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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans

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Comments

  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,611
    Keep in mind that Motor Trend Car of the Year doesn't mean it's the best car ever made or even available. The award is given to a car that is all new or substantially changed and is judged on superiority, significance and value.

    When introduced, the winners are usually a significant entry for the maker. The Vega was Chevy's first attempt at down sized economy car. The LS was Lincoln's BMW fighter. The K cars were Chrysler's first FWD cars.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,210
    edited November 2013
    First, there are good intentions, then there's execution, and last there's follow-through.

    The only rental car (& I've rented a bunch of them) that left me beside the road wishing it was 25 years later (so I could have had a cell phone) was the Alliance. My parents bought a Vega.

    Execution and follow-through matter at least in the world of automobiles. That said, the collective memory of the public is short, very short.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 6,919
    ray....I've been reading a lot about the S3 recently. I wonder if its performance will encroach upon the S4's turf?
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,284
    edited November 2013
    Probably, but you'll have to live with a smaller car.

    I chose the S4 for 2 reasons over the S3.

    1) I can use the extra space and size.

    2) The S3 would probably keep me waiting another year (or close to it).

    3) From what I understand it has the same old 6-speed DSG in the S3, and I really think it needs that 7th gear as in the S4.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 6,919
    andres....interesting car (S3) nonetheless. I agree, the S4 will probably be a larger vehicle with more amenities available.

    The Audi dealer called me this a.m. Service manager said they started with the MMI issues. Apparently, Audi corporate said I was using "non-compliant CDs" and my iPod wasn't running an authorized version of iOS. Huh?

    I bought the CDs from Best Buy. All of them are "non-compliant"? iPod came right from Apple and iOS updates came straight from Apple's iTunes WEB site. Service Manager says he understands my frustration. But, he did download some sort of firmware. He said I should test it when I ge the car back. I told him my iPod and CDs are still in the car. All he has to do is to plug in the iPod or play a CD to see if they still cut out all the time.

    He sounded frustrated, but said he would. When I inquired about the next step if it doesn't work, he said they'd have to remove the entire dash and colsole to get the MMI out...to replace the MMI. His feeling is if one didn't work, a new one, with the same software, may not work, either. I asked him what happens then? He said..."I don't know". Geesh!

    They haven't even touched the grinding/binding Quattro system yet.

    This is not going well.
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,432
    edited November 2013
    Sorry about your issues. Such a great car, such a waste. Your MMI issues just made me realize, two 328 loaners I had in past year had both refuse to play the iPod nano I have - it's the slightly older generation. My own 328 has no problem playing it, but those two brand spanking new ones, did not recognize it. Same cable, same connection, same brand. Much smaller issue, of course, not even my car, but it just tells me when it comes to electronics, it's always a crap shoot. They charge you full price, but when it doesn't work they tell you what can ya' da - it's electronics, it's new, it's cutting edge (by that they mean, it cuts or it works on the edge of failure).

    This lack of accountability in software industry is trully staggering. They charge you arm and leg, license agreements that say they are not responsible for anything, even if it causes nuclear explosion and act like doing you some enormous favor when you want the darn thing to work as described. After two half-a** attempts, they tell you to buy newer and improved version that has no real guarantee to work, either. Of course for full price.... OK, you get 10% "upgrade discount". No other industry has it better. Since software is now everywhere, the culture of non-accountability spread like a disease.

    2012 BMW 328i wagon, manual and sports package. No. sold in the US: 1. Probably.

  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,611
    My own 328 has no problem playing it, but those two brand spanking new ones, did not recognize it.

    Many audio systems do have issues with older iPod and iPhones. Basically, they aren't expected to last years and years and as such the audio companies the manufacturers use do not build in compatibility for those older models.
  • flightnurseflightnurse at 35K feetPosts: 1,524
    Andres, there is only so much one can do to these engines before things start to break.

    I know that the aftermarket has had a chiip for the 1.8T and 2.0T for years, with the added 56hp and 50lbs of torque it really transforms these cars.

    The A3/S3 look like fun cars, but man are they small (smaller then the current A4) and for most just too small. Give me a A4 with a chipped 2.0 and a DSG..
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,432
    edited November 2013
    That s**ks. Why something costing $150 and more should not last at least 5 years. What kind of mindset is that? My Nano is about 4 years old. That's way too short for new cars not to recognize it. :(

    2012 BMW 328i wagon, manual and sports package. No. sold in the US: 1. Probably.

  • flightnurseflightnurse at 35K feetPosts: 1,524
    Dino, you got me thinking, I have two two iPod Nano's first generation and third, My 320 plays what is on my iphone with no problems, plugged in my thrid Gen Nano with the current iOS and it played, I'm charging my first Gen Nano and will give see if it needs an update and will give it a try.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,611
    That s**ks. Why something costing $150 and more should not last at least 5 years. What kind of mindset is that? My Nano is about 4 years old. That's way too short for new cars not to recognize it.

    The life cycle of consumer electronics is about 30 months....

    Apple isn't in the business of selling you one piece of hardware and having it last forever.

    As noted, try updating the OS and see if it works.
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,432
    I don't need to update anything, it works on my car, it just doesn't on the loaners.

    The built-in obsolescence, especially using such short cycles like 30 months is totally unacceptable to me. That's why I don't buy that stuff as much and as often as many others. I'm not "old", or "afraid", I simply see those as vehicles to get to my wallet by providing some marginal improvements in my life. I am what you would call "late adopter" (as opposed to early adopters), I get stuff only when I see a real and lasting improvement in life or business, or lack of that posession would put me in some significant disadvantage. Not being able to get latest tweets from people I don't care about is not disadvantage. I'm also not presumptuous to assume that people would be interested what I had for breakfast. The resources (from energy, to physical facilities) required to maintain all that vane electronic waste could probably eliminate world hunger.

    2012 BMW 328i wagon, manual and sports package. No. sold in the US: 1. Probably.

  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,611
    I don't need to update anything, it works on my car, it just doesn't on the loaners.

    Well I presumed since you complained it didn't work on the loaners it was important to you.
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,432
    I understand, you're right. Yeah, it may be worth a shot next time, I'm scheduled for a service to go and try an update.

    2012 BMW 328i wagon, manual and sports package. No. sold in the US: 1. Probably.

  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,049
    edited November 2013
    I don't want to start an argument, although I am not against arguing, if that makes any sense. But I was struck by the statements that things are becoming obsolete (perhaps the implication was "on purpose") every 30 months or so.

    Let me provide some perspective that made me read the "30 months" statement and cock my head and have a cartoon balloon with a question mark in it appear overhead.

    I have a 2014 Audi S4 Premium Plus with MMI+ and the B&O sound system. I also have the silk nappa leather seat upgrade.

    Previously I had a 2009 Audi A4 Prestige and sport package equipped 2.0T quattro (it also had the power rear sunshade and ADS and the B&O sound system.)

    Before that I had a 2005 Audi A6 3.2 with sport wheels and nav and sport seats (with the $1,000 premium leather option), the Bose sound system and the built in phone cradle and whatever else made a 2005 A6 cost nearly $54,000 new.

    Now, I kept my 2005 A6 about 42 months (6 months beyond the end of the lease due to the delayed delivery in 2008 of the 2009 A4's). I kept the 2009 full term and put some 56K miles on it (and 66K miles as I recall on the '05 A6.)

    One month ago I get into my new 2014 S4 configured as noted above.

    If you would have put me into my new 2005 A6 and I had become familiar with the controls and the layout of everything and the functioning and format of the electronics and then you had me close my eyes for "a second" and re-opened them in October 2008 whilst I was seated behind the wheel of my 2009 A4, then repeated the process and I opened my eyes behind the wheel of my 2014 S4, I would have almost thought all that had changed was the color of the seats and dashboards.

    My A6 had a black dash with the baseball glove colored leather seats -- the wood trim was walnut dark brown; my A4 had an ecru dash and seats -- the wood trim was oak blonde; next up, the S4 has a black dash with the magma red leather seats and carbon fiber trim.

    The electronics (the automotive "avionics") were virtually unchanged from calendar year 2004 through 2013 (10 years, 120 months). Yes, there are some incremental (and mostly pretty small) "improvements" in the avionics. I can now recite an entire 10-digit phone number and the voice recognition system doesn't respond "Pardon?" The moving map is said to be 3D, but that's not literally true, although there is a greater perception of "depth" as one looks at the map (sitting or moving).

    The B&O system in the 2014 MY S4 MAY be a little bit better than the excellent version of the system circa 2008 in the MY 2009 A4 (and the B&O is better than the Bose that was in the '05 A6.)

    Overall, though, I would say there has been no "built-in obsolescence" since this car's "systems" have been around for 10 years without anything of any real form and/or function changing.

    Now, however, therefore, notwithstanding -- I like the B8's electronics/avionics -- just as I did when I first met them in the '05 A6. I continued to enjoy them in the 2009 A4 and although I do -- from time to time -- touch the screen on the S4 thinking it has [or that it MUST have] the same capabilities that most of today's smart-phones and tablet PC's have.

    Some are already saying (and have been saying so for some time now) that Audi's interior (from the driver's perspective) is long in the tooth. And, maybe, just maybe keeping the look and feel and user interface pretty much the same for 10 years is TOO long, I think the 2014 A6 interior and electronics package has taken a step back, looking like the second gen Cadillac CTS, which I didn't care for.

    I keep my nav screen on almost all of the time. I would hate to have one of those aftermarket looking things (for instance, the pop-up nav that came on gen 2 CTS and the current iteration of A6's) that somehow passes for forward movement. Who's dumb idea was it to spoil the flowing lines of the newest A6 interior with that silly screen that looks, to my eye, as if it were an afterthought.

    So. . .built-in obsolescence? 10 years seems about right to me.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,611
    What you are looking at is the user interface. What I was talking about was the technology that delivers that user interface. That life is about 30 months.

    Maintaining a known interface with just a few tweaks entices current customers to stay with the brand. For many folks, having to learn a new interface when changing car brands would be a major inconvenience. Notice that Apple hasn't changed the "i" interface very much. Someone who used an iPhone back in 2007 could wake up today and still be able to use an iPhone. In fact, they could probably use any touch device as Apple set a standard copied by everyone else.

    I could say the same thing about Hondas. I bought my first one in 1991, a second in 1998 and a third in 2000. I can climb into just about any Honda and the interface (switches, controls) would be exactly the same. I know it's simpler than the electronic interface you mention, but it's the same idea.
  • If you are "shielded" from the underlying technology by an evolving not radically changing interface, why would you care if the underlying tech was changing every couple of years or so?

    I would think, like the Apple iPhone, that we all appreciate that the 4 and the 5S have similar user interfaces but that the tech of the 5 is way faster, etc.

    I would hope the underlying tech of my 2014 is much changed over my 2005 A6, in fact I would be ok if it changed annually even if I only change my car every 3+ years or so.

    I hate to be dense, but isn't it a good thing that tech keeps marching forward?

    I do agree making the thing have deliberate built-in obsolescence just for the sake of making it obsolete would make no sense; but, I am going to assume that while my Audi's user interface has little changed that the underlying stuff has changed (and for the betterment of all human-kind).

    Why is it problematic [for you] that some tech is said to have become obsolete in 30 months or whatever time frame. Now the issue I would have is if the tech became unreliable or lacked durability. As far as I know the 2005 A6 MMI system works fine, lasts a long time -- but I would assume, I would hope even that the stuff underneath has been improved and improved and improved since it was first brought to market.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,210
    that a sporty car had a taut suspension that was cleverly designed to allow the vehicle to go around corners like it was "on rails." It had a manual transmission that was fun to use. It might have had some kind of big-boy engine that provided ~ 6 second 0-60 runs, but that wasn't necessary by any means. It had some kind of audio system that provided entertainment on straight roads (and otherwise, but it didn't matter so much then).

    Now it's all about electronics.

    Knock yourselves out.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,611
    If you are "shielded" from the underlying technology by an evolving not radically changing interface, why would you care if the underlying tech was changing every couple of years or so? ...... Why is it problematic [for you] that some tech is said to have become obsolete in 30 months or whatever time frame.

    I wasn't the one that had an issue with the obsolescence of an electronic item. I was the one that stated that hardware - especially consumer electronics - have a short expected life span. The OP had an issue with an older iPod working fine in his older BMW but not in the loaners.

    IMHO, products become obsolete by the sheer pace of advances we have today. As technology improves, older items become obsolete simply because the majority abandon them and support resources need to be devoted to current technology. We can't slow down advances simply to support the last adopters.
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