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Lincoln Zephyr/MKZ

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Comments

  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,423
    What double standard are you talking about?

    First of all, Allen, do a bit more reading. The reviews of the new ES350 have judged it anywhere from namby-pampy, like this one, to mediocre. I haven't driven one, but have read that reviewers do not find it as refined feeling as the previous iteration. It certainly doesn't stand out in any way. Even this review stated they would rather be driving any number of other vehicles over the roads they tested it on. They also titled it "A Rolling Wallflower," which is hardly an endorsement.

    Secondly, and admittedly a minor point, the ES350 is no longer based on a "cheaper mid-sized sedan." It is now based on the Avalon, which is pretty much in the same class as the ES350, albeit slightly less expensive. Comparisons of the two seem to suggest that the Avalon is not only better looking (subjective, I know...but in side profile shares a lot with the new Fusion), but is also the better car of the two.

    Now, as for the advantages of the ES350 over the MKZ, there really aren't any substantial ones, just comparing machine to machine (leaving off brand names). Perhaps the only significant advantage is the ES350 has more interior room within a slightly smaller body. However, one could also argue that the MKZ is better looking. Driven back to back, without labels, I suspect more people would choose the MKZ. But I also think that under the same conditions, more people would choose the Fusion over the Camry.

    But here's where Lexus will continue to win. They already have the wonderful dealer network in place. They already have their reputation. They already have many satisfied customers who will trade up to a newer model without even driving the competition. They already have the vaunted re-sale value.

    What Lincoln needs to do in order to begin making real inroads in the established pecking order is to hit one out of the ballpark. However, the new MKZ is more akin to what the MKS was on its introduction: a perfectly adequate entry into a field of good cars. It is better than the MKS attempt, actually, because it is better looking, better equipped, and apparently feels a bit better going down the road.

    But even hitting one out of the ballpark is is a slow way to rebuild. That too is only a start. Witness the sales of the Cadillac ATS. While it has actually won several of the comparos against the rival BMW model, and lots of good press on its own, sales so far have been a yawn, and have further depressed sales and production of the CTS.

    It is cut-throat out there. I'd like to see this MKZ succeed, but I suspect most people will find the Fusion Titanium more satisfying. We shall see. We will also see if the next new Lincoln makes the bigger splash it needs to make.
  • jerrys2jerrys2 Posts: 188
    As indicated previously, I got tired of waiting for the MKZ (will they now call it a 2014 ?) and purchased the Lexus 350 w/NAV. I think the car is great and am happy with it. Even if the Lincoln was available probably would have gone with the LEXUS. Was very pleased with my 2008 MKZ but the combination Ford / Lincoln dealership is the pits... bringing an entry level luxury car for service to a place more interested in trucks and their owners is far from a pleasant experience
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,740
    Ford knows the dealers are a weak link and they're working to fix that but it will take several years.

    Gregg - I'll reread the reviews but it just seemed like they dinged the MKZ for certain things but let the ES350 slide when it was the same or worse. Maybe I'm just being oversensitive.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,740
    The entire first page of the MKZ review compares it to the Fusion. The ES gets one sentence. And it may be larger but the ES is still based on the Camry/Avalon platform.

    The MKZ gets panned because they didn't like the handling when pushed hard yet the ES350 which is even worse gets a pass.

    Obviously these were written by 2 different people using 2 different sets of requirements. It just smacks of the double standard that Lincoln has to fight and I don't think it's fair.

    The MKZ isn't the best vehicle but objectively it's much better than the ES350 and some others and the reviews should reflect that.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,423
    Yes, you are being over-sensitive. No, you apparently did not read some of the other reviews. You also do not mention the Autoweek review that calls it for the MKZ. Lighten up. There are going to be ES 350 owners who will be needlessly sensitive about the Autoweek review.

    And if you insist on stating that the related Camry and Avalon platforms are the same architecture (like Fusion and MKZ actually are), then we shall have to do the same when the new Taurus/MKS platform is fashioned from the Fusion platform. Since Camry and Avalon have different hardpoints and wheelbases, truly their relationship is not the same as the one that Fusion and MKZ have with each other. But whatever you prefer...we can call the coming MKS the same platform as the MKZ if you prefer.

    That said, let's see what is written when the same reviewer compares both cars together.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,740
    I'm not ripping on the ES350 because it shares a Toyota platform. I'm saying that the writers almost never mention that fact when talking about a Lexus. Yet with Lincoln they give it an entire page. That criticism was warranted with the old MKZ but not the new one. Get over it already. It's like they have that line already pre-written for every Lincoln they review.

    As long as they're unique vehicles it doesn't matter what platform they started with.

    I know the AW review was positive which is why it's so frustrating.
  • But the new Avalon, I have a feeling, will be better than both.

    Motor Trend fell in love with Avalon when they tested it for Car of the Year, saying it was the car that most surprised them. And it gets 25 MPG combined with the V6.

    I have a problem with these new Ford hybrids getting nowhere near 47 MPG. They are getting pretty much what the 2012's got. No more.

    There are no losers at this party, but I think Lincoln will have a similar start to Cadillac's ATS, which sold only 1200 in it's first full month. But I believe it will build a following as it goes through it's lifecycle. It seems like a solid new entry, but the weak Lincoln brand, and horrible Lincoln dealerships, is probably what will hurt it the most at the start.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,740
    There are several 2013 Fusion hybrid owners reporting 47 mpg and higher. It all depends on how you drive it. A lot of these new owners are not used to driving a hybrid for max fuel economy.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,423
    http://www.autoblog.com/2012/12/07/2013-lincoln-mkz-first-drive-review-video/#co- ntinued

    "Lincoln doesn't want anyone to think of its newest offering as a redesigned Ford Fusion with boosted luxury appointments and a $15,000 price premium, but the reality remains hard to ignore. A sinking feeling in our stomachs tells us this MKZ is still not distinct enough to buoy the luxury brand."
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,740
    Not a bad review actually. This is my only gripe:

    Our conclusion, after taking the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series, Cadillac CTS and Lexus ES into consideration, is that the 2013 MKZ falls short. There are significant compromises (second row comfort, small trunk, ergonomic gripes and a thirsty V6 to name a few) keeping it off our most-wanted list.

    Out of those vehicles, only the Lexus gets better fuel economy, none have a bigger trunk.

    I wish they'd just say "we like the other ones better" instead of trying to make up objective reasons that aren't really accurate.

    This is not a world beater - just a significant improvement over the old model that should increase sales considerably and should at least stop the "rebadge" references.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,423
    This is not a world beater - just a significant improvement over the old model that should increase sales considerably and should at least stop the "rebadge" references.

    Agreed. However, it again underscores the slow learning at Ford about Lincoln. Each vehicle issued in the 2000's was designed to perk up Lincoln. The MKZ, MKX, MKS, MKT all failed to grab imaginations, and the Navigator just rotted.

    The new MKZ has more of a chance, simply because it is not homely like the MKS, not ugly like the MKT, not non-descript like the former MKZ, and not a Ford with different front and rear clips like the MKX. This MKZ could have been the Kia Optima-type change of this class, given the seven year model year run of the previous iteration.

    A world beater is what they ought to build to save the brand, and they still haven't quite learned that part of turning things around. It is not enough that the car is as good or better than the ES350. The ES350 already has a large customer base.

    Lincoln also mentions plans for unique engines, but has managed to deliver none so far. The hybrid and 2.0 liter are available in the Fusion for example, and the 3.7 is in the Mustang and the F150. Yes, GM does the same thing, but GM didn't claim they would do otherwise.

    I don't understand how talking about what will be for the last dozen years has done anything for Lincoln. Surprise us. Do something unexpected. Stop with the "we plan to do this or that" stuff. Just do it.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,740
    Once again you're confusing what's been said and done in the past with what's being said and done today. The current plan for Lincoln and the current management team has only been in place for 18 months. The MkZ styling was already set in stone with very little room for change. The new Lincoln specific drivetrains are still being developed.

    You should give the new guys a chance to prove they can do something different. And they need a couple more years to do it. I don't see this new plan as anything like the old ones. I believe one reason they seem to be moving slowly is they're trying to do it right the first time (this go round at least) so they're being more methodical than some might like. I also think they were given a limited budget and resources to work within because at the end of the day Lincoln has to make money.

    Am I making excuses? Maybe. When we see the new dealerships and the next 2 new vehicles we'll know for sure. In the meantime a little progress is better than none.

    The MKZ is the best vehicle that Lincoln has produced in at least the last 30 years. They should get some credit for that.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,423
    The MKZ is the best vehicle that Lincoln has produced in at least the last 30 years.

    It seems to be a good vehicle and probably as good or better than the ES350. I will give them credit for that.

    However, for its time, and put against other cars of its time, the 2000 Lincoln LS was arguably the best Lincoln in the past 30 years. It received very good press, and it won the Car of the Year award. It tested well against the competition and came in at a better price than most.

    Even the 1993 Mark VIII with RWD, independent suspension, and DOHC 32 valve V8 (when the competition was still mostly marketing OHV V8s), was probably as good in its time as the new MKZ is now. The problem with the VIII (in addition to some long-term reliability issues) was that it was introduced at a time when grand touring luxury coupes--indeed, all sorts of 2 door coupes--were beginning to fall out of favor as the market moved toward other types of specialty luxury vehicles (SUVs, and sport versions of sedans).

    Heck, the 1991 Town Car, with its superior styling, interior space, SOHC V8. dual airbags and anti-lock brakes was superior to the FWD deVille, Park Avenue, 98, and of course the New Yorker.

    The new Lexus LS of that era was really in a class above, but was initially sold at a very low price for its class (that wasn't that much higher than the Lincoln) in order to establish sales, market share and reputation--a move that succeeded brilliantly. But I digress. :blush:

    A little progress is better than none until it begins to feel like damning with faint praise. Therein the problem: Lincoln has screwed around with comeback plans and concepts and marketing ploys for the last dozen years and it isn't as if the auto press has not noticed. So skepticism is to be expected and weathered, because that skepticism was well-earned. Real damage was created when they tried to force something into place that should not have been there.

    I do not believe the situation is hopeless. Lincoln needs to move out of its own way to get a clearer view. It is very hard to find what you don't know you are searching for.

    One thing is clear: to begin to be a viable and respected luxury company, they have to set a goal of building the best cars in their class. Because a lot of their competition already have the same goal. Despite that goal, obviously all can't rise to the top. But those with that goal have a better chance of staying in the game.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,740
    The LS was the best handling Lincoln in 30 years and would maybe outhandle the MKZ (the electronic suspension might give it a slight edge even with the worse weight distribution). But it was nowhere near as good of a luxury car as the MKZ. Remember I drove a 2000 LS v8 for 6 years. The drivetrain was silky smooth but it only had 252 hp (later upped to 280 or so) - far short of the MKZ 3.7L V6. The LS had none of the luxury features that the MKZ has (or even the Fusion for that matter). MLT, adaptive cruise, park assist, BLIS, etc. etc. etc. And the interior materials are not even close. The LS was cheap. Nice but cheap. I had to put fake wood on the dash to cover the cheap black plastic. Don't get me wrong here - I really liked the LS overall. But as a modern luxury car there is no comparison.

    I agree they need to build best in class vehicles - eventually. I just think they have a few years to get there.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,423
    Oh, geez. You CANNOT directly compare a 13 year old car to one just released. Of course the MKZ is better from that standpoint, but that is saying nothing about the goodness or impact of the Lincoln LS in its time. Just like with inflation adjustments, you must look at what was available and possible at the time the car was created.

    With few exceptions, all cars sold today are reasonably good to great. Compared to cars of the past, they have more equipment, better interior materials, greater safety, better tires, better sound insulation, better chassis rigidity, etc. The MKZ today being good enough or "better than a ES350" is hardly in the same league of goodness that the LS had in 2000.

    The new MKZ, even FWD based, could have made the same impact, but does not. It's this ongoing thinking that they have a few years to get there that keeps Lincoln second-rate, despite having some good vehicles for sale.

    Granted, the Zephyr was stop-gap for a starved brand back in 2005. For what little impact changing the grill a couple times and the rear end styling had over the seven years of the first iteration, they could have taken those funds and added them to the effort to create the very best car they could the second time around.

    I just do not understand how such limited thinking professionals continued to get nice salaries and bonuses for so long while turning in such unremarkable efforts for Lincoln for so many years. Where were the car guys in this?

    When I first saw the concept for the MKS years ago, I said, "Oh, no!, that would be a mistake...just look at it!" And who am I? Nobody. When I saw how they screwed up the MKT concept by modifying it into the whale of a station wagon it is today, I was like, "please don't!" The concept was edgier, prettier and more provocative. I remember protesting how they changed the Lincoln concept vehicle for the MKX into an Edge with a Lincoln clip, and you argued that the concept and the MKX looked practically the same and no one would notice.

    Well, people do notice daring styling, and they notice when styling is bland, but daring usually has to come first to establish a foothold.

    I repeat: to begin to be a viable and respected luxury company, Lincoln must set a goal of building the best cars in their class. Anything less is just wasted effort until they do so. Holding on to their little market share, or waiting until Lincoln itself generates enough profits to really introduce outstanding iron will not get them much further than it has in the past many years of tweaking things.

    I have to believe the new new new Lincoln team has finally gotten the memo. But I also know that as more luxury offerings are being created worldwide, other models and makes will continue to go under. It is the nature of the business.
  • unitedkingdomunitedkingdom Posts: 9
    edited December 2012
    I read in Car And Driver online that the MKZ does have some of its style influenced by the Mondeo/ Fusion. According to Car and Driver it shares roof line and belt line with the Mondeo /Fusion. Allthough One can say that the MKZ does not share sheet metal with the Mondeo/Fusion but that can only be expected as the MKZ is longer , higher and a little wider than the Mondeo/Fusion. But none the less,it still shares styling cues of the Mondeo/Fusion.
    Another matter though is that the MKZ given to Edmunds to test on the road was rigged with Michelin Super Sport tires. According to a Ford spokesman, The tires would be agency or dealership offered if they even are offered. However,the tires didn't seem to impress the testers though as according to Edmunds and Car and Driver, the performance of the vehicle was middling at best. Retest the vehicle with the tires that the vehicle has been designed for and then determine how really good this car performs. But still one has to wonder why did Ford try to rig the results with using tires that are not offered on the vehicle.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,740
    However,the tires didn't seem to impress the testers though as according to Edmunds and Car and Driver, the performance of the vehicle was middling at best.

    Umm....I guess you missed the part where the slalom speed of the MKZ with the ringer tires (same as the M5) was faster than the M5 and only 1 mph slower than a Porsche 911. They were impressed with the performance but they were so upset about the ringer tires they couldn't bring themselves to say anything good about it.

    All this "it's not good enough" without any actual objective comparisons to back it up is tiresome. It's not the best but it's not as bad as reviewers are making out.
  • unitedkingdomunitedkingdom Posts: 9
    edited December 2012
    Test drivers still see cheaper Fusion performance that is why they are not impressed by it. Their reasoning is that the MKZ cost at least 9K US$ more than Fusion/Mondeo for Fusion/ Mondeo performance so one is actually purchasing a slightly differently styled larger more luxurious minded but still using cheap Fusion/Mondeo instrument switches and cheap plastic interior appointments vehicle. As far as testers bias ,these testers test hundreds of vehicles a year in the MKZ price range so they should know what the other vehicles in the MKZ price range are capable of and where the MKZ's capabilities are found wanting when compared even if the other vehicles are not being tested with the MKZ.
    We will just have to wait to see how good this Ford platform is when the MKZ is pitted against its rivals in a real road test. As far as being faster than an M5 what type of G forces does the MKZ have versus the M5 when slaloming? Also , does the MKZ understeer ?It is inevitable that it does because of its fwd platform. Even moderately priced Audi and VW vehicles do so to some extent even with awd because of unequal weight distribution. BMW sedans, sport coupe and roadsters all are engineered for neutral steer. Al be it it's easier to do so with a rear wheel drive vehicle. It seem also that according to the road testers that the awd system on the MKZ is not oriented towards performance as are other vehicles' awd systems in the MKZ's price range but only for traction during inclement weather as according to the testers on dry pavement one really has to push the vehicle to its extreme limits to get it to engage.

    The testers should have refused to test the factory rigged vehicles. The testers should have gotten one from an agency or dealership. One that consumers would have to purchase.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,423
    Yes, I noticed the sharing between Fusion and MKZ as well. Ford went ahead and gave them the same windshield, same front door shape and front door glass, and same roof panel back to the top of the rear glass. Another one of those nobody-will-ever-notice things, I suppose. That may be largely true, but over time, it unconsciously confers too much of a relationship between the two. This is unlike the old Taurus and Continental of the late 80s and early 90s, which shared architecture, but no glass or body panels, and were never perceived as the same car with different styling. Today, the Flex and MKT do no such sharing. Hopefully, this will be the last instance where Ford and Lincoln use such shortcuts.
  • brucelincbrucelinc Posts: 814
    edited December 2012
    http://www.automobilemag.com/reviews/driven/1212_2013_lincoln_mkz_3_7_awd/

    "Slip inside the cabin and the new Lincoln MKZ feels special from the first. A high center stack sweeps down from the dashboard into the center console in one fluid form. The stack of controls itself is dominated by a large touchscreen interface with touch-capacitive faux-buttons.

    At this point, we think the Lincoln MKZ is a better car than the Lexus ES, which is a big statement from us. It drives better, looks better and offers as much luxury, though the dealership experience is another thing, of course. Yet the midsize market doesn't end with the Lexus ES, as the comparative set includes the Acura TL SH-AWD, Audi A4 and Volvo S60 - three cars that deliver the same prestige, price and package size as the MKZ.

    For those looking for something daring, dashing, and different in the midsize luxury segment, the 2013 Lincoln MKZ is a genuine player. And so for Lincoln, the game begins."
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,423
    Now it's on sale in January? Call it a 2014, and skip 2013. The sales numbers for the model year will look better, and resale will remain higher on a 2014 compared to a 2013.
  • http://www.autoweek.com/article/20121121/carreviews/121129978

    Seriously, Erin Riches sounds completely biased in every single thing she writes. She needs a new job as a spokesperson for Toyota or BMW.
  • manster12manster12 Posts: 1
    edited December 2012
    I agree completely. I read the review by what is supposed to be an unbiased editor, and it read more like a hatchet job.

    So, the tires were changed on the MKZ........ SO?!??! What you do if you ARE in a position of authority for your magazine IS you contact Lincoln and tell them "this won't do.....send us another vehicle that is more representative of what would be available for the CONSUMER. Or, you wait and get a showroom fresh one! VERY Logical....... and I would think that if you are a senior editor that the powers that be at Lincoln would be obliging.

    If Lincoln then refuses, then they will appear to look bad of their own accord. Instead you get this inflammatory review from the senior editor at Edmunds that makes it seem more like (she) the senior editor was having a BAD day or a personal axe to grind. In either case, the review makes Lincoln look iffy, and the senior editor like a first class whiner incapable of writing an article in an un-biased manner. (And TIRES!?? Surely there were better ways to diffuse this situation.....still lacking in professionalism on both sides...)

    As for me, I'll shop around and will check out Lincoln's offering as I definitely would not hold this Lincoln MKZ article written by this "senior" editor" up as a credible source of information in making my decision on my purchase.......
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,423
    Sounds like you are having a bad day as well. ;) The back attack makes me wonder why someone who doesn't like the car, and writes the why of that, elicits so much criticism from you. Of course no one article should be definitive in making a purchase decision.

    I look at the reviews overall. I was hoping the car would be more remarkable than it is, but it is a start. Reviews are mixed, not uniformly bad. Thus, the car is good enough to compete. Reviews are mixed as well on the new ES350...that won't kill it.

    Mainly, the MKZ no longer has forgettable styling, and its equipment and engines are competitive. It is just not great enough to turn Lincoln's reputation around right now.
  • Maybe someone else more mature should have been handed the assignment of writing this review. For example, if the car can be had with a sport package, I think it's fair that they give a car with a sport package to review, what's wrong with that? So what if it's available in 1 month instead of now. It's astonishing that it beats an M5, and it's whined about it instead of praising it. And how can it be said most buyers won't purchase the sport package? I'm sure a fair amount of them will (not .0001% as this article implies).

    As for all the complaints about the interior and everything else, they all sound like personal preference issues. Other reviews I've read have said the exact opposite of this one about all these topics, including how it stacks up to the competition. Compare this review to the Lexus ES review Erin wrote, where she completely glosses over many issues and didn't whine about anything, and it sounds like she's got a prejudice problem with Lincoln.

    This review comes off as a poor excuse for fair, unbiased journalism, and gives the Edmunds website a black eye if she's qualified enough to be a senior editor. The other journalists on this website seem to have a more even-tempered set of skills for evaluating an automobile on it's merits, maybe over time Erin can learn something from them. :lemon:
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,423
    It always strikes me how individual reviewers pick up on, emphasize or de-emphasize different things. But that is why I read many reviews for any car. Reviewers are no different than buyers in that regard. They have individual preferences.

    This Edmunds reviewer was not impressed with the MKZ. Period. I may not be duly impressed with one of her favorites. There is no need to take any of it personally.

    The argument that it beat an M5 falls if apples-to-apples tires are shod on each vehicle. I think her point is that these tires on this car render it louder and more uncomfortable than the MKZ should be. Few people buying this type of car want sport at the expense of comfort. (That may change a bit when an Ecoboost 3.5 model is offered that is more all-of-a-piece.) So relax. She had a point to make. You do as well.

    Remember that very few people are ever completely unbiased. The little Lincoln fan club on this thread certainly isn't. We all hope that Lincoln will begin to issue true excellence very soon. MKZ is a start around the bases, but hardly a home run.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,740
    The argument that it beat an M5 falls if apples-to-apples tires are shod on each vehicle.

    They were the same tires that the M5 uses. That was the point.

    It's not that we're fanbois who get upset at anything negative. There are plenty of negative things that could be said about the MKZ and Lincoln in general without going overboard or exaggerating.

    It's just irritating that Lincoln is making significant headway to change they way everybody said they need to change and they still don't get treated fairly by some of the media.

    As for Edmunds - I remember their senior editor back in 2002 or so (Wardlaw) who said Lincoln couldn't make up their mind about engine displacement because the Stype had a 4.0L engine and the LS said it was 3.9L. I tried to explain that the difference in displacement had to do with the Lincoln engine having a 85 mm stroke vs. 86 mm in the Jag. His answer - well what does stroke have to do with displacement? Which is akin to saying "why does a taller glass hold more water than a shorter glass?". Then he complains about the transmission shifting on the LS and takes it in for service, knowing there was a TSB available that fixed it. Did he mention the TSB that he knew about? Nope. He waited to see if the service advisor would find it on his own and he didn't, so he put up with the bad shifting for 6 more months and complained about it constantly.

    And I won't even mention that he couldn't find the battery which was mounted in the trunk.

    So I don't have a lot of respect for Edmunds senior editors in the first place nor most automotive journalists. They all seem to have their biases and they don't always do proper research. That doesn't mean it isn't frustrating though.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,423
    Sorry about the tire confusion.

    But my point is that reviews don't have to be frustrating. To take offense at an auto journalist's opinion just because her opinion frosts your cookies, doesn't change a thing as compared to simply taking note of your disagreement and moving on.

    I am fascinated as well by the lack of knowledge and insight within many of these articles. But I just cannot waste my energy getting upset about something that I cannot change, and that will not change. What I have found is that like with movie reviews, book reviews or anything else, the bulk of reviews of any model taken together more or less provide an overall rating. To balance out Edmunds, I have also seen a completely glowing review of the new MKZ. I pay attention to the regression toward the mean.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,740
    As you well know I tend to get wound up over this stuff way more than I should. And it's not just a Ford thing - that's just where I spend most of my time. Biased and inaccurate reporting irks me to no end.

    Maybe that's why my blood pressure is a little higher than it should be. I'll try to do more ignoring and less ranting.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,423
    Ah...you're ok, Allen. Just a bit a a fanboi...
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