FinEcon wrote:Most of the opinions posted so far seeem to indicate, to me at least, choices which are much better suited to a city slicker soccer mom wanting some AWD-ability for winter. If you're in the far north (that's anything north of Grande Prarie) you want much more than an Escape, RAV or any other car based SUV. In your shoes, I would go with a true SUV not a car masquerading as a 4x4.
Why this? What makes a truck better in cold weathers?
Seeing what YM wanted in a vehicle, a car based SUV or crossover is plenty. It doesn't sound like she tows anything or drive really rough offroad, so why spend the extra money upfront on the purchase, on maintenance, and fuel consumption? For cold weathers I can tell you a bigger engine takes more power to start, so batteries don't last as long, and they take longer to warm up. From what I've seen, many unibodies are much better sealed against the elements, so they resist rust better. Some models also have higher safety ratings. If she was content with the Camry, and sounds happy with something a little bigger, higher off the ground and bigger tires, then I don't see the use for a truck at all.
Do you know where other models of these manufacturers are made? Many Japanese cars are made in Canada or USA. Some Benzes are made in USA but what about the others? How many would realise that the MB C-Class is made in South Africa? As are many BMWs that SA exports around the world. VWs made in Germany? Need to check that - maybe Mexico or Brazil for some?
I really don't think it makes much difference where a car is built - If MB make sure the South African or USA plant is up to their own standards (I believe they are), then I would have no problem with that.
But for those with concerns, is there a site somewhere that clearly states where each model we can buy in Canada is actually built?
I don't know of a site that lists where every single model is made, and to complicate things a bit further, certain models are made in multiple location. For example, the GMC Yukon (Chevy Suburban and the like), are made in either Wisconsin, Texas, or Mexico, and you can only know for sure by checking the VIN.
I agree with you that the country of origin isn't the final determining factor for quality, but its rather the manufacturers demands and quality controls. I have a couple of "Made in China" tools that have held up very well, but its a brand name product.