French cars take out five of the 20 Wheels Gold Star awards
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Thread: French cars take out five of the 20 Wheels Gold Star awards

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    Fellow Frogger! DanielBendigo's Avatar
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    Default French cars take out five of the 20 Wheels Gold Star awards

    The latest version of Wheels has their Gold Star awards for value. It predominately looks at ownership costs including fuel costs, resale, insurance, and servicing. Sadly driving doesn't seem to come into it. But much to my surprise, the French took out five of the 20 top spots.

    Light cars under $25k - Renault Clio Expression 90 (208 Active manual came in second)
    Premium Compact under $50k - Citroen DS3 DSport (followed by Mini Cooper and Volvo V40)
    Premium Medium $45-60k - Citroen DS5 DSport (followed by Merc C180 coupe and Lexus IS300h)
    Premium SUV/Corssover under $75k - Peugeot 3008 Allure (Audi Q5, then Mini Cooper S Countryman)
    Performance under $75k - Peugeot 208 GTi (thene Hyundai Veloster SR turbo, Renault Clio RS)

    The Clio Authentique came in 3rd for light cars under $17k (Honda Jazz took this one out), and Megane CC 2nd for convertible under $60k, and the Megane Authentique dCi came in 3rd after the Mazda 3 Touring and Hyundai i30 CRDi).

    Reading through the article these awards seem to be for people who couldn't care less about driving. They are for people who need to get from place to place, but can't do so in their refridgerator. Surprisingly though, not a single Toyota took out one of the top three spots in a single category, although one Lexus took out no.1. Other notable manufacturers were 4 Mazdas in first place (2x3's and 2xCX5's who took out the small car and compact SUV categories), and 2 Kia's.

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    So buyers are in for a surprise. Not only do they get a reasonably cheap car to run, they will be surprised and delighted by the driving and some of the fantastic little features.
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    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    Sadly driving doesn't seem to come into it.
    If you want a sensible review about how the car actually drives don't look to Australian motoring journos for advice. They seem preoccupied with cup holders and bluetooth/ automatic wiper ........ (insert gadget here).

    Sometimes I wonder if they have actually driven the cars they review. Because sure as hell they don't mention things like switches in a pr*ck position or electric steering that lacks any road feedback. Or the vehicle feels like an out of control railway carriage when driven spiritedly. Or it wouldn't pull the skin off a rice pudding with aircon on and fully loaded.

    The Poms give far better reviews IMO, but half of the vehicles they review don't come to Oz.

    The 5 Star award is probably written by some Salesman and subsidized by the vehicle marketing departments.

    EDIT: I'm not specifically bagging the French cars, just the general quality of car reviews in OZ.
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    That's quite remarkable you know. In "Wheels" magazine what's more. Changes in their journalist staff profiles??? Would never happen on Top Gear... There's nothing to stop the French engineers designing good fridges once they get the targets clear, and they'd be better driving fridges even without complex engineering that makes them too expensive.

    Well, well. Ride comfort won't be a great feature by earlier standards, but when in a suburban traffic jam or the average modern freeway or intercity road.....
    JohnW

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    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    If you want a sensible review about how the car actually drives don't look to Australian motoring journos for advice. They seem preoccupied with cup holders and bluetooth/ automatic wiper ........ (insert gadget here).

    Sometimes I wonder if they have actually driven the cars they review. Because sure as hell they don't mention things like switches in a pr*ck position or electric steering that lacks any road feedback. Or the vehicle feels like an out of control railway carriage when driven spiritedly. Or it wouldn't pull the skin off a rice pudding with aircon on and fully loaded.

    The Poms give far better reviews IMO, but half of the vehicles they review don't come to Oz.

    The 5 Star award is probably written by some Salesman and subsidized by the vehicle marketing departments.

    EDIT: I'm not specifically bagging the French cars, just the general quality of car reviews in OZ.
    No arguments from me.... You might be a tad more cynical though.

    A lot of the current writers are closer to Flash Gordon than Setright. Some of the top end Wheels writers from the 1960s-70s scrub up quite well. I wonder what audience the current crop think they are targeting, not to mention, as you say, what they have driven and on what roads.

    It's still a nice outcome.
    JohnW

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    1000+ Posts Kim Luck's Avatar
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    If you are the sort of person that reads Wheels magazine, these awards mean a lot to you because you won't care whether the testers are a bunch of tossers or not. Their targeted audience is the slowly fermenting unappreciative mass of undeserving humanity that somehow and through some unfathomable system of chance obtained a drivers licence.
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    To help prevent me from enjoying the decadent idleness of retirement, I do car ferrying & refueling for a car rental organisation. While booking in a Commodore SV6 last week, a customer expressed his surprise at the fuel consumption, praised it's handling, adding "Oh, & they ride so well too " !
    Admittedly, the SV6 is far from the worst handling full size family car on the road, but even on smooth expressway the primary ride is nervous & never settles at any speed up to 120Km/Hr.. The standard Evoque with 17" wheels is a little quieter & more relaxed, but nothing to write home about.
    Other cars such as the Nissan Maxima, or their new Pulsar, ride in a more relaxed fashion on city roads but throw them at a bit of pock marked bitumen at anything over 80Km/Hr. & they're a dithering mess.
    The fact is, the average Joe Blow has no concept of the fact that a family sedan can steer, handle, hold the road AND ride well too under all conditions & load variations. The typical modern motoring journalist seems afflicted with the same lack of insight too.
    So it is not surprising that CitroŽn are having trouble justifying their Hydro Pneumatic suspensions.
    At the end of the day, even with the range of family cars I regularly drive, over short & long trips, it is a joy to get back into my humble Xantia VSX.

    Richard
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Luck View Post
    If you are the sort of person that reads Wheels magazine, these awards mean a lot to you because you won't care whether the testers are a bunch of tossers or not. Their targeted audience is the slowly fermenting unappreciative mass of undeserving humanity that somehow and through some unfathomable system of chance obtained a drivers licence.
    Jeepers !.... have you stopped taking your medication ?

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    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    If you are the sort of person that reads Wheels magazine,
    Kim,

    Your point is not lost.

    However, where else does one look for reviews to sort chaff from the grain? It not just Wheels Magazine that has shoddy and opinionated reviews. Many of the on'line reviews from the newspaper sites are similar.

    I must have driven at least 30 different cars , from several marques to decide on our recent purchase. The bloody dealers weren't much better than the journos as to product knowledge. Although the European dealers were better than many others. (with one notable exception)

    The problem with driving so many cars is that your head spins and you need multiple passes to do justice to them. Not what many car dealers like.

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    1000+ Posts Kim Luck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Ch View Post
    Jeepers !.... have you stopped taking your medication ?
    I already told you all that I don't have a grumpy bone in my body! I was just practicing my philosophical superlatives..........
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    1000+ Posts Kim Luck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    Kim,

    Your point is not lost.

    However, where else does one look for reviews to sort chaff from the grain? It not just Wheels Magazine that has shoddy and opinionated reviews. Many of the on'line reviews from the newspaper sites are similar.

    I must have driven at least 30 different cars , from several marques to decide on our recent purchase. The bloody dealers weren't much better than the journos as to product knowledge. Although the European dealers were better than many others. (with one notable exception)

    The problem with driving so many cars is that your head spins and you need multiple passes to do justice to them. Not what many car dealers like.
    You can read road tests in fifty magazines and come away much the same way as your experiences with the personal car tests, Rob; i.e: with a spinning head. I buy with my heart, not my head then constantly justify my purchases by reading the occasional semi glowing report in obscure magazine and newspaper articles. In the meantime over the last fourteen years the last two vehicles I purchased lived up to every single one of my expectations, including the depreciation. Then again, I don't buy new cars as investments, I buy new French cars to enjoy. Every single time I get in them.
    Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone............

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Luck View Post
    You can read road tests in fifty magazines and come away much the same way as your experiences with the personal car tests, Rob; i.e: with a spinning head. I buy with my heart, not my head then constantly justify my purchases by reading the occasional semi glowing report in obscure magazine and newspaper articles. In the meantime over the last fourteen years the last two vehicles I purchased lived up to every single one of my expectations, including the depreciation. Then again, I don't buy new cars as investments, I buy new French cars to enjoy. Every single time I get in them.
    Quite so. But do keeping taking the pills.....
    JohnW

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    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    Then again, I don't buy new cars as investments, I buy new French cars to enjoy. Every single time I get in them.
    Nor do I Kim, that's why I sample the range of what's available each and every time I purchase a new car. I'm not blinkered into French cars, the platform of which, are often from other origins anyway.

    A daily driver is never an investment so forget that myth.

    This time we did the rounds of Audi, VW, BMW, Citroen, Renault, Peugeot, the Jap triplets (I won't raise your BP by mentioning) and others.

    The car I choose was from my perspective the best choice when size, practical carrying space, driving dynamics, warranty and purchase price when all was considered. It certainly makes me smile every drive.

    Cars are no longer Country-of-Name based - they are global. So although a car may seem French there is another brand hiding the body in many cases.

    Anyway why would one choose any car brand over another without checking out the opposition. That's just illogical.
    Last edited by robmac; 19th October 2014 at 07:57 PM.

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    Contented Peugeot Driver addo's Avatar
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    I dunno; some people seem to want a "white wedding"...
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    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by addo View Post
    I dunno; some people seem to want a "white wedding"...
    Definitely not Addo.

    I was married in the park 35 years ago.

    The 504 performed behaved badly and stripped the prop shaft diff end splines.

    Perhaps this incident explains why why I haven't purchased "French" cars lately.

    We were late, arriving a taxi.

    These days a white wedding is to make your grandmother happy or to satisfy an ego .

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    Quote Originally Posted by addo View Post
    I dunno; some people seem to want a "white wedding"...
    G'day,
    is a white rabbit close enough ?

    Jefferson Airplane -White Rabbit- - YouTube
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    the famous 18E pug206gti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    Definitely not Addo.

    I was married in the park 35 years ago.

    The 504 performed behaved badly and stripped the prop shaft diff end splines.

    Perhaps this incident explains why why I haven't purchased "French" cars lately.

    We were late, arriving a taxi.

    These days a white wedding is to make your grandmother happy or to satisfy an ego .
    G'day,

    we didn't have a white wedding, Mrs. 18E wanted to be honest. that was 43 years ago, not too shabby.
    regards,
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  17. #17
    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pug206gti View Post
    G'day,
    is a white rabbit close enough ?

    Jefferson Airplane -White Rabbit- - YouTube
    Aye, the superceded Renault Megane GTLine with the breathless Nissan engine and the poo brown seat inserts that the Renault dealer relentlessly tried to sell me , was one of those...

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    1000+ Posts Kim Luck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    Nor do I Kim, that's why I sample the range of what's available each and every time I purchase a new car. I'm not blinkered into French cars, the platform of which, are often from other origins anyway.

    A daily driver is never an investment so forget that myth.

    This time we did the rounds of Audi, VW, BMW, Citroen, Renault, Peugeot, the Jap triplets (I won't raise your BP by mentioning) and others.

    The car I choose was from my perspective the best choice when size, practical carrying space, driving dynamics, warranty and purchase price when all was considered. It certainly makes me smile every drive.

    Cars are no longer Country-of-Name based - they are global. So although a car may seem French there is another brand hiding the body in many cases.

    Anyway why would one choose any car brand over another without checking out the opposition. That's just illogical.
    As you have so succinctly suggested, there is not a lot of difference in either quality, features or general liveability in any of the manufacturers offerings.

    I find the idea of my car, conceived in France, engineered in Japan and built in a French majority owned factory in Korea to be eminently sensible. Robust, reliable, adequate in not only performance, but also economical in operation and with handling I'm very comfortable with it also ticked all the boxes. Each to his own, but European designed cars generally are more pleasing to drive.
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    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    Each to his own, but European designed cars generally are more pleasing to drive.
    At last a point we can completely agree on.

    In fact, I didn't think I would shift away from Japanese cars.

    However, after doing the research I choose a European designed and built car.

    And if there is a next time, I will do the same research again. Who knows what will be available at that time?
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    JBN
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    I have such a high regard for journalists of any persuasion that I don't even believe the news any more.

    John

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    Same here.

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    Yes, motoring journalists generally write for people that know nothing about cars.

    But according to this (somewhat flawed) award, Citroen, Peugeot and Renault all out Toyota'd Toyota. That's fantastic. Hopefully this will attract a few extra feet into their showrooms, and garner some extra sales. Who knows in 2014 or 2015 Citroens annual sales here in Australia just might out number the daily production of PSA's Socheax plant.
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    unfortunately, and i am only judging this by reading AF, some of the little surprises buyers of french cars often get are cars that have faults, dealers who cant fix the them, and then charge alot of money in the process.

    buyers of japanese and korean cars tend to like cupholders, like just getting to the destination, like inoffensive/blandly designed cars, and really like them to always start. these sorts of things arent really on the car magazine writer's agenda.

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    The marketing of cars is essentially about influencing subjective behaviour. The associated journalism follows the same goals as it has to influence its readers to buy its publications and is subjected to the financial pressures of a heavyweight industry. It is not dissimilar to fashion marketing and journalism. Awards are just a part of the game.
    Most of the material that I translate and post here comes from the financial press, company statements and financial commentators. Because the companies concerned are publically listed they have duties of disclosure to investors which forces them to disclose something closer to objectivity. For example one sees marketing material about the reliability of a brand while the Chairman's or CEO's report to the AGM reveals the quality issues and the progress in correcting them.

    To correct yet another illusion. Once upon a time the French car makers designed their products with French designers aimed at satisfying their French market. Government import restrictions blocked foreign competition and product alternatives. The products they created formed and met the desires of the French market. Overseas, people who shared some of those French perceptions of value broke away from the conditioning in their local market and stood out from the crowd by buying a "quirky" French symbol.

    All of that has blown away on the Mistrale. For the two major remaining French car companies on the Paris Bourse, the French car market remains important but is no longer their prime target. Markets in emerging economies are more important and the products that meet the French needs are not particularly relevant elsewhere with different transport conditions. Half the French themselves now buy imported cars because they value characteristics of other cultures and slowly they are globalising. French and American sells!

    The outcome is that the cars they make are not designed by the French for the French but are designed by globally recognised designers for other markets.
    This year was the first year that PSA sold more cars in China than in France and it is no surprise that they have a large design office there.
    The Director of Style who sets the product image is a Frenchman at PSA, ex Renault and Ford Europe, while at Renault his opposite number is Dutch.

    Don't belittle the cupholders the air-con vents and the Buetooth. These are things that matter when you are stuck in a tin box in a slow traffic procession.
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    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    Don't belittle the cupholders the air-con vents and the Buetooth. These are things that matter when you are stuck in a tin box in a slow traffic procession.
    Well Gerry I guess I must be completely out of touch with "modern" motoring.

    I generally don't drink or eat whilst driving. I actively try to avoid talking on the telephone or listening to doofs -doofs at high volume.
    I try to drive to maintain my own safety and that of others. I can do without distractions.

    I also value the vehicle dynamics, braking and performance and put those factors ahead most other stuff.

    I guess the "modern" attitude is reflected by reviews such as this :
    Holden Trax v Skoda Yeti

    I'm still shaking my head how a vehicle that is summed us as: "has a floaty ride that irons out bumps well, though it is tied to significant roll and poor body control.Light steering offers little in the way of feel, and the brake pedal is similarly spongy."

    Gets the recommendation when compared to:

    "offers European-style suspension with a sharper handling responses and a slightly firmer ride. It has well-weighted steering with none of the Trax's body roll and is alert during direction changes, with a crisp response from its four wheel disc brakes."

    So what is being said the handling, braking and dynamics don't matter as much as features and appointment and of course the bluetooth and cupholders?
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