Last post on Feb 14, 2013 at 6:24 PM
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#30246 of 32000 Re: Opinions [andres3]
Jan 06, 2013 (7:23 pm)
I thought those aluminum sill plates on the Altima were a nice touch...until I found out they were extra-cost!
As for those black bar seams, I hate them as well, but truth be told, I hate 'em even when they're painted body-color. To me they just reek of cost-cutting. I could understand having them on a cheap economy car, or a work truck, but they have no place on a luxury car or even a medium-price car.
My 2000 Park Ave has those strips, but even worse than that, the rear quarter panels seem to be bolt-on. Or at least, there's a seam at the base of the C-pillar, where you can tell the quarter panel is separate. Probably makes it easier and cheaper to replace/repair in an accident, but I think it looks a bit cheesy.
As a used car that I only paid $7500 for, I really don't care. But, if I was looking at this car when it was brand-new, I have a feeling I would've been turned off.
#30247 of 32000 Re: Dec sales [uplanderguy]
Jan 07, 2013 (2:32 am)
Feb. they tested mid-size sedans. The Malibu 1LT 2.5L, they gave a higher overall number score to than an Optima, Legacy, and Passat. They did say it stickered higher, and that 'rebates seem inevitable'. I think that's already happened since press time. Don't know about the others.
I left, by mistake, the Altima out of that list above, also.
#30248 of 32000 Re: Opinions [andre1969]
Jan 07, 2013 (4:59 am)
Speaking of visible seams, I had my '81 Monte Carlo stolen in '82. It was never recovered. I was given as a rental, an '81 Mercury Cougar (not XR-7--this one was like a Zephyr/Fairmont). Besides looking like a box and having no wheelcovers and one of four lugnuts on one wheel was missing, it had right at eye-level on the "C" pillar, a seam filled in with a plastic or fiberglass cover (body color). At that time, there was nothing at GM like that, especially in that size/price class. A total turn-off to me. The styling inside was as boxy as outside. I think "The Deuce" went for that boxy/blunt styling, but I hated it, even though a lot of folks say their quality was better than GM's at the time.
#30249 of 32000 Re: Opinions [uplanderguy]
Jan 07, 2013 (5:38 am)
I don't remember the seam at the top of the C-pillar...one thing I do remember though, was a fake plastic vent/grille thingie at the base of the C-pillar. I thought it was kind of neat at the time (my grandparents had an '81 Granada coupe), but now that I think about it, that was probably put there to hide a lower seam. Probably cheaper than filling it in properly.
One thing I miss is how, in the real old days, they'd actually go through the effor to finish off the seams of the panel that fits between the rear window and the trunk lid, where it joins the rear quarter panels. That gave the cars a classier, more finished look, IMO. I don't know how far you have to go back to see that, though. My '57 DeSoto is finished off like that, but my '67 Catalina isn't, and neither were my Darts, or my '76 LeMans. In later years, I think that piece just became a panel that you could unbolt and take off on many cars. Nowadays, most if not all trunk lids go right to the rear window, so that panel probably a thing of the past by now.
I never really liked the Fairmont, at least the base model with the single headlights. But the quad headlight models, as well as the Zephyr, I kinda like. But I'll confess that I do have sort of a soft spot for the '81-82 Granada/Cougar, and the XR-7. Never liked that '80-82 T-bird, though.
My grandparents replaced their '81 Granada with an '85 LTD. It seemed like a nice car at the time. When I was learning to drive, I logged a lot of hours on that car, as well as my Mom's '80 Malibu. The LTD seemed a bit more nimble, probably because of the rack and pinion steering and stubbier wheelbase. But the Malibu just seemed like a more solid, substantial car. Definitely roomier inside too, despite it being a coupe and the LTD being a sedan.
#30251 of 32000 Re: Opinions [uplanderguy]
Jan 07, 2013 (7:16 am)
Ugh...yeah, that does look kinda bad. Still, I have to profess an odd sort of attraction to these things. It's a shame you couldn't get a 302 in them, although you could easily swap one in. I think the best these cars had was the 4.2 V-8 with around 112 hp. But, when you figure that GM pretty much quit putting their ~5 liter engines in their competing cars, unless you got the wagon, so about the best you could get was a 260, 265, or 267 V-8, or 252 V-6, I guess that was all Ford really needed in these cars.
I think they still let you get the 302 in the T-bird/XR-7 in '81-82, but I think most of them were just the 4.2 or worse, the 200 6-cyl, which I think was a credit option.
Chrysler still let you get a 318 in their competing cars, but it was choked down to 130 hp, stuck with a tall 2.26:1 axle, and their cars were considerably heavier, so I doubt they gave you much, if any, performance advantage.
#30252 of 32000 Re: Opinions [andre1969]
Jan 07, 2013 (7:48 am)
When the GM intermediates came out in '78, they were the smallest car available that was body-on-frame. As a result, IMHO, they were a comfortable, pretty quiet car, and were roomy inside too as you've noted before. The Fords seemed cheap by comparison IMHO--however, IIRC, they were a good bit less expensive. An Olds or Buick intermediate in '78 could cross the $7K sticker mark--a Monte Carlo could do, now that I think about it--and that was pretty high back then for a car that size.
The only rental car I ever had that died alongside the road was probably an '80 Fairmont 4-door, white with pumpkin-colored vinyl interior. I once had a beautiful '80 Grand Prix rental, light blue with blue velour interior, but the only interior light that worked (besides the instrument lights) was the courtesy light on the right front floor (dome light and driver's side courtesy light burned out), and it ticked and I had to put three quarts of oil in it! When I complained about it, I got the royal brush-off by the disinterested chick at the rental car counter.
#30253 of 32000 Re: Dec sales [uplanderguy]
Jan 07, 2013 (10:51 am)
The Nissan Juke was much worse than average for the 2011 model and much better than average for the 2012 model! LOL
Wasn't 2011 their v1.0?
It's very common to iron out the smaller issues after the first model year.
I would always expect the first model year to be the worst, and then the last model year to be the best, as all the issues are fully ironed out.
Your Malibu is the best of that generation, because the kinks were worked out.
#30254 of 32000 Re: Dec sales [ateixeira]
Jan 07, 2013 (10:56 am)
Either that or the first year owners were SHOCKED at how ugly it is.
Then by year two people had gotten used to the look, so it rated better.
#30255 of 32000 Re: Dec sales [ateixeira]
Jan 07, 2013 (10:57 am)
I think the ratings change from '11 to '12 is dramatic to say the least, and one wonders if there were really that many changes to the car...or if the '11 started to disintegrate after a year!
I wonder what the '11's rating was after one year?
The car looks like a deformed animal to me.