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Luxury Performance Sedans

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  • dhamiltondhamilton Posts: 873
    It seems to me that the tire that was used universally was the way to make the test objective. I would strongly disagree that different set's of tires would have made the test more fair
  • Print, radio and TV commercials do not, generally, permit the product (in this case an AWD car) to be further differentiated from cars in its class other than to note that the car being advertised does offer AWD.

    BMW, for instance, shows a 3 series able to bob and weave the snowballs being thrown at it. BMW does not with this commercial attempt to demonstrate much of anything other than what the visual suggests.

    The other companies touting AWD or the availability of AWD or SH-AWD don't spend much if any time talking about the bias of their AWD systems. Only Acura (because it can one would imagine) tells you why SH-AWD should be important to you. BMW dramatically demonstrates how your X3 can help you avoid accidents, and so on.

    My point pertaining to Audi was that they were (a couple of years ago) virtually unique due to their AWD system.

    Clearly AWD has become a competitive advantage (a competitive need) as the LPS cars have certainly demonstrated. If you are Audi, however, how do you get your message out that your AWD system is different and/or better?

    Somewhat quietly, I think, Audi is moving from the 50 50 f/r power split from rest to 40 60. This, in their case, is perhaps a good thing, it is certainly a reactionary rather than leadership move, however.

    In the real world that most of us must drive in, the difference between Audi's traditional 50 50 power split vs BMW's 50 50 weight split (even with their X drive option) will be more likely to demonstrate the benefits of balance (favoring the BMW) than the subtleties of f/r power distribution.

    The cost, to Audi, of a design that improves balance must be darn near unaffordable, I assume, or they certainly would have attempted better balance first.

    I have googled information (facts) and opinions pertaining to the Audi employed TorSen system (old, current and now being adopted by Audi in its more performance oriented and newer to market offerings.) The Quattro system is one of the best if not the best offered in this class (there is at least one system that is "better" but it is not used by the LPS class probably due to cost factors.) So the TorSen system is at the top of the heap in terms of its engineering, etc.

    "Wet tongue, frozen pole," both in words and pictures tells a story in seconds. The anatomy and benefit of a torque sensing AWD set up is, or at least has not been, made interesting or entertaining (or memorable?) by Madison Ave or any other place where adverts and mktg campaigns are hatched.

    Besides, I indicated darn near my ONLY reason NOT to get a quattro (all price points being in alignment) would be the offering of a stick shift (which, at this point, is a BMW exclusive.)

    25 years of quattro has probably put Audi in the AWD LPS leadership position insofar as that technology and engineering is concerned -- I will not quarrel with the spirit of that concept.

    I remain disappointed that Audi (my fave) has IMHO squandered this position this differentiation. Only the Audi driving UP the ski lift evokes anything that even approaches the compelling marketing from some of the other guys.

    Trouble is, I am not sure many people believe that the Audi literally drives UP the ski lift -- some folks swear it is just towed up (even though the fine print explains the tow cable is to prevent the car from sliding back down the lift.)

    Now Audi offers up a V-10 S6 (at what price, $70, 80,000?) when it would seem there is, even in this class, ever greater interest in fuel economy.

    I guess if you can afford the MSRP, the 5+ liters of displacement and its appetite for fuel are immaterial.

    Maybe the V10 is an attempt to differentiate. All this time Audi had the "difference" it was called quattro.

    Of course the new S6 only comes with an auto -- the market seems increasingly less interested in shifting for itself. Hence my current lament. :confuse:
  • bdr127bdr127 Posts: 950
    They might have a trademark on "M" however. Typically one doesn't sue unless one believes there is some legal standing.

    That must have been the reason the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) sued the World Wrestling Federation (WWF).... They made the wrestling entity change their name and initials to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).

    I'm sure there were a lot of people out there confusing those two groups. ;)
  • rich545rich545 Posts: 386
    Just wondering, how do we know that Audi's Quattro is any "better" than BMW's X-Drive? Simply doing it longer doesn't mean that's it's done better. In fact, from what I read, BMW "lifted" the X-Drive system from Rover during its brief ownership. Is there any way to measure which AWD system is better? They certainly could be equal. I wonder if a comparison test has ever been done of all of the available AWD systems in LPS'. If anyone knows of one, I'd be interested in reading about it.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Hi Rich... go to the X3 thread and look for a post by div2. He provided links to a story about a winter rally competition up north somewhere in which the X3 won. I forget which cars were in it. I know Subaru was in there but not Audi IIRC. The post wasn't too long ago. I think AWD comparos are virtually non-existent or not very thorough.
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    Edmunds 2005 All-Wheel-Drive Luxury Sports Sedan Comparison

    Wish it had more AWD comparison in it though.

    -Paul
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Lexusguy... I totally agree with your assertion that dissimilar tires neuter the comparo. Beyond that however, I would think that on ice, BMWs would not fare very well due to their sport suspension tuning which includes aggressive camber, caster and toe settings compared with other cars in their class. I would be curious to know if their settings differ with xDrive, but I would guess not. Only a guess. For one thing, it is plain to see that the X5 has a lot of camber and caster. I don't think it would seem as obvious on the 530i vs 530xi, or 530xi vs other cars, not that I looked. But if the X5 has aggressive settings, I think the xDrive cars would also maintain their aggressive settings.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Its hard to say. Just adjusting the tire pressure could have a very large impact on the performance. The least they could've done is swapped all of the tires for say Blizzaks or a set of tires designed for the conditions, with identical psi. That way they could at least theorize as to what other reasons might cause the BMW to not do as well.
  • Likewise I am a systems engineer, not a mechanical, electrical or industrial engineer. Frankly, since I manage the company, my SE skills are probably not as strong as they could be either, but that's not important now.

    It is [or it may be] splitting hairs and in "real life" it may have a minimal effect, but I'll venture a 50,000 foot "defense" of TorSen (the underpinnings of Audi's quattro.) "Just because someone has been doing it longer doesn't mean its better," [sic] was posted here recently.

    How can you argue against this? In some things (perhaps even most things) experience "counts." But, we're at some water mark these days where the similarities are greater than the the dissimilarities. Most LPS AWD systems, practically speaking are indistinguishable from one another, in ever day use, right?

    Well, yes, no, but.

    Well, at least you know that is my sense. Sure, a system that is 95% FWD and 5% RWD nominally may be said to be less than ideal when performance is your goal.

    Folks here seem to believe (and I am not arguing the point, with this post), when speaking of AWD systems, FWD bias is the least desirable and RWD bias is most desirable.

    If you are uncertain where Audi's quattro system stands (or has stood) it has fundamentally been a 50 50 bias system, a system that can shift power to the place it is needed most. Currently several Audis offer 40 60 f/r bias with more to come according to the company.

    Of course BMW's X-drive and Infiniti's mouthful MLA and everyone else's I can think of can shift power, too. Note Vovlo's brochure for the S60 Type-R (their "hot rod" high zoot performance/lux less than full size car) says 95% FWD 5% RWD until slippage is detected (which will become an important qualification in a paragraph or three), then the power shifts. As recently as last year, Volvo apparently felt no need to jump on the RWD biased AWD is the "true way" and the "true light" if your goal in any way includes performance.

    Anywho: Audi (and although they are NOT alone, they are rare in their choice of AWD systems) decades ago chose the Torque Sensing system (aka TorSen.) So what?

    Well, some would consider this a technicality, some would consider this important but not significant and some would just throw all the cards (or most of them, anyway) in favor of what has been labled by engineering and marketing types alike as a "superior" AWD system: TorSen.

    In a nutshell (yea, yea, a really big nutshell -- rim shot):

    o The TorSen differential is entirely a mechanical device; it has no electronics, clutches or viscous fluids.

    o TorSen works as an "open differential" only when the amount of torque going to each wheel is equal. When one wheel starts to lose traction, the difference in torque causes the gears in the TorSen differential to lock. And, the design of the gears in the TorSen differential determines the torque bias ratio. E.g., if a particular TorSen differential is designed with a 4:1 bias ratio, it is capable of applying up to four times more torque to the wheel that has good traction and so on.

    o TorSen differentials are often used in high-performance all-wheel-drive vehicles. TorSens are like viscous coupling differentials in some respects: they are typically used to transfer power between the front and rear axles.

    Yet, in "high-performance" [you decide] cars, the TorSen is superior (but the average LPS driver may never notice the difference, and no, that is not a "slam') to the viscous coupling (and almost any other system currently deployed) because it transfers torque to the wheels that need it prior to any actual slippage.

    In these days where manufacturers are measuring the "rise time" of LED brake lights versus incandescent light bulbs and claiming the brake light's rise time can shorten stopping distances (due to reaction time) by over 22 feet at "X" miles per hour due to the fraction of a second quicker "rise time," it only seems reasonable that instantaneous response is better than "virtually instantaneous" response.

    The quattro equipped car will shift power "before" slippage.

    On The Other Hand

    Quattro weighs more than the other systems, generally speaking. Quattro is probably the most or if not THE most, "almost" the most expensive system to render AWD.

    Quattro NOW, this very second, is available with RWD bias all the while retaining the "instantaneous" reaction/response time.

    Quattro is, then, "technically" (and within the confines of what can be bought today, not some theoretical or more expensive and/or esoteric system that certainly does exist) superior -- I agree.

    My point earlier, not to counter my own arguments and the "facts" of the situation, was "X-drive" or SH-AWD will be imperceptibly different ("worse") than quattro.

    Indeed, where Audi MIGHT be superior totally cannot be determined, for that place would be an Audi with Rear-Biased quattro (based on the latest quattro system) and a neutral f/r weight bias.

    Such an Audi does not currently exist.

    A well balanced, equally powered (255hp Audi 3.2 vs the BMW) 530xi with a stick shift however is within the realm of the LPS universe and probable affordability by us participants here on this edmunds blog/topic.

    While it may technically have a cheaper, lighter, "not quite as good" of an AWD system, I think most of us would never be the wiser nor feel we had been saddled with "second best" with the X-drive system.

    Audis experience may be a factor here in its ability to be the current "best" AWD provider (in this context.) I just don't think it matters much any more, hence my current mantra (one of several) "Audi squandered it superiority."

    And who cares who won over a Zamboni -- other than entertainment value, it is not "real world," at least not in my real world.

    To clarify further one point -- I'd still take the Audi (over the Bimmer) if forced to only have a clutchless system and I'd still take the Audi if it price (at some point) is in its favor.

    :shades:
  • rich545rich545 Posts: 386
    Thanks to everyone that responded. I'm not trying to say that Quattro is worse; just that since there is no definitive proof that it is a superior system we can't really assume that it is merely based on Audi's history of producing the system. Maybe proving which system is better isn't actually possible. They all probably work just fine in the real world as Mark stated (and yes I realize that I meant "it's better" rather than "its better").
  • Technically, TorSen IS better for the reasons I so painstakingly ;) detailed.

    The violent agreement is "how much difference, practically speaking, will it make?"

    Some folks here (me included) will split hairs and then split atoms over .1 second or .25 inches of legroom or .2 cubic feet of. . . or 2 foot pounds of torque on Tuesdays in months beginning with the letter "R" -- so you would think the "technical" advantage offered by quattro would amount to MORE than a hill of beans.

    Since most of us make our decisions based not on merit (other than what we tell ourselves has merit) I can tell you 'til I am blue in the face that the TorSen system should merit your consideration.

    I might as well try to hold my breath until the first Robin Redbreast of Spring comes bob bob bobbin' along.

    But, it's fun trying. . . .

    "Quattro Rules" -- yep, what a great slogan, probably sell a lot more cars now, don't you think? Not hardly.

    Drive it like you live. :shades:
  • docnukemdocnukem Posts: 485
    Well, Mark,

    "Quattro Rules" does sound a lot better than, "ATTESA Dominates", or "SH-AWD Kicks A**"

    :)
  • calidavecalidave Posts: 156
    Since most of us make our decisions based not on merit (other than what we tell ourselves has merit) I can tell you 'til I am blue in the face that the TorSen system should merit your consideration.


    You may make decisions based on merit, but I think most people make decisions based on what they tell themselves is merit. But most people don't know that, do they? ;-)

    interesting analysis of the Audi and BMW, but what of the other systems? (Volvo?)

    and just how "useful" is that Quattro system if the car is in the shop ten days/year?
    OUCH.

    :-)
  • I never said I made my decisions based on merit, I said we (and I include myself) make decisions based on what we tell ourselves has merit. Quoting your quote of my post:

    "Since most of us make our decisions based not on merit (other than what we tell ourselves has merit). . . ."

    Rather than write a REALLY long post -- as if -- my analysis was not of Audi and BMW at the exclusion of other systems.

    The analysis or explanation if you will (and even if you won't) was ONLY of the quattro system. I did in fact mention the Volvo system (but I don't think I used any names OTHER than TorSen.) Sure I used the brand name, quattro, X-drive an SH-AWD, I alluded to Infiniti's and made mention of Volvo's which is, as I recall, a system called "Haldex."

    As I have come to understand, in my own muddling way, TorSen systems react prior to wheel slippage while the other systems, generally, react after slippage occurs.

    The real world value proposition remains subjective or at least it is open to an individual's determination of how much "performance or safety and value" the TorSen system imparts.

    I attempted to analyze the TorSen's salient technical attribute -- not its only attribute; and, although I think it is clear I think its difference is both real and could be significant, I also recognize the very real possibility that the differences may be insufficient motivation for LPS AWD purchasers.

    It is true, that out of 28 Audis, ONE, was in the shop for 11 days right after I got it -- that car was my 2003 allroad. The car remained in the shop AT MY REQUEST. There was an issue with On*star. No other mechanical or electrical problem required the car to be there.

    Just to cover myself, virtually no Audi I have had has required more than 3 visits annually to the dealer, inclusive of normal maint and or repair work.

    Since 1995, almost all work done on my Audis has been service interval work.

    Audis have been very reliable from my perspective.

    If your personal experience over many many many Audis belies mine, well that is too bad. And, assuming you too have had at least two dozen Audis, our combined 48 Audis are probably not all that revealing considering that Audi must sell at least 20,000 cars per year (even in the US -- and yes, I know it was 83,000 in 2005, I am trying to make a point about the statistics that we represent -- we two multiple multiple owners of Audis.)

    If calidave has only owned 4 or 5 Audis personally instead of my "presumed" dozens and has ONLY what he reads here to go by, for instance, well I would at least like to represent an owner of Audi products since early 1977 and "testify" that they have been very reliable.

    Of course, most of you long time posters will also recognize that I am NOT able to comment as to the durability of Audis since I cannot recall EVER having kept one past 50,000 miles.

    But, my experiences in the first 50,000 miles have been so overwhelmingly positive that I just can't wait to get my next, newer and better version. If I thought they were troublesome or had issues of any kind in this regard, I certainly would not keep repeating the acquisition of these fine cars.

    I may be crazy, but I am not stupid -- OK, maybe a little bit.

    :shades:
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Have you ever driven on roads where there is a solid sheet of glare ice? I have, more times than I care to remember. The traffic moves at 5mph or less. One cannot accelerate without spinning out the tires - regardless of the drivetrain one the car. The only real remedy, and they are illegal in most states, is studs. That helps somewhat. Of course one could put on chains.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Good point. Pure ice is hopeless. I guess it's the tweener situations where the differences start coming into play. Down with the Zamboni comparo. Hmm, do Zambonis slip and slide? IIRC they slip a little when braking. Haven't been to a hockey game in a while.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    About 6 months ago, I brought up the apparent frequency of problems owners were seemingly having with the new M and Infiniti's inability or unwillingness to deal with them as a topic of discussion on the M thread only to be shot down by several posters.

    Since that time I have neither read nor posted there again.
  • docnukemdocnukem Posts: 485
    Hpowders: Recheck the M boards. Almost all of the problems reported concern the moonroof (rattles--where there is at lease one TSB) or noise level. A few people have some type of problem with a heat-exchanger or something making a racket as the car is cooling (after parking). Many of the posts on the M problems board are asking for assistance with bluetooth (rather than a problem). Frankly, for a "new" car, I find there to be a rather remarkable LACK of issues. I have had two minor annoyances(one was the moonroof thing) that were promptply fixed. They did not change the way the car drove (which is fantastic, BTW).

    I don't recall anyone complaining about how the car drives except for a few people who state some issues which sound like alignment/tire-inflation problems and some slippage on icy roads.

    There are two or three who seem to have had more issues. One of these has cut-and-pasted the same post on multiple boards (praising the car, d***ing the company--making my first impression one of a competitor's shill). That particular problem seems to be more individual dealer-related.

    If you check the M problems board, you will find most love the car and have one or two minor issues.
  • calidavecalidave Posts: 156
    yikes!!! 28! How OLD are you? :-) Seriously, that is a lot of cars.

    I have never personally owned an Audi. My sister had one in the 70s. It was cute, sporty, but a complete dog from a reliability standpoint. Without question the worst auto-buying my family made. I have three friends who owned Audis in the last three years. All three loved their Audis, and all three sold them within two years of purchase because they were getting eaten alive by reliability issues. One of my colleagues has an Audi, and loves it, and has had no troubles with it. And he would definitely dump it if it even hiccupped. (sic)

    I realize this data is certainly not sufficient for decison-making. I have not been confronted with this decision for years, however, as my last two car purchases have been of vehicles in segments that Audi did not play in.

    I wasn't criticizing your non-mention of Volvo/Haldex. Was just wondering what your take on it was.
  • Although I'll grant if we want to blog we must be willing take some critical replies, I did not take your remark as a criticism. I just wanted to make certain you (and anyone who felt likewise) understood my long (ya think?) post was more about (an analysis perhaps?) Torque Sensing (brand name quattro) rather than a one to one comparison between Audi's system vs BMW's. I was attempting to keep the NON TorSen comments general while explaining that most of the systems employed in these LPS cars are meant to do similar things.

    They are meant to direct power from front to rear and rear to front (and in the case of SH AWD a bit from left rear side to right rear side and so forth.)

    TorSen, not exactly quattro (even though since every quattro BUT the TT is TorSen, the TT is Haldex) is "different" in that it is the system these LPS guys could use that can actually said to be effectively "pro-active" rather than "reactive."

    BMW with its longitudinal engine COULD be TorSen if the engineers and managers and accountants wanted to adopt it.

    And, etc etc etc the other guys.

    TorSen is some evidence that "doing it for a long time" may have value to the consumer. Or plainly put, experience counts (at least a little bit.)

    I do not understand the statement that some folks had some reliability problems with their Audis and were being eaten alive. Audis have come with maintenance and warranty since 1988 -- at one time they had a three year test drive program 100% of everything except gas, plates and insurance for 3 years. Today Audis are covered by a 4 year 50K program called the Audi advantage.

    If they had had an Audi for 2 years, recently, the only way they would have NOT been held harmless from issues is if they exceeded 50K miles OR did not CPO the car.

    Further, why would someone dump an Audi if it hiccuped? Or would this person dump ANY LPS brand if it burped?
  • aflcaflc Posts: 8
    "Each automakers individual choice of tire could have a HUGE effect on its performance on ice, that would have nothing to do with the AWD system."
    "... I totally agree with your assertion that dissimilar tires neuter the comparo"


    I agree, leveling the playing field by putting on identical tires would make the test more objective, but I don't know if that would account for a nearly 40% difference in time.

    And, I hope you are not saying that BMW and Lexus are putting significantly lower quality tires on their cars compared to Audi. If that were the case, I guess there should be a HUGE performance disadvantage in everyday driving as well (a 40% disadvantage?). Maybe BMW and Lexus owners should go out and replace their tires for the "superior" Continentals the Audis come with.

    I understand that every test drive or comparo has it's flaws, they are never performed scientifically. But, one can at least get a general idea of a cars performance and come away with a bit more information.

    At least one thing can be said, AWD vs. Rear (or Front) Wheel Drive makes a significant difference [in identical cars (and I am assuming identical tires)]:

    "On the ice, the rear-drive GS was practically uncontrollable, and took 15 seconds to travel 60 feet. The all-wheel-drive GS covered the distance in about half the time..."(actually in about 8.6 seconds)

    I agree that Audi squandered it's advantage it had for so many years with it's AWD. AWD seems to have caught on and may be a real selling point in the years to come.

    " "When you're spending $50,000 or more, all-wheel drive is such a small percentage of the total...It seems silly not to get it."
  • calidavecalidave Posts: 156
    one of my colleagues bought his Audi from his boss after it had been her company car for two years - once it was out of warranty, he hated the cost of ownership

    the guy who would sell if it hiccuped would sell ANYthing if it burped - so I am guessing that his Audi has not burped (though it is that odd purple/grey shade)
  • rich545rich545 Posts: 386
    One reason not to get it in a 530 would be that the sport package with AWD becomes a lot more cosmetic than functional. Meaning, the sport package in a 530i is truly sport tuned suspension whereas the sport package in the 530xi is simply lager tires (I believe) and slightly different sheet metal to improve aerodynamics. The suspension itself is not modified in the 530xi. So I guess it depends on your reasons for buying the car when it comes to AWD being worth it.
  • . . .hmmm, let's see, we live in upper and upper middle class urbania or sububurbia; we have decent incomes and we drive cars that cost from $45 to $65 thousand dollars.

    I'll bet we have serious life insurance policies, even if our houses are paid for. I'll be we have serious "home owner" insurance policies with multi-million dollar liability (umbrella) riders.

    I'll bet we bundle our car and homeowner's insurance together maybe we even do this with our car, house and life policies to squeeze out that little extra % discount.

    Speaking as an insignificant statistic: We made one claim against our auto insurance in the past few years (10?) and that was for a two by four that fell off of a truck and hit my wife's new BMW front bumper (plastic) and it had to be replaced (we have $250 deductible.) We have earthquake insurance (in SW Ohio, who would've thought?) In 1990 just after we moved into our then brand new custom built (by us) house, it was struck by lightening (twice) which fried every electronic doo dad we own, including the toaster. We made a claim on that.

    We keep paying for all this insurance. My guess is we're way way way upside down on the auto insurance equation having paid much more in in premiums than we have made claims. Now at year 16, I would guess we're pretty far upside down on the homeowner's policy including the new home theater, PC's and modem and toasters lost in 1990.

    We keep paying for all this insurance.

    I'd wager, to repeat, we would not even consider NOT continuing our car and house insurance.

    Yet, we buy $50,000 cars with the expecation (apparently) that they should "be used and used and used" without ever breaking (or hardly ever.) We "expect" a warranty, heck some of us even expect free maintenance, free loaner cars, free coffee and donuts, free car washes and a box of cookies annually from the dealer thanking us for buying a car in 2003 (or whenever.)

    I have been in the "argument" before -- probably even here on edmunds -- but, IMHO we should not expect to keep these cars without sufficient financial resources or "extended" programs, for these vehicles even more than most are "breathtakingly expensive" to service, maintain and repair.

    If I decide to keep my 7 month old 2005 A6 to 49,998 miles, I cannot dream of NOT paying the dealer the "quoted" cost of $1,195 (my cost, so he says) to get the car "certified" to 6 years or 100,000 miles (whichever comes first) by the time 49,999.9 miles rolls around on the odometer.

    I would no sooner drive on the public highways without collision, liability, medical and comprehensive insurance than I would keep one without a service and warranty insurance policy. I would not own my house (even after my last mortgage payment) without insurance (all kinds: fire, theft, so-called act of god, liability and earthquake) even though I know I have had virtually no use for such insurance in my 54 years on planet earth.

    Just a thought.
  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,938
    Huh? :confuse:
  • In response to those who are greatly concerned with the reliability or lack thereof of some (many?) of the LPS brands, I am often amazed at how "running naked" (without the blanket of insurance against major repairs and perhaps even maintenance) seems to be an option for so many folks who have possibly never had a claim against their homeowners or auto insurance policies but would never in a million years go without said insurance.

    I am not trying to excuse the European (or American) LPS cars nor suggest somehow that Japanese cars aren't as reliable and durable as so many appear to be convinced.

    Simply I am pointing out my own inability to see THAT much difference between the insurance policies we buy for houses and life and health and even auto accident coverage and "insuring" against catastrophic repair bills that are becoming more and more commonplace due to the complexity of an LPS car.

    Yet, even the folks who live in extremely safe geographies, I would imagine, continue to buy other kinds of insurance despite the apparent lack of "need" for such.

    Automobiles hit potholes have often violent presses of their pedals and turns of their wheels, etc -- and this kind of wear and tear is expected to be taken almost indefinitely without financial consequences.

    We would not go without insurance on anything valuable or expensive, is my point. And the secondary point is to consider extended warranties on $50K cars to not be an unreasonable or perhaps even unexpected expense beyond the first 4 years or 50,000 miles.

    We insure our LPS "lives" why not our LPS cars with respect to wear and tear?

    I am, apparently, making less sense than usual. Sorry. :surprise:
  • jimbresjimbres Posts: 2,025
    I respectfully disagree, Mark.

    One of the fundamental axioms of property & casualty insurance is that one should not pay a 3rd party to assume a risk that one can afford to assume on one's own.

    In other words, self-insure whenever possible. Buy insurance only to protect yourself from truly crippling losses.

    A few years ago, an electrical fire caused $150K worth of damage to our next-door neighbor's house in only 15 minutes. The house was uninhabitable for more than 6 months afterwards. (What was particularly unsettling about this was that none of the damage was visible from the street.)

    That, my friend, is a genuinely catastrophic loss - one that would bankrupt most of us in the absence of insurance - & that's why I carry the best available homeowner's coverage from the financially strongest carrier doing business in my area.

    By the same token, I don't consider even a $5K+ transmission job, which should be a once-in-a-lifetime event, to be remotely comparable. Mind you, if this were to happen to me, I'd be cranky as hell that week. But I wouldn't have to postpone retirement or even skip a vacation. I'd moan & groan, grumble & complain but I'd pay it. It wouldn't change my life & it shouldn't change yours.

    To my way of thinking, anyone who owns or is close to owning a car in the $40K+ bracket should have a suitably strong balance sheet. That means little or no non-mortgage debt & plenty of liquidity. A solid balance sheet beats the stuffing out of & eliminates the need for any extended warranty / service contract.

    I must admit that I was immunized against these things at an early age. When I bought my 1st new car - a '74 Honda Civic hatchback - my father insisted that I buy a service contract. He was co-signing the loan, so I reluctantly did as he asked. A couple of years later, on a whim, I pulled the fancy warranty certificate out of the shoebox on my closet shelf & called the phone number for claims, only to get an out-of-service recording. It turned out that the service contract issuer went belly up not long after I bought the contract. For some reason, I wasn't surprised.

    I never again purchased a service contract & have never regretted it. (For the record, the most expensive single repair bill I've ever had to pay was > $1.4K, & that was on an 11-yr-old car.)
  • calidavecalidave Posts: 156
    you are lecturing us about financial issues and you put $1400 into an 11-year old car?

    :-)

    I do agree with the rest of your post. Just yankin your chain re the repair on the junker.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,262
    A running 11-year-old Honda is worth more than $1400 (even in 1985), while one that doesn't run isn't worth a nickel.
  • What would have been the extra cost per month to lease the A6 4.2 model and were you tempted to do it?
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