Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Luxury Performance Sedans



  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Unfortunately the RL is an expensive, smallish looking ugly Accord. While there is no doubt it will have it's appeal, the newly re-designed 5/3 series has it all over the competitors in terms of the total package.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,049
    The 38" widescreen HDTV in my bedroom IS German, oddly enough -- Loewe. Now it may or may not have been entirely built, assembled or whatever from parts built and sourced from Germany (it probably wasn't). In fact my 58" HDTV in the family room in my house is a Pioneer Elite (made in Mexico).

    Your point, or at least the spirit of your point is dead on however. Certain countries in the world, USED to have "dominance" in one or another area of manufacturing or some other cultural or people specific attibute. Now however it is less where something is assembled but more where it was designed and engineered that establishes its inherent qualities (perceived and objective).

    A small nit, my home theater processor and amliphiers are 'merican -- the brand is Proceed, FWIW. I certainly think Japan has great electronics, but there are many high end pieces created right here in North America and also several world class electronics companies in Europe (McIntosh and B&O spring to mind).

    And, as you know, several of the most popular "Japanese" cars in the world are made within a couple of hours from my fair city, Cincinnati -- Honda products right here in Ohio and Camry's and Avalon's just 65 miles down into the state of Kentucky in Lexington.

    The phrase "built in" seems to mean less than where something is designed and engineered. It wouldn't shock me to learn that someday soon, Audis and BMW's and Cadillacs are exported from some obscure locale in China.

    I am not sure how Japan's preeminence in electronics translates to their cars -- not that I am rejecting the notion that Japanese cars are excellent (perhaps I just don't share your belief that they quite yet "rule.")
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    "the newly re-designed 5/3 series has it all over the competitors in terms of the total package."

    In sporty driving dynamics, yes. In any other area, no. So, in terms of the "total package", no.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,049
    March 14th Business Week article PP 64 - 68. The article I was interview for appears on P 68. I have now officially burned, what? about 5 minutes of my 15 minutes of fame (that we all will have in our lives).

    I would recommend the article on P 64 of the 3/14 BW and immediately after I would read the article in the new (April) Automobile magazine about the German cars "losing their lustre." Sobering, especially when you learn in the Automobile article that the German's themselves perceive Japanese cars to be both higher in quality and reliability than German cars.

    Eye opening would be one way to describe it.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,049
    Funny I don't feel anti-Audi. Indeed, my loyalty has only been somewhat eroded. I feel they have lost their marketing edge and that many other fine competitive cars have or are shortyly coming to market.

    I think I said the circumstances "pain me." If I were anti-Audi I believe I would not be pained by what I perceive is happening which is, IMO, "they are losing their [marketing] edge."
  • kyfdx@Edmundskyfdx@Edmunds Posts: 25,890
    Mark.. your house sounds like fun.. Can I come over and hang out? ;-)

    Moderator - Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I'll try not to get too off-topic here, but that sounds like a very nice setup! Perhaps you could contact me with all of the details, I'd be curious to know about the speakers, interconnetcs, etc. My own electronics are American designed, Chinese built Parasounds, and Canadian speakers. My 57" HDTV is a Hitachi. Once you get into hi-fi, I agree there are great products that come from America to Australia. Japanese companies like Yamaha, Onkyo, Pioneer and Denon seem content to rule the entry to "mid-fi" level and leave uber-fi to the rest of the world.

    I know Toyota, Honda, and Nissan build a lot of products here, but the cars that are still built in Japan like the SC and LS430 are still the best from a precision stand point.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,049
    I'll take your word on that last point. I thought that the Camry (built right here in 'merica, in Lexington KY) was often lauded with "best this that and the other award" from JD Powers and the rest.

    Not that this detracts from your statement pertaining to the inherent goodness of the SC and LS build quality, not at all.

    My speakers, FWIW are also Canadian -- Mirage OM's with the powered subs built in, bi polar center and mains and a center sub, also a Mirage. 5 subs in total in the main room, built in McIntosh Tukan's and M&K rear channel sub and .1 Velodyne HGS (1,250 watt 3,000 watt peak) 12" sub rounds out the 5.1 set up. Source components (DVD Laser disk, etc) all Elite (replicated in bedroom). Power conditioner, Monster and cables are all silverlink (75 Ohm), speaker wires are all heavy gauge monster low oxygen pure copper affairs run through shielded conduits in the walls terminating with Moster gold interconnects. HDTV from a DTC100 with 3LNB dish; house operates on its own uninteruptable power supply (10,000 watt natural gas generator) during outages so "the movies aren't interrupted" -- I hate when that happens. DVD burner is Elite as is the CD playback unit. Total power to the speakers, including the subs is 2,300 watts. 5 main channels are class A/B amps each @ 150 watts @ 8 Ohms.

    All lighting groups (14 of them) are on remote activated dimmers.

    Next stop 70" Sony Qualla (SP) true HDTV.

    Now, back to cars.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Ah a fellow fan of Mirage! What a coincidence! I've been a fan since my first pair of M-1s. I was lucky enough to get to talk to Andy Welker a bit at a CES a few years ago. I really wanted them to build the OM-1 they showed off in '01, but alas, it was just not to be. By the way, all that bass is waaay beyond overkill, how can you stand it? I decided against upgrading to the OM-5 from my OM-6 mains because I felt the switch from sealed to ported made them too boomy, and I dont have ANY other subwoofers. My center is an OM-C2, rears are OM-10s.

    The power amp is a Parasound Halo 51, delivering roughly 325W or so per channel (6ohm speakers). My SSP is a Halo C2. Music and movies are handled by an Elite F07 301-disc DVD\CD changer. I keep waiting for Pioneer to update this model with progressive scan, SACD\DVD-A capability, HDMI and i.Link outputs, etc. and Pioneer unforunately continues to not deliver an update. The DV-59AVi is great, now wheres the changer version!?

    Interconnects are Signal Cable pure Silver Resolutions, video are BetterCables Silver Serpent S-video and component. The front the channels are wired with Audioquest Bedrock internal bi-wire, the rears with DH Labs T-14 with a set of T-14 jumpers.

    Finally, while I admit I dont have a whole house UPS (that is really cool) the home theater is on its own dedicated 20 amp circuit. Every AC outlet in the room is a PS Audio powerport. All power cables are 6-gauge PS Audio xStream statements, connected to a PS Power Director 4.7. While its not QUITE as pure as using one of PS's AC regenerators, its still VERY clean AC, and I dont have a turntable where I would have to worry about the speed of my AC sinewave.

    Anyway, sorry everyone, I know this isnt the Stereophile forums, but I love to talk systems with other hometheaterphiles. Sorry hosts. Back to the cars.
  • tiag_m5tiag_m5 Posts: 54
    Your data point on braking is the only one where the Acura did poorly. Try reading a few others.

    The RL has also been thoroughly criticized for its lackluster handling among other things. It's not just the fact that it has brakes fit for a Kia; it's also the fact that it has mediocre performance across the board... especially given its generous HP rating.

    The 5 is the ugliest car made today in its class.

    Your opinion. At least it doesn't look like a dressed up Accord with a tacky interior.

    Go look at dealer lots. they are full of them, some dealers offering 4-8 K off to move them.

    I'm not even going to argue about this. The 5 series outsells the RL as well as several other cars in its class.

    Your data on weight is unoptioned weight. Loaded up with similar equipment, the difference is much less.

    Adding the optional navigation system and premium audio package isn't going to add 600lbs to the weight of the car. Heck, the 545i with a V8 still weighs some 200lbs less than the RL. Oh, and let's not forget the fact that the RL has atrocious weight distribution at a worst in class 58/42.

    Do you own a 5 series? Safety? I was referring to the crash test data. RL best car ever tested.

    Yes, I have actually owned two 5 series. I'm not sure where you came up with the notion that the RL was the "best car ever tested." It means very little that the RL received a good score in the extremely antiquated and primitive NHTSA test that no one seriously acknowledges. In the end the RL has fewer safety features than the 5 series and a far lesser company reputation for safety.

    The dealer experience is not about nice guys...about getting things repaired right, loaners when needed and promptness. My old BMW service guys were really nice guys. We had coffee every other week while I sat waiting to be picked up (no loaners usually) bringing the thing back for the same problem half the time. Obviously you don't own one or you would know what that is all about.

    My experiences with BMW and Mercedes dealerships over the years have been extremely positive on the whole. The few times I have had to take my cars in for service have been quick and painless events. For example, I recently made a regular maintenance appointment for my M5. I was given a free 325i loaner. I picked up my car a few hours later and that was that... no problems, no hassle. A positive dealership experience is a nice perk, but nothing I care too much about in the long run. I make my car purchases based on more important criteria.

    In the end the only advantage that Japanese cars have over German cars is reliability and price. The Japanese take a back seat to the Germans in all other aspects. If I want a cheap and reliable car I'll buy a Toyota or Honda. If I want the best in performance, style and safety I'll buy a BMW or Mercedes and deal with the occasional electrical glitch.

    I guess it just depends on your priorities...
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    Mastering technology is an art that you seem to enjoy, but then I Read the Business Week article this afternoon at the club in a sitting position above the whirlpool with my feet dangling in the 104 degree water, because I knew I would be into the article for longer than the 20 minutes the maximum I usually allow myself to be submerged up to my armpits..
    I would give you at least 7 minutes of fame because she finished the article by mentioning you again in a complimentary way saying that Audi would be basically remiss in losing you as a loyalist. Which is very true. In the lead article Audi's CEO Winterkorn is described as a man obsessed with creating the perfect cars. His meetings with his top executives must wreak great tension as he insists that.."The brains to remedy the defects, MUST be in the room" and commments like "Don't bore me with the good news, give me the WORST" ...wonder if he meant "Wurst", the best of which are probably made right here at Usingers Sausage Co. in Milwaukee. Any way he's fanatical about improving the quality and has a PHD in MetaPhysics so you know he's going to get the job done right! The US Market led by de Nysschen is against incentives (Like lower lease rates) because he says this will hurt Audi's image and resale value. He hopes their current efforts will turn their customers into good will ambassadors. They need loyalists like Mark. That is very true. Do they need to change their marketing. Leasing represents 43% of the US business. US sales were down 10% last year. HELLO!! An amazing statistic emerged in the article though and I would loved to have invested 100K in their stock in 2000 because it would be worth $439K today! One of their US customers is K D Lang...I'll bet she didn't lease her Audi.
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    If I want the best in performance, style, safety, and features I'll buy an M35 and NOT deal with the occasional electrical glitch.


    Adding on AWD will add 170 pounds to the 530i. Adding on the level of equipment of the RL will add about 100 pounds to the 530i. So a similarly loaded 530xi auto will weigh about 3750. The RL weighs 3984. Doesn't sound like a 600 pound difference to me. The weight balance of the RL does suck though.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Doesnt the STS weigh even MORE than the RL? Cleary trying to save weight was not a priority for Cadillac. Still, Acura needs to add some torque. Electric motors delivering massive torque loads at 0rpm onwards would do the trick nicely, considering Honda apparently wont do the 8. Unforunately, the batteries required would add even more pounds, which the RL definitely doesnt need.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,049
    I assume Ms. Lang was comp'd her Audi.

    If 43% of the cars are leased, I am positive 57% are NOT purchased in cash. The point: the MAJORITY of Audis (and I can extrapolate and assume other European cars) are NOT purchased in cash.

    Attractive "acquisition" programs are part of the Marketing Mix. Creating or at least attempting to create perfect cars is great and I applaud Audi for making this a priority -- but in the end, selling as many cars as possible is a key component to building market share.

    BMW and Mercedes are, according to the article "Lost Its Luster" [sic] in the new Automobile magazine low in quality and reliability cars (Audi did not escape some pretty damning statistics, either) -- but their reputations and the perception in the marketplace belies their "relativel" poor quality and reliability.

    There is a phrase "resting on one's laurel's" -- another perspective is, until Audi builds sufficient laurels, it is, after all, difficult to rest on them.

    None of these articles and statistics that I am citing track with my personal experiences, but, there these words, these scathing words are, published by automotive "experts" -- and then a few folks in a chat room start coming to the conclusion that someone at Audi has not quite recognized that those laurel buds haven't quite bloomed -- give it a couple more years THEN stand your ground.

    Put this current go to market idea back in the oven, it is not yet fully baked.
  • richcreamrichcream Posts: 205
    tiag_m5: "In the end the only advantage that Japanese cars have over German cars is reliability and price."

    Don't forget interior design and control the case of the BMW 5 anyway. I have no dog in this fight (5 series vs RL), but I have to say that the interior of the 5, idrive included, in my subjective opinion of course, is lacking in both beauty and function at best, when compared to, really, anything in it's class.

    As I've posted before; There's minimalist and then there's just plain's bad. IMO.

    As far as RL vs. 5 series, if I had to choose, I guess I'd go with the 5, but given the M35/45, A6, or even the overpriced E Class, I would choose any of the above over either the 5 series or the RL, dollar for dollar.

    PS - Reliability and price are two pretty significant one-ups to have.
  • richcreamrichcream Posts: 205
    is there a link for that automobile magazine article or do i have to pick up the paperback?
  • footiefootie Posts: 636

    It's not where things are made, it's how. The Toyota Production System is the most advanced automobile production system in existence. It's better than everybody else's no matter what.

    It doesn't mean that the cars they build will out accelerate, out-brake, or out-skid pad cars from Shelby, Lotus, Ferrari or fuel dragsters. But it does mean that their cars will be closer to their design intentions than anyone else's. They get it right more often and the cars stay right longer than any other brand in the history of the automobile business.

    You might not like the handling or the styling or the zero to 60 time, but if you are looking for a luxury vehicle that does what the manufacturer intended and that meets your needs, no one else is even close.

    It's because of 'how' they are made.

    It's not where it was designed or engineered, it's how the design and engineering is integrated with how it's made.

    The Mercedes ML is a classic example of dumping a lousy European manufacturing process into the US, absent a local supply chain, a poorly educated labor force, and being surprised at the result - a vehicle that embarrased Mercedes and it's customers and earned a continous "don't buy" rating from almost every rating service. Engineered in Germany for manufacture in Alabama. "Verner, cank you say uhal?" Volfgank asked.

    It's "how" you do things these days, not where you build them. Great car companies wouldn't think of throwing their processes, willy-nilly over the wall, and let a bunch of bubbas put them together without managing the 'how'.

    The 'how' from in Germany, is not the 'how' that makes good cars anymore. They are ok, but engineering isn't independent of the reproduction process in the factory or the problem remediation process.

    Great engineering is only good intentions, until it shows up on the road and actually works, all of the time.

    Wonderful styling can make you feel better, but when your wife can't get the zipper to work on the designer gown or the Groen faucet blows a leak in the handle, then you realize that you've been had by dreamers that can't turn their ideas into reality. But boy, their pricing will keep their marketing make you believe that a great fix is just around the corner.
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    I am butting in only because I looked for the link and BW doesn't put their CURRENT Magazine on THE SITE. It isn't there because it would no doubt cut into their Mag sales. Barnes and Noble has it.
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    The brilliant "Footie" lets another hammer fall! BAM!!
  • jmatthejmatthe Posts: 51
    In any case re: the 5 vs anything including the RL...sticker price is $10,000 more for a 530 and 15-18 more for a comperably equiped 545. Whoever is whining about his 5 series is correct.They are not in the same class. I saved enough in deciding on the RL to get half way to my spring toy, TBD, but likely to be topless.
Sign In or Register to comment.