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High End Luxury Cars



  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    I will own one if you will buy me one! :P

    The reason I asked you that is because - and I may be quite wrong here - I was thinking that the only person reporting impressions in this discussion who actually says he's driven one is tagman.

    So now we know that you have also. And I apologize if I've overlooked anyone else.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    And I apologize if I've overlooked anyone else

    Apology accepted, Pat :) Just an FYI, I have driven both the LWB and SWB... I'd say much different animals, those two. Would rather own the LWB tho'... What I really want to drive, but cannot find one, is an LS460L with the Touring Pkg... that 19" rims, the now infamous bigger but "grabby" brakes :confuse: and the expected performance improvements over the SWB, assuming there is any...

    Phew!!! When I clicked this thread, I found that the last day I visited here was back in Dec 4, 2006, and b/w then and today, there were over 1,000 posts!!! :( Geez... Do you guys ever get any sleep ? I just could not bring myself to read any of those 1000+ posts since my last visit here, so I just zoomed to the present... I am sorry if anyone feels offended by that :) I'll take a 2-week vacation sometime, and go back and read up months of debates on HELC just to "catch-up". Or maybe I should just hang around here awhile now... in my rocking chair, of course.

    But let me conclude this post by saying that I believe the S550 is a better car than the LS460L. I simply LOVE the S over the LS... I am sorry if this hurts my fellow Lexicans... The S550 is a cooler-looking, better styled luxury marque, at least in this go-round, than the new LS. However, I can see the new LS kicking the S in sales. With 10-30K in price gap, that won't be a surprise... The LS600hL does have a more primal look than the 460 model, IMO, and I'd prefer it oh so slightly, over the S550, in looks alone. Yes, those LED beams in the hL did make a difference in looks to the LS model, all of this IMHO, of course.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I'll take a 2-week vacation sometime, and go back and read up months of debates on HELC just to "catch-up". Or maybe I should just hang around here awhile now... in my rocking chair, of course.

    I don't think that will really be necessary. There was a lot of the usual Merc vs. Lexus fighting, and blkhemi and I got Jags. Other than that...
  • ctsangctsang Posts: 237
    From Germany's Autoweek:
    "Drive-wise, the LS is superb in a straight line, handling bumps and road wallops easily. Acceleration is brisk, hitting 60 mph from a standstill in 6.29 seconds. Braking is an LS strong suit. The car needs just 113 feet to stop from 60 mph, which puts it on a level with sports car thoroughbreds such as the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 (112 feet)."
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    But did you post your experience in this discussion? What I was saying was that I didn't remember anyone but tagman posting the actual driving experience here.
  • A bit "grabby" seems to be the common trait for new cars with electronic brake systems nowadays. I was out test driving a 335i and an X3 Si late in the week, and much to my surprise, both had "grabby" brakes instead of the linear brakes that I remembered from my two 5 series cars a decade ago.

    The stopping distance issue is really beaten to death. We have to go by the "performing to spec" standards; obviously the one that had extraordinarily long braking distance had a problem with its brakes, as it is quite inconceivable that a car that's designed to long braking distance could possibly deliver short braking distance on normal testing conditions as in the later test (braking distance being a function of roter surface area, vehicle weight, etc..; performance can only be up to certain per centage of a design optimum, not massively exceeding it). That's the only logical way to see these real life tests. Otherwise, we'd have endless debate on whether all BMW's will spin out of control on braking just like that faulty 3 series did in a particular test :-) C&D should have followed up on the issue after noticing the anomoly; on the other hand, having a longer than usual braking distance is not as catastrophic as spinning out of control, so the testing staff may honestly not have realized that it was a faulty sample that they were testing.
  • Per Car&Driver, it's up to Lexus to provide a car for review. You can't blame Car&Driver for Lexus giving them lemon.

    So why did C&D rank the 330i at the top of their comparo (by borrowing numbers from a different car on a different day under different test conditions) instead of at the bottom after it nearly killed one of their testers by spinning out of control while testing brakes?
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    You make a good point, brightness.

    Those electronic brake systems (brake-by-wire) are responsible across the board from LPS to the HELC for touchy, unnatural brake feel. I can attest to being highly disappointed last year when driving the 330i and GS 430. I couldn't believe how touchy the brake pedal was for both vehicles. I hope for better on the A8, the only HELC I am considering, but I'm not optimistic.

    My 545's brakes while not grabby, have an annoying jerk at the end (No! Not me!) which prevents me from modulating to a smooth stop every time.

    Why did the auto manufacturers have to do this? This is progress???? :(
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    "Spinning out of control"

    Was this reported in C&D's test write-up? Yikes!! :surprise:
  • I'm not sure what your question has to do with my statement?

    Expound please.

    FWIW, I agree that the 330 review was a little crazy, but that doesn't take away from the fact that if the brakes where in bad shape, it's on Lexus that they delivered a sub par car.

    Just like it's on BMW for providing a dangerous ride, and on Car&Driver for letting it pass.

    Are you saying they should have given the LS a free pass?
    Two wrongs don't make a right.
  • OAC, welcome back. Speaking of "the new LS kicking the S in sales", I was in a Lexus showroom this afternoon. First time in many a year. They had a new LS460 on display. The car looked fantastic with a wood wheel and great interior, etc. The MSRP was only 67K.

    Let me put that in comparative perspective (and I am not a Lexus guy by any means). The smaller M/B E Class with an option of two like simply leather and a wood wheel (love the way the Germans stick it to you on options) is only 10K less than a 67K LS. A BMW 5 series with a couple of options is only 8K or so less. While the MSRP on an S Class is 82K has anyone seen one for this price? In short, I think that there is an enormous difference in transaction prices between an LS and an S and not much difference between it and the smaller E Class and 5 Series. Moreover, according to survey data for spending less you actually get more customer service and more reliablity.

    Its not hard to see why Lexus is doing well, especially among non-car type people who just want a comfortable, stylish upscale sedan and could care less about technology, handling, performance, etc. There have been several posts recently on the S Class forum by people who bought a new S Class for 25th wedding anniversaries and other milestones but then were very disappointed. It seems to me that if a mid-60s couple is going to buy a high end luxury sedan to ride off into the sunset, they should do it in an LS460.

    I was also struck in looking at this dealer's inventory at how much Lexus depends, at least here in the Northeast, on SUVs and cross overs. Seemingly, half his inventory was in SUVs and cross overs.
  • Much of the world is not neatly diviced into two opposite camps of rights vs. wrongs, or black vs. white. There are many shades of grey. Cars being mechanical beings, can not be always perfect at all time. The goal of a comparo is reflecting upon typical characteristics of a particular model, not necessarily a particular car. Say for example, if a car gets a ding on the way over, should the writers then belabor on how terrible the paint job or a body fisnish is? That there are dings and dents straight from the factory?

    While I do not agree that C&D should have used a test restults from a different car under different testing conditions on a different day for a narrowly point-based comparo (different test conditions, from temperature, wind speed, surface friction, tire tread, etc. all affect brake distance and handling, often trade-offs, so use two different cars would result in different score tallies, especially if the ambient temperatures are different). . . using the braking distance of a malfunctioning LS is equally wrong in that it is not representative of the model in general.
  • My guess is that's the result of consumers shopping by numbers ;-) Grabby and jerky brakes may shave a couple feet off brake distance :-) The perils of manufacturers designing cars for rag tests :-(
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    It is really good to see so many familiar names again (pardon my nostalgia).

    I would like to inform everybody here that I have recently moved to a brand new residence. I currently reside in the forum below where I can continue my compulsive digressions from the HELC topic without any more deletions.


    Oh and by the way I own a BMW 335i and a 530i Touring and I still dont notice grabby brakes.(OOps there I go again digressing away from the topic of this forum).

    Take Care and I hope I meet some familiar names at my new residence.

  • Yup, here's the link:

    Unexpected 360-degree turn at 70mph is certainly not for the faint of heart.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Not good!

    C&D should certainly have listed the brake problem under "lows."

    It does seem that C&D has a positive bias in favor of BMW.

    The car "wormed its way" into their hearts? Not exactly a ringing endorsement for a first-place finisher.

    Thanks for sharing it, brightness.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    "My new residence."

    Why can't you maintain dual postizenship? :)
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    My guess is that's the result of consumers shopping by numbers Grabby and jerky brakes may shave a couple feet off brake distance The perils of manufacturers designing cars for rag tests

    I'm not so sure. Brake-by-wire, while older than steer-by-wire, still hasn't been around for all that long. Perhaps the manufacturers just need more time to make them behave more like old mechanical braking systems. I remember driving a '00 Volvo S80, which had a brake pedal like an on\off switch. It was absolutely awful. More recent Volvos still use electronic brakes, but they are far superior.
  • You are quite welcome.
  • I can see your point; probably very valid points regarding the atrocious on/off brakes of yore. The "grabbiness" that we are talking about probably have more to do with the exceedingly rapid application of full brake power, making gradual linear brake application difficult. The 335i and X3 Si that I tried last week both were brand new 2007 models with less than 50 miles on the odometers . . . not exactly warmed over old cars. They were not "on/off" switches per se; however, every so often, the brakes bite hard at the slightest provocation on the brake pedal.
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