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Luxury Performance Sedans



  • cstilescstiles Posts: 465
    Enough of the over-analyzing of CR and other "experts." Let's face it, ALL of these reviews contain a lot of opinion. Sure, there exists basic testing methodology and statistics, but at the end of the day, each of these reviews are skewed in their own ways because they represent OPINIONS.

    The car mags are FOR PROFIT ventures that strive to appeal to their readership. They get their revenues through subscriptions and advertisement (predominantly from the car manufacturers). Their articles will indeed be biased in the sense they are trying to appeal to the demographics and interests of their readers, and their advertisers.

    Consumers Union is a NON-PROFIT organization that generates revenues through subscriptions and donations. They must appeal to their readership like the for-profit car rags, and their articles will also be skewed by OPINIONS. However, CR also receives significant donations from trial lawyers, safety advocates, and certain constituents like medical professionals. Their focus will naturally be tilted toward consumer protectionism and safety. Although they accept no advertising per se, they still directly and indirectly appeal to their greatest donors. And these happen to be trial lawyers and safety advocates.

    Okay, let's move on to other topics.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    CR results are less biased and less prone to outside influences than many of the "enthusiasts magazines"

    Definitely, since they don't accept advertising.

    Still, there's no way of really proving whether the non-quantitative portions of their reviews are any more or less reliable than anyone else's.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Let's get back to the cars, okay? Some of you might want to resume this discussion in the discussion I linked earlier - Karl's Daily Log Book - msu79gt82 has made some very good posts on the subject of revies there.

    There may be a more appropriate discussion in News & Views about CR and other review mags - there used to be, but it might be archived. If so, you can ask pf_flyer to reopen it, or start a new one, if you want.
  • bjbird2bjbird2 Posts: 647
    The final test, and the one that is most meaningful for you is your own test drive. The magazines are helpful, but you have to make the final decision based on your own needs. My post about CR was a response to all the bashing I received every time I would refer to CR, and I thought that bashing was not justified.

    I've made my choice, I can say after research and spending a lot of time in all of the cars in this forum, the Infiniti M35 is my choice, so coincidentally, I agree with CR.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Here is where to pursue this line of conversation: Consumer Reports - Testing & Review Methods.

    Have fun!
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    I've provided a link where the conversation about CR may continue. It is off-topic here.
  • rrobrrob Posts: 51
    Opinion vary on this, like everything, but . . .

    I like the wood on the M and it was one of the factors in my purchase. I have never been fond of the very shiny wood finishes on most LPS. That said, the wood trim on my M was very dull until I polished it with a good quality wood polish - this gave it a much richer look,still not shiny. I've gotten a lot of comments on the interior, most, but not all positive. One Bimmer driver did have an "is this real?" comment.

    As to the overall feel of the interior, I think cars in this category should make a statement and thus fit different drivers tastes. I expect cars in the 20-30k range have more generic interiors. In this group vive la differance!
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Yeah I dont have a problem with the matte finish, but its definitely not for everybody. It would be nice if Infinifi offered gloss as an option, like MB does in the CLS.
  • ksomanksoman Posts: 590
    I know, at one point in the past, Jaguars had a silky finished wood as a go between, between the gloss and the matte and it looked so much more better... but they discontinued it too.

    never seen anybody else have that. i find high gloss extremely plasticky in looks
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    It depends on the color and grain of the wood, some look fine with super gloss, some look terrible. The ES330 for example has lots of gloss, but it looks great. In cars out at the moment, I think the Audi A8 has the best looking wood trim.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "The ES330 for example has lots of gloss, but it looks great."

    Not really. Those glossy wood interiors are not to my liking. But to each their own.
  • ckelly14ckelly14 Posts: 105
    I was considering the M35 sport as it has the two-toned interior that I want: grey leather with black floors. My current Audi has beige leather seats and door inserts with black carpet and dash. I love the look! I'm not a fan of the aluminum, so I was considering an aftermarket trim addition. The dealer has a guy they recommend that can put in ANY color or finish of wood in place of the aluminum. I'm thinking of a glossy finished walnut trim. It runs about $600.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Just make sure its not one of the horrific "wood dash cheap!" kits that look like contact paper.
  • ksomanksoman Posts: 590
    if you watch "this old house" you'll notice, that show has enough shop tools around to fashion real wood of any type for any car in any shape with any finish ;)

  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    Yes but be careful not to select birds eye maple as it may create a maze on your dash and mice mistake it for a cheese cutting board! sorry started it.
  • bondguy1bondguy1 Posts: 228
    A lot of people don't like shiny wood trim because of the cheap aftermarket kits that are available. Especially the lighter tones that look yellow. If, however, you get a Mercedes Benz or Audi or BMW or another high end car, you basically know it's real wood...except maybe on a 3 series or A4 ( I don't know if those are real wood).
    If you look at cars like the new Toyota Avalon, it's obviously plastic made to look like wood.
    I like non shiny wood too...but if you look close at the M35's wood, if I can call it that, it looks like plastic...I'd rather have plastic that looked a lot like wood than wood that looked like cheap plastic. But, it's not just the wood that cheapens the M35 for me. How come they have the cheap looking straight handles that are leather covered to close doors from inside. You know what those will look like in a year...espcially in the light color...same for the shifter knob. It's not just the wood that makes the Audi's interior on the A6 or A8 look's the combination of wood, aluminum and leather inserts that complete the beauty of what is the interior of an Audi. Door handles are aluminum or at least they look that way. I think the interior of the M35 is great looking in the aluminum interior dash you get with the Sport package...they should offer it as an option on all cars...not just sport.
  • bfeng7bfeng7 Posts: 47

    Full disclosure first: I work for Bose ... in the division responsible for Audi and Infinity (the car brand) audio systema. Previously, I worked for one of the most well respected audio consultancies in the worlds (concert hall design, noise control, sound quality, etc.). Maybe I know something about sound. One of my 3 home systems is built up around Aerial Acoustics speakers, which I don't think sound too shabby.

    I have a suggestion.
    Go price out a midrange driver for a B&W 802, or a Revel F32, or a (pick your brand of high-end speaker). Now consider that the price of that one midrange could be not so different from what the automaker spent on all the speakers in the whole car. Then add 1 woofer, and consider that just maybe the price of your two drivers is more than all the car's speakers plus the amplifier, plus the DSP processor, plus wiring harness, etc.. Consider that a telephone from B&O (which has a LONG history of producing truely high end audio ) might possibly cost more than an automaker pays for their entire premium audio system.

    Try it another way. If an automaker decided use 4xtweeter, 4xmidranges, 3xmid/tweeters, and 2xwoofers of the same quality used in a high end speaker, and then they added an 8 channel amplier of mid/high end quality, what do you think you'd have to pay for that premium sound option? Now add some DSP horsepower that compares to something like a Meridian DSP 5500 speaker system. That set of parts, would cost you something like $10,000. Are you prepared to pay that for premium sound in your next car?

    Try it from the other angle. Let's say car maker "X" charges $1000 for their premium sound option. What do you think their markup is? If it is anything like home audio ... maybe their cost was $400 for that system. What can you buy for $400 these days? Can that gear survive 85 degrees C summer days, freezing, humidity, shock and vibration, dust, water, etc. and still work after 3 years?

    So, it's not a stretch to see that automakers can't spend much money on premium audio, relative to what you'd have to spend to get a decent 5.1 system at home. Judged in that light, I think Bose and it's worthy competitors are doing pretty darn well.

  • bjbird2bjbird2 Posts: 647
    "I think the interior of the M35 is great looking in the aluminum interior dash you get with the Sport package...they should offer it as an option on all cars...not just sport. "

    Even if the aluminum is fake? What's the difference, fake hot stamped aluminum or fake plastic wood? I think if it looks convincing, and it looks tasteful, it will fool even the most discriminating among us. Plastic wood is used on some very high end furniture, and very few customers know it.
  • I stand corrected. I knew that in the past it was a deduction not a credit, didn't realize that changed on 1/1/2006. Your link estimates the credit on the RX400h to be $1,300 though so it isn't that far from my estimate of $1,000 anyway.
  • ksomanksoman Posts: 590
    Damn, I couldn't agree more. I have had a 7.1 system since late 1999 and I cannot believe I spend just 3K on wiring and cables... but then again, I was under 30 back then so we'll write it off to careless monetary abandon and immaturity.

    Getting back to cars, I think for the few hundred or at most 1000 bux that you pay for a premium sound system are entirely worth it. The only exclusion will be the harmon kardon tin-pots that crackle in my wife's bmw.... it is the boomiest, ugliest sounding premium system i've every paid for... overall if you see, the mark levinson's in lexus or even the bose or non-bose systems is acura are absolutely UP there...

    i personally think the german car's are a little behind on this front.

    my person 2 cents.
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