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This review sucks...

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Old 10-21-2018, 06:16 PM
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2018 Jaguar I-Pace is a good electric car that's not a good car... https://www.bendbulletin.com/busines...d-electric-car

So what is in my morning paper but the above review of the I-Pace out of the Detroit Free Press. You'd figure someone writing in Detroit would have a clue... The author was given one to drive and his leading comment is that "...I hate it so much I want to crash it into a wall". Does he take issue with how the car drives, no, does he take issue with how the car stops, no, charging, no, electrics in general, no, interior, no, exterior, no. His gripe is the unique controls for the media system, he doesn't even level the common complaint that the media system is slow. He hates the unique interface because it is different.

Now, if you bought the car, you'd likely set and forget this system and just let it operate automatically so, for an owner, there'd be a learning curve of maybe 15 to 30 minutes as you waded through the manual and set the car up but then everything is pretty much automatic. In my Mercedes and other Jags I only mess with the system when I have to swap out Smartphones which, since I review Smartphones, I do more often than most. He basically took, what would be to a buyer, a minor annoyance, and suggested the car should be destroyed because of it.

Now I will say this, the car companies should likely take reviews like this to heart, because reviewers (I am one) really don't like learning curves. Owners may only do this once, but a reviewer has to do this for every car they review and, in the era of Smartphones, when you can largely use Apple's CarPlay or Android Auto and retain preferences in the cloud, you should be able to just authenticate the driver and make assumptions as to the temperature, general positions of the seats and mirrors, and even the channels the driver wants to listen to. You'd likely still have to pair to the Smartphone but even that can be done more easily.

So while I think this reviewer missed the mark because he isn't reviewing the car for other reviewers but for potential owners, car makers do need to be concerned about reviewers and making the initial impression of the car positive, assuring positive reviews, will sell more cars.

Around 15 years ago Microsoft installed what was on paper the most advanced system in the market in my car, I actually had to lease a car specifically for this test (it was to be my wife's car which wasn't one of my most brilliant decisions because, even though it was purple, she hated the car). But her regular comment on the system was she wanted to rip it out of the dash and throw it off a cliff. In that case it really wasn't all Microsoft's fault, Clarion, who built the thing, had underspecified the processor to keep costs down. The result was that the system was so slow the GPS system couldn't keep up with the car, and the voice command system had issues with road noise (probably wasn't a great idea to put this in a convertible). The products sold poorly and was eventually killed showcasing the difference between good and horrid execution. (By the way the car was a Chrysler Sebring Convertable and it drove like a boat that was about to sink).

But if you want to sell cars, increasingly the Media system (you'll be living on this thing when the industry actually rolls out Level 4/5 self-driving cars), is what we live with and it can be made vastly more simple, vastly more automated, and vastly more compelling. We actually have the technology. So while I think this reviewer is kind of being an *** for blowing this out of proportion given a buyer would get over this far more quickly than if the car drove poorly which it doesn't, there is no upside to a painful to use media system. It hurts satisfaction, it hurts reviews, and it will lower sales.

This isn't a Jaguar problem it is an industry problem suggesting the car companies that get this more right (think Japanese particularly Toyota) have an advantage that would be relatively easy to exceed. I just wish the other folks would focus on this more.
 

Last edited by enderle; 10-21-2018 at 06:25 PM.
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Old 10-21-2018, 06:22 PM
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Here is a shot of the Sebring I put the Auto PC in. I'm sure it was pretty comical for forks to watch me, when the top was down, screaming commands at the car which it generally got wrong.

One of the most hated cars I ever owned.
 
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Old 10-22-2018, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by enderle View Post
... it really wasn't all Microsoft's fault, Clarion, who built the thing, had underspecified the processor to keep costs down.
Not that Microsoft has a history of demanding ever more powerful hardware for everything it sells, of course.

And I'd have thought people buy a Jaguar for the driving experience, not because it's a mobile smartphone - I know I do.
 
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Old 10-22-2018, 12:41 PM
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Agreed, this goes to why I think this reviewer got it wrong. However, there is no upside to making AV difficult. The human factors folks in much of the car industry are an embarrassment. I don't think the I-Pace implementation is that bad, but I tended to agree with the author that given we have CarPlay and Android Auto now and this coming class of cars is cloud-connected, the potential exists to make setting the car up easier than setting up a Smartphone. The Japanese seem to get this (Koreans too for the most part) but no one yet does it as well as it should be done, and the Germans (particularly BMW) have done this really badly in the past.

On Microsoft yes they did push performance but in this case this was a packaged product and there were faster processors available. It made no sense to save $10 on the processor for what was a very expensive offering which made the thing into a boat anchor.
 
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