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.
#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.
#4381 of 24726 designman
Mar 10, 2004 (5:46 am)
Oh no, I'm done with the reliability debate, especially on this board. There really is nothing to debate, German cars are junk and the Japanese ones never, ever have a problem. Never. Me? I'm going to get a Buick. Nice and simple obsolete technology can't be beat for reliability...lol.
Mar 10, 2004 (6:26 am)
Don't know what you see in your car but I've had the 95, 98 and 2001 LS430's and they just keeping getting better and better. I'm about to take a 2004 LS430 and gave some serious thought to buying out my 2001 because it is so good. Interior is better than ever and I don't see any departure from the excellent switch gear that has been in the car in the past. I don't think they've ever changed it nor do they need to. I'll tell you what is best of all. My lease on the 2004 - which if I get the car I want - will have a $62k sticker (but I may opt for the full ultra lux model) and will price out at $10 a month less than the 1995 I had which had a $56.5k sticker. The 2004 is naturally a safer car and has far more equipment included. I realize some of that is interest rate reduction but some of it is also because the LS430 now has one of the highest residual values in the industry.
merc1 - you'd look great behind the wheel of a Buick. All kidding aside - the NY news media and evening reports had a field day with BMW and Mercedes yesterday. I hope the German execs were paying attention because it's reports like those - which are widespread and can't be missed or forgotten - that make reality overtake perception. You don't think Buick will play up that tidbit as future marketing hype?
Mar 10, 2004 (7:45 am)
I don't think it makes a lot of sense to compare old model reliability with new models. The market demands technology. The market for 2004 MY cars with 1990 technology is tiny.
When I moved to Lexus from MB in 2001 it wasn't because of quality, it was because of features. Only in the last year or so did I connect the absence of LS problems compared to my 98 E Class experience. The MB was out of pocket for 40 days while they replaced the engine. The parking lights would burn out every 60 days until a recall finally fixed the problem.
Lucky for me I still see Lexus has having the highest techology and I get the quality build as a bonus! They don't have all the gadgets though. Lexus botched XM radio. Their NAV lacks the 3D birdeye view. They still haven't made radar pre-crash available. There is no display showing what audio system is playing.
#4384 of 24726 merc1 replaces Tiger Woods as Buick Spokesperson!
Mar 10, 2004 (7:50 am)
As a Lexus owner, I ran out and bought the new CR. I drive a Best Pick!! Maybe I can buy a decal for my RX330 announcing how smart I am...
sv7887...Sometimes I do wish that the autos were simpler. I really liked my 1992 Q45 because of its uncluttered dash and relative simplicity. I don't recall having any problems during my 24 month lease. On the other hand, I enjoyed all the gadgets on my LS430 and RX330 and haven't experienced any problems with them.
merc1...Wouldn't you really rather drive a Buick?
#4385 of 24726 How reliable are CR reliability surveys?
Mar 10, 2004 (8:07 am)
The Consumer Reports staff know their cars, but it's the readers who determine the reliability ratings by sending in their votes, right?
If so, these ratings are statistically bogus from the get-go. If report submission is voluntary, and if it's from a non-representative sector (Consumer Reports readers do not represent MY interests or preferences!), then the data is flawed and the results are worthless.
For example, I'd wager that Jaguar owners who subscribe to CR are an anomaly within the Jag-buying demographic. (Whereas Buick-owning CR subscribers are probably represntative for the fuddy-duddy Buick-owning demographic.) My guess is that Jag-owning CR readers are made up substantially of traditional American-car buyers who have decided to "take a flyer." They ecountered more service issues than they expected, and thus Jag models get low ratings.
NO volunary owner surveys are going to generate good statistics. You need to research actual shop records and manufacturer data for the brand. All the rest is highly suspect, and I think tends to favor the status quo.
Why is JD Power so highly regarded? Because the manufacturers quote it all the time in their advertising. Circular reasoning aside, it's a somewhat too-cozy relationship for my comfort.
While I'm not completely dismissing these surveys, I think they should be regarded with skepticism and not the sole determinant of a person's choice of auotmobile.