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Old 03-05-2005, 02:26 PM   #1
ZenerDiode
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Default Consumer Reports winners and losers

Winners:
Best family sedan--Accord Hybrid
Brand with fewest mechanical problems--Subaru
Most Reliable Vehicle--Hyuandai Sonata
Best SUV with 3 row seating--Honda Pilot
Best Luxury Sedan--Lexus LS430
Best Small SUV--Subaru Forester
Best Small Sedan--Ford Focus
Best Upscale Sedan--Acura TL
Best Midsize SUV--Lexus RX330
Best Green Car--Toyota Prius
Most Fun to Drive--Subaru Impreza WRX

Losers:
(brands that didn't have a single vehicle recommended in ANY category)
Hummer
Saturn
Jaguar
Mercedes
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Old 03-05-2005, 03:36 PM   #2
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any link to these data you found...?
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Old 03-05-2005, 03:40 PM   #3
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Hyundai Sonata
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Old 03-05-2005, 04:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Wevrick
Hyundai Sonata
Why not? They've been working their butt off to improve the quality control for years, and the goal they set is actually pretty high, namely toyota. They didn't say it was fun to drive.
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Old 03-05-2005, 04:39 PM   #5
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Appreciate the info....thanks.
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Old 03-05-2005, 09:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hhcchen
any link to these data you found...?
nope...just my copy of the lastest CR that arrived yesterday.
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Old 03-06-2005, 10:20 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hhcchen
any link to these data you found...?

http://www.consumerreports.org/main/home.jsp
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Old 03-06-2005, 07:49 PM   #8
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They could solve the problem by creating a Sonata 2.4T AWD

Quote:
Originally Posted by Len
Why not? They've been working their butt off to improve the quality control for years, and the goal they set is actually pretty high, namely toyota. They didn't say it was fun to drive.
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Old 03-07-2005, 10:04 AM   #9
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why does everyone rank mercedes low?
My dad and a lot of his friends have them and none have had any major problems...plus the materials, engines, and tech are far superior to lexus......
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Old 03-07-2005, 12:58 PM   #10
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dang, I thought Saturns used to be great for reliability and stuff. What happened to them?

surprised to see Subarus top the "mechanical reliability" list, are they really more mechanically sound than Toyotas?
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Old 03-07-2005, 01:24 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dubRexn
why does everyone rank mercedes low?
My dad and a lot of his friends have them and none have had any major problems...plus the materials, engines, and tech are far superior to lexus......
2 main reasons for poor MB ranking: overly complex electronic gizmos and the ML line made in the US
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Old 03-07-2005, 01:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dubRexn
why does everyone rank mercedes low?
My dad and a lot of his friends have them and none have had any major problems...plus the materials, engines, and tech are far superior to lexus......
Because Dodge stuck their noses into Mercedes business, American Interest / Parts + Reputible Foreign Carmaker = Huge Decline in Quality.

Why do you think Saabs are now Garbage? GM + Saab = Garbage
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Old 03-07-2005, 01:28 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Wevrick
Hyundai Sonata
not surprising, they have made some significant investments in and commitments to quality- see this piece from Businessweek one year ago. They're building high quality vehicles at value prices- kindof like what Subaru once offered before going "premium".

Businessweek
MAY 17, 2004

NEWS: ANALYSIS & COMMENTARY

Hyundai: Kissing Clunkers Goodbye
A five-year focus on quality has sent customer satisfaction soaring

When Hyundai Motor Co. Chairman Chung Mong Koo said his company could increase the quality of its cars to "Toyota levels" five years ago, few took him seriously. After all, Hyundai was the butt of talk-show jokes and a target of industry disdain for tinny cars that were about as reliable as a go-kart. So when J.D. Power & Associates Inc. on Apr. 28 said the Korean carmaker had virtually caught up with Toyota in terms of quality, jaws dropped from Detroit to Tokyo. "We still have a long way to go," says Suh Byung Kee, the senior executive vice-president heading Hyundai's quality-control team. "But we have completed the first phase of our task."

The second phase could well be tougher. The eye-opening survey measured initial quality -- the number of complaints customers had in the first 90 days of ownership. Hyundai owners reported just 102 problems per 100 cars sold -- earning a tie with Honda as the second-best carmaker on the list and falling just below Toyota's tally of 101. And its Sonata sedan was the top-ranked car in the "entry mid-sized" category. On longer-term measures, though, Hyundai remains a laggard: In Power's July, 2003, Vehicle Dependability Study, Hyundai tallied 342 problems per 100 vehicles after three years of ownership, vs. an industry average of 273. Hyundai execs counter that it will take time before the recent improvement shows up in the longer-term statistics.

There's reason to agree with Hyundai's optimism. First wooed by the company's generous warranty -- 10 years for the drive train and five years for everything else -- U.S. consumers are starting to believe that Hyundai is a changed brand. Last year they bought 400,000 of its cars, a 7% jump over 2002. Jeff Ball, a pharmacist from Laurence Harbor, N.J., has four of them: He and his wife share a Santa Fe SUV and a Sonata sedan ("I call it my Jaguar without the cat," he says), and he has bought smaller models for his sons. Sales like that are helping Hyundai's bottom line: Net profit totaled $1.5 billion last year, up 21% from 2002, on sales of $21.7 billion, up 1.6%.

A TEAM WITH TEETH. Hyundai's focus on quality comes straight from the top. Since 1999, Chairman Chung has boosted the quality team to 865 workers from 100, and virtually all employees have had to attend special seminars on improving Hyundai's cars. Chung presides over twice-monthly quality meetings in a special conference room and an adjacent workshop, with vehicle lifts and high-intensity spotlights for comparing Hyundais head-to-head with rivals. And this team has teeth: In the past year, the introduction of three new models was delayed by months as engineers scrambled to boost quality in response to problems found by the team.

The focus is on the details. In 1998, for instance, customers reported faulty warning lights and difficulty starting engines. So Chung set up a $30 million computer center where 71 engineers simulate harsh conditions to test electronics and pinpoint defects. The result: In Power's 2004 initial quality survey, Hyundai had only 9.6 problems in these areas per 100 vehicles, vs. an industry average of 13.8. Three years ago Hyundai had 23.4 problems, vs. the industry's 17.9. "This is not a shotgun approach," says Robert Cosmai, president of the company's U.S. affiliate, Hyundai Motor America.

The big test comes next year when Hyundai is due to begin building redesigned Santa Fes and Sonatas in Alabama. One encouraging sign: DaimlerChrysler (DCX ) and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. plan to use a Hyundai-designed four-cylinder engine in their own small- and midsize cars. "This is a vote of confidence for Hyundai's engine quality," says Ahn Soo Woong, an auto analyst at Hanwha Securities Co. Now it's up to consumers to decide whether Hyundai really makes the grade.

By Moon Ihlwan in Seoul, with Larry Armstrong in Los Angeles and Michael Eidam in Atlanta
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Old 03-08-2005, 01:13 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dubRexn
why does everyone rank mercedes low?
My dad and a lot of his friends have them and none have had any major problems...plus the materials, engines, and tech are far superior to lexus......
meh...a lot of my parents friends have mercedes as well. Their cars are in the dealers so often, the loaners are basically their second cars. I think reliability is a major driving factor for Consumer Reports. and I wonder how much the old turbo-diesels still haunt the CR editors

And while I'm impressed by the mercedes interior appointments (I mean at $60K...it better be damn good), have you ever sat in a Lexus LS430? Holy crap, IMO Lexus easily trumps anything mercedes has +/- $15K. The leather is sooooo frickin' soft and pampering. The V8 is soooooo buttery smooth. I mean it really defines luxury. Sure Mercedes has some $80K + Halo cars with tricked out supercharged engines and all the neat doo-dads...but for flat out LUXURY that isn't completely out of 99% of the population's reach, Lexus is unbeatable.
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Old 03-08-2005, 09:14 AM   #15
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Korea will be the next Japan I guess. It just shocks me because I remember the very first Hyundais; they drove like crap even brand new and you'd be lucky to get 60,000 miles out of one before it fell apart.
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Old 03-08-2005, 09:40 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenerDiode
meh...a lot of my parents friends have mercedes as well. Their cars are in the dealers so often, the loaners are basically their second cars. I think reliability is a major driving factor for Consumer Reports. and I wonder how much the old turbo-diesels still haunt the CR editors
My grandfather's '87 E300D lasted for well over 500,000mi. Incredibly nice car to drive on the interstates, even with that much use. He got a 2000 model (another E class diesel) to replace it and passed away shortly after. Now my grandmother has a car that she's sentimentally attached to, but spends more time driving back and forth to service than it does actually going anywhere. The electronics (like the Stability Control and Braking Assist) keep losing sensors. It's becoming a liability and I don't think it's even got 100,000 on it yet.

These days, I'd as soon drive a chevy.
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Old 03-08-2005, 10:32 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beaverboy
My grandfather's '87 E300D lasted for well over 500,000mi. Incredibly nice car to drive on the interstates, even with that much use. He got a 2000 model (another E class diesel) to replace it and passed away shortly after. Now my grandmother has a car that she's sentimentally attached to, but spends more time driving back and forth to service than it does actually going anywhere. The electronics (like the Stability Control and Braking Assist) keep losing sensors. It's becoming a liability and I don't think it's even got 100,000 on it yet.

These days, I'd as soon drive a chevy.
Yup, 1987 was definitely a time before Dodge put their filthy mitts into Mercedes interests, American carmakers are going to screw up everything throughout the world.

At least Nissan and Toyota are still somewhat ambient, Subaru got screwed by GM when they took over making transmissions for them, hence why my tranny destroyed itself at 12K on my FXT... all GM parts.
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Old 03-08-2005, 12:35 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrysImpreza
Yup, 1987 was definitely a time before Dodge put their filthy mitts into Mercedes interests, American carmakers are going to screw up everything throughout the world.

At least Nissan and Toyota are still somewhat ambient, Subaru got screwed by GM when they took over making transmissions for them, hence why my tranny destroyed itself at 12K on my FXT... all GM parts.

You keep saying that it was Dodge that brought down MB, but I don't really think that's true. Mercedes has been going down for some time before the merger (rusting E class, problems with the ML series, other various electric issues), so Chrysler had nothing to do with it. Either way, MB bought Chrysler, not the other way around. MB saw an opportunity to make more money on Chrysler and jumped on it. Look at all the new Chrysler models...Chrysler seems to be benefiting from this takeover and not really affecting MB. There are Chrysler cars based on the Mercedes models, I don't see MB builing anything off of Chrysler chassis'.

Also, where are you getting this info that Subaru took GM transmissions? Care to elaborate?
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Old 03-08-2005, 12:43 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrysImpreza
Subaru got screwed by GM when they took over making transmissions for them, hence why my tranny destroyed itself at 12K on my FXT... all GM parts.
This is the first I've heard of that. Why would Subaru go to GM when they already have so much expertise in AWD driveline systems?
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Old 03-08-2005, 01:08 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Wevrick
Korea will be the next Japan I guess. It just shocks me because I remember the very first Hyundais; they drove like crap even brand new and you'd be lucky to get 60,000 miles out of one before it fell apart.
but look at Samsung putting Sony through its paces, and LG (used to be Goldstar). Korea has come a long way, they have stronger brands than Taiwan and everything used to be made there!
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Old 03-08-2005, 06:35 PM   #21
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in the electronics world, i have absolutely no qualms about putting big bucks into Korean gear. In some aspects, I daresay they have surpassed the japanese.

I'm still not convinced by their cars yet. I'm not too worried about the reliability (I mean if you have the balls to put a 100K miles warranty on it, it better be somewhat reliable...otherwise your company is gonna go bankrupt in 2 years, covering all those warranty problems). But the general fit and finish and material quality isn't quite japanese enough yet...kinda like a notch above GM and a notch bellow honda. But...I'm probably gonna get a Tucson for my mom's next car. It's cute, has enough power, has a long enough warranty, and best of all ridiculously cheap for what you get.
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Old 03-09-2005, 09:50 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Wevrick
Korea will be the next Japan I guess. It just shocks me because I remember the very first Hyundais; they drove like crap even brand new and you'd be lucky to get 60,000 miles out of one before it fell apart.
I remember when Subarus were like that!
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Old 03-09-2005, 09:57 AM   #23
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Double post.
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Old 03-09-2005, 09:59 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenerDiode
I'm not too worried about the reliability (I mean if you have the balls to put a 100K miles warranty on it, it better be somewhat reliable...otherwise your company is gonna go bankrupt in 2 years, covering all those warranty problems).
Length of warranty has little correlation with reliability. Think Mitsubishi. Also, how much of that warranty is transferable when you sell it? If little/none, then resale value tanks.
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Old 03-09-2005, 10:05 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Wevrick
Hyundai Sonata
Used to think the same way, due to the early models. But after riding in one (the Santa Fe), I thought it was a nice car for the money, and my brother in law seems to be happy with it after 2 years.
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