Friday, December 30, 2005

Turning Japanese

My new car is a Honda Accord. For the last 8 years I've had 2 consecutive Audi A4s and, although I didn't have major problems with either car I did have several minor gripes with both of them. I've also been aware from consumer surveys over the last few years of how Japanese cars have retained their excellent reliability record while German cars have fallen in reliability. This seems to be particularly true of Audi. As you can see from the What Car? Reliability Index, Audi is among the Worst Ten Performers, but it shares that dubious distinction with several so-called "quality" marques----with Porsche as their least reliable brand! BMW is among the Best Ten Performers with an index of 85.95, but it is still a fair bit higher than Honda's 63.73.

I know that reliability isn't everything, but to my mind it's pretty vital when it comes to spending hard-earned cash on a depressingly depreciating asset----especially the amount of cash you need to shell out for a Porsche. The Porsche Boxter has a reliability index of 277.46, and the Audi TT's index is not much better at 251.2. The Audi A4's figure is considerably superior at 115.34, but this is still very poor compared with the Honda Accord's result of 41.71!

So why isn't everyone buying cars from Honda, Lexus, and the other members of the What Car? Top Ten? Why do people consider that they have "arrived" when they purchase a Porsche, an Audi, a Jaguar or a Saab (all among the worst ten performers for reliability)? Why did my son obviously feel the family would have less "Street Cred" when we moved from Audi to Honda? The answer, my friends, is snobbery, pure and simple----and some of you are paying a very high price for it!