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Luxury Lounge

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  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    You know Jose I think this Taqman Probe thing is very dangerous and can cause immediate extintion within this forum.

    I agree. I, for one, have nothing more to say here... especially about stocks. ;)

    Maybe I should change my name to ProbeMan... although that name is probably in use on an adult website.

    Goodbye and good luck. Immediate extinction engaged.

    TM
  • smarty666smarty666 Posts: 1,503
    well they might be better but they still have a long way to go; I' have a 2010 Maxima SV from the Tenn plant and I have three separate vibrations/rattles in the car since day one! having a Nissan regional specialist by so I can have her hear the noises

    It's been my experience over the years, at least with the Japanese manufactures, that the Acura's, Infiniti's, and Lexus's products I've had over the years that have been completely built and assembled in the Japanese plants and shipped over on the boat have had absolutely no problems in regards to quality control, build quality, rattles, etc: whereas, the Acura's, Nissans, and Toyota's I have had over the years built and assembled in American Plants have had quality, rattles, and other problems

    Here is a perfect example of what I'm talking about: take Acura for instance: I had a TSX one time, completely made in Japan and had not one rattle or problem with the car: my second TL, built and assembled in Ohio, has been filled with quality issues and rattles that can't be fixed: when I got my TL, there was a green stain on the front driver carpet floor, the ambient cabin lighting did not work, the auto-up feature on the driver door did not work, when hitting the trunk release the trunk did not pop open, and the rear tail-lights developed terrible condensation when it rained, was foggy, etc: suffice it to say I had a completely different quality control experience with my TL then I did with the TSX and the only difference between the two cars was where they were built and assembled; luckily all those issues I just mentioned with my 08 TL were replaced and fixed by my Acura dealer but a brand new car should not have been delivered to me in that condition

    now I know not everyone will have the same experience but that is what I have seen and dealt with over the years: I'm not saying that every vehicle completely made in Japan is perfect because I am sure there are some cars from Japan that were missed for quality checks but not as often as I've seen with the American plants; the majority of the people I talked to have seen and felt the same trend in quality control between the American and Japanese Plants that I have!
  • m4d_cowm4d_cow Posts: 1,491
    Can't argue with that. My TSX served me for over 3 years with absolutely zero problems, needing no more than scheduled fluid change and normal wear items replacements. While my previous Civic had almost as much problems as my Escape, which was ridiculous. On a side note, TSX is considered as one of the most reliable cars ever in existence, so comparing it might be a bit hard to do. :)
  • m4d_cowm4d_cow Posts: 1,491
    A college junior connected to me through the alumni network asked me this question yesterday:

    "When a specific make/model comes with a twin or clones like GM's Lambda quadruplets or the Ford-Mercury lineup, how do you decide which one to choose from, particularly in used form?
    I'm currently trying to make up my mind between a Subaru WRX wagon and Saab's 9-2x, and this whole twin, triplet, quadruplet thing is killing me."


    That's it. What do you guys think?
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    the majority of the people I talked to have seen and felt the same trend in quality control between the American and Japanese Plants that I have!

    In many cases that's true, though there are plenty of examples where it is not. The Mazda3 for example is built in Mazda's Hiroshima plant, and has been very reliable. The Mazda6 comes from Flat Rock MI, and doesn't have a great record. The CX-7 and CX-9 though are both built in Japan, and both have terrible quality records.

    The Japanese built 2005 Acura RL had loads of electrical problems, and the earliest cars were sent to dealers without the AWD system diff fluid in place, which lead to the system completely locking up.

    The worst new car introduction in Lexus' history in terms of quality was the Japanese built '06 GS300 AWD. The '07 ES350 also shared the transmission problems of the '07 Camry V6, despite being built in Japan. The previous gen Infiniti G35s that burned through their brake rotors after 10K miles were also Japanese built.

    The average Japanese assembled car will probably have fewer rattles, tighter gaps, etc. than the average NA assembled car from a Japanese brand, but there's certainly no guarantee of getting a flawless car just because it came from Japan.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    "When a specific make/model comes with a twin or clones like GM's Lambda quadruplets or the Ford-Mercury lineup, how do you decide which one to choose from, particularly in used form?

    If the only difference is the styling, then pick the one that looks better. The Fusion/Milan twins for example are almost identical except for their grilles, lights, and a couple of trim pieces. I hate the Fusion's enormous razor blade grille, so I'd go with a Milan.

    The so called "Saabaru" was not identical to a WRX. If I remember correctly, it had things like leather seats, automatic climate control, and an automatic transmission. The vast majority of WRXes out there are going to have cloth seats and sticks.
  • smarty666smarty666 Posts: 1,503
    absolutely agree with you: its just amazing how with the same auto manufacture, you can have a completely different experience with one model compared to another, such as my case with the TSX and TL:

    even as you said, Lexus is not immune to this: I have two family members who both have ES350s: both were made in the Japanese plant but one is having all kinds of quality and technical problems, much like I did with my TL, while the other family member has absolutely no problems with their ES350 whats so ever

    I've been reading on the RX350 blogs that the new 2010 RX has had some quality issues: I know some are made in Japan and others in Canada but regardless of where they were built, people have commented on problems with the front fender loosing up and either forming a gap with the headlights or has fallen off completely: also some issues with interior panels and technology, namely the nav system, sat radio, and climate control functions not working properly

    so I think it is a hit or a miss, but as I've mentioned I think your chances are better in regards to quality control, build/assembly quality from the vehicles that are made in the Japanese plants then they are in Canadian or American plants
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    even as you said, Lexus is not immune to this: I have two family members who both have ES350s: both were made in the Japanese plant but one is having all kinds of quality and technical problems, much like I did with my TL, while the other family member has absolutely no problems with their ES350 whats so ever

    This is partly why I've gone back to German cars. When I bought my first Lexus back in '96, the Japanese, especially Lexus, were miles ahead of Germany in both reliability and technology. Today, Japan's technological advantage is gone, and in many areas they are behind the Germans. Some Lexus models still come with cassette decks!

    There's still a reliability gap, but its far smaller than it used to be. In the '90s, a new Lexus was pretty much guaranteed to be flawless, which made up for the lack of styling and character. That just isn't the case anymore, and thus I've totally lost interest in Lexus. Acuras are now the ugliest cars on the road, and their interiors are still full of the same cheap plastic and fake wood and aluminum trim that have kept them out of the real luxury arena.

    IMO, Infiniti is the only one with interesting products. They've had their own problems with low grade interiors throughout most of their existence, but the EX35 started to change that, and the 2011 M finally has to make absolutely no excuses for its design or interior quality. The Germans are launching their latest assault on the mid-lux class over the next two years, and most likely only the M will be able to challenge them.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,380
    Well, I hope the G does well in the next upgrade. They did well to compete with the Germans so far.

    Regards,
    OW
  • Some Lexus models still come with cassette decks!

    I'm actually looking forward to the ditching of cd players as well. I know no one who has bought a cd in years.

    I would loved to have my car nix the entire 6 in dash cd player & put the MMI controls in it's place, away from the cup holders. I like the ipod connection in the glove box out of the way, just wish the 'drawer' for it wasn't so cheaply made.

    LG, I know it just came out, but any opinion on the Droid that dropped today? I read many reviews of it's flaws, but the common conclusion was it's the best phone Verizon has available. & to keep it on topic, is a new phone like this compatible with Audi bluetooth, or would that take a software upgrade?
  • jimbresjimbres Posts: 2,025
    There's still a reliability gap, but its far smaller than it used to be. In the '90s, a new Lexus was pretty much guaranteed to be flawless, which made up for the lack of styling and character. That just isn't the case anymore, and thus I've totally lost interest in Lexus.

    And I'd say that it depends on what German car we're talking about. A minimally equipped BMW - no factory nav, for example, because the Germans still aren't good at marrying sophisticated electronics & high performance mechanicals - is acceptably reliable, but I still wouldn't buy an Audi with your money. Someone, perhaps you, defended Audi by saying that they turned a corner in 2005, but for me that's not a terribly convincing claim. Since I don't lease & won't buy a car that I can't keep for at least 8 years, I'd have to wait until 2013 at the earliest to see if the good news about Audi really is true.

    I know loads of people who drive Japanese cars that are 8+ years old, & I myself drive an 8-year-old BMW, but I don't know a soul who drives an Audi that's nearly that old. In fact, I don't know anyone who owns - as opposed to leases - an Audi, so it's hard not to suspect that Audi builds cars to be leased & disposed of, not to be purchased & kept.

    Why should this surprise anyone? We know that not all Japanese cars are equal - that Suzukis aren't built to Honda or Toyota standards - so why should we expect that an Audi will be as reliable over the long haul as a BMW?

    At the end of the day, I have to go along with a conclusion that Forbes drew a few years ago in an article about the global auto industry: the Germans may build the world's best cars but the Japanese build the world's best car factories.
  • clemboclembo Posts: 253
    Since I don't lease & won't buy a car that I can't keep for at least 8 years, I'd have to wait until 2013 at the earliest to see if the good news about Audi really is true.

    You make some fair points but some people might feel that enjoying the overall experience of the car over an 8+ year (or any) timeframe may be as important if not more so than just hoping that you've chosen the most reliable brand.

    I traded in an 8 year old BMW earlier this year as even though it only had 40,000 miles it was really becoming a problem over the past few years (I traded it for another car that may not be the most reliable, but it is a great car to enjoy). I also have a 2008 BMW which has low miles and as much as the car is fun to drive, I have already found too many compromises that were made with this car.

    As much I love German cars, I would not buy any of them if reliability over an 8+ year ownership experience was the main concern. Honda/Toyota would probably still fit that need a bit better.
  • jimbresjimbres Posts: 2,025
    As much I love German cars, I would not buy any of them if reliability over an 8+ year ownership experience was the main concern. Honda/Toyota would probably still fit that need a bit better.

    That's why I'm keenly interested in the upcoming 2011 Infiniti M. If it can deliver 90+% of the driving pleasure of a comparable German car together with the level of reliability that we associate with a top-tier Japanese brand, it might just be my next car.

    I'd go for a G37 if I had to replace my BMW tomorrow.

    While I *like* cars, I no longer love them, & my obsessive car nut days are way behind me. So, yes, reliability is key.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,380
    While I loved my 330xi, I would go for a G37 in a heart beat. :D My BMW days are over (at the moment).

    But I am looking at Hyundai as a up and coming player that screams value at the same time. Haven't tested any yet but the products and marketing from that company shows in the recent sales results better than any other. No formal luxo brand yet but it seems they are working on it.

    Regards,
    OW
  • jimbresjimbres Posts: 2,025
    ...shows in the recent sales results...

    Sales results? Are you talking about the Genesis? It certainly hasn't caught on in the NYC metro area. I've seen more Lamborginis than Genesises - whatever the plural is - during the past year. I don't think that the Genesis would rate a footnote on the sales charts in the Northeast.

    I dunno - maybe it sells well in the South.

    I'm not saying that it's a bad car. Not at all. It's a handsome, well-made car that delivers much bang for the buck. But I do think that Hyundai rushed it to market without sorting out everything. The suspension, for example, seems to be a work in progress.

    I'd certainly give it serious consideration in, say, 2 or 3 years. But not today.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I'm actually looking forward to the ditching of cd players as well. I know no one who has bought a cd in years.

    I know what you mean. This is another area where Lexus is behind the times. Their new models that use the mouse control system have hdd based navigation, but you can't use the hard drive to store any music on. Why? They give you a slot for a USB thumb drive so you don't have to use the CD player, but that still pales in comparison to Audi who gives you two SD slots, AMI, and hard drive space.

    LG, I know it just came out, but any opinion on the Droid that dropped today? I read many reviews of it's flaws, but the common conclusion was it's the best phone Verizon has available. & to keep it on topic, is a new phone like this compatible with Audi bluetooth, or would that take a software upgrade?

    I've been looking at the Droid for a little while, it's a cool phone. The biggest flaw seems to be the keyboard - it's cramped and flat. For the life of me, I can't understand why they put blank "dummy" keys on the bottom corners. Hello, symbol keys? Something? Anybody home?

    I'm more interested in some of the upcoming GSM Android phones since Nokia's N900 is disappointing and T-mobile only, but for Verizon subscribers, it's definitely the best of an otherwise meager smart phone lineup. The HTC TP2 is passable, but that's about all they've got. The Storm2 doesn't do it for me.

    As for in car bluetooth, don't know.
  • clemboclembo Posts: 253
    A guy that I work with picked up a 2009 G37xs sedan last weekend. I drove it for a few miles and it is impressive. It was loaded with features, it looks good, and it has great performance. It would be hard to justify the extra cost of a 335xi unless one would really want a BMW. The G37 coupe is probably a great bargin in the market today, a great car at a fair price. I do agree that Infiniti is well positioned in the marketplace and if the new M is good, they will do very well in the future.

    I also don't have quite the passion for cars as I did when I was a bit younger, but I still get a thrill from them and it is a safe (albeit) expensive hobby.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Someone, perhaps you, defended Audi by saying that they turned a corner in 2005, but for me that's not a terribly convincing claim. Since I don't lease & won't buy a car that I can't keep for at least 8 years, I'd have to wait until 2013 at the earliest to see if the good news about Audi really is true.

    According to JD power VDS reports, 2005 Audis were around the industry average after 3 years, worse than BMW, but slightly better than Mercedes. For 2006 Mercedes was up slightly, BMW made no improvement, and Audi made huge strides, ranking ahead of BMW and just below Honda. Audi said in an Automotive News article a couple of weeks ago that they made a system wide effort to improve quality a few years back, and it is paying off.

    If I'm going to buy a car tomorrow, I would have more confidence in a 2010 A6 than I would in a 2010 5 series, especially the xi version which has a very poor record. I would also have more confidence in the A6 than a 2010 Lexus GS AWD, which according to CR, continues to be a rattle trap plagued with issues. You say BMW is better, I say the Audi of today, not 8 years ago, is better than BMW.
  • smarty666smarty666 Posts: 1,503
    only time will tell when it comes to both what happens to German reliability and the styling of the Japanese automakers: I do agree 100% with you about Acura in regards to the exterior styling and the ugliness that their lineup now has: despite having an 08 TL with some problems, all of which have been addressed, I am so thankful I got the last generation body style while it still looked great: when the 09 TL came out I was disgusted by the front end and thought well maybe it would be better in person because sometimes pictures do not do justice: well I was wrong, it is just as ugly in person as it is in the pictures: that is why many Acura dealerships and outside body shops are offering to spray paint the majority of the nose the body color of the car to try and hide the grill: I've seen one in person and it does help:

    I do not agree with you about Acura when it comes to interior quality: both my TL and the new TSX has really nice high quality interior materials and the ergonomics and build quality/fit and finish of the TSX is just top notch: I have never read any professional review on edmunds, motor trend, car and driver, consumer reports, etc that stated Acura, or for that matter Lexus, having lousy interior's with bad interior materials/quality and fit/finish: if anything, Infiniti I would say is still slightly behind Acura and Lexus in regards to interior quality/fit and finish, and ergonomics and has a minor few cheap interior plastics and hard surfaces that they need to get rid of but with the EX35 and the 2011 M it looks like Infiniti will have solved these minor problems and hopefully they will do that with the next generation G since that is Infiniti's bread and butter:

    In regards to German reliability, it has improved but they still have ways to go for catching up to the Japanese in reliability according to 2009s consumer reports and US News and World Report: here is a quick quote out of Consumer Reports For This years car manufactures:

    "Europe Rebounding: While the resurgence of Mercedes-Benz reliability remains the big news out of Europe, though a third of their models we surveyed still have moderate reliability problems. Two-thirds of Audi's lineup scored avg or better in reliability. It's sister brand, VW, has several models rating average or better in our survey, but the Passat sedan, Tourag SUV, and EOS convertible have not done well: BMW has shown the best progress of the big three German makers in recent years, with most versions of the 3-series and some 5-series being avg or better. The 6 series improved to above average"

    the German automakers make some very nice vehicles, but I do not buy or lease them because you pay thousands of dollars more for the same technology or option extras in the German vehicles that you can get either standard or in much less expensive option packages in the Japanese vehicles: plus with the Japanese vehicles your getting a better CHANCE of having a much more reliable and trouble-free car for thousands of dollars less then their German counterparts!

    Just My Two Cents, But I would Say that the Majority of Professional Reviewers stretching from Consumer reports to MotorTrend would agree with me!!
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419

    That's why I'm keenly interested in the upcoming 2011 Infiniti M. If it can deliver 90+% of the driving pleasure of a comparable German car together with the level of reliability that we associate with a top-tier Japanese brand, it might just be my next car.


    That's what I'm expecting from it. I also want to see if the NAV and electronics are anything new. Infinitis current system is decent enough, but not great when compared to the latest MMI system, or even COMAND.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    But I do think that Hyundai rushed it to market without sorting out everything. The suspension, for example, seems to be a work in progress.

    That's what I've heard. I took a look at one awhile back, wasn't impressed. It's a nice enough looking car, it doesn't offend like the TL, but there's nothing really attractive about it either. The interior just seemed like the Azera's, nothing special. It could make a compelling used car for some, provided they actually hold up longer than 3 years (not a Hyundai strong suit), but it doesn't tempt me away from Audi.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,380
    Well, here are the comparisons from 2008 for you to review..While I agree with you it needs to improve, the Gen is doing quite well in the current market..

    image

    ...and ytd 9/09.

    CARLINE SEPTEMBER/2009 SEPTEMBER/2008 CY/2009 CY/2008

    ACCENT 4,864 3,014 55,525 44,393
    SONATA 7,898 8,629 93,575 97,442
    ELANTRA 7,513 3,681 82,706 86,144
    TIBURON 37 677 8,579 7,730
    SANTA FE 7,010 4,676 58,067 56,629
    AZERA 339 483 2,932 13,437
    TUCSON 1,583 1,294 12,772 16,247
    ENTOURAGE 28 455 3,423 4,360
    VERACRUZ 574 827 8,704 8,427
    GENESIS 1,665 1,029 15,934 2,855
    TOTAL 31,511 24,765 342,217 337,664

    Should sell at least 19K units in 2009.

    Regards,
    OW
  • jimbresjimbres Posts: 2,025
    You say BMW is better, I say the Audi of today, not 8 years ago, is better than BMW.

    Well, I'll try to keep an open mind. I almost certainly won't buy anything before the spring of 2011. By that time, the next generation M (assuming, of course, that I like it) will have been out for a year. (As a rule, I stay away from the 1st year of a new design.)

    Perhaps by then I'll have changed my mind about Audi.
  • jimbresjimbres Posts: 2,025
    Gen is doing quite well in the current market

    Again, I have to believe that most of those sales are concentrated in the South & Southwest. The Genesis is virtually invisible in the North.

    If a monster tsunami obliterated Boston next week, it would probably destroy 10,000 Mercedes Benzes, 12,000 BMWs, 25,000 Volvos (most of which would be sporting Obama '08 bumper stickers) & 11 Genesises.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,380
    Probably due to no AWD from what I can gather. Still, they are selling them somewhere.

    BTW, I took a quick ride over to our local H dealer and noticed the new 2010 Veracruz as it struck me as a CC of the RX. $10K less has to mean something to someone out there! The Gen coupe is quite striking in my view.

    image

    Agree there is a long road ahead for Hyundai to compete with the true lux brands, however. They are a poor man's Lexus today! :surprise:

    Regards,
    OW
  • anthonypanthonyp Posts: 1,857
    That`s a pretty sky in the background Tony
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    LG, I know it just came out, but any opinion on the Droid that dropped today? I read many reviews of it's flaws, but the common conclusion was it's the best phone Verizon has available.

    I happened to be at the mall yesterday and got a chance to take a quick look at the Droid. I have to say I was less than blown away. It's smaller in person than it looks in pictures. I figured that the keyboard would be like the old HTC Touch Pro, but its even smaller than that and pretty much unusable. Too bad. At this point Sprint's Samsung Moment looks like the better phone.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    (As a rule, I stay away from the 1st year of a new design.)

    That's a good rule to follow. These days it seems like everybody is struggling to get rid of bugs in the first year. I've started to hear of some QC issues on the 2010 E class already.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,278
    If a monster tsunami obliterated Boston next week, it would probably destroy 10,000 Mercedes Benzes, 12,000 BMWs, 25,000 Volvos (most of which would be sporting Obama '08 bumper stickers) & 11 Genesises [sic].

    Nicely put.
  • m4d_cowm4d_cow Posts: 1,491
    Ah you mean the electronic glitches? The problem's starting up here already...

    Agree with Jimbres: stay off 1st model year.

    Lexus isn't only getting really bland, IMO, quality glitches are more and more apparent by the day. The only real good looking one IMO is the GS, and it doesn't really have a good reputation to talk about. I wonder what Toyota is thinking... maybe it caught MB's disease back in the 90s? Arrogance syndrome that is... :shades:

    Acura, it made a huge mistake trying to get independent from Honda. And as the result we get the Darth Vader of luxury auto design. Give the TL an all-black color treatment and you get the idea :P (not to mention it's gotten way too expensive for a TL with no actual improvement over the old one, save for the SH-AWD).

    If only Infiniti is willing to fix the lack of refinement in it's products, it'd be a serious contender in class. Start with better cabin and more sound insulation. That said, G coupe is attractive, although somewhat, uh, less muscular compared to the old one, seems like it's taking the sleek look route now...
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