Your picks: the five best-engineered cars on sale today?

Spectre

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There's more to insulate, probably - around here limits for a car are 74dBA "driving noise", that's at 3/4 revs in 2nd or 3rd under 50km/h at full throttle.
Quick googling about the US was inconclusive, some sources state 95dB - that would be one hundred times as loud. If true then no wonder you need more noise insulation. Probably some different measurement though.
Most likely, considering that the Series III was quieter on the outside with the Federal spec mufflers than the Euro/ROW ones, to use one example I am personally familiar with. They also sometimes came with insulation that was optional or simply wasn't available for Europe.
 

Spectre

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Got any reliable source on info? All I see on google is weirdos making their fartcans louder.
What, the US exhaust decibel limit?
Edit: If so, I don't have I handy. I do know the upper limit for all noncommercial vehicles (at time of first sale) is 80dB. That's the limit for motorcycles, and IIRC cars are supposed to be quieter.
 

narf

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Yeah... the most interesting bit would be the way to measure it anyways. Sticking a noise meter right next to the exhaust will obviously yield higher numbers than driving by one at the side of the road.
 

mitchell.scott

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Ford Fiesta: for reasons mentioned by the OP. It's brilliant.

VW Golf 2.0TDI: Amazing little motor in small car makes it awesome to squirt in and out of traffic with, and feels like it could survive a nuclear holocaust. Even the stereo is well thought out, with awesome features such as pausing playback when you turn the volume all the way down.

Audi S4 Avant: When I worked at Audi during the launch for the S4 sedan, I thought it may have been the best car they've ever made. The Avant isn't on sale in the US, but it's obviously just as good as the sedan with the added space of the A4 estate. It's a terrific highway cruiser, backroad attack car, and isn't too bad on petrol either.

Mercedes E320 CDI: Torquey diesel, quiet interior, nearly 30 mpg on the freeway, and it's built like a bomb shelter. What more could you want?

Toyota Tacoma: No single thing stands out about the Tacoma in particular, but whenever I think of a reliable, well-built machine that will probably end up on the BBC in Iraq, it's the Tacoma. They never die.
 

argatoga

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F
Toyota Tacoma: No single thing stands out about the Tacoma in particular, but whenever I think of a reliable, well-built machine that will probably end up on the BBC in Iraq, it's the Tacoma. They never die.
What? The Tacoma is a rust bucket.
 

thedguy

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The problem with most 'muricans is that they associate diesel cars with this:

I was (un)fortunate enough to be a passenger in an early Eighties Chevy Impala wagon powered by the Oldsmobile 5.7 liter diesel (A gas-powered V8 converted to diesel.) It shook badly at idle, and struggled to maintain 20 MPH going uphill. Now, compare that to a Mercedes 300D turbodiesel of the same vintage that I drove. That car was much more reliable and required fewer sacrifices of the driver - such as the engine shaking itself to small pieces.
Now if GM had utilized engines from its Detroit Diesel subsidiary, or taken the Ford route and bought an already existing engine (The BMW turbodiesel, used in the Lincoln Mark VII) perhaps diesels wouldn't be so stigmatized in the US. But no - it was quicker and more profitable to convert gas engines, and if they failed, well the customer already bought the car.
You do know that VW's 1.9L diesels in the golf is just a converted gas engine? Much of the gas bits swap over. BMW's 4 (and 6) cylinder diesel engines are also gas ones. A much desired motor build involves using the crank from the Diesel M47 in my block to get a 2.1 (from 1.8). Mazda's F-series engines (F2t/F2) sold in their pick-ups and cars was converted over to diesel use.. with an unmodified block and only minimal requirements to the cylinder head and injection.

GM just fucked up doing the job, much like everything else in the 70's and 80's.

Got any reliable source on info? All I see on google is weirdos making their fartcans louder.
Every state is different. State of California has a limit on any car set at 96 DB. IIRC most other states are similar
 
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argatoga

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Yep. The Tacoma is not a rebadged Hilux.
 

2Billion

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The only thing that stands out about the Tacoma from when I drove one is that the brakes were awful.
 

thedguy

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How do you get enough compression?
Probably the same way a lot of diesel engines have compression, a nearly flat cylinder head and different pistons. And IIRC they did change the crank, as the flywheels on Diesels use 8 bolts rather than 6.

Not a huge amount of details on the Mazda F-series diesel considering not many people have toyed with them.
 

stevanford1

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1. Ferrari 458 Italia
2. Ford Falcon XR6 turbo
3. Ariel Atom V8
4. Pagani Zonda R
5. Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 10
 

Spectre

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Okay, well clearly my choice of the Tacoma was completely wrong in every way.

Now I can't think of a fifth.
Nissan Frontier/Navarra, which is, at this point, the last of the Japanese compact trucks to still be the same everywhere it is sold - indestructible.
 

Mitlov

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The only thing that stands out about the Tacoma from when I drove one is that the brakes were awful.
This. Every single person who drove my wife's former vehicle (a 2007 Tacoma) nearly rammed something the first time they drove it because the brakes felt like stepping on a wet grapefruit. Otherwise, I'm not well-equipped to comment on the vehicle, because I don't have much experience in pickup trucks in general.
 
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