American vs. European vs. Japanese: Which Culture Makes the Best Cars?

Car guys (and girls) love to debate the merits of vehicles from different regions of the world. From “Buy American” to “European engineering” to “Japanese quality,” everyone has an opinion on which type of car is the best. So where do you stand on this issue? Here’s a little quiz you can take to find out. Read each quote and then choose the carmaker location of origin which you believe most accurately embodies it.

1. “Size matters to me.”

  • American
  • European
  • Japanese

2. “Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful.”

  • American
  • European
  • Japanese

3. “Neither rain, nor sleet, nor gloom of night can stay me from the swift completion of my appointed rounds.”

  • American
  • European
  • Japanese

4. “I want a lot of bang for my buck.”

  • American
  • European
  • Japanese

5. “I want something that handles like a dream.”

  • American
  • European
  • Japanese

6. “Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.”

  • American
  • European
  • Japanese

7. “The measure of a man is what he does with power.”

  • American
  • European
  • Japanese

8. “It’s nice to be wanted.”

  • American
  • European
  • Japanese

9. “Art, in itself, is an attempt to bring order out of chaos.”

  • American
  • European
  • Japanese

10. “I prefer an automatic transmission.”

  • American
  • European
  • Japanese

RESULTS:

1. In terms of acreage, the U.S. is bigger than Europe and Japan put together. So people who want big pickup trucks, vans, and SUVs will favor American vehicles.

2. European carmakers have a decades-long reputation of incorporating beauty into their automotive designs. Their American and Japanese counterparts usually prefer function over fashion.

3. Strangely enough, the motto of the U.S. Postal Service best describes cars made by the Japanese. These vehicles tend to be more reliable over time than those produced in the West.

4. Because of the competitive marketplace in the U.S., American automakers strive to create products that focus on value for consumers. This is apparent when making apples-
vs.-apples comparisons of automotive features among vehicle models.

5. When it comes to handling, the performance cars from European factories take the cake. That’s largely because they need to corner well on the curvy, twisty roads that are commonplace throughout Europe.

6. Warren Buffett said this, and he could have been talking about Japanese cars. Just check their blue book values after a few years and compare them to autos made in Europe and the U.S.

7. If he were alive today, Plato might have been referring to the powerful engines that are often found in American cars and trucks. You’ll find bigger engine sizes in these vehicles than you will in the average foreign car.

8. Japanese cars are the “most wanted” vehicles on the road. How can we tell? They generally top the lists of the cars most stolen by car thieves. (That’s why their auto insurance premiums are higher.)

9. Stephen Sondheim is an artistic guy. So he probably appreciates the aesthetics and artistry that embody European cars (moreso than those made in the U.S. and Japan).

10. No mystery here. Automatic transmission are found in more American vehicles than those produced abroad.

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