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High End Luxury Cars

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  • mfullmermfullmer Posts: 819
    No, they've never been able to fix it. Because it is intermittent, they have only seen it inoperable once. Every time I bring it in, inlcluding that time, all they can say is that it is NOW working "within specifications".

    The time it was inoperable when it got there (I had to have it brought in on a truck, after backing it onto the truck and covering it with a heavy painters tarp (that I had to buy) because it was stuck in about the 1/3 way up position.) it "miraculously" began working after the first day it was there. They even told me they didn't even have a chance to look at it, except for when it was first brought in and I made them try to operate it. Of course, when they went to work on it it was working so they just called me and said it was "fixed".

    They were so unethical that when I asked them what the problem was the Service guy told me that the mechanic must have found something because it's now working but when I got the paperwork they had written it up as "Convertible top operating to manufacturer specifications. Called customer and advised that technician could not duplicate problem." Of course I was livid and made them change it.

    Regarding your statement about the "balance" of the S class with it's options I'd have to differ. How can these "options" make the car "balanced"? Many of these are standard on the LS430 and, even with the Ultra Pkg on the LS, the price is still $7k more than the base S430.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,678
    Just experience and contacts are what tell me the Lexus has the better build. One of the guys who swapped out told me the LS is built better than his prior S-class. In fact his view is Lexus builds the bullet proof car that MB used to build. I'll also never forget shutting the door of my buddies 1999 S320 and seeing the mirror fall out. He told me that was the least of his problems with the car. Then there are the numerous posts I have read about rattles and things that drove some people crazy on the S-class board. I read these things and hear about people's problems first hand, see things for myself, read the Wall Street Journal story of MB's quality decline and come to a subjective conclussion. I do it in business everyday as well. Maybe I'm wrong but I don't think so.

    I don't doubt you that MB built a car as well as you stated in that time frame. I've heard those legendary stories as well. Do you not think that I also said to myself that in time I'll buy an MB because it's the best? But why did they stop building them that way? Obviously it was due to gas mileage issues or the market got far too competitive or it moved from those types of safety concerns or they misjudged how long they could build a car of that quality at a price people would pay. Maybe people just aren't willing to pay that kind of money for a car that can take a 65mph hit in the rear the way you describe. I wouldn't.
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    Indeed, I do not ever recall calling the XJR a bad car. It's a great car, beautiful, gorgeous interior, grand tourer mentality - it just was a bad fit for *me* for a variety of reasons.

    I would agree with those who say that the best Lexus models (LS and the big LX) have a better interior built than the Mercedes models they stack up against. Not that I've ever felt the comments about "cheap" Mercedes interiors are accurate - Mercs tend to stick to the clinical, highly functional German philosophy that sometimes comes across as borderline austerity. But indeed the Lexus build for the LS430 and LX470 sets standards, and I am someone who appreciates excellence in crafting mechanicals. It's simply superb. There are very few cars out there to rival it: the new Range Rover (but it's a $#@! to keep clean, a friend complains), and then you have to basically look for a Bentley's incredible oppulence. Jags I find somewhat overrated - my XJS was leather and wood almost everywhere (but endearingly creaky), the XJR had seen some Ford cost cutting and had some cheap material exposed to the touch (door armrests and wells, middle armrest the most blatant ones).
  • rgswrgsw Posts: 333
    Maybe they are drinking "beer" as their beverage of choice while assembling the MB?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    You're closer to the truth than you might think. When I was working from MB-USA in Stuttgart, we had beer in the office once or twice a week. ;-)

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,678
    Fridays at 3:00 in my old (parent) company in Amsterdam the beer always came out. It's custom but somehow I think it's an executive office thing.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I'm sorry to hear that, honestly. I know how annoying an intermittent problem can be with a car.....especially when the dealer is not helpful. Don't scream at me when I suggest this...lol. Have you ever thought about letting them keep the car for a few days to see if they can duplicate the problem? Of course mileage and some other details would need to be worked out so they don't just have a field day with your car.

    What I meant by the S-Class being balanced is that you can get whatever you want on it, and whatever you don't want. That level of customization combined with a lighter car than the previous edition was quite a feat imo. Yes the old car had the build, but on features it wouldn't have survived once all these newer cars came along.

    ljflx,

    I don't think you're "wrong" overall, but its the panic like talk on this board that gets me. You and others (at times) act like a Lexus has never, ever had a single problem. Seeing a mirror fall out of a door is not a normal thing on any car, especially a Benz. Not by a long shot. Once you hear certain things over and over about quality declining you'll believe it and look for every little thing you can find to underline this point. Yes there has been a quality decline at Mercedes-Benz, no argument from me there, but this hysteria about Benzes constantly being on the side of the road has gotten ridiculous. If someone tells you a story about a house being haunted, you'll be convinced of that the minute something happens in that house. Things that could happen in any house, or car for that matter. This talk like no one with a Benz or any other "European" car as you put it, having a good ownership experience has just really gotten as tired as all the raving about leather/wood/sound systems to me.

    Mercedes stop building cars that way because basically their traditional "overbuilt" or over engineered way of doing things weren't appreciated by enough people to make the business plan viable anymore. Mercedes made all types of advances in their cars, things that other makers, save except Volvo, were still "researching". To really appreciate a Mercedes you have to see the guts or "saw it in half" as they say. The company has had to go through a many changes and change priorities due to the Japanese entering the market and secondly the need to sell more cars. When cars like Lexus come along with a fancy wooded interior and killer sound system people could care less about the engineering aspect of the car, as long as it works. This is what Mercedes must either make reliable or change. A very tough spot to be in.

    I personally am not impressed with all the wood/leather/sound systems that Lexus partially makes their case with. I like the more technical aspects of a car. A car like a ES330 or LS430 are no different in theme (not execution) from a Avalon or Camry.

    M
  • merc1,

    I respect your dialog and insight but your statement "car like a ES330 and LS430 are no different in theme (not execution) from a Avalon or Camry" is a bit much. The Camry, Avalon and ES330 are all engineered off of the same Toyota front-wheel drive platform. The only Lexus vehicle that is possibly comparable to the rear-wheel drive LS430 is the Lexus GS - at least from a basic platform.

    Like you, I still love MB cars (and German car driving dynamics in general). I own a MB SL (R129), in addition to a Lexus LS, 4x4 Suburban and some other vehicles. I own different vehicles because of different needs and desires plus for multiple home locations that dictate unique recreational or diving situations. I plan on keeping our SL for ages but am somewhat waiting for the new S-Class (2005) and new LS (2006) and will then most likely make a purchase decision between the two.

    I have by far owned more German cars then any others and still keep looking at the current MB S600. I just love the torque and power of the supercharged V12 and the amazing handling of a car of its size. Unlike others, if I was to purchase another S-Class it would almost certainly be the S600 not a S-Class V8 offering. Unfortunately, I have just hear and known of too many electronic and other issues with the current S-class but keep trying to convince myself that maybe they have finally fixed them. I still long for the days when MB engineering was more mechanical instead of electronic. Also, I am somewhat put off by the spy photos of the new S-Class since I just love the looks of the current generation.

    Anyway, keep up the MB information coming - I really appreciate your posts. Like you I love their driving dynamics and beautiful designs. And if you know any current generation S600 owners I would love to talk to them. Quite a while back I posted a query on the S-Class board for S600 owners and got zero replies.

    JF
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,678
    I'm with you on the MB board issue but as JF states, if you feel that way about an LS430 than you clearly don't understand this car's greatness. There are many S-class people that have swapped out of Mercedes for this car and they love it. But you won't hear me put down Mercedes. They make fabulous cars, are still on top (you don't lose credit for all the years of greatness they had so easily) but they do need to clean-up a few things. The public is only so forgiving.

    I easily understand the complaints of my friends about MB. I'd sound the same way if Lexus took a slide. There are certain things that you want to be as solid as money in the bank. A bulletproof car from the likes of MB and Lexus is one of those things.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,678
    If someone tells me a story about a haunted house I'm staying the hell out of that house.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Wow...your and SL owner too! The R129.......the tank.

    I think you and ljflx misunderstood what I meant by that statement about the Camry/LS/ES. What I meant is that they are similar in theme, not actual execution. Meaning that from the top of the Toyota line to the bottom they make great appliances, reliable etc, but they're designs (exterior, interior) control layout, etc are the same. A LS430 really doesn't say anymore outwardly than an Avalon does, though it might ride 10 times better and is much quieter. This doesn't detract away from what the LS430 can do and how it does it for most, but for me it does to a degree. What I'm saying there is nothing aesthetically to get excited about. There's no true "design" or appeal to a Lexus for me. The only ones I even remotely like are the SC430 and surprise, surprise the GX470. I know how "great" the car is, based on yours or ljflx's criteria.

    jamesfletcher2.........Nope I don't know anyone with a current generation S600. There are a few S600 (and other high-end Benz owners) on the News and Views boards. Look into some of topics, which might pertain to Mercedes.

    ljflx,

    About that haunted house, I'd be curious to see what's really up with it...lol.

    M
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,678
    I almost had a heart attack just now. You like the GX470???? You amaze me - my friend. By the way it's a fabulous SUV.

    Haunted houses - Ever since I read the exorcist I want no part of the horror scene.

    I like the functional layout that is similar in design. I look for Toyotas when I am on the road so that I know where most functional controls are. I had a horrible experience looking for the windshield wiper control on a Taurus one time in a Florida deluge on I-95.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well...I went with my parent's neighbor to get her ES330 serviced and while there her salesman (she's bought 3 ES' from him now) talked her into taking a GX470 out for a drive. She had some trouble getting the ES330 up her driveway a couple of times. Whoever removed her snow did a half-__ job of it and the remaining layer turned to glare ice, not the car's fault. On my parents block they have those steep driveways with that large dip where the driveway meets the street. Anyway she liked everything about it except for the size. I have to admit I did like it as much as I could like an SUV I guess. I still like the Touareg better, mainly due to its more manageable size and Euro interior. But the Lex is a good truck nevertheless.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
  • w210w210 Posts: 188
    For the high end performance luxury sedan category, Lexus is not in the league.

    I looked into the RS6, M5, E55, XJR and picked the E55 for performance and resale value.

    Will be interesting to see how the new M5 will do. Have you guys seen the new GS? I was rather disappointed. Too bad Lexus is not in the game for some healthy competition.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    What did you think of the RS6? I can't tell you how much I like the ultimate version of one of my all-time favorite sedans...the A6.

    BTW, the new A6 debuts today!

    M
  • mfullmermfullmer Posts: 819
    The Lexus LS430 does not even is not even in the same class as the cars you mentioned. Those are [emphasis on] performance luxury vehicles. The LS430 is a Luxury vehicle that competes with the S-Class, 7 Series, XJ8, and the A8.

    Now the GS - see my post below and you'll see that is the one that competes with the vehicles you were talking about.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    The GS does compete with the regular versions of the E, 5, A6 etc, but there is no Lexus to compete with the M5, E55, RS6 or XJR. I think that is what he was saying.

    M
  • mfullmermfullmer Posts: 819
    Well, it's finally official, I purchased my LS430 Ultra Luxury, Moonlight Pearl/Ecru on Saturday!

    But I'm not driving it yet, it's supposed to be in the states on 2/28 and at my dealer on 3/4. I had to turn in my Cadillac STS (I leased it) by Sunday (GM was totally terrible about my turn in - when they found out I wasn't getting a new GM car, they were going to charge me $24/day past the 15th!!!!!)

    I went ahead and did all of the paperwork for the new Lex and they put me an '04 GS300. Now granted, I'm not a "Performance Luxury" kind of guy - I like my Luxury pure and simple. The GS is a great driving car, I'm just glad I don't have to live with it long term. It is solid as a rock and even a bit fun :-O ! Why, oh why, though would you only get steering wheel stereo controls on the 430 and not the 300????? Come on, Lexus, they came standard on my $45k Tahoe LT and you can't get them - for any price - on the GS300 at $42k??????

    Oh well, like I said, it is a courtesy car and I don't have to live with it for long.
  • 92735i92735i Posts: 25
    I have been in the market for a new car and have driven many fine automobiles.

    Audi A6 V8
    Audi A8L
    MB S500
    MB S55
    BMW 740i Sport Package 2001
    BMW 745i
    LS 430
    Q45

    I was completely disappointed with the ride quality of the Q45, and yes, MB S500.

    The Audi A6 with V8 engine handled like a porsche, too rough for Chicago roads.

    A8L nice cabin, yawn.
    Lexus, yawn.
    S55, same as S500 but with more power. Road noise in a $100k car? fugedaboudit.

    The 2001 740i with Sport Package handled very close to the Audi A6, I drove it right after. I was amazed at the performance and handling of such a large car.

    As a result, my anticipation for the 745i test drive was peaked. There is no question the 745i is superior. Smooth while in city traffic, great acceleration, unbelievable handling, not bad on gas either.

    Mine has arrived in S. Carolina, waiting to arrive at dealer.

    I notice all the posts on the Lexus, it seems to me that there is a good amount of rationalization for buying down to the LS.

    People buy cars for different reasons, no one reason or rationale is superior to the other. To compare cars that are designed for completely different markets, ie LS430 and BMW 7, accomplishes little.

    I went out searching for the best driving experience, period. Value was a second consideration. I drove cars $30k-$40k more, and less than the BMW 7. The 7 was the last car I drove.

    For the total driving experience, as I like to experience it, it is far superior than any Japanese or comparable German car.
  • mfullmermfullmer Posts: 819
    First, people who buy and love the LS430 need not "rationalize" anything. They are going with what they, the Auto Media, the Consumer Media, and the main stream Media consider to be the "Best Luxury Vehicle made".

    Second, why is choosing a vehicle that happens to be the least expensive "Buying Down"???

    Using that sort of thinking (which I am loathe to do), a BMW 745i buyer would be "Buying Down" also as it's price is $700 under the MSRP of $70,079 for my LS430.

    And someone who goes in to Starbucks to get their favorite coffee are "Buying Down" by getting their choice of brewed coffee instead of the espresso based coffees? After all, he's getting something that costs three times less than the "Latte".

    It's snobbish and condescending remarks like that, 92735i, that further prove the mind-set of "European Mark Only" folks, and in particular, "BMW Only" folks.

    It also proves my ongoing point that "European Mark Only" folks are FOR THE MOST PART interested mainly in having a vehicle for show factor.

    I'm sure mine is the first post of many you'll get in response to that obnoxious statement.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Please let the record note that neither me nor Mercedes-Benz had anything to with this....lol.

    M
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    I think you're being a little too sensitive.

    92735i said... "People buy cars for different reasons, no one reason or rationale is superior to the other." I think he's acknowledging people's prerogatives here.

    His “buying down” comment obviously refers to the difference in base price of 745 vs LS430. It is 14 grand after all.

    It’s clear he wants the great BMW ride. You want other things. No big deal as far as I can see.
  • mfullmermfullmer Posts: 819
    So noted Merc1 and, although we may not see eye-to-eye on a few things, "snobbish" or "condescending" never enter my mind regarding you.

    Designman, yes, I saw what he said about different reasons, etc. The simple fact is that was a very condescending comment. If he really wanted to point out the price difference between the base versions of the vehicles, there would be no need to speak about "rationalizations". Who would need to "rationalize" buying something they like that happens to costs "$14,000 less" than something they don't like?

    There is no defense for that remark - Snobbery and condescention about vehicles is totally wrong, especially when you say later that "no one reason or rationale is superior...". There is no such thing as "Buying down" if you do not "LOOK down" on people who do not spend as much as other people do on material items. Frankly, I was mostly disgusted at the unveiled comment.

    The true [BMW] colors shown through loud and clear.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,678
    A 745 lease on a car that stickers around $77k is $75 cheaper per month than a $70K Lexus LS430 ultra lease where I live and it's $350 cheaper than an S500. So forget the buying down nonsense around here. They can't give away the 7-series. The LS and S sell very well and the A8 is non-existant.

    merc1 - Did that GX have the nav and ML package?

    Mfullmer - on this one I am in total agreement with you. Justification of purpose maybe? Who cares, anyway. I wouldn't take the 7series if it was $250 cheaper than an LS. Actually I wouldn't take it at any price. It's not what I want and it's not dependable.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Sorry, I don't see the condescension. I see a guy who drove a bunch of cars, likes the BMW, and believes it is better because it rides better regardless of the problems. There ARE people out there who are willing to put up with a lot to have that ride. Also, it's a breath of fresh air to hear somebody talk about something other than MB and Lexus around here. Personally, I do like the Lexus, but I also like hearing what others like about THEIR cars. There's been nothing from 7-series owners in this thread. Welcome it.

    BTW, congrats on your new Lexus!
  • mfullmermfullmer Posts: 819
    I also like to hear from all people who have "High End Luxury Marques". My only problem was the "Buying Down" remark as it is solely an elitist remark and, unfortunately discounted everything else he said. Not all people are as sensitive to that as I am, I understand.

    I personally would like to see more posts from people about:

    Audi
    Infiniti
    Maybach
    Rolls-Royce
    Bentley
    Aston Martin
    Jaguar (although there have been a few)
    Acura
    Cadillac
    Lincoln

    Where is everyone?
  • 92735i92735i Posts: 25
    Geez....talk about being sensitive and defensive.

    Those of you who take exception to my post are focused on the "buying down" phraseology, rather than the whole message.

    It appears we have some ruffled feathers eh? What does this reaction indicate? You know what they say about truth!

    I think it is you guys that are snobs, elitists, and...what was the other word?...condenscending?
    By your reaction.

    Reread your posts in reaction to my post. Then reread my original post. Your emotional responses contribute nothing to this discussion.

    You have the right to purchase your best car based on YOUR criteria. It is you, based on your responses, that criticize the 7, criticize BMW, and, criticize me.

    Who are the snobs here?

    I dont care what car people buy, apparently you do.

    I just hope that one day, we meet at a stop light, and you're in a hurry. We'll see the impact of....yes...buying DOWN!!!!
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,678
    I don't really care about it at all. I thought your post was a good one but what did you mean by buying down and what was the point of using that term. If you applied that term to the housing market it would mean a lesser home or a lesser or equal home in a less desirable area. Good post overall - bad choice of words. That's how it reads to me. Plus I'm not kidding about the lease prices - the loaded LS is more per month than the 7-series here even though it has a 10% lower MSRP. So the buydown doesn't work and is inaccurate for me anyway.
  • mfullmermfullmer Posts: 819
    I sure hope you haven't "bought down" on you insurance when you wrap that pretty little BMW around a pole because of your sophomoric need to show off.
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