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High End Luxury Cars

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Comments

  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 5,779
    Good review but I am still laughing about that Mercedes Command Knob!!! Is that actually what they call it? I can picture a Saturday Night Live skit based around the Command Knob!!

    2013 LX 570 2010 LS 460

  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    No surprises in your fine, COMANDing review of the Mercedes Benz S Class, tagman.

    Looking forward to your test drive of Edmunds top pick, the Audi A8, which would be the only HELC I myself would be interested in driving.

    Having driven the S Class already should prove a vital and interesting comparison.
  • Thanks for these test drive reports, very informative. Could you post the window sticker price for these testers? Interestingly, coming from an LS 430, I thought the 460 steering was more responsive, of course, I have never driven a Porsche.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Have you tried the Maserati before? If not, I would highly recommend a test drive, especially now that it's available with the world's best autobox.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Oh thanks for reminding me. You folks should check this out: First Drive: 2007 Maserati Quattroporte Automatica

    I tried to post that link yesterday and had a problem, then forgot it. :blush:

    What do you think?
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Great idea, lexusguy! Quite some time ago, we had briefly discussed driving the Q, but the tranny was always the deal-killer... until now. The new Ferrari- styled ZF 6-speed is exactly what the doctor ordered for that car.

    After I test drive the Audi A8L and the BMW 7-series, perhaps the Q!

    Even though I'm not going to buy one of these cars at this point, I'm having fun driving them. I usually do make a point to eventually drive most cars, but I think I have Pat to thank for being the catalyst this time around.

    TagMan
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Thanks for these test drive reports, very informative. Could you post the window sticker price for these testers? Interestingly, coming from an LS 430, I thought the 460 steering was more responsive, of course, I have never driven a Porsche.

    You're welcome, Mike... you owe it to yourself to drive a Porsche. Also, I suggest that you drive the S-Class if you haven't done so. If you noticed the difference between the LS430 and the LS460, then you will definately notice the clear difference between the way the S550 drives and the way the LS460L drives... a difference I believe that most drivers would just naturally feel and appreciate.

    That said, there may be other reasons to still prefer the LS over the S550, so I'm not trying to start any debate here. I just highly doubt
    that the LS's steering would ever be one of those reasons to choose it over an S-Class.

    TagMan
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Thanks for these test drive reports, very informative. Could you post the window sticker price for these testers? Interestingly, coming from an LS 430, I thought the 460 steering was more responsive, of course, I have never driven a Porsche.

    You're welcome, Mike... you owe it to yourself to drive a Porsche. Also, I suggest that you drive the S-Class if you haven't done so. If you noticed the difference between the LS430 and the LS460, then you will definately notice the clear difference between the way the S550 drives and the way the LS460L drives... a difference I believe that most drivers would just naturally feel and appreciate.

    That said, there may be other reasons for you to still prefer the LS over the S550, so I'm not trying to start any debate here. I just highly doubt that the LS's steering would ever be one of those reasons to choose it over an S-Class... the opposite would be more realistic.

    TagMan
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Good review but I am still laughing about that Mercedes Command Knob!!! Is that actually what they call it? I can picture a Saturday Night Live skit based around the Command Knob!!

    Yes, the system is actually called "COMAND"... spelled with one letter "m". Check it out on their website.

    I can see the SNL skit, too. The feature built for a total control freak... in total command... who goes crazy after he loses control. LOL.

    TagMan
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Looking forward to your test drive of Edmunds top pick, the Audi A8, which would be the only HELC I myself would be interested in driving.

    Yeah, that one should be interesting. I'm looking forward to driving the A8L myself... although I'd love to drive the S8 if there is one available. That might be a seperate event in the future.

    TagMan
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    Great review Tagman,

    Did you notice what MT noticed about the S550's transmission:

    The world's first seven-speed auto (trumped almost immediately by Toyota, which put an eight-speeder into the new Lexus LS 460) sounds impressive over a martini at the country club, but out on the road you can become aware of the transmission constantly shuffling through the ratios to find the optimum one.

    Also I agree with you about the rear of the S550. Too much ostentatious bling IMO. It seems MB is trying to go out of their way to point out that the S Class shares some DNA with their Maybach.

    Your Porsche 911 Carrera for weekends (although I love my BMW335i for weekdays and weekends--cant think of a better sedan?) and my wife's BMW 5 series touring for family outings/shopping is all what I want and need in my garage. Never liked LWB cars to begin with. But if I had a choice it would be a 7 series hands down! The best handler among the HELC bunch despite its uninviting austere interior (I myself am a fan of low profile austerity).
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Did you notice what MT noticed about the S550's transmission:

    If MT did not warm up the car before making performance evaluations, then they are idiots. What other reviewer ever mentioned such a thing? I certainly never experienced any gear searching from the S550's tranny. It was a perfect shifter, and creamy smooth as well. IMO, however, the ultra-silky smooth tranny award goes to the Lexus LS, but again, the S-Class tranny was fabulous... smooth and deliberate... no searching at all, and no passing gear lag as experienced in the LS.

    Also I agree with you about the rear of the S550.

    It's really my only complaint... unfortunately it will likely be years before any updating.

    BTW, I'm not looking to purchase any of these cars. I'm just having fun checking them all out. I've already mentioned to you which car I'm thinking about for my next purchase... and I read about the Vishnu modification... very interesting.

    TagMan
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    I absolutely love driving the latest ELPS, LPS and HELC also, even though I would have no interest in purchasing/leasing most of them. Always a kick!

    Two things about BMW's across the board: Excellent trannys and steering (non-adaptive) are a given. Very difficult to give up one of the most satisfying driving experiences on this planet. And I probably won't. :shades:
  • anthonypanthonyp Posts: 1,857
    Tag---Another enjoyable report, although I haven`t driven the Mercedes,as I had the Lexus....I think you will find the Audi does not feel as large as the Mercedes....I look forward to your analysis of it...Tony
  • Is it due to lack of warm-up, or perhaps they got a malfunctioning car (if nobody else had the problem)? I have never experienced transmission hunting when car is cold. Also, I'd think they drive the car enough to warm it up before stopping the car and write up on it; so I hope :-)
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Your first hand reports are terrific - keep them coming!!
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    Great article on vintage cars in this week's Barrons.

    So what costs more than many vintage Ferarris?

    OF COURSE, many of the valuation methods now shaping muscle-car prices have been affecting collectible sports cars for years, especially high-end pre-1970 models. Ferrari tops this list. After a crazy speculative price bubble in 1989, when Japanese investors shelled out $10 million to $12 million for top Ferraris, prices nosedived, along with Japanese stocks. They've quietly come back, increasing by more than 50% in the past few years.

    RM sold a 1957 Ferrari 250 Boano LWB (long wheelbase) Berlinetta for $720,000; a 1967 330 GTC went for $220,000. Rarity works in Ferraris' favor: Even the more common versions seldom numbered more than 1,000 to 1,200; others totaled less than 100. "Interest is very strong for vintage sports and racing cars," says Rob Myers, the founder of RM.

    A 1971 Plymouth 'Cuda convertible sold for $2.42 million at the recent auctions.

    Imagine owning a spanking new low volume low priced car like the Cuda and seeing its resale value increase faster than the stock price of Berkshire Hathaway?

    So far I have not seen a single BMW 335i sedan in Toronto. Who knows maybe if I keep my car for a few decades... (OK, ok I am just kidding)

    image
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    Interesting conclusion on your experience with the S550.

    Some of the same things you pointed out, I shared also. The rear end is polarizing, yes, but to me so is the disorganized bustle of the pseudo-Bangle LS. This is a new venture for MB to stray away from the conservative status-quo, and think they nailed it. Those wheelarches must be liked by quite a few folks as the S sells pretty darn well...

    As to the tranny, I didn't experience any hunting in my test of an S550. The LS on the otherhand searched at random for the correct gear, particularly on hilly terrain whereas the 7-G held it's cool, and switched gears seamlessly if needed be. Even the old-tech 5-speed in the S600 rarely if ever hunted for gears.

    When you test the A8, if no S8 is available, try testing an A8 Sport. The additional suspension tuning will make the experience even more exciting, altho the base suspension is definetely not lacking..
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Some of the same things you pointed out, I shared also.

    I think most people who drive the car should have a similar experience but with different personal reactions to it... after all, the variable isn't the car... it's the driver.

    The S550's 7-speed was perfect, as I posted. MT's observation seems quite isolated and unique.

    The wheel arches are dramatic, but absolutely OK with me. Only the trunk is missing the bullseye, IMO.

    When I test the A8, I want to test a long wheelbase car, since that is the comparison I am making across the board, as I want to compare apples to apples here as much as possible. If there is a "Sport" available, I would drive it as an additional drive, but not in place of the A8L. And I would never turn down a drive in an S8, if one becomes available.

    TagMan
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The 7 handles well, but it's no match for the QP Sport GT. On an empty back road, the QP becomes a sports car. The 7 is a lot more sophisticated and has a lot more electronic wizardry, but its still an executive cruiser.
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