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Luxury Performance Sedans

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  • I believe the issue with general vehicle reliability rests with the fact that we ALL go by personal experience.In my case, no matter what CR printed or what was read around these forums , after 100,000 miles and 6+ years of hands on ownership, I would not buy another Audi. That doesn't mean the next potential buyer wouldn't, it was just my issues, but of course I'm sure the same could be said about ALL the brands, including Toyota, Honda,Mazda and of course Lexus!
  • I agree! It is YOUR (or my own) personal experiences that almost certainly overpower these forum's, your friends and relatives, car magazines and consumer magazines.

    I am, however, pretty much convinced that ANY of these cars (with the possible exception of a Jaguar -- and that is totally rumor-based, I have "no facts") would be reliable for at least 50,000 miles.

    As I ride the downhill portion of my lease, I know that I am at the one year out point (plus or minus a couple of months) of "doing it all over again." That being said and with the great and wonderful experience with this Audi I will consider another Audi product without batting an eye.

    But my wife's X3 has been a rock (one recall this month, otherwise a rock) and I will look at them. The Infiniti will certainly get my look see since I actually put money down on one last time and only backed-out when Audi made me an offer I couldn't refuse.

    I have grown to like the looks of the Lexus GS cars, but my gut tells me they are too cushy and I am looking for more driver involvement and more road feel, not more isolation (which Lexus may provide in spades, but there's that bias showing through.) I'll have to test one just to be certain though.

    Heck, I'll probably look at the Chrysler 300C, the Jeep SRT and even the Mercedes "M" class while I'm at it.

    I may come right on back to Audi. But now that I know I got the "deal" on this one, I'd be hard pressed to pony up too much more on a $54K car than I am currently paying (on a lease basis, natch.)

    The STS, too, may merit consideration.

    Point is: I am not very concerned about reliability -- I EXPECT they will all be "acceptable" at the very least.

    Hmmm, if GM keeps up the 100,000 mile warranty -- why NOT look at one of their cars (unless they drive like a log wagon?)

    These blogs have certainly had their effect [on me], for I cannot imagine I would have gone down the Infiniti path were it not for all the bantering about (both that I observed and participated in.)

    What would be an interesting "social" experiment might be to ask the question "were these cars attainable equally (no price incentive reasons, that is) which one would you go for?

    Of course that would be totally unfair, since this, in my experience, isn't ever the case -- i.e., our biases would still play loud and long.

    I think this is a golden age of car buying. What used to be vices are now virtues, or, what used to be options are now standard, what used to be available only in cars mere mortals cannot afford are now offered almost universally.

    This "back up camera" thing, for instance, is now offered on a Chrysler 300 for pity's sake. Heated and cooled seats and ESP/DSC are no longer just for the LPS or High end customers anymore.

    Now, if you want a leather dashboard, well, you do have to order an LPS car -- if you want that leather to be factory leather.

    I saw an ad, however, in the new C&D or R&T magazine for a company that "tunes and dresses" new Buicks every bit as fine as those German tuning companies (wheels, suspension bits, interior re-do's, etc, and even performance upgrades.) A Buick for pity's sake! Who'da thunk it?

    Now does that mean any one of us with the wherewithal to acquire a $50K+ car will suddenly start shopping at $30K+? Perhaps -- especially if, like my buddy who dumped his Mercedes for an Acura -- you care NOT for anything that has to do with the "status" implications.

    My other buddy, after years of high buck LPS cars is now in the top 'o the line Toyota mini-van with leather everywhere a virtual home theater for the back and more comfort than a car THAT cheap ought to have (less than $40K with all the toys.)

    This is indeed the golden age of car-dom, if you ask me.

    But, alas, you didn't. :shades:
  • rockyleerockylee Posts: 14,011
    mark,

    You will need to take a 500-600 hp. 08' CTS-V for a spin. ;)

    A great post !

    Rocky
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,210
    He would if he could.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,210
    What would be an interesting "social" experiment might be to ask the question "were these cars attainable equally (no price incentive reasons, that is) which one would you go for?

    I think this is often the case, not a hypothetical. Price/cost is certainly a factor, but getting what I want is a much bigger one. When I outline what I want (manual transmission, RWD, enough room to carry my bicycle inside the vehicle, some lux features, a hope that it won't spend time in the shop (with or without a warranty)), I end up with a list of vehicles, a quite short one. If the one I want is 5-10K more than one I don't, that's certainly not the determining factor.

    If it were $15-20K more. . .

    But that's not the case. With my priorities, the list is quite short & the pricing delta falls within 10K. The RWD thing blows away everything cheap & the manual thing eliminates most things really expensive. The need to carry my bike eliminates a couple more (G sedan & Lexus I).

    Life is good.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    But turbo's are prone to create longer term reliability issues. So far, the Japanese have eschewed turbocharging (not counting the Acura 4-pot engine).

    Not really. Many vehicles sold under the Lexus badge here were available elsewhere with turbos (the Soarer 3.0T, for example.) While the Japanese luxury brands tend not to use forced induction (yet) in this country, nearly every Subaru has a turbo, and they are not known for having reliability problems.

    Supra, 300ZX, and 3000GT twin turbo powered cars also don't seem to fall apart when entering old age.

    I'm amazed that Saab manages to stay in business.

    Yeah, I don't get that one, either. Their cars are mediocre at best (and don't even get me started on the 9-7X) and somehow people keep buying them anyway.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The thing is Japanese cars is that they will last that long as far as their guts and hardpoints, but their interiors and bodies usually look awful and the leather has begun to crack in so many places you can't begin to keep track of it anymore.

    True, Japanese interiors generally aren't built for more than 10-12 years of constant use. You never hear "Dont own a Lexus out of warranty!" though.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I am, however, pretty much convinced that ANY of these cars (with the possible exception of a Jaguar -- and that is totally rumor-based, I have "no facts") would be reliable for at least 50,000 miles.

    I can say from personal experience as a now 4-time Jag owner (although I've only had the new K8 for a week, so I cant make any reliability claims on that one) that each successive Jag has been far better than the last. The XJ-S did ok mechanically, but there were lots of electrical problems, and the V12s (mine was a V6) were known for having loads of engine problems. The '98 XK8 had some electical problems (the seat motors failed, for example) but they were fewer in number and much less serious than on the XJ-S.

    The '00 XKR was largely trouble free, other than a supercharger issue that was fixed under warranty. The transmission issues did start to appear around the 50K mile mark though. In the 6 years since then, Jag seems to have continually improved, enough to rank among the best in the IQS. It will be interesting to see how the new XK8 does, as this is the first time I've ever had a first MY Jag.
  • If I can drive 10,000 miles at a crack with only normal maintenance items such as tire rotations, oil changes, and wiper blades, I'll be very happy with my MAzda Cx-7.

    Although my Audi A6 2.7T was covered bumper to bumper for the first 50,000 miles, it was very annoying to be visiting the service dept so very often.

    I want to drive a car for 100,000 miles that only needs tires,oil, brakes, blades and maybe a few car washes thrown in!

    Actually, My 1998 TOY camry is almost there... 90,000 miles and only normal maintenance, tires, brakes, plugs,oil, transmission changes, battery once, and that has been it.
  • "Although my Audi A6 2.7T was covered bumper to bumper for the first 50,000 miles, it was very annoying to be visiting the service dept so very often.I want to drive a car for 100,000 miles that only needs tires,oil, brakes, blades and maybe a few car washes thrown in!"

    We have had a 1999 Audi A4 2.8 Avant quattro AWD Wagon in one of our businesses. Used for deliveries and personal use by various people since purchased new. Not one thing (other than tires, wiper blades, third battery recently, brakes) has been done beyond what is described in maintenance schedule. Manager keeps all records. Called down just now: 152,658 miles through today. Interior and exterior (carefully cared for) are still beautiful.

    For whatever that's worth to anyone except the manager.
  • sidvsidv Posts: 63
    Saabs are mediocre at best? Please, at least they don't put you to sleep while looking at them like a Lexus. (which are mostly just gilded Camrys anyway) Sure the Saabs have a long way to go to catch Lexus in reliability but there's absolutely nothing else more appealing about a Lexus than a Saab to me. I'd take a Buick over a Lexus, pretty much as reliable, styling is no more boring and cheaper to maintain in the long run.
  • esfesf Posts: 1,020
    I had an '00 2.7T quattro on a five-year lease. The worst thing to happen to mine was that the headlight washer caps flew off on the highway. No biggie.

    I now own an '05 S4 Cabriolet, and have for over a year and a half. I have not yet had a single issue.

    I think it's more of how you maintain your cars than the quoted "reliability" they promise to offer. Apparently, the S4 has a "Poor" rating from Consumer Reports. Reliability my @ss.

    In fact, the reliability of the four Audi models we've owned in the last five years have proved themselves against the two Lexus RX's we've had. And they've certainly taken wear and tear better.

    '06 Audi A3 2.0T • '05 Audi S4 Cabriolet • '04 Lexus RX330
  • esfesf Posts: 1,020
    I had a Saab 900 Turbo coupe and loved it, but that's just not true. Lexus products, every one of them, are superior to their Saab non-competitors.

    I say non-competitors because there's not one serious Saab model out right now. The 9-3 is the most competent, and it's average at best.

    '06 Audi A3 2.0T • '05 Audi S4 Cabriolet • '04 Lexus RX330
  • See, now there is one happy and satisfied long term Audi customer! How you maintain the vehicle is of course a critical element in the reliability factor of the car. I always hear about all the broken stuff and never get to see or hear about the "maintenance log" of the same car.

    I did maintain my Audi to factory specs, in cluding synthetic oil and all the rest, but as it approached 100,000 miles couldn't hardly keep up anymore.Like within any brand, some are good and some aren't. Maybe it has to do with the day your particular vehicle was put together on the assembly line?
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Saabs are mediocre at best? Please, at least they don't put you to sleep while looking at them like a Lexus.

    Actually, every Saab puts me to sleep while looking at it. I liked the 9-2X the first time I saw it, when it was called the WRX. The 9-3 is 100% generic "Euro car". There's absolutely nothing about it that says "Saab." It could easily have an Opel or Vauxhaul badge on it. Come to think of it, it basically is an Opel with a Saab badge.

    The 9-5 is actually worse, an extremely tired design that was recently given a "mean face". Nice try. Finally, the 9-7X looks like the 6 or so other identical GM SUVs that have been with us since the late '90s.

    The ES and RX are very loosely Camry based. Thats all. The IS, GS, LS, and SC all ride on unique Lexus architecture. How many Saab specific platforms are there? A big fat zero.
  • Nothing I wrote, in response to a repeated lament about a bad personal Audi experience, was intended to imply that I'd recommend anyone allow reliability reports or auto-mag raves to override their own personal experience with a brand.

    I was responding only to the parts of those Audi-lament comments that generalized to "if you're intending to keep a car up to or beyond 100K (maybe even if you're only wanting to keep it past 50K or beyond an original lease and original warranty) you must buy a Japanese car and avoid German cars, especially Audi. I read that generalization being added to "just" and "only" personal experience and personal decision. If I read that generalization into the thread of Audi-lament postings, then I guess I was talking to myself. If I am now recalling correctly the Japanese-German or even just Mazda-Audi generalizations, then my concerns about that type of rhetoric stand.

    I say that, despite the fact, that in my local extended family we have, in the last 8 months, purchased two Mazda 3 cars for younger family members (good price, styling that appealed to the adults and the kids, fun to drive without having the kind of horsepower that sometimes seduces teenage drivers into racing with Porsches on the highway). Including my car, among this collection of siblings, cousins, and high school/college kids, we own two Audi, a new MB SUV, three Mazdas (the two 3s and one 6 -- Mazda is far and away our favorite Japanese brand -- the brand, in our opinion, that really offers what Infiniti purports to offer: a facsimile of European styling and handling combined with the best of what Japanese designers and engineers add to give buyers a lot of bang for much less buck), and a 2006 Buick Lucerne.

    We have no reason, based on personal experiences with these brands (and certainly unsupported by anything reported by CR and JDP) to expect the Mazdas to be more reliable than the German cars. We tend to keep cars for a long time and our Mazdas have been no more or less reliable, on average, than our German cars, when driven over 100K. We just love what Mazda does, both in design and engineering.
  • cstilescstiles Posts: 465
    I was aware that the Japanese use turbos in non-LPS cars, but mostly in compact sports/GT applications, or to boost smaller displacement powerplants (1.8 to 3.0 litres) in an efficient and cost-effective way.

    I was suggesting that (to date) Japanese LPS cars have steered clear of forced induction, like the Germans are starting to push. And more notably, we're seeing turbocharging applied to larger V8/V10 powerplants.

    After a certain point, it seems excessive and a questionable use of technology.
  • . . .there are certainly times when I have felt my 255HP A6 3.2 needs more power. I just can't remember them.

    I think the power is adequate. It goes faster than the vast majority of cars on the road and it gets to speed more quickly than most too.

    I had three Audi V8 equipped cars and six Audi turbo cars, one of them a V6, two 5 cylinder versions and three 1.8T's, two of those 225HP tunings.

    Nothing sounds sweeter than an Audi V8 (4.2) -- to my ears at least. My current V6 does a nothing to be ashamed of imitation of that sound. The V6 had a nice whine to it and my one S6 a 1995 vintage sounded pretty good too. The 1.8T's didn't sound bad, but they didn't have too much sound in the basso-profundo department, if you get my drift.

    My point is, I wish my current car had more power. Frankly, my V6 is so good and so strong and sips so little gas, I can't entirely see the extra $5 grand or so the V8 A6 commands as worth it. It seems to buy about 1 second in the sprint to 100kph, which is decent -- but I live in a Big Town (or small city if you like) and it is becoming rarer and rarer that I can even use the acceleration that I have.

    "Punching" it on secondary roads still remains an option, but what with sub-urban creep, I have to drive a "fur piece" to actually "play" with my car, the way I used to play with my, then new, 1995 S6 (which I routinely took under full throttle from a full stop to some extra legal speed.)

    Time, traffic congestion and perhaps even a mild bit of prudence dictate my driving style.

    I do, whenever conditions permit (and sometimes when they don't) drive "fast" (any number higher than 80mph that can be sustained, however, can usually only be sustained for a few moments or perhaps several short minutes.)

    Low end grunt (and at least the 3.2 seems medium torquey) is more important to me, all things considered. Perhaps that is why I am so gung ho on having a diesel option.

    A 250HP diesel engine with about 375 pound feet of torque routed through a 7spd DSG transmission would be, under these circumstances, the best of all worlds. That kind of power is easily extracted from a 6 cylinder diesel, too.

    Insofar as the RS6, which took the 4.2 and applied "lungs", it's power was awesome (I averted my eyes, even), but almost completely useless. No one, well virtually no one, can "run away from me" in my underpowered A6 V6 as it stands.

    My god, blowing the current V6 with an ultra fast, ultra quick to spool and light pressure turbo would jump its output to what "an easy 300HP" and give it more torque at lower rpm than the unblown 4.2 V8 (which is probably why Audi hasn't turbocharged the 3.2 since it would show the 4.2 its tail lights.

    The previous generation A6 2.7T V6 was nearly a full second quicker than the 4.2 V8 also offered in the same A6 body.

    Now we are what? Turboing the V10? Gawd? Where could I use that? I'm sure I'd like to try to find someplace, but not for the extra $25K or more that it will surely command over even the "normal" A6 V8 (at 350 HP.)

    I am not arguing against horsepower wars -- I actually to this day cannot figure out why Audi brought out a new car that had 25HP less than the comparably priced outgoing model and bagsfull LESS torque, to boot. Yet, at some point, I just think there are pragmatic reasons (for me) to say "enough is enough."

    I'd rather have more "features" for my "X" thousands of dollars, at this point (or at least once I reached the "just a wee bit more" power point.)

    I'd like to have my navigation programmable by voice. I'd like to specify the Sirius station by calling out its channel number, heck, I'd like to have a backup camera and heated AND cooled seats.

    An $8,000 speaker upgrade, oddly, seems like a better use of my money.

    But hey, that's just me.

    These cars, well most of them, are AT WORST, adequately powered and are typically able to perform well in all age and ability groups.

    550 hp? There is a price point at which I WOULD buy it -- but I'm just not sure I could use it as it could be used and hence would probably "under appreciate it."

    I love what BMW has done with their 3.0 engine via turbo charging. I never thought I'd see the day, in fact. I drove the 335i coupe AND that seemed ample, rational (well almost) and was a huge rush, especially at full throttle in second gear. It was also $40 something thousand dollars.

    And, just like the upcoming 500+HP German cars, it came, conveniently, with the speeding tickets already in the glove compartment, which saves a lot of time.

    I want to spend my money on more "content" not just on extra horses (even though it is an extra THREE HUNDRED horses.)

    I want these cars to be better balanced, yea, that's what I want.

    Why not put a 5 series out with the 3.0 turbo motor in it and just answer the phone "your order please?"

    Naa, we'll have some 500+ HP waka waka zoom zoom German mobile with 1999 electronics and features instead.

    :confuse:
  • esfesf Posts: 1,020
    Wow. Profound.

    I had a 2.7T myself. It was a ton of fun to blast down the interstate in.

    When it was off the lease (and brought in a paltry $16K at an auction), I drove the then-new A6 4.2, I was instantly disappointed.

    Then I drove the S4 sedan. And then I drove the S4 sedan again. I thought about stealing it. For fun, we drove an S4 Cabriolet, because I was feeling frisky. It sold me on the spot, and my confidence in Audi was regained.

    '06 Audi A3 2.0T DSG • '05 Audi S4 Cabriolet • '04 Lexus RX330
  • I'm curious why you leased an Audi 2.7T on a 5-year lease. Sounds like the car worked out extremely well, but didn't you drive a leased vehicle for 2 years w/o any warranty? Seems to defeat part of the reason to lease in the first place.My Audi had a 3yr. 50,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty, and extensions could be purchased, but that was on a buy, not lease program.
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