Two of this country's biggest car brands are that of Ford and GM, and they seem to be ones that many buyers choose when they want a new car, aside from foreign brands such as Toyota and Nissan. Both brands have a very interesting history and have served up many great cars. There are reasons for buying one brand over the other, though, some reasons that may not be so obvious but do make a difference when buying that important car.
You may very well think that Ford has the edge when it comes to reasons to buy their new cars, trucks, and SUVs. And you would hardly seem foolish for thinking that. Ford cars do tend to be better looking, better built, and most of the time, they are certainly a better overall product compared to a GM machine. But that doesn’t mean that they are perfect, and it doesn’t mean GM can’t make a good car because they can make good cars and when they do, we all love them. GM comes in for some stick sometimes but it can produce the goods.
So here is an interesting list for you all to read. This is a list of reasons why you should not buy a Ford and instead pursue a car from the doors of the General Motors factory. It may be surprising, I know, but there are many reasons for doing so.
20 Used GM cars are still very good
We have already discussed the rather insane difference in resale value between Ford and GM cars. And it is perhaps indicative on occasion of how good the used car can be. GM cars have generally been very popular among the majority of buyers when bought from used car lots and they are often offered at good prices and still in very good condition. Of course, a Ford might well last you better in the long run but that resale value is always going to be nagging you. There is no shame in buying a GM car used; it is actually a good investment.
19 Dealers are everywhere
This might sound like something a bit silly to say, but the fact that the dealerships are everywhere is a very, very good thing. If you are in a fairly remote town, the chances are good that there is still some form of GM dealer nearby that can facilitate the needs that your car requires, should a problem arise. Ford dealerships aren’t exactly a rare breed but the chances of finding a GM brand dealership are just a bit higher than a Ford one. Perhaps this is not an outright reason to buy GM over Ford, but it is certainly something you should think about.
18 Larger recalls for Ford
We have all heard of recalls for Chevrolet cars, or just GM cars in general, really. But Ford, despite being seen perhaps a pillar of reliability when people think about them, has had their own issues with recalls. Ford has had various recalls relating to fuel systems, leaking gas tanks, brake fluids, and electronic stability control. In the early part of this year (2018), 1.4 million Fords alone were recalled. That is an insane amount in less than 12 months, and perhaps less than 6 months as well. It's quite worrying, too, when Fords are usually considered more reliable than GMs, on average.
17 Ford Reliability Faults
I wouldn’t say that this is a bigger problem per se than with GM cars, as on balance a car from GM is probably not as well made as its Ford equivalent. But Ford do have an equal share of reliability issues, so don’t think you’re getting a drastically more reliable car for your money with a Ford. It doesn’t justify paying any difference, in this case. The most reliable Fords would seem to be the Fiesta and the Focus, according to Consumer Reports. Transmission and clutch problems appear to be the biggest cause of faults on these models, which are two of the most crucial areas of a car that you would want to be reliable.
16 Bad resale value compared to GM
The resale value is how much your car is going to be worth, say, five to ten years down the line when you sell it as a used car. And Fords seem to be some of the worst offenders when it comes to resale value, even just a couple of years down the line. For example, a Ford Taurus SHO is around $43,000 when brand new and fresh out of the dealership. But a 2013-2015 model, which isn’t exactly old yet, can be worth around $20-27,000, which is a significant price drop in either five or three years, and begs the question: why bother buying a brand-new example when you can just get a strong used one?
15 Stronger SUV lineup
SUVs are a huge part of any brand's car lineup, and it is no exception when it comes to Ford and GM. Fords, though, are not really synonymous with the SUV, with perhaps their best-known model being the Explorer. GM, though, particularly with the Chevrolet and GMC brands, tend to have a much stronger line up when it comes to SUVs. The Equinox regularly comes out at the top in awards and reviews, and Carmax actually ranked it one of the best SUVs of 2018. There is also the Tahoe, the Blazer, the Suburban, and the Trax. A wide range of SUVs are available from just Chevrolet alone, not to mention the very strong GMC Terrain, as well. Ford’s SUVs aren’t bad but GM offers more variety.
14 High resale value
One thing that may have surprised you already is that a GM product likely has a higher resale value than a car from the Ford company. Why this is surprising can be two fold. Firstly, Fords are often regarded as better cars, being more reliable and just a nicer machine to drive. Secondly, Ford build quality is usually also regarded as being to a much higher standard than that of a GM. You’d be hard pressed to find anyone that didn’t think GM’s are a bit plasticky. But to their credit, you can hang on to a GM car for a good while longer and it will be worth that little bit more.
13 Industry Leading technology
GM are quite pioneering when it comes to electric vehicles and we have already seen that with the EV-1. But their latest incarnations of the electric cars have also been pretty good, and one of the best ones would appear to be the Volt. The Volt is, in fact, a hybrid-electric car and it has a solid range on electric power of 53 miles. And that is more than enough for a run to the grocery store and back, and to perhaps do a few more errands cleanly rather than polluting the atmosphere. The Volt had a slow start but has become ever more popular in 2018, and is certainly worth consideration.
12 Bolder with innovation
This is perhaps more true in recent years, especially with electric cars. And I am thinking a lot about the GM EV-1. A bold direction for the company, the EV-1 turned out to be a very capable car. Comfortable, stylish, and with a good range of around 80 miles—which at the time was great—it was let down by its range halving in inner-city situations. But it was an innovative step for the brand, something that Ford had failed to try and capitalize on at the time. The EV-1 may not have been a very successful car in the end but it showed what GM was prepared to do to beat Ford.
11 Pontiac GTO
Everyone talks about the Ford Mustang as if it was the only muscle car in the world, but GM and its brands did produce some of the best of the best in terms of muscle cars. One of those was the legendary Pontiac GTO. It was an incredible car to look at, really oozing that big, brash muscle car feel and it looked fast standing still, plus the rumbling V8 it featured provided the muscle car soundtrack as well. Some editions did have problems, but then again, so did the Ford Mustang. Who can forget the terrible Mustang II from the mid-1970s?
10 Chevrolet Bel Air
Some of the best cars in the world came from the middle of the 20th century and in the 1950s, one of those amazing cars was the Chevrolet Bel Air. The Bel Air was significant because it helped catapult Chevrolet into the huge company that it is today, and even now the Bel Air oozes class and style, despite being nearly sixty years old, in some cases. Examples of the Bel Air can go for very high prices nowadays, particularly ones from the mid-1950s, showing just how sought-after and well-regarded these cars are. Not much comes close to the Bel Air’s sleek lines.
9 Chevrolet Camaro
Pontiac is not the only GM brand to have produced a great muscle car that should rival the Mustang. Chevrolet are also in the muscle car field, and the Camaro is a fabulous offering from the company. With the high performance ZL1 variant, 0-60 can be achieved in a staggering 3.5 seconds. Various models are also offered, with the ZL1, SS, LT, and LS all in the offering with a wide array of performance options to suit you best. It shouldn’t be snubbed just because it isn’t a Mustang, as the Camaro is one of the best beasts that you can get.
8 High safety ratings
Ford’s cars do tend to be some of the safest on the planet, which is something that the Detroit builder really does pride itself on. But GM should not be snubbed, either because some cars from General Motors are, in fact, incredibly safe. The 2012 Chevrolet Camaro actually proved to have one of the best safety records of any car at the time, according to Motor Trend. Five stars were given to the Camaro in the front crash, side crash, and rollover tests for an overall rating of five stars. The results were incredibly impressive and show that Fords are not quite the kings of safety, even if they are, on balance, a little bit better.
7 Chevrolet Corvette
The Chevrolet Corvette is one of the most iconic sports cars that you can get out there, and certainly one that can take the fight to the dominant sports cars coming out of Europe. If anything, the Corvette is a much better-looking car and certainly cheaper compared to its rivals from companies such as Ferrari and Mercedes. The latest version of the Stingray can go from 0-60 in just 3.7 seconds, with a 460-hp V8 powering it along the road or even the track. Sports car can not really get much better than the Corvette, and it can certainly take on anything Ford has to offer.
6 High review scores
For all that GM go on about their review scores, and especially the JD Power dependability awards that are banged on about in the Chevrolet TV adverts, GM cars do review quite favourably, and it is quite easy to overlook that, particularly among people who are perhaps a bit hesitant to switch to a GM brand, based on what they may have heard in the past regarding their cars. Fairly mundane cars such as the Suburban and Terrain have been reviewed fairly favourably, and are quite popular with the average family. Buick also fares quite well, even if they perhaps aren’t spoken about now as much as they used to be.
5 Multiple brands to choose from
Of course, there some great points about Ford’s cars. They are stylish, mostly quite reliable, rather safe, and good to drive. But GM has an advantage when it comes to choice because it has various brands that mean you have so much more to choose from. You have Chevrolet, then GMC, you have Pontiac (on the used market, of course), and Buick. It is an incredible range of brands that all produce (or produced) their own cars, even if some bits are shared between each brand. But that makes sense and it helps to keep some of the costs down. It is an advantage for GM that they hold this large number of cars in their pocket for the consumer to look at.
4 Chevrolet Blazer
It might look like quite an ordinary car, but the Blazer really is not that bad of a vehicle, particularly when you look at what most people actually need from a car. The average family is hardly going to want a fire-breathing sports car, muscle car, or supercar and the Blazer is not any of those in any way shape or form. But what it does offer is very dependable family transportation, with no frills or spills and a very good safety record as well, at what is quite an attractive price point. The Blazer has had its ups and downs however, but it is hardly a bad car.
3 Pontiac Grand Prix
The Pontiac Grand Prix is not the best car in the world, and would not be many people's first choice for a sports car. It certainly had its up and downs and was not, by definition, a true muscle car. But here’s the thing: if you wanted something that could be used every day (it has four doors) and also had a little bit of performance on offer to make things that little bit more exciting, why not go for the Grand Prix? There are much worse alternatives out there and the Grand Prix was never a crazy expensive car, so it is hardly a bad choice.
2 Fords rust on the hood
You would, of course, expect a car to rust gradually over time, and no car can really escape any amount of rust, be it big or just a tiny bit in a small area. But certain Fords have had issues with their hoods rusting and their paint bubbling near the front edge. The cars most notable for this are 2011-2016 Ford Explorer, various Mustangs, and the 2000-2007 Ford F150. These are the biggest culprits in the Ford range for this issue. Worryingly, Ford seems unable to do anything about it. It has actually been happening on the F150 for over 20 years, so always check, when buying a used model, that this issue hasn’t arisen.
1 Bland interiors on Fords
It isn’t hard these days to find a car that has not got the best interior. The majority of cars, in fact, probably have a bland inside for you and your passengers. But Fords seem to suffer from this syndrome more than others and that is never a good thing. Not only are these interiors bland, however, but they give an illusion of quality when, in fact, the quality is really average and a major letdown when you realize how bad the interior actually is. Wood trim will be fake and there will be cheap plastics galore around the inside of your Ford Explorer, or whatever it may be.
Sources: Motor1, Buick Pressroom, Car Gurus, and Form Trends.