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Mainstream Large Sedans Comparison

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Comments

  • smith1smith1 Posts: 283
    Then explain to me why the 300 has won the 10 best car award from Car and Driver for 3 straight years in the large car segment?

    Because C&D scoring is biased heavily towards 9/10ths handling (where the 300 admittedly excels due to RWD) and straight line acceleration, where the Hemi versions excel.

    Some of us feel the "best car" for us is a well-balanced vehicle that offers not only good handling and acceleration but also excellent ride comfort, fit and finish, fuel economy and visibility. We feel that the Azera and Avalon trump the 300 in these aspects and hence are, overall, better cars.

    Different strokes for different folks.
  • joe131joe131 Posts: 972
    Car & Driver says, "..the (Chrysler) 300 remains the best big mainstream sedan on the market."

    Did anyone else smell the qualifier here as you read it? I wonder which large cars the editors eliminated as being not "mainstream", and what their definition of "big" is.

    Hmmmmmmm...?
  • batistabatista Posts: 159
    Your assessment is fair.
    I never said the Avalon or Azera are lousy cars but I feel the 300/Charger are better than the crowd of FWD cars out there. Chrysler has given customers RWD at a great price something that GM and Ford haven't been able to do.
    Actually neither has Toyota or Honda.
    You have to buy an IS350 if you want RWD.
    You can't include the archaic Grand Marquis (Plekto isn't going to like this) even if it has the so called sport suspension.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,548
    Jackpot. Finally someone who has some history concept and not anecdotes.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Nevertheless, our subject here is the cars, not what the manufacturers may or may not have been avoiding.

    I appreciate your cooperation in getting back on topic.
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    I wouldn't say that Chrysler has given us RWD. More accurately is that Mercedes gave it to us from the parts bin. The 300 borrows heavily from Mercedes sedans' suspensions. No doubt the car mags love it, because Mercedes and BMW can do no wrong. If Mercedes and Chrysler weren't united there would be no 300/Charger They would have simply updated the LH sedans, which I thought looked better anyway.

    1999 Chevy S10 / 2004 Merc Grand Marquis / 2012 Buick LaCrosse

  • gamlegedgamleged Posts: 442
    When staking your decision on a car mag's decision, you really, really DO need to watch those subjective editorial qualifiers... "big"... "mainstream" indeed!... :D ;)
  • smith1smith1 Posts: 283
    The 300 was a very gutsy move for DC, and it paid off....its sales certainly indicate a lot of people have bought into its looks and the RWD philosophy. I rented one on a vacation trip and enjoyed driving it, but found the interior uninspiring, the fuel economy mediocre, and the visibility terrible. I'm 6'5" and had to crane my neck towards the windshield at every intersection to see overhead stoplights.
  • quietproquietpro Posts: 702
    C & D and R & T (owned by the same company last I heard) as well as Motor Trend and the other performance-based reviewers will give you ratings based on just that, the cars' performance. That includes the obvious acceleration/handling/etc. as well as interior fit/finish/ergonomics. They do follow-up with long term reports on a select few but otherwise, their ratings are based on a vehicle performing as it was designed, assuming everything is working as intended.

    Consumer Reports and the others are more concerned with value and reliability of a vehicle and attempt to give ratings that will more closely reflect what the average consumer will experience.

    I don't give any of them my full confidence, ESPECIALLY CR. I've driven many solid black circles and never had a major issue (knock on wood). Then again, maybe I'm better than the average American with my care and maintenance.

    IMO, Popular Mechanics gives the most objective reviews although they're pretty limited in the vehicles they evaluate. Nothing compares to owner feedback, though, which is why I keep coming here. :)
  • smith1smith1 Posts: 283
    I agree, nothing compares to owner feedback, which is why CR's reliability ratings are the best in the industry. They are based on responses from reader surveys about their long-term experiences with their vehicles. They do not give a rating for a vehicle if they don't have enough data to give the rating statistical credibility.

    Owner feedback in forums such as this is a great source of information, but you can't use it to derive valid statistical inferences regarding the relative reliability of a particular model.

    The fact that you have owned problem-free examples of vehicles that got black circles in CR ratings (or conversely, the fact that some people have had serious problems with vehicles that had nothing but red circles) does not mean the CR ratings are not valid. It merely reflects the fact that they are averages, and there is a wide range of individual experiences.

    It's all relative, and since general reliability of all vehicles (except, arguably, the German makes) has improved in recent years, black circles don't mean CERTAIN trouble. But they DO mean a higher chance of trouble than red circles.
  • Any reviews must be taken with a grain of salt. Advertising dollars certainly influence many mags.

    As far a rear wheel drive vehicles; we had the giant snowstorm here in Denver and the gentleman who reviews cars in our local newspaper had two elite vehicles stuck at his house-a Lexus and a BMW-both rear drive.

    The 300 is a fine car but not in snowy places and not for people who cannot bend over to squeeze into the car.

    I think reliability is one of the most important aspects of a car. What a problem if it is always in the shop.

    Have a great New Year.

    Brad
  • I don't give any of them my full confidence, ESPECIALLY CR. I've driven many solid black circles and never had a major issue (knock on wood). Then again, maybe I'm better than the average American with my care and maintenance.

    That's been my theory for quite some time. Just how *does* CR control for this clearly important item? (Hint: they don't, and can't).

    It makes sense to me that (on average), those who pay MORE for their vehicles (read, Japanese brands) are more likely to take better care of their vehicles (read money), than those who choose lower-priced vehicles (read, American brands).
  • smith1smith1 Posts: 283
    The 300 is also available with all wheel drive, so snowy conditions are not really a reason not to buy one.
  • agree, nothing compares to owner feedback, which is why CR's reliability ratings are the best in the industry. They are based on responses from reader surveys

    I have to disagree. These are hardly scientific surveys. I, for one, never fill out the surveys. And there's no way to know the motives of those who do.

    One also needs to bear in mind how SMALL the differences can be these days that separate the good from the not-so-good. The scales for CR aren't constant with time: they change. Today's mediocre car may easily be MUCH better than a good car from 10 or 20 years ago.
  • I think reliability is one of the most important aspects of a car. What a problem if it is always in the shop.

    And I've had three Tauri, and none of them spent any significant time in the shop.

    Again, look at the SMALL differences between the best cars and the mediocre ones. Sometimes it's as little as 1.3 defects per car and 1.0 defects per car.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,548
    >. They do not give a rating for a vehicle if they don't have enough data to give the rating statistical credibility.

    IIRC they rated the Ridgeline as soon as it came out-no data. Of course the same time they were refusing to rate the Malibu even though it was based more on a previous model than was the Ridgeline--which had been their excuse for predicting the Ridgeline would be a wonderful (Honda) vehicle.

    Similarly for the Avalon. I do recall seeing a drop the rating at the bottom of a page on a library copy of the mag that I picked up for batteries or cameras or something. But they didn't hesitate to rate it as a wonderful (Toyota) model before data had accumulated. Oddly some people tell me it was an all new car sharing not one part with another Camry similar product... so CR couldn't use the past results on similar models excuse for their preference.

    How many reports for 1998 Buick leSabres did CR use for their info? How many surveys of longterm owners did CR use for their 500 evaluations? Shorterm owners?

    Lack of info isn't there.
  • These are hardly scientific surveys. I, for one, never fill out the surveys. And there's no way to know the motives of those who do

    I was asked to fill out a CR survey last year and I was less than thrilled by their methodology. While they do break it down to about 14 or so categories for the problem/reliabilty survey, they only way you can answer is either yes or no regarding problems. To illustrate how that can skew ratings, the way they categorize gives the same weight to a minor engine ping or a failed distributor or engine sensor in the same category. And the categories are vague enough to allow the same problem to be reported in two or more categories, (ie, fuel system, engine minor, engine major) and cause some questionable results.

    My take in all this is don't rely on any one single source for car ratings and reviews. And even though the samples may be anecdotal, these and other forums give one real world experiences from the forum users that can supplement the media ratings and reports. ;)

    Another tidbit about the CR report: In the instructions they point out that the problems to be considered are ones that you considered SERIOUS because of cost, failure, safety or downtime. There are no directions that define what SERIOUS is and this can allow unnecessary emotions and bias into the equation. Many other reliabilty reports I have seen or worked with in the past define the parameters such as a day in the shop, more than a day, time out of service, etc.
  • smith1smith1 Posts: 283
    I have to disagree. These are hardly scientific surveys. I, for one, never fill out the surveys. And there's no way to know the motives of those who do.

    You can't make anyone participate in any survey, and you can never know the true motives of any survey participant.

    So, by this reasoning, I guess you think all survey-based studies are meaningless...market research, focus groups, political polling, etc.?

    OK,whatever.
  • smith1smith1 Posts: 283
    CR has professional statisticians on staff and has been doing these surveys for years. Do you really think they haven't considered the methodological issues you raised?

    I agree, take all available information into account when evaluating a car.
  • Do you really think they haven't considered the methodological issues you raised?

    I am sure they have taken those into account, but having filled one out, it seem to me that they have created a short, condensed survey that would be more effective if it allowed for more detail to be included. For a topic that so many rely on to be reduced to approx. 14 yes/no questions causes me to rely less on that survey than I used to. If they gave a responder more choices and flexibility in answering/responding, I would give it more credence. ;)
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,548
    >survey-based studies are meaningless...market research, focus groups, political polling, etc.?

    Perhaps you noticed that CR's survey is allegedly mailed to subscribers only and then only those who choose fill it out--whatever their motive or lack of motive about the car they may or may not even own!

    Market research will use a telephone survey of randomly selected phone numbers so that they get a truly random survey. They also collect some data qualifying those who do answer the phone to adjust their survey results. Similarly for political polling; however the people paying for the poll often misuse or misrepresent the results. It's all in the group of questions that being asked in both political and nonpolitical surveys.

    I received a phone poll about local news anchors and by the repetitive spiraling type of questions, I believed it would give them good info about the one station's evening news characters.

    CR's poll method is called convenience polling in things I've read. It's the same as standing in front of a grocery store in one part of town and asking those entering questions about something--if they choose to talk to you (I wouldn't). I did hit a convenience poll inside Lowes several years back but it clearly was for their benefit; I talked to them.
  • guestguest Posts: 774
    I just took my Charger on a hour trip on differant types of road conditions,and its the best riding car I ever owned,thanks to the Mercedes platform,This car and the 300 ride would out do any Azera or car on this board.They still allowing the Azera on this board,thats suprising seeing that its a mid-size.
  • nimiminimimi Posts: 249
    You must have been looking at some other EPA site, not the US EPA. On this emissions listing, the Azera is clearly identified as "large car." http://www.epa.gov/autoemissions/all_alpha_06.txt
    Same thing on the mileage listings where "large cars" are defined as having 120 cu. ft. or more of passenger and cargo volume.
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    "This car and the 300 ride would out do any Azera or car on this board"

    Have you driven them all? There are some fine riding cars here. I have driven every vehicle in this discussion except the Amanti, (Charger technically, but the same as a 300) and must disagree with you. All have different characteristics. For example, the Lucerne has the plushest softest ride, the Maxima one of the firmest. IMO the Avalon and the Azera have the best combo of smoothness and handling.

    1999 Chevy S10 / 2004 Merc Grand Marquis / 2012 Buick LaCrosse

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "It even has a better balance then the 300,the Charger is 4 in. longer then the 300.Don't believe me look it up."

    Really? Per http://autos.msn.com the 300C is 196.8" and the Charger is 197.7", making a difference of 0.9".
  • So, by this reasoning, I guess you think all survey-based studies are meaningless...market research, focus groups, political polling, etc.?

    All surveys are flawed to one degree or another. But the CR survey is one of the poorest I've ever seen.
  • The Azera is very roomy inside, but does not appear large on the outside. The Azera provides for good visibility as well and plenty of rear headroom. I drove the Charger when car shopping and while I liked the car, the roof in the rear slopes down to give a cramped feel and the hood goes forever...I guess you could get used to that. I like the fact that the Azera center console allows my right knee some room and does not constrict leg movement. The car is very good looking, but has been criticized for the rear bulges over the rear wheels. Guess what? That's why the trunk is so massive. Good design destined to only get better. :shades:
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "I don't know where you get your specs from,try going to the Dodge website and youll see the Charger is 200.1 in."

    My bad, I accidentally wrote down the number from the Magnum (I had all three of the siblings up at the same time).

    "You are giving out to much false information here and should look up the facts before you put down something."

    Ummm, your attitude is most unbecoming and does nothing to engender camaraderie.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • I test drove the 300, Ford 500, Avalon and Azera. The 300 felt underpowered with the 3.5 V-6 and made me feel like I was riding in a plastic easter egg. Too much low quality plastic and dismal fit and finish. The 500 way underpowered and did not like the feel of the CVT. The Avalon had a rattle and some hesitation from a stop. The Azera was flawless in every way, providing a smooth and extremely quiet ride, plenty of power and tons of features for the price. I chose an Azera Limited Ulimate. The best $27k I have ever spent. Have owned it for over a year and still flawless. I can't say that for my friend with a 300 Hemi and he paid $40k for his. I usually pick him up at the Chrysler dealership in my Azera. At least Hyundai relies on itself for engineering and not having to borrow old MB platforms for their cars. Has everyone forgotten that Hyundai ranks higher than MB in initial quality? And yes the Azera IS classified as a large car. Cars are rated by interior volume not wheelbase or overall length. I added 4in of length to my 07 SantaFe by adding the OEM bumper guard.
  • This is the Azera groups and discussions board after all. You are sounding like a Dodge homer. I failed to mention how poorly designed I thought the Charger interior was with all the cheap plastic. I think you are splitting hairs over whether the Azera is a large car or not. Have you ever sat in one? If you had, you probably would be driving one. ;)
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