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Help me decide on a new vehicle - Page 4

post #46 of 87
The reliability issues of German auto mfg's is something of a bubble that has burst. They all tried to cut costs in the 90's to keep up with the Japanese, but ultimately, they realized their market was not economy cars, and they have since made adjustments to improve reliability. There are residual effects of these changes, however, I believe buying a new car from any of the big German auto mfg's is no longer the risk it once was (as long as the car is built in Europe.. I still have some concerns with VW's built in South America and Mexico, or the X5 in the states, etc).

Also, having a good service department is important to a buying decision. I know Honda/Acura are notorious for having terrible Parts and Service departments, in general. When my girlfiend bought her car earlier this month, she specifically chose the dealer based on their service department. They give her a free loaner car (brand new model year of at least the same class as what she owns) for any type of service. I don't think you'll find many Japanese auto mfg's doing that.

Although, for a counterpoint, I've owned two new Japanese cars over the past 4 years and had zero problems and zero reasons to ever drop my car off. And my service department is great, too. So..... there ya go.
post #47 of 87
Thread Starter 
I've always liked the look of the C series MB, and the interior is very well done. I have just known too many people who tell me that when your warranty expires on a German auto, and something non-miniscule breaks, you are going to get hosed on the part costs and REALLY hosed on labor. I would imagine we would have this next vehicle for 5-8 years, so being out of warranty is a concern.

More things to depress me:

BMW 325/330- I am more than pissed that the only real sedan left on my list is probably going to get taken off over tires. Yes, BMW now puts run-flat tires on all 3 series... and engineers the suspension for them, and apparently can void your warranty for changing to non-RF tires. RF tires SUCK to me- they don't provide a comfortable ride, they cost twice what a normal tire costs to replace, and- best of all- they are not readily stocked at most BMW dealerships or independent auto stores. What, I'm going to go on a weekend vacation, blow a tire, and wait around for DAYS for a replacement? I'd probably have to, since there's no spare- or even room built in the trunk for one- and the hell if I'm driving around on a busted tire, run flat or not. This kills me that they designed the vehicle for this kind of tire and are giving people shit about switching them out. Apparently this style of tire will be showing up on several manufacturers soon... as long as they aren't standard and the vehicle isn't tuned to them, fine. Otherwise, word will get out and customers will go elsewhere.

Lexus RX330- as great as Lexus' track record for quality/reliability/fit and finish is, it seems to be highly questioned on this vehicle. Sure, you have to take reviews on edmunds.com and other places with a grain of salt, as most people don't bother posting if everything is fine. However, their boards are one of the few places you can see long-term opinions and problems discussed, and that is more important by far than someone who's had the thing for 3 months. I have read wayyy too many posts about interior rattles, warped rotors, inconsistent transmission shifting. And sure, no car at any price range will be free of these things- but for the price I expected to see better long term opinions. I also can't believe Lexus nailed the interior so well and yet put puny, women-sized armrests in the seats instead of making a center console armrest. A good armrest is important to me, as all I do is highway commutes, and that joke of an armrest is very disappointing.

Tahoe- after all the marketing hype GM made about the V-8 shutting down 4 cylinders to increase fuel economy, I assumed they meant once you reached highway speed. Now I'm reading it only makes that change when the accelarator is not pressed. What the hell good does that do??? You only get that benefit when COASTING? Dirty marketing by GM- gas mileage on average from what I've read is still mid-teens, which I consider average for full-size SUVs. Other than that I still like it, it's just not exciting.

Acura MDX- feels too much like my Accord coupe on the inside. Solid, but styling is old and the 07 version doesn't look like my cup of tea.

I might go test drive the C280 this weekend just to see.
post #48 of 87
Quote:
I have just known too many people who tell me that when your warranty expires on a German auto, and something non-miniscule breaks, you are going to get hosed on the part costs and REALLY hosed on labor.

As long as it's not a major powertrain problem, which tend to be the least common, I'd suggest fixing it yourself. Parts can be had for much cheaper than $tealership markup, and the labor is free!

Quote:
I would imagine we would have this next vehicle for 5-8 years, so being out of warranty is a concern.

If you are concerned about long term ownership costs, then why buy? Lease. As the saying goes.. Don't buy depreciating assets.. Plus, there are loads of good Lease deals on bread&butter 06 car models such as the 3 series and A4, etc..

Quote:
BMW 325/330- I am more than pissed that the only real sedan left on my list is probably going to get taken off over tires. Yes, BMW now puts run-flat tires on all 3 series... and engineers the suspension for them, and apparently can void your warranty for changing to non-RF tires.

Within reason you can put whatever tires you want on your car, and there is no way it would void your warranty. If a dealership told you that, take your business elsewhere immediately. Auto warranties are stronger than a lot of people think. It is the dealership's task to prove that whatever change you made to the car is the cause of whatever fault you are seeking warranty coverage for. For example, if you add an intake, exhaust, chip, turbo, whatever to your car, and the rear strut goes within, say, 1 year of purchase, you better believe that the dealership will cover that blown strut under warranty because no self-respecting service manager would say that more horsepower ruined a rear strut. So, you have hundreds of tires to choose from that will have absolutely no effect on the likelihood of you being denied for warranty work. However, if you put 315/25/20's in your car, and a wheel bearing goes, your dealership might have an issue. So just stay right around the OE specifications, and you'll be fine. Don't rule out the best car on your list due to misinformation.

Quote:
Tahoe-
I can't believe you are still considering this monstrousity.
post #49 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by briancl
I can't believe you are still considering this monstrousity.

Patriotism at work?
post #50 of 87
bbb,

why an suv over a wagon? there are plenty of them in your price range with lots of room in the back, a smooth or sporty ride, and better gas mileage than your suv options.
post #51 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by matadorpoeta
bbb,

why an suv over a wagon? there are plenty of them in your price range with lots of room in the back, a smooth or sporty ride, and better gas mileage than your suv options.

Americans don't seem to like wagons for some reason, probably the same reason they don't like hot hatchbacks (I don't see a lot of new VW GTI's for example, even though it is a fantastic car for the price).

Jon.
post #52 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by imageWIS
Americans don't seem to like wagons for some reason, probably the same reason they don't like hot hatchbacks (I don't see a lot of new VW GTI's for example, even though it is a fantastic car for the price).

Jon.

i like the a3 right now. if i was looking for a new car...
post #53 of 87
Thread Starter 
the Tahoe is still on the list b/c my wife wants it to be... and as I said I do like it as well.

Not much for wagons, sorry.
post #54 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by matadorpoeta
i like the a3 right now. if i was looking for a new car...

The reason I didn't get the A3 is that I didn't need all the extra space. If they brought the 3-door A3 to the States I would have bought it instead of my car (or if they made an A4 coupe).

Jon.
post #55 of 87
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by briancl
As long as it's not a major powertrain problem, which tend to be the least common, I'd suggest fixing it yourself. Parts can be had for much cheaper than $tealership markup, and the labor is free!

Not much of a car guy- I can do all the normal maintenance stuff but if something breaks, I probably can't fix it on my own. I have friends that likely could, but again this goes back to wanting a vehicle where chances are slim that oft-repairs are needed.



Quote:
If you are concerned about long term ownership costs, then why buy? Lease. As the saying goes.. Don't buy depreciating assets.. Plus, there are loads of good Lease deals on bread&butter 06 car models such as the 3 series and A4, etc..

Here's the rub- in many ways I am a 'lease' guy. I get bored with cars after a couple of years and always find myself pining for a new vehicle. I also am big about always being under warranty, which leasing covers. The problem is a) most all lease agreements penalize after 10,000 miles... I average 18k a year, and b) it's a tough pyschological proposition to sink that much money into a vehicle and 3 years later walk away empty handed.



Quote:
Within reason you can put whatever tires you want on your car, and there is no way it would void your warranty. If a dealership told you that, take your business elsewhere immediately. Auto warranties are stronger than a lot of people think. It is the dealership's task to prove that whatever change you made to the car is the cause of whatever fault you are seeking warranty coverage for. For example, if you add an intake, exhaust, chip, turbo, whatever to your car, and the rear strut goes within, say, 1 year of purchase, you better believe that the dealership will cover that blown strut under warranty because no self-respecting service manager would say that more horsepower ruined a rear strut. So, you have hundreds of tires to choose from that will have absolutely no effect on the likelihood of you being denied for warranty work. However, if you put 315/25/20's in your car, and a wheel bearing goes, your dealership might have an issue. So just stay right around the OE specifications, and you'll be fine. Don't rule out the best car on your list due to misinformation.

Thanks for the info
post #56 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by imageWIS
The reason I didn't get the A3 is that I didn't need all the extra space. If they brought the 3-door A3 to the States I would have bought it instead of my car (or if they made an A4 coupe).

Jon.

We looked at the A3 as well as the A4/S4 wagon. The A3 actually isn't very big. Even with the seats down, there isn't much cargo space. Maybe it was a feeling of space vs. actual numbers, but the A4 wagon feels vast in comparison. I would not get an A3 if I needed actual cargo room.. A4/S4 wagon all the way.
post #57 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by briancl
We looked at the A3 as well as the A4/S4 wagon. The A3 actually isn't very big. Even with the seats down, there isn't much cargo space. Maybe it was a feeling of space vs. actual numbers, but the A4 wagon feels vast in comparison. I would not get an A3 if I needed actual cargo room.. A4/S4 wagon all the way.

So why don't you go for the S4 Avant? It has Quattro, more than enough room and drives like a bat out of hell.

Jon.
post #58 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by imageWIS
So why don't you go for the S4 Avant? It has Quattro, more than enough room and drives like a bat out of hell.

Jon.

That's what we ordered.. 2007 S4 Avant Phantom Black Pearl, Black on Black Alcantara interior, w/ Nav, Bluetooth, Convenience, and heated front seats. It should arrive in late August.. Oh, and its a manual, of course. It should be a fun car for her to drive and use for work, and even more fun for me to putz around in occasionally when I want something lush and comfy.
post #59 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by briancl
That's what we ordered.. 2007 S4 Avant Phantom Black Pearl, Black on Black Alcantara interior, w/ Nav, Bluetooth, Convenience, and heated front seats. It should arrive in late August.. Oh, and its a manual, of course. It should be a fun car for her to drive and use for work, and even more fun for me to putz around in occasionally when I want something lush and comfy.

Congrats! I really should have gotten the 6-speed...oh well, next time.

Jon.
post #60 of 87
Quote:
Americans don’t seem to like wagons for some reason, probably the same reason they don’t like hot hatchbacks (I don’t see a lot of new VW GTI’s for example, even though it is a fantastic car for the price).

Jon.

I guess Americans have dubious tastes when it comes to vehicles; look at the annoying ubiquity of the Cadillac Escalade. I would take an A4 Avant or 3 series wagon anyday over most any SUV.
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