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Luxury Performance Sedans

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  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    edited November 2010
    Too early to tell at this point, other than a new car instead of someone else's hand me down. Comparing new to new with the LS, you get a great new car and and BIG sack of money to cart around with you.

    I guess I'm just not sure what's so great about it. The interior design looks 10 years old. The LS460s electronics are dated, but the Hyundai's electronics are even more dated. I just think it's tough to argue that a 60 grand Hyundai is such a great bargain when it's no A8 or S-class in design, luxury and materials quality, or features.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,914
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  • Have the November issue-not in there unless you can give me a specific page number. Maybe the December issue which is now out? Don't have it.
    Had been subscribing to CR for years, but finally gave up as their reporting on cars is often confusing. Primarily they do not explain how they come up with their rankings (point scores). Their reliability ratings are a source of information, but then again not too sure about how they reach their conclusions. One factor is ONLY people who are willing to subscribe to the magazine and return the survey have input. Is that a valid sample? Who knows.
    Also disliked that you had to pay for magazine, then extra for website and then extra for health website and then extra for auto pricing webstie, ad infinitum.
  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 6,023
    I only get the on line edition and I agree that their web site is very poorly done. The article in question may be the October edition. I wish someone would post it.

    2013 LX 570 2010 LS 460 2002 Tacoma 4x4

  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Had been subscribing to CR for years, but finally gave up as their reporting on cars is often confusing. Primarily they do not explain how they come up with their rankings (point scores). Their reliability ratings are a source of information, but then again not too sure about how they reach their conclusions.

    Agreed. The definition of what's average is always changing, and despite CR claiming thousands and thousands of responses, their sample sizes for lower volume models (A8, anyone?) are often pitiful and completely full of holes.

    CR bases their reliability reports based on what an owner considers to be a serious problem. Is a rattling dash serious? Depends who you ask. You should check out TrueDelta. They don't have near the amount of cars and years indexed that CR does, but their survey is a lot more consistent and accurate. It's also free, there's none of the relentless "super extra premium membership required" crap.
  • I hear that. I gave up on CR a long time ago. In general I find that most people who respond to survey data take the opportunity to complain and generally submit less than favorable comments. The red/black color code system that CR uses is way too general. Sample size would improve credibility. A couple years ago CR got caught with false reporting (child car seats, I think) which convinced me I made the right choice. BTW - I'm still driving my 2001 Audi A-6, 2.7T w/6-speed that CR rated at the bottom of the class for reliability. My guess is a handful of people responded to CR with what would normally be a minor issue, but to them was major. If Audi put a 6-speed in the 3.0T I would trade tomorrow.
  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 6,023
    The survey in question covers 10 model years and in order to be included a car must have at least 100 respondents for each year. Also, they do categorize the problems as major or minor.

    I view CR as just one of many tools to help in auto research, so to me, they are not valid or invalid. Certainly I can see some bias in their reporting, they are human so they can't avoid that. They especially like fuel efficient cars. That's why you see so many hybrids recommended. I would never buy any auto based only on their findings and recommendations.

    2013 LX 570 2010 LS 460 2002 Tacoma 4x4

  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,306
    edited November 2010
    I gave up on CR a long time ago. In general I find that most people who respond to survey data take the opportunity to complain and generally submit less than favorable comments.

    I absolutely agree. Any survey that depends on a self-selected cohort is as "unscientific" as they come. Either the respondent has an axe to grind, as you pointed out, or they have a cause to support (the Pious, for example), or they have not much else to do than fill out a lengthy survey. Anyone here really think that the results of a Bill O'Reilly survey on Fox is representative of the U.S. as a whole?

    Since most of us are surveyed to death, at work and otherwise, even finding respondents for randomly-selected (real, as in statistically valid) surveys is becoming more difficult.

    I don't know what the answer is, other than keeping in mind that all cars are so much more reliable than they used to be, even when packed full of useless (to me) electronic & electrical gee-gaws, when compared to the time that CR started doing surveys.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,102
    edited November 2010
    I go to the library -- if I really feel the need for a CR opinion -- to look at CR. And, I typically use CR as a (1 of many) point of reference for products that do not evoke much emotion.

    I am certain people do get passionate about vacuum cleaners or HE washers and front loading dryers, but probably not THAT often. Cars, on the other hand, often are the cause of much passion (both positive and negative). I needed a new garbage disposal (my dead one was over 20 years old) recently -- I checked out CR and the reviews on line at Best Buy and Amazon.

    Now THAT appliance can be researched without too much concern about the passion for or against a certain brand, image, heritage, races won, or even country of origin.

    Using CR for car buying -- and thinking CR's input is any more than just another [often minor and highly subjective] data point -- is an invitation to disappointment. I'm not saying completely rule CR out for automobiles, I'm just saying they are, IMHO, NOT CHECK RATED as a source of auto buying advice.

    BTW, I went with a 3/4 HP Waste King continuous feed disposal. Man, this thing will eat Coke bottles all day long without jamming. Thank you CR!

    Homer.
  • jimbresjimbres Posts: 2,025
    I don't know what the answer is, other than keeping in mind that all cars are so much more reliable than they used to be, even when packed full of useless (to me) electronic & electrical gee-gaws, when compared to the time that CR started doing surveys.

    To its credit, CR points this out from time to time. A frequency-of-repair history that might have warranted an overall rating of "much better than average" 20 years ago will earn a "worse than average" today.

    In truth, the reliability wars are over. Unless you're considering an outlier - something made in Italy, say - you should have no trouble getting 10 years / 100K miles without heroics from almost any vehicle built today.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    In truth, the reliability wars are over. Unless you're considering an outlier - something made in Italy, say - you should have no trouble getting 10 years / 100K miles without heroics from almost any vehicle built today.

    I think that's pretty true, which makes me wonder where Lexus will go in the future. Recent Infinitis seem to be very reliable, but that's just sort of a bonus for them, that's not really what they are about. With Lexus though, that's kind of the whole story - service and reliability. The cars almost don't matter. How long can that continue, especially in markets like China?

    Most reliability issues today seem to stem from design faults, or excessive cost cutting, leading to things like BMW's HPFP problems. There are also still the unlucky folks that get stuck with a real lemon, but I think for most people reliability just isn't a big issue anymore.
  • ctlctl Posts: 123
    edited November 2010
    Which world do you guys live in? :) reliability certainly matters! It affects how much extra money one needs to pay for the car. And if money isn't an issue, the precious time it takes to get it fix (would do that for my kids, not cars! they serve me, not the other way around...)

    Infiniti? in trouble other than NA, not in much better shape than Acura...


    but I think for most people reliability just isn't a big issue anymore.
  • james27james27 Posts: 433
    The days of the Yugo are likely over. Now, I'd be somewhat leary of any startup company, or at least those that are new to the country, but for established manufacturers with a history in the US, it's hard to identify a real problem with regards to reliability, at least for the first few years. Down the road, or if buying a used car, it can be a big issue, but not for new. By the time you are through the warranty period, any bugs in your vehicle are likely worked out, if you have any. Reliability becomes a big issue if you plan to keep the thing a long time, but on a new one...it's not a big deal anymore.
  • jimbresjimbres Posts: 2,025
    Which world do you guys live in? reliability certainly matters!

    Of course it does. No one said that it didn't. The point that we're trying to make is that because cars are so much more reliable now than they were back in the 80s, it's no longer necessary to go crazy trying to pick out the most reliable car in the pack.
  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 6,023
    Performance and reliability are indeed, both relative.

    IMO very few people ever get to appreciate a real performance automobile because the only place you can do so is on a closed course of some type. Every day driving is only frustrating in a performance car.

    Surely most people can't appreciate a performance car in bumper to bumper traffic, or driving in a straight line down an interstate highway, or doing 30 mph in most urban areas. It is like a very poor golfer insisting on playing only Pro VI golf balls.

    I also realize there are exceptions to every rule.

    2013 LX 570 2010 LS 460 2002 Tacoma 4x4

  • jensadjensad Posts: 388
    We have owned about 4 Hondas, and 3 Acuras and reliability was excellent. (JMO )
    Reliability is important to me due to the fact that my wife and I are retired, and instead of in the "old days" labor at a certain price is now 4x and it is something I value when I purchased a vehicle.

    My acura rl is an 08 and so far free of mechanical issues. However, after reading these blogs for about two years, I am aware of the need to watch for issues at about 75k to 100k. And now at 51k I I am grateful that so far, my rl keeps rolling along.

    Hope all have an excelelnt week end and stay safe.

    jensad :)
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    edited November 2010
    Infiniti? in trouble other than NA, not in much better shape than Acura...

    The point was that if your business is reliability 1 and everything else second (Lexus), you're an easy target, especially when your once envy of the industry standards begin to slide. (Lexus post '06 or so). An unreliable ES350 has no reason to exist, and there are a lot more unreliable ES350s out there than there used to be.

    An S6 on the other hand that has a problem here or there is a lot more forgivable, as long as the issues aren't chronic. Obviously no one wants to pay for an S6 and get stuck with an A4 2.0T while the car spends a month in the shop.

    When I was last on the new car market, reliability for me wasn't that big of an issue. The cars I was interested in were "good enough" on that front.

    Infiniti may not have the million world wide sales of the German brands, but give them a break, they've been a genuinely viable luxury car maker for all of what, 8 years now? Nobody cared about Infiniti when they were peddling Maxima GLEs and weird JDM Nissans like the J30.

    Today, when a Japanese luxury/performance sedan gets mentioned in the same breath as the 3 and 5 series, it's the G and M. The GS and RL really only compete with each other, and they are considerably more vulnerable to Genesis style challengers from below.
  • ctlctl Posts: 123
    edited November 2010
    In that, then I guess it depends on which worlds a person lives in :) As being said many times, for someone who is more interested in the performance/sporty attributes, or only stays with newer cars, then reliability is indeed pretty secondary, and for them a car like ES350 has no reason to exist.

    On the other hand, the sales number of ES350 has often been only next to all BMW 3 combined (not counting in the Lexus IS...), so apparently cars like Lexus still has good reasons to exist for many people - comfort, badge, reliability... - if ES350 sells more than Acura TL and Infiniti G, got to say there are things more than just reliability.

    As a car company, interestingly that Lexus took the MB route, Infiniti followed BMW, and Acura went with a middle ground (Audi). The Japanese 3 is obviously still quite behind (Lexus in a lesser degree) in prestige to the German 3 in the NA market, but it isn't hard to see why you sided with Infiniti :)

    Genesis... the sales number is tailing off. In luxury arena, the badge is #1, more so as the price goes up.
  • smarty666smarty666 Posts: 1,503
    edited November 2010
    I wouldn't say Lexus is behind in Prestige compared to MB and BMW. They worked long and hard to get their reputation and their sales speak for themselves here. You might not like their bland/blah driving abilities, I do not like that personally myself, but go out and ask random people on the street to name a luxury vehicle and I bet MB, Lexus, and BMW will be the 3 most common answers.

    If anything, Audi is with Acura and Infiniti with lack of prestige in the NA market. Audi still has pretty abysmal reliability compared to BMW and MB and they too have not come close to the total sales and $50k+ sales that MB, BMW, and Lexus have. Nor does Audi give the dealership and customer service treatment that you get at a Lexus, BMW, or MB dealer. The same can be said for Acura and Infiniti as well. I know many people who didn't even know Audi was a luxury brand.
  • jimbresjimbres Posts: 2,025
    If anything, Audi is with Acura and Infiniti with lack of prestige in the NA market. Audi still has pretty abysmal reliability compared to BMW and MB and they too have not come close to the total sales and $50k+ sales that MB, BMW, and Lexus have.

    I haven't looked for Audi's sales numbers, but I'm certainly seeing significantly more Audis in my relatively affluent, very German-car-friendly NYC suburb than I did 5 years ago. So Audi must be doing something right.
  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 6,023
    I agree about Lexus and Audi. The LS has led all luxury sales in the U.S. pretty much since it was introduced while Audi just does not have any significance at all in the U.S. market.

    I applaud Audi's U.S. diesels, but they seem very slow to learn about the importance of reliability and customer service in the U.S.

    2013 LX 570 2010 LS 460 2002 Tacoma 4x4

  • ctlctl Posts: 123
    wow, must say I am shocked when looking at Audi's sales number (Oct 2010). 686 YTD for A8? 7035 YTD for A6? These are Bentley numbers :) A4 28,398 YTD is about that of Lexus IS, but IS is near end of life...

    So I guess at least in NA, fair to say Audi/VW doesn't have much of any presence...
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    wow, must say I am shocked when looking at Audi's sales number (Oct 2010). 686 YTD for A8? 7035 YTD for A6? These are Bentley numbers A4 28,398 YTD is about that of Lexus IS, but IS is near end of life...

    Those are deathbed A8 numbers. Do you really expect the A8 to be lighting up the sales charts in its last months on sale? The A6 is nearly as dead as the A8, new one comes next year.

    How's the sales king Lexus GS, by the way? You know, the car that has been a market bomb for 3 generations?

    It is very true that Audi does not have the presence of a BMW or Mercedes in the NA market, for a number of reasons. Worldwide however, Audi is neck and neck with its rivals in Munich and Stuttgart. More importantly, Audi is financially secure, and its operations are more profitable than both BMW and Mercedes.

    Where's the future of the luxury car industry? China. Who's number 1 in China? Audi.

    Speaking as a former two time Lexus owner, I'm just not that impressed with the company or the products anymore. The GS was supposed to be a 5 series killer. Didn't happen. The LS460 was supposed to shake the industry and be 1989 all over again. Didn't happen. The IS-F was supposed to be an M3 killer. Didn't happen. Their reliability is down, their tech is stale, their interior quality took a nose dive, and the cars and trucks are just basically super Toyotas, in the same way that Acuras are super Hondas. The HS250 is an embarrassment.

    Lexus used to be a market leader. Remember the RX300? Nobody had an answer for that at the time, other than the awful first gen ML320.

    Now where are they? X3, Q5, GLK, XC60, 9-4x, RDX, EX. Notice a missing player? They couldn't beat Saab to market. Saab.
  • ctlctl Posts: 123
    edited November 2010
    I am not in favor of Lexus as a brand. In your example though, if you would look at the sales numbers (instead of judging with a personal preference, that's everyone's own business :)), Lexus RX would be pretty much equal to all those (X3, Q5, GLK, XC60, 9-4x, RDX, EX...) combined. Nobody still has an answer for RX, yet :)
  • smarty666smarty666 Posts: 1,503
    Can't really disagree with you on anything, especially about Lexus. Nothing currently that they have floats my boat, except maybe the IS350 but its just too damn small, I'd rather be in a 3-Series than a IS.

    Though we agree on Lexus as a company and what has happened to them over the years, I think the majority of Americans would disagree, b/c except for the GS, their products sell pretty well so either the majority of American's are a bunch of idiots, or we r just not seeing something that Lexus is offering. Personally, I think the former is the most likely answer ;) :P
  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 6,023
    edited November 2010
    I would agree that Lexus is getting a little jaded, especially if you are looking for a sports sedan. That is just not the arena they play in. But not everyone who buys cars is a 30 year old...or a 50 year old wanting to be a 30 year old. All the car companies have their niches.

    2013 LX 570 2010 LS 460 2002 Tacoma 4x4

  • smarty666smarty666 Posts: 1,503
    edited November 2010
    Very true! I'm on the younger end so I gravitate toward Audi, Infiniti, and BMW b/c I like cars that handle crisply, give some feedback, and are just a [non-permissible content removed] load of fun to drive! I have an Acura which is fun, but unfortunately they are going in a direction I cannot follow!
  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 6,023
    Of course, and that is how it should be at your age. Been there and done that. I bet we don't have the same taste in music either. One's tastes, attitude, likes and dislikes simply change as one gets older. We like to raise hell when we are young and slow down a little as we age.

    Getting older is not bad, and can be very enjoyable if one is in the right circumstances. I know it is hard to believe, but you will be a very different person at age 60 or so.

    2013 LX 570 2010 LS 460 2002 Tacoma 4x4

  • smarty666smarty666 Posts: 1,503
    Very true! My parents are in their late 60's and they love Lexus and MB! Just goes to show you the companies cater to different people!
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,973
    I haven't looked for Audi's sales numbers, but I'm certainly seeing significantly more Audis in my relatively affluent, very German-car-friendly NYC suburb than I did 5 years ago. So Audi must be doing something right.

    Audi (with the A4) seems to be attracting those that once gravitated toward entry level 3 series BMW's.
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