Last post on Aug 12, 2009 at 4:34 PM
You are in the Hyundai Azera
What is this discussion about?
Hyundai Azera, Toyota Avalon, Ford Five Hundred, Chevrolet Impala, Ford Taurus, Car Comparisons, Sedan
#256 of 863 Re: Other quality bias notes [slider7]
Feb 21, 2006 (5:58 am)
Missed the fun this weekend, I could get to a computer to save my life. I will grant you that there has been an edge in reliability that has been fundamentally Japanese for a good long time. However, based on what I read, the automotive press has a short memory when it comes to Japanese cars.
Case in point, I just looked up the Mitsubishi Galant ES review on this very website. For those of you living under a rock, Mitsubishi covered up large scale problems and recalls with their automobiles a few years back. There is not a single mention of past mechanical issues in the review, not a mention of hidden previous warranty repair issues either. As far as edmunds is concerned the new Galant is much better than the previous version, but still not in the Camry/Accord league.
Now lets switch over the Chyrsler Town and Country (by the way I did not search for reviews to compare, I picked Mitsubishi because of their history, and picked a Chrysler at random), here is verbatim one part of the opening few paragraphs "These minivans have been Chrysler's biggest success story of the last two decades and have always been at or near the top on the segment's sales charts. But these corporate darlings have had their share of problems, as various mechanical woes have tarnished their reliability reputation. Although quality has improved greatly in the last five years, the current generation has had its share of repair issues, and an extended warranty would not be a bad idea if you're planning to keep the van beyond its basic 3-year/36,000-mile warranty period.
Chyrsler sells more minivans than any other manufacturer, I worked at a Dodge dealer in Florida, we sold tonnes of them. Very few came back for problems, in fact the only one that came back for me was one which had the power sliding door on the drivers side. The motor shorted and had to be replaced. That was it. Out of about 150 vans that I sold over my career. Does Chrysler build the perfect car? No. But, this example is exactly what my point is, When a Japanese manufacturer builds a product with problems (the transmissions of 2003 for Honda), the press seems to trip over themselves to make excuses or hype the fact that this is an aberation in a long line of wonderful vehicles and may mention the problem with the next years review, to point out what an improvement they are. American manufacturers get no honeymoon, and (sorry ladies by my wife does this to me), like a spouse that will never forget what you did 5 years ago, the press will beat to death mistakes made by American manufactures.
To comment on slider7's comment from above, most american companies have less reserve capital available to simply, buy and dash. GM has huge capital expenditures paying retired workers. Ford, with weakening sales and a bland product line, must cut huge amounts of jobs and factories.
When will Ford realize that they should shutter Mercury? When will GM either make brand specific models or shutter another brand. Chrysler at least had the courage to close down plymouth, which other than the prowler sold rebadged Dodge vehicles with less features.
The real success for the Japanese manufacturers has been clear product lines. Toyota / Lexus, other than early in the history of Lexus when the ES 250 was a thinly disguised Camry, there has been a clearly defined line were Toyota badged cars end and Lexus cars begin. Has been, because Toyota is falling into the American trap of styling an entire product line with to many of the same elements so you do not differentiate between a new Camry or Solara and an ES 300 from the front. Honda has Acura, Nissan and Infinity. You see the point. Over at GM? They should stick with Caddilac as a luxury brand, Pontiac as the performance end (no minivan, suv, or sedan), GMC should build the Trucks, and chevy should build the entry level and family cars and suv's. That does leave Buick in a lurch, but other than having a midlevel product, say 30,000 to 40,000 they do not offer much that cannot be made up in other vehicles.
Hyundai is doing it smart, build one brand, buy into the second (Kia), take your original brand upscale and leave the newcomer to champion the value flag.
One other thing that these boards are forgetting in the vs. argument is that if the azera is just behind the Avalon, and the Sonata is just behind the Camry/Accord, isn't it still a better deal and logical purchase to get a 10 year warranty on the drivetrain rather than a 3/36 or even a 5/60?
Those of you saying that you keep cars a long time, I would think you would appreciate the added protection.
#257 of 863 Re: Other quality bias notes [toddbinfla]
Feb 21, 2006 (7:45 am)
And as I mentioned earlier there is still a large segment of the buying public that would prefer to buy that Big 3 product if the actual vehicle values now and down the road were the same.
But, you don't address what I think is the real issue here - if the American mfgd. products are being unfairly treated by the media - WHY - there is no logical reason they should - actually, the reverse should be true given where the advertising dollars can come from. And, the consumer magazines that don't get money that way - guess they must be accepting deposits into Swiss bank accounts from the Japanese. I'd contend to you that C&D in that comparison test (Optima, 500, 300, Maxima, Avalon) would have loved to be able to rate either of two US products ahead of the Avalon - it would have been to the mags. benefit to do that.
Your comments regarding the probelms created by a lack of product line differentiation are spot on except that it has been well illustrated that multiple branding what is ostensibly the same product is THE way to profit nirvana. Witness what Nissan has done with the FM platform, and compare, if you will, the financial condition they are in now vs. where they were 10 years ago. Johnson & Johnson been doing this for years - with toothpaste! It works.
Actually think that Detroit's problems are more a result of a continuing failure to respond to ever changing auto market - wasn't it really those abortions called Vegas and Pintos that allowed the Japanese to establish themselves in the US back in the 60's and 70's - and the fact, that for some reason, the US manufacturers have never been able to build a good smaller displacement engine!
#258 of 863 Re: Other quality bias notes [captain2]
Feb 21, 2006 (9:02 am)
As I stated, I do agree that as a track record of reliability, the Japanese autos are better than their American couterparts. What my point is, there is a bias in the media. How else can you explain how this site would give the 2003 Honda Odyssey a rating of 8.7 and say it is a perenial favorite when the transmissions were going dead in less time than fruit flies. Its not even commented on in the review! And this is for an established problem. Read the consumer reviews. There was a recall for the transmission for the Odyssey, Accord, TL and CL and MDX. All used the same defective transmission. Do we read about how you should look out for these models? No, they are still recommend higher than American models who didn't leave their drivers on the side of the road. What I would like to see is even handed writing by reviewers. If you are going to mention past problems with one model do it with all of them. I posted earlier a list of recalls, and Toyota and Honda were not 0. Hyundai actually had fewer than both of them. But we say Hyundai reliability has no track record as if 80's excels and elantra's have any bearing on the cars made today.
#259 of 863 Re: Hmmn. [littlez]
Feb 21, 2006 (10:25 am)
I had a chance to check out the Azera. Nice car, but not for me. The front seats are not very comfortable and have very limited adjustability even with power. The passenger seat has no tilt and i wouldn't want to spend much time there. The 500 does need the 3.5, but overall it's potentially a more liveable car. The Azera was selling for over $30,000. With my GM card, i could be in a Buick Lucerne CXL v-8 with comfortable dual power seats for 30,000.
#260 of 863 Re: Hmmn. [bruneau1]
Feb 21, 2006 (10:40 am)
Had a chance to drive the Lucerne the other day - very good car from GM, although the V6 lacked the power it needed, with respect to this class/segment at least. The V8, however, compensated; with output figures about the same as the V6s offered from such said above - Avalon, Azera and others...
As for the price factor, you are comparing a loaded Azera to a middle-to-upper trim of Lucerne V8; in my opinion, the CXS trim, however, would be comparbably equipped.
#261 of 863 Re: Hmmn. [joe97]
Feb 21, 2006 (11:56 am)
Yep the Lucerne looks nice but unfortunately even the V8 Lucerne is slower than the Avalon and the Azera and the transmission is still the antiquated 4 speed. But I think the Lucerne is a better competitor to the Avalon than the Chevy Impala.
Question for the Host: Is it still possible to add the Lucerne and the Chrysler 300 to the discussion ?
#262 of 863 Re: Other quality bias notes [toddbinfla]
Feb 21, 2006 (12:54 pm)
honda's transmission recalls and replacements had to do with a cooling probelm that caused the failures - I thought it was well publicized and was one of the reasons that I ended up in an Avalon instead of a TL.
#263 of 863 Re: Other quality bias notes [captain2]
Feb 21, 2006 (1:28 pm)
I think you made the right decision. My point is that if review the reviews, and this comes back to hyundai vs america vs japan, then you do not hear mention of past problems with cars from japan. Each model and year gets a clean sheet of paper. Each and every review I have seen about hyundai has somewhere in it an nod to the old, bad car days of hyundai. Its the same for american cars and vans. The only vehicles that seem to be bullet proof for america are trucks, but since i am not in the market for one, my experience is admittedly lacking.
Other than the consumer reviews her on Edmunds, do the reviewers mention it?
You were wise to move to another vehicle that year, but unlike Chrysler vans, Honda got a clear slate. Past reliability is always brought up with any other cars outside of Japan (except of course to reinforce the bulletproof reliability)
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number : 04V551000 regarding the honda accord. This affected 257000 accords. The airbag during installation could have been ripped. Dealers were to install a protective piece of equiptment to avoid this problem. This affected 2004 and 2005 accords.
Never once in an accord review was this mentioned. Also on the consumer boards one of the responders stated that there was a recall for the transmission of the 2005's, can not confirm that though, because you NEVER hear about the bad stuff with Japan.
#264 of 863 Re: Other quality bias notes [toddbinfla]
Feb 21, 2006 (2:35 pm)
you must be reading different magazines than I do - the enthusiast mags. very rarely, if ever, talk about repair histories or problems with any brand unless, of course, it effected the car's performance during the time they had the car. They are simply evaluating a car's comfort, styling, and most of all, the car's dynamic capabilites - acceleration, handling, braking etc. Reference the most recent issue of MT testing the Avalon, Azera and the new Passat 3.6. Yes the Azera finished 3rd, but because to them, anyway, it is just a little too soft - more like a Buick - but did not say anything about Hyundai's past history, only that the car was a genuine leap in the right direction - which it certainly is. The Passat - didn't mention a thing about any of the reliability issues that VW and the Germans have been having - only that the tranny hunts for gears and the ride a little harsh. So they select the Avalon (in Touring trim) as a best compromise. My point is: MT and the other car mags will not generally trash a car around things like recalls and premature transmission failures - it would cost them too many advertising dollars.
The consumer organizations, however, a different story - they will gather data on almost everything we buy, don't have an 'obligation' to affluent advertisers, and then simply compare repair histories. Although these organizations have their own priorities (eg safety over performance) how do you argue with what is consumer supplied informaion. And yes, that Honda tranny of 2003 is about the only noted problem area for those cars in the CR ratings, for example. As it should be. And yes, CR did do a story in the 06 Buying guide issue about how the quality gaps were narrowing between the US/Korean brands and the Japanese.
As, I think it is.
All in all, doesn't sound very 'anti-American' to me?