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Episode 802 – Mercedes/BMW Sales Slugfest, Record Year for Rolls-Royce, Dodge Dart Accessories

January 12th, 2012 at 12:06pm

Runtime: 8:25

Mercedes-Benz and BMW are engaged in a knock-down slug-fest to claim the No. 1 sales race for luxury cars in the American market, yet both companies claim they have no interest in the top sales slot.  Rolls-Royce had its best sales year ever in 2011, selling more than 3,500 cars.  Mopar announced the availability of a laundry list of accessories for the new 2013 Dodge Dart. All that and more, plus John answers your questions and responds to your comments in the “You Said It” segment.

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This is Autoline Daily for January 12th. And now, the news.

HATFIELDS AND MCCOYS
Mercedes-Benz and BMW are engaged in a knock-down slug-fest to claim the No. 1 sales race for luxury cars in the American market. Both of them say they have no interest in the top sales slot, and they merely want to build good cars and satisfy their customers. Don’t you believe it! They crave the bragging rights. Earl Hesterberg, the CEO of Group 1, which is one of the largest dealer groups in the U.S., says this bothers him. He says the German luxury brands are putting more emphasis on quantity than quality, and that it reminds him of the sales wars between Chevy and Ford. He says that in December, the list of sales incentives from one of those brands was 29 pages long. He won’t say who that was. But in November, Mercedes sales shot up 40 percent, and nearly 30 percent in December. So the evidence suggests he was talking about Mercedes.

RESTRUCTURE OR DIE
General Motors is talking with German union IG Metall about restructuring Opel. According to Reuters, the company may shift Chevrolet production from South Korea to Europe in exchange for cost cuts at Opel. But this is going to be a political minefield for GM. But IG Metall says its current contract prevents job cuts and plant closures. Analysts say if GM doesn’t cut costs at Opel, Opel will be forced in to bankruptcy.

OPEL OF MARCHIONNE’S EYE
And yet, despite all the trouble at Opel, Fiat/Chrysler CEO, Sergio Marchionne says he is interested in acquiring it. According to the Detroit News, Marchionne says he needs to sell 6 million vehicles a year globally to be competitive and acquiring Opel would help him reach that goal. Marchionne unsuccessfully tried to buy Opel in 2009.

ROLLIN’, ROLLIN’, ROLLIN’
Rolls-Royce had its best sales year in the company’s 107 year history in 2011. The company sold just over 3,500 vehicles last year, a 31 percent increase compared to 2010. The company had strong sales in the U.S., Asia and the Middle East.

WORLD’S FASTEST MERCEDES-BENZ
Fast cars are always fun, and Autoblog found a video of what’s claimed to be the quickest Mercedes-Benz ever. This SLR was tweaked by specialty tuner Renntech. Its supercharged V-8 was juiced for another 160 horsepower. That’s a whole Ford Focus worth of extra giddy-up! The results are staggering. Zero to 60 takes just 2.2 seconds. The quarter mile is done and gone in less than 9.8 seconds at nearly 141 miles an hour. See? I told you it was fast.

DODGE DART HITS ACCESSORY BULL’S EYE
Small cars are never big money makers. The profit margins are thinner than the fabric used on their seats. But the folks at Chrysler have come up with a good way of cashing in on the new Dodge Dart. This C-segment sedan will be available with more than 150 Mopar accessories. Some of the things offered include the usual appearance items like grille inserts, spoilers and bigger wheels . . . the list goes on, but there are performance options as well, like bigger brakes. As you know, the Dart shares a lot of design cues with the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, on which it’s based. Look at the shape of the body-side aperture – probably the most expensive stamping on a vehicle. Even though the Alfa is a hatchback it’s almost identical to the Dart. Both cars have low front ends and similar-looking windshields, but we’re told the Dart is wide and longer than the Giulietta.

Coming up next, it’s time for You Said It!

Randyseck really liked what he saw of the Detroit show. “Glad to see the Big Three getting it right. Now I can buy American and be proud of it. Love the Code 130R, however seems to me that it’s built on the ATS platform? If given the money and choice to buy anything at the show, I’d drive out with that Lincoln, though :)

Randyseck, you got it right, the Chevy Code 130R is a rear wheel drive concept car built on the Cadillac ATS platform.

And while Randyseck would drive home in the new Lincoln, Kit Gerhart is not that impressed with the car. “The appearance of the MKZ sure wouldn’t get my $10K or whatever it is over the Fusion. I like the Fusion’s Aston-esque nose, but the MKZ is just plain strange.”

Kit, I confess I really like the car, but I think we have to wait until we see it driving down the road. Sometimes looking at a static car on a pedestal at an auto show doesn’t really convey what it looks like, as opposed to seeing it outside in natural light, driving down the road with other cars around it. My bet is you’ll think the MKZ in real life looks better than the pictures.

Pedro Fernandez isn’t buying into all the hoopla that the new Alfa Giulietta . . . I mean the Dodge Dart is getting. “That crap Dart from Sergio’s warped mind is gonna be such a mechanical nightmare that I would not want to be a Dodge technician in the next couple of years.

Listen up people, Pedro hath spoken.

Chuck Grenci says, “Well, I didn’t agreee with the NACTOY and now I don’t agree with the Designer Awards; guess I just have to agree to disagree.”

Chuck, half the fun of trying to determine the Car of the Year, or who has the best design is getting to argue about it with other people. The key is not to take it too seriously. We’ve actually had some people quit the NACOTY jury because they didn’t like who won.

Geoff in Jersey didn’t like the choices for the North American Truck of the Year Award. “You really think a Honda CR-V is a truck? Or the new Land Rover? I would like to know how you all judge a truck? Not one of “trucks” up for car of the year can carry 2x4s or take a load of dirt!”

Geoff, I suppose I could take the easy way out and mention that the American government classifies each of those vehicles as a truck. And each of those companies counts them as trucks. But essentially you’re right. They’re not what the public would call a truck, and we in the NACOTY jury have got to come up with a new classification system. Let the arguments begin!

Speaking of arguments, be sure to join us tonight for Autoline After Hours, where Peter De Lorenzo, myself and the irrepressible Jim Hall will be talking all about the hits and the misses at the Detroit Auto Show. Like I said before, half the fun about being in this business is getting to argue about all the cars. So join us tonight at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time for the best insider discussion of what’s going on behind the scenes in the auto industry.

But that wraps up this show, thanks for watching, we’ll see you tomorrow.

Thanks to our Partners for embedding Autoline Daily on their websites: Autoblog and WardsAuto.com

125 Comments to “Episode 802 – Mercedes/BMW Sales Slugfest, Record Year for Rolls-Royce, Dodge Dart Accessories”

  1. LS ford Says:

    Dodge Dart? More like Dodge dolt….not impressed at all. The alfa was questionable, the dart is even more. Not sure who would like that, unless it stickered at under 15K.

  2. LS ford Says:

    Then at that price, who cares what it looks like.

  3. tj Martin Says:

    To heck with the BMW vs Mercedes match .

    Have a look at the fracas BMW is kicking up ( for those who didn’t read this early today )

    ———

    FROM BMW TO LINCOLN & CADILLAC

    “We don’t produce sofas on wheels — and we don’t take mass-market vehicles and rebadge them as premium.”

    ( Detroit News )

    And there in lies the entire problem with Cadillac and Lincoln ( as well as Lexus/Audi/Infiniti/Acura)

    About time somebody got the Stones to call a spade a spade . Too bad though it had to come from overseas instead of say …… ummmm …. ALD ….. PDL ……. somebody American .

    Gloves are off gentlemen . Time for some good old Honesty & Integrity

  4. tj Martin Says:

    DODGE Dart

    The Alfa its based on is abysmal ( CAR , EVO , AutoCar )

    The ‘ Dodge ‘ body style is derivative to say the least

    Calling it the ‘ Dart ‘ will do nothing for those of us that remember the days of the 340 , 440 Six pack and Hemi Darts

    Marchionne’s Madness marches ever on .

    Errrrrr….. along with the Maserati/JEEP clone thats coming our way ( Kubang …… which is no doubt the sound it’ll make from the second week you own it )

  5. Autos101 Says:

    Besides the Dart’s many weaknesses that all of us point out, the most idiotic decision is that, instead of Fiat-Chrysler SAVING their $, they went ahead and spend hundreds of millions developing the stupid, flaky v ehicle, which has different sheetmetal, interior etc etc than the Giulietta,

    WHILE, if these fools KEPT their $ and JUST IMPORTED IT AS AN ALFA, they would also be able to charge FAR MORE for it than as a Stupid, Stupid Dodge!!!!

    PS I’ve seen the Giulietta and it looks FAR, FAR, FAR better than the Stupid Dart!

  6. Autos101 Says:

    And then of course we have the Maserati Abomination SUV.

    NOT!

  7. tj Martin Says:

    Marchionne’s Madness

    Speaking of the ‘ Stronzetto ‘

    Would somebody mind informing me where exactly Sergio plans to find the funds to ‘ Purchase ‘ OPEL ??? Seeing as he’s yet to shell out one thin dime to us ( US Tax payer ) for Chrysler , FIAT is well and good in the toilet financially , Chryslers PROFITs are the same ( CNBC ) 500 sales in the US are a bust ( and the reported CDN sales are in fact well and good exaggerated )

    Oh wait ! I get it . Stronzetto is hoping we’ll ( US Tax Payers ) help give him OPEL as well .

    Well …….. maybe on Obama’s watch …. but I certainly hope not . We’ve ( US Tax Payer ) DONATED enough to the FBO Sergio Marchionne Wealth Management Fund

  8. tj Martin Says:

    #5

    re; Alfa G.

    Looks better ….. yes

    Runs well though …… No !

  9. tj Martin Says:

    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/01/2013-corvette-427-collectors-convertible/

    The ONLY thing GM seems to be able to do Right these days

    ;-)

  10. Aliisdad Says:

    Hi..I like the look of the Dodge Dart except for that new “Ford-style” front end…My concern is always quality in a domestic car, though..
    On the M-B and BMW fight: Having owned BMW and Audi’s in the past, and currently a 2010 Mercedes, the Mercedes seems so much more solid and better built…The new BMW felt cheaper and lighter to me, and the one I had in the past had quite a few troubles, although it was a lot more fun to drive than the Mercedes…I did not look at a the 2010 Audi since the local dealer has closed since the last Audi…Must say though that they sure do look like nice cars..My only Audi complaint with the Audi was a poor dealer(probably explains why so many are gone now)…The quality was great with no problems at all, though..My only complaint about the current M-B is that the transmission
    sometimes hesitation that almost feels like a “turbo lag”….On the good side it has absolutly no rattles or cheap materials..It just feels better quality..I did find the dealer to be much more customer oriented and less “white shoe car salesmen” that the BMW shop, too..
    Bottom line: The Mercedes may not be as sporty as the other two, but it is built like Panzer and very comfortable to drive…The best choice by a lot in my opinion…

  11. Aliisdad Says:

    Oh, almost for got..I did want to mention that the new Fusion styling is really great although I think the current one was very clean and classy…maybe even more that the new one…The current one looked really nice in the back and did not have that “one world” Ford snozolla on it…On the Lincoln, I still liked the old LS “BMW-like” styling, but I think they are trying and wish them luck with the model…It actually looks pretty nice–just still kinda “Ford-like” instead of “wow”!!
    Also, re-read my last post and have to appologize for all the mistakes in my writing; kinda in a hurry, today, I guess…

  12. tj Martin Says:

    #10

    Owning a 2011 Benz myself and having done a lot of comparison with BMW’s offerings … I wouldn’t say BMW’s feel ‘ Cheap ‘ per say , rather more like overly and somewhat pretentiously stiff … in order to exaggerate their ‘ race car for the road ‘feel

    But +1 on the Benz feeling more ‘ Solid ‘ though I’d call the Benz a ‘ Drama Free ‘ calm , yet fully sporting ride .

    Kind of surprised at the tranny ‘ lag ‘ comment though as in my 2011 its a crisp as can be in ‘ Normal’ and get up and go in ‘Sport ‘

    Does yours have the Adaptive tranny as mine does ? If so you need to remind it ( get on it when you first start off ) that you’re wanting a bit more Zip in your DoDa

    With Audi , looks like you and I had similar experiences with Audi US e.g Abysmal . Mine with three different dealers .

  13. Aliisdad Says:

    TJ: I have not spoken to the dealer about the transmission since I know of others who have the same concern…It is not really awful, just annoying when you “step on it”…I assumed that it was just something we have to live with since transmissions are getting so many gears that there is a lag time to drop down several gears…Maybe I should try “getting on it” a little more, and see if it “adapts”…Probably should bring it up with the dealer…Thanks for the info..

  14. The Autoextremist Says:

    Interesting to see all of you “experts” out there commenting about vehicles that YOU HAVEN’T SEEN IN PERSON YET. It’s not only ridiculous, you make yourselves immediately irrelevant to the discussion.

    And anyone taking condescending comments from German car executives seriously needs to step back and take a deep breath. For instance, BMW has made a killing off of questionable model proliferation. If GM or Ford chased after all of the niches that BMW has in the last five years they would be crucified as actively participating in the “same old Detroit” mindset. But BMW does it? OMG it is MAGIC! That’s total bullshit folks and if you can’t see that then, well… wow.

    The days of German cars being automatically superior to American cars was over quite a while ago. Or maybe you didn’t get the memo? So when I hear of German car executives lobbing grenades at an American car company, I don’t automatically assume they’ve got it goin’ on. All it says to me is that they’re nervous as hell. Because with the Americans getting serious and Hyundai-Kia wildly hungry for more, the days of “automatic” German automotive superiority are rapidly coming to a close.

    Get a grip, folks. The German car companies are just a half a step away from screwing things up for themselves, and that can happen at any moment too. They’ve done it before and it can and will happen again. Look at M-B and Smart at the Detroit Show – a flat-out disaster and an embarrassment of the first order. So don’t tell me that they automatically have it goin’ on.

    And one more thing: The attitude that permeates too many of these discussions is that the American car companies are worthless or worse. That anything they do well is some sort of aberration, and that they should assume their rightful place as being doormats and an automotive afterthought. Because that’s all they’ll ever be. To say that’s not fair or accurate is an understatement. But then again that seems to pass for “intelligent” discourse these days.

    Over and out.

    PMD

  15. MJB Says:

    off-topic: Anybody know what an Isuzu Ascender is? I was behind one in a drive-thru line yesterday and, though it looked to be at least 5 years old, I know for a fact I have never seen one before.

    Looked to have been built off the Trailblazer platform.

  16. Chuck Grenci Says:

    “But IG Metall says its current contract prevents job cuts and plant closures. ”

    Well good for them, but it doesn’t prevent bankrupsy and failed buisness; happened to GM and Chrysler, and just because it’s European, doesn’t make it immune. Seems a union is a union no matter which side of the ocean it is; no common sense, just bravado (to the end).

  17. pedro fernandez Says:

    They forgot an important add on to the Dart, a direct line to AAA tow truck service. #14 A Chevy Trail Blazer clone

  18. Kit Gerhart Says:

    BMW and Mercedes-Benz won’t have to worry about the other taking the “sales crown” next year. Lexus will reclaim it easily, now that they have gotten up to speed again after the earthquake.

    Yes, I know some of you don’t consider Lexus to be a “luxury brand” since it is a division of Toyota, but “the industry” considers it to be a luxury brand.

  19. Autos101 Says:

    #17: RIDICULOUS.

    And EVEN more ridiculous as a large chunk of Lexi are the CAMRY CLONES NON LUXURY ES POS.

    Merc And BMW have been around for MANY DECADES and build far superior vehicles than just

    RELIABLE BUICKS.

    But thanks for the laughs anyway.

  20. pedro fernandez Says:

    Good thing the Alfa Dart has the option for bicycles and a canoe, at least you won’t get stranded when it breaks down on you. You can pedal or row your way home.

  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #18,
    Whatever you say, but if you see a list of “luxury brands” in the U.S., Lexus is there, and usually at the top in sales.

  22. Autos101 Says:

    (I meant Merc and BMW have been building cars for many decades BEFORE Lexus started. Excluding EXOTICS, Mercs and BMW are the STANDARDS OF THE WORLD for SERIOUS DRIVERS. Mothers-in-law can buy the POS ES.)

  23. pedro fernandez Says:

    If Merc is putting quantity over quality, then VW is the king of that new way of doing business.

  24. Autos101 Says:

    Even re that meaningless statistic (number of units sold, which tells you NOTHING about either the sales revenue, or, far more important, the PROFIT), It is by no means sure that Lexus will outsell EITHER Merc or BMW next year.

  25. Autos101 Says:

    MErcs are prices high enough for them to offer hefty discounts and still make a ton of $

  26. tj Martin Says:

    @ MJB

    10 points ! You got it right . Trailblazer in Drag it is ( our painter has one otherwise I’d have no clue )

  27. pedro fernandez Says:

    #20 There are many choices for everyone in the luxo car field. Depending on your priorities, have heard from many Merc and BMW owners that regret their purchases due to reliability issues or “rough” driving issues. Their words, not mine. I have never gotten the chance to drive or ride any of them.

  28. tj Martin Says:

    #17

    Care to place a small ‘ gentleman’s ‘ wager on that one Kit ?

    Before you say yes though , you may want to do a bit of research about the changing attitudes towards Lexus/Infiniti/Acura as well as the rapid growth of the ‘ Bespoke ‘ ( e.g. not badge engineered ) companies .

  29. Autos101 Says:

    #26

    Both Merc and BMW offer “near luxury” vehicles like the 3 series or the C class, or even the X3 and the GLK, but they don’t offer any vehicle like the ES you can buy for $10k less as the Camry V6 or even $15k-20k less if you are satisfied with the powerful I-4s of today.

    In the case of BMW the 3 is a huge seller, in Merc’s case the E actually sells a bit more than the C.

    I have nevere heard of any BMW driver re “rough” driving. This is laughable. It seems they were directed to the wrong dsealership. Maybe they SHOULD buy a BUICK or a Lexus, whichever is quieter.

  30. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #23, 27
    No, I’m not sure that Lexus will outsell MB and BMW next year, but it is highly likely that they will.

    As far as profit, I bet there is a lot of profit in an ES, but I agree that the ES is one of the worst buys around, compared to the Camry it’s made from.

  31. tj Martin Says:

    #26

    Now up to 5,000 miles and nary a single complaint .

    ( jeeze I’ve driven the GLK more in the last six months than I did the MINI in three years !!!! )

    My guess is with Benz at least 90% of the complaints you’re hearing are on models from the ‘ Chrysler ‘ years , which were off the charts in unreliability , Chrysler managing to drag Benz down to their level .

    BMW has always been a step below Benz ( sorry 101 ) in reliability . Actually the owner of my Benz dealer used to be the owner of the local BMW dealer and you should hear what he says about the differences between the two , especially Benz post Chrysler

    ( BMW have more recalls , beak downs warranty and reliability issues etc and BMW America was not nearly as cooperative with the dealership or its customers as M-BUSA is )

  32. Autos101 Says:

    It is instructive for all to look at the history of the major Japanese brands entry into the luxury segment:

    FIRST you had ACURA with the excellent Legend and the civic-sized Integras in the 80s, it was a huge $ deal but its success was short-lived.

    Infiniti and LExus followed. Lexus was an obvious attempt to copy Merc, while Infi started by trying to compete with BMWs. Their vehicles cost SEVERAL TENS OF $1,000s less than the Germans then. The original LS400 had a $35,000 base price, and was between the E and S class (purposely so?) in size, but even the E went for far more $ than the LS! No wonder they took the markets by storm, aided by very favorable Press who did not seem to care if the LS drove like a bedroom…

    You really think the germans would just try UNCLE? Esp MERC, who EFFING INVENZTED THE AUTOMOBILE?????? OF COURSE NOT! They striked back with superior quality and esp. Performance, the giant S classes of the 90s, the excellent E class (esp the 2003 model) and 5 series (the 1997-2003 which I was originally looking for used, in fact the 540i 6-speed) etc.

    These days Acura is on its DEATHBED, Infiniti is making weird looking, unreliable, ugly and expensive POS nobody wants, and Lexus has cornered the Realtor market with its fake-o ES and RX (can you say TOyota Highlander, only $15k more expensive?).

    You can guess its future, plenty of data above.

  33. pedro fernandez Says:

    I blame the lack of a proper test drive for this, a 5 min low speed drive around the dealership is NOT the proper way to see if a car is to your liking. Specially when you’re spending the big bucks for a luxo vehicle. To some folks who perhaps used to drive a floaty Buick or Caddy or even Lexus, the move to a German brand might be something they need to get used to, or in certain cases, they just associate luxury with the floaty, bouncy ride so typical of American and Asian brands.

  34. tj Martin Says:

    #28 For my part I said ‘ Too Stiff ‘ not ‘ rough’ . Big difference in my book .

    ——-

    #29- The ES and all of Lexus’s SUV’s are in fact ‘ lousy deals ‘ as well as any other FWD’s and that Prius in drag they’re offering , as they’re all Toyota’s in pretty ( well not so much ) wrapping paper for some $10K +

  35. pedro fernandez Says:

    TJ of all the Merc owners I’ve spoken to, electronics seem to be the one irritating issue that gives them headaches, unfortunately at least in the US you cannot get a gadget laden Merc at all. This is different in other parts of the world, where these gadgets are not desired, thus keeping the price lower.

  36. tj Martin Says:

    #32

    Amen which is why I rented or got a 24 hour loan on every car I was seriously considering ( had the X3 for a weekend in fact )

    As I proved to at least myself with the SRX ( liked it for the first day and absolutely hated it by the end of ten days ) a 20 minute test drive tells you nothing .

  37. tj Martin Says:

    #34

    Yes , but were they Chrysler era Benz’s ?

  38. pedro fernandez Says:

    #33 yes TJ I should have used the word stiff instead of rough, poor choice of words by me. Question for TJ and 101 Do you consider all of BMW’s and Mercs sold in America to fall into the luxo category, even when optioned with luxury items?

  39. Autos101 Says:

    This is what I would do if I were calling the shots at Lexus:

    1.I respect the LS, but for its conservative buyers, the V8 is unnecessary. They don’t even need HALF of its current HP. They should copy BMW and offer a base LS with a good V6! AND sell it for $15k LESS than the V8 LS. they will sell THOUSANDS of them, and they will be REAL Lexi.

    2. They should discontinue ALL the IDIOTIC Hybrids that, all of them together, do not sell what the PRius sells every year! Especially the Grotesque LS460L Hybrid, but also the lame GSh, RXh and all that crap, and use their $ to improve the poor MPG of their sporty Prius version the CT250h or whatever hatch they got.

    And then they should call me in the morning.

  40. pedro fernandez Says:

    #36 This has been an issue for many yrs now, since cars have gotten so complicated with all the electronics and such, example I have read reviews on the S class where the tester felts that he was not really controlling the vehicle, rather the computers were and he was just asking the computer to ask the car to do a specific command, brake, accelerate, shift gears, etc.

  41. Autos101 Says:

    And don’t forget that the retirees of today are NOT your parents, who might be satisfied with a damned out of control WHALE of a vehicle just because it has a cushy ride, they are the BABY BOOMERS that made imports DOMINATE the US Market, they took imports from an insignificant 10% or less of the market in the 50s and 60s to more than 55% today (!!!!!!!!!)

    So they will be DEMANDING. Forget the Buicks. Poor Baby Boomer retirees with econ sense will get a Passat Diesel, not a Buick.

  42. MJB Says:

    #18 & #23

    ohh no… Here we go again. Firt it was tj on yesterday going on and on about how Apple’s profitablity trumps Microsoft’s market dominance.

    Now, Autos, you’re once again insisting that Mercedes’ & BMW’s heritage, lineage and otherwise ‘pure-breed’ trumps Lexus’ market dominance (in the U.S.). And to some (not unlike yourself) it does.

    Look, I hear ya. I’m not downing anything that Merc & BMW bring to the table. But I think maybe you’d do better by not turning a blind eye to the fact that (aside from the ES/Camry) Lexus does in fact make luxury autos – and very highly rated and reliable ones at that.

    You just can’t go around saying that Lexus doesn’t make true luxury autos. Because they in fact do.

  43. tj Martin Says:

    #31

    With Infiniti you forgot to add ‘ loud ‘ to the description . Though I will say the FX35′s I rented I rather enjoyed . It was the plethora of blind spots , stupid and unnecessarily Loud exhausts ( even when going slow ) and the price ( more expensive than the GLK ) that put me off buying one . Well that and the fact that its a Nissan underneath

    FYI Slow down a bit on the typing there 101 , you’re getting a bit mangled and ragged looking on the last couple .

  44. pedro fernandez Says:

    101 Lexus did well with one real model and a Camry clone when they started out in 1990, but it is a different market now. Lots of choices from all manufacturers, if they just sold LS and GS they could not make enough money to survive. At least the LS continues and has evolved, where is the Q now?

  45. pedro fernandez Says:

    TJ you’d better hang on to your GLK as long as you can, all I see coming down the pipe are more hunkered down vehicles with lousy, dangerous rear and side visibility, it’s a ploy to force you to buy rear vision cameras and vicinity warning devices so you have to depend on these gadgets instead of your good ole eyes.

  46. tj Martin Says:

    @ MJB

    #1 Apple’s profits do trump Microsofts proliferation ( wouldn’t call what MS has these days anything near ‘ dominance’ )

    #2 When it comes to Lexus’s RWD cars ( IS , LS etc ) I’d agree , but don’t even go into it with me again ( remember you admitted defeat yesterday on the whole platform sharing schtick ) with the Badge Engineered marketing ploys Lexus offers .

    As BMW said at the NAIAS ;

    “We don’t produce sofas on wheels — and we don’t take mass-market vehicles and rebadge them as premium.”

    e.g. Mass produced , rebadged barges are NOT luxury or in any way premium

    They are in fact a scam , albeit a successful scam being perpetrated on an uneducated and uninformed public incapable of making critical decisions on there own

  47. 012345 Says:

    I like the look of the new Dodge Dart but specs wise I think it falls kind of short, why can’t Chrysler/or Dodge take this new model add 100hp more and make it all wheel drive? That would be a car really worth the attention.

  48. Autos101 Says:

    TJ

    what are you babbling about, fool? I admitted nothing.

  49. tj Martin Says:

    @ pedro

    Assuming things stay as they are I have every intention of keeping the GLK .

    The B Class will be too small . The GLK diesel I just do not want ( higher prices and lower availability for diesel ) and I’m not seeing anything on the horizon from anyone else that , other than in a fit of midlife crisis , interests me even in the slightest

    Methinks ‘ Franz ‘ is here to stay

  50. tj Martin Says:

    @ Autos101

    #1 Tone down your rhetoric

    #2 Take notice that the post in question was addressed to MJB

    #3 Offer up your apologies while I’m still feeling generous

  51. Phoenix Mark Says:

    @14 and @25,
    MJB and tj, tj is right.. the big difference is the 10 year warranty with Isuzu.

  52. MJB Says:

    I’m about to say it… Get ready.

    Wait…for…it…

    I actually happen to like “sofas on wheels”, to which they’ve been compared. There, I said it.

    Seriously though. I applaud BMWs and Merc (and in fact, may even put one in my stable someday) – fine automobiles to say the least. But I, for one, PROUDLY proclaim my love for the soft, quiet ride of a Lexus (LS).

    I was a rice-boy tuner once upon a time. With a tuned ’91 Acura Integra. But I very much prefer the ride of a Lexus nowadays. Nothing at all wrong with that.

    If you want to say that a certain auto is better at handling and performance, say that. But don’t get all stupid with it and insist that just because one luxury car doesn’t slalom worht a dime, though it is tops in quality, materials, quietness and smoothness, that it doesn’t live up to the “true luxury” standard set by certain European brands.

  53. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The RX is Lexus’ top selling vehicle. It seems like all the real estate sales people around here drive them. They are a lousy deal compared to a Highlander, but at least they look different.

  54. tj Martin Says:

    @ MJB

    The handling and ride is not the issue with me , as long as said ‘ Luxury/Premium ‘ car is comfortable

    Different strokes for different folks ( like me preferring a Benz over a Bimmer )

    What the issue is with me and what the BMW official was implying is the BADGE ENGINEERED mass produced models masquerading as Luxury and/or Premium cars being a con job and not in any way to be considered Premium

    Try telling an ES or RX owner that their car is in reality 100% Toyota with a different body and a badge . First they’ll argue like heck with you until they realize you’re right ( vee have our vays ) and then they’re furious at Lexus for conning them and at themselves for being conned .

    ——

    # 52

    Looks different and have twice as many blind spots . Eeesh ! All for a mere $15K +

  55. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit in the case of Lexus vs Toyota, it boils down to the service and sales experience, while Toyota dealers and service depts have consistently showed dead last in customer satisfaction, the Lexus dealers have been near the top since their inception, I find it amazing that it is both dealerships are owned by the same outfit, but the level of service is quite on opposite poles

  56. tj Martin Says:

    @MJB

    We need to get your bum into one of the entry level Benz’s sometime .

    Your preference for the Lexus ride might just get altered after a few miles or so .

    Think Smooooooooth and drama free , yet with confident and reliable handling , solid as a rock feel , with just enough sport to deal with the occasional/ extended blast or emergency situation

    Funny thing is with Benz’s that overall impression remains from a basic C-class all the way up to the SLS or any of the AMG’s . The AMG’ Black’ Series being the only exception . Those …… are beyond BMW M Series stiff and hard 8)

  57. MJB Says:

    #54

    I feel you.

    But here’s my contention. I think that too much emphasis is being put on ‘how’ the car (Lexus/Infiniti/Audi) got to where it is.

    Sure, an ES is a gussied-up Camry. No arguement there. But the real question isn’t what the car is derived from. The issue is it’s performance in the luxury segment.

    Does it hold it’s own as an entry level luxury sedan? If the answer is ‘yes’, then what’s the argument?

    If the answer is ‘no’, then and only then should we be pulling back the curtain and pointing to the Wizard.

    I guess that’s all I’m saying here.

  58. MJB Says:

    #56,

    You MAY be right, my friend. One day soon I shall test those waters and see.

  59. HtG Says:

    54 Why would buyers of Lexus not also be keen to take advantage of the cost savings, which platform sharing allows? Could so many people afford their RX, and Toyota make a profit too, if an entirely new car were designed? You can get ‘conspicuous consumption’ at a discount!

    (ok, a little harsh there)

  60. pedro fernandez Says:

    I had a quick lesson in handling when my father in law bought his 86 Caddy, I erroneously assumed that since it had gone FWD and shrunk in size, it’s handling would be better than the previous floaty, barge-like, humongous model. Well I took a curve at a speed which I always did in my previous cars, (none of which were known for their handling) and almost sent the shiny new 4 door into a retaining wall which caused him anguish and I felt embarrassed for it, that opened up my eyes to the importance of having safe, decent handling, no matter the size and weight of the vehicle.

  61. pedro fernandez Says:

    Cimarron, anyone?

  62. MJB Says:

    #61

    Noooo, not the Cimarron! :(

    That’s something.

  63. HtG Says:

    Who wants a driving lesson from Sterling Moss? Lexus owners may want to look away.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXVReKCrEw0&feature=g-vrec&context=G24f6c39RVAAAAAAAAAg

  64. pedro fernandez Says:

    A well kept Cimarron can bring in a few bucks, people are weird! That has to be the worst misuse of the word luxury in the history of the automobile

  65. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #60,
    Speaking of Cadillacs, I know two “older” people who have DTS’s, (formerly Sedan de Ville), and they love them. Cadillac may be making a mistake by trying to go after the Europeans with cars like the CTS and ATS, while dropping the big, softly-sprung barge.

    Yeah, the “traditional” Cadillacs aren’t for everyone, but they have a following. I guess a lot of those people may not be driving too much longer, though. The ones I’m referring to are near 80 years old, one over, and one under.

  66. pedro fernandez Says:

    #63 Did the motor blow up right after this?

  67. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit: there are tastes for everyone, some guys like their chicks skinny, some like them meaty and some like them fat, so there!

  68. GPL Says:

    tj and Autos101,

    Serious questions (not trying to pick a fight):
    What do either of you think of MB using Tennessee built Nissan engines?

    http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/story/2012-01-08/mercedes-nissan-engines-tennessee/52451086/1

    How long do you think it will take before A, B, and maybe C class start sharing platforms with Nissan/Renault?

  69. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #67,
    Exactly. That’s why it seems a mistake to drop, rather than update the “big barge” Cadillac.

  70. XA351GT Says:

    Peter @#14 I agree with you . I’m willing to wait and see what the cars look like in person before tossing out my opinion on them. I also agree that alot people just can’t wait to slam US makers , this was my biggest bitch about the ENTIRE auto magazine industry. For years it was nothing ,but how great Toyota was and what crap detroit built. Funny how that changed with all the recalls they could no longer hide under the rug.

  71. HtG Says:

    14 Wow, Peter really went off earlier today. First, I’m a little surprised he reads these comments. Second, as the honorary pseudo-teuton here I think I’ve praised American cars very often. I only want them to succeed, and when I made fun of the new Lincoln’s nose, I was careful to say I hadn’t yet seen the car(and did not restrain my praise of the new Fusion). The discussion here goes on over weeks, and the context is known to the regulars, so I haven’t repeated my own view on the merits of Volt as I might have. Peter shouldn’t parachute in blasting this board if he doesn’t ‘get’ that it gets extreme and that some of the posters know plenty about the business too.

  72. cwolf Says:

    @ P.DeLorenzo: This is the very first time I can applaud your complete comments. Guess there is some wisdom behind some of your over loaded rants. Guess I’ll have to give the Autoextremist another look. Anyway,since your post,I’ve noticed the usual boasting of German brands has been rather….ummmm…tepid!

  73. HtG Says:

    cwolf, do you think that there has been scant praise of american cars on this board?

  74. Chuck Grenci Says:

    To HtG (about scant praise of american iron); I’m trying buddy, I’m trying. Caddy/Chevy fan (all the way).

  75. cwolf Says:

    HtG: Yes and it’s about time! And to be perfectly honest it doesn’t really have to apply to just American brands. Look at just how many splendid cars one can buy today between $20-30K,and perhaps under,drive them beyond 200K miles on regular gas with little or no maint @ realistic service costs. But there is no doubt the Germans make wonderful cars that drive with precision. Yet try to buy a new one one under $40 grand. more likely $60K. And IMO there taint a one more reliable than the 20 grand car. Hell,you can get a break job for what it costs to simply change the oil on one of those over priced beauties that 90% on this forum can’t afford or who fool themselves in thinking they need one.

  76. HtG Says:

    I think I’ve personally said great things about cars like Focus, Cruze, CTS, written about how well the Dodges are put together and look. It does however make sense for A1 and tj to praise their own rides, no? I’ve drooled over the new small MB convertible, but no, I won’t buy one though I could if I had enough booze in me. And I hear so much anger from people about their past experiences in cars, domestic and foreign; carcos know all this anyway. I recall my father getting fed up with his bimmers’ reliability and upkeep costs, that pushed him to Japanese makes.

  77. cwolf Says:

    I,too,will give Lincoln a second look when it hits the asphalt,yet I remain sceptical of the brands success. To stay alive they need to put out products which will sell in large numbers beyond the MKZ,like a smaller car. That little over anxious looking car/suv thing they have planned has absolutly no outwards appearance of anything luxury. Time will tell.

  78. Jesse W. Henry Says:

    Wanted to comment on “badge engineered” not being premium.

    If ford were to put brand new sheet metal on a Boss 302 Mustang so it looked nothing like the current Mustang and replaced the entire interior with materials that were comparable or better quality than those in a BMW M3 why would it not be as good a car?

    Not saying they would and not saying that they have in the past but if they were to put all the quality materials into it what would make the BMW better? It would be slower and have no quality advantage if all interior materials were replaced so why would this theoretical Lincoln not be “worthy” of being called a luxury car?

  79. cwolf Says:

    HtG, tj is a rare bird who has/had the connections to try many different cars over the years and has become spoiled(in a good way). He also is prolly comfortable enough to seek his desires. But I’m not so sure about A1,his stuff is used. The info he provides(from the web)is a help,but could mean he has too much time on his hands other than for work. I’ve been looking at the time of his many,many postings during the day and vividly recall his boast of 50 cent/mi. for travel. I can’t help myself for beliving he has a demeanial job at the university or is a student and drives his dads merc. delivering pizzas. More than once I wanted to ask if the pizza delivery sign scratched the paint on the roof of the car. For certain,just by reading his comments anyone can tell he is not one of a higher education.

  80. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I just read #14 again, and Peter is right on. Yeah, I bash American brands sometimes, as I did with the nose of the MKZ concept, but it may be better “in person,” and the production car may not even look like that. Yeah, my two newest cars are Asian and European, but it’s a matter of what I wanted, a very high mpg hatchback, and a sporty little car with a bit of heritage.

    If I wanted a generic front drive sedan, Fusion and Malibu would be high on my shopping list, and if I wanted a high performance sports car, Corvette would be a no brainer. American companies, all of them, have products that range from competitive, to best value in class. Asians also do, as with the Lexus LS, but a lot of people dismiss any non-German cars as not being “true luxury” rides.

  81. HtG Says:

    If anyone was watching AAH tonight, did you hear the answer the panel gave to a question about carco PR people reading online comments? They agreed that hordes of junior PR people read online sites to follow the comments. How would you organize this information? (see what you started Renzo?)

  82. tj Martin Says:

    @ cwolf

    Molto Grazie for the kind words my friend . Much appreciated

  83. tj Martin Says:

    American Iron

    OK my positive views

    GM – Corvette and only the Corvette period

    Chrysler – JEEP Grand Cherokee ( budget M Class which is a good thing )

    FORD – Though there was nothing in their line up that truly interested me , there was also nothing they have that turned me completely off either . Fact is there;s nothing on the FORD lot I wouldn’t recommend … well maybe except the Taurus

    Everything I looked at or have driven is in fact pretty damned decent . I still think FORD is capable of doing a hell of a lot better , but pretty damned decent . Mustang is my #1 21st Century Muscle Car by a long shot . Fact is nothing else even comes close

    Cadillac – Sorry I got nuthin good to say at all about them

    Lincoln – See above

  84. tj Martin Says:

    GPL

    Hadn’t heard about that but I assume its for the A & B class which means it’ll be a Nissan/Renault mix .

    BMW/ MINI sure did well with their Peugeot engines , so why not Benz ? As long as its all Benz platform wise , as the MINI is all BMW other than the engine

    Should Benz use a Nissan platform though ? Well then the sparks will be flying outta my keyboard !

  85. HtG Says:

    tj, any guesses what prompted Peter to comment @14?

  86. tj Martin Says:

    Badge Engineering

    Once again et al ;

    I WILL NOT PAY $150 FOR A $50 BOX IN FANCY WRAPPING PAPER

    Got snookered into that once with my Audi S4 Avant ( which it turned out was nothing more than a gussied up hot rodded Passat ) and NEVER again !

    Its either what it says on the badge or I do not buy it

    PERIOD !

    ( hmmmn no apology forth coming from 101 I see … hmmm)

  87. tj Martin Says:

    Hadn’t read #14 but I’d sure welcome the opportunity to go toe to toe with the man and see who really is the Extremist between us .

    Maybe he’s PO’d cause I called him out on the carpet and is trying to bully me into submission

    Rock On !

  88. tj Martin Says:

    TO -Mr Peter Delorenzo

    IN RESPONSE TO YOUR RANT ON #14 FROM Tj martin

    Mr Delorenzo

    In light of the raft of insulting comments you’ve chosen to let loose with and assuming many of them were aimed at myself I present this response which will , unlike yours , be short , sweet and topical

    #1 You … Mr Delorenzo do not know me , or anyone else here for that matter , have no clue what we have or have not driven nor what connections we may or may not have to do so.

    Therefore and by your own standards , your over generalized comments and blatantly broad based critiques have made any statements you might make about us irrelevant .

    #2 We here on this site ARE the paying customers . Therefore we have the absolute RIGHT to level any and all criticism we may chose towards any product the manufactures wish to present to us . No matter what the circumstances .

    Factor in the simple REALITY that it is our Tax Dollars , in the case of GM and Chrysler , that is paying for the manufacture of those products and you can multiply our right to criticize Times Ten

    #3 In your rant , you seem to be taking some personal insult about our comments . Well as a public figure myself , I can only say thats part of the Job description and ;

    ” If you can’t take the heat … get out of the kitchen ”

    #4 If its positive comments you’re desiring for the US auto manufactures , then maybe its about time you and others in your position start demanding of those manufactures that they start building Genuine Quality Products for us to sing the praises of .

    Because , Mr Delorenzo , re-badged Dae Woos , FORDs with Lincoln badges on them , Chevy’s with a Cadillac name plate , Dodges that are in fact a proven bad product ( Alfa Romeo ) underneath etc ARE NOT products worthy of our praise , but rather of our contempt , both as consumers and Tax Payers

    In closing Mr Delorenzo , if this post is to be demise of my ability to post here … So Be it .If not , well then maybe you’re a bigger man than #14 presents you to be .

    Either way though Mr Delorenzo , know that I for one will not stand for your attempts to bully or mock any of us into submission , and in fact will take any further attempts by yourself or anyone else as an invitation to Conflict which I will gladly engage in .

    Also I must say your rant on #14 shows a certain lack of professionalism on your part , as well as an abject and utter lack of respect for those of us providing the means for your existence ( your readers if you haven’t sussed that one out )…. and I do feel you owe us all an apology

    Tj Martin

    ( this response is solely the opinion of Tj martin )

  89. pedro fernandez Says:

    I recall last year when Mr D himself on Autoline said that Cadillac had to improve their reliability if they wanted to be world-class cars, even though he also said his own Caddy had been flawless

  90. Autos101 Says:

    GPL Says:
    January 12th, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    ” Autos101, What do you think of MB using Tennessee built Nissan engines?”

    Without having read the details, Bad idea. I’d be far more comfortable if Merc had got the engines from Honda or TOyota.

    Nissans in my experience (esp renting that god-awful and now discontinued Altima Hybrid from Hertz, which had an oil leak with only a few 1000 miles and was almost totaled (after the fools at Herrtz asked me to drive it back to them instead of coming to see it as I asked them) are inferior to either Hondas or TOyotas. No wonder they are much cheaper for the same type of model too.

    Merc does not do everything right. Look at the god-awful “Dumb”. Instead of discontinuing this $ loser, they put out the most ridiculous vehicle in the Detroit Auto Show, the… “Dumb Urban Pickup”

    Urban Sombrero, anybody?

    Or Urban Dunce HAt?

    Effing UN-believable.

  91. Autos101 Says:

    Have you seen this ridiculous AAH last night? The worst of the three must be that FLAKE Jim Hall. DId you see the nonsense he spouted about Diesels? And the… MKZ?

  92. tj Martin Says:

    # 90

    Actually that report is misleading as its the SMART that will be sharing a few Renault/Nissan parts as was announced over a month ago , not the A or the B Class

    For Mercedes to use a 4 cylinder from any other manufacture would in fact be senseless as Mercedes Benz has one of the finest and most versatile 4 pots on the market

    So ….. once again Vapor Ware news proves its worth … or lack thereof

  93. tj Martin Says:

    FYI -Autos101 you still owe me an apology for your little mistake yesterday , so pony up , be a man and admit you misread a post for MJB as being directed towards yourself

  94. tj Martin Says:

    Autos101

    Well you’re correct in saying Benz doesn’t do everything right , but for that matter neither does BMW

    Witness the use of PSA engines in their MINi , their constant and massive problems with every Turbo engine from the MINI to the M series lately , the X6 and the abysmal raft of FWD cars using God know what motors they’ll be sending our way .

    And as I’ve said when I was in CH . The SMART over there isn’t so dumb after all . Actually in the EU its pretty damn SMART as well as practical . But I’ll withhold judgement on the new wave of Nissan/Renault SMART’s for the US till they’ve hit our shores and proven their worth … or again lack thereof

  95. Kit Gerhart Says:

    ” In your rant , you seem to be taking some personal insult about our comments . Well as a public figure myself , I can only say thats part of the Job description and ;”

    Peter D. is a “public figure” who will, uh, identify himself, rather than expecting us to believe he is something he claims to be.

  96. Autos101 Says:

    tj Martin Says:
    January 13th, 2012 at 8:24 am

    “FYI -Autos101 you still owe me an apology for your little mistake yesterday , so pony up , be a man and admit you misread a post for MJB as being directed towards yourself”

    We aim to please. WHile I don’t have a clue as to what u r talking about, if the above is true, sorry. But what’s the diff?

    Unlike many here, I could care less WHO says anything but only whether what is said is right or wrrong, regardless of the source.

  97. Autos101 Says:

    j Martin Says:
    January 13th, 2012 at 8:30 am

    Autos101

    Well you’re correct in saying Benz doesn’t do everything right , but for that matter neither does BMW

    You are restating the Obvious. And BMW’s errors are really blatant.

    BMW blundered big time with these “flames” Bangled designs that plagued its models for almost a decade now. I am SO glad my 7 has pre-Bangled classical styling.

    And it blundered on individual models too. WTF was that “X6″ atrocity? I’m glad they saw the errors of their ways and at least discontinued the …X6 ..Hybrid (!!!)

  98. Autos101 Says:

    But the SMart was not just a US utter failure, it lost $ every year in Europe, where it is far more suited to the narrow streets and parallel parking daily. Every year for at least its first TEN years, maybe even until this year.

  99. Kit Gerhart Says:

    How about the X4? From a side view photo, it looks worse than the X6.

  100. Autos101 Says:

    X4, same stupid idea. Have not seen it but would not be surprised. And it is not just the styling, it is the morbid obesity and the non-existent rear room despite the bulk and weight.

  101. Autos101 Says:

    But speaking about errors, unlike some here, I don’t mind castigating brands I own or have owned:

    I have owned Honda models so far for 21+14=35 auto-years, and a BMW for less than 7 years, and the blunders Honda-Acura recently committed are far more egregious than anything Merc and Bimmer ever did.

  102. MJB Says:

    I, for one, happen to love the styling of the X6.

  103. Autos101 Says:

    #102: Form Follows Function.

    What kind of monstrosity is the X6? a… Coupe SUV? LOL.

  104. Autos101 Says:

    And its weight is ludicrous, close to 6,000 lbs, and no decent second row, let alone a third one??!!!

  105. HtG Says:

    When I see that rare X6, I know how Hummer haters feel. When I see a Hummer, I try not to laugh at the tough guy driving it.

    Look Peter, equal opportunity bashing!

  106. Autos101 Says:

    Why do critics always have to be “haters”, HTG?

    When I have a dismal student and he has to flunk a course, do you really think that I “hate” him or her? No, I only feel sorry for them.

  107. HtG Says:

    A1, as a prof you should have learned to recognize my alliterative style. ‘how Hummer haters’

    I’m not really sure what ‘hater’ means today, as I mostly hear it used ironically.

  108. Autos101 Says:

    HtG, I’m not some math illit Lit Prof, but appreciate alliterations (I play along on Jeopardy all the time, and usually beat the carp of the contestants too)

  109. Autos101 Says:

    and “hater” today is widely used to dicsount valid criticism.

  110. Autos101 Says:

    crap, not carp in #108, of course.

  111. HtG Says:

    I think the issue A1, is that most people aren’t familiar with rigorous debate that happens in academia. My father used to love going at it with colleagues, but I have a friend that chose to go into business because he didn’t like the fighting. I’ve argued with bigtime smarties; sometimes you, win sometimes you lose, but some people won’t even try.

  112. Autos101 Says:

    What rigorous debate, r u kidding, HtG? Our U is as biased and “politically correct” as it gets. Bleating Sheep is more like it.

  113. HtG Says:

    sciences, of course

  114. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #91,
    I just listened to AAH, and regarding diesels, Hall may have been right in some cases, that they won’t pay for themselves. The 2012 M-B E-Class has a much more efficient, direct injection version of the 3.5 gas engine, and the diesel gets only ~11% better EPA combined rating than the gasser. Yeah, in real world driving, the difference is probably greater than that, but in my area, diesel fuel costs at least 15% more than gas. Then, there is the urea juice that the diesel needs.

    In the case of VW TDI’s, things are different. With the Passat, the diesel has a 36% higher EPA combined rating than the 2.5 liter, 5 cylinder standard gas engine. Even with diesel costing 20% more than gas, that one makes economic sense.

    I think Hall is way off in not thinking people will want the Cruze diesel, if it matches or beats the performance and mpg of the Jetta TDI.

  115. Autos101 Says:

    Hall’s comments were utterly thoughtless re diesels. He did not even qualify his comments as valid only under a certain range of gas and diesel prices.

    McELroy correctly pointed out to him the HUGE resale value of diesels, so high that it almost does not make sense to buy them used.

    VW made an initially surprising claim that its vehicles (the Jetta) had the highest resale values, more than Honda or TOyota, and this was TRUE ONLY because the DIESEL Jettas were going as much as TWICE as the gas jettas of same vintage and miles!!!

    The E class is only a tiny segment of all Diesel sales, and, with the exception of the most recent models where the gas could be not as fuel-hungry as it used to be, in previous years it was a HUGE bargain to buy the E Diesel NEW, since the price diff was only $1k over $50-60k!

    Diesels will come ROARING Back when the public is educated and drops its anti-Diesel prejudices based on late 70s and early 80s GM models.

    But I also disagree with McELroy’s grim forecast about Hybrids. They were off this year due to the Tsunami and Japanese Earthquake, BUT they are comingv ROARING BACK TOO, In Dec the Prius alone sold 17,000 Pieces, and it is poised to exceed 25,000 a MONTH! when the V and the C are fully available.

  116. Autos101 Says:

    And the Passat EPA MPG estimate is a very low-ball one, while CR got 51 MPG with the Passat!

    I don’t know what the Cruze Diesel will have as EPA MPG, but if the Passat is any guide, I will be surprised if it will get the claimed 50, more like 42-45…

  117. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The E-Class is the best selling diesel CAR in the U.S., other than the VW’s. Yeah, the volume is not high. The BMW 3 series is the only other diesel car, period, in the U.S.

    I’m looking forward to more 4 cylinder diesel cars in the U.S., in addition to VW.

  118. Kit Gerhart Says:

    CR got 26/51 city/highway numbers for the Passat diesel, and 37 overall. The diesel got 48% better overall mpg than the base gasser in their tests, very impressive.

  119. Autos101 Says:

    “OTHER THAN THE VWs”? DUH! That’s what I SAID, the E sells far fewer pieces than the VWs. There are many other Diesel models in Merc and BMW too, incl the ML and GL SUVs and the X5 and 335 sedan, but they don’t sell in high volumes.

  120. Autos101 Says:

    And in those other diesels, esp the BMW ones, their MPG is FAR, FAR better than that of the gas versions, with no decrease in performance!

  121. Autos101 Says:

    I remember a Motorweek test, it may have been a long-term test of a FOrd Excursion Behemoth with the Diesel, and they got 19 MPG! Almost 100% more than what the single-digits to 10 MPG gas Excursion got.

  122. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #120,
    Yes, all these diesel SUV’s get substantially better mpg, and save significant fuel, but 5000 pound tall vehicles are still thirsty. I’ll admit,my interest is CARS more than trucks, and I look forward to having more diesel CARS in the U.S. market.

  123. pedro fernandez Says:

    US News online released their best cars list for 2012 and most top spots went to American brands, except for a VW and a Subie; you see, Mr D is right after all, most of the people participating here are biased against the US brands for no good reason

  124. GPL Says:

    tj,

    The Nissan engines in question are for C class models to be built in Alabama. With that much southern content, the radio should be factory set to the local bluegrass channel.

  125. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #121,
    Yeah, the gas Excursion with its V10 competed with the V10 Dodge pickup for title of “ultimate gas hog.”