USA versus germany – who really builds the best cars?
Luxury sedan: lincoln continental vs. Mercedes S-class
D uesenberg, cadillac, packard – american luxury sedans once had rank and names. Today they don’t make a stitch against the upper class from germany anymore. Even the lincoln continental, currently probably the most distinguished car they’re putting on the road in detroit, doesn’t stand a chance against the s-class: even with lounge chairs in the rear, the lincoln doesn’t offer anywhere near as much comfort as the mercedes, which even becomes a spa class with special energizing programs.
Whereas the engine range for the americans ends with a V6 gasoline engine, for the swabians it only begins with that and extends all the way up to the fabulous twelve-cylinder and the powerful AMG variants. And where the S-class drives almost autonomously for minutes, in the continental you have to be thankful for the automatic distance control. Clearly: point for germany.
Van: chrysler pacifica vs. Opel zafira
With the voyager, chrysler had the right scent. When german families still had to save up for a bulky VW bus, the americans introduced the large sedan and made the small van acceptable as a bumper car. The voyager is now called the pacifica and has many imitators around the world – for example, the opel zafira.
You can tell that it was developed by the subsidiary of a U.S. corporation. It’s just as practical as the pacifica, just as variable, and offers just as much space. except that it has a few more german virtues like attention to detail, care in the choice of materials and the desire to have a little fun while driving. But chrysler has learned its lesson: the company is building the pacifica as the world’s first van with a plug-in hybrid, ensuring that the americans at least have a draw.
pick-up-truck: ford F-150 vs. VW amarok
the ford F-150 is the best-selling car in the u.s. and has such a stable stance that german manufacturers hardly dare approach it. But they also want to get in on the pick-up business a bit. The VW amarok may be a class below the F-150, but it can hold its own against the Detroit-based perennial. It has the smaller platform, but similar handling qualities.
however, the ford offers more luxury and, if desired, more performance. in the raptor version, the covered wagon even becomes a sports car for today’s cowboy. And although there is no more rustic vehicle concept, the F-150 is a modern car with a ten-speed automatic, more assistance systems and better infotainment. It is the first mass-produced model to be made entirely of aluminum – which saves weight and earns it a point in the international comparison. Stitch for the USA.
sports car: chevrolet corvette vs. Porsche 911
Nowhere is the german-american race as close as between the porsche 911 and the chevrolet corvette. Both cars have a long tradition and have remained true to each other over many generations, and speed and fun are very close in both cases. Whether you prefer to boil your blood with a V8 engine in the front or a six-cylinder boxer in the rear is primarily a question of personal taste – you’ll get hot in both cars.
What the corvette lacks in finesse and high tech, it makes up for in price. In the end it might be the love for the traditional lines and the higher confidence at full throttle and in fast corners that makes the pendulum swing to the porsche. This side of the ferrari, there is no other car that depreciates as little as a porsche. Narrow victory for germany.
SUV: cadillac escalade vs. Audi Q7
If there is one original american car, it is the SUV. off-roaders were also developed in england, japan and germany, but no one converted the workhorses into lifestyle trucks as early and as consistently as the americans did. the epitome of the vehicle genre is the cadillac escalade, which delights gangster rappers as much as real estate agents. In the U.S., its ample space, glamorous appearance and powerful V8 engine are well received.
In the rest of the world, however, the big mac has a hard time for horsepower gourmets – especially when competing with rivals like the audi Q7. It offers a similar amount of space, but is clearly the more modern car. It starts with assistance systems and infotainment and ends with the wide range of engines with special variants for savers and sportsmen. No chance for the cadillac escalade – point for germany.
electric car: chevrolet bolt vs. BMW i3
germany is a developing country when it comes to electric drives. Even though they are slowly waking up in wolfsburg, stuttgart and ingolstadt and BMW jumped on the trend early with its i-models, the roles are reversed here. This is not only due to the electrifying success of tesla. Just look at the i3 "technological lighthouse" and the chevrolet bolt.
Neither its expensive carbon construction nor its eco-interior with palm fibers and olive wood take the bavarian further than the american. Even the 7,000-euro battery upgrade doesn’t help: the bolt, which will soon be available here as the opel ampera-e, has the larger battery and has a range of 520 kilometers instead of 300. Not only does it cost less, but it’s also the more practical and, for most people, the more beautiful car. Congrats! The point goes to detroit.
volume model: chevrolet malibu vs. VW golf
the chevrolet malibu is the americans’ vw golf: when joe average looks for a standard model in detroit, he sees the american cousin of the opel insignia. It is much bigger than a golf – but in america the roads are wider and the distances longer.
The golf offers a broader and more modern range of powertrains – with diesels and gasoline engines up to the R-model, with plug-in hybrids and electric versions. it has almost all the assistance systems from the luxury class and an infotainment concept with a large touchscreen that makes the displays in the malibu look like a nokia 3110 next to the iphone 7S. Whereas in the malibu you sit in a plastic desert, in the golf you can indulge in lacquer and leather if you like. Even when driving, the smaller car is more fun. Bigger is better? sorry dear friends, you don’t make this sting either. Overall victory for germany.