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Lemon Law Tips

StarWarsGirl

Well-Known Member
Cars are one of my passions.

Mazda's shot up dramatically in reliability since they ditched Ford, and were allowed to develop their own cars. They recently topped Consumer Reports.

The most reliable Japanese brands are Mazda, Toyota, and Lexus.

Honda and Acura are generally good, but their reliability began to slip as they replaced their normal automatic transmissions with CVTs, which by their design have longevity and reliability issues. They followed Subaru and Nissan down the CVT rabbit-hole, which tarnished their reputation for reliability. (Manual transmission Hondas though are generally good cars, but not relevant to this discussion).

Within American cars, reliability generally won't be as high as Mazda/Toyota/Lexus. They'll usually fit in a right between Japanese and European cars (some models are outliers though) in reliability (but a bit lower in fit/finish), but the parts costs and availability with generally be cheaper than any import.

Also, there's Kia/Hyundai - the Hyundai Palisade is getting great reviews, as is the Kia Telluride. And as long as the car is maintained at the dealer, the warranty is excellent.
I personally love my Civic and have no issues with the CVT.

I didn't like the infotainment system on the Corolla/Camry at the time, and my interior blows the Forte out of the water. When I bought it, Mazda wasn't even a recommended vehicle (and I drove everything...). Although the compact car isn't what OP is going for.

Just no Ford's and No GM cars. Crap IMO.

I think for OP Kia is a good option for what she's looking for based on reviews.
 

HouCuseChickie

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Cars are one of my passions.

Mazda's shot up dramatically in reliability since they ditched Ford, and were allowed to develop their own cars. They recently topped Consumer Reports.

The most reliable Japanese brands are Mazda, Toyota, and Lexus.

Honda and Acura are generally good, but their reliability began to slip as they replaced their normal automatic transmissions with CVTs, which by their design have longevity and reliability issues. They followed Subaru and Nissan down the CVT rabbit-hole, which tarnished their reputation for reliability. (Manual transmission Hondas though are generally good cars, but not relevant to this discussion).

Within American cars, reliability generally won't be as high as Mazda/Toyota/Lexus. They'll usually fit in a right between Japanese and European cars (some models are outliers though) in reliability (but a bit lower in fit/finish), but the parts costs and availability with generally be cheaper than any import.

Also, there's Kia/Hyundai - the Hyundai Palisade is getting great reviews, as is the Kia Telluride. And as long as the car is maintained at the dealer, the warranty is excellent.

I know Consumer Reports is very high on some brands, but some is also just luck. I had a chat last week with the manager of the Mazda dealership, and maybe he shouldn't have been saying this, but he said they definitely see their fair share of lemons. I want to like something in the Toyota/Lexus lineups, but nothing works for me. The redesigned Highlander shows Toyota is finally getting the message about stepping up their interiors, but it's still too small. The Sequoia is too big and really needs a makeover. I've never been a fan of the 4Runner, even though my parents love theirs. It also doesn't offer 2nd row captains and it's a challenge to find one with a third row. I looked at the GX460, but for the $, the interior isn't on par with luxury counterparts in this segment.

I test drove the Palisade and the Telluride. Both area really nice vehicles. I like the exterior of the Telluride and the overall feel of the drive, but the Palisade interior is a slam dunk and seems like road trip joy. The problem is that I'm missing something. My very first SUV was a 2001 Dodge Durango. It had issues when the miles racked up, but I loved that thing. I'm thinking about test driving an R/T tomorrow, since the hood gives it that hot rod feel. What's funny...the projected reliability on the Durango is higher than any other vehicle I've tested or seriously considered.
 

HouCuseChickie

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I personally love my Civic and have no issues with the CVT.

I didn't like the infotainment system on the Corolla/Camry at the time, and my interior blows the Forte out of the water. When I bought it, Mazda wasn't even a recommended vehicle (and I drove everything...). Although the compact car isn't what OP is going for.

Just no Ford's and No GM cars. Crap IMO.

I think for OP Kia is a good option for what she's looking for based on reviews.

Like I noted in my other post, I think some is also luck. Some may also be specific vehicles.

Case in point...this is a former coworker's daughter's brand new Ford Escape. It just burst into flames in their driveway last week.

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But then you take my husband...he's in a 2014 Ford F-150 and it's still going strong. My boss has an F-150 from something like 2002 and it's just starting to hit the point where it's becoming unreliable. My dad also had a Bronco that had something like 215K miles on it before he sold it.

The Telluride was really nice. I also looked at the Sorento while we were there...super nice vehicle, but definitely too small. They weren't that far off in price either. I just wish I could put the Palisade's interior inside of the Telluride.
 

mkt

Maleante Izquierdozo
Premium Member
What's funny...the projected reliability on the Durango is higher than any other vehicle I've tested or seriously considered.
The Chrysler derived powertrain is somewhat ancient, but that’s a good thing here. The bugs have been worked out, and they’re reliable.

It’s the cars with fiat derived powertrains and electronics I would try to avoid.
 

HouCuseChickie

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
The Chrysler derived powertrain is somewhat ancient, but that’s a good thing here. The bugs have been worked out, and they’re reliable.

It’s the cars with fiat derived powertrains and electronics I would try to avoid.

Maybe that's why the Durango has a higher reliability rating. I've been burned before by newish models that haven't had the proverbial bugs worked out. So, maybe that's another bullet for the pro's list for the Dodge. I know I griped about my Nissan, but in the grand scheme of things, my 2012 Pathy didn't really have anything wrong with it until I went over 110K miles and that was the last of the boxy BOF Pathfinders, before the 2013 redesign with the unibody frame.

It took some digging, but I found a bit of a unicorn in the local options. I didn't realize how challenging it would be to find an R/T with the vented/cooled seat option. I know it's standard on the Citadel trim, but I'm only interested in the R/T.
 

StarWarsGirl

Well-Known Member
How many years/miles are on your car, and what temperatures are you driving?
Three years old, low mileage (I work from home thanks to the pandemic but make regular trips to Hershey) and MD temps, so anywhere from 10-100 degrees, but usually between 20 and 90 degrees. But the same can be said for the Enclaves, which have auto transmissions, and the GM cars I had before, which hit 100,000 miles and slowly started dying (the SUV, which had an auto transmission, died at 120,000 miles 🙄). The GM cars have had so many issues, including under warranty, that this is a breath of fresh air. I think most, if not all, of the cars that I test drove were CVTs, including Toyota, Hyundai, Chevy, Buick (which I only drove to make my dad happy). Mazda wasn't even on my radar, and I still think if I had it to do over, I'd pick the Civic because despite being a compact car, it's got a lot of space, which is one criticism of the Mazda3.
 

mkt

Maleante Izquierdozo
Premium Member
Three years old, low mileage (I work from home thanks to the pandemic but make regular trips to Hershey) and MD temps, so anywhere from 10-100 degrees, but usually between 20 and 90 degrees.

Ok. That’s a good situation.

The issue with CVT’s is their longevity: they’re popular because they help with fuel economy and can help provide a smoother ride, at the price of long term reliability. Getting more than 100k miles out of one is extremely hard.

An example is Subaru, who due to a class action lawsuit after they switched from traditional automatics to CVTs, had to increase their transmission warranties to 10yr/100k miles.
 

StarWarsGirl

Well-Known Member
Ok. That’s a good situation.

The issue with CVT’s is their longevity: they’re popular because they help with fuel economy and can help provide a smoother ride, at the price of long term reliability. Getting more than 100k miles out of one is extremely hard.

An example is Subaru, who due to a class action lawsuit after they switched from traditional automatics to CVTs, had to increase their transmission warranties to 10yr/100k miles.
I have to check mine, but I know one of the warranties is extended to lifetime. I'd have to look in the file.

It's going to take me a while to put 100k on that car, and by the time I do, I'll probably be ready for a new one.
 

mkt

Maleante Izquierdozo
Premium Member
I have to check mine, but I know one of the warranties is extended to lifetime. I'd have to look in the file.

It's going to take me a while to put 100k on that car, and by the time I do, I'll probably be ready for a new one.

Between the extended warranty and not keeping the car long, you’ll be fine. It’s the next owner’s problem.
 

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