Last post on May 01, 2013 at 3:12 PM
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
#5990 of 10338 Re: Quality [markcincinnati]
Jan 30, 2006 (4:13 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 (6:08 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 10338 Re: Quality [markcincinnati]
Jan 30, 2006 (7:01 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 (8:39 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 10338 Re: Quality [markcincinnati]
Jan 30, 2006 (9:21 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 10338 Re: Quality [hpowders]
Jan 30, 2006 (9:35 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 10338 Voice Commands
Jan 30, 2006 (9:41 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 (9:42 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.
#5998 of 10338 Re: Quality [markcincinnati]
Jan 30, 2006 (3:08 pm)
i don't know-life was so easy back in the old days when manuals were thin and you pushed buttons to change the radio station.
When I drive 900 miles to Virginia this May, I'm not even going to bother with the hassle of adjusting the radio stations with IDrive. I'm bringing a ton of CD's with me.
I'm kind of old-fashioned-I refuse to pay a monthly fee for radio.
But then again, I said the same thing when cable TV first came out and I've had it for years.
Disclaimer: I have posted here many times in favor of IDrive.
I love that I can and have used it to customize the car my way.
The only real weakness is the tedious procedure for re-adjusting radio frequencies when one drives out of town.
I hope BMW reconsiders and removes radio adjustment from IDrive and goes back to simple buttons.
#5999 of 10338 Re: Quality [hpowders]
Jan 30, 2006 (5:24 pm)
I'm not a fan of satellite radio either. I might be more interested, but it seems every week the RIAA as attaching one more "cant do that! cant do that!" disclaimer to abilities I'd want to have on a music service that I'm paying for. FM is free, and I can record all I want. (Not that I actually do).
As for television, I have a dish. Cable's picture quality is lousy, and their pricing is rediculous. Where's my ala carte, FCC?
I think built in hdd music systems in future cars will be wonderful, especially if they include support for lossless formats such as flac, though I'd be happy enough to have my entire collection of 320kbps encoded mp3s at my fingertips every time I get in the car.