Sunday, June 18, 2006
The search for a used car has probably met an end as I simply cannot find a quality used car in this country that I trust or like. I have test driven five vehicles, and I feel the used car dealers in this country are not reputable, or charge outrageous prices. My company allows me to get a huge deal on GM cars, and I think I am going to go with a new Opel Astra. I have yet to test drive one, but I plan to do so soon. The prices for new Astras are quite good, and I recently sat in an almost new VW Golf, a chief competitor to the Astra, and I liked the strength of the engine, as well as the strength of the A/C, as it battled 40 degree temperatures outside. Good enough for me, and a small 4 cylinder will be very cheap to fill up in this area of the world as well.
After sitting in dozens of cars, and test driving several others, I have to say it is quite clear in terms of initial quality that German cars are better made. Japanese cars are second, and American cars are a distant third. The interior quality of the Ford Mondeo and Euro-Focus, are decent, but still noticeably lacking. The Chevrolets are a disappointment, especially in terms of exterior aesthetics. Media photographs simply do not do these cars justice. German cars tend to photograph uglier, but in fact they are incredible inside. A colleague of mine recently bought a VW Golf, 2005 model, with only 20k km on the odometer, and the quality is stunning inside. They really are beautiful cars. I hope that an Astra will at least be comparable.
I will write more on this topic later, and soon. Needless to say, my experiences have been very eye-opening in many ways.