensure the car holds up (while you can often slack on repairs and PM with Japanese cars). That said, the models with the 2.5 usually hold up very well and, from what I read, don't really need as much maintenance as the other engines (2.slow and the turbo engines), in part thanks to having a timing chain. From what I understand, Swedish cars are similar to the stereotypical Germans in regards to maintenance. They have a different feel and design ethos to them, but they need to get their scheduled maintenance. They also have amazing seats.
FÜR DIE FAHGLEITZ!! :shock:

For Pizza!!!!

User avatar
Tups
Master Standardshifter
Posts: 2229
Joined: Sun May 03, 2009 4:37 am
Location: Suomi Finland Perkele

Re: Are European cars as bad as they say?

Postby Tups » Mon May 25, 2015 1:14 am

As an interesting side note, around here American cars are typically seen as unreliable and are often found in the bottom end of the public ranking based on annual vehicle inspection failure statistics.
2007 Ford Focus ST225
1982 Ford Escort Mk3

User avatar
theholycow
Master Standardshifter
Posts: 15990
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 1:36 pm
Cars: '80 Buick LeSabre 4.1 5MT
Location: Glocester, RI
Contact:

Re: Are European cars as bad as they say?

Postby theholycow » Mon May 25, 2015 9:42 am

Tups wrote:As an interesting side note, around here American cars are typically seen as unreliable and are often found in the bottom end of the public ranking based on annual vehicle inspection failure statistics.

That's pretty much the same in the US, though I think the bad reputation has softened a bit in the past few years. It's partially a self-fulfilling prophecy; if someone thinks they're driving a piece of crap and if it has low market value then they won't bother maintaining and repairing it right and it will be less reliable and fail inspections, while if it has good market value and the owner feels good about it then it will get the care it needs to last forever.

In the US, pop culture only likes Japanese vehicles for reliability and they rank the highest in general.
1980 Buick LeSabre 4.1L 5MT

Put your car in your sig!

Learn to launch/FAQs/lugging/misused terms: meta-sig
watkins wrote:Humans have rear-biased AWD. Cows have 4WD

User avatar
watkins
Master Standardshifter
Posts: 15697
Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2007 12:42 am
Cars: 1999 Saab Viggen
Location: Salem, MA

Re: Are European cars as bad as they say?

Postby watkins » Mon May 25, 2015 1:23 pm

My European car turns 16 in two months and has 190k miles on it. Most of them pretty abusive. I tuned it at 185k.

Aside from expected wear and tear items, its been pretty good to me for the 65k or so miles Ive owned it. Some parts have corroded due to age and aggressive New England road salt (power steering line, shock towers). But the engine, transmission, and turbo are all original
Image

User avatar
AHTOXA
Master Standardshifter
Posts: 14617
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2007 6:31 pm
Cars: '16 Ecoboost F150
Location: Coppell, TX

Re: Are European cars as bad as they say?

Postby AHTOXA » Mon May 25, 2015 5:27 pm

European makes as a whole have become much more reliable in the recent half decade or a bit more. But, some niggling particulars remain.

VWs still have dumb electrical issues, but the 2.5 motors are reputed bulletproof. I've owned one for almost 50k miles.

BMW and Mercedes and Audi are generally recommended for the duration of the lease, as they are rather expensive to maintain outside of warranty.

Domestic cars have improved, but can still be problematic, especially in the earlier ears of a generation. Case in point being my Sonic. It's been far, far more problematic than my 2.5L VW over the span of the same mileage.
'16 Ecoboost F150
'12 Suzuki V-Strom 650
'17 Trek Fuel EX8 27.5+
'08 Giant Trance 1 (old school 26'er)

IMBoring25
Moderator
Posts: 3283
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2003 5:01 pm
Location: OK, USA

Re: Are European cars as bad as they say?

Postby IMBoring25 » Tue May 26, 2015 12:17 am

On the other hand, the platform underpinning the Sonic is technically Korean in origin.

User avatar
Squint
Master Standardshifter
Posts: 3390
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2011 12:44 pm
Location: KY

Re: Are European cars as bad as they say?

Postby Squint » Tue May 26, 2015 9:50 am

I drove a Volve 740 I4 Turbo for my first few years of driving and it was pretty solid. We had the usual maintenance things and then the alternator had an issue and had to be replaced. Outside of that, I can't remember any major issues in the few years before I drove it or when I drove it. They certainly try to make a safe vehicle - I'm pretty sure they put out a company statement that they wanted to have zero preventable road deaths in their cars by 2020 or something like that.

I've got a friend at work who drives a BMW 3xx that he bought cheaply used. It wasn't running when bought but just needed a few hundred $$ of repairs and he's loved it since then with no major issues that he's brought up. Other than being stuck in the snow once in the work parking lot. :lol: :lol:

I would be interested in the VW TDI engines - we've thought about a Golf Sportwagen or similar vehicle as a potential future vehicle when the Mazda lease is up. Though that is still over 2 years away. :lol: :lol:
'15 Mazda 3 iSport Hatch 6MT
'11 Ford Fiesta Hatchback SE 5MT
'14 Giant Escape City 24MT
'97 Honda Civic EX 4AT - Retired @ 184,001 mi

For Pony!

User avatar
AHTOXA
Master Standardshifter
Posts: 14617
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2007 6:31 pm
Cars: '16 Ecoboost F150
Location: Coppell, TX

Re: Are European cars as bad as they say?

Postby AHTOXA » Tue May 26, 2015 10:30 am

IMBoring25 wrote:On the other hand, the platform underpinning the Sonic is technically Korean in origin.


I don't think it is. The previous gen Aveo certainly was, though.
'16 Ecoboost F150
'12 Suzuki V-Strom 650
'17 Trek Fuel EX8 27.5+
'08 Giant Trance 1 (old school 26'er)

User avatar
AHTOXA
Master Standardshifter
Posts: 14617
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2007 6:31 pm
Cars: '16 Ecoboost F150
Location: Coppell, TX

Re: Are European cars as bad as they say?

Postby AHTOXA » Tue May 26, 2015 10:34 am

Squint wrote:
I would be interested in the VW TDI engines - we've thought about a Golf Sportwagen or similar vehicle as a potential future vehicle when the Mazda lease is up. Though that is still over 2 years away. :lol: :lol:


I'm also interested in them, but the upfront cost, higher maintenance cost, as well as diesel being more expensive in the last few years make it a pretty limited option. Basically, diesels in small cars make little sense given all those factors. It's mostly a 'want' thing now.

VW diesels suffered from HPFP failures in MkVI models. Not sure about VII
'16 Ecoboost F150
'12 Suzuki V-Strom 650
'17 Trek Fuel EX8 27.5+
'08 Giant Trance 1 (old school 26'er)

User avatar
bk7794
Master Standardshifter
Posts: 1509
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 3:16 am
Cars: 00 Civic (Stock)
Location: Central CT

Re: Are European cars as bad as they say?

Postby bk7794 » Tue May 26, 2015 8:07 pm

Wow I must admit I'm pretty stoked to see there is still a following on this forum. Seemed pretty dead around here for the past few weeks.

What are some thoughts on the Jetta from like 05-09? They still have electrical glitches? Also by glitches, do you mean like the quirky behavior that would leave you stranded on the side of the road with the horn blaring and the engine dead? Or ...?

I knew someone that had a Jetta and their car would them the engine was overheating when it was under freezing out.

I feel going the Japanese route is much safer for my cheap side...but there is a side that is telling me go big or go home...

I have seen those 2.5s get up there but I also hear their chains are weaknesses. Can't forget the Audi S4 catastrophe lol.

Also the new 1.8 is pretty slick, plus that and a tune you're making some good power. I've often thought about getting one.
2000 Honda Civic EX 5 Speed
Volvo S60R 6 Speed - Sold

User avatar
potownrob
Master Standardshifter
Posts: 7241
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2005 11:35 pm
Cars: '16 Golf; '07 Altima
Location: Dutchess County

Re: Are European cars as bad as they say?

Postby potownrob » Wed May 27, 2015 1:07 am

have you considered mazda or subaru?? might be a nice alternative to the more risky europeans.
FÜR DIE FAHGLEITZ!! :shock:

For Pizza!!!!

IMBoring25
Moderator
Posts: 3283
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2003 5:01 pm
Location: OK, USA

Re: Are European cars as bad as they say?

Postby IMBoring25 » Wed May 27, 2015 1:24 am

AHTOXA wrote:
IMBoring25 wrote:On the other hand, the platform underpinning the Sonic is technically Korean in origin.


I don't think it is. The previous gen Aveo certainly was, though.


Yep, still is...Kappa II is considered a global platform, but GM Korea has the lead on it, with a lot of input from Opel.

User avatar
potownrob
Master Standardshifter
Posts: 7241
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2005 11:35 pm
Cars: '16 Golf; '07 Altima
Location: Dutchess County

Re: Are European cars as bad as they say?

Postby potownrob » Wed May 27, 2015 1:43 am

bk7794 wrote:What are some thoughts on the Jetta from like 05-09? They still have electrical glitches? Also by glitches, do you mean like the quirky behavior that would leave you stranded on the side of the road with the horn blaring and the engine dead? Or ...?

I knew someone that had a Jetta and their car would them the engine was overheating when it was under freezing out.

I feel going the Japanese route is much safer for my cheap side...but there is a side that is telling me go big or go home...
i think they redid the electrical systems for the MKV VWs and, from what i can remember, that generation was overall very reliable, even the turbo ones (other than certain trouble components). i haven't even heard about the stupid cosmetic issues that were standard fare with the older MK3 and MK4 models. you want to avoid the beetles though, even the newer ones, since they seem to still suffer electrical issues for some reason. not sure about the MKVI golfs, but the MKVI jettas got even newer electrical systems, supposedly even better. the GLIs and maybe TDIs have the european electrical system though, which i'm not sure if it's the same as or more similar to the MKV electrical system. I haven't heard of issues with the newer golfs and jettas. whichever model you're considering, read up on reviews and postings on the vortex to get a better idea of potential problems.
FÜR DIE FAHGLEITZ!! :shock:

For Pizza!!!!

User avatar
Squint
Master Standardshifter
Posts: 3390
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2011 12:44 pm
Location: KY

Re: Are European cars as bad as they say?

Postby Squint » Wed May 27, 2015 2:20 pm

potownrob wrote:have you considered mazda or subaru?? might be a nice alternative to the more risky europeans.

I can second both of these suggestions. My current Mazda has been great and if I had to replace a car currently, I would seriously consider Subaru.
'15 Mazda 3 iSport Hatch 6MT
'11 Ford Fiesta Hatchback SE 5MT
'14 Giant Escape City 24MT
'97 Honda Civic EX 4AT - Retired @ 184,001 mi

For Pony!


Return to “Tranny Talk”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 3 guests