Last post on Jan 28, 2013 at 6:55 PM
You are in the Sedans
What is this discussion about?
Audi A8, BMW 7 Series, Jaguar XJ-Series, Lexus LS 460, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Volkswagen Phaeton, Maserati Quattroporte, Mercedes-Benz CL-Class, Sedan
Let's try to define this forum as being limited to luxury performance vehicles where the mainstream version in a typical configuration has an MSRP of at least $60k.
A luxury vehicle with a base price of $59k qualifies because it would typically be bought with some additional equipment, bringing the MSRP over $60k.
Vehicles like the E, 5, A6, M, or GS, even if available in certain versions over $60k, don't qualify because they are cars from companies that have higher end cars in their lineups.
#20963 of 24723 Re: Quality is Job One Again for MB [tagman]
Nov 13, 2006 (10:37 pm)
My theory has always been that they're purchasing a lot of things from the same suppliers that do business with Ford, GM and Chrysler. I've read where a lot of German suppliers opened up shop here back in 1998, but my nose told me otherwise when I sat in the first ML. The same smell and feel you get in a German made Benz simply wasn't there. Now the new generation Bama vehicles seem to be a mix of American and German suppliers by my nose. On thing I truly hate is that steering wheel. It screams cheap when you order it with wood and only one half of it is made of wood in contrast to every other Benz. I couldn't care two lugnuts about a wooden steering wheel in general, but if they're going to do one they could at least do it right. That 1/2 wood stuff was for Cadillacs and the like. Then there are the huge gaps between the buttons and the steering wheel hub, it reeks of American supplierism. See the gaps in this photo:
#20965 of 24723 Re: Quality is Job One Again for MB [merc1]
Nov 14, 2006 (10:50 am)
I actually believe them when the MB executives claim that they are building cars more reliable than they ever did. The problem is that staying at the top (or bottom in this case) in the reliability rankings is a moving target. MB's reputation for reliability was built at a time when annual tune-up for cars was expected. Hardly anyone does that any more. Most people don't even do 30k, 60k or even 90k service any more . . . they just change oil every 5k and change tires every 40k, and expect their brakes to last 60k! and hardly any change of brake fluid in the life of the car! MB never engineered the kind of tight tolerance for that kind of, what would have been considered "neglect" in old days, operational demand. The quality expectations today are quite different from what were two decades ago.
#20966 of 24723 Re: Quality is Job One Again for MB [merc1]
Nov 14, 2006 (11:14 am)
Then there are the huge gaps between the buttons and the steering wheel hub
We've all seen this before, when the steering wheel's hub uses the center axis as a pivot point, and therefore needs the "space" to move (push on side to side) the hub in order to honk the horn. The gap is by design, but there are alternatives that other manufacturers have clearly proven are less unsightly.
#20967 of 24723 Re: Quality is Job One Again for MB [merc1]
Nov 14, 2006 (1:31 pm)
I guess as a personal opinion that the wood steering wheel looks great, but after now having the leather I sure wouldn`t go back...On my next car if the pictured wheel were to be all leather on the bottom--no metal--I would be happy....The wood gets slippery and sort of a light greasy feel if not wiped off regularly Tony
#20968 of 24723 Re: Quality is Job One Again for MB [merc1]
Nov 14, 2006 (2:28 pm)
Merc, it's good to know that I wasn't the only one to find that steering wheel unsightly.
It just doesn't belong in a vehicle starting slightly south of $60k. It's hard to say this, but the Escalade's(altho tilt only-MANUAL AT THAT!!) is more nicely wrought out.
The whole IP is a bit uninspired to my eyes, but the use of materials and assembly are first rate.
But as Tag eluded to, the steering wheel gaps are part of the function of the wheel, not a design flaw. But it is a cheapened way to get a better wheel to fully integrate the wheel controls and hub, like on most other high end cars.
#20969 of 24723 Re: Quality is Job One Again for MB [anthonyp]
Nov 14, 2006 (2:30 pm)
Tony P: Wood is good, leather is clever, but I sure wouldn't trade my Alcantara suede-lined wheel rim on my Audi's for nothing, altho the wood wheel on my S600 is pretty cool.
#20970 of 24723 Re: Quality is Job One Again for MB [tagman]
Nov 14, 2006 (3:58 pm)
The gap is by design, but there are alternatives that other manufacturers have clearly proven are less unsightly.
Well I think it is just plain poor (i.e. cheap) design. Mercedes does much better on their other models so there is no excuse for the R/M/GL steering wheel to look that way.
#20971 of 24723 Re: Quality is Job One Again for MB [blkhemi]
Nov 14, 2006 (4:00 pm)
But, as I see it, regarding Audi, very few owners report the problems that are so purported with German cars. I had the most technology-driven, most powerful and biggest Audi of them all, yet that car never saw one unscheduled visit.
I myself have shared your positive experiences with German cars for more than two decades. And I can assure you that JD or CR will not sway me to purchase or not purchase a car. The non-existence of JD or CR stats on BMW twin turbos did not prevent me from buying one.
Having said that I think you and I can agree upon the importance of JD and CR stats for the automobilie buying public. The weakness of all German luxury cars is that there is not a single model that has consistently earned red dots for more than a few years as an overall score from CR or has ranked as best in class by JD on a consistent basis.
Lexus has achieved that with many of its models on a consistent basis throughout the years.
Is that important? I dont think so! But from a strictly marketing perspective it certainly does help Lexus.