Originally Posted by Yuki
Note: NEVER buy the first year of the first generation of any vee-hickle!
Very good advice for the new car buyer.
My 93 Mazda may have had a couple expensive teething problems someone else paid for a decade ago, but its also .5 inch lower, with better damping, better steering, and slightly more power than my '94 model. After a year in the states Mazda North America softened/fattened everything up. These kind of "improvements" are fairly common for Japanese cars sold in the US. To be fair, they did make some important reliability improvements, but they didn't get around to those until '95, which was actually four years after initial intro in the JDM/rest of the world.
Also, most Japanese cars enter the US market a year or so after they enter the rest of the world market. Exceptions are Japanese cars built expressly for the US market, like the American Accord.
Looking at new
cars, I would definitely not
be buying the first year off the line, unless the "new generation" is mostly a facelift. Its just a silly thing to do. My mom recently dealt with some minor annoyances in her '03 Accord that were remedied in subsequent years...silly little things like the glovebox not staying shut mostly, one big problem being a transmission recalled for eating itself.
Speaking of Volvo, I hope they suck a lot less then they did five years ago. I've sat stranded in two
different Volvos with less than 60k miles on them in the past five years....that's just not acceptable in todays market. Transmission failures were scary-common in the Volvos my family was around in the 1998-2003 time frame, as were accessory failures like PS pumps and alternators. And bizarre crap, like balljoints worn to near failure with 30k miles.
I haven't spent any time worth mentioning in a Saab recently. Does anybody buy Saabs anymore? All the Saab people I knew drive Subarus or something else now.