Let's take an objective (or is that subjective) look at the differences between american vs european vs japanese cars

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Nemesis77

Diamond Member
Jun 21, 2001
7,329
0
0
Originally posted by: Ultima
I don't agree with the power-output crap. How is a 2.0L 4-cylinder that makes 160hp but only gets 22/28mpg any better than a 3.0L v6 that also makes 160hp and gets 22/28mpg (and also makes more torque than the 4-cylinder). Who cares if the engine's bigger, as long as the fuel economy is (almost) the same? A bigger engine will also wear less (more surface area to wear).
I mean it's not like we have 100hp V8's like back in the 50's ;)
That might have changed in the last few years. But in the past american cars here used to have something like 2.4+ liters engines, and the power-output was similar to 2 liter engines on european cars. And the fuel-efficiency WAS worse. They had big engines with big fuel-comcumption, but the performance just wasn't there. They torque was propably better (altrough I have no raw data to verify that), but raw hp was severly lacking. The point is that they could have got alot more power from those engines, but for one reason or another, they did not.

EDIT: Now-a-days things are better. For example, the 2-liter engine on the Neon gets OK power-output.
 

alphatarget1

Diamond Member
Dec 9, 2001
5,710
0
76
power output= for MOST japanese and some european cars, you have to rev the car up to get the max horsepower/torque.

Acura MDX
240hp @ 5300rpm
245lbs/ft @ 3000rpm

vs.

Ford Expedition V8
260hp @ 4500rpm
350lbs/ft @ 2500rpm
========================
Passat v6
190hp @ 6000rpm
206lbs/ft @ 3200rpm

vs.

Avalon v6
210hp @ 5800rpm
220lbs/ft @ 4400rpm

vs.

Crown Victoria
220hp @ 4750rpm
265lbs/ft @ 4000rpm
 

ThisIsMatt

Banned
Aug 4, 2000
11,820
1
0
Family experience:

'83 Accord ran til 183k+ miles before sold it, still running alright, sold for about the same price as purchased.
'84 Accord had ~130k miles when it was totalled by a red-light-runner.
'87 Prelude had ~130k miles when it was totalled by a fail-to-yield driver.
'90 Accord has 160k+ miles nothing but normal maintenance.
'92 Accord has 141k miles nothing but normal maintenance.
'86 Civic had 180k+ miles before sold it, still running fine except for the ac that was never used, paint was flaking off.
'95 Civic has ~120k miles, runs great.
'91 Camry had ~130k miles, ran fine until sister totalled it :p

'95 ford windstar (hey, I didn't buy it) has ~65k miles, losing coolant, very likely needs head gaskets (common problem with this engine) but ford gives us the run around...hopefully they'll blow before the extended warranty is up (70k miles). Other problems like noisy struts, noisy rear vents (fixed), paint has some issues, cruise control had issues (fixed), etc.

'95 Dodge van ~100k miles (only had it a while), some interior electrical issues, cruddy upholstery, overall cheap interior
 

OS

Lifer
Oct 11, 1999
15,581
1
76
Originally posted by: Ultima
In that case you're probably right. The engines shouldn't be like that just for the sake of high output power though. What advantages are there other than lighter weight and perhaps more fuel economy? I wonder how the engines last under hard driving as compared to V6 or V8, and then there's that pesky lack of torque ;)
But I suppose that's why you see engines like that in cars like the S2000.

Size also, can't stuff a V6 in an Integra . I can't think of any other reasons.

But most engines aren't built just to get high power output, not even Honda ones. Honda makes perfectly fine V6s for the majority of their vehicle lineup. They only put high output 4 cylinders in 'sporty' cars with good handling, s2000, Integra GSR/ITR, Civic SI, RSX type S, etc. In all those cases, a V6 either wouldn't fit or would ruin the handling.

Engine longevity isn't really a problem from what I've seen. There was a thread earlier tonite about a guy who was selling a GSR with 110K+ miles on it. I used to drive an 4 cyl accord and I drove that car around WOT all day and it got up to 150K miles before I wrecked it. The power train never showed signs of problems. Just change the oil when you're supposed to and there shouldn't be a problem. However, my particular accord had a low specific output, it only had 100 HP for 2.0 liters. :(

 

Nefrodite

Banned
Feb 15, 2001
7,931
0
0
Originally posted by: thomsbrain
We rented a Grand Prix once, with whatever the big engine is. What a joke. 4 people and some suitcases, and that pos was bottoming out on every pothole. And I swear it was as slow as the Civic at home with the same load. It WAS quite though, gotta give them that. It's like every American car comes with 1000 pounds of sound deadening material that makes it nice and quiet and smooth but handle like cold syrup. Then on the "sporty" models they make the steering and braking twitchy to give the illusion that it's nimble.
maybe for the larger cars, but not the smaller ones like neons:p noisy! been stuck with em as rental cars, noisy engines, cr@ppy noise deadening:p

u've ever driven a camry? :p that things pretty silent.


the pain is most american makes just don't appeal to me. they seem to be designed for the elderly(soft caddy mushy huge boat like rides) and kinda ugly:p but then again i like the ford focus:p its like they sent all their half decent engineers into the truck divisions:p

i dunno, maybe they market to the southern US or something where US makes are far more popular.
 

Nefrodite

Banned
Feb 15, 2001
7,931
0
0
oh and another thing. which country builds the cleanest cars? or brand:p i notice civics and accords are ulev and lev atleast. is there a chart or something comparing? i know suvs and trucks are held to a way lower standard:p not fair to compare two engines power if one is way cleaner right?
 

BurnItDwn

Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
25,926
1,415
126
I hate small cars. I dont think i would ever even comtemplate or consider any Hundai, Daewoo, Honda, toyata, VW, Mitsubishi, Mazda, Kia, or Nissan. Bentley is too expensive, and BMWs are a bit small. (though the 5 and 7 series are really nice cars). I just dont dig the styling on Most Mercades.

I like Volvos as they dont look like little death traps.

My vote goes to Domestics. While I have no respect for ford tempo or chevy cavalier (or any econocar), Some American cars do have good handling and performance. I really like the Chrysler 300M (my car), tight suspension, Reasonable power, extremely comfortable, back seat is big enough for 3 full sized adults, you can fit a small car in its trunk if you desire.

The Grand Prix mentioned above does have decent power, but it drives like a boat, good for freeway driving though.


Also when it comes to Trucks or SUVs, American models run circles around the other brands.



EDIT
My last car was a 94 Grand Am v6, I bought it at 65000 for under $4000, it lasted to 101,000 and i sold it in working condition. Only major repair it ever needed was new breaks and tires. (sold it because it didt have enough power for my taste, also wanted a nicer car)

My Father used to have a 1987 Chevy Full sized van with a 305 in it. He gave it to my uncle about a year ago when he bought a new car. It had close to 200,000 Miles on it and the engine was in perfect condition. The body was rusted all over, the interier was coming apart, but the Trans and Engine were like new. And it was used to Haul around lots of stuff, as well as for many road trips (over 90mph).
 

NFS4

No Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
72,640
8
81
power output= for MOST japanese and some european cars, you have to rev the car up to get the max horsepower/torque.

Acura MDX
240hp @ 5300rpm
245lbs/ft @ 3000rpm

vs.

Ford Expedition V8
260hp @ 4500rpm
350lbs/ft @ 2500rpm
========================
Passat v6
190hp @ 6000rpm
206lbs/ft @ 3200rpm

vs.

Avalon v6
210hp @ 5800rpm
220lbs/ft @ 4400rpm

vs.

Crown Victoria
220hp @ 4750rpm
265lbs/ft @ 4000rpm

-------------------------
Regards to all-
Ken
You're comparing V6 engines to V8s for power/torque comparisons. That's a dumb comparison IMHO. You compared a 3.5 liter V6 to a 5.4 liter V8 and a 3.0 liter V6 to a 4.6 liter V8. Get that sh!t out of here!:| Compare an American V6 to a Japanese V6 then get back to me.

The only naturally aspirated domestic V6 with a high output is the 3.5 V6 in the 300M and even it isn't nearly as refined as the Japanese 6's.

As far as I am concerned, American build quality is not an issue. Its Detroit engineering.
That's the key. Doesn't really matter where its built, it's the engineering that sucks on most American cars.
 

Linflas

Lifer
Jan 30, 2001
15,392
78
91
Originally posted by: ThisIsMatt
Family experience:

'83 Accord ran til 183k+ miles before sold it, still running alright, sold for about the same price as purchased.
'84 Accord had ~130k miles when it was totalled by a red-light-runner.
'87 Prelude had ~130k miles when it was totalled by a fail-to-yield driver.
'90 Accord has 160k+ miles nothing but normal maintenance.
'92 Accord has 141k miles nothing but normal maintenance.
'86 Civic had 180k+ miles before sold it, still running fine except for the ac that was never used, paint was flaking off.
'95 Civic has ~120k miles, runs great.
'91 Camry had ~130k miles, ran fine until sister totalled it :p

'95 ford windstar (hey, I didn't buy it) has ~65k miles, losing coolant, very likely needs head gaskets (common problem with this engine) but ford gives us the run around...hopefully they'll blow before the extended warranty is up (70k miles). Other problems like noisy struts, noisy rear vents (fixed), paint has some issues, cruise control had issues (fixed), etc.

'95 Dodge van ~100k miles (only had it a while), some interior electrical issues, cruddy upholstery, overall cheap interior
Your parents need to pick another Ford dealer or contact the regional rep. There is no way they should be giving you the run around on this issue. It is a well known problem and Ford Motor Company made the decision years ago to extend the warranty on these vehicles to 100,000 miles for that specific problem. The dealer we bought our Windstar from has been nothing but cooperative in fixing these problems on our 95 Windstar. Due to the high mileage we used to put on cars we experienced the problem early on before it was well known. We have had 2 rebuilt engines in our van at no cost to us and no run around from Ford or the dealership.

Now on to the subject of the thread if I were picking a car solely for driving pleasure I would no doubt go with a European import. If I needed a utility vehicle like a pickup truck I would hands down go with an American built one. For overall economy and reliability though the Japanese cars are hard to beat. I currently have a 1990 Subaru Legacy with 190,000 miles on it that shows no signs of giving up and I am very hard on this car. It like many Japanese cars I have seen does have some really dumb interior design issues. The cup holder slides out between the heater controls and the radio rendering both difficult to use when you have a cup in it. The sun visors in this car have been a problem for everyone that has owned one due to the poor design of them. Ditto for the door open and close mechanisms. All of that is offest by the mechanical reliability of the car and the great design of the engine compartment which makes it a very easy car to do routine maintenance on. To sum it up I really have no loyalty to any particular import or domestic brand other than finding the vehicle that will best perform the function I need at the time I am purchasing.
 

CocaCola5

Golden Member
Jan 5, 2001
1,599
0
0
I'd like to see HP/mass ratio for the engine itself along with HP/liter, it would be very interesting I think to compare the different weights of 4-cylinders, V6...
 

iamwiz82

Lifer
Jan 10, 2001
30,756
4
81
That's the key. Doesn't really matter where its built, it's the engineering that sucks on most American cars.
It goes way beyond "detroit engineering." Those same engineers will bounce from auto maker to auto maker and will work well at any of them. Its the god damned UAW which has killed the big three. Look at how much money is dumped into those useless scumbuckets! They have to cut costs everywhere to appease them.
 

Ultima

Platinum Member
Oct 16, 1999
2,893
0
0
Originally posted by: NFS4
power output= for MOST japanese and some european cars, you have to rev the car up to get the max horsepower/torque.

Acura MDX
240hp @ 5300rpm
245lbs/ft @ 3000rpm

vs.

Ford Expedition V8
260hp @ 4500rpm
350lbs/ft @ 2500rpm
========================
Passat v6
190hp @ 6000rpm
206lbs/ft @ 3200rpm

vs.

Avalon v6
210hp @ 5800rpm
220lbs/ft @ 4400rpm

vs.

Crown Victoria
220hp @ 4750rpm
265lbs/ft @ 4000rpm

-------------------------
Regards to all-
Ken
You're comparing V6 engines to V8s for power/torque comparisons. That's a dumb comparison IMHO. You compared a 3.5 liter V6 to a 5.4 liter V8 and a 3.0 liter V6 to a 4.6 liter V8. Get that sh!t out of here!:| Compare an American V6 to a Japanese V6 then get back to me.
Well like I posted before what's the point of high output for the sake of high output? If the bigger engines somehow managed to get the same MPG then they would be the better engines. Smaller engines just don't last as long under harder driving, though there will be exceptions to that.
 

Ultima

Platinum Member
Oct 16, 1999
2,893
0
0
Nissan Altima FWD:
3227 lbs.
3.5L V6
240hp@5800
246pt@4400
19/26 mpg

VW Passat FWD:
3496 lbs.
2.8L V6
190hp@6000
206pt@3200
19/27mpg

These two cars are similar weights, and with similar gas mileage. However, Nissan's bigger engine makes more power with almost as good gas mileage as the gas passat. So to me that makes it the better engine. Yes I'm comparing a 3.5L V6 to a 2.8L... I wouldn't give a sh!t if the engine was 100.0L and had 2000 foot pounds of torque as long as it got good gas mileage. Bigger engines can usually take more abuse.

Mercury Maurader RWD:
4165 lbs.
4.6L V8
302hp@5750
318pt@4250
17/23mpg

(trying to find an import car that weights close to that and is not an SUV)


Infinity Q45 RWD:
3801 lbs.
4.5L V8
340hp@6400
333pt@4000
17/25mpg

Well here victory is clearly in the hands of the Q45. The engines are practically the same size so will probably wear at the same rate, but Nissan's is more powerful. Uh.. let's see about pickups now :)

Ford F-150 AWD:
5110 lbs.
4.6L V8
231hp@4750
293pt@3500
14/18mpg

Toyota Tundra AWD:
4644 lbs.
4.7L V8
245hp@4800
315pt@3400
15/18mpg.

Toyota wins. Bigger AND more powerful. See, I'm not favoring imports or domestics here. However, I do think that people shouldn't be trying to make 1.0L engines that make 150hp (and probably don't last too long) for regular vehicles (which means cars liks S2000 excluded) when a 2.0L would have a load more torque and last longer. If you can make it bigger without increasing MPG much (which means that the bigger engine will have to stay relatively the same size and burn more efficiently) then go for it!
 

NFS4

No Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
72,640
8
81
Originally posted by: Ultima
Originally posted by: NFS4
power output= for MOST japanese and some european cars, you have to rev the car up to get the max horsepower/torque.

Acura MDX
240hp @ 5300rpm
245lbs/ft @ 3000rpm

vs.

Ford Expedition V8
260hp @ 4500rpm
350lbs/ft @ 2500rpm
========================
Passat v6
190hp @ 6000rpm
206lbs/ft @ 3200rpm

vs.

Avalon v6
210hp @ 5800rpm
220lbs/ft @ 4400rpm

vs.

Crown Victoria
220hp @ 4750rpm
265lbs/ft @ 4000rpm

-------------------------
Regards to all-
Ken
You're comparing V6 engines to V8s for power/torque comparisons. That's a dumb comparison IMHO. You compared a 3.5 liter V6 to a 5.4 liter V8 and a 3.0 liter V6 to a 4.6 liter V8. Get that sh!t out of here!:| Compare an American V6 to a Japanese V6 then get back to me.
Well like I posted before what's the point of high output for the sake of high output? If the bigger engines somehow managed to get the same MPG then they would be the better engines. Smaller engines just don't last as long under harder driving, though there will be exceptions to that.
Smaller engines are meant for smaller cars. Medium sized engines are meant for medium sized cars and so forth. You don't put a V8 in a Honda Civic nor would you put a V6 in it.

The Japanese are all about getting the most horsepower per liter...most performance from the smallest package. Americans are all about displacement. Just two different philosophies.

And they DON'T get the same MPG:

Since YOU brought it up

Expedition with that V8; 13/17 MPG city/hw
Acura MDX with the 3.5 V6; 17/23 MPG city/hw

Crown Vic with V8; 17/25 MPG city/hw
Avalon with V6; 21/29 MPG city/hw
Passat with V6; 20/28 MPG city/hw
 

alphatarget1

Diamond Member
Dec 9, 2001
5,710
0
76
Originally posted by: NFS4
power output= for MOST japanese and some european cars, you have to rev the car up to get the max horsepower/torque.

Acura MDX
240hp @ 5300rpm
245lbs/ft @ 3000rpm

vs.

Ford Expedition V8
260hp @ 4500rpm
350lbs/ft @ 2500rpm
========================
Passat v6
190hp @ 6000rpm
206lbs/ft @ 3200rpm

vs.

Avalon v6
210hp @ 5800rpm
220lbs/ft @ 4400rpm

vs.

Crown Victoria
220hp @ 4750rpm
265lbs/ft @ 4000rpm

-------------------------
Regards to all-
Ken
You're comparing V6 engines to V8s for power/torque comparisons. That's a dumb comparison IMHO. You compared a 3.5 liter V6 to a 5.4 liter V8 and a 3.0 liter V6 to a 4.6 liter V8. Get that sh!t out of here!:| Compare an American V6 to a Japanese V6 then get back to me.

The only naturally aspirated domestic V6 with a high output is the 3.5 V6 in the 300M and even it isn't nearly as refined as the Japanese 6's.
im comparing between similar horsepower engines. how come a v6 4.0L explorer engine only gets 210hp@5250 when an acura MDX v6 gets 240hp@5300?

bigger displacement american engines don't produce as much power as japanese/european smaller displacement engines yet they waste more fuel but they *usually* have more torque in lower RPM than japanese cars... again, correct me if im wrong i'm a n00b
 

Ultima

Platinum Member
Oct 16, 1999
2,893
0
0
Originally posted by: NFS4

Smaller engines are meant for smaller cars. Medium sized engines are meant for medium sized cars and so forth. You don't put a V8 in a Honda Civic nor would you put a V6 in it.

The Japanese are all about getting the most horsepower per liter...most performance from the smallest package. Americans are all about displacement. Just two different philosophies.

And they DON'T get the same MPG:

Since YOU brought it up

Expedition with that V8; 13/17 MPG city/hw
Acura MDX with the 3.5 V6; 17/23 MPG city/hw

Crown Vic with V8; 17/25 MPG city/hw
Avalon with V6; 21/29 MPG city/hw
Passat with V6; 20/28 MPG city/hw
Those cars don't weigh the same - there's no way in hell an MDX weighs anything close to an Expedition! :)
Anyway I already posted about it (just above your post).
 

NFS4

No Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
72,640
8
81
im comparing between similar horsepower engines. how come a v6 4.0L explorer engine only gets 210hp@5250 when an acura MDX v6 gets 240hp@5300?

bigger displacement american engines don't produce as much power as japanese/european smaller displacement engines yet they waste more fuel but they *usually* have more torque in lower RPM than japanese cars... again, correct me if im wrong i'm a n00b
Low-end torque:

The Explorer produces 254 lb-ft @ 3750 RPM
The MDX produces 245 lb-ft @ 3000 RPM

I think the results speak for themselves even with a .5 liter disadvantage for the MDX.

Those cars don't weigh the same - there's no way in hell an MDX weighs anything close to an Expedition!
Anyway I already posted about it (just above your post).
Yeah, I only did it b/c he brought it up :D
 

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