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Luxury Performance Sedans



  • gohorns1gohorns1 Posts: 53
    I just don't get why some folks get so bent out of shape regarding CR. It is a survey of drivers based on the cars they drive. Do drivers of Japanese cars write in regarding BMW or Audi. I really doubt it. For what ever reason, those who drive Japanese cars respond more favorable than those that drive cars made in other countries, most notably Germany. I will assume that CR does not alter the results. If they base their conclusions on the responses of drivers, one would have to assume that more drivers of German made cars, at least in the past, responded negatively than drivers of Japanese cars. Now, maybe the survey doesn't ask enough about performance (I personally, have never taken the time to fill out the survey), but if I am not mistaken, CR's criticism of BMW and Audi, the two car makers in this forum, have been reliability not performance. In fact, I believe they often give BMW the nod for performance but knock it for reliability. Now, is CR just seeking out disgruntled BMW drivers? If they are, then I can see the bias. Maybe one could argue that the content BMW/Audi drivers don't respond because they are too busy driving their cars. Who knows. Take CR for what it is, nothing more and nothing less.
  • gohorns1gohorns1 Posts: 53
    I should have included MB with Audi and BMW in the above post. Didn't want to leave anyone out........
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,251
    Everything you have written does not contradict what I have said. Saying that CR alters results is silly and I did not say such a thing.

    What does it mean to be unreliable according to CR?

    My mother drives a 01 MB C240 which has a notorious CR reliability rating.

    Does that mean her car breaks down a lot? No

    Does it mean she spends a lot of time getting her car serviced? No

    Does it mean that her car is expensive to maintain? As far as I know she is not spending big $$ for maintenance.

    Ofcourse her individual car is not a statistically valid example. BUT what if she used CR to buy her car? Would she have bought her MB. Absolutely not since those black dots would be a fearful sight for almost anybody. And following CR as a guide for car purchases would have deprieved her from owning a car she loves.

    Which brings me to one point that is raised by the CR findings:

    None and I repeat none(not even the least reliable German cars) are on the List of the Least Satisfying Cars to Own. While quite a few of the Least Satisfying Cars to Own are Japanese cars.

    WHat does this say? To me it says that having a black dot for reliablity is not at all as bad as most CR readers would interpret it to be. The difference between reliability and unrelibility does not carry the same weight as it did in the past. The CR stats in the 1960s/70s showed that MGs were unreliable and yes they were very unreliable. Today it can be argued that the differences between the ratings of CR reliability and unreliability is more subtle than what it was in the past

    But today unfortunatley most readers view a CR unreliability rating as if if owning such a rated car will be horrific experience(a myth indeed)
  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 7,451
    Friday, March 17, 2006-Sebring, FL.

    Two Audi diesel powered sports racing cars qualified 1 and 2 for Saturdays 12 hour race. They both broke the track record in doing so.

    Saturday, March 18, 2006-Sebring, FL.

    One of the diesel powered Audi R10s went on to win the grueling 12 hour race. Taking over the lead from the other R10 when it was forced to retire due to overheating problems. These cars were so quiet you could hardly tell there was an engine back there one of the drivers said.
    Further, there was no smell and no smoke. The fuel was a new type of diesel developed by Shell Oil.

    If anyone else has any info on this race I would love to hear about it. For some reason info is very difficult to come by.

    I guess I am thinking that history was made Saturday and hardly anyone noticed! Comments please!

    2013 LX 570 2016 LS 460

  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    What a great post! The interpretation of CR's ratings is part of the problem. People see those black dots and wham, they think those cars are a p.o.s. Yes, they are not as reliable as the red dots, but the red dots are more reliable than they used to be as well. From what I understand, there is almost a threshhold that has been reached with regards to reliability, and that it is practically impossible to reach higher reliability levels than what has been reached by the most reliable cars.

    So, by comparison, the black dots of today could easily be better than the red dots of generations ago!

    The real point is that CR is largely unsuccessful at having their data understood for what it truly indicates. If they are going to take the time to acquire and publish so much data, it stands to reason that they should take more responsibility to make sure that the data is interpreted a little better.

    Man, I sure liked your post.

  • james27james27 Posts: 433
    CR's reliability ratings used to be (I haven't looked for awhile) based on number of non-routine maintenance visits, and their cost. So, new brakes or wiper blades, being routine, don't count against it, but a new radiator, or an early water pump, or a bad bushing or seal at an early mileage would count. Two reasons I didn't buy a new AUdi, the sunroof takes up too much headroom, and I had to replace too many things, too early. I liked driving the car, but not the trips to the shop, or their cost. One shouldn't have to replace radiators, steering components, water pump, bushings, nor seals on a car with 40K.
  • gohorns1gohorns1 Posts: 53
    WOW, or should I say WOW.
    My initial question remains, why such ire for CR.
    But, to respond and I should be clear, I nor any of my family works for CR (whew!)
    Of course your mom should drive what she wants. As I said in my post, CR is just one tool that can be used. But I interpret their comparisons to be relative. So while all cars may have better reliability than equivalent cars from decades ago, the red dots are still relatively better. If one feels that this is an insignificant difference, then interpret it as such. But, it doesn't take away from the results. I could point out my dad's horrendous experience with an A6. While he has had no out of pocket expense due to the warranty, he had to go back and forth to the dealer continuously.
    Does that mean his car breaks down a lot? Yes

    Does it mean he spends a lot of time getting his car serviced? Yes

    As you said, one example is not statistically significant. But, to use your conclusion, if he had used the black dots, he may have avoided the hassles. He loved driving the car when he had it, but the hassles out weighed the driving experience. Again, for some, the CR ratings may be helpful and have value.

    Again, why such ire?
    (Should I use more bold in my posts?)
  • gohorns1gohorns1 Posts: 53
    I find that hard to believe. There is still room for improved reliability for all cars. But to accept your conclusion, that still leaves room for the less reliable cars to improve to the level of the most reliable. For some, reducing the risk of lost time due to trips to the dealer is an important factor. While it may be less of a difference than in the past, it may still be one factor to consider. I do agree that no one should rely on just one source regarding such a significant purchase
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    What are a lot more useful in general than CR's individual dots are their comparison charts that show just how reliable (or not) the owners reported their cars to be, rather than just <2-5% (full red dot) or >15% (full black dot) in a particular area. In the "luxury car" comparison chart, the GS scores the best by a wide margin, but you'll notice that the GS only manages a mediocre overall score from CR. They take reliability into consideration when determining a car's overall rating, but it is not the only priority that they have.

    What would make me nervous looking at that chart is the S-type, with its 121% worse than average reliability score. Theres certainly a chance that you could buy an S-type and have the most wonderful, trouble free experience in the world with it. Obviously however, there's a FAR greater chance that something will go wrong with it than say the GS, M, or even the 5.

    Also, for those that say CR loves everything Japanese, they should note that the Infiniti QX56 is CR's least reliable new car, with far worse scores than the Range Rover, Cayenne, and even the Toureg.
  • vchiuvchiu Posts: 565
    I am a little in steam Engines myself as some of my models are powered by this technology

    cdnpinhead has well underlined the issue of bulkiness. the other issue will be the water supply. creating steam will use a lot of (distilled) water and there is no way to stock it in a big tank as for steam locomotives. So BMW must design a condensor to re-transform the exhaust steam back into water. This condensor is (was) often built in steam ships as there was enough accomodation for it, but this would be a huge hardship in cars where space and weight are limited.

    so I think 10 years is an understatement for "never".
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    That is absolutely incredible, dewey! Thanks for posting it.

    Anyone who missed dewey's link to the Audi wreck should go back and look at it. :surprise:
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    Now let me make certain I get the data points accurately:

    1. 4 of 6 hybrids -- today including the tax credits -- do NOT recover the premium paid over a 5 yr or 75K time/mileage period.

    2. 2 of 6 hybrids -- with the "limited federal tax credits" -- are able to provide a savings of either $400 or $300 over five years

    2a. Conclusion 1, without the tax credits none of the 6 recover the upfront premiums paid

    2b. Conclusion 2, the 2 that do recoup the premium paid are not "performance" oriented Hybrid's

    3. Extra ownership costs on the other 4 (with the tax credits?) range from $1,900 to $5,500 over the same time period.

    Then, a few posts later, the notion that Hybrids are not just for economy is presented (accurately, I do believe); hybrids have demonstrated great potential for improving acceleration (how quickly it gets from one speed to another higher speed) and speed (how fast it will go and sustain with minimal effort.)

    But they still cost more over the 5 year period than a non hybrid -- correct?

    Then a few posts beyond that (I like to think in response to my end of last week post pertaining to the Audi diesels winning pole position at Sebring) The diesel cars win at Sebring.

    Many many posts back, I posted a link to a British TV show where over the course of 2 days (compressed to about 14 minutes) an Audi A8L 4.2 turbo diesel (in stock form, so says the announcer) went some 800 miles on one tank of diesel fuel, returning over 40 MPG's.

    Couple this with the new 3.0 turbo diesel 6speed tiptronic quattro A6 ratings (on Audi's non-US websites) which is quicker than the 3.2 gasoline version by .1 seconds and achieves a hiway economy rating of 43MPG and a combined rating of 33MPG.

    The diesel commands a smaller price premium relative to most of the hybrids ever published.

    It wouldn't take a math wiz to calculate the additional cost of diesel (which here in SW OH is about the same price as Premium Gas, which most of these LPS cars require anyway) the additional miles, carry the 3, divide by the square root of PI and ta da -- diesel payback, no batteries, a technology that has been proven and is now able to be clean enough to meet the strict European standards (and the fact that in the US clean diesel will or in some cases already is here.)

    If someone cares to do this, it would seem that using the published figures that the Audi 3.0 turbo gets ~ 50% better mileage than the 3.2 gas version, all the while being a tiny bit quicker and no less fast.

    Now that Audi has demonstrated that a diesel can win a race (hopefully they will continue the demonstration), who's next? BMW, Mercedes some Japanese or Korean or American company?

    Hybrids may be our salvation, for all I know.

    They seem to be a statement "I've got enough money to buy one of these things even though they aren't terribly economical (indeed the contrary, today, is true.)"

    Diesel would improve economy, fun and performance (and perhaps linking some portion of performance to control, safety, too.)

    It is here now and getting better every Tuesday.

    Putting such technology in LPS cars seems like it will become a "must do" step, if it isn't already (globally) in the pipeline for us here in the US.

    One can only hope! :shades:
  • grandaddygrandaddy Posts: 66
    Good info but somehow I missed your post referenced as late last week where you said you posted that Audi had won the pole position in the Sebring race. Please let me have the post # as I am doing research on this. Thanks.

    I can't believe there has not been more publicity about this historic win for Audi and diesel. Diesel rocks!!
  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,926
    Thank God is correct! Mangled metal is mangled metal. It doesn't matter who made it. There is no possible way anybody could have survived that crash other than divine intervention. I don't care if it is an Audi.
  • 2001gs4302001gs430 Posts: 767
    Post #6844, Jrock65 has pointed out that the GS450h costs the same as similarly equipped GS430, so I think CR need to do a new study on this model.

    Another post read:
    nor is the majority of LPS buyers interested in fuel savings anyway.

    I can't speak for everyone, but up to now buyers do not have any real options in term of getting both power and fuel economy in LPS models available. It is almost like saying that LPS owners would not shop at Walmart or Costco and they would rather pay 30% more for the same household necessities at local convenience stores.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    Post #6878 17 March 2006:

    "One of the most dominant manufacturers in sportscar racing in the last few years, Audi, heads this weekend to America's most storied sportscar race, the 12 Hours of Sebring. Promoting diesel technology with the debut of the new TDI-powered Audi R10 and with serious competition from rivals like Porsche, the 12-hour endurance race promises to be legendary."

    "The new Audi R10 TDI has written a piece of motorsport history making its début at Sebring (USA): For the first time ever, a diesel powered car has claimed pole position in a sportscar race. In Thursday&#146;s qualifying session, Scotland&#146;s Allan McNish broke the track record by over two seconds, impressively underlining the performance of the modern Audi TDI technology."
  • grandaddygrandaddy Posts: 66
    Thanks Mark, excellent info!! European drivers routinely report 50 mpg in large diesel powered autos. I simply have to think that politics play a role in the U.S. and are at least partially the cause for our not taking a more proactive approach to diesel. Inexcusable.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    More from Sebring re diesel victory:

    Quotes after the race at Sebring

    Prof Dr Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of AUDI AG:

    "Audi has once again written motorsport history, this time by being the first manufacturer to win an endurance race with a diesel powered sportscar. This impressively confirms the efficiency of the modern TDI technology. It is especially remarkable that this success was achieved at the very first race of the new Audi R10 TDI. The whole team from Audi Sport and the Technical Development of Audi has once again done a great job. I thank everyone who is participating in this ambitious project.&#148;

    Dr Wolfgang Ullrich (Head of Audi Motorsport):

    "This has been a very tough race and thus a good test for Le Mans. To get the first victory for a TDI engine after our pole position is fantastic. We showed today what&#146;s in our new sportscar with a Diesel engine. Thanks to the whole crew from Audi Sport and Team Joest. Of course it is a shame that we couldn&#146;t bring both cars to the finish. But we learned a lot today and know that it is still a long way to Le Mans.&#148;

    Drive it like you live.

    P.S. from Audi websites: A6 3.2 FSI quattro 6spd tiptronic est MPG hiway 26, 0 - 100KPH 7.1 seconds; A6 3.0 TDI quattro 6spd tiptronic est MPG hiway 43, 0 - 100KPH 7.0 seconds (40% improvement in mileage, minor improvement in acceleration) and today Mobil Super+ $2.75.9/10ths, Diesel at same station $2.64.9/10ths.

    Gallons GAS to go 75,000 miles = 2,885 ($7,960).

    Gallons DIESEL to 75,000 miles = 1,744 ($4,620).

    $3,340 less for the diesel fuel version.

    Sign me up.

    Screaming voice in the wilderness (aka Lunatic Fringe) -- over and out! :shades:
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    I find that hard to believe. There is still room for improved reliability for all cars

    Not necessarily so. As it turns out, in recent years the reliability of some of the Toyota/Lexus models has been SO high that there seems to be no statistical improvement that presents itself. It seems to have reached a threshhold. That does indeed suggest that there is a statistical limit.

    Yes, of course, cars that are less reliable can do better, and should, IMO, but my post should not be confused to mean that there is no room for those cars to improve. It is an interesting statistic that was discussed at some length on one of the forums earlier this year.

    While extreme reliability is achievable, it would seem that perfection is not achievable. Statistics bear this out and, IMO, it makes reasonable sense.

  • deweydewey Posts: 5,251
    can't speak for everyone, but up to now buyers do not have any real options in term of getting both power and fuel economy in LPS models available.

    And I certainly hope you dont consider a GS450h as an option for fuel economy. Forget those rose tinted EPA figures and let us look at the ugly unblemished reality behind the gas economy of a GS450H as reviewed by the Wall StreetJournal. Unfortunately you need a subcripiton to have access but here is a brief summary:

    During a test-drive program on desert highways in Lake Mead National Park east of Las Vegas, the fuel-economy computer on a GS450h I drove registered an average 20.8 miles per gallon. But another GS450h I drove had racked up mileage just below 16 miles per gallon for the day -- presumably because some lead-footed auto writers didn't heed the warnings about vigilant park police.

    So far, performance hybrids haven't proved as popular as the Toyota Prius, which remains in a class by itself in terms of how quickly they sell. Whether Lexus can succeed in defining hybrid technology as a 21st-century approach to luxury power --- and do so before the German brands launch their efforts to define 21st-century high performance as a high-tech, bio-fueled diesel &#150; will be seen over the next two to three years.

    I think it will be worth waiting the next 2 to 3 years for the new German biodiesels than buying a gas consuming GS450H , dont you think? Otherwise if you insist on the Toyota/Lexus approach then wait until they offer lithium ion batteries with improved hybrid technology.

    WSJ Subscription Required
  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 7,451
    At the start of the race, the Audi that eventally won was still in the pits getting a heat exchanger repaired and started way behind the field!! The other Audi led the race until the other one could catch up so one of them lead for every lap!!

    Sign me up also.

    2013 LX 570 2016 LS 460

  • deweydewey Posts: 5,251
    Lori Queen, a GM executive for small cars, couldn't take it anymore. In an e-mail exchange with Automotive News, she wrote that the editors and reporters who put together the Consumer Reports auto issue are "the most unprofessional group of people I have ever worked with."

    She added: "They are totally nonobjective and go to great extremes to paint a picture for their paid subscription readers, who primarily buy Japanese cars.

    "They don't consider price or price differences, they don't consider model mix or consumer preferences, they buy the cheapest car they can find (generally), and then base all their opinions on a limited sample."

    Ofcourse GM PR tried to calm the emotions down after the above statements. Is there a grain of truth in what Queen is saying? I will leave that for forum members to decide.

    link title
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,251
    Not necessarily so. As it turns out, in recent years the reliability of some of the Toyota/Lexus models has been SO high that there seems to be no statistical improvement that presents itself. It seems to have reached a threshold.

    Call me a pessimist but I think it will be downhill from here. And I am not referring to Toyota/Lexus or Honda(the best among the best in terms of rated models), but to all auto makers.

    In the past few decades or so corrosion was the biggest issue for a car's longetivity . In the future sophisticated automotive electronics and electrical features will make future cars more prone to expensive repairs than they are today. As a result unreliability. will become a bigger issue in the future.
  • 2001gs4302001gs430 Posts: 767
    During a test-drive program on desert highways in Lake Mead National Park east of Las Vegas, the fuel-economy computer on a GS450h I drove registered an average 20.8 miles per gallon. But another GS450h I drove had racked up mileage just below 16 miles per gallon for the day --

    I wonder what would be the fuel economy number would be had they also tested a GS430 in parallel. Also, what were tests?

    I am open to other alternatives that give both power and fuel economy. Given everything being equal, if turbo (Bio)diesel were a better option, then I would definitely vote with my wallet.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Diesels have been around a long time. Remember the early ones? They are nothing like today's diesels. How many years did it take them to improve?

    How many years have hybrids been on the scene? I think it's fair to say that they will improve and overcome many of their shortcomings. Also, they do provide some advantages. For now, they utilize traditional fuel. This is good, at least in the short run. They provide MORE power, not less. This is good. The batteries have been reliable and long-lived, and will improve even more. This is good. The efficiency will improve and the premium will decrease, making them more economically viable. The key is to realize that they are not only about fuel savings. Hybrids are also about cleaner emissions, and more horsepower.

    Diesels are awesome. I absolutely love them. My view is that all this work on hybrid technology and all these improvements with diesels will possibly lead to a marriage of the two in more cars as time goes.

    It makes sense to me that the upcoming improved hybrid technology could be put to great use in a modern diesel.

    That's why I like them both so much. They each represent something significant to contribute . . . with the same goal . . . to achieve more efficient use of the real energy contained in fuel.

    We are in exciting times, as the traditional gasoline ICE is being challenged from a number of directions. It won't be long before we're talking more seriously about hydrogen, but I still think it's significantly further out than the modern diesels and hybrids, which are in production cars.

    Anyway, that's how I see it.

  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    In the future sophisticated automotive electronics and electrical features will make future cars more prone to expensive repairs than they are today. As a result unreliability. will become a bigger issue in the future.

    There is good logic to that statement. However, it may be just that the areas that have issues will shift. The rust issues were taken care of some time ago and were replaced by emissions-related issues. Perhaps you are right that there will be some increase in electronic issues. Already we are seeing "software" issues in our cars. Who would have imagined that? Bill Gates' fault?
  • warthogwarthog Posts: 216
    I'm not particularly a fan of CR, but I do recall that in April 2003 CR announced that the BMW 530i "achieved the highest overall score of any vehicle CR has tested." No Japanese bias there.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Funny thing. Prior to ordering my 2002 530i I'd never had a car that was "Recommended" by CR. When I found this little factoid out, I actually questioned my decision to get the 5er. ;-)

    Best Regards,
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Bill Gates' fault?

    Of course it is! Isn't everything? ;)
  • rayngrayng Posts: 70
    As an 18 year CR subscriber, I take CR's recommendations with the understanding that consumers not enthusiasts are CR's audience. As a consumer, many of us value reliability, ergonomics, operating costs (which includes insurance, fuel economy, etc...) and everyday livability (comfort, road noise, trunk space, etc...). I challenge those who are CR haters to read the April CR car issue. That issue has lots of interesting comments on egress/ingress, visibility, and ergonomics. I find the CR info quite valuable in helping me make my decision to purchase German cars despite the less than steller reliability ratings.

    As for my experience with CR's surveys (and I fill one out every year), I am not biased toward Lex/Toy over BMW or Porsche. If I have problems, I report them. If I don't I don't. Generally my car ownership experience has been consistent with survey results.

    There's no conspiracy. CR's not out to destroy BMW, Audi, Daiml/Chryrsler, or the American brands. GM is quite adept at screwing up without CR's help.
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