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High End Luxury Cars

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  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Lexusguy,
    I agree with you. My point is the quality of the switches themselves. The next time you see an original LS400 (90-94) get inside and feel how the turn signal and wiper stalks feel. Then look at the window switches and especially the dimmer for the dash.

    You are correct to say Lexus has put higher quality materials in their cars. There is a ton more wood in my LS430 than any of my LS400's. I was talking more along the line of switches and console design. Look at the dash and control panel of a LS400 (90-92) and compare it to the LS430.

    Now imagine a 1990 LS400 with all that wood added to it. Now that I think of it, the LS460 is the best representation of this.

    My comment about Lexus relability comes from Lexus mechanics from various dealers. They repeatedly refer to the original cars as those from the golden age. When I talk about long term quality I'm taking about 10 yrs not the 3 JDP uses.

    Lexus doesn't have to care what I think, as I'm in the minority of owners who keeps their cars this long. I've seen other Lexus owners on this same board worry about how the LS430 will hold up long term. There is no doubt in my mind that it will not perform as well as the LS400 of mine did. Simply put ALL of these HELM's are putting pointless technology in these cars.

    The MB S550 was a classic example of this. They took a step backward in design. Technologically the car is a marvel, but why invest so much in electronics that have been the cause of your reliability problems? The S430 I just bought is complex as it is. I still don't know what half of those buttons do.

    The interior of the new S was clunky compared to the old one. The Interior really did not do it for me..It reminds me of the differences from the 2000 LS to 2001 LS430. Lexus had a nice sleek looking car, yet made it look too bulky inside and out. With the LS460 they've moved back to a good design, but something is still missing.

    The new LS460's interior is wonderful, but why isn't AWD a standard no cost option like on Mercedes? The design is not bad, but nothing special either. (I think the same of most cars these days). They're making a big jump by introducing a lot of technology, but they lost something in the exterior design from concept to actual product.

    My main reason for the switch is the poor customer service I got from both Corporate and the Dealers. They have this attitude that they didn't have back in 1992. I'm sure Mercedes will be no different, but Lexus needs to realize this is a problem.

    It is foolish to think Mercedes will NOT clean up it's act. What is going to happen when Mercedes gets it's quality issues sorted? With designs like the CLS 500 and SL 500 they will pose a serious threat to Lexus. In the USA Lexus is dominant for obvious reasons, but that isn't the case worldwide.

    I've owned 4 Lexus cars, all LS400/430's. Lexus lost me as a customer for a variety of reasons, some of which I've highlighted. Many of the posters here are sticking to Lexus purely for Reliabilty and Customer Service. If the Euros can improve their reliability even somewhat, people like me are going to take the risk and get it anyway.

    -Sam
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    "It is foolish to think Mercedes will NOT clean up it's act. What is going to happen when Mercedes gets it's quality issues sorted? With designs like the CLS 500 and SL 500 they will pose a serious threat to Lexus. In the USA Lexus is dominant for obvious reasons, but that isn't the case worldwide."

    SV - those are low volume cars that will hardly make a difference and the CLS is cannibalizing other MB sales anyway. Lexus is reaching much higher grounds in the next few yeasr and is a far greater threat to MB than vice-versa. MB has a boatlaod of things to fix that go well beyond reliability.
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hi All,
    Sorry about that last post. I tried to edit it, but the Video banner is blocking the Edit button.

    Here is a link to a picture of the current ES
    http://www.lexus.com/models/es/gallery_interior_photos.html

    I agree Mercedes has many issues, but I'm worried Lexus is starting to develop the arrogant attitude that got MB into trouble in the first place. My experiences with Lexus Corporate and Dealer Management seem to indicate this. I understand I may be the exception to the Rule, but I'm sure I'm not alone here.

    I still feel the original LS400 personified what a Lexus should be. Every LS car after it has been a big letdown for me. The LS460 was supposed to be 1989 all over again, but I don't see it. It's a nice car filled with all sorts of electronics, but it doesn't have that same flair.

    -Sam
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    I deleted it for you.

    If that happens again, you can use the Recent Msgs link to display the last 20 messages. That will push the problem message to the bottom of the page so you can to the Edit button.

    Come on over to CarSpace.com! You can set up a page (it's a snap) and then you can post pictures as wide as you want.
  • Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,030
    A large national newspaper aims to interview someone who has purchased, ordered or plans to order a 2007 Mercedes-Benz S550. Please respond to ctalati@edmunds.com before Thursday, March 16 at 5 PM EST with your daytime contact info.

    Thanks,

    Chintan Talati
    Corporate Communications
    Edmunds.com

    Community Manager If you have any questions or concerns about the Forums, send me an email, karen@edmunds.com, or click on my screen name to send a personal message.

  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    Like Sam, I suppose I'm an exception to the rule that LS's are built "bulletproof". Well in the 32,000 miles of ownership of my '98 LS400(brand spankin' new with 3 miles on the odo_), The electroluminescent gauge cluster, the entire steering rack, and the two front hub assemblies had to be replaced, albeit all under warranty. Which led me to the question, if this happening now, wonder what this car has plan down the line?

    All I'm saying is that, yes the Lexus is known for it's Toyota-esque legendary reliability, but it is not without fault, in fact far from it. By comparison, my '01 S500 was a model of refinement and reliability, without any quality problems whatsoever. And once again, this was supposed to be one of the worst years of the W220's platform.

    P.S.- altho the Lexus interiors are quite nice, maybe a tad nicer than the M-B's interior(materials wise), it is still far from best in class. That crown has lived in Audi's stable fo quite a while. And this was the major selling point on my recent purchase of a '06 A8 W-12.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    I don't want to beat up the topic either, but, those resale projections ARE based upon actual sales . . . and many YEARS of them.

    TagMan
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I really like the A8's interior, and I also liked the one in the previous A6. Audi's latest interiors (A6 and Q7) I'm not all that fond of, though. Audi is basically the last one to the party in terms of integrating a big LCD screen into the dash, and I think that they still have improvements to make in that area.
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    "Audi is basically the last one to the party in terms of integrating a big LCD screen into the dash ,and I think that they still have improvements to make in that area."

    IMO, and many other people and publications, the MMI is the most intuitive and flat out user friendly in this latest round of techno-overload. It is way easier to use than the much-hyped i-Drive and M-B's scattered COMAND. It did have it's share of problems back in '04 but they've since been worked out. The i-Drive was supposed to be redesigned for better use, it's still a driver's worst nightmare, I should know, coming from a 760il. Thank Heavens they made it optional on the venerable iconic 3-Series.

    The MMI allows the driver to have secondary controls for HVAC and audio, while many others do not. The new S may be a smidge better than what it is mimmicking, the i-Drive, but it is still unnecessarily over-complicated. And that dial-like pod that resides atop the center console looks much out of place in a $90k car. Both my previous S65 AMG and 760il were both lagging behind my current Audi in the "big LCD" area and really ergonomics in general.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I wasnt really talking about Audi's specific control system perse, although I agree its definitely better than iDrive (but what isnt). What I was getting at was just the looks of it. Its this flat, gray, dull expanse of blandness that seems very cold, and very unlike the old car's warm and inviting dash.

    http://carad.ebayimg.com/i5/02/a/06/89/52/03_4.JPG
  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    "Jag's have more quality problems than Benzes..."

    That is not my impression nor that of J D Powers in his initial quality awards. Maybe years ago, but not recently.

    "..a fully loaded S500 with the Expresso Designo PKG will set you back a pretty penny, especially one with low miles"

    Naturally a low mileage, S500 with an extremely rare, usually obtained only on a special order (says the local MB dealer) package will cost a "pretty penny." Far more than a run of the mill S Class or Lexus. I suspect though that it will have a even HIGHER depreciation rate than a base S430 because packages don't residualize well. (Sure, low miles do.) The ads in Autotrader type publications are not typical. Most of the dealer ads for HELM vehicles are usually for non factory CPO vehicles that the dealer bought at an auction. The ads by individuals are usually way overpriced and are an attempt to beat a dealer's trade in offer on the guy's next car.

    Having said this, I drove past a Lexus dealership last night. They had parked out front their used sedans. Most were Lexus. One was a MB S Class. I instinctively turned to take a look. As I did it struck me that that the S Class was the real thing. The rest not. (I write this not as an MB enthusiast.)
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    I have to agree that the gray is on the gloomy side. However, that pic is one of only 14 available color schemes for the Audi A8. And altho it does seem a bit austere, there is no doubt that it is of the best quality.

    P.S.- i-Drive may be a tad better than what's offered in the Ford PAG vehicles(ie: Volvo, Jag, and LR)
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    SV - those are low volume cars that will hardly make a difference and the CLS is cannibalizing other MB sales anyway.

    It doesn't really matter if they low volume cars, it isn't always aobut sales. The SL and SC are both low volume cars, but they mean a lot in terms of image and profits I would imagine. Lexus' reliability and quality is what got them this far and I think what SV is trying to say is that if MB gets their act together in the quality/reliability part there won't be nearly as compelling reason for so many to buy a Lexus because MB's designs already shade Lexus' ho-hum designs.

    Where are you getting this from about the CLS is taking sales away from other Mercedes?

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I agree. The previous generation A6 to me had the sweetest interior going at that time. I too dislike that flat area in the dash of the new A6 and upcoming Q7. It isn't Audi's usual graceful interior work.

    M
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    If I were to purchase a Jaguar Super V8 sedan and it "fell apart" as the one did in the M/T long-term tester did, I would probably be more mad than the guy who lost a 30 million dollar lottery ticket last week. Jag's have this inheritness of troulbling electronic and suspension failures. This is not something new to the brand.

    On this particular vehicle, the CATS suspension failed and the front axles had to be replaced. The NAV screen went bust twice, and the vehicle repeatedly failed to start. The S and X-Types are just as bad, with the S-Type experiencing above-average reliability and driveability problems. And the quality of the both cars trail that of EVERY car in it's class. You can't put a "leaper" on the hood of a Ford and expect people not to notice. The 390hp S-Type R may be the exception, but a $60k(I know their not selling at this price), their are much better alternatives to be had(ie: Infinti M45, E500/55, 545i, even the Caddy STS/V V6/V8 to name a few).

    I don't quite follow your direction on the resale value of a low-volume high-option Merc. It has been my experience several times that a low-mile Mercedes loaded to the tilt, especially with special order options, carry more of a premium during trade-in or sell time. My previous S65 AMG, which "residualized" better than I thought, was a $171k car MSRP(paid $148k OTD), and when I sold it at a Mercedes dealership, I still got $137k for it, because of the low miles(1900 miles) and all of the options. A "stripped" S500 will not depreciate faster than a loaded S430, no matter how you cut. It's just the nature of the business.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    "Jag's have this inheritness of troulbling electronic and suspension failures."

    And Mercedes doesnt? I've been very impressed at how well my '00 XKR has held up. Granted it has less than 50K miles on it, but there really has only been one or two issues, and relatively minor ones. Zero troubles with CATS, or any other serious mechanical issues. Its been much much better than my '96 and '98 Jags. While the reliability of X and S have definitely been lousy, as far as I know, the new XJ is more reliable than the S, 7, and A8.
  • bdr127bdr127 Posts: 950
    I don't want to beat up the topic either, but, those resale projections ARE based upon actual sales . . . and many YEARS of them.

    Exactly... It's not like ALG waves their magic wand and pulls a number out of a hat! ;)
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    The XJ is a great car. But lets not get carried away. There are plenty of independent studies that suggest the XJ is typical European auto- Lousy mechacnical/electrical longevity. I do agree that the new XJ's are light-years ahead of the daunting pre-'04 XJ8/R's. The XJ may have a better reliability rating than the S or 7, but it does lag behind post-'04 A8's and all LS's.

    But it does have to said that the XJ, reliablity issues notwithstanding, is a blast to drive, especiall R-equipped models, maybe a notch below the 7.
  • esfesf Posts: 1,020
    I wish you well with your next car, but I find the R-Class is an odd choice.

    Not odd as in too different from your current car, but it is excruciatingly ugly, gets terrible gas mileage, and is longer than a Cadillac Escalade. Also, the R500, which I'm sure you're in the market for, commands an almost $70,000 price tag... for base-price. You can get an Audi Q7 4.2 Premium, with almost all the options, for $10,000 less than that.

    I really would NOT want to be seen in a bloated Pacifica-looking Mercedes, while you can get the much more credible, if not much more attractive, new GL550.

    :surprise:
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    I appreciate you being a long-time Lexus buyer.

    What exactly were you expecting after the 1990-1994 LS?

    How did the 1995 LS "let you down" from the first generation?

    It was roomier, with a MUCH larger rear seat, more powerful, more efficient, had new features, and Lexus made many improvements based on owner's requests.

    Sounds more like you WANT to dislike the LS460, based on something you dislike about the previous cars.

    It's hard to argue that the LS460 is a virtual quantum leap ahead of the current LS in style, performance, and features (8-speed, hard drive, self-parking, rear seating, LWB, etc.), and they have other revelations to come.

    To my eyes, it's more attractive than the S-Class, for the first time since 1993!

    They must be doing something right! The apparently meaningless Consumer Reports surveys and JD Power studies say the car scores keep improving, while the studies are getting harder every couple of years! They're trying to reel Lexus back towards the pack, and it's like catching Secretariat!

    Audi can have a great interior design (I dig the car, but I think it's INTERIOR design is overrated, the outside is still sweet! :shades: ), but until it sheds it's VW-esque quality, and steps up to ADEQUATE, I wouldn't invest too heavily in Audi.

    If you find a weakness in the LS460, I wish you'd relax our suspense! When you refernce it, you seem to be reaching, a lot! :confuse:

    Outside of NOT putting a manual in the IS350, Lexus is hitting like Bonds on "The Clear"! We may have to forgive some sumgness.

    DrFill
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    IMO, the L-Finesse styling concept that Toyota/Lexus has chosen to apply to all of it's current and future models just did not do the upcoming LS justice. It looks just as insignificant as the current model does in light of controversial designs like the S and 7, for good or worse.

    As to the Audi's interior, "overrated" is a bit overstepping, wouldn't you say? I have yet to purchase or see a car that has this much attention to detail and the use of plush materials as the Audi does. Everything from the suede headliner to the pattern-matching wood is the reason Audi executes the best interior's in the luxo business(altho the low-volume Maserati Quattroporte is a very good alternative).

    Lexus dropped the ball on more than just not offering the IS350 without a manual. The GS450h, which is supposed to have power of a GS430 with BETTER fuel economy than a GS300. This car weighs 240 pounds MORE than a 430 and only returns 4 mpg better, with a 6k premium on it's price and the added complexity of the HSD technology. How's that for dropping the ball. They did such a good job with the RX400h that I can't understand why goof-up now?
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    "They're trying to reel Lexus back towards the pack, and it's like catching Secretariat!"

    In the Belmont stakes!!

    I still have a family members $2.10 winning ticket. Now if they had only given odds that day that he would have had to win by 30+ lengths - then maybe this ticket would've paid $100.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    OK, how many times have we seen this? . . . someone buys a Lexus or Mercedes, announces it on the forum, describes the experience, and then all of a sudden they seem to think that they need to "take sides". They are either on the "Lexus team" or the "Mercedes team", or "Euro team", if you know what I mean, depending upon what they bought.

    Suddenly, objectivity is gone, and it has become a competitive event. "My car is better than your car". "I've seen the light . . . having bought this car, I now know why it is so great!" Of course, then the bashing of the "other" cars begins. Exagerations, and biased views start to emerge all over the place. It's definately a strange process. Maybe even a natural phenomena of some sort. But, actually, it's plain as day.

    TagMan
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well that is the way this board has been since 1999. You should go back and read some of the galactic battles that have taken place here. It's been a lot of fun to me, but I see what you're saying. Trust me things have been very calm (boring even) over the last few months.

    M
  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 6,065
    Most of us simply love cars. Nearly all cars. As Tagman said, I would like to own 3 or 4 just for my own personal use. And we defend what is ours.

    If your kid gets into a scrape or is in some sort of competitive event, who do you root for? Even if that kid is clearly in the wrong, we will rationalize his behavior, etc. We do the same with our cars and other things that we own.

    You should see the debate that rages over on one of the riding lawn mower forums. It has raged for years over which is the better mower overall, is it better to buy cheap and practical or go premium. Some see these premium mowers as, are you ready for this, STATUS SYMBOLS, and will defend their opinions to the death. If you think some LPS discussions get heated you should check out the lawn mower forum.

    If we all had the same opinions, how dull would this forum be? That is what makes it interesting and entertaining here.

    2013 LX 570 2010 LS 460 2002 Tacoma 4x4

  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Tagman,
    I respectfully disagree with your assessment. I still own my 1992 LS400 and will not part with it period. I don't need to justify anything: My experience with Lexus Customer Service and their Service Department has been very poor. How would you like it if you've invested $200K in a certain brand and they treat you poorly when you need them? That's not called Service. They were not loyal to me, so I voted with my (more like my son's in this case) checkbook and gave Mercedes my business.

    There is nothing biased about my experience. Here is the short version:

    1) Son takes 1992 LS400 to dealer this summer for service since the suspension is "clunking". They call him back and claim it needs $4k worth of work. The mechanic says the Service Writer is wrong. He agrees to 2K of work to fix this problem. It isn't fixed. They claim the stabilizer bar bushings are bad, yet they'd been replaced a year earlier. He calls the Service Manager who says to the effect of "Tough *hit..We'll keep charging to fix it.." It takes a lawyer's letter, a complaint with the MA Attorney General and Better Business Bureau to get an acceptable settlement out of them.

    You want to know the funniest thing? This Clunking noise was caused by missing Brake Shims!!! The dealer forgot to put them back on after they did the accident repairs!

    2) I bought a CPO 1998 LS400 in 2001. This car would stall, doors wouldn't shut properly, the cluster would blink for no reason and the parking brake wouldn't hold the car on my driveway. Imagine bringing a $46K car home and having it roll off of your driveway! Is that acceptable??

    Why did it take a lawsuit to make Lexus give me a 2002 LS430 at cost?? Where was Corporate then??

    3) The '02 LS430 had its rain sensor replaced 3 times and the steering column had to be replaced under warranty.

    4) The paint on my new 2005 LS430 scratches so easily despite being polished and waxed 4 times a year. It also rattles in the rear. The Lexus dealer pretty much told me tough luck..

    Do you understand why I'm angry now?? Why should I be loyal to a car company that hasn't supported me at all? I get upset when people spew propaganda on this board claiming Lexus is the second coming of Christ himself. It's not and my experience proves that. I know what the JDP Data says, why do you think I invested over $200K in these cars in the first place? My experience is what it is.. You cannot discount it.

    As for the LS460, it is a technical marvel, but certainly is not the second coming of the 1990 LS400. The '90 model was better looking, performing, and longer lasting than anything else at the time. The S550 may be eclipsed by the LS460, but we'll have to wait and see. I don't see the LS460 "blowing" anything away. Do you think MB, BMW, and Audi are resting on their laurels? It's a nice car, but not the "Great" car the 1990 LS400.

    If the LS460 outsells the S550 worldwide I will admit I am wrong. But at the same time you cannot denigrate Mercedes just because they are having reliability and profitability issues. They are still considered top notch in innovative safety technology, performance, style, design, and engineering.

    This isn't about my car is betters than yours. It supposed to be about factual data. I maintain my LS400 is one of the best cars Lexus has built period. I'll pit it against anything from it's era. I wouldn't invest the $$$ in it if I thought otherwise. Likewise, I think the same of the S Class. It was the trend setting car of it's era for style and technology. Reliability is an issue, but it has a grace and presence unlike any other.

    I think you missed my point about the LS460..I don't like ANY new car out there period, hence my decision to pick the older S Class.

    -Sam
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    As for the LS400

    The 1990-1994 had a flair to me. I remember a line from a Car and Driver review of the 1995 that said it lacked the flair of the less perfect model. That car was too antiseptic to me. There are some posters on here which have commented about Lexus acknowledging that the revision was too conservative. The original model was a timeless design, a la Jaguar. Look at a 1st Generation LS400 today and it still looks nice. The succesor models IMHO have not aged as well.

    I passed on the 1995 and got a 1998 CPO. I had enough issues with that to trade up to a 2002 Ls430. It was a nice car, but then again did not have the bulletproof service record the 1992 LS had until recently. Also, the exterior design was quite disappointing, a creative dud. The 2005 LS430 was a big improvement, but that shape was still there. It looked bulky.

    The LS460 is an interesting car no doubt. But it still doesn't have the flair of the 1990 model. The design is modest, but not very exciting. The interior is great however. The Tech gear is another plus. It just didn't do it for me.

    Have a look one day at a 1990-94 model. Pay attention to the window switches, turn signal stalks, dimmer switch for the console and even the side mirrors. You'll see the plastic on those are much thicker than the newer cars. The 1992 had an off switch for the Steering Retract and Keyless entry. Everything about that car give the feeling it would last forever.

    Sure my 1992 is starting to have some issues, but it still can do a 100 MPH with an eerie silence. It's hard to believe a 14 yr old car can perform so well.

    As I mentioned before my son has spent a few thousand fixing every little cosmetic and mechanical item that was out of spec. For the first time in months, I drove it a few days ago. I didn't even hear the engine as I drove. The ride was silky smooth, and the paint gleamed as if it were brand new. It sure got to 85 MPH in a hurry and was pretty stable on the highway. No moving about in the crosswind like my LS430 does. (Due in part to its higher profile). The old Pioneer 7 speaker stereo sounded wonderful. Absolutely nothing is wrong with this car.

    After parking it at the mall I turned around to look at it..It still the looker of the lot. People refuse to believe me when I tell them it's 14 yrs old.

    Do you see what I'm talking about? When Lexus builds another like this, I'll be first in line to buy it..
    The people at the Lexus dealer refer to that car as the "Golden Age" I have had many a Lexus mechanic lament to me that they don't build like that anymore.

    I hope you understand now that this has nothing to do with petty my car is better than yours attitude. I think the only car I'm missing now is a 1998-2003 Jaguar XJ8!

    -Sam
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Likewise, I think the same of the S Class.....but it has a grace and presence unlike any other.

    Whoa, that sounds like one of MB's current commercials. I'm still in shock here SV!

    M
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    I'll completely disagree with you SV. The 95 car to me was a beautiful design and an improvement on the 90-94 models. I like the 90-94 but will take a 95 over a 94 any day. I've never heard this golden age moniker you describe around here. In my area the dealership treats you like royalty and Lexus HQ surprises me constantly. They recently sent me a gift of choice (not cheap) just for answering a survey on line. I again requested paint on the phone from my dealership and received it fedex the next day. When I bring my car in for service two people are waiting there to speed me out in a loaner car. It's simply top shelf treatment in a bullet proof car. IMO the build quality is still improving on standards that were already the best in the industry and I'm expecting the best build of all in the 2007 LS. Maybe the 90-94 turn signals were stronger than the current ones - I certainly don't remember - but everything else on the inside of today's car (and the 95 and 98 redesigns) are higher quality than the 90-94 models.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    I think it is safe to say that there are some bad dealers for all brands of cars. The bad Lexus experience that SV talks about is very real and unfortunate, but that is not a genuine representation of the larger population's situation, as I think ljflx would agree.

    There are quite a few Mercedes dealers near me to choose from, which I guess says a lot about demographics, and sure enough, folks have their preferences and also their horror stories. But, even though one of those MB dealers is clearly nastier than the others, it does not genuinely reflect the larger population's positive ownership experiences for Mercedes vehicles.

    IMO, the service treatment is important, but too often a vehicle owner ends up paying more attention to the service experience than the vehicle and driving experience . . . and that's a shame.

    TagMan
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