Unjustified XM/605/Safrane bashing
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  1. #1
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    Default Unjustified XM/605/Safrane bashing

    I'd just like to vent some frustrations:

    Whilst the 307 crowd is posting messages on this board of their defections to Golfs and the like (of which I've also only really heard first-hand horror stories), there seems to be an insistence that us XM/605/Safrane owners face maintenance doom. However, I don't see us defecting to Mercedes/BMW in a great hurry.

    A comment that buying a 605 is buying a lot of trouble. Hello??? It appears that spending twice as much on a brand spanking new 307 results in one running for the nearest VW dealership and begging for a trade-in.

    I feel I'm justified in offering my opinion after having had a Renault 25TXE and two Peugeot 605s.

    It isn't normal to expect a high-end European car to cost the same in annual maintenance as a white Toyota Camry Cs. But that's why we are enthusiasts and we regard it as part of the price to pay.

    I know that my car costs $1000/year more to maintain than is absolutely necessary to get from A to B. But a Corolla isn't going to put a smile on my face every time I look at it. And every moment I drive it. And every time someone acknowledges how nice my car is - it makes me feel good.

    We've all heard horror stories of problems causing financial mayhem on this board. Like the family Magna the other day requiring $3.5K? to replace a belt in the transmission.

    Our high-end French tourers require love and diligent maintenance, and we know that this will result in reliability and acceptable on-going costs. As long as a "catch-up" situation doesn't occur, these vehicles offer an incredible amount of driving and ownership pleasure.

    Although I personally take more of an interest in the driving characteristics of vehicles than hands-on maintenance, I do make it my business to have a reasonable understanding of what is going on under the Pininfarina skin of my car. Nevertheless, knowing that the bulk of society prefers ostentatious expressions of motoring over understated style and true driving enjoyment, and we can therefore purchase these vehicles at a huge discount compared to their German counterparts, I have no hesitation in paying that odd bill that's a little bit more than it would be at your local Toyota or Holden service centre.

    As for these cars fetching next to nothing in the UK, keep in mind the economic conditions there are completely different, and a BMW 850, which would sell for $50K in Australia, also sells for nothing in the UK.

    Having just read the ramblings of a "die hard French car fan", I'd just like to point out that I've been through numerous Volvos, a wonderful Rover SD1, and currently my 605 lives alongside a BMW and a Volvo Cross Country. So I'm not so "die hard" after all, I've just made a conscious choice to spend my hard-earned money on something French.

    No prizes for guessing which puts a smile on my face. And which wins hands down the "most desirable to drive" prize.

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    Patrick
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    Fellow Frogger! Decca's Avatar
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    Well said.

    I would be prepared to pay extra for my french cars so as I dont have to drive common, boring stuff which often has a model upgrade every 18 months ( And they still cant catch up).

    But I have found from all the french cars that I have owned is that they have been reliable, economy is good due to expensive petrol in their homeland, parts are not expensive and they ARE different. Different in a better way


    Decca
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    Hi PJ180.
    Can't say I can recall a post authored by yourself, congratulations on this one though. Don't be offended by this though.
    I agree with all you have said and have faced similar siutaions having to justify French/Euro car ownership to all my rellies and friends for the past 20 odd years too, as I am certain most of us here have too.
    Decca, fair points you make too. I have never found parts to be more expensive either, except when I was young and had my first R17 and used Ryco filters. Until I discovered Caravelle and the Purflux filters that were very cheap compared to the Ryco equivelant.

    Keep on frogging,
    Cheers.
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    Fellow Frogger! James504's Avatar
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    307=
    605= Real car!

    Hey if I could afford a 605, I would have bought one. So exotic and rare. To me it's one of those cars you need to own to be a true pugnut! Along with a Mi16 that is ! I would rather spend 15K on a 14 year old car, then the same amount on a brand new daishitsu or beep beep barina.
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    Patrick

    I know exactly what you mean and hence i posted in the other thread accordingly

    i own 604's and as much as people rubbish them they are no where near the trouble that so many people think they and they are a car that i keep on the road for very little which doing all my own work on them also helps, and of course the knowledge to do so

    i find parts are very well priced for pugs and in fact very rarely needed as compared to other makes of cars

    i feel sorry for those that are defecting to VW after having a 307 experience but there is always the C4 i suppose if you wanted to stay french and in the same age bracket

    i myself can't see any other make of car residing in my driveway or in the garage and i come from a background that has experienced many makes and models and yet always returned to pugs and as such in the last 30 years my family have owned nothing but french

    i did venture sideways and had a commodore and a celica and an EA falcon and i have experienced many other friends cars and nothing comes close in the long run to something french
    3 x '78 604 SL

    1 x '98 306 GTi6

    1 x secret project

    1 x '98 406 STDT troop carrier and i don't care if it stinks, i don't sniff it's arse Death by wank tank

    1 x '99 406SV 5spd wagon, time to burn more fuel

    1 x 1994 605 SV3.0


    WTD long range fuel tank for 605

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by James504
    307=
    605= Real car!

    Hey if I could afford a 605, I would have bought one. So exotic and rare. To me it's one of those cars you need to own to be a true pugnut! Along with a Mi16 that is ! I would rather spend 15K on a 14 year old car, then the same amount on a brand new daishitsu or beep beep barina.
    Thanks for the support. And yes, although a French car is a statement in a completely different way to a Merc or a Beamer, it is a powerful one nonetheless. And especially so with an XM or 605. Essentially you can afford to own what most people would dream of owning, yet at the same time you choose to get something radically different - and in most respects better. It's a slap in the face.

    Once when driving to an event after work with a couple of colleagues, as we exited the Australia Square car park, one of them said: "I hate Peugeots but I like this one. I'd happily pay $50/day for parking if I had a car like this." It probably goes without saying that at that very moment she was sitting in the best seat she has ever experienced, with miles of legroom and plush carpet to get lost in.

    And a good mate of mine has a very nice and shiny $aab 9000 (he's from a $aab family). How come he's always begging for a ride in the Peugeot? Can't get over how smooth it is. And of course his maintenance bills dwarf mine completely and the $aab still rattles along with half its warning lights glowing!

    Patrick
    605SVE

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    Default Normal side of life - the grass is greener....

    Wouldn't worry

    Its a normal human trait to seek out Nirvana, and then once you have gone to all that trouble and discovered "nostalgia" makes all things warm and fuzzy

    Of course if you made a mistake in thinking that the grass would be greener on the other side of the fence and it isn't!! Damn, guess one day they will sheepishly come back to the fold.

    The bottom line is to enjoy all your cars, remember the good ones and move on from the bad ones - just another step in the game of life.

    Happy Christmas folks.!

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    Patrick,

    What a welcome breath of fresh air to hear someone who actually understands what forms the basis for French car ownership. In the past couple of weeks, you weren't the first to comment on the antics of some of these characters who seem to want to compare apples with oranges or brand new cars that to date they've had little or no experience with, to ones they've owned for years or in some cases haven't owned at all and are basing their ideas on heresay.
    Having worked in the car game, I know and have tried to explain the different philosophies of distrubutors/manufacturers particularly as far as protecting the corporate image is concerned, after all, speaking of Volkswagens, it was common knowledge years ago that the old Beetle used to snap crankshafts, lose flywheels, roll over at the drop of a hat and had the highest fatality rate of any car as well as also having critical parts at exhorbitant prices, yet they continued to sell well based on all the market hype they generated for directly the opposite reasons. The French unfortunately seem to have it in their nature to do their own thing and let their innovation, design and engineering do the work for them and give a "two finger salute" to the rest of the World (irate customers included) and as their sales continue to increase, you have to wonder if they have got it right and if those who have been doing the slagging off might wish they'd been a bit less gullible when time, age and reality set in and they find they haven't got a forum like this where they'll get away with doing a repeat dose on their latest aquisition, they're stuck with it and nobody really is interested in hearing their tales of woe.
    Enjoy your Pug; I know you will.


    Alan S
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  9. #9
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    Great Post!
    & so true!!!!!
    I was lucky enough to go french when I bought my first car...& I doubt I will ever change allegience based on the current cars that renault are offering, they are very good cars & still a delight to drive...and that coming from a girl who prefers to drive a car with "character" (read "old") in the course of my work over the years, I have had extended & intimate experiences driving others cars & all have confirmed that I made the right choice buying french for myself.
    The only car to tempt me out of my 20+ yo car is another renault (RSC) so that says alot.

    Aus
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    1000+ Posts Uga Boga's Avatar
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    Why is it that praises are only sung for older French car models?

    Does that have something to do with the degradation of newer French car models? C'mon guys, let's admit, the French automakers were on top of their game in the 1990's... but now?

    I'm not joking, when i say that my rear vision mirror melts, or my window seals are already burnt and falling apart, when the car is only 6 months old or so.

    Same goes for the mirror's scratching when they open or close and the lack of a footrest (which goes along with several other things lacking due to a rushed LHD - RHD conversion).

    Maybe it's just the C4, because the Xsara has been a beaut to own, 100,000KMS+ and not a problem in sight.
    Last edited by Uga Boga; 29th December 2005 at 09:36 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uga Boga
    Why is it that praises are only sung for older French car models?

    Does that have something to do with the degradation of newer French car models? C'mon guys, let's admit, the French automakers were on top of their game in the 1990's... but now?

    I believe I know why European cars aren't scoring as highly as they used to.

    A 504 and everything that came before it was engineered by the French and BUILT by the French. There's a national pride in each and every vehicle, and they had a reputation for being indestructible.

    These days European cars are engineered by their respective cultures, however, on the factory floor they aren't built by the "same" people. There are many issues that arise, from communication problems to cultural issues.

    A Japanese vehicle is designed and built by the Japanese themselves, and every worker in the company (and company factory) is part of the family. There's a huge national pride and culture of achieving perfection. Anyone steps out of line...

    Essentially, if your Lexus breaks down, someone somewhere will be loosing a finger (if they get off lightly).

    Just my thought, but I think it makes a lot of sense.

    Patrick
    605SVE

  12. #12
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    Icon8 World Car sales concept ?

    Quote Originally Posted by PJ810
    I believe I know why European cars aren't scoring as highly as they used to.

    A 504 and everything that came before it was engineered by the French and BUILT by the French. There's a national pride in each and every vehicle, and they had a reputation for being indestructible.

    These days European cars are engineered by their respective cultures, however, on the factory floor they aren't built by the "same" people. There are many issues that arise, from communication problems to cultural issues.

    A Japanese vehicle is designed and built by the Japanese themselves, and every worker in the company (and company factory) is part of the family. There's a huge national pride and culture of achieving perfection. Anyone steps out of line...

    Essentially, if your Lexus breaks down, someone somewhere will be loosing a finger (if they get off lightly).

    Just my thought, but I think it makes a lot of sense.

    Patrick
    605SVE
    My feeling is that the buzz word among car makers is designing and building a "world car" that can be sold anywhere with only small domestic changes, even marketed under local popular brand names (rebadging).

    Unfortunately this leads to cost cutting "innovation" by designers and engineers and inclusion of components sourced off the shelf where price rules and reliability is judged by the percentage of warranty claims that can't be dodged on those components or conversely factored into the world sales price structure.

    Its a world where plus or minus two percent can be accurately measured by computer and make the difference between commercial success and failure.

    What may not be measured is the loss of confidence a "lemon" can do to a marque unless heavy "spin doctoring" is used to cleverly market its replacement or cover up its deficiencies.

    Often a basic (world) model may have inherrent structural or component weaknesses and a clever company can market a sports or rally pack edition at a premium price and then heavily promote competition events with these cars and encourage retro-fitting the sports pack (at a price) for those that want to emulate or at least bask in the glory of the competition pack.

    A lemon is soon forgotten in the hype of the modified vehicle performance and reliability - Perhaps its time for French manufacturers to revisit this concept in co-operation with each other or if that is not possible in friendly competitive rivallry.

    Time for the "factory teams" to stress the product and provide leadership in design and innovation. IMHO

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    A Japanese vehicle is designed and built by the Japanese themselves, and every worker in the company (and company factory) is part of the family. There's a huge national pride and culture of achieving perfection. Anyone steps out of line...
    bbwwahahahah.... do you understand that "japanese" cars are built all round the world.

    Hint... Toyota Camrys are built here, USA, Japan etc. There are toyotas built in UK, Europe and Asia. None of those are built by Japanese.

    The funny thing is Peugeot/citroen are now slapping badges on what is essentially a toyota

    Often a basic (world) model may have inherrent structural or component weaknesses and a clever company can market a sports or rally pack edition at a premium price and then heavily promote competition events with these cars and encourage retro-fitting the sports pack (at a price) for those that want to emulate or at least bask in the glory of the competition pack
    Renault perhaps

    I believe I know why European cars aren't scoring as highly as they used to.
    Depends on which "europeans" you are talking about.
    BMW, AUDI, Mercedes BEnz are all still at the leading edge of design or engineering.

    Peugeot, Renault and Citroen are essentially just mass produced car makers. AS such they are now no more desireable to the buying public than a NIssan, Toyota or Mazda.

    The japanese has figured out how to make a car handle and ride properly.
    Last edited by mantra; 30th December 2005 at 02:45 PM.

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    1000+ Posts Uga Boga's Avatar
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    I fully agree mantra... Key sentence: "As they are now no more desireable".

    Some way along the line, the French makers lost their umpf and changed their direction...

    I blame Peugeot for this, the direction they took with Citroen and their own model range...
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    Quote Originally Posted by mantra
    bbwwahahahah.... do you understand that "japanese" cars are built all round the world.

    Hint... Toyota Camrys are built here, USA, Japan etc. There are toyotas built in UK, Europe and Asia. None of those are built by Japanese.

    The funny thing is Peugeot/citroen are now slapping badges on what is essentially a toyota



    Renault perhaps



    Depends on which "europeans" you are talking about.
    BMW, AUDI, Mercedes BEnz are all still at the leading edge of design or engineering.

    Peugeot, Renault and Citroen are essentially just mass produced car makers. AS such they are now no more desireable to the buying public than a NIssan, Toyota or Mazda.

    The japanese has figured out how to make a car handle and ride properly.

    Wrong, Peugeot leads the world in diesel technology and will soon lead the world in petrol technology with the new engine being developed in conjunction with BMW.
    The front suspension of the 407 is very advanced. The 406 rear suspension was used as the benchmark for Ford Australia when designing the BA Falcon.

    Graham

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    Icon13 Typical mantra!!

    Typical matra talking through your hat again.

    What European manufacturers leading in design and development - who is leading the others by the nose in F1?

    Yeah renault! As if you didn't know!!

    Now if anything is lacking in stylish design its that Teutonic mish mash blending in with nothingness you keep advocating.

    Now its hot weather any ice creams anyone ??

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenfuego
    Typical matra talking through your hat again.

    What European manufacturers leading in design and development - who is leading the others by the nose in F1?

    Yeah renault! As if you didn't know!!

    Now if anything is lacking in stylish design its that Teutonic mish mash blending in with nothingness you keep advocating.

    Now its hot weather any ice creams anyone ??
    Typical Ken.

    I was going to post Wards Top Ten Engines results for 2005. Then I remembered that the French makes do not sell in the USA, so they may not have been nominated. Thats a great shame, but I would'nt be holding my breath about BMW 4 cylinders. There has'nt been a good one in a while... After their shocker co-op with Chrysler, I hope they have got their act together though!

    Peugeot may well be at the peak of deisel development, but when will they grace us with their brilliance? When will they attach an automatic transmission to it for us? Props to VW for giving us the best they have.

    I'd have thought that Mercedes would be up there in deisel tech, but I'm no expert in the field, thats for sure!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sergetov
    I was going to post Wards Top Ten Engines results for 2005. Then I remembered that the French makes do not sell in the USA, so they may not have been nominated.
    Post them up anyway, are they the same as the ones on this site?

    http://www.ukintpress.com/engineofth...egories04.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by mantra
    Depends on which "europeans" you are talking about.
    BMW, AUDI, Mercedes BEnz are all still at the leading edge of design or engineering.

    The japanese has figured out how to make a car handle and ride properly.
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the Merc E-Class ranked at the bottom for reliability in the US for the year 2004? And Lexus at the top?

    Are Lexus built outside of Japan?

    Audi's are known to loose their gearboxes. BMWs fall apart (windows, trim, the lot), and we know of one family that gave up on their late model Merc because the engine problem couldn't be fixed. They are now very happy with their Honda Accord.

    Japanese cars are far more competent handlers than they used to be, but they are still BLAND to drive. All the ones I've driven anyway. Even when comparing say an RX330 to an X5, RX330 is more refined, X5 is a WAY better drive.

    There's only so much engineering that can be allocated to a car in a certain price bracket. The Japanese pour it all into refining to perfection and blandness. The Europeans spend it on handling, safety, solidity, etc.

    And as for comparing apples with apples, a Laguna or 407 is the European version of a Commodore or Camry. And a Ford Falcon taxi can be reliably replaced with a Mercedes E-class. They are bread and butter vehicles, yet still offer their owners/drivers something more than whitegoods on wheels.

    Patrick

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    Quote Originally Posted by PJ810
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the Merc E-Class ranked at the bottom for reliability in the US for the year 2004? And Lexus at the top?
    Depends on what measure. According to J.D. Power and Associates 2004 Initial Quality Study Lexus did indeed finish atop the charts.

    http://www.jdpa.com/news/releases/pr...asp?ID=2004037

    I strongly recommend you follow that link. Many Japanese firms do surprisingly badly. Many Euro firms do very well. The Mercedes E-Class has been afflicted with various high profile electrical concerns. Sales of this staple have nearly halved during the current W210 generation.

    I'd have an E-Class over a Lexus GS in a heartbeat. So would most people judging by the sales charts.

    But honestly, as French car enthusiasts, its best not to think about quality surveys...

    Quote Originally Posted by PJ810
    Are Lexus built outside of Japan?
    http://www.lexus.com/about/corporate/manufacturing.html

    According to Lexus:

    MODEL PRODUCTION LOCATION
    LS Tahara
    GS Tahara
    ES Tsutsumi, Kyushu
    IS Kanji (Iwate Plant)
    SC Kanji (Kanto Jidosha)
    LX Araco
    GX Tahara
    RX Kyushu and Cambridge, Ontario
    RX Hybrid Kyushu

    Easily the best selling Lexus model is the RX330 AWD, since September 2003 it has been built in Ontario, the first Lexus to be built outside Japan.


    Quote Originally Posted by PJ810
    Japanese cars are far more competent handlers than they used to be, but they are still BLAND to drive. All the ones I've driven anyway. Even when comparing say an RX330 to an X5, RX330 is more refined, X5 is a WAY better drive.
    No-one would argue about that comparison of the RX330 vs the X5. But the RX is based on the Camry platform which itself is hardly a distinguished handler. This sort of comparison is irrelevent in terms of making generalisations though.

    Everyone knows BMW's brand is based on driving. There are numerous examples of Japanese cars that are good to drive (All Mazdas, Honda Accord Euro, Subaru Liberty etc). The Q45 Infinity that we do not get here is regarded as an equel steer to the X5, but I've not had the pleasure in either myself.

    Quote Originally Posted by PJ810
    There's only so much engineering that can be allocated to a car in a certain price bracket. The Japanese pour it all into refining to perfection and blandness. The Europeans spend it on handling, safety, solidity, etc.
    That is pure prejudice!

    Quote Originally Posted by PJ810
    And as for comparing apples with apples, a Laguna or 407 is the European version of a Commodore or Camry. And a Ford Falcon taxi can be reliably replaced with a Mercedes E-class. They are bread and butter vehicles, yet still offer their owners/drivers something more than whitegoods on wheels.
    Just because there are Mercedes taxi's does not make them cheap. If the E-Class were truly an equivalent to the Falcon, Mercedes-Benz would be out of business since it only sells around 200,000 of them a year! The E-Class is a high margin car both in Germany, and overseas. Wealthy Germans drive E-Classes, although there are poverty versions with piss-weak engines. The E-Class and other Mercedes-Benz models are in fact cheaper in the USA than Germany.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sergetov
    Depends on what measure. According to J.D. Power and Associates 2004 Initial Quality Study Lexus did indeed finish atop the charts.

    http://www.jdpa.com/news/releases/pr...asp?ID=2004037

    I strongly recommend you follow that link.
    OK, I'm convinced, I'll buy a Lexus.
    Everyone knows BMW's brand is based on driving. There are numerous examples of Japanese cars that are good to drive (All Mazdas, Honda Accord Euro, Subaru Liberty etc). The Q45 Infinity that we do not get here is regarded as an equel steer to the X5, but I've not had the pleasure in either myself.
    Now I'm confused. Why buy an expensive BMW or French car when a Mazda is a driver's car too? And Hondas are ultra-reliable. As for the Liberty, I'll admit to having liked them a lot. Until about two weeks ago when I was given a lift home in one. I knew the car from when it was brand new, then didn't see it for a few years, and now.... ouch. Cheap and nasty is what it radiates. Horrible seats, shitty engine (I remembered it being so smooth the first time I was in it) and the ride wasn't that great either. I could have tolerated all of it, but the owner was complaining too. $aab family, then couldn't afford a new $aab when the old one fried up unexpectedly, so they got the Liberty.

    Just because there are Mercedes taxi's does not make them cheap. If the E-Class were truly an equivalent to the Falcon,
    I admit I was pushing it there... just a little. But please do see the context.

    Patrick

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    Patrick

    When I was in Germany I rode in many Mercedes taxis. I can see your point ok.

    Then I arived back in Perth and got in a Falcon Taxi. There was a noticable difference.

    Cheers

    Graelin

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    Quote Originally Posted by Graelin
    Patrick

    When I was in Germany I rode in many Mercedes taxis. I can see your point ok.

    Then I arived back in Perth and got in a Falcon Taxi. There was a noticable difference.

    Cheers

    Graelin
    Off topic, but in Sydney CBD there's a silver Mercedes E-Class taxi. I see it nearly every day now. Someone saw the light.

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    These days European cars are engineered by their respective cultures, however, on the factory floor they aren't built by the "same" people. There are many issues that arise, from communication problems to cultural issues.

    Cant agree with you on that one,Patrick.
    Toyota at Altona has about 80 nationalities (don't know how many cultures) working there. You may not like the cars but the quality is amongst the worlds best.
    Jo]

  25. #25
    Fellow Frogger! Peter J's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Dubbo NSW
    Posts
    198

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    Quote Originally Posted by Uga Boga
    Why is it that praises are only sung for older French car models?

    Does that have something to do with the degradation of newer French car models? C'mon guys, let's admit, the French automakers were on top of their game in the 1990's... but now?
    That is why I "defected" from the 307 owners club .... but still remain a member of the 504 owners club ..... (and now a member of the VW club).
    PJ

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