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Old 12th October 2009, 20:07   #31
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I long for a pure German car. A car that boasts German handling, stability & finesse, and whose engineers have only focussed on giving the car its mechanical best. Supreme engineering + only the basic electronics stuff.
I think the nearest you'll get to that is the base golf, when it launches here. Hope it will be as cheap to maintain as it is rumored to be priced!
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Old 12th October 2009, 20:33   #32
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I'd disagree there. In terms of precision + efficient construction, Japs rule. In terms of dynamics, yes, the Germans are out on top. Take a look at the Lexus LS460 (a car I often refer too). All the gizmos in the world yet the reliability of a Corolla. But no, it doesn't quite have the dynamics of the S Class. See, thats the thing. I want German finesse in engineering and Jap reliability. Cars like the W124 & W126 have proven they are capable of it. You could spend 30 minutes just looking at the glovebox of the W126, or an hour appreciating the orthopaedic seats. Yet, in the last 10 years, the Germans have all but lost it.
Why don't you compare the gizmo's on the LS and the S-Class on their official websites, the links of which are given below.

LS | Detailed Specifications

Mercedes-Benz UK - S-Class - S-Class Saloon
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Old 13th October 2009, 10:18   #33
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Don't know if it should go here

Some one I know in Hyderabad bought a Q5. During the puja, the priest smeared stuff on the bonnet and it will not go, rubbed it - still there. Nothing short of a respray will sort this!
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Old 13th October 2009, 14:01   #34
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My friend recently bought an A6 and within 3 weeks, the MMI system crashed and would only show a blank screen . It was sent back to the dealer and they had to replace the whole MMI system in the car.
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Old 13th October 2009, 14:20   #35
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Some one I know in Hyderabad bought a Q5. During the puja, the priest smeared stuff on the bonnet and it will not go, rubbed it - still there. Nothing short of a respray will sort this!
So its the stuff that he rubbed on which is the problem right? Or are you saying that Audi's paint is different from normal paint which led to this scenario?
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Old 13th October 2009, 14:35   #36
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Some one I know in Hyderabad bought a Q5. During the puja, the priest smeared stuff on the bonnet and it will not go, rubbed it - still there. Nothing short of a respray will sort this!
Here, the fault lays with the panditji and not the car! It would have been the same with any vehicle.
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Old 13th October 2009, 19:56   #37
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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Exactly why the Germans are making their cars complicated from gen to gen. That is, to *justify* the premium.



Lexus? With the Germans today, evidently we cannot have our cake and eat it too. I am more interested in German mechanical prowess and not their electronic (or lack of it). Why can't a purist like me have the equivalent of a W126 today, without the snazzy electronics of a W220!

I love the dynamics & driving feel of German cars. Unfortunately, their lack of reliability is keeping me away from upgrading. I want a car that works. The same way that a W124 did for years at end!



I'd buy the Accord over the Superb today, and teh Civic because its a heck of a drivers car. The additional features I'd want in an Accord, and which have proven reliable are:

- Bi-xenon headlamps
- Traction control
- Sunroof
- Proper MID (current one has Casio fonts!)

Throw in memory seats + mirrors + steering also if you want. No more. The point is, all the features I've listed are old school, perfected and very easy to get 10 year reliability out of. I really don't need 1000 sensors in my car (one of which tells me that my windscreen wash fluid is low, I can check myself thank you), four zone climate control (never even used dual zone in my C220), rain sensing wipers (I always override with manual controls), auto headlamps (ditto), parking sensors (never needed them in any car I've parked, including many S Class'), the equivalent of 30 computers in my car (S Class) or fiber optic cables!

A relevant post I'd made in Ajmats awesome thread (Impact of electronics on reliability)



Made that post 5 years back. Stand is nearly the same today.

Next, thing about restoration and long life. You see 30 year old Mercs on our roads today, and we swoon after them. Who is going to restore the W221 after 15 years? No one. These things have far less durability when new, who is going to bother with complex electronics after 10 years! German cars of yesteryear were timeless classics, the ones of today are disposables.



You have taken the words right out of my mouth, Sudev. If I spend 50 lakhs on a car, I want durability + reliability superior to a 15 lakh Altis. I want to appreciate the finesse of German mechanical engineering, not the electronic rubbish they throw at us now.
Agree with GTO's remarks one hundred percent.
A car should be utterly reliable under ordinary circumstances, at the very least. An expensive car ( I would put the bar at Rs 15 lacs + as expensive for India) is not expected to break down.

I guess getting the mechanical things right in terms of reliability is achieved more easily as compared to the electronic bits, particularly so if the manufacturers pack in lots of 'desirable' as opposed to 'required' features.

Heartily second GTO's point that a car, any car should have :
1. ABS
2. Airbags
3. ECU
4. ASC ( as in Daimler Benz)
5. Traction control
6. Audio systems ( for heaven's sake its a car not the Scala)
7. Electric windows

The rest are probably not essential.

My issue with the Japs is that their products do not give me the peace of mind associated with long term build quality/ruggedness/comfort that the Germans do.

I read a report in BNET some months ago which analysed the sales figures of Mercedes, BMW and Audi and came up with the conclusion that overall, across all segments, Mercedes will come up third best in sales. Audi is positioned to take over as the sales leader - somewhere around 2012. This is as far as I can recall.

Regards
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Old 14th October 2009, 06:15   #38
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One of my friend owns Audi A8 here in US and his MMI Screen just went blank one fine morning after only 5 months, it was changed under warranty but since then It has no issues. According the Consumer Reports, BMW is more reliable than AUDI and Merc. On the side note, We had Merc W140 1998 with all gizmos and didn't give any problem for around 110,000 miles, even my current Beemer 5 is running with no issues at all. My Corolla '05 is still going great with no expenses other than regular oil and brake pad changes even after 130K Miles and still gives me strong 35 MPG on highways.
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Old 14th October 2009, 08:57   #39
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Originally Posted by issigonis View Post
...My issue with the Japs is that their products do not give me the peace of mind associated with long term build quality/ruggedness/comfort that the Germans do....
First thing that came to my mind on reading above - For price of one Continental thingy buy three Japo movers and outlive the Europeans by what ever long terms reliability you want.

But is that true? Yes! Japo vehicles are generally un-exciting. But un-reliable? Long term as in how many years?
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Old 14th October 2009, 09:21   #40
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Default Not just electrical problems

Along with Audi, add Volvo to that list. Probably the most unreliable car after Chrysler. Most of the European cars cannot command the reliability which comes standard with Japanese cars. As I told earlier in a thread, ask any tow truck guy and he would tell you that his 'favorite' cars are VWs and Audis.

Volvo once known for its safety and other features, no more tops the safety ratings list. Acura does. Acura is the only maker to have all it's cars meet the top-safety pick by IIHS (and obviously all Honda's as well). In fact, E-Class and 5-series doesn't come in the top list (other notable omissions are Camry, Mazda6, , where as Accord is. Such a shame. However, Chrysler is the worst with only 1 car listed.
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Old 14th October 2009, 09:23   #41
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The race for more electronic gizmos is triggered because of public demand.Just imagine this, even if a lancer or a baleno were available today for prices similar to a swift or an i 10 , people will still prefer the latter cars although the lancer are baleno are much better engineered cars mechanically and offer superior handling and ride quality.Earlier the turn around time to design and implement an electronic feature was larger.Now it is only a matter of months.This leaves very little time for testing and the pressure from the marketing folks pushes out the technology into cars even before proper testing takes place.Also electronics are an easy way of eye washing the customer rather than the more painful mechanical innovations.The customer also finds it easier to look at things which he can see for real and justify the price he is paying, rather than the salesman trying to explain the customer about the mechanical innovations which he may not even understand.When the enthusiast community widens, i am sure there will be more purist cars meant for enthusiasts like us.

Last edited by freewheelburnin : 14th October 2009 at 09:24.
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Old 14th October 2009, 12:24   #42
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@freewheelburnin: Why should purists only need / demand cars that work? All the gizmos are supposed to make life easier and not complicated. At the same time you can not have a gizmo that fail at critical juncture. Imagin auto brake failing when the driver is conditioned to expect it to work. Pressure from marketing / competition does not mean releasing unfinished / immature products. AND if Japs are able to wait and iron out issues plus do inhouse testing and trails before releasing it at much cheaper pricing then who is the winner?

Anyways for things mentioned by thread starter this does not hold true. Taillamps failures and not due to cutting edge technologies. Non-compatibility to environment seems to be issue (heat and dust).

This can not be ignored just like you would not condone "wardrobe malfunction" on a pair of higgest end jeans vis your everyday denims. Or may be, given our social pecking order, vice-versa is the oe not acceptable.

;-)
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Old 14th October 2009, 12:25   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inwester View Post
Acura is the only maker to have all it's cars meet the top-safety pick by IIHS (and obviously all Honda's as well). In fact, E-Class and 5-series doesn't come in the top list (other notable omissions are Camry, Mazda6, , where as Accord is. Such a shame. However, Chrysler is the worst with only 1 car listed.
There is a difference in safety due to reliability and safety due to active and passive safety systems.

Let me add how can an Accord which is not the most stable (not even in the top 10) while driving at high speed compared to a host of other cars be safer?

It is not just about what happens in the case of a frontal accident.

Last edited by ACM : 14th October 2009 at 12:27. Reason: adding
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Old 14th October 2009, 21:09   #44
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There is a difference in safety due to reliability and safety due to active and passive safety systems.

Let me add how can an Accord which is not the most stable (not even in the top 10) while driving at high speed compared to a host of other cars be safer?

It is not just about what happens in the case of a frontal accident.
And they don't test just frontal accidents. If someone is stupid enough to speed out of a car's capability, it will still protect that person.

Nearly every box with four wheels in the USA come with V6 and V8 engine options. And with those engines, they will all go bonkers top speeds. Do you expect them all to drive like a Beemer?
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Old 15th October 2009, 17:35   #45
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I think the nearest you'll get to that is the base golf, when it launches here. Hope it will be as cheap to maintain as it is rumored to be priced!
The only brand new car that fits is the current Octavia!

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Originally Posted by extreme_torque View Post
Why don't you compare the gizmo's on the LS and the S-Class on their official websites, the links of which are given below.
1. The features of the S-Class aren't the ones that lead to its reliability issues. Mechanically too, the S Class is unreliable.

2. The Lexus has all the features I need. And a ton more that I really don't care about.

If you think its the S Class' features that make it unreliable, that couldn't be more off the mark. Has Mercedes lost its way? You bet. The W126 S-Class was the most advanced (including features) for its time, still managed to turn out exceedingly reliable + durable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by issigonis View Post
A car should be utterly reliable under ordinary circumstances, at the very least. An expensive car ( I would put the bar at Rs 15 lacs + as expensive for India) is not expected to break down.
Reliability, or the ability to take me from pt. A to pt. B consistently, is fundamental to any car. Why can't an 80 lakh S Class give me the reliability of a 10 lakh Jap sedan?
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