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Be sure to read the cover story of the latest CnD, which compares the world's best $55,000 sedans. Japanese cars take the top three of eight spots: Lexus GS430 (3rd), Acura RL (2nd), and Infiniti M45 (1st).

Evaluated strictly on performance (eg. reliability not a factor), the Japanese high-end cars dominated the Euros and the Americans in perhaps the most prestigious of enthusiast journals. For years, the same cars have dominated the most trusted source of reliability and dependability data--Consumer Reports.

Where else do the Europeans have to go? They are no longer superior driving cars, and have never been on par quality-wise.

It seems that the Japanese will soon rule the luxury market, much like they targeted and seized compacts (Civic, Corolla, Sentra) and mid-sized sedans (Accord, Camry, and Altima).

And I'm just fine with that. Finally, world-class performing cars that you can rely on like a Corolla.
 

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Weapon of Mass Affection
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It's all hot air, the auto industry is just as rank with politics and lies as the music industry. As more and more people get into the scene it becomes more and more diluted, until finally as in music- the underground can't be discerned from the pop. In the same way, auto companies are old and their reputations are all that remove them from newer competition. The problem here is that some people such as C&D are also old, and easily impressed by the "new swing". You should note that there isn't such a thing as national brands anymore. At the end of the day ask yourself why prestige and what magazines say matter, if all the companies are essentially the same.
 

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over the years i have had a lot of german crap... i will tell you first hand they the japs are better... hell speaking from my line up of cars now it should tell you something 2 toyotas, one nissan, one german, one american the only reason i have the american car is its money in the bank and well i would be sad if i sold it.

Just to give you an idea of how impressed i am with the current mercedes line, I have to get a personalised tag that say LEMON, MBSUX,MBSUCS, MBLMON, G D M ( god damn mercedes) none will go though the dmv :(
 

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MB, BMW, Audi, VW all of those cars are junk for reliablity and they try to incorp way too much untested or way too newe tech into their cars which equals more shity breaking.

i got my C&D 2 weeks ago and loved the article on the lux sedans.. and they RAVED about the M45, which is great because I loved the 1st gen and the 2nd seems to be right on the mark. And i was really suprised how well the RL did. Mind you the new dash on the RL is perfection.

and TrueSlide - C&D has a great mix of young and old. i think one of the best mixes in the industry.

the japanese auto makers have been leanring from there mistakes and making just simply amazing cars, whereas VW and such are making crap to begin with and then have the hurdle of poor conversion rates to market a car thats not worth it to begin with. The new Jetta is a compact car that carries a 20k +++ price tag with a few options in a segemtn of sub 20k very good cars.

As always - good post Kerr.
 

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Man I need to pick up the new C&D. Like you Wob, I loved the first gen M45, it looked like a modern day muscle car to me. I haven't really got a good look at the second gen, but from what I saw it looks great.

I definately wouldn't buy a german car for it's reliability. The Japs destroyed the American competition and now they have set their sights on the Euros. If Euro manufacturers don't change their attitude they will fall the same way the American manufacturers did, it's already starting.

I saw an article somewhere that showed MB actually admitting to their shotty reliability of late, and they vowed to change their ways. So far I see no change though.

-Brewster :run:
 

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over the years we have had 8 mb's none of them had many problems. 99 i bought a clk for the wife... few problems.... 2000 S500... more problems. 2002 G500 $11,590 in warranty clames and mb said " we will fix the car for the remainder of the factory warranty" If this is not ok with you feel free to get a lawer and sue us. as of today, i still have no high beam head light, leaking door, illuminated door sills that do not illuminate, steering that is off to the point where your 2 and 10 driving is closer to 3:30 and 11:30. traction light that blinks and puts the brakes on when im coasting, a trailering package with built in trailer brakes that do not work.. just picture G500 (6,000lbs)+70mph+trailer(1,500lbs)+ wide body supra with cage (4000lbs), ad in dumb bitch eating ice cream. on rap into the fast lane at 15-20 mph licking the damn cone so she does not get it on her seat. No clue why she could not have stopped in the slow or realslow lane... NO just had to bust out in the fast lane at 15.... So brakes on leather up the ass, close eyes, pray to god.... it was interesting.

back on the 1800 number to mbusa... the lady made me so mad I told the bitch i hope one day she can get a real job and buys a $80K+ home and it leaks, has massive electrical problems, and her front and back doors do not open :)
 

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Anyone read Peter Egan's article in the latest R&T? He was poking fun at old Lucas electrical products (the usual suspect in any British Car electrical problem), and related it to the problems the Germans are running into.....unessesary added complexity for simple functions.

Seriously now, much of it just seems like technology for the sake of technology.....I-Drive for example; who's going to fix that thing in their driveway 10 years from now when it stops working? There's so many goofy little electronic doo-dad's in German cars, that it's just a disaster waiting to happen....now I like new toys as much as the next guy, but in the car world, they gotta work and work for a long time.
 

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KERR, great posts to give a reality check to others.

Let's see, the Japanese rule the minivan segment with the Odyssey and Sienna. They rule the family sedan segment with Camry and Accord. They are kicking butt with the new Avalon and LS430 in the prestige sedan segments. They blanket the sports sedan segment with tasty offerings like the Acura TSX, TL, Infiniti G35/M45, Lexus GS, Nissan Maxima/Altima 3.5. SUVs/CUVs like the RX330, FX, Murano, Pilots that are all praised are about to be accompanied by Subaru B9, hybrid Toyota/Lexus versions. Japan Auto Inc. is like a freight train without brakes. All they need is to fortify their RWD pass. performance car offerings, although their 350Z, G35 Coupe, and S2000 are praised for what they are already.

The domestics as a whole are bleeding but at least a lot of them are priced to sell and offer a lot for the $$$ after discounts and incentives (notice that article now includes discounts/rebates/incentives as a scoring category) and many are relatively cheap to maintain/repair. By contrast, many European cars, for a given price, one has to go a size or two below Japanese and American rivals PLUS deal with outrageous repair costs. A loaded 325i sedan can go for over $37,000 MSRP, which is close to the upcoming 425hp 300C SRT-8 (ironically by a company owned by that German leg of DC). High value cars like the CTS-v, C6, other Hemi Chryslers, and the new Mustang all seem to be unchallenged for now, but are too isolated to make a huge market share impact.

I think the European car offerings that remain unchallenged are offerings such as the supercars, the AMG lineup such as the E55, etc. But slowly and surely they're getting squeezed out. Toyota/Lexus among the Japanese (other than the NSX) may be the first to step on some toes in this ultra-high dollar segment soon.

Overall, that was a cool comparison and not only did it reveal the improvement among Japanese in this once German-dominated class, but also the near-overnight turnaround of Nissan/Infiniti that legitimately puts them in the ranks of Toyota and Honda as world-class carmakers for both the mainstream and semi-rich.
 
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I love German cars, but I cannot for the life of me figure out with all the research and money that goes into them the manufacturers can screw things up so badly. If I ever come into the kind of capital it would take, I would buy out controlling shares in them all and figure out what the hell is going on.
 
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It may just be me being ignorant but who the hell wants all the electrical crap MB and BMW pack into their cars? Me personally I would want power seats and windows, a nice stereo and maybe ABS/Traction Control. Nav system, heated seats, automated heater vent aimers, active cruise control (for those who nap on their commutes?), memory seats, I-Drive, the 11 antennas Mercedes packs into the top of the line CLs, who wants this crap? More importantly who wants to fix this crap went the warranty runs out? Spend the developement (considerable) money on something like super gucci leather or safety systems, or for the money a forged titanium frame or a mechanism to transform my BMW into a jet fighter at the push of a button.

Thats another thing, I will never ever buy a car with active/adaptive/BMW fucking with me steering!
 

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I'm guilty. I didn't read all this, so my statement may have been addressed already, but how can you compare manufactures or jdm vs us vs euro when I can't keep track of who owns what; ie, if Lambos someday get outdone by a jdm car is it because Italians can't make sports cars, or is it that a jdm car beat a VW because VW owns Lambos, right?

Ok, none of that made sense, but what I am saying is that it is pointless to say the JDM's are doing better than Euro's if the Euro's are owned by non-Euros.
 

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lol.... i think as of right now vw ownes everthing and what they dont own ford does.


Back on the topic, I picked up a 05 nissan pathfinder about 2 months ago for my daily drive. 5-60K miles power train warranty, heated front seats, cd player reclining rear seats, full undercarrage skid plates, and side curtian air bags. total was $32,000.00 For the money you cant beat it, and the best part is it looks good in black
 

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I think European cars started out as great quality machinery, but now competition has diluted their quality. I'm an engineering student at an automotive company that manufactuers heat exchangers. Whats ridiculous is now we have the Big Three, demanding that we cut all our prices by massive percentages. Its ridiculous. So of course to meet these demands, the company will release a lower quality product. I really think that the big three need to bow out and realize they the aren't going to own 75% of the market nay longer. And I think that Mercedes seriously needs to re-evaluate its quality inspection program because the quality is shit. I should know, my sister-in-law drives a 1999 C 230. POS! Just my two cents. Cheers.
 

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Staged, thanks again for posting such good comments. I was waiting for your reply before posting! :lol: :)

That was quite an article. Very interesting and tastefully done, just like any other CD comparo. I am not surprised at all to see the M45 win this comparison, as I fell in love with the car the first time I saw the ad in Fortune magazine. :)

It seems that the German automakers are walking slowly away from their big competitive advantage they had previously: the sporty feel. By plaguing their cars with an insane amount of electronics, they added weight, created complexities that annoy the driver and reduced driver's true experience of driving, and made their car less reliable. It's a lose-lose situation.

The Japanese automakers, on the other hand, handled the electronics issues first, made their product, good, reliable but not stylish nor sporty. Nowadays, their products are sporty and stylish, while still retaining the initial build quality and reliability. Who won? See the results. The podium is all-Japan. :)

-Olivier
 

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