Satisfaction studies – is there a point?

J.D. Power got its start performing reliability research, which is also what TrueDelta has been focusing on. But some critics mused, “Enough about things gone wrong. What about things gone right? Perhaps some cars are so pleasurable to own and drive that a few extra problems are of little consequence.” And so research firms started conducting a second type of… More →

Option prices, then and now

As I noted in an earlier blog entry, nearly every car is “loaded” these days. A quarter-century ago only a minority of cars were equipped with things like power windows, power locks, and cruise control, and even air conditioning was rarely standard. These days all of these features, and then some, are standard on nearly every car. One big reason… More →

The hardest thing to evaluate during a test drive: long-distance seat comfort

Over at MazdaForums someone recently posted that they might have to sell the $40,000 CX-9 they just purchased because the seat became very uncomfortable for them after a few hours. They ended up getting an upholstery shop to trim back some excess material in the seams and add some padding, which helped some. But the fact remains that a seat… More →

It’s not enough to develop a great product

Chevrolet has instructed its dealers to buy a Camry and put it in showrooms next to the redesigned 2008 Malibu this fall. Saturn dealers will soon be offering three-way test drives pitting its Aura sedan against the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. In both cases, the thinking is that if only car buyers recognized how well the GM sedans compare, they’d… More →

How many Camrys can Toyota sell?

Supposedly the vehicle market has been fragmenting. This is why Ford chose to replace the Taurus with two different models, the Fusion and the Five Hundred (soon to be renamed Taurus). Sedan sales have been steadily declining as people switch to an increasingly broad variety other, more multi-functional vehicle types. And there are more brands to choose from than in decades… More →