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Old 02-12-2013, 11:50 AM
brian5 brian5 is offline
nothing today
Location: Connecticut
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 207
Mein Auto: 08 X5 4.8i
Originally Posted by solstice View Post
In my experience the German built cars are of overall higher build quality. Not when it comes to essentials as drive train and chassi but when it comes to fit and finish. During my expat years in Africa I had an E36 3 series. A factory tour in South Africa was included and when I asked the German foreman on the difference between a car built there and in Germany he just smiled and mumbled "no comments". That said, I abused that car to no end over 4 years, it went pedal to the metal all the time and was driven over rough terrain to game reserves and dive spots. It was towed out of mud holes and bottomed out at high speed countless times. I had water coming into the cabin etc. but it never failed. The interior however was rattling, squeaking and scraping like crazy. The leather was dry and crinkly like a rhino. The alignment on doors were so-so and the plastics felt cheap and knobs were not smooth. My E30s and my GF's E21 we had in Sweden were of much higher build quality. I haven't owned an X so I can't comment on the quality of them compared to German built cars.
You're comparing apples to oranges. The 3-series that you drove, years ago, was for the local Africa market. Things have changed; they are now exported globally so I would expect the quality to be much better (and it is --- I have driven 3-series as loaners here).

Mercedes Benz and other cars are also made in South Africa for the Africa market. I don't know if they export them but their quality was never expected to be what one would find in Europe or the USA.
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