Last post on Jan 28, 2013 at 5:55 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.
Mar 09, 2004 (11:31 am)
I hope this isn't the beginning of another Lexus vs MB debate..The BMW statistic doesn't surprise me. The 1996 LS was alot less complicated than the current 7 series. Obviously the more complicated the system the more issues that can arise with it. From my own personal experience, my 92 LS has had fewer issues than my LS430. Of course the cars differ greatly in complexity.
Anyone want to postulate reasons for the European issues? (I'm NOT trying to start another Lex vs Germany thread here..) My feelings are that the autos are heavily concentrating on cramming electronics into these cars at a torrid pace. That works to the Japanese competitive advantage, as they are the unrivaled leader in this sort of thing. I think the main issues for the Euro automakers are electronics related. I somehow doubt I'd see a BMW, MB, or Jag with Engine or transmission issues..
Mar 09, 2004 (12:49 pm)
The problem is that the 7-series didn't need to be all that more complex than the 96 LS400. BMW went there because of a desire to lead in electronic auto technology. The real issue is whether the Germans will let the Japanese lead here because they are no match for the Japanese in electronics. My bet is that pride will not allow it and the quality slide will continue.
No - I don't want another Lexus vs MB debate either. We've been down that road a few too many times. But 10 - 15 years ago would anyone have ever thought the ratings would look like this for the Germans?
Mar 09, 2004 (1:19 pm)
Well, I'll bet pride has some bearing but then Porsche is using Japan supplier Aisin for the Cayenne transmission and that's one of the most complicated components in any car. It's that same pride that got the domestics buried in the 70's-80's. I'll bet 10-15 years back, German manuf. thought that the luxury market was all locked up for them, well til 86'(Legend)I guess but 89' was the 1st wake-up call.
Japanese don't just make great electronics, their mechanical stuff is top notch also as in long life engines. It's no surprise that Boeing awarded Japanese suppliers to do the electrical systems for their new upcoming jetliner. Talk about complicated electrical.
#4374 of 24726 Japanese engineering...
Mar 09, 2004 (2:04 pm)
Hmmm, I know very well that the hype says that they are virtually flawless; however, my experience has been anything but that.
My last (and only) Japanese car (a Mazda 626) was a nightmare (many mechanical and electrical failures), and interestingly enough, the only car I've ever had that had a transmission failure, and it was a 5-Speed manual. My last American car that had any failures at all (four American cars ago) had only two failures, the fuel pump, made in Japan, and the alternator, also made in Japan. Go figure.
Don't get me wrong, I believe that on the whole, the Japanese build generally more reliable products that do the Americans or the Europeans. Of course, then I look over to the next two houses on my street where a Honda Odyssey and two Accords live. One of the Accords is a 4-Banger with a 5-Speed manual transmission, and other than a bad cat (something like $1,200 to replace), it has been quite reliable. The Odyssey and the other Accord have required three transmissions between them. Hmmm, then again, maybe it's all hype.
Mar 09, 2004 (3:11 pm)
We are not compairing Mazda's to MBs and Lexus and BMW..Please.
Shipo someday take a lease on one of the top 3 and see if your attitude changes. Just test drive an MB or a Lexus or a BMW, it is a totally different experience then driving an old Accord or 626.
#4376 of 24726 Bzzzzt, wrong again...
Mar 09, 2004 (3:47 pm)
Sorry guy, I've owned four Audi's and I am now on my second BMW, a 530i this time that I had the pleasure of picking up in Munich and running it through its paces on the Autobahn. If that's not enough, I spent several years in the mid 1990s working for MB-USA in Montvale and Stuttgart, and I drove everything they had as well as all of their competitors that they would buy and MAKE us drive for a week at a time, just to get the feel of them. As such, I think I am very well versed in what the various cars have to offer.
That said, I stand by my statements, Japanese engineering is, IMHO, overrated. They're good, but there nowhere near as good as the hype would have folks believe. The opposite is true for the American and European manufacturers; they are not as bad as the rhetoric from the Japanese loving public would have us believe.
Oh, and FWIW, the Odyssey and the two Accords are not very old, maybe four years for the oldest. The 626 on the other hand was a 1993 model.
#4377 of 24726 Here we go
Mar 09, 2004 (4:19 pm)
This "argument" about reliability never gets us anywhere but in trouble.
Anecdotal evidence is just that - there are those of us who want to rely on it, and those of us who don't. Whatever - we're all entitled to our own points of view.
Why don't we just talk about what we like about these vehicles and where we think the manufacturers can improve instead of getting into yet another "my car/opinion is better than yours" debate?
It's not worth it. There are really great cars in this category, and there is no reason for any of us to pursue these turf wars. All of the cars that fit the topic here have characteristics that many appreciate, and yet they all seem to have some minuses - can't we talk about these things without the territorial ground-pawing and snorting that seems to come with defensiveness about personal choices?
And we do need to remember our subject ... we're getting into vehicles that none of us believe belong here.
Mar 09, 2004 (8:03 pm)
Back to the topic I posed...Should the auto manufacturers continue to cram all these electronics into cars? I somehow don't see my LS430 holding up as wel as my original LS400 has over 12 years..There are simply too many electronic gimmicks in the car. Perhaps I'm wrong, but it seems like these cars are not being designed to be trouble free as the old MB's and original LS cars.
You're all going to call me crazy, but Lexus owners, sit in an original LS and then in a new one..You'll notice the switches are lesser quality, and the car doesn't exude the solidness that the original did. The numbers even tell the tale. In 1990, it was estimated the car cost around $42-45K to manufacture. (Leading MB to charge Toyota was dumping the vehicles in the US market) Two years back when I bought my 430 the invoice price was around 50K. Maybe this is why I probably won't keep the car beyond it's warranty which expires next September.
I firmly believe what some have posted here: Automakers should offer simpler versions of their cars. What do you all think?
#4379 of 24726 designman
Mar 09, 2004 (9:48 pm)
I remember the concept clearly...the Cadillac Cien. I agree on the styling, it was a gorgeous and edgy excercise. It carried Cadillac's new styling theme better than anything since, especially the CTS and XLR, both of which could use some softening, imo.
Be careful with that view expressed in your post #4376 particularly that second paragraph, as the surveys and CR rule this board, nothing else matters, including knowledge about the cars themselves, CR/JDP history or anything else. A Buick is a better car than anything German.
Mar 10, 2004 (5:36 am)
shipo... I agree with the overrated/underrated extremes that car buyers go to as you suggest. As a note, my father bought a Hyundai around the time they first came out. Geez was it tinny and couldn’t get out of its own way, but it just kept running to my surprise and delight.
sv7887... If I could have one wish granted with cars, it would probably be to reduce the electronics and gimmickry. I agree it is out of hand and getting worse. There are more heating zones in luxury cars than there are in most homes. My wife brought our 03 BMW 530 in for a simple oil change yesterday and it comes back with the computer reset. The on/off characteristics of the lights are now in a manual mode. So now I have to make another trip back to get it reset to our preferences. Wouldn’t mind if you could do it yourself, like resetting the radio stations, but you become dealer-dependent. The proprietary aspect also handcuffs us.
merc1... gear up sir. What with the latest CR deal I think German cars are going to be taking a beating around these threads whether it is deserved or not. It wouldn’t trouble me though. Living in the shadow of big brother 911 and less expensive stars like the S2000 and 350Z, my Boxster often takes a pounding. But I know exactly what I want and am very comfortable with where my passions lie. In the end, however, I think the fierce competition is very healthy for all brands. And as much as I disagree with many of the posters, I am thoroughly entertained by their takes and the candor we couldn't possibly find in a cocktail conversation. You have to admit, this place is a gas.