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
Jan 29, 2006 (7:26 pm)
The “volumes spoken” are probably more from a certain perspective than from anything else.
The 321 vs. 69 posters in “Problems & Solutions” (P&S) may be due to the number of cars sold in a given period, or time available in the market. Acura’s LPS (example, “in the spirit” of numbers) may have sold 18,000 cars in 2005, Mercedes LPS perhaps sold 50,000, BMW’s even more. I would not be shocked to learn that in raw numbers there were more posters in P&S for the cars that outsold other cars by 300%.
Moreover, with the Infiniti M cars, we have a model that at least 80% of the time has been called “pick of the LPS litter” – only once, in Automobile Magazine, did the M not reign supreme (the Audi A6 was awarded the king of the hill by AM.)
From the “Car Guys” in the Cincinnati Enquirer, to the New York Times to USA Today, the Infiniti M was the car to fawn over. At least one article proclaimed the M’s were about to make Audi, BMW and Mercedes (to name a few) irrelevant. Even though the gushing seemed almost too much to soon, well, there it was over and over and over.
“The Japanese BMW the Infiniti M is,” Master Yoda proclaimed.
The bloggers have often been even more passionate about their new BMW beaters, if that is even possible.
Juxtaposed with the persistent praise for the new M’s were articles suggesting (in glowing terms) that the new GS Lexus was a suitable substitute for or complement to Lunesta.
To be sure the Lexus was proclaimed practically perfect in every way. It was obliquely called a competent performer and directly lauded for legendary reliability; but, the writer’s style did little to disguise “the opening of the writer’s mouth wide as an involuntary reaction to fatigue or boredom.”
So what we might have here, speaking volumes, is the possibility that M buyers are either a little less, the same as or a little more passionate about their drives as are even rabid BMW aficionados. We might have, too, that GS buyers, while not exactly dispassionate about their chosen mode of transport are, er, the “strong and silent types?”
Reading the posts from us "civilians" and reading the editorial content from the folks actually paid to write, it seems to me that BMW 5 and Infiniti M customers are more likely to be vociferous than those who chose the Lexus GS.
We may have a confluence (or a coincidence) of factors that speaks volumes – volumes that support not the unreliability (or the causes of “many” – 320 vs. 69, e.g., P&S posts here on edumnds) of one over the other, but perhaps the passion and popularity of one vs. the other. Or perhaps those folks who expected the M to be the illegitimate child of BMW's 5 and Lexus' GS are more critical or more defensive that their pride and joys aren’t perfect.
I took a long test drive yesterday of an M35X with a friend who is in the market. She had, the day before, tested the GS300 AWD and remarked, “This M is so responsive, so sporty – the GS300 is much more like what I am used to, a 2003 Cadillac DeVille.”
I was born in 1951, she in 1945 – I am willing to bet she will get another Cadillac since she can get it for less than the GS300 and based on her “butt” they’re about the same.
While I argued long and loud that the GS300 was also a performance luxury sedan, she said, “If I want a cushy sofa-like car with lots of amenities, both the GS and the Caddy will do the same job (and Caddy is a lot less money), if I want a performance oriented, peppy little car, I’d go with the Infiniti M.”
Interesting that her perception of the M was that it was a “peppy little car” while the GS seemed closer to what she was used to, a big cushy FWD Cadillac.
Speaks volumes? Not to me.
#5989 of 10348 Re: Quality [liferules]
Jan 29, 2006 (8:34 pm)
Regardless, the issues experienced by owners are very real. ATTESA-ETS has been around long enough for all the bugs and kinks to have been worked out.
#5990 of 10348 Re: Quality [markcincinnati]
Jan 30, 2006 (3:13 am)
And yet, I wouldn't let that scare ME away from the M35.
I have had 3 BMW's since 1993 and was told by family to "Stay away. You'll be sorry!" and have had a rather placid relationship with the service department-oil changes and cookies.
I would have taken the chance with the Infiniti, but the 545 drove better, and at 2.4% interest, became an offer I couldn't refuse.
In addition, when you are a returning customer, you are treated a bit better, I found.
Jan 30, 2006 (5:08 am)
Nor I. Indeed I had put a deposit on an M35X when, like you, the deal and the loyalty treatment from Audi became the offer I couldn't refuse.
Both our 2005 X3 and A6 have been "perfect."
Of course the X3 needs wiper blades again.
#5992 of 10348 Re: Quality [markcincinnati]
Jan 30, 2006 (6:01 am)
Except for an annoying rattling sound coming from the vibration of the unoccupied front passenger seat, which believe it or not comes and goes, I have had no problems with my 545 since leasing it on August 1st, 2005.
I drove it this morning. No rattle. The car has a mind of its own.
Just don't ask me to change a radio station!
Jan 30, 2006 (7:39 am)
I was reminded that even though I "don't mind" and mostly like MMI, that some things can be done easier.
I was so reminded on my Friday test drive of a new Infiniti M35X with Journey and Technology packages -- the salesperson (who did NOT ride with us) was trying to show us how to use the voice commands and he yelled "TUNE 90.0 FM" over and over and over and the thing wouldn't obey (later I spoke in a normal loudness tone and everything worked fine) -- so he simply reached over to the tuning knob and cranked the radio to 90.0 MHz. Easy as cake, simple as pie.
The MMI is mostly acceptable -- but the Infiniti seems to incorportate both the slick and the sublime.
iDrive, so they say, is "the worst of the German lot" -- worse than Command and MMI? -- c'mon.
You know, I heard about his device that they call, well, it is called a mouse and you just move it over a little pad and the cursor kinda just goes where your mouse goes.
I doubt it will catch on, though.
Touch screens and/or voice commands that WORK (and the Infiniti works fine if you don't yell at it) are THE WAY TO GO.
I get all these JD Powers surveys about my car in terms of reliability and so forth, NEVER do I get surveys asking how I might suggest content changes or improvements to the car itself.
Buy an Acura RL and an Infiniti M and a BMW with iDrive.
Play with the voice command systems, voice commands and joystick knobs. It should become evident which of these systems have the most features and which are the easier or easiest to use.
Copy from the RL and M extensively. Use the BMW as an example of what NOT to do and "creatively swipe" the good stuff.
#5994 of 10348 Re: Quality [markcincinnati]
Jan 30, 2006 (8:21 am)
With IDrive, you make the settings once and then can forget about it.
It CAN however, be annoying for people who travel a lot and must keep changing the radio station frequencies which can only be done through IDrive. Then the IDrive becomes cumbersome. All car manufacturers should leave their radios alone- just press the buttons!
I'm kind of apprehensive about voice commands-will a cough or sneeze cause the car to do something unwarranted?
What about singing in the car?
How about if a passenger talks loudly?
What if I my wife and I are arguing and as usual I admit defeat by saying "stop!"?
I think I will wait for some solid anecdotal evidence before I try "voice command."
#5995 of 10348 Re: Quality [hpowders]
Jan 30, 2006 (8:35 am)
Go with satellite radio and radio station changing becomes a LOT easier.
Most voice command systems require pressing a button on the steering wheel to activate it. It will then say it is in Voice mode and ready for commands. Sneezing, singing (even badly), passengers etc will not affect it if not in use.
If you are in voice mode and something happens, it will either ask you to repeat it, or go somewhere you don't want it to. If you stay STOP, QUIT, END, etc, it will cancel voice activation. This is with firsthand experience.
#5996 of 10348 Voice Commands
Jan 30, 2006 (8:41 am)
For the money involved with LPS and HELM cars, I find voice commands relatively primitive. In the M, there is no training mode (and I am simply projecting this to other makes). As everyone speaks a little (or a whole heckuva lot) differently, I am suprised that training is not incorporated into the system.
There are plenty of voice-dictation systems out there. Given the limited number of commands necessary for controlling the accessories on a car, training would be far simpler than any of these dictation software packages.
I am surprised that this is not a feature. When I say "Home"--whether it's "(ET) phone home" or "Destination home"--it has a tough time (frequently replacing "home" with "0" for dialing). There are a few other words it doesn't seem to do well with. A training mode would do away with these annoyances. (And while I know that many people have replaced "home" with "house", "phone house" just doesn't seem right thanks to Mr. Spielberg).
I agree with Mark. A normal tone of voice works far better than shouting. These are sensitive beasts, after all.
Jan 30, 2006 (8:42 am)
The voice command does have some limitations. The Audi system does have a training mode, I assume they all did. And, you do not have to use the training mode, but I find it very handy especially for sat radio.
I get free directory assistance with my in car phone.
I press the talk button.
I say "telephone."
I say "dial number"
She says "the number please"
I say sneeze "411"
She repeats "Hash four one one"
Had I not sneezed it would simply be four one one repeated back to me and my response would be to say "dial."
If I push the talk button and issue a command and a passenger in the car speaks 1/2 second after I give the command, there is a good chance that the the voice lady will say "Pardon?"
Then I say "Play Van Morrison" "Track 4" and she obeys.
If my passengers continue to speak, well the Audi voice lady usually just says "Cancel" and the voice activation is deactivated until I again press the voice button.
The voice commands can be iffy, too, if you issue them with the windows down and some ambient sound leaks in.
The systems today are remarkable in some senses in that you can literally just rattle off a 7 digit phone number or tune a radio station by tag or frequency. They also are cool in that my voice tags can be commanded by my wife and thus far, no issues.
I say "Play W G U C" and the radio tunes to 90.0 MHz. Or I say "radio ninety point nine mega hairtz" (pronouced almost with a British accent, it seems to my midwestern ear) and the radio switches to 90.9 FM. My wife says "Play W G U C" and the voice system even though programmed by me responds the same for her voice as for mine.
The Infiniti System has more commands, but the technology seems about as reliable which is to say 95+% of the time everything is recognized. Heck, I'd probably say 97.5% of the time no muss no fuss with the voice systems.
I can't wait for 2008 when I bet they will be all that much better.
My 2003 Audi with On*star had the system where you had to say each digit s-l-o-w-l-y and wait between digits for an echo from the Audi lady.
Nowdays, just let 7 numbers at a time rip and the system works without pain.
And I too have 25 stations programmed into my MMI voice system (which, oddly, is the limit for stations) and most of the time it is not an issue.
I think the system should have 100 allowed though.
Audi will, or ought to, catch up with the rest of the voice activated world soon.