Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 17

Thread: What does quality mean? How can it be measured/evaluated?

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Manitoba
    Country
    Canada
    Posts
    486
    Thanks
    164
    Thanked 86 Times in 58 Posts

    What does quality mean? How can it be measured/evaluated?

    It seems most folks "know" that Honda and Toyota are reliable cars with good quality. They have good reputations - but does past performance guarantee future performance?

    It also seems that cars can change faster than perceptions, so if a company makes a drastic improvement or decline, it isn't always noticed right away. For example, I have heard the new Buick is first rate, while some recent generations of General Motors had a poor reputation. Of course one vehicle in a line might be much better or worse than the rest of the line. My '03 Ford isn't as good as the '01 Civic . . . but that was 12 years ago - is the same true today?

    What is it about a car that makes or breaks it in terms of reliability? I assume some things are difficult to measure/know (the particular alloys and heat treating of certain parts would be invisible), and other things are quite obvious (this one has peeling paint, 4 small drum brakes, and the sheet metal seams don't align). On bicycles, a mechanic can show the plastic internals of cheap parts and the steel equivalents on better parts. The specifications on chromoly tubing are different than hi-tensile tubing.

    I've found the adage "you get what you pay for" to not always be true. Sometimes I pay a lot and get very little! In the car world, it is hard to tell if the "cheap" car is a marketing ploy trying to bring people to the brand like a 99cent turkey at the grocery store, or if it is made cheaply by cutting corners on materials.

    My question is, other than hunches, perceptions, past history/anecdotal evidence, are there ways to evaluate a particular new automobile and determine if it is good quality or poor quality?

    More to the real point - could a Honda Fit really be worth the $4000 more the base model costs?


        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2014 Mirage SE 1.2 manual: 45.0 mpg (US) ... 19.1 km/L ... 5.2 L/100 km ... 54.1 mpg (Imp)


  2. #2
    ミラージュ Minihaha's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Kansas
    Country
    United States
    Posts
    196
    Thanks
    70
    Thanked 45 Times in 34 Posts
    Sure it could: the $4000 is fully accountable. (Assuming you are comparing the Base Fit to a Fit optioned out to +$4000).

    Whereas if you are comparing a Fit to being $4000 more than a Mirage (for example), again it could readily be accounted for. Factory capital costs, labor, materials, design, development, etc. all the factors are there.
    Ceteris paribis - they're both cars but it's a bit apples to oranges, IMO.
    Because of a deserved reputation the Honda can add a 'premium' price: because it has built its reputation for quality, just as the obverse is applicable too, take a Yugo for example, total POS and its reputation as such was deserved. So, if/when the quality of a product is controlled in production the final sold product is realized as being "good quality," and the product sustains the investment into quality by being bought.

    As for measuring quality - without question it's measurable, it's a whole job field: QC and QA, quality control and quality assurance. Given a specification one measures how a product adheres to that spec. From the little individual pieces to the product as a whole, the quality can be measured and controlled. In many instances it's the quality you pay for.
    The build quality for a Lexus, to a Toyota, to a Scion is a good spectrum example, as they are all from the same company. The Lexus would have the tightest tolerances (if your old enough you may remember their ads rolling a ball-bearing along the body gaps to demonstrate the uniformity/tolerances). A Toyota on the other hand might have looser tolerances for the same items and the Scion even looser. However the Scion would still have the foundation of being a "Toyota" behind it, and it's a quality product - but its level of quality (the attention to detail) is several degrees removed from the Lexus in all aspects, and hence the considerable price differential.
    Last edited by Minihaha; 07-24-2014 at 09:37 PM. Reason: sore eyes, lol... (and added a lil' text here & there)
    ゼロ

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2014 Mirage DE 1.2 manual: 33.4 mpg (US) ... 14.2 km/L ... 7.0 L/100 km ... 40.1 mpg (Imp)


  3. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Minihaha For This Useful Post:

    Canoehead (07-24-2014),Griffin (07-24-2014)

  4. #3
    Я R01k's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    New York
    Country
    United States
    Posts
    483
    Thanks
    130
    Thanked 61 Times in 46 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Canoehead View Post
    More to the real point - could a Honda Fit really be worth the $4000 more the base model costs?
    Well, going a little away from the pure objective point of view of quality degree, there will be a whole lot of perception when considering if a Fit will be worth the extra $4000. For example, how do you like the car behavior during the drive test? A car could be built with the greatest amount of quality in the world and still be deemed a piece of junk if aesthetics or road feel doesn't satisfy a majority of people.

    In the intrincated car maket I prefer to judge and decide what will my next car be based first on a strict sense of practicality and then on quality/reliabity.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2014 Mirage ES 1.2 automatic: 37.6 mpg (US) ... 16.0 km/L ... 6.3 L/100 km ... 45.2 mpg (Imp)


  5. #4
    Я R01k's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    New York
    Country
    United States
    Posts
    483
    Thanks
    130
    Thanked 61 Times in 46 Posts
    Minihaha, a suggestion: that blue is killing eyes )

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2014 Mirage ES 1.2 automatic: 37.6 mpg (US) ... 16.0 km/L ... 6.3 L/100 km ... 45.2 mpg (Imp)


  6. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Manitoba
    Country
    Canada
    Posts
    486
    Thanks
    164
    Thanked 86 Times in 58 Posts
    Thank you both.

    To clarify - I was interested in whether the Honda Fit that I am considering ($18k all in) would be worth the extra money over the base Mirage ($14k all in) from strictly a reliability/quality standpoint.

    Of course most folks say the Fit handles better, it has better resale (I hope to drive it to the end, though), and it is more spacious. Beyond those obvious advantages - are there hidden "quality" factors that make it a more reliable car?

    I once asked Honda if the Accord was built to a higher standard than the Civic, as it seems many Accords have gone a very long ways in places where salt/rust isn't an issue. They responded that while each car serves a different market need, one should not be expected to be longer lasting or more reliable than the other (i.e. the build quality is the same).

    Is there a way to tell if the Mitsubishi is just $4000 less car (smaller, less refined, not Honda), or if it is truly inferior (poor quality)?

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2014 Mirage SE 1.2 manual: 45.0 mpg (US) ... 19.1 km/L ... 5.2 L/100 km ... 54.1 mpg (Imp)


  7. #6
    ミラージュ Minihaha's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Kansas
    Country
    United States
    Posts
    196
    Thanks
    70
    Thanked 45 Times in 34 Posts
    I'll say from my own expirience, I had always shied away from Mitsubishi, because of doubts about their quality - in comparision to other Japanese makes. However I decided with the warranty the Mirage has and the initial test drive that 'won' me over, I'd take a risk on it. It is an inexpensive little car, but it seems, IMO, to pocess good build quality. I think a lot of what you'd being paying for in the Honda would be (essentially) amenities. Materials and possibly some design, e.g.maybe sound deadening throughout (doors, firewall, etc), thicker carpets, and design, e.g. I bet you can't see the scissor jack everytime you get into the Fit, it's probably better hidden. Do these things make the car several thousand dollars better... maybe, that's subjective.
    To me they don't, at this level I am very much a fan of form-follows-function and will 'sacrifice' a hidden jack, or accept a thinner carpet.
    It's a cheap, fun, little car, when I want amenities I'll go big for real...
    ゼロ

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2014 Mirage DE 1.2 manual: 33.4 mpg (US) ... 14.2 km/L ... 7.0 L/100 km ... 40.1 mpg (Imp)


  8. #7
    Senior Member Ares's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Houston
    Country
    United States
    Posts
    1,609
    Thanks
    20
    Thanked 103 Times in 74 Posts
    There were just vehicles that had bad engineering, cars that would literally fall apart. One good British example is the Jensen Interceptor. Great looking car, but it was engineered poorly.

    Another thing that could be considered are manufacturing quality and quality of parts used. Back in the day, the manufacturing plants of Kia and Hyundai were ****ty and so we're the engineering behind their vehicles.

    Automation/Robotics have catapulted the build quality. Today, I think, it comes down to materials used and the engineering behind the vehicles.

    If the car is engineered to pump out 600 horses, and good quality materials were used to build that engine, then I expect it to work well.

  9. #8
    Carmageddon m4v3r1ck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    The Hague
    Country
    Netherlands
    Posts
    1,347
    Thanks
    74
    Thanked 98 Times in 77 Posts
    I already found a lot of rust on my 8 months old mirage! they are mostly on the wheels (brakes) and the inside of the bumper side (look from engine side) .... Not a good quality

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2013 Mirage 1.0 manual: 47.5 mpg (US) ... 20.2 km/L ... 5.0 L/100 km ... 57.0 mpg (Imp)


  10. #9
    Я R01k's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    New York
    Country
    United States
    Posts
    483
    Thanks
    130
    Thanked 61 Times in 46 Posts
    I agree with Minihaha.

    In my personal case, I also considered the Fit. I decided for the Mirage because of its warranty, value and practicality. The 100,000/10 years warranty cleared most of my doubts about reliability. Mitsubishi put money on powertrain and useful amenities (power mirrors and doors, automatic AC, etc). What I needed was an efficient, safe and reasonably comfortable way to go from A to B, and that were the key factors that led my decision.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2014 Mirage ES 1.2 automatic: 37.6 mpg (US) ... 16.0 km/L ... 6.3 L/100 km ... 45.2 mpg (Imp)


  11. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Earth
    Country
    United States
    Posts
    363
    Garage empty: add car
    Thanks
    26
    Thanked 75 Times in 50 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by m4v3r1ck View Post
    I already found a lot of rust on my 8 months old mirage! they are mostly on the wheels (brakes) and the inside of the bumper side (look from engine side) .... Not a good quality
    Interesting ... can you provide us with some pics of the rusting?



Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •