Last post on Nov 25, 2013 at 11:27 AM
You are in the Sedans
What is this discussion about?
Lexus GS 430, Acura RL, BMW 5 Series, Volvo S80, Audi A6, Infiniti M35, Infiniti M45, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Cadillac STS, Sedan
#2092 of 10348 Re: Mercedes E320 Quality in General [mercedesstinks]
May 09, 2005 (6:15 am)
My wife got the ML when it first came out, and had a similarly bad experience. The car kept burning through oil and the dealership actually accused her of TAKING the oil out herself! They went so far as to tape the oil cap so they'd know if it was tampered with! Can you imagine the aggrogance in that? They actually blamed the customer for what was an obvious problem with the engine. So of course the car burned through the oil again despite their tape job and the offered her a great deal on a new ML (her's was 2 years old at that point). Then they turned around and tried to rip her off by giving her a crappy deal. Finally after she shopped the competition and threw a similar fit to your's on the showroom of the dealership they gave her a "good" deal on a new ML. On the other side of it, she did buy another ML and had no problems with it to speak of. This past weekend we drove the new ML500 which is a beautiful truck (sorry to post about SUV's on the LS forum, but I'm maily taking about Mercedes in general). Thing is, how many problems is the new ML going to have. Being a first year model probably a lot. Though I will say, my 545 is a first year model and I haven't had a single problem with it. I know others have, but a lot of people I've spoken to that have them haven't had any problems either. It's amazing though that a 2004 E320 would have those problems. Sounds like the car got in an accident, and they "fixed" it and sold it as new (and then to add insult to injury blamed you for doing body work!).
#2093 of 10348 Re: Mercedes E320 Quality in General [rich545]
May 09, 2005 (6:51 am)
A dealer service dept taping an oil cap shut because they believed the customer was intentionally syphoning oil backwards out of the engine block has to take the cake for stupidity and arrogance. That is just plain bizarre.
May 09, 2005 (7:23 am)
Insightful comments off vtec.net regarding the 2006 RL...
Here's what we already know about the '06 RL. As per (Honda CEO) Takeo Fukui's remarks at the Detroit Auto Show, the 2006 RL will be fitted with Honda's Collision Mitigation Brake System (CMBS). Other than that we don't expect to see much else for the '06 model, though we would really love to see Acura offer a factory option wheel/tire upgrade package, and perhaps even a sportier suspension tune along with it.
Now, let's look at the bigger picture and beyond model year 2006 for a moment. The 2005 RL is selling much better than past RLs, but is it selling as well as Acura had hoped? Perhaps not. Acura projected sales of 20000 models annually, and in general their past projections have been fairly conservative. But in the case of the RL, the year to date total for calendar year 2005 stands at just under 5500 units after 4 months, so at this rate it appears they will fall short of projections in the first year. Generally that's not a good sign. It's not a disasterous result, but what's going on?
By any measure, the RL is quite a superb car, but it's in a very competitive segment with a lot of appealing vehicles, many of which are all-new for model year 2005 or 2006. So it may be a tad early to say at this point, but it would seem that Acura may feel some pressure to do something more extensive than normal with the car when the time for an MMC (mid-cycle model change, or minor model change) comes. But if you think about it, there's not a whole lot that they can do to the car itself even if it is decided that changes are necessary. By virtue of the platform chosen by Honda for the RL, there are precious few options for the product planners to address much of anything with the car.
Perhaps the most logical enhancement would be to fit Honda's IMA system to the car to boost performance and economy. This would make it Honda's first AWD high-performance hybrid vehicle, and one of the priciest on the market. But an IMA system would add weight, cost, and further reduce cargo area, and the car doesn't really have much wiggle room in these areas to begin with. Otherwise, it's not likely that there's any meaningful amount of additional power or torque that could be added to the car without extensive re-engineering of the package (there's not much that will fit besides the transverse V6 that is already found in the RL). To reduce costs, a 2WD version of the RL could be offered, but the platform virtually dictates that it would have to be FWD, and that doesn't make a lot of sense.
Perhaps the only remaining option would be to add more gadgets, such as laser (or radar) cruise control, lane departure warning system, nightvision, in-car entertainment systems, etc... But it's my opinion that adding these sorts of options will not increase sales. It will be interesting to see how the RL matures over the next few years.
May 09, 2005 (9:06 am)
I still think its a little early to decide wether the RL will ultimately be a failure or not. The TSX started out pretty slow, and has been steadily gaining in sales. On the other hand, the TSX still subscribes to the traditional "bargain luxury!" Acura formula. I think it just took America awhile to get past the EX-V6 Accord that can be had for similar cash. The RL is luxurious enough, but is it a bargain? IMO, not really. Acura's options with the car are hybrid power, which seems unlikely. HSD is buttery smooth enough in operation for Lexus duty, but IMA is somewhat clunky in its operation as it cant "mix and match" electric and gas power at once like HSD can. Its fine for a Civic HX, but I dont think people would be willing to accept it in what would probably be a $56K Acura. I dont think Acura could sell cars at that price yet anyway.
The other option is an A-spec package, which probably will show up at some point. Again though, I dont see this making much of an impact, as maybe 1% of TLs are A-spec.
Acura should've skipped the AWD, and made the car a more agressively styled RWD car. This could have saved hundreds of pounds, eliminated the understeer problem that requires SH-AWD in the first place, and gotten the performance more in line with the 300hp rating. Then price the car at maybe $43K, and Infiniti and Lexus might find it much harder to sell M35s and GS300s.
May 09, 2005 (10:17 am)
My use of the term AWD all the time was perhaps more of a "writing device" -- sort of meant to conjure up the sing-song like phrase from top 40 radio "all the hits all the time."
On the other hand, the constant move forward by many auto manufacturers into AWD technologies (current fave of course being to point out that your AWD version is "rear biased" AWD or as Audi is now starting to use in their copy "asymmetrical" AWD) is expected to accelerate in the next 2+ years and newer (lighter, more efficient, better perhaps) technologies are presumably on the horizon that when coupled with hybridization (?) begin to make even more sense.
Since we (my wife and I) have two cars (well, we have three at the moment) at any one time and we basically designate one "his" and one "hers" we will stay with AWD all the time (hers a new X3 mine a new M35X (soon).)
I started out pointing out that I didn't mean to be taken literally.
"Never mind." - E.L.
#2097 of 10348 Re: 2006 RL [cstiles]
May 09, 2005 (10:48 am)
IMO, Honda threw so much at this RL that there's really no meaningful room left to go with it. I predict it will be left to fester for 5-7 years like the last one. As far as increasing power, they're already stretching that 3.5 V6 pretty thin as it is as far as natural aspiration goes. They could turbocharge it, but that will add at least a few thousand to the price, thereby making it even less competitive in its market. Or they could, as you already said, go hybrid with it; there again adding at least a few thousand to the price and still making it less competitive in its market.
As near as I can tell, the only real fans and purchasers of this RL are the diehard Honda fans. I think anyone who objectively cross-shops the RL with its competition will, 90% of the time, find the competition to simply be better. This is not to say the RL doesn't have a lot to offer, because it does. I cross-shopped it and the two, and only two, things that turned me away were its uninspiring looks and its diminutive back seat. At the time, I was shopping it against the E500 and the new A6 4.2. The RL's numbers say it has a bigger interior, but the actual layout tells a totally different story. I'm not sure how they did their measurements, but in reality, the whole does NOT equal the sum of its parts.
Anyway, now that the new Infinity M is out, that's the car for me. It has the size, power, performance, and amenities that I want in a "luxury" car.
I will say, though, that cross-shopping the RL against the new GS300 AWD would be a good way to go. They both have a lot to offer, but they're both tiny on the inside and have very little room for cargo. A perfect matchup!
May 09, 2005 (11:49 am)
"IMO, Honda threw so much at this RL that there's really no meaningful room left to go with it. I predict it will be left to fester for 5-7 years like the last one"
Actually, the previous RL has been with us since '96. Acura tweaked the styling and made some minor changes in '99, but it was just a refresh. I agree with you about the RL losing to its competition. The M is just too good for Acura to keep up.
#2099 of 10348 Re: 2006 RL [tayl0rd]
May 09, 2005 (12:39 pm)
You may be right that the majority of RL buyers are previous or current Honda/Acura customers. Our household certainly qualifies, since my daily driver is an Accord 6-spd coupe, and I've also owned several other Hondas. My wife is 80% driver of our RL, and her prior car was an Audi A4 3.0.
I would also bet that Infiniti is winning more conquest buyers from other brands, and a fair number of M-buyers are probably upgrading from another Infiniti or Nissan.
Styling is subjective, but I prefer the interior/exterior styling of the RL over that of the M35/45. To me, the RL looks like a TSX/Accord on steroids, and the M looks like a Maxima/Altima on steroids. I don't care for the tail lights or "boy racer" tailpipes on the M, and with the 19" wheels, the M screams "look at me." I guess I am more of a "Q-ship" driver. The blue/white lighting in the interior of the RL is also more attractive (to me) than the yellow/red combo in the M. I'm generally not a big fan of Nissan's heavy use of yellow instruments. Agree that the RL is far more conservative in appearance, and neither car is ugly or controversial, that's for sure. And clearly, the M is the better driver of the two, which is where it counts for me.
May 09, 2005 (12:56 pm)
. . .my initial impressions of our 400 mile old BMW X3 are over on that forum. After a few days with this little dude, I can ALMOST see it as an honorable mention for inclusion as an LPS vehicle.
I did say almost.
#2101 of 10348 markcincinnati
May 09, 2005 (1:42 pm)
Heh. If only BMW had some sort of sedan version of the X3