Sunday, June 11, 2006

How Do You Turn On The #@!&% Air?

The ergonomics of luxury cars are often lacking ...

"A J.D. Power study finds luxury cars like Mercedes and BMW overloaded with complexity

You'd think a $105,000 luxury car like the new Mercedes S550, with its highly tuned suspension, seat massagers, and ultraquiet cabin, would be a joy to drive. And it is, in every way except one. Mercedes had to go and copy BMW's complex, cumbersome iDrive system, the Windows-like interface that drivers must navigate merely to play a CD or cool down the interior. Toggling from the stereo screen to the climate menu to get the AC running requires a series of twists and clicks of the controls, not to mention keeping at least one eye on the screen. Whatever happened to the button with the snowflake on it?

Such is the state of the luxury vehicle. Upscale cars may be faster, safer, and more reliable these days, but they're also more annoying. That message comes through clearly in the latest Initial Quality Study from J.D. Power & Associates Inc., which, like BusinessWeek, is owned by The McGraw-Hill Companies. The research firm rejiggered its survey this year to separate real defects from design flaws, which have become a bigger gripe in recent years. Mostly it's the fancy German brands -- Mercedes (DCX ), BMW, Audi -- getting dinged for their overwrought gizmos, poor ergonomics, and other design missteps. "Some auto makers are finding ways to give you [everyday] technology and make it more complicated," says Joe Ivers, J.D. Power's quality and customer satisfaction chief."   continued ...   (Via Business Week)

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Anonymous catheryn kelland said...

how could these cars REALLY be safer if you are so pre-occupied with accessing something as simple yet fatal as air?

6:26 PM  

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