Why Expensive Cars Aren’t Always Reliable

Why Expensive Cars Aren’t Always Reliable

Why Luxury Cars Don’t Need To Be Reliable
It’s Too Complicated, It Won’t Last, It’s A Mechanical Nightmare?
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How do cars work? It’s a simple question, though the answer is quite complicated. And it varies tremendously based on what car we’re talking about. A $20,000 compact is far more simple than the $155,000 Mercedes S560 Cabriolet driven in this video. With that extra cost comes luxuriousness, the latest technology, and all kinds of features that most drivers will never even know the car has.

Often, complexity is associated with unreliability, and though they may often correlate, that doesn’t mean complexity causes unreliability. In the case of luxury cars, it’s important to consider who the buyer is. In this video, we’ll discuss why it may be a win-win for both manufacturers and consumers to have expensive cars that aren’t necessarily reliable.

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101 Responses

  1. P I K says:

    Better stay with my Fiat Multipla

  2. MonsterWithConscience says:

    This is what my tuner buddies often call “The Jaguar Question”

  3. Alkana Alkena says:

    Now you have to make “Why cheap cars are reliable”

    • AHDBification says:

      I’ve never understood the hate on Fords. I can’t speak for the newer models but between 2000-2010 they made some really good cars and their resale market it strong because of that.

    • Alfredo Villegas says:

      AHDBification yup, have a 2008 Expedition Limited … Literally about to reach 200k(i give it a week or two). Only have had to do regular maintenance.

    • StrangeClouds says:

      AHDBification Really good maybe but also very bland, boring, and ugly.

    • Adam Smith says:

      Because they don’t put all this useless tech in them. Also cheap cars tend to be American and thus don’t require all this useless emissions control crap that breaks all the time in order to save 0.000001% of carbon emissions that European cars need.

    • DrewLSsix says:

      Keye T. Proof? Wheres the numbers?

  4. nima najmi says:

    Hello i have a question
    I have always heard that normal every day cars engines cant work upside down and if you go vertical or upside down they will cut out i wanted to know if it is true and if it is why???

    • ryan says:

      This is exactly why folks who like riding long motorcycle wheelies will occasionally blow an engine.

    • Dela Rosa, Marlon A. says:

      in an aerobatic airplane the airplane engines have a device that allows it to perform such stunts. one of the device is called an oil valve ball valve.

    • moviebod says:

      an answer for everything. Go you! You will wear that brain out 🙂

    • MackP says:

      Only on motorcycles with a wet sump. Motorcycles with semi-dry and dry sump don’t have that problem.

    • Manny Echaluce says:

      Hmmm, maybe because cars don’t have an axle with wheels and tires attached to the roof,,, not yet, someday maybe 😀

  5. Rated R Cars says:

    “You of course have to hold your hands on the steering wheel” (Doesn’t hold his hands on the steering wheel) LOL

    • Engineering Explained says:

      I mean ya gotta show what it’s capable of am I right? I believe it’s 15 seconds that it will allow it, then the display starts to get really angry at you haha.

    • Darkeight 8 says:

      Engineering Explained these 15 seconds off the wheel were creepy enough for me already though when I was test driving this system once xD

  6. kennyj204 says:

    Marketing Explained

    • Keye T says:

      kennyj204 niceeeeeeee …!!! i see what ya did there😉

    • cardo says:

      Freddi Many mechanics think that their quality has gone downhill since the 1990’s. There is much more tech & sensors in these cars today, a lot more to go wrong.

    • rockn roll says:

      you don`t need the vast majority of that tech to work.. for the car to take you where you need to go

    • Paul Kunze says:

      That’s not exactly true nowadays. Because when the AC turns your car into the artic in winter or does randomly emergency brake, things won’t be fun for long.

    • appleiphone69 says:

      What is interesting is that MB used to appeal to the person who was truly wealthy and wanted to buy quality that lasted i.e 300TD. Those cars did not have gimmicky features of the times ie. digital dashboards, talking cars. Now MB is all about marketing to the fake wealthy leasers.

  7. Ferrariman601 says:

    My stripped out $20,000 Toyota Tacoma, with its roll up windows and manual gearbox, is the most reliable thing I’ve ever seen. Nothing more than normal do-it-yourself maintenance and not even a whisper of a problem ever. My $50,000 BMW 3-Series – torque converter, ECU, 3 wrecked run-flat tires, and one brake failure.

    Your point is not lost here!

  8. Robert Steich says:

    This is true with those homes that were bought and flipped. A buyer buys a home for $250K, “fixes it up” and puts pricey stuff in it, sells it for $350K. But the craftsmanship is subpar. Months, if not years later, things done wrong show their colors. Like a load bearing wall was removed and an improper beam to open the space up starts to sag.

  9. DutchedUp says:

    Damn son. Fragrance injection.

  10. XD Gmail says:

    My car is red

  11. B. Hagedash says:

    I’m not saying the climate control doesn’t work but it would have been nice if you’d demonstrated its efficacy by, for example, making it stop raining.

  12. Daniel Jensen says:

    You’re telling me they don’t design cars just to make YouTube commenters happy, even if none of them can afford to buy one?

    • Engineering Explained says:

      Haha, well I do think it’s important to put yourself in the mindset of “who’s the buyer?” when reviewing cars.

    • KentB27 says:

      Daniel Jensen Sounds a lot like Jalopnik commenters as well. Lmao.

    • afrosheenix says:

      KentB27 jalop is the worst, bunch of kids that won’t buy a car unless it has a third pedal, never mind that they can’t afford it to begin with.

    • KentB27 says:

      afrosheenix Well, to be fair I did buy a car with a manual transmission but it was a 2015 Mazda 6 and it only cost $23k new so it was pretty affordable.

  13. Ryan Kelly says:

    Recently went to a Mercedes tech class. They have some incredible tech. Headlamps coming out with 180 something individual programmable LED’s + projectors that will display images on the roadway ahead. LED’s can throw light where you want and not where you don’t (like toward oncoming drivers or reflective street signs). Amazing

    • mujjuman says:

      cuz american companies havent made their own versions

    • Abhilash Nair says:

      mujjuman Hey it’s not about that you know. Doesn’t matter who made it, if it’s helpful, it should be adopted everywhere!! Just like in Volvo’s 3 point seatbelt story. 🙂

    • mujjuman says:

      I agree, but these days the US govt discriminates against foreign car manufacturers all the time, while letting domestic companies get away with a lot. Once Ford and GM start making their own matrix LED headlights, then these will become legal for use by other car manufacturers in the US

    • Abhilash Nair says:

      mujjuman Makes sense. There’s politics everywhere. Ha.

    • Tigerex966 says:

      its too new and not tested, and the government may want to add fees and taxes on it, but most of all the government sets the standards and wants everyone to know they are in control of any major new tech introduced in our cars..

  14. Crying potatoes says:

    Thank you for that arrow I almost didn’t notice it

  15. Stephen Rosado says:

    The smile on his face when talking about those sensors is like mine when I talk about video games lol.

    • TheWolvesCurse says:

      Stephen Rosado the smile on his face when talking about those sensors, is like mine when i talk about analogue and “transition” sports and sporty cars.
      (transition meaning cars from the late 90’s and early 00’s when tech in cars was taking place, but not taking over)

    • moviebod says:

      You can’t beat a nice sensor for a car geek!

    • Jack Cutler says:

      I’d argue there’s little difference

  16. Eduard van Raalte says:

    “You bring it to the dealer for maintenance once a year”
    You probably meant “The dealer pics it up for you once a year” 😉

    • Jay Dunbar says:

      Sean Hollingsworth technically the car could do no such thing. Fully autonomous vehicles are not legal anywhere yet to my knowledge, nor is the tech to the point that it would be a good idea. But it will be, it’s just a matter of time.

    • ziaride says:

      Haha yep. My retired Uncle does that for a big luxury dealership that he was a frequent customer of, it sounds like the best job ever. Drive loaner cars out to the customer, bring theirs back to the dealership for maintenance and bring it back when they want it. He retired from real estate and doesnt need the money but says he meets a lot of interesting people and only works days he wants for customers he wants and the loaner cars are usually top of the line the dealer hopes they will like and keep so he drives all the best they have. Sweet.

    • Keye T says:

      Eduard van Raalte lmaooo😉😂😂

    • Ashwin Narasimhan says:

      Perhaps they do it for the S-Class but most luxury cars require you to take them to the dealer like anyone else. The major exception is Genesis which offers that service as a new brand.

    • Jay Dunbar says:

      Ashwin Narasimhan it’s a service that’s available in major cities, not necessarily only for high end cars. If you can pay for the service you can have someone pick up a century station wagon and bring it in. I’ve heard ads for random dealers offering all kinds of “free perks”. Tires for life or engines for life are 2 other perks I’ve seen advertised, tires was a GM dealer in MN and the engines for life was a ford dealer in TX if I recall correctly. Full service services is just another way of forcing you to always use their overpriced shop to keep that perk.

  17. MrBlaq says:

    A lot of these features are a response to shitty American drivers.

    • MrBlaq says:

      Joe Harris you do take a test in the US but mandatory behind the wheel lessons are not required if you’re an adult. European driver requirements are far more extensive than here in the US.

    • Jake Garrett says:

      +Joe Harris We do, but I passed while parallel parking with both passenger side wheels on the sidewalk, speeding a little, and driving like I stole it red-lining it a few times. The driving certification person was white knuckled and almost crawled into a ball in the seat when I stopped at a stop sign and a school bus was slowly crossing the intersection (like what, am I going to gun it and ram into the side of a school bus or something?), anyways, the guy hopped out and sprinted like I’ve never seen before back into the DMV building. My dad came out and said, “that guy looked terrified, what did you do?”. Apparently I scared him enough, he never wanted to ride with me again, so he passed me, that’s the only reason I can think of. That was possibly my worst driving ever (I’ve never messed up parallel parking, I park farm equipment and trailers reverse parallel all the time, so I was about laughing when I did it on the test).

    • Joe Harris says:

      In the UK, even when I took my test 16 years ago, I had to take an exam called a “theory test” apply for a provisional licence, only once I had both of these could I even take a test. as far as I’m aware you don’t have to take lessons here but the exam and test are so thorough that you really need to. You will fail if you touch the curb at all, or amass more than 10 minor faults. ie failing to use your mirrors correctly. Despite all this, there are some terrible examples of driving here still, mostly from the over 50 ‘s in their SUV’s!

    • White Wolf says:

      MrBlaq And canadian

    • MackP says:

      Not really, and I say that as a European.
      Features are put in for multiple different reasons:
      1) For manufacturers and their engineers to show off what they can do
      2) To attract new customers and improve/maintain status
      3) To satisfy different safety regulations in different countries, that evolve with time (example: mandatory ABS; in 20-30 years cornering lights or self-adjusting lights may become mandatory)
      4) To appeal to customers who like luxury and can afford it
      5) To maintain the trend of innovation and be better than others (good old fashioned competition)
      6) To achieve higher level of automation that will be used or is being used in self-driving cars that are already becoming reality

      So as you can see, not everything revolves around America. 😉

  18. Tucsonan Dude says:

    I traded my 2017 Subaru Crosstrek for a 2018 Crosstrek. Much better car. Do I fit into this ultra-wealthy category?

  19. JohnAudioTech says:

    I’m a base model w/ base options type of guy.

    • Michael Roberts says:

      Hammer Smith, I know what you mean but that only applies if the base has the same potential. For example, if the base model comes with a different engine that is much less tunable, or if it is FWD and cannot easily be converted because it has different mount points etc., then that is different. I want the model that has all of the potential and none of the unnecessary crap.

    • jrs_ 2000 says:

      I got that 05 civic manual value package with roll up windows and regular radio. It’s a bunch of holes filled in with plastic where other options would’ve been available

    • Night NDay says:

      2015 lexus is250 base model. I get the style and luxury for base price.

    • Nick Belanger says:

      same, unless higher trim gets you legitimate performance or quality and not just the illusion of it

    • Mr JSV says:

      Interesting video.
      Base models are good enough for me too, especially as these days they have all necessary features, higher trim levels have just some luxury additions which I don’t need. All cars have certain complex features by law though, for example Airbags, ABS-brakes, traction control / stability control, engine start / stop, etc.
      I’m driving the most basic Kia Rio which was available here in Finland in 2016, Rio 1,2 LX with manual transmission (5 speed).
      Even this version has power windows in front doors, power mirrors, remote central locking, burglar alarm, air conditioning (manual), heated front seats (two power levels), automatic headlights with light sensor, etc.
      My first car was 1982 Mazda 323 (GLC) 1,3 DX and it didn’t have much features even it wasn’t the most basic version 😀 Heated seats it did have though and 50/50 folding back seat which was not so common back then.
      It had the old, point type ignition and carburetor with manual choke, no catalytic converter at all.
      Cars have become quite complex regardless in the last 30-40 years.

  20. Daniel Gonzalez says:

    That car isn’t as precious as your smile

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