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post #1 of 2 Old 04-04-2019, 07:19 AM Thread Starter
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Versa vs cars from the 80's

My wife once complaint that the Versa was barely driveable. This got me thinking about my first car, an Acura Integra 1st gen (80's). It was considered a preppy car back then, but it had only 113 hp for a car about the same size as the Versa. My memory of the handling were hazy, I don't recall if the handling was comparable to the Versa these days. It did require way more maintenance. I think I needed to replace the spark plug every 15K. Nowadays, it's more like 100K.

Back in the 80's, my parent owned several Chevrolet. The first was a Chevette. This was followed by a Citation. I think there may have been a Ford Pinto somewhere. All the cars were terrible, drove like crap, and turned us off toward American cars for a while, since the next couple of cars were Toyota's.

Nowadays, even entry level cars have about 130 hp or higher. They often appear to faster and handles better than the sport coupe of yesteryear. They are also much safer, and more reliable. How things have improved!


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post #2 of 2 Old 04-04-2019, 12:07 PM
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Yes in every way except for more reliable, being it can mean more than one thing.

The engines and transmissions last about forever unless you got CVT in Nissan and other brands can have major trans and engine problems that nobody including the dealers can fix. Almost every maker has one millstone model now.

If you get one of the ones that doesn't break then the issue begins to be one of nuisance more than anything else, the everyday bits and pieces tend to break a LOT more than they used as commonly made of plastic now and often past that made intentionally to fail after a certain period of time. You have great swaths of parts that now break that never used to through the entire life of cars in the past.

I don't have much time with Nissan yet but so far I see electrics as a problem as they are heavily unitized to make you buy big subassemblies to get one small $5 part. Like the IPDMs. Ridiculous prices on them and commonly all you need is a relay. Light fixtures on Nissan are crap too, they commonly let bulbs fall right out of them, or bulb does not work due to heated contacts warping to not touch. Plastic parts that snap on and then the snaps cease to hold the part firmly in place, part then falls off. The typical now parts made to snap on new but as soon as they get older they break tabs to no longer go on without flopping loose. In all reality the maker there intended those parts to be installed one time only and anything past that you lucked out.

Why I left Ford after 40 years, they were even worse with plastic valve covers and major cooling system parts that turned into dust in 10 years and cannot seal even with new gaskets. So many of their parts are designed to break early it's not funny, I came up with a list of 50 things that broke on Focus cars within 100K miles and the list is still growing past that. Many of the parts you can look at to guess where they fail and surprise then later they do it. If the part barely breaks the engineer then redesigns it again to break faster, it's all about parts sales throughput now, it is as important as new car sales are now. Why you typically can no longer get nuts or bolts without now buying the more major part that gets bolted down in many cases. Or, a single bolt costs $20. I've paid $20 for a one inch snap ring before.

I am convince that these issues are contrived to make owners give up on the cars quicker, the engine/trans keeps working but the minor nuisance issues that most will not fix then add up to annoy one enough to begin to cave into the idea of the new car. Myself, I keep them fixed and keep on driving.

The full development of the modern computer that controls all now has resulted in cars that can go 300K miles if halfway taken care of and that sells less cars so the makers have gone to other more clandestine methods to coerce people into buying a new car. If not that then they try to force you to buy much more expensive parts than were before.
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