I read with great interest the special report "Best Cars for the Money" on your first annual car awards in the special year-end issue ["50 Ways to Improve Your Life in 2009"]. It came as no surprise that the winners in 12 of the 14 new car classes were foreign vehicles. Some of the winners, while foreign models, are actually manufactured in this country by U.S. workers, thus creating necessary stateside jobs. In my opinion, for the U.S. automakers bailout to be successful, the industry has to do a better job producing very high-quality vehicles that meet the needs and desires of consumers. At that point, perhaps the future Best Cars award list will be dominated by U.S. vehicles. Hopefully there is still enough time for U.S. auto industry leaders to wake up and turn this sad situation around. But to succeed, these companies must focus on making each vehicle "an attractive choice for the vast majority of car shoppers."
Michael F. Vezeau, Bluffton , SC
I would think that U . S . News would be supportive of American workers and American products, yet only two of the 14 cars listed are U.S. made. This certainly isn't being supportive of the American worker or the American economy. The American brands put money back into our own economy. Do the right thing and place American cars in the forefront where they should be. I've recently bought a Buick, and I am delightfully satisfied with it.
Frank Gentsch, Woodway , TX
Of the 14 vehicles you list, the only two with U.S. labels are a full-size SUV and a full-size truck. And in the five-year cost of ownership category, the SUV is the most expensive of all, even beating the luxury category!
Ann Somers, Brookline , NH
Buying foreign cars has contributed significantly to our burgeoning trade deficit—and it's not all due to oil. Add approximately $350 billion a year we pay to foreign governments and investors for interest on the national debt, and the total exceeds half of our national budget. That is money we shall never see again! It is gone forever. Is it any wonder our economy is in trouble? We must produce more, and we must buy our products. Prices for domestic goods may be higher, but those prices pay higher wages, provide more domestic employment and better products. Let's not sell our soul overseas!
Dale Pierson, Hood River , OR
This article states that "The rankings are based on collective opinion of the automotive press, which helps to eliminate subjectivity and elevate expert opinion about each car." Anyone who has read U.S. automotive magazines over the past 15 to 20 years is aware, the vast majority of U.S. automotive writers have had a love affair with foreign built automobiles. Does it strike you that the automotive writers might be biased toward foreign cars when you see 12 of the 14 winners are from foreign manufacturers? I also noticed that several of the winners were also available as hybrids, "most of which are also great values." I have yet to see any automotive writers verify that you can drive a hybrid far enough to pay out the increased initial cost of the hybrid, but I guess this gives some people a warm fuzzy feeling inside to know they are helping "save the planet," so I guess this gives it "great value."
Don White, Spicewood , TX