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High End Luxury Cars

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  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    I test drove it and did indeed find the ride far too bumpy for me. The old A8 was a lot smoother but it was noticably rougher than cars like the S and LS to begin with. But I didn't find the new car to be slow at all. So I don't get that one.
  • boo20boo20 Posts: 85
    Setting aside the questions of roominess, styling and value for the money can I get an LS in AWD? Didn't think so. So that rules it out for me as a winter car. The Audi? If you think MBs are a nightmare from a repair standpoint don't even consider an Audi. I see plenty of posts of repeated dealer visits for the same problem that they seem unable to fix. You may argue the same about MB but that just hasn't been my experience. Maybe I've just been lucky so far.

    So if I want a luxury car with AWD (and I do) and don't like SUVs (and I don't) what options does that leave me with? Looks like the E or S class.

    Different strokes for different folks.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    AWD is a requirement for me too, and that's why I don't have an LS yet, I have a LX and RX for my family.

    Apparently Toyota has had AWD on the Celsior (LS's name in Japan) for years, but for some reason hasn't brought it to the US yet. Stupid, imho.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Re LS vs S performance, posts 2840 and 2858...my recollection is that you have more than once in the past referred to the LS as performing "like a Buick".
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Carnaught,
     I've had a 1992 Lexus LS400 from the beginning. I can attest to the bulletproof LONG term reliability of the car. I've probably spent $3,000 in scheduled maintenance. I've spent $3.00 in a blown tailight bulb. That's it. Well..It was until some idiot girl smashed into my Left Front after blowing through a Red Light yesterday.:(
    I won't belabor the board with that story.

    Merc,
      Last time I checked, my LS430 sure as heck didn't drive like a Buick. (I had an '89 Park Ave, Great car) I've consistently agreed with you when you criticize the styling of these cars. You're right in saying Lexus has taken a step back from the innovative designs that allowed them to establish a foothold in the industry.

    I think others have pointed out well that the LS is a better value for money. Considering the S430 is more expensive, it ought to at least beat the LS in the numbers game performance. You're correct, however, in saying that these numbers are only a part of the story.

    I think we all can agree Lexus fundamentally changed the Luxury car industry with it's entry in 1990. Attempting to classify any car as "better in design, prestige" is a subjective judgement at best. Lexus has proven it can play with and even beat with the "Big Boys" in virtually every arena, "Reliability, value, 0-60, Customer Service..." My personal opinion mirrors most on this board. Lexus needs to improve their exterior designs.

    BTW: heard about MB's new 7 speed Transmission...Question: Is there really a need for all of this?

    Cheers,
    SV
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    What a ridiculous myth. If anyone believes that I've got some nice old "valuables" to sell them.

    Boo20 - I understand your point and agree with you completely. But I have an LX470 which treats 2 ft. of snow like a car treats a 2 inch hill pile of dirt. Nonetheless I, like Syswei, wish Lexus would make AWD available in the LS. But my old boss, who had the A8L I drove occasionally in the past (and it was a nightmare and in the shop so often I lost count of it) had to put snows on in winter otherwise the car was not that effective in the snow even with AWD. That is according to him as I never drove it in the snow. But from a financial standpoint (and since I prefer an LS430 over an S-500) I could lease an LS430 and a RX330 for a tad more than an S-500 AWD and I'd go that route first. But that is me. Now with all that said I will tell you that I love the S-500 and would be driving it (probably with AWD) if Lexus wasn't around. I think MB's reliability is far removed from Audi but it seems very difficult for anyone to replicate the exceptional reliability the Japanese have brought to the table. But if anyone can it will be MB and possibly BMW in the longrun. But only if both fix the issues at hand without rushing onto the next level. I'm convinced that is why MB reliability has slipped so much. I don't for a second think its the engineering or drivetrains.
  • boo20boo20 Posts: 85
    I don't know if the new MB 7 speed is going to be 'worth it' in terms of increased complexity for some improvement in fuel efficiency and performance (which will probably be modest) but it seems to have done one thing already: Lexus is coming out with a six speed transmission in the LS in 2004.
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    And GM is coming out with a 6 speed auto with 2 overdrive gears in 2 years.
    They will also develop a 6 speed FWD transaxle with Ford.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    I don't think you should ascribe the Lexus 6-speed as a direct reaction to MB's 7-speed. These things take ages to develop, and there is a high probability that Lexus started development before they knew a 7-speed was coming. Lexus DOES need to keep moving because it knows MB and BMW and others are moving, and vice versa. But thats about it.
  • near-luxos

    imho, I think the I35 is the most bang for the buck right now, even though it doesn't have all the "latest" technology. It has so much - Mongo V6 engine power & torque (255hp/246 lb/ft), HID's, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (compensates for variations in load, i.e. 1 passenger v. 2,3,4, etc.), Brake Assist (senses emergency braking and applies maximum force to the brakes), Traction Control, Front side airbags, seatbelt pretensioners & load limiters, Bose stereo (some would argue the value of this), great warranty - all for roughly $27K.

    The TL is right there, also. Mostly just a matter of taste. More suave luxury with the I35; more sportiness with the TL.

    I was thinking the other day, the I35 seems to me right now like the perfect realtor's car - style, luxury, size, reliability and value. Imagine, if you get the cold weather package, being able to offer your "rear seat" clients their own heated seats in the winter while you drive them around house hunting. :-)
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    In an unscientific poll I have determined that the LS400 is the perfect Realtor's car.
    Since I am a Realtor and also 6'8", I won't be fitting into any I35.
    And since I conducted the poll the outcome was assured.

    In my office of 40 realtors there are 6 Lexii and
    7 Tahoes.
  • b4z - Yeah, since I'm 5'8" I never think about that height thing. It's kinda nice. I am comfortable in just about any car and my friends don't mind if they have to sit behind me. Although, I wouldn't mind another 3" or 4" in height. But, oh well, what am I gonna do? I'm a little too late for the growth hormone thing. ;-)

    I'm big (no pun intended) on the I35 because I'm big on value. So much car for about half (or less) of the current and imminent LS430. However, I certainly won't turn down an LS if someone offers to make the payments. :-)

    No Infiniti's in your office? Not even a Q or J?
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Isn't the I-35 considerably smaller inside (and overall) than the LS430? Sure looks like it, and carries lots less clout, despite the good looks of the I
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Yes, I have stated that Lexuses ofter remind me of a Buick if more so in concept than in driving, depending on the model. Of course a Lexus drives better is easily 5 times the car, when it comes to build and engineering etc etc, but what they do share is the same philosophy. Neither of them are really that satisfying to drive. They're both dull in styling and design and do nothing for the lust factor, and they both cater to being quiet and lush above all else. There is never any mention of actual driving. Incidently, the press has also said this same thing, especially about the SC430 and the ES300. Buick also just identified Lexus as their target, so obviously they see some similarities. Again, I'm not saying that Lexuses are buicks, I'm saying that aren't worlds apart either. They're more similar than not.

    ljflx,

    The A8 is no different than any other awd car, it has to have the correct tires for the awd to be effective. All these S500 4Matic Sport owners around here are going to have to do the same thing (switch tires) once it snows.

    M
  • Yes, the I35 is smaller than the LS. It is in the same size category as the Lexus ES, but has a much more hospitable rear seat. The I35 has a more "sporting" character than the ES. 255hp/246lb-ft torque V6, lower profile 215/55 tires on 17" wheels and a firmer suspension. My mom has one and there is no doubt, you feel the road more in the I35.

    As far as clout, I find that in the general population (those who aren't into cars enough to be on these boards), Infiniti carries close to the same clout as Lexus.
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    Is based on the last generation Maxima.
    Has a very nice and luxurious interior and
    dealers are blowing the '03s out the door for 28K!
    The downside is that all FWD Nissans suffer from
    bad torque steer.
  • They're blowin' 'em out the door for $26,995 right now. That's with sunroof/rear sunshade pkg, splash guards and trunk mat, but not winter pkg.

    I've driven both Nissans and Infinitis for years and I've never been bothered by torque steer. And I don't drive slow! I'm usually the guy movin' out in front of the pack on the freeway....and in town....no more than 10mph over in town.....freeway's a different story. ;-)

    I'm driving a '96 Lexus GS300 right now. I've wanted one for years. I think the body on this car is art. And I found one in exceptional condition. But, I hate the stupid remote key. It unlocks all the doors at once (even my '93.5 Infiniti G20 had once for driver, second time for the rest) and there's no remote trunk release (again, even my '93.5 G20 had that). And I find a remote fob easier to use. But, I still like the car. I've always wanted a straight 6.
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    tturedraider,
      I find it interesting you have a preference for a Straight Six. Here's a question I want to pose to the board: Is it necessary to have V-8 engines in these high end sedans? What are we getting for them?

    The first inclination will be "Power!, Lots of it!" But there are numerous examples of V-6 engines that can outperform some V-8 (Obviously not XJR's AMG MB's and M class BMW's) Does Luxury require a V-8?

    I've heard some in the Jaguar Forum lament that the old 6 Cylinder in the XJ6 ran smoother than the V-8 currently.

    Appreciate your thoughts,
    SV
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    Straight 6's are inherently smooth.
    They can be even smoother than a V8, depending on the design.
    packaging can be a prob with a straight 6 especially in smaller cars.
    V8's are very compact, which is a plus and smooth also.
    I don't think power is the issue. it is a displacemnet issue.
    Although some people feel a V8 means it has a lot of power.
    If you really want to hear a smooth engine listen to a Packard straight 8.
    The ultimate in 8 cyliner smoothness.
  • fennfenn Posts: 197
    Re: 2004 A8:

    I am curious if those who found the new A8's ride to be choppy, were driving cars with the 19 inch wheels..and, what was the adjustable suspension setting on, since the A8 has multiple suspension modes.

    By contrast, I enjoyed a relatively smooth ride in the A8 that I took out for a long demo ride, but it had the 18 inch wheels. I noted that the test report which mentioned the "busy ride" of the A8 all used a car with the 19 inch wheels.

    I35..??:

    I am a long time Infiniti fan, having owned a few Q45's...but the I35 is out of place in this thread. I am very familiar with this model since I have had them as loaner cars on several occasions when my Q45 was in for service. It is a very nice, comfortable car, which offers lots of bang for the buck, but it is not in the same class with its big brother, the Q45, or any of the other cars in this luxury class. It is also a "lame duck" in its current configuration, as the car is get replaced in the next six months in it's new incarnation.

    6 Speed:

    This is not another copying issue....I think that 6 speed transmissions are the evolution of the transmissions for most cars in this class. The new Jaguar XJ's have 6 speeds. I find the main virtue of the 6 speed to be an improvement in fuel economy due to a more efficient drivetrain. The upcoming seven speed Mercedes trans is a further incremental step in transmission evolution.

    6 cylinders vs 8 cylinders:

    I think that a very nice car can perform quite well with six cylinders, but for high output performance, and ultimate smoothness, the V-8 seems to be the choice. I doubt that this will change. Of course, Acura has stuck with a very smooth 6 cylinder in their flagship RL, but that car is a notch below these cars.

    I think that some of the Jag owners who say the old six is smoother than the V8 may be trying to talk themselves into this, or they are comparing it to an older incarantion of the Jaguar V-8 engine...By the way, it should be noted the new XJ is being offered in a 6 cylinder form in England to offer the big Jag in a more affordable and economical configuration...
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