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Are Foreign Cars Better than Domestics?

For a long time now, car buyers have held on to the notion that foreign cars are better than domestics when it comes to quality, reliability, and resale value.

While that may have been true in the past, it's really no longer the case today. The quality gap between foreign and domestic brands has narrowed to the point where there isn't much of a difference anymore.

In J.D. Power's 2011 Dependability Study, Lincoln was actually rated the #1 brand, showing just how far domestic manufacturers have come. Although quality and reliability are about even, there is still the nagging perception that domestics are inferior - and that does affect resale value a bit.

Foreign cars do tend to hold their value better than domestics, but that gap is closing. The thing to understand about the automotive industry is that it's a small microcosm. Top engineers, designers, and executives regularly defect to competing brands. Some transfer from foreign manufacturers to domestics and vice-versa.

Furthermore, many "foreign" brands actually manufacture their vehicles in the United States. In fact, according to, the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord are ranked as the top American-made vehicles when you factor in domestic car parts used and the assembly of the vehicle.

With today's global manufacturing industry, the lines are blurred when it comes to figuring out which cars are domestic or foreign. What you really need to do is have an open mind when it comes to choosing a car. Don't assume that foreign cars are always better than domestics or vice-versa.

Many people miss an opportunity to own a great car simply because of past prejudices. You should definitely test drive vehicles made both domestically and foreign and make up your mind after experiencing the quality first-hand.

My Recommendation for Car Shoppers

TrueCar No-Haggle and Edmunds Price Promise are the quickest way to see the lowest car prices in your area. These sites show you no-haggle prices from dealers closest to you - and the deals are usually really good. This should be the first step you take when negotiating your car price. Follow this up with my checklist to make sure you squeeze out every last bit of savings.
- Gregg Fidan

Gregg Fidan

About: Gregg Fidan

Gregg Fidan + is the founder of RealCarTips. After being ripped off on his first car purchase, he devoted several years to figuring out the best ways to avoid scams and negotiate the best car deals. He has written hundreds of articles on the subject of car buying and taught thousands of car shoppers how to get the best deals.

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