Thinking Tech

Rank your cars and their makers right here

Posting in Energy

My hesitation to buy an American car expressed in earlier this week hit a nerve. Following my lead in the comments to that post, several of you ranked your vehicles. So I want to hear from more of you using my simplified grading system.

Judging from the large number of comments, my post earlier this week "Why I still hesitate to buy an American-made vehicle" struck a chord. I also noticed that several comments ranked their vehicles like I did.

Let's find out what countries and companies makes the best cars.  Consider this an invitation to rank five vehicles you've owned in the comments section below accompanied by 25-word or less explanation why good and why bad for each. Humor is encouraged.

I'd love to see some Prius and other hybrid owners respond because we all know the power equation is changing. I'll try to make some sense from all the comments in a post within a week or two.

We'll keep the grading system simple (below). When I say repairs, I mean outside of routine maintenance such oil changes, tires, brakes, wipers and muffler unless they wore out before their time. And factor in everything else: how it drove, appearance, great technology, comfort, safety, gas mileage, fit and finish, body integrity, smell...whatever!

Here goes:

A - One for the record books

B - I like this vehicle, but it was in shop for repairs at least once a year (my `97 Silverado)

C - Didn't much like it, but it got me where I wanted to go

D - Piece of junk

F - The worst S---box ever!

Allow me to kick it off:

1) My `98 Toyota Sienna gets an A because my family beat the bejeezus out of it and almost nothing went wrong with it in 130k miles. Pleasure to drive for a minivan. Absorbed fender benders well and still looked good. Traded in.

2) `71 Mercury Monterey Marauder gets a resounding F! Brakes were unreliable and this gas guzzler constantly overheated. It was a wild ride to the junkyard. Only plus to this 20-foot long Mafia-mobile was black exterior with brilliant red interior.

3) 87 Acura Legend - A. Acura got it right from the start. Amazingly paid $19k for a new fullsize Acura. Comfortable and a pleasure to drive.

4) 84 Honda Prelude - A. I waited six months for this car which Motor Trend at the time labeled "a little Rice Rocket." Loved its handling, looks, gas mileage and reliability.

5) 1966 VW Poptop camper - F minus. No heat, electrical system constantly shorted out, terrible power, frequently jump-started and lots of rust. Dangerous to boot. Sold it for my asking price of $400 because it was a rare VW camper.

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John Dodge

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor John Dodge has written for the Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, PC Week (now eWeek), EDN, Design News, Electronic Business, Bio-IT World, Health-IT World, Lowell Sun, Haverhill Gazette and Newburyport Daily News. He is based in Massachusetts. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure