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High End Luxury Cars

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  • buicks and Lexus LS430....

    Have you driven an LS430, Do you really KNOW if it drives like a Buick?. For that matter have you ever driven a BUICK?

    PS Your comments about not needing to have owned a car to post your opinions are absolutely correct and I don't think anyone on this board has ever stated otherwise:

    I would certainly agree that the Looks of a car does not require prior ownership to have a very valid opinion on, it is a totally subjective judgement that we all can make.

    I also think you would agree that having driven a car would lend someone more credability on issues like fun to drive and handling, comfort and quiet then a person who has never driven the car would have.

    Finally I am sure you would agree that Someone who has owned a varity of cars like Mercedes and LS and BMW would probably be in the best position to compare the vehicles one to the other and would therefore demand the most credability.

    Speaking for myself I own an LS 430, I have only driven a Mercedes S class and have never driven a BMW. My knowledge beyond that is gathered from friends and car magazines.

    How about you.
  • fennfenn Posts: 197
    You need not own a car to comment, or to have a valid viewpoint. However, I appreciate the input of those that have actual experience with these cars, whether it be Mercedes Lexus, BMW, etc., to those that never have.....

    If the driver of a Ford, Mitsubishi or Honda is astute, and moderately respectful to those that actually have real life driving and ownership experience with these luxury cars, it would mean a great deal more than a person that continually wants to make them self into the ultimate authority, and argues every one of his subjective opinions into oblivion. It really seems silly.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    As respectfully as possible, I'm going to post my last answer to you. Your posts make no sense to me most of the time. There was the thing about innovation which got twisted. Then there was the issue about peformance about two cars, which you later claimed that there are other factors involved, of which there weren't. Then there is the constant assumption about what I've driven and haven't driven. I don't know how you long you've been on this board, but it's well documented about what I have and haven't driven.

    You always seem to come from behind whats being said to someone else for nothing more than to get me into an arguement, which isn't allowed here, so I think it's best that you and I stop here.

    DonFenn,

    I haven't tried to present myself as an "authority" to you. I merely pointed out that you were incorrect about the performance of the two cars in question at the time. You took it personally because it was your car I was speaking of and went on to knock what I drive (I did see your posts in other forums), and to try to make fun of it. I at no time said anything derogatory about you or you personal ride. Other than that S55/XJR thing, I don't even recall us ever really arguing over much else. My "experience" with cars of this class, doesn't come from ownership, you're correct. It comes from simply having family and/or friends that do, thus I'm not speaking from a dealership test drive. I haven't said a thing about long-distance comfort or ergonomics or anything that would require actual ownership.
    The things I've spoken about can be seen or experienced in a few hours or a day with this cars, especially when you like cars like I do.

    M
  • I have politely ASKED you if you have driven an LS430...you have seemed to profess a great deal of knowledge about it's driving and ride qualities in relation to the Mercedes and more recently the Buick. Your unwillingness to answer does lead one to make an assumption.

    I have been on these boards for at least 6 months and would not have asked the question if I had known the answer...

    P.S. In the spirit of full disclosure, I have owned 3 Buicks a Century, a Regal and in the 60s an electra 225 convertable.
  • fennfenn Posts: 197
    Merc1:

    It has nothing to do with what I drive. You wanted to make a big case of .4 of a second when comparing a 130k car to a 75k car...You used to terms like "smokes" ..and other over the top descriptions.

    Meanwhile, I quoted two major sources in the automotive press which seem to put these cars in a similar class.

    However you did not use the term "smokes" when comparing the .4 of a second difference between a Mercedes S430 and a Lexus LS430....That is actually an even larger differential, as a ratio of the speed. Hmmm?

    Being the one who actually buys with these vehicles and lives with them, as opposed to being a rooting section for Mercedes, is a big difference. To be quite candid, some of your opinions are very strong for a fan, rather than a driver.

    Styling is very subjective. Strongly comparing a Lexus to a Buick is harsh. By comparison, I think that some folks might see a resemblance between the discontinued Buick Skyhawk and a Mitsubishi Eclipse too, but that is subjective. I might say it once, but I would then back off, and try to respect your opinion as an Eclipse driver.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Thats just it, I never compared a 130K car to a 75K car. I only used the performance numbers of the 130K (S600) because they would roughly be equal to the car in question, the 107K S55. I spoke nothing about which was the better value. You're right I didn't use the word "smoked" to describe the difference between the LS430 and the S430, because you need at least a half second to make difference, if you were racing the two cars. However, the difference between those two other cars is more than 4 tenths of a second, it would be like a full second, and thats just from 0-60, if again the tested R&T figure for the XJR (5.1) or Car and Drivers figure of 5.3 secs is compared to that other similarly powered S-Class. That would be only the beginning of the performance gap between the two cars, if you really looked at figures here. I didn't any time state that one car was in different class from the other based on it's performance. I merely said that there wasn't much contest between the two cars performance wise. The data you listed was from 2001 and was irrelevant. It seemed to me that because I pointed out you were incorrect about the peformance of the two cars value had to be thrown in, though nobody knocked the Jag on that count, or ownership experience just because.

    M
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    Not sure that the 0-60 comparisons here are that worthwhile.
    Unless we are comparing the "AMG to the "S" to the "XJR".

    The bread and butter luxury cars should be compared in material quality, interior/exterior design, drivetrain refinement, ride quality, cornering ability, audio system quality and maybe even character, etc.
    These are more interesting topics because they are subjective.
    I would think that there would be unlimited conversation about the above characteristics.
  • fennfenn Posts: 197
    That is a wonderful point...especially since we are talking about luxury marques.

    I do not wish to be exclusionary of any point of view, but many of those areas are of the most interest to me when they are addressed by folks that actually drive, and live with, these cars.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    Did anybody see the article in last week's Automotive News titled "Bugs bite Mercedes quality; Glitches lead to go-slower approach."

    Basically the article says that Mercedes has admitted it has widespread quality problems and has had a difficult time debugging its increasingly complex electronics. Problems with Comand even forced Mercedes to buy back 2,000 E-classes from US customers. Mercedes is debating the need to adopt less essential technologies quickly.

    The interesting part is Mercedes' head of worldwide sales and marketing says that Mercedes is still very successful in terms of brand awareness and loyalty and that their image is great.
  • DonFenn - personally, I believe Infiniti fits in "High-end Luxury Marques". Though I'll grant you the I35 is certainly at the lower end of the scale. I like looking at, reading about and occasionally test driving the higher-end marques. But, when it comes to spending my own money [or my family's or friend's :-) ], I'm big on value, getting the most bang for the buck. For me, the I35 fits. I hadn't given the "I" a second glance in years, but last fall I happened to look at the I35 and was impressed with the refinements and improvements Infiniti had made to the car. It fit the bill for my mom and she ended up getting one. I've been home several times recently and I've been surprised how much I've enjoyed driving it. It kinda grows on you. Anyway, my real point is, to me "High-end Marques" covers a fairly broad range. (btw - I think Infiniti is doing a pretty good job of closing the "status gap" between itself and Lexus. Of course, my view is affected by my perception of value.)

    I haven't read way back in the posts here, but I get the impression from what you said that the discussion is of the more lofty luxury representations. There are several cars priced as high as $45-large I'd love to have the opportunity to own. Cheap (Frugal sounds better doesn't it?) as I am though, I'd have a hard time moving into the $50K and above arena. Going over $35K is a stretch for me to consider. I think the '04 Lexus LS430 is a gorgeous car, but even if money was not a consideration for me, I'm not sure I could justify to myself spending that much. But, of course, that's just me. Then again, I saw a Maserati on the Speed Channel the other day.....I'm just a contradiction in terms, aren't I? Oh, well.

    SV - I read an article several years ago in Popular Mechanics that said the engineering characteristics of the in-line six make it the most inherently balanced engine design. They were assessing BMW's V12 in the 7 series. They compared the sound of the engine on acceleration to ripping silk. Said the engine was like multiplying the benefits of the in-line six by two, making it twice as good. I've wanted a straight six ever since. I hope BMW never goes the way of Mercedes; succumbing to market forces and going to V6's. Even having said that, I must admit I love the Audi A4 Quattro with it's V6. I really like the V6 in my mom's I35. :-)

    b4z - I'm curious. When you drove Infiniti "I"'s as loaners, were they I30's or did you also have the opportunity to drive an I35? I've driven several I30's as loaners [1st gen (barely not a Maxima) and 2d gen) and I was never impressed. That's why I hadn't given the I30 a second glance and was quite surprised by the improvements in the I35.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    tturedraider, there is a line under the discussion title at the top of the page that explains what vehicles this discussion is generally about.

    We had an Entry Level Luxury discussion around here somewhere once upon a time - it's probably archived. I could dig it up and reopen it if you like?

    Edit: Actually, putting those three words in the keyword search on the left side of the page turns up three archived discussions. Check them out - if any interest you, let me know. Or start a new one if you'd rather - two of them are very old. :)
  • You're right! There surely is! I'm usually pretty good at catching the small print. I guess I'm used to looking for it at the bottom of the page.....(excuse, excuse) :-) My apologies to DonFenn. I'll have to think about starting a new Near Lux board.

    b4z - I'm still curious about your experience with the I30 v. I35. And whether none of your cohorts drive an Infiniti?

    See y'all in the funny papers.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    A "near luxury" discussion is actually what I was remembering - that term is worth a keyword search as well.

    Anyway, back to the topic ...
  • fennfenn Posts: 197
    I will offer tturedraider this final comment:

    The I35 and I30 are birds of a feather, but the I35 got an evolutionary tweak with a bit more engine power/torque, and slighly better handling, due to the bigger tires and wheels.
  • I don't mean to be rude, but you're not saying anything I'm not already aware of. I've driven both of them fairly extensively and I can tell you the evolutionary tweak was a really good one. The engine is very stout and the handling is much better. A 12%, 28hp increase and a 13%, 29lb-ft increase in torque. The I30 was very floaty. The I35 is very well controlled.

    btw - Just for complete accuracy, Infiniti has announced that the I35 is continuing as a 2004 model. There is no reliable information out there right now as to the exact timing of its replacement. It may indeed have a short model year run or it may run for the complete model year. You are correct, it is pretty well accepted that 2004 is the last year for the current iteration. But, the prevailing opinion of those who speculated about the '03 I35 was that it would not continue as a 2004. Nissan has a model sold in Japan called the Teana that is "based" on the Maxima with more "luxury" styling. The Teana is offered with AWD in Japan and the the current prevailing speculation is that it will be brought over as the I35's replacement. This fits with Infiniti's stated plan to concentrate on RWD and AWD vehicles.

    Over and out.
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    As an ex-owner of a 2001 XJR and a 1996 XJS previously, I can attest to the fact the i6-cyl was a smoother engine. Not that the V8 isn't civilized, but still an I6 engine has and will always have the better natural balance. It's well known in engine circles that I6 and V12 (two I6, basically) offer the best balance and smoothness. Physics facts about secondary vibrations and such.

    The gruntier V8 note in the higher revs is actually a rason for the popularity of the V8, since it's macho since the days of big V8s in the USA.

    In the end, the quest for total smoothness is self-defeating, though. Thnk of floating in a perfectly idolated, noiseless car... is that fun when you go for a spin?
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    Actually, the Jag I6 in the XJS was so silky smooth that I think it outsmoothes the V8 in my "special occasion" car, an early 90s RR Corniche.

    But it's also a matter of the character of the particular engine (and exhaust system).

    It's one of those things - within the BMW range, for instance, I also think it's well-establshed that the I6s are actually smoother than the slightly more raucuous V8s: when the latter revs up it develops attitude, whereas especially the smaller displacement 6s just spin up like a little turbine.

    But at the same total displacement, it's easier to make make the 8 cyl spin higher, and probably -I suspect- make it more efficient all in all - smaller cyls can be fed more efficiently. The I6s can be designed to be a bit torquier. It's got to be with flows, the size of the cylinder, and the force of the combustion...
  • My local dealership has two. I hope to drive one this weekend. They are "different." I like the new style, except the back lights.

    So many choices....
  • fennfenn Posts: 197
    I have mixed feelings about this review. I did not agree with some of the reviewer's findings, however, I lack objectivity, since I have an XJR.

    However, let it suffice to say that some of the Edmunds reviewer's conclusions are different than those in recent reviews of the XJR in both "Road and Track" and "Automobile Magazine"...

    In particular, I cannot agree with the reviewer's thoughts about the handling, and cornering, since I find the car very tight, and the steering quite responsive. The XJR feels like a much more responsive and sporting car in the curves when compared to the S430, S500, and Audi A8, which are luxury cars are in the same price range as an XJR.

    If you want to compare this car with an M5 or E55, the XJR may feel a bit softer, but this is a larger, luxury class vehicle. Therefore, the review's final comparison of the XJR with the smaller E55 seems inappropriate, since are obviously two very different types/sizes of vehicles.

    I will agree with the reviewer that the base XJ8 offers many of the XJR's attributes at a much lower price...In fact, I have mentioned that in my comments earlier in this thread. However, for me, the supercharger and the performance tweaks of the XJR do make a difference....Only the buyer can decide whether this is worth 12k to 15k of their money.

    One major error did stick out. The reviewer's complaint about the brake and accelerator height differential is way off base---since the XJR's brake pedal height is quite adjustable. Other reviewers commented favorably on this adjustability and adaptability. Hmmm? I guess the Edmund's reviewer could not figure this out.....So much for being a thorough journalist.
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