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High End Luxury Cars

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  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Hey folks, let's not get personal -- we need to stick to the cars and not insult one another.

    Thanks.
  • "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!!!!"

    If your implying the 745i will blow away the 04' LS with the new 6spd at a stop light I think you'll be mistaken.
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hello All,
      My my...How things change in this forum..I must admit I can see Mfuller's point. I don't see how choosing a 745i over a LS430 is "Buying down" As far as I'm concerned, when someone makes comments about my Lexus cars I challenge them to find a better experience. I proudly point to my 1992 LS400 which had $3 (That's right THREE dollars) in non scheduled maintenance issues over 11 yrs. Still can hear a pindrop with the engine running.

    I've complained before that these cars are overdoing it on the horsepower. The 250 HP on my 92 LS is more than enough. The 290 HP on my LS430 is tempting me to engage in some foolishness. Where exactly are we going to use it? I don't think it's worth the ticket from the good old State Police. What is it with the questions about Lexus buyers? I'll state the reasons why I've bought 3 and will continue to do so:

    1) Quality, Quality, Quality. Nice to have a pretty car, but what's the point if it spends time in the shop. Time is money. Never been stranded my any of the LS cars, Ever.

    2) Service: You sneeze in a Lexus dealer and they'll wipe your nose for you. Okay a little exaggerated...But they've handled the insurance company wonderfully on my 1992 LS. All OEM parts, and brought the loaner car to my house and let me have it for 11 days, and for the repeated visits afterward.

    3) Price. After paying $67K in 9/02 I was starting to wonder whether this car was the value it once was. I paid $43K in 9/92 for my LS. But if you look at the competition, I can see why they're a winner. I drove the S-Class, BMW, and Jaguar. They're all nice cars, but I couldn't justify the price premium in my mind. We're all reasonably well off here, but I'm sure we know the value of a dollar.

    4)Resale:
      Never had an issue trying to sell one. In a fit of rage, I put my 92 for sale a few weeks ago. I had 4 calls immediately. They were even willing to pay full purchase price. The Lexus mechanic told me I was crazy to sell such a nice car, and I recovered my senses and held on to it.

    I realize paying more money is supposed to imply prestige or god knows what. Keep in mind paying a premium doesn't always imply better quality or what not. A $10 Casio Quartz watch will likely be more reliable than a traditional geared Rolex. (No joke, I assure you. Rolex even charges you an extra $1,000 for "Advanced Quartz technology") Why the price disparity? Simple, we all put a premium on fashion, uniqueness, prestige..You are all entitled to do what you want with your money, but don't criticize the informed Lexus buyer who puts a premium on piece of mind rather than Autobahn rated performance.

    BTW, Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer are proud owners of LS430's. I don't think they're "Buying down"

    SV
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,683
    per your link - If I only had one Lexus vehicle I'd only be in the shop 2 times a year (maybe 3 times in year one because they do a quick 1k mile check). I go 8-10k miles between visits. But Lexus is very much like MB in that you will tend to buy your second car as a Lexus as well. Thus your service visits double. The service they give you is phenomenal (at least in all my experience) so you remember it very well. One time when they screwed up on a loaner car for my wife they actually drove her home in a stretch limo and then picked her up. They also told to have the driver take her wherever she wanted to go. That is not service you forget. I've never had a car in for anything but maintenance in 9 years. But with 3 vehicles I am in there about 5x a year.
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    The 745i is an inferior car than an LS430 for more money. The quintessential definition of "BUYING" "DOWN".

    =)
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    ...but, by what measure is the 745i an inferior car?

    If you mean which one will most likely cost the least in money and aggrivation, you're right, it's probably the Lexus. However, if you're standard unit of measure is which one is more capable at speed, or which one can get around a closed circut the fastest, then the Lexus ain't got nuthin' on the 745i.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    The GX470...yes it was loaded, had everything on it.

    Yes...I'm also aware of Lexus' service practices.

    sv7887,

    That's what I'm talking about, running under that assumption that nobody else has ever had a good experience with anything other than a Lexus. It's getting tired and a little ridiculous.

    On the LS board there are posts about problems, just like any other cars. YES, they are less frequent than other brands, but they are there.

    Now tell me on an 11 year old car, are you counting all the things that any car will need to have done in that time frame, as "maintenance" instead of repairs. Your post reads like a Lexus will never, ever have anything to wear out and eventually need "attention". Its funny how on other boards people with Lexus' of that vintage have to have anywhere from $2500-3500 worth of work done on their cars for various things.

    M
  • Folks, let's move on. Unless, of course, we don't have anything else to offer? If that's the case, then I suggest we take a break for a while and post when we have something more substantive to contribute.

    Any one know when Bentley will release the new color offerings for the '05 GTs expected late this year?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I can't help with the Bentley question, but I can suggest a new direction.

    There was a new Audi A6 shown today. You can see it at Germancarfans dot com and the carconnection dot com. I'm not nearly as impressed with it as I was the A8 upon it's introduction.

    I still didn't get much from anyone here on th Maserati Quattroporte??

    Comments on either?

    M
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    The Maserati is and will remain an exotic, just like the Bentley. All the brands mentioned in this thread are larger volume mainstream ones.

    Some would claim that the definition of true luxury is utter scarcity: a Rolex is a mass watch -though perceived as a precious luxury good by a wide section of the population-, a Parmigiani or Vacheron Constantine or Audemars Piguet a different matter.

    To a certain degree, it entertains me to see how much passion some have riding on what at the end of the day are all quite utilitarian sedan drives. I thought only sportscar fans felt that pasisonate about their cars. Then again, I notice a lot of passion in here is about brands rather than cars, which seems somewhat odd, but at the end of the day just a manifestation of the the-brands-I-advertise-are-part-of-my-individual-identity-and-exp- ression mentality in modern life which some Calvin&Hobbes cartoon so brilliantly mocks.

    I like the Maserati a lot it has some of the less utilitarian appeal the old Jag XJ model used to have, sacrificing some function for emotion. Perhaps it's just the fact it's the utter oddball brand in the US these days. With the Bentley, actually much prefer the old Continental to the new one. The new one is a great car, no doubt, but the old one is a true classic with enormous character and an immense presence the new car lacks (but might develop in 30 years or so if they corageously stick to the same model :).
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Try as I might, and I've seen the car 3 times now, I just can't like the new Bentley Continental GT. It looks like it should say "Timberland" on the hood instead of "Bentley".

    M
  • Merc1: Please, please, please, cut the car some slack! :-) I know you see a big shoe when you look at the GT, but I'm getting ready to place my order after having waited for over a year. I need a little empathy here, fella.

    I know that you "calls 'em as you sees 'em," but say something nice, please. I need a little boost. "Timberland?" Really? Help me out here; be kind.

    I need to hear from a new owner. There should be at least one of you out there from the European market where the GT has already been released. First ones should be getting here soon, so you closet new purchasers need to stand up and be counted!!!
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    There is plenty to say about that thing....kidding.

    Seriously, I'm impressed with the car overall, but styling is my main draw to a car in the first place. It's hard for me to get into what a car will do, how well it's made, who makes it, etc if it doesn't look good.

    That said, the Bentley Continental GT is still an awesome car, far as I can tell. It has the engine, interior and prescence that make a Bentley a Bentley. Bentleys are about hand craftsmanship and brutal power. This car has that. Only the styling is off, and remember imo.

    I'm not sure if I like the fact that it shares so much with the VW Phaeton, being awd an all, but thats the only way you'll get a Bentley for under 200K.

    If you like it, I love it. Place that order!

    M
  • Thank you, Merc1, for letting me down gently. You have such a nice way of saying "if you're crazy enough to buy that ugly !@?$ car, then go right ahead." (Just kidding too).

    I understand your view and, to be perfectly honest with myself, I see the overbulking too. It's just that I have waited so long to see if Lexus would ever re-establish its own look with the LS, and continue to be disappointed. I have a '92 LS400 and was heart-broken when they began the march toward styling the rear toward MB. Every year I hoped against hope for a return to the low, sleek, feline curves of the original, and every year I was pained anew.

    The GT reminds me of the smooth curves of the early LS, albeit way too muscular.

    Truth be told, I forced myself back to a Lexus dealer last week and tried, really tried, to connect with the 430 -- I just couldn't do it. If I wanted a MB, I would simply buy one (having already done so for my wife). I know the ride would be great in the LS430 -- no question there. The dealer was a bit puzzled as to why I didn't want to drive it. I told him that my block was the boxed S design presentation and color choices. Not very logical stuff, I realize, but very significant aesthetically to me.

    So, I guess I've decided to live in a shoe for a little while rather than a box -- at least until we see what the 2007 LS looks like!
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Merc,
      I can understand your pain as you've not had a taste of the Lexus experience. (Come to the dark side! LOL!) I've owned practically everything in the Luxury car segment with the exception of a BMW. Yes, these cars are REALLY that good. If you've owned three LS cars like I have, you'd probably say the same thing.

    The 1992 LS in question was bought new. I've spent maybe $3,000 in all those scheduled maintenance issues (5K to 91K) services. The car has always started on the first turn of the key, and never has had any mechanical issues. I've been limited to replacement of a couple of light bulbs totaling $3. Ah, yes, I had the rear shocks replaced b/c the floaty Lexus ride was too much for me. Total cost $325 at a Lexus dealer. (That was an elective procedure).

    The car was recently hit (Left Front Side) at 35 MPH by an idiot driver running a red light. Repairs totaled $7,500. So I can only attest to the first 11 years, as any data now will be skewed.

    Keep in mind I am the original owner of my 1992. Most of those cars you read about are on their third or fourth owner. Relevance? They probably are cutting corners on maintenance. (as is the case with most lux cars that age) I find it irritating people seem to think they can service these cars at Jiffy Lube or the local gas station..They then complain when something breaks due to lack of scheduled maintenance.

    Lexus focuses on Preventative maintenance, so I can see why I've had such little issues with the car. Of course I've had brake pads replaced, but again nothing than the normal deal. I'm sure someone can provide the numbers and confirm my suspicion that a LS car will have lower down time and cheaper repair costs Long term.

    I can understand your feelings. I've owned MB cars (1988 300 SE), a Jag XJ6, and a Lincoln in the past. I buy cars in cash and for the long term. Like most educated consumers out there I want the best experience for the money. It's what made me switch from MB. I didn't feel the product justified the price premium. It's a matter of opinion.

    Good debating with you as always,
    SV
  • jstylejstyle Posts: 129
    Exterior isn't all that nice but look at that old style BMW interior...Wow a drivers cockpit again!!!

    http://www.germancarfans.com/printablenews.cfm/newsid/2040216.005
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,683
    I actually like the exterior better than current car. But I just don't like the Audi corporate grill.
  • carnaughtcarnaught Posts: 1,580
    Not sure either about the front grill however.
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    The design, especially of the interior, looks a bit Japanese standard edition to me. Nowhere near enough of the usual Audi sharp elegance. The high grill is very clumsy, it makes the design look aged. The classic inverted U shape is not classic Audi, it's more classic NSU of the 1930s, which Audi acquired sometime in the early 70s.
  • I seriously contemplated the Bentley..Contacted dealer, and really like the car..I like the design, and with past experience with a Jag, know the interior will be like no other.

    Shortly ofter the above, I went to Miami, and the hotel attendants parked car,and other services. It is quite crowded there, and one really needs to know where one is going..I decided against this type (expensive) of car, as I would not be comfortable with the thought of it getting dinged or scraped..It is enough thought with the two year old Lexus(newness has warn off). If I had a garage, and used the car sparingly it would be a different story..Right now thankfully the winter is going to turn into spring, and the sap will cover the car..I am sure you will enjoy the Continental...Tony
  • Tony, I understand your concern. I had the same feeling about my 1992 LS400 the first day I had it out. Then I realized that I would never truly enjoy the car if "protecting it" was a lingering concern. So, after that first day (like bringing your 1st born into his/her new home) I cut those cords free and accepted that they would be dings and scratches. It's been great ever since -- dings and all!
  • ksurgksurg Posts: 48
    I've been waffling a long time now on leasing or purchasing a new vehicle. Recently I decided on leasing a luxury vehicle, which ironically is where I started.
    In re entering the leasing market it is clear that some of the standard price considerations don't apply especially if you plan on turning over the vehicle at lease end. For instance, a 745i can be leased cheaper than an A8L given the lower residual on the Audi despite the higher MSRP on the BMW. The same is true in comparing a XJ-8 vs. LS430.
    Next is research will only get you so far. I'm not debating JD powers, intellichoice or our host Edmunds...but does everyone always agree on appearance or ease of operation? Several days ago I drove a 745i that was unprepped and not programmed. My impression was that it was indeed deep in complicated technology but for me the layout was intuitive and reasonably laid out. Maybe for those of us who own planes or boats certain types of technology are less daunting. Interestingly anyone who thinks auto technology and the landscape of the cockpit won't change will probably be disappointed. Someone recently commented that "rich businessmen won't buy a car that requires a teenager to drive." I don't know about anyone else but my teenagers are growing up quick. I recently saw a auto mag with "auto's of the future." The layout doesn't even resemble a present day car, in fact there was no obvious gearshift and no foot pedals! So much for easily accessible audio controls.
    The point I'm getting to is that major changes in technology seem to meet a lot of resistance. BMW took a lot of heat for a vehicle that may turn out to be the link between the auto of today and tomorrow. If guilty, their mistake was releasing the technology before perfected and maybe before we were ready for it. The whole situation reminds me of other areas of technology where people focused on the downsides and resisted change. What office still functions efficiently without faxes, computers, DSL...
    With the above said I am leaning towards the 745i but felt compelled to write this given the expectation the 7 series was poorly conceived and designed. For the record other vehicles driven included the S500, A8L, XJ-8 and the venerable LS430(seemingly this boards favorate...please let's not review the reliability issue again).
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I forgot to mention someting in that post this morning. Instead of a Bentley Conti GT, what about an Aston-Martin DB9? It's a stunner, easily for me the best looking car making the rounds at this year's autoshows.

    sv7887,

    Point taken. Older luxury cars that haven't been maintained like yours are the ones that most people get I guess, because I see a lot more being done on early 90's LS' (second hand) than that. The Lexus "experience" just isn't for me...

    jstyle,

    That is the exact same thing I said on the A6 board in the future auto section. They're doing what BMW used to, cockpit wise.

    Pablo......your comments on the interior are correct also. I expected something along the lines of the A8, but they've done a rather generic layout imo. The whole car has moved towards being generic, nothing like the A8 or A4.

    M
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    “The whole situation reminds me of other areas of technology where people focused on the downsides and resisted change. What office still functions efficiently without faxes, computers, DSL...”

    This argument always surfaces and this is my answer.

    Around 1984, it was clear to me that the world was going to be turned upside down by computers and those who didn’t accept it were going to be in for a rough ride. However this whole digital story is about PRODUCTIVITY... more for less. In 1984 It would take at least 12 people to do my work today. This we can’t stop. It’s manifest destiny.

    The problem with bringing computers into cars is that it is counterproductive, unlike office computers. It takes more effort now to adjust what should be simple climate control and radio functions. What used to take one move now takes several. At least if it cut production costs for the auto makers you could make an argument but I doubt this is the case. It’s glitz and change for the sake of change, not progress.

    I never cease to be amazed at how the ergonomics in my $24K Subaru are superior to that of my $48K BMW. In the Subaru it takes one move to change the heating direction while in the BMW it sometimes takes several. The BMW cockpit does look more impressive though and I suspect having an LCD screen light up the new cockpits will have the same effect. Technology and the APPEARANCE of technology has always been part of the BMW countenance even though owning a BMW has always been somewhat of a pain in the butt because of it.

    Then there’s the BMW ride, so good that we just accept the shorcomings. BMW had better watch its step though. This current schism is like nothing we’ve ever seen before. What with the controversial styling there appears to be a limit to what the BMW “technophile” will put up with.
  • mfullmermfullmer Posts: 819
    For those that use the technology how it intended to be used, it IS a timesaver.

    Take electronic climate control - I use it the way it is intended. It is set at the temperature that I like and on "Auto". The only manual adjustment I make is when I turn the A/C button on or off in response to outside humidity.

    And electronic radios - give me a break! Do you not remember having to manually tune radios and get it just right so that it wasn't 1/2 on and 1/2 off the station? No need to do that with the electronic radio of today.

    What about memory seats? Talk about a time-saver. When you have two cars that two people drive 1/2 and 1/2 it saves a lot of time.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    I was referring to BMW and iDrive. Do you think for a minute that I'm calling for the return of vacuum tubes and the like?
  • mfullmermfullmer Posts: 819
    I thought you were referring to all electronic systems.

    Yes, the BMW version does make it much harder to do simple steps.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,683
    Post 4176 - great post. Couldn't agree with you more on excess technology being counter productive. The dashboard and console technology is supposed to be complimentary and secondary to the car, not overpowering to it.

    ksurg - good luck on whatever car you choose. The lease prices you talk about are indeed changing the landscape. As I posted a few times - I can get a $77k 745 at the same lease ptrice as a $70k LS430. That is with having negotiated the LS430 and not even having begun negotiating the 745. I'm not interested in the 745 but my experience is MB and Lexus have lease pricing in the S-500 and LS430 that more truly reflect the MSRP's of both cars whereas BMW is heavily subsidizing the 745 lease deals. No one should buy the 745 outright. Much smarter move is to lease and buy at lease end. Even the LS430 leans that way though it is a real close call depending on what you think you could get with the upfront principal you'd NOT be laying out.
  • ksurgksurg Posts: 48
    I don't necessarily believe that BMW executed all the technology well in the 745i. To some extent all manufacturers are guilty of sensationalizing their products or putting in useless features( I'm still trying to figure out why I want a rear video cam). As for BMW they are still improving idrive. Though not perfect the '04 version is better. I don't really agree with the technology not enhancing auto function no more than I agree with a manual shift being more efficient than F1 paddles or a SMG transmission. Is it more fun for me to drive a manual... sometimes!
    Progress is going to continue and at times we need to stay flexible and willing to change our perspectives. As I said in my last post, BMW was guilty of releasing a vehicle that was a ways short of adequate testing to assure the first customers didn't become beta testers. That part is hard to forgive and I hope they learned their lesson. But I'm in the market now and find to my surprise the BMW is a pretty nice vehicle for the lease price.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    I love technology, but imho technology should be used to improve ease of use. I have not tried out idrive but from what I understand it takes something like five steps just to set a radio station into memory, compared to one step for pretty much any other car. Seems like a giant leap backward from a usability standpoint, and adding that many steps to what should be a simple process (slightly) compromises safety, too.
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