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Automotive Racism

I bet the subject line of this email has raised a few eyebrows… Let me explain.

Most people think that cars made by certain manufacturers are more reliable than others. Well, in my experience, this is correct.

(Before I start, please understand that this is meant as a light-hearted personal opinion, is very general and is not meant to cause any offence. I love cars from all countries!)

With that out of the way, let’s begin…


Wonderful food, beautiful language, and the cars made by Peugeot, Renault and Citroen are usually great to drive and have a number of interesting touches… but they are not always completely reliable, especially if they are not treated well.


Sure, they are rarely sexy, and some are dull-as-a-raw-potato to drive, but drive it hard, never service it and leave it unused for long periods and your Honda, Toyota or Mazda will just keep on running forever!

(And ignore the current bad press Toyota are getting; the accelerator fault affected VERY few cars and is a minor blip for an otherwise supremely reliable manufacturer!)


By European I mean Ford and Vauxhall. Despite both companies being US owned, the cars we see over here are nearly all built specifically for the European market.

Vauxhall (or Opel as they are called on the continent) actually last pretty well IF they are properly maintained. But most aren’t, so most don’t.

Modern Fords, however, have proven themselves to be very reliable – not quite to Japanese standards, but not that far off.

And let’s not forget the Swedes! Modern Volvos and Saabs have not much better reliability than French cars, I’m afraid. They get the basics right, but minor things like electrics are prone to problems.


Beautifully built and solid as a rock. You may pay more but you get what you pay for. BMW, Audi and Volkswagen all produce good cars… but there is a German exception.

Mercedes built from the mid-90s onwards were appallingly constructed. The last few years they have got better, but Mercedes definitely used to trade on a reputation of quality that was far from the case.


Passionate and beautiful are how you would best describe the cars produced by Fiat and Alfa Romeo(as well as Maserati, Ferrari, Lamborghini and similar). But reliable they are not – for example, it is not unrealistic for Maserati owners to expect to need a new gearbox every 20,000 miles.

I have always thought that owning an Alfa Romeo is like dating a supermodel: looks fantastic, moments of absolute bliss, but you know that she/he is going to regularly throw a tantrum and not do anything you want!

God save Aston Martin!

Ashley Winston
(Founder & Owner)

At Palmdale we specialise in taking all the hassle out of the car buying process:


  • YOU tell us exactly what car you want
  • WE search for every available car in the UK that meets your description
  • WE negotiate with the seller
  • WE make sure that the car is perfect
  • WE collect the car and bring it to your door
  • YOU enjoy your new wheels for many years to come

These newsletters are our attempt to teach you everything we know about car buying; however, if you would like us to find and buy your next car for you, all you have to do is ask!