The great debate: foreign vs. domestic

David Yochum

Buying foreign is un-American. Asian cars are more reliable. American cars have cheap interiors. Domestic cars are less expensive to own.

Hundreds of arguments support or denounce American-made cars, but for Sheth and Rogers, their preference comes down to family upbringing.

“I’m iffy about looking at domestic cars,” Sheth said. “Only one of my family’s cars was domestic. Everything else was foreign.”

Sheth’s family owns a Toyota Camry, Tacoma and Matrix, a Lexus RX300 and a Honda Odyssey. He said they tried buying domestic once, but a bad experience turned them off.

“We had a Ford Windstar and the engine locked up a week after we bought it,” he said. “Ford had to replace the whole thing under warranty.”

At the opposite end of the spectrum, Rogers said he feels no reason to buy a foreign car. Particular about performance, his family only buys Chevrolets but has also experienced domestic engine problems.

“I liked the ’80s Camaros because my dad had one – so I bought one,” Rogers explained. “Only my dad’s Camaro blew up from seeing 100 mph on the highways too many times.”

After owning a Camaro, Rogers would buy domestic cars over foreign vehicles based on power.

“If you stay out of the exotics like Ferrari and Jaguar, domestic cars have better overall performance,” he said. “Chevy has the largest crate engine available, and there are no foreign muscle cars out there.”

Sheth is more concerned with buying a car for safety and reliability over speed.

“You’re not just buying a car for yourself, you’re buying it for your family,” he said. “Foreign cars seem to be more reliable and economical.”