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Old 02-08-2019, 04:08 PM
 
12,500 posts, read 6,503,349 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdlife619 View Post
Do many of you find this to be the case, or no? I just feel like the doors, trunks and hoods feel more solid on a Ford or GM product than a Toyota. Why is this?

It's an illusion. Every new car today is designed to shave as much weight off as possible since that relates to fuel economy. An aluminum body F150 doesn't feel as solid as an older steel body one. This has been an evolutionary process for many decades. Doors, trunks, and hoods on 1960s metal were really heavy because the cars weren't designed to optimize for fuel economy.



There are some low volume premium brands that aren't designed like that but every mass market modern car is designed by engineers who are trying to shave every possible gram out of the car.
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Old 02-08-2019, 06:04 PM
 
Location: Saint Paul
832 posts, read 339,966 times
Reputation: 936
All manufacturers strive to achieve a high crash rating for side impacts. How they achieve this can result in a thud or a click when you close the doors.
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Old 02-08-2019, 06:24 PM
Status: "Deep in the jungles" (set 17 days ago)
 
Location: Naples FL
180 posts, read 29,408 times
Reputation: 290
Quote:
Originally Posted by somebodyfromnc View Post
Nothing is more solid than an old school Mercedes.
This is the absolute truth... and Iíve had most types through the years.

Nothing on earth feels like a S-Class with the W140 being the clear standout.

For American cars (which I also love) Iíd choose the 72-79 full size Lincolns out of the older cars. The 70ís GM B-body cars had a incredible solid feel for a body on frame car too.

But the BEST car ever built for structural rigidity in the USA is one thatís currently being built and very new ... itís the GM omega platform currently used on the Cadillac CT6 (best car ever built in the USA).

For Asian brands nothing beats the first generation Lexus LS 400/430.

If we ignore the RR Phantom/Cullinan which is easily the most solid feeling car in history. The current S-Class is (even in convertible form) probably still the worlds best with the new Audi A8 being very close.
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Old 02-08-2019, 08:00 PM
 
Location: Bay Area, CA
28,903 posts, read 44,234,542 times
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I've always preferred German cars for this reason... so far I've had a VW Passat (1998), BMW 325i (2002), and now a 2014 VW Jetta. Compared to my other cars, which included a Honda, Ford Mustang, and a few other Japanese/American cars, they just feel way more "solid" and luxurious to me. YMMV, though.
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Old 02-08-2019, 08:05 PM
 
Location: Maryland
1,242 posts, read 368,906 times
Reputation: 2796
Iíve had Japanese, American and German cars. The German cars seem most solid to me, or at least the Audiís do, which is the German brand weíve always had. My 2008 Audi S4 Avant weighs over 4,000 lbs. but still manages a light feeling in handling. Another indicator was a dentless repair guy was working on one of the doors of one of our Audiís and commented that Audiís were more difficult because they tended to use a thicker sheet metal. That was then, not sure how things are now.
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Old 02-08-2019, 08:16 PM
 
Location: San Diego A.K.A "D.A.Y.G.O City"
1,916 posts, read 3,560,519 times
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All great replies! I understand newer cars are much lighter than what they used to be, fuel economy standards are forcing weight reductions, but in my experience after sitting inside a multitude of different cars at a local auto show that had just about every new vehicle on display for people to sit inside of, I noticed that the new Asian imports feel less solid when closing the doors, Toyota and Hyundaiís sedans feeling the worst when shutting the doors.

Even the latest C and E class Benzes doors and trunk lid didnít feel that heavy or solid at all. Obviously the S-Class is the most solid feeling although they have that feature where the front doors are semi automatic so they wonít swing open, yet they open gently and smoothly and close with a good thunk sound.

I believe German vehicles reach for refinement, attention to detail and for whatever reasons are years ahead in technology than anyone else in the industry. It used to be way back in the days American vehicles were the best engineered and had the most solid bodies, but somewhere down the line, heavy cost cutting measures in the 80ís and 90ís really destroyed the reputation of American cars and this is where Toyota and Honda surpassed American cars not necessarily in styling, or solidarity of their cars, but in engineering and reliability. Non car people loved them for their basic looks and reliability. Obviously when smog regulations came into effect during the mid 70ís, many American vehicles became problematic and were less reliable compared to even their 60ís counterparts. The Japanese and Germans perfected or have been building little 4 cylinder engines in their countries for years, so of course they had a leg up on American auto makers when it came to the gas crisis era and the engine downsizing frenzy of the 80ís and 90ís. All the U.S. makers knew how to really build were V8ís.

Old Benzes were definitely tanks on wheels. Unfortunately those days are long gone. The days when it took real effort closing, and opening a door or the hood of one. 60ís-70ís big GM and Ford sedans were built like tanks as well.

I canít stand cheapness in vehicles, nor a car that feels like a tin can on wheels. This is why I drive American cars. They are a good compromise between solidness and reliability that many European cars arenít known for.
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Old 02-08-2019, 10:57 PM
 
5,969 posts, read 4,215,579 times
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Cars aren't really getting lighter.

Take any mainstream model from 15 year ago and from today and compare curb weights.
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Old Yesterday, 01:04 AM
 
Location: San Diego A.K.A "D.A.Y.G.O City"
1,916 posts, read 3,560,519 times
Reputation: 2454
Quote:
Originally Posted by elhelmete View Post
Cars aren't really getting lighter.

Take any mainstream model from 15 year ago and from today and compare curb weights.
True to certain extent. The overall exterior dimensions are increasing especially in the mid size and compact segment, but weights have been holding pretty steady considering all the added safety features and tech features that have been crammed into newer cars over the last several years.

Whatís adding all the extra weight is mostly all the features like I just mentioned including many sedans and CUVís having AWD which can easily add an extra few hundred pounds to the curb weight depending on design. As the bodies of most new cars are a mix mash of materials from steel, aluminum, to composites, the bodies themselves hardly weigh a thing.

I even notice some older 90ís vehicles the metal feels sturdier, but unibody construction today is far superior to the unibodys of 10 to 20 years ago. Every new vehicle Iíve driven so far feels pretty tight, and each new generation usually does better on NVH levels. But more and more cheap plastics persist in certain brands and the use of less sound deadening materials are really noticeable in Japanese vehicles.

American makes are mostly quieter to drive on the road as comfort is more of a focus factor over sporty driving dynamics, same with German brands, especially Benz, some Beemers are actually pretty loud to drive, while others are dead silent (7 series).
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Old Yesterday, 03:31 AM
 
Location: Knoxville, TN
939 posts, read 509,727 times
Reputation: 1324
My LS430 has as good or better build quality than any car I've ever been in, and I've been in a lot. It's such an old car now but the build quality still pops out at you and it's still astounding. It drives 130MPH as solidly and tank like as any S-Class, I know from experience.
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Old Yesterday, 07:14 AM
 
Location: Vermont
336 posts, read 82,032 times
Reputation: 629
I slapped around 50lbs of butyl rubber sound dampening in my 20 year old Honda and it made a world of difference in both how quiet it is, and how "solid" it feels. The doors make a very different "thunk" when I close them now.
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