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High End Luxury Cars



  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Once the E gets it mid-life adjustments I expect it to re-claim its traditional position in the LPS segment. See you in June/July and again in Dec. ;)

  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    I picked ours up at BestBuy, took it home on the ferry and the cable guy hooked it up when he came with the new box you need. Looks fine. Where do I find these video threads you referenced and who has the disc you can buy to adjust it?
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    A great video site is avsforum, a direct link to their forums is here.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    I second the "avsforum" recommendation.
    There are great discussions there of every popular HDTV model and an entire discussion alone of how to calibrate the new Sony Bravia XBR LCD with and without professional help. Posters discuss their complete settings. Excellent!

    The Avia Guide To Home Theater, a fine calibration DVD, can be purchased at Circuit City, Best Buy, Tower Records, J & R, in person or through their websites and at
    Hope this helps.

    I apologize profusely for the divergence.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,662
    The knock on the LCD sets in the past has been their inability to handle motion, particularly fast sports motion as they left a blur motion behind at times. I noticed that liability in football once while I was watching a game on an LCD set in Best Buy but that was 2 yeras ago. Supposedly the next generation sets were going to reduce or eliminate that problem. If they have corrected that than these sets should start to dominate over plasmas and prices should fall. As for me - my decision, at least for my family room is, unfortunately, tied to what can fit in my family room cabinet and it's a custom made one that had to be fit between two load bearing columns. I've got a 46" latest generation DLP and am very happy with it. Many people have mistaken it for a plasma.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    The new Sony XBR LCD has made motion blurring a thing of the past.
    The picture quality approaches plasma. Excellent blacks.
    Note that Sony has given up on plasma and is concentrating their HD efforts on LCD.
  • benzsterbenzster Posts: 152
    An answer to the issue of speakers being heard and not seen:
    There is a screen product that is paintable. It is mudded into the wall like a piece of sheetrock and painted over. Depth is an issue on an outside wall of course. Then there is the possibility of 2x6 offset wall studs for soundproofing (new const.) to gain .... whew whoa. sry ADD kickin in.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    The Freestyle, while interesting, doesn't quite have the get-up-and-go and smoothness that's necessary

    As an owner with 25K miles on my Freestyle, I'd have to disagree. I just drove last weekend from the coast of Virginia to Ohio over the Appalachian mountains. No problems with power, and I averaged 24mpg driving in the 70s. I put the car on cruise at 70mph, and even when going up the mountains it was smooth. The only time the engine RPM noise is really rough sounding is when you floor it, and I've never found the need to do that. And I've passed trucks on two lane roads as well.

    The CVT is great in that going up or down the mountains you don't have to downshift in a manual or put in Low gear in an automatic. I would put the cruise at 70mph and going down the mountains on pretty curvey roads, the car kept going the constant 70mph without the need of any shifting and I never had to touch the brakes once. The signs said to slow down to 60mph on some of the steeper and curvey downhills, but the Freestyle was plenty steady that I kept the cruise on 70mph. And my wife and baby were sleeping in the second row the whole time during this part of the drive, so I consider that a pretty good test of smoothness and refinement.

    I'm not sure what "refinement" issues you're talking about, but the only unrefined sounds I've ever heard was when I did floor the engine just to see what it would do. It jumped forward fast, but it did sound pretty unrefined; however, in an emergency situation (which is the only situation where you need to floor the engine), I'm not too concerned with how the engine sounds! Plus I only paid $24K for my Freestyle, so for that money, I'm not expecting all of the qualities of a $40K car.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    I just realized I'm in the High End Luxury Marques forum, which isn't where I'd expect to see the Freestyle. I guess if you're comparing the Freestyle in terms of refinement in this category, then I can see how you can say it's unrefined. But you have to compare vehicles in a similar price range.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    I'm kinda thinkin' there are other places where conversations about the Freestyle and, um, home electronics would fit better. ;)
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    I'm glad to see that you enjoy your beloved Freestyle. Too bad not many other people are or will ever be able to "enjoy" the Freestyle, what with Ford having it on the chopping block.
  • rayngrayng Posts: 70
    What are the planned upgrades to the E? When I drove it for about a month while my car was in the shop, here's what I think needs improvement:
    1. Better leather seating. The '05 e320 I drove had rough, cheap, leatherette-feeling seats in the back. Why not upgrade to the soft (lamb) skin leather on the departing S?
    2. Crappy climate control cluster design. I really hated having to push the mode up button several times to cycle the vent directions. What's up with the preprinted temperature settings on the dials? What if I wanted a temperature setting not on the dial?
    3. Sticky rubber steering wheel. No matter how many times I cleaned the steering wheel, it still felt gummy and sticky. It's not me. All 3 e-class rentals (2 e320, 1 e350) had the same problem.
    4. While I'm sure this is not a problem on more fully equipped cars, the cars I drove do not have navigation. Since I'm not fond of the MB navigation system and prefer to use the voice navigation on my phone, I hope MB improves the design of the radio/command system. Many buttons were not functional (nav, map, tel, sat). I also disliked the joystick below the keypad. Why they don't use touchscreen for the numbers and letters, I don't know.
    5. A pet-peeve of mine is the speaker baffles. I love high quality speaker baffles as this is frequently an place where scratches and dents occur. The tweeter baffle on the e is cheap looking.
    6. Another pet peeeve is the steering wheel controls. Perhaps I don't know how to change stations, but up and down switch to change channels would not go to the next preset. Instead, it seeked/searched the next strongest channel in the airwaves.
    7. Please don't let the center cupholders take up all the room in the center storage compartment between the front seats? These are cheap, removable, POS cupholders that need a redesign and relocation. The side-by-side position is much better on the new S.

    Needless to say, the ergomonics on the car really bothered me, so much so I convinced a friend to purchase the S instead.

    Ergonomics is important, especially to a customer demographic in the 60s. Generally, I think the bigger buttons on the Lexus dash do a much better job at putting the most important functions at or near one's fingertips. The notable exception is the silly flip panel that can scrap knees and ruin stockings on the Lexus GS.
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    Sorry to hear about your "terrible" experience in your rental E. However, just to let you know, ergonomics are not the strong point of European luxo cars. In fact on most luxury cars, ergonomics are just plain suck.

    In the E's defense, the Premium-pkg, equipped E350 and just about all E430/55's are top notch. The same can be said about a "stripped" 3, in fact it's worser still.
    The speaker baffles, cupholder, and steering wheel controls are all personal, in which you stated. Some like. Some don't. But overall, I'm willing to bet driving the E was much better than the ergonomics.
  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    Wow. Reading this litany of complaints makes me think I just don't get it. Life can't be that difficult. No one should be this unhappy. Ergonomics? Who really cares much about where the new knobs are? You learn in a week or so and then you have it down pat. Lets not forget that a lot of us began our driving careers in TR3s with "side curtains", VW Bugs without heaters, and maybe even Jeeps with IRS (my M151 in 1965 had a Porche 911-like swing axle). All of which were a lot of fun and didn't have much in the way of "ergonomics".

    Let me ask about NAV. How many people ever even use their NAV? Or isn't most of your driving fairly routine and when in doubt you print a Mapquest before leaving? Lets turn to multizone HVAC. How many people really let the HVAC do its thing? Or more likely when the temp is not what you want, do you just crank it up to max cool (or max heat) and then constantly fiddle with it during your drive? I suspect that most of the very busy working rich who drive HELMs don't rely much on NAV and auto HVAC so complaints about them are really moot.

  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Wow. Reading this litany of complaints makes me think I just don't get it. Life can't be that difficult. No one should be this unhappy. Ergonomics? Who really cares much about where the new knobs are?

    Yeah I was kinda thinking the same thing. Sounds like a lot of nitpicking, IMHO.

  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,662
    "I suspect that most of the very busy working rich who drive HELMs don't rely much on NAV and auto HVAC so complaints about them are really moot."

    Exactly the opposite particularly on the nav. It gets you around traffic jams, gets you places that you don't know quite easily and even if you know the area of a location but not its exact place you scroll that screen and easily find the street. I can't be without the nav and get great use of it. The downside of the nav sysytems is that now I have a lot of company going thru isolated back streets to the GW bridge or Holland tunnel whenever you hear those 1 hour delays on traffic reports. There's a nice back way in to the GW bridge that takes all of 10-15 minutes in heavy rush hour traffic. Pre nav systems it used to take 5-10 minutes. I can tell easily it's the navs that have lengthened the time because of the cars being driven.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    Too bad not many other people are or will ever be able to "enjoy" the Freestyle, what with Ford having it on the chopping block.

    Not true...Ford changed their mind and is keeping the Freestyle:

    BTW...I use the automatic climate control all the time.
  • benzsterbenzster Posts: 152

    1. Nappa leather would drive the cost out of the price point/ if it was a wagon it may have been MB tex and not leather/ E Class buyers are more abusive and own longer (durability).
    2. Push auto and let it work/ if it ain't on the dial it can't get there. Go to the club for a sauna, turning the A/C down will not make it cool better or faster, but opening the roof at the start and putting it on recirc. when it cools will improve the systems ability to cool. Germany is not hot. Use the remote to open windows and roof when unlocking vehicle.
    3. Hand lotion and skin type/body chemistry does that. Some cleaners make it worse. I have seen armrests do that as well and fully distort the leather.
    4.The COMAND system offers the consumer the choice of upgrading system and adding a phone navi etc at a later date. There is only so much room. The more demands the smaller the buttons (bifocals?)I am not fond of the joy stick either.
    5.Open the door with your hand and not your foot. The doors on a MB open much wider than other cars and maybe the substantial protection in the doors make it heavier or maybe your sleeve length is short DK.
    6. Use the buttons that look like index cards and scroll to the settings screen in the instrument cluster. Use the up and down arrows to find the setting for audio preferences "seek to favorite" or "next station" and select it with the + or - button.
    7. MB does not ask you to put a steering wheel on your dinner table so why would you want to eat in their car ;) JK they do suck but the R's are great and have a bottle opener so you can pop a 40 and rock on. Use your purse to hold all that stuff instead.

    So in closing, I am sure the dealer thanks you for the extra profit on the S and don't go for a new E. You won't like it. I hope the ergonomics bothered the friend as much as you (they sure paid for it). My Mom always said," If you take everyone else's advise you end up owning someone else's ________" (insert kitchen, car, drapes w.e).
    Hope this helps. :thumbsup,wink:
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Here ya go. You and blkhemi and anyone else interested can meet up on the Ford Freestyle board to continue this. There are several discussions to pick from.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Ljflx, no doubt you're talking about the AM commute from Joyzee into the city. I travel in the opposite direction and it's a breeze. Suggestion: transpose your home and office.

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