Magazine Reviews and "Car of the Year" stuff

Hi there
I have limited access to car magazines, but do read Consumer Reports and Web-Based mags and sites (Edmunds, Driving.ca, autonet, etc), as well as my local newspaper car section. I also
watch car TV shows (such as C&D, Fifth Gear, Motoring 2006, etc).
Well, this year, everywhere I looked, Japanese products were often in the top spots. Now, I know about the complaints that CR is bias against our companies, but from many different reviewers this year is kinda odd, to say the least... But these reviews also place unduly amphasis on "driving fun". I want something practical and reliable so I think that the factors they consider as important to place a car in the top 10 might be different than the common Joe like me.
I know I do not have access to everything. Is there a serious source where GM, Ford or Chrysler products made it in these "top 10"? I like to read about this so an URL would be welcomed as I am considering either getting a new GM or Ford Minivan. Are there reviews that uses "practicality" and reliability and "everyday family usage" as factors?
Thanks
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IMO, driving fun has a place even for the "common Joe" driver. I spend a fair amount of time in my vehicle and while reliability and practicality are important, it should be a place I want to be. I think you just have to read between the lines a bit. C & D will downgrade a care that does not have the extreme capabilities they look for, but not everyone can use a Porsche as a family car.
The Japanese cars have been reliable, but the US are not far (if at all) behind. One a scale of 1 to 10, it may have been a 4 - 8 comparison twenty years ago, today it is more of an 8.5 - 9 comparison.
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I look at these reviews as well, but have not seen Ford, GM, or Chrysler get many kudos.
When these magazines start talking about 2006 and 2007 cars, it is impossible for them to have good figures for reliability. It takes a while to record the failures. So to some extent they grade the cars on subjective values.
You need to drive the cars yourself and see which ones appeal to you. It is seldom that you really get a lemon anymore.
Even with my complaints about the GM engine failures, our cars have not been BAD cars. They have been pretty good. My irritation is that GM and others have purposely or coincidentally allowed flaws to continue in some areas, and they have neither improved the breed nor taken responsibility for the problems.
Some of the Ford minivans of the past have been absolutely shitteaux. Bad engines, failing transmissions, etc. So have some Chrysler..
So until the American manufacturers get off the heated windshield water kick and improve the basic platform, a lot of people will continue to complain and buy foreign.
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True, but the basic drive train for many models has not changed much in years. The GM 3.8 is how many years old? .
>

Right, but many a morning that heated fluid would have been nice to have :) Love those rain sensing wipers too!
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wrote in message

Actually, the 3800 has gone through three generations. They are not the same engines, although they have evolved from the same parent.
The Series I was perhaps one of GM's best ever engines. Series II gave the plenum problems. There is also a Series III.
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snipped-for-privacy@nospam.nix wrote:

Which is now spitting out camshaft bearings. (Series III) We've seen 3 complete engine failures in the last 3 months and I just pulled a fourth into my stall today. Whether it's the same problem, I haven't determined, but I won't be surprised.
Ian
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What are the symptoms?
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wrote:

I wasn't sure for my next car, but now I know it wont be GM, if their best engine can turns like that whats next ???
GM was in competition for my next van with KIA and HYUNDAI , and I will go with the Korean, after all they cannot be much worse
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aarcuda69062 wrote:

Oil pressure light comes on at hot idle. Touch the gas, and the light goes out. I pulled the oil pan down today, sure enough.....it's the same problem as the other engines....#3 camshaft bearing spun in the block, and it had moved forward in the bore about 1/2".
New motor time. At least they are stocking the complete motors in Edmonton (next day GM parts depot for us). Of course, TAC is still saying "problem, what problem?" Heh heh.
Ian
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Much appreciated!
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fail totally and well within the warranty period?
If so, perhaps GM will actually figure out a viable correction, since they will be bearing the costs, unlike the sort of time-bombish gasket failures of the past.
merlin
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Miller wrote:

Yes, all of these vehicles have been very low mileage rental cars (Grand Prix). One had 500 kilometers on it, this one I'm doing now has 14,000 kilometers on it.

Yeah.....GM is going to be buying a lot of engines if this trend continues. Who knows...it may just be a certain run of engines. That's happened before....and then they catch whatever the problem is and you don't see the problem again.
Ian
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shiden_kai wrote:

And folks claim GM quality is now as good as any. I think not.
Is GM taking care of the customers who are getting burned by this problem after the warranty is up, or is this the standard tough-luck-on-you story ????
John
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Surely you jest!! GM has not been forthcoming on fixing problems of this type going back to the Series II plastic plenum issues. If they decide to extend warranties or goodwill the Series III, I will be surprised.
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John Horner wrote:

So far, all these engines have been under the warranty period. But, if the trend continued....guaranteed that we would good will these type of failures (at least at our dealership). There is no good reason to see spun camshaft bearings in any engine these days.
Ian
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Ian,
What were the years of production for each series?
Thanks......Stan
wrote:

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There was a story recently that was being played up by GM where a number of their cars (recent designs) scored very well against the highly regarded Japanese models. Older designs that GM has spent no real money on like the mini-vans sucked and the GM spokesman admitted that. I recall that a CR spokesman was quoted in the story stating that off and on the domestics do make quite reliable cars, but they are not consistent about it. Good one year, not so good the next (BMW does this, too). The Japanese, on the other hand, are VERY consistent in terms of good reliability. You can look for this story with Google. The good GM models included Impala and Malibu.
Unfortunately, these models are as boring as any Camry and without the resale of a Camry, so they are a tough sell reliable or not. GM tries to add excitement to their FWD offerings, but it just does not work. Car and Driver just tested the Impala SS. A nice vanilla sedan that some dolt at GM decided to put a 5.3 L V8 in. A very bad idea with a FWD car that screwed the car up. GM saw it worked for Chrysler with the Hemi in the RWD Magnum and 300, so why not with the FWD Impala. Duh! Makes one wonder if anyone at GM actually likes cars.
A ray of hope is that supposedly Opels will now be sold as Saturns. Opels are good cars that someone who enjoys driving would actually buy.
There is hope.
GM DESPERATELY needs to get some excellent RWD designs that have some passion in them out there.

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