I think one of the issues with the imports (especially what I've heard from Toyota owners) is that the owners think they're so perfect they don't need maintenance. Yeah...not. But the myth is so great that many of them simply don't change the oil, or the transmission fluid, etc, and the car, predictably, falls apart/breaks down.
Family's had a mix of cars over the years (never a Chrysler product, I just realized) with relatively minor maintenance. As for the 'imports'...
2003 Accord, bought with 25k, sold with 60k (parents said trading it in was the biggest mistake ever). Only problem was a left-blinker that didn't work. (repaired under warranty)
2005 Odyssey, bought with 47k, still going with 170k. This thing has literally been from coast to coast-we took it on a cross country trip to D.C. in the summer of 2009. 28MPG nearly all the way (only time it's ever gotten that). The only odd problem it had for a while were bad catalytic converters. First one failed at 60k, replaced by Honda for free. Second failed at 105k. Initially, they weren't going to cover it, but after the dealer talked with corporate they covered half and threw in a three year warranty on the part.
1993 Accord. My parents bought this beater for my brother as his first car. 5 speed manual, cute little four-banger. 235k miles. Still runs rather well(lots of low-end grunt), though it burns a bit of oil and they had to replace the distributor a week after they bought it.
My point? Nearly any car these days will last if you take care of it. But there are quirks, and there are defects, and our friends from Japan got a little lazy there for a while.
Prices for used Honda's are bad enough, but used Toyotas? Even worse. It's one of the reasons I'm looking at a Taurus-I'd rather save some cash, get a higher-end model, and spend some extra money making it look sharp.
: 2003 Taurus SES Deluxe, Duratec, spoiler, moonroof, OEM Centennials, JBL Audio system, other enhancements. April '14 COTM winner.
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