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
#8392 of 10338 Re: C&D Comparo: M45 v. 550i v. E550 v. GS450h [pete_l_p]
Sep 25, 2006 (1:28 pm)
"Reliability. Look at consumer reports reliability surveys where the M far outshines the BMW and M-B. Also look at the Consumer reports Owner Satisfaction Survey, where the M wins with 92% of owners who would buy again, as compared to about 70% of 5-Series owners, and 62% of E-Series owners. Seems to me these are very big issues when it comes to overall value, yet not even considered in the C&D review. Don't you feel kind of foolish every time you have to bring this very high priced car into the shop. I know I do with my M-B."
I think your comment points to some important variations among car buyers. About 8 or 9 years ago I chose a European family sedan over the Toyota Camry. It's likely that I made a few more trips to the dealer's service dept. I have friends who would have said to themselves "You should have known better," but that wasn't what I thought or how I felt because I had driven both cars and experienced so much more driving and aesthetic pleasure in the car I chose. I have felt foolish when I've bought a car and found myself not enjoying looking at it and driving it over the years of ownership or, in other words, when the excitement I felt during shopping and test-driving wore out more quickly than I ever would have predicted. Your personal experience sounds ideal, the one we'd all like, where everything you read about a car and your own experience of the various buying options you have all point to the same choice.
When I was choosing a car recently, I also read the startling figure of 92% of M owners telling CR they'd buy one again. Since I was also considering the Audi A6, and 8 of 10 (as opposed to 9 of 10 for the M) owners said they'd buy that again, I wasn't swayed by the disparity. Also, I read in one posting on this forum that the CR survey had been done during the first couple of months the M was on sale, and I went back and checked and that was, in fact, true -- the M went on sale February/March 2005 and the survey was conducted in the couple of months right after that. So, I was even less swayed that 9 of 10 people who had bought a car were still infatuated with it after a month or two. What did catch my attention was that, in reading the Edmunds LPS, Lexus, MB, Audi, and Infiniti forums, there were only 4 times I read someone say, virtually, that they really no longer liked an LPS they had bought within the prior year, sometimes within the prior few months -- and all four cases were M owners. I have no idea what to make of that but, emotionally, it stuck in my mind more than the CR "I'd buy it again" numbers. In the end, however, I tried to limit the extent to which I was being pushed by either kind of data. Partly I do that because I work in a field where statistics are heavily depended upon. As a result, I'm often struck by how the whole auto journalism industry tries to use numbers, as if their numbers ("on a scale of 1 to 20, rate the wow! Factor of this car" or "on a scale of 1 to 10, how much did driving this car for a day make you want to own it?") were like real experimental scientific data, when actually it's more like movie critics being asked to rate a film's plot and characterization and humor on scales of 1 to 10. Similarly, this weekend Barron's focused on luxury cars. Among their "statistical" tables was one about "how many owners predicted they would buy another car from the manufacturer of the one they currently drive?" and no brand was listed as having achieved even 50% customer loyalty. In any field of study that actually counted on such numbers being "real", somebody would have pointed out that this varied wildly from data reported from another widely cited source (CR), but that wasn't mentioned at all by Barrons. And CR won't care that Barrons' claims were way off from its claims.
Same as for the auto mags. While I am addicted to them and love to vicariously drive every available car through the experiences of the auto journalists, I read them the way I read movie or theater reviews. They hardly ever all like the same movie the best. For example, Automobile Magazine compared Acura RL, Audi A6 4.2, BMW 545i, Cadillac STS, Infiniti M45, Jaguar S-type, Lexus GS430, and Mercedes-Benz E500 in 2005. They liked the M45: "The Infiniti M45 takes all the classic BMW attributes and amplifies them. The body is in-credibly stiff, the engine is incredibly powerful, the suspension is incredibly damped, and the brakes heat up and grab incredibly swiftly. The car delivers great test numbers, but it makes you feel uncomfortable, especially the steering, which becomes very light once you turn into a corner. Sherman says, "It feels like a case of premature removal from the development oven." But they liked the Audi A6 4.2 the best: "The A6 delivers such extraordinary satisfaction in every aspect of driving that we find it irresistible. Gillies says, 'It is both beautiful and bang up-to-date, proving that being at the cutting edge doesn't mean missing the mark. It feels bored at 80 mph and doesn't break a sweat at 100 mph.' Johnson notes, 'It isn't a superstar in any single category, but it possesses such a high level of excellence in all areas that it deserves the gold medal.' Sherman says simply, 'I would happily live with it.' The Audi A6 delivers a premium experience, and it marks you as a driver who appreciates both great design and great driving."
Should you care? I don't think so. As I said, you report such a harmonic convergence of visceral and reading-research confirmation of the fit between you and that car, it's hard to imagine anyone figuring you'd be happier with their car. Keep enjoying.
#8393 of 10338 Re: C&D Comparo: M45 v. 550i v. E550 v. GS450h [domenickamarc]
Sep 25, 2006 (2:22 pm)
What did catch my attention was that, in reading the Edmunds LPS, Lexus, MB, Audi, and Infiniti forums, there were only 4 times I read someone say, virtually, that they really no longer liked an LPS they had bought within the prior year, sometimes within the prior few months -- and all four cases were M owners.
Look around some more and you'll find many customers of all LPS brands on these boards who regretted their decision. Especially check out when a new model design came out. (You really couldn't find any unhappy MB owners?) It may well be that Infiniti and Lexus buyers have much higher quality expectations than the German car buyers. I've noticed this during my visits to the BMW, Infiniti, Lexus and MB service departments. (Yes, I've been fortunate enough to own all four brands) You just have to take many posts that complain about how bad something is with a little grain of salt. Ulterior motives?
Sep 25, 2006 (2:56 pm)
I'm beginning to think some cannot be happy with their purchase unless they have been validated by having their car sell more than the competition or having better articles written about them than the competition. This "mine is better than yours" stuff is becoming very weird. Rant over.
#8395 of 10338 Re: C&D Comparo: M45 v. 550i v. E550 v. GS450h [drtravel]
Sep 25, 2006 (2:59 pm)
"Look around some more and you'll find many customers of all LPS brands on these boards who regretted their decision."
Point well taken and, ironically, much akin to my main point in that my hopscotching around half-a-dozen forums wasn't even a statistically valid sampling of Edmunds forums, just what I happened to come across. In fact, what we were both bringing to attention, by reference to polls of owners asking them if they'd buy their current brand again, is that at least 10 to 20% of even of the "best-loved" brands have owners who, not long after bring baby home, will say they're disappointed and will buy something else next time.
#8396 of 10338 Re: C&D Comparo: M45 v. 550i v. E550 v. GS450h [domenickamarc]
Sep 25, 2006 (3:19 pm)
I do feel lucky to have a car that satisfies so many of my desires and one that feels like I'm sacrificing nothing. It's very rare in this high tech age, where every single product seems a trade off of one kind or another. I also wouldn't want to try to dissuade you from your choice, and you seem very happy as well. The Audi is a beautiful car and I always enjoy seeing it on the road. I'm sure there are a great number of very happy Audi owners out there.
For the record, and for the benefit of those who are in the process of making a choice, I would like to comment on Edmunds review and where it fits in the overall picture. Please take no offense from these comments, nor any less pleasure form your car.
Edmunds was one of very few reviews (out of the many, many overall), where the M has come out anything less than first. Note that Edmunds did what they called a "Sports Sedan" comparo and chose the stiffer M sport for their tests, yet they seemed to knock the M for being too much like a sorts car. I think the Edmunds staff would have been much happier with the smooth driving, great handling non-sport version. In terms of being satisfying in many different categories: The hugely varying priorities of the various reviews and comparisons that pick the M show the great breadth of the M's appeal.
The M has won almost all comparos from the enthusiast mags including 2 large comparos from C&D, 1 from R/T, and 2 from MT. A really incredible record. These guys weigh sports car like handling more highly than everything else. While isolated excerpts can argue that some may have preferred some aspects of the other cars, the fact that the M comes out on top in these mags really speaks well for its handling/performance credentials.
M won luxury car of the year from both PC Mag and Popular Mechanics. Technology, software, and user interface are all such an important part of todays driving experience. These issues will really effect more of our every day experience than most buyers realize.
M won Luxury car of the year from Consumer Reports, and Motor Week (The PBS TV show). CR and MW will not weigh sports car handling as highly, nor place as much emphasis on tech. They try to look at the overall experience, practicality, quality and reliability. Also, tons more passenger leg room, fit and finish, intuitive accessible controls, all go into this kind of decision.
From the various reviews, the M seems to be something of a favorite for USA Today, NY Times, Washington Post, LA Times and Detroit News. They love the M for a wide variety of reasons.
The Owner Satisfaction Surveys
The M beat all members of it's class in the JD powers Most Appealing Car Survey (an owner survey measuring the pleasure of owning and driving a new car), had the highest satisfaction of any luxury car in the CR annual survey, and came out much higher than the German cars in CR expected reliability surveys. (Of course, Lexus will always do well in this category as well.)
The net result IMO is simply that the car deserves a test drive from any prospective buyer.
#8397 of 10338 Re: Unbelievable [purplem46]
Sep 25, 2006 (4:39 pm)
This "mine is better than yours" stuff is becoming very weird.
I understand your point.
You realize, however, that if we took all suggestions of "Mine is better than yours" out of these comparo forums there wouldn't be much left. For that matter, if we took those kinds of discussions out of our culture, we'd be missing all professional sports and many other things.
My personal goal is just to try to open up some minds to a product that's given me a lot of pleasure.
Reading these forums, I get the idea that individual opinions have very little effect on opening minds, but that opinions of the "experts" might have just a little bit more.
IMO it's all good fun, and no offense is intended.
#8398 of 10338 Re: Unbelievable [pete_l_p]
Sep 25, 2006 (6:04 pm)
Problem is, everyone finds an expert to validate the opinion they already made when they bought their car. I happen to find some very good qualities in about 75% of the cars that this forum discusses. I bought an M, I love the BMW five series (except for the banglisms), I respect the niche Mercedes dominates with the E series, and Lexus has made a quality product every year they have been in existance.
My point was, that if you bought what you want, it just doesn't matter who wins the magazine poll awards or which brand happens to sell the most. The chest pounding may be more telling than the opinions offered. Unless, you are affiliated with a dealership trying to sell a particluar vehicle, that is.
#8400 of 10338 Likely to buy the "X" (brand, model, color?) again?
Sep 25, 2006 (7:08 pm)
With cars as new as the M from Infiniti, it is difficult to know if the consumer actually WILL put money down for another one, in spite of what they may claim.
The willingness to claim "I'll probably get another one" is, however, important -- but when I read posts from "multiple offenders," I really take notice.
I have even been interested in the buy and re buy habits of/for TIRES since, until today, I was in the market for replacement tires for my A6.
Anyway, today, I would not be so keen to give a high value to "intentions."
Those folks who have multiple Cadillac's or BMW's or Acura's -- now those folks must have been treated well by their favorite brand and / or dealership.
I am certain there are one time BMW buyers -- the one's that I know are "serial offenders."
I recently went through an elaborate process of helping someone test drive a series of cars.
We started with the premise: I need to replace my Accord, I am pretty sure I want an SUV type vehicle, I am pretty certain I want to look at a CR-V and a Rav4. I am open to looking at something else.
My Audi dealer owns a Hyundai dealership. The new Santa Fe ('07) with ALL the toys on it had been highly reviewed and it obviously has a great warranty.
I set up the test drives of the cars noted and we made our first stop at the Audi dealer. "While I'm here," she says, "I'll test an A4 2.0T."
She was totally smitten.
She had to have an A4 with a whole bunch of options, bringing it to $39K.
The Santa Fe, similarly equipped was $27K -- ditto the Honda and the Toyota. The offer was made on the Audi.
The offer was met within $20.
She went with the CR-V.
No leather, no Bluetooth, no Sat Radio, no. . . .
All must have's. . .
The point has to do with the Brand Loyalty, I can only assume.
Those of you who actually have purchased the brand -- your brand -- a few times, actually have put your money where. . .your intentions are.
Speaking perhaps as an army of one, I appreciate the loyalty of those folks who keep returning to "their brand" even after testing the competition.
#8401 of 10338 To each their own
Sep 25, 2006 (7:15 pm)
I daresay that those of us in this forum are "mature" enough to make up our own mind as to what we like and want. We've all had enough cars and experiences to know what is most valuable to us first hand. While outside validation is always nice, I do not need the opinion of someone else to tell me what I like.
When I bought a car last month I made a point of going to all of the dealers and test driving all cars up for consideration. I ended up buying the car that I thought that I had already eliminated on certain grounds. Go figure. I'm now happier with the car than I was when I first got it - heck I've even waxed the thing.
When you spend as much dough as you will on cars in this class you really should get the car that makes you happy.