When Americans are asked which country makes the best cars, the answer has long been Japan. Toyota, Honda, and Nissan have enjoyed a stellar reputation for quality and longevity, but one survey suggests the U.S.A. has finally ended their reign.
Keep reading to find out if the survey was accurate, and vote on which country you think builds the best cars.
The survey, conducted by the Associated Press and GfK Roper Public Affairs and Media, says 38 percent of people polled think U.S. cars are best, while 33 percent name autos made by Asian countries.
While interesting, I should point out that I think the survey is statistically meaningless, because only 1,000 people were polled with a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points (which could wipe out America’s lead).
Plus, the poll was conducted in March at the height of the media frenzy surrounding Toyota’s 8-million-vehicle recall crisis. Not exactly an ideal time to gauge accurate public perception…
I mention the survey because it brings up a great question: Have American car companies finally caught up (or even surpassed) their Asian competition in terms of quality? The answer isn’t as cut and dry as the AP poll might suggest.
Yes, America absolutely is producing some of the best cars on the road… in certain categories. Namely, muscle cars (hello Mustang and Camaro) and pickups (the F-150 is supreme). When it comes to luxury cars, though, or midsize sedans or small hatchbacks, other countries still rule.
A similar poll was taken by the AP in 2006, and this new survey does show a significant turnaround for American automakers battered by recession, bankruptcy, and fierce competition from foreign manufacturers. In 2006, 46 percent said Asian countries made superior cars, while just 29 percent preferred American vehicles.
General Motors and Ford have certainly turned a corner, and American consumers have definitely noticed. We want to know from you, though:
Do U.S. car companies build cars that are as good as or better than the Asian competition? Which country do you think builds the best vehicles?