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High End Luxury Cars

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  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Ok the point has been officially lost here. I wasn't saying that MB was the "best" here because they were first, only that they used DOHC technology either before or at the same time as Lexus did, when talking about V8s. Nothing more. I never at any point said that MB was best, if I did please point this out to me because I don't see it written or remember posting it here. 2004 cars were not part of the discussion. Of course BMW's new V8 is superior in the here and now, look at the details on that thing. Naturally the details don't matter when they're lost on you, and it all reverts back to reliability.

    I have finally realized that on this board it is pointless to talk about anything else but reliability, it is the end-all of the automobile. Even a simply debate about engine design back in the day reverts to an updated reliability sermon.

    M
  • andy71andy71 Posts: 96
    Since we are talking about reliability, I am old enough to remember the Mercedes SEL which I believe was the predecessor of the S class. That car was built like a tank. In fact, I know someone who owns a 1987 560 SEL that he still drives regularly. I have been a passenger in that car quite a few times and it still drives like a new car (it has about 168K on the odometer). Don't know if it was SOHC or DOHC.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    andys,

    That 560SEL would be a 5.5L SOHC 2-valve/cylinder V8.

    And "built like a tank" doesn't necessarily mean it is/was reliable.
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Posts: 1,722
    that goes way back even in passenger cars. The Jaguar Mk I sedan (that debuted in 1955 had DOHC standard on both available motors). Not saying Jag was the first, just pointing out a bump on the timeline.
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Posts: 1,722
    that is correct.
  • I remember those days, Mercedes were concedered the best...

    1) Did they forget how to still make them that way?

    2) Or... do they still make them just as well but the standards have changed? What was good in those days is just AVG. today.
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    1) IMHO, I think that they make them different on purpose as a consequence of the marketplace. Plus vehicle technology has changed a lot. The tanks of the past aren't really very modern any more, even though they feel solid. The current S is a lot more nimble than the barges of the 80's and early 90's. Plus MB may be focused on lower cost of production to support more spending on merchandising and marketing. It's a brand 1st, car 2nd for them to make it.

    2) MB improved, but their rate of improvement year to year was much lower than Lexus and Infiniti. Once companies like Lexus get on an improvement track faster than yours, you don't know you are in trouble until they blow by, then you realize that they are moving at a rate faster than you are and you can't figure out how to catch them. It happened in the TV business here in the U.S. Where's Zenith and RCA? Where's their little neighborhood shops that would sell you a set and come adjust it when it got out of whack (all TV sets have problems right?). Nope. The route to success as the technologies changed was to make things that didn't break. Out of the box, into the family room, turn it on and watch it for 10 years. The underlying technology closes any gaps in performance and consumers finally figure that out.

    As an aside, it will be interesting to see if DCX's acquisition of Chrysler is fatal to MB's chances of ever catching Lexus and Infiniti because the money required to invest heavily and change the way they do things at MB is being spent blowing air in the Chrysler life preserver.
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    Big objection on the US patent data - you are talking about international corporations. Look at the German-Euro patent office http://www.dpma.de/veroeffentlichungen/jahresbericht98/jb_de/seit- e7_2d.htmand the data is different: Daimler 106 - Toyota 87 for '98, and the trend supposedly has not changed much.
  • steven2steven2 Posts: 37
    My wife is looking for a used luxury sedan...here's what we've narrowed it down to:

    00' XJ8 w/snrf, 1 owner, 28K miles, $26,988
    00' 740i w/snrf, navi, 6cd, new tires, 56K miles, $28,750
    03' Volvo S80 comparably eqpd, crtfied, 16K miles, $25,600

    please help...the volvo has just as many options as the rest
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Wrong board to post this question. Why not ask the experts on the "Smart Shopper" board ? You can find it here:

    mikefm58 "Real-World Trade-In Values" Apr 5, 2004 11:36pm

    Ask for Terry or Mathias.... In any case, any of the regulars on that board will gladly help you out.

    Me, I'll say "BUY WHAT YOU LIKE". If the Volvo is what your heart aches for, go for it. So that you never had to constantly ask yourself: what if ?

    Good luck.
  • stevesteinstevestein Posts: 263
    Oac pointed you to the right board to see if the prices for each car are in the ballpark. As to choices between the cars, it seems like you're stuck between two apples and an orange - as the prices reflect. The BMW and XJ are in a different league as the Volvo.

    If you are happy with the Volvo, go for it. If you want a full size luxury sedan then the others fall into that category. I'd suggest going to the brand-specific sites for each make, and check for owners experiences with cars of that model year and mileage as to any maintenance problems or work to be expected in the near future. Also, you might want to run a carfax on whatever your choice is before inking the deal to make sure there is no bad history to the vehicle.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,108
    I happen to NOT dislike the new A6 interior, for the record.
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    The link you gave didn't work.

    Anyway, if the patent isn't filed here, it doesn't count, irrespective of where else its filed. There's no reciprocity.

    Generally, major international corps file simultaneously in USPTO, EUPO, Japan and China (with more than a little trepidation).

    If they have more in Germany, then they don't have U.S. coverage for the addditional ones. Pretty dumb in my book unless they are truly unique to the EU marketplace.
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    JohnCalifornia,
      Thank you for your great post. It's gives me an insight into what my experience with a modern Jaguar might be like. It really sounds like a great experience.

    For those with multiple cars...Do you all have room for them in your garages? I'm stuck with a two car garage, and I don't think leaving a Jaguar outside on the driveway in this NE weather is a great idea..I'm a car nut, and cannot possibly fathom selling my LS400 to put the Jaguar inside. LOL..My wife is going to kill me when she hears about this. (that's another question..How do you get the wives to play ball with car buying binges?)

    SV
  • carnaughtcarnaught Desert SWPosts: 1,611
    Hmmh, double negative. I guess you like the interior :).

    (So do I, btw.)
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,108
    . . .was intentional. Rather than saying I like the new interior -- and I am pretty sure that I do -- I opted instead to say that I don't dislike it.

    This is not intended to be one of those "it all depends on what the definition of the word "is" is" [sic] kind of things. It is simply to state that I am not yet able to comment in the affirmative having only seen pictures.

    What I have seen, that is, does not make me think it is ugly, bad, worse than the BMW (quite the contrary after the Road & Track photos), etc.

    I like my 2003 allroad interior and see an evolution of the things I like.

    All this comparison to a Chevy truck doesn't quite convince me of anything.

    All of these new German cars have some similar styling cues.

    Frankly, I have to give Cadillac credit for the CTS, SVX and now STS -- they do seem "fresher" than many offerings from all over the world.

    Now, FRESHER doesn't exactly mean that I like it better. But since I am at it, it just means that I don't like it less -- if you get my drift.

    Frankly, after having seen some NY papers talking about the new STS (when I was in NYC last week), I would have to say I will test drive the STS AWD before I pull the trigger on a new A6.

    It will take some impressive engineering to sway me from the Audi, but the STS -- in print -- seems to be a contender.

    "Stella!!! Stella!!!"
  • carnaughtcarnaught Desert SWPosts: 1,611
    To get the wives to tolerate your car buying binges, you have to utilize a variant of the "if you can't beat them, join them" attitude. Over the years, I've invited my wife to the car buying "experience" as it was a facet of our quality time together. The result is that she too has become hooked and tends to support me more than discourage me during those often seductive car buying moments.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Tough problem on your hand there.

    We have 3 cars in the family with only 2 drivers. So how did the wife agree to do this ? Cos I positioned it as a car that she will actually get to drive the most. In addition, it will also become our 'work-horse' car for that quick trip to the grocery store, video store, or somewhere we really need to downsize so as not to attract too much attention. I then left the decision as to what car satisfies these conditions. See, that way, just like carnaught said, she gets to be part of the process, and may even be the enabler of the overall decision-making process. Finally, I take the low-ball route of speculating what price point that car should be, and knowing my wife that she would rather have a good quality thing than a cheapo stuff, I know the final purchase price will be much higher than whatever I speculate. That way it looks like the wife made the purchase at the higher price point than I could want. See, that way we BOTH wins !

    Oh, BTW, we do have a 3-car garage yet parks the third car outside. No biggie for us. Looked to me you need a new house with more than 2-car garage.

    Good luck.
  • warthogwarthog Posts: 216
    I don't disagree with you. Further, I don't think you're not a lawyer. (It takes one to know one.)
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,108
    . . ., I may look like a lawyer but I'm not. My wife is -- and I have learned some things from her. . . . or not.

    I'm going to stop by my local Cadillac dealer (who happens to own the Audi dealer!) and see if they can give me a brochure on the new STS.

    I've been loyal to Audis for so long, I do have my doubts, but the STS, if it is priced right, may have merit.
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    Here's a car that no one really talks about in here, 2005 Q45:

    http://www.nissannews.com/multimedia/infiniti2005/q45.shtml

    I doubt this refresh would help it sell well, but those seats do look very comfy.
  • chavis10chavis10 Posts: 166
    Don't know if it'll be "priced right." This baby is gonna hit $66 large (at least the MSRP will). I think Cadillac and other "underdog" luxury brands are going to price their vehicles neck and neck with BMW/MB. I think some luxury car buyers are believers of a "you get what you pay for" mentality. In some cases that may be true. So if you offer a vehicle with more room, features, etc people might wonder what makes it cheaper. Caddy started with the SRX. Some publications complained about the price even though the vehicle is larger than just about every car in its class and offers the same list of features. STS will do the same. What remains to be seen is if it'll actually work. Lutz held the project back an entire year and hopefully buyers will appreciate the fruits of that labor. Reading the press for the car really impressed me. They used a number of special or new processes when building the car. I'll be in New York this weekend to see this baby in person, should be exciting.
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    naw,probably an indication of the patent offices search engines - there is a reason why identifying patents in any reliable way involves payment if you want to be halfway professional about it
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    Thanks for posting those photos of the Q45. The taillights now look similar to the Toyota Avalon. And Infiniti claimed the Q's headlights were so powerful there was no need for fog lights. I guess that thinking is now gone.
  • I enjoyed driving the latest Q45, but I didn't buy one because of the resale. I purchased a LS430 at the time.

    I previously leased a 1994 Q45 for two years, and really enjoyed it. It's a shame that they aren't more popular.

    Is the 2005 available for sale?

    BTW, I am going to drive a new 545i today. I will file a report.
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    When I was working with our patent lawyer last year, he showed me how very straightforward the quick search and advanced search features on the USPTO are. He uses it all the time.

    In the EU you generally have to pay to get full text and images of EU patents.

    However in the U.S. you can get that right there on the USPTO at no charge.
  • sysadbsysadb Posts: 83
    I don't see any radical changes - the grille and tail lights are changed, with the tail lights now having the inward tail like the M and the G. The interior has some trim changes and different seats (note the power buttons on the top right of the driver seat - like the G and the FX). I like the car, but if I were redesigning the interior I would redo the center dash area surrounding the NAV screen. To me it doesn't look upscale enough. But it's still a lot of car for the money..
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,108
    . . .now hold on a minute. A "current" A6 4.2 fully optioned -- every possible option, that is -- lists for $58,570. The new model, even with a "market will bear" single digit % price increase is unlikely to be too far north of $60K.

    Cadillac is going to be another 10% on top of that?!?

    All things being equal, which they never are, how can Cadillac go head to head with Audi, BMW and Mercedes at "price parity?"

    Wouldn't "many" buyers -- especially in year one and two of the new STS -- think, "well if I'm gonna layout $60K for a Bimmer or a Cadillac" go with the "tried and true" German?

    I would think, realistically, that Cadillac would want to "pull a Phaeton" and come in 6 - 12% BELOW the European competition.

    And, won't some Lexus folks scoff at a first year Cadillac STS -- especially one that is "all new?"

    I went to the Cadillac website and priced the CTS-V with the sunroof option -- which means virtually every possible thing -- and it came up to $51,195. Try pricing the BMW 545i -- with stick shift -- try $58K.

    Wouldn't this "equal content" for lower bucks theory hold true until the marquis got further into its Led Zep transformation?

    I have been arguing for a year that the Phaeton is a bargain (perhaps too strong a word), but the same argument would apply to the CTS-V and I would therefore extrapolate "ditto" to the upcoming STS.

    For $66K, I can go elsewhere.

    Sorry if I have responded too agressively, but I find it difficult to imagine that the new STS V8 will creep too far north of $55K -- at least for the first iteration.

    Else, he said, perhaps the MSRP will be high, but the deals will be great -- much like the SRX deals (at least here in River City).

    Of course, Audi could throw a curve and really crank up the price of the A6 -- but, with the new A8 short wheelbase just announced at $66K, it seems Cadillac will price itself out of the market until prospective buyers (such as me) become convinced that "it isn't my Grand Father's car company any longer. . . ."

    =====

    P.S. Went to the Cadillac website, again, created an "equivalent" SRX V8 Performance Luxury config w/

    Entertainment system, rear seat, includes DVD player, LCD display, wireless headphones and remote control &

    Suspension, Magnetic Ride Control

    No third row seat -- but all other goodies: $55,635.

    Seems to me an STS, which is sort of what the SRX is should be a bit less. . . .

    Let the debate continue.

    End of P.S.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    http://pressroom.toyota.com/photo_library/display_release.html?id- =20040408a

    Click on the pic to get more thumbnails, each of which can be enlarged.

    Personally, not sure what I think of the styling, will need to see it in person.
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