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High End Luxury Cars

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  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "If you had - say $40k - to plunk down on a car today what would you buy or lease?"

    Good question since 40K is about 5K or so above what I can really spend next time around. I'm not sure. Right now the choices would be a C320 Sport (05' model w/changes), A4 3.0, G35 Coupe, Acura TL, and Saab 9/3 Aero (shocked?)....pretty much in that order.

    Why these? Well being a big Mercedes-Benz fan I have to consider whatever Mercedes has in the class. Right now the C-Class is in desperate need of a interior facelift. If I had to buy a car right this minute it would NOT be a new C-Class. I can't stand the seats, having to purchase the Comand system to get a in-dash CD, and the overall interior look. I spoke to a couple of MB reps at the Detroit autoshow this past year and they said that these things would be corrected on the 2005 model, and sure enough its been all but confirmed. Question for me is whether or not the freshened car gets here in the spring or next fall.

    The only issue I have with the A4 is the ugly, unpainted lower section Audi has forced on the A4 Sedan, curiously enough the A4 Cabriolet is painted all the way down. I don't know if you've noticed the A4 on the road, but this shade of grey that all their lowers are painted in doesn't match anything. Yuck. There was a strong rumor for 2004 that this would be corrected, a very, very close inspection of my Audi dealers entire lot of A4s (20 or so) says that they haven't corrected this most unsightly detail.

    What can I say about the G35 Coupe? Driving it almost makes you forget the cheap interior and that rather thickish looking rear bumper. A strong contender for my money.

    The Acura TL is a little contrived, inside and out. It seems they've over compensated for years of bland looking, forgettable cars, by trying to give the new TL too many design cues from other cars. That "character" line down the side is most out of place. The interior, which knocks the G35 on it's behind as far as quality of materials/assembly goes, is too busy with aluminum and fake wood all competing for attention. They missed the Audi target by a good mile. You should check out the stereo though, its a first...a DVD based system. Even a Mark Levinson devotee might be impressed.

    The Saab would be just different purchase, it too like the G35 was a real hoot to drive. Don't know if I want another turbo I4 though, and the interior takes some getting used too, you know Swedish design/ergonomics.

    Another shocker: I don't want a BMW!

    lenscap,

    No brochures or anything, just the handing out of cards with the "Phaeton Specialist's" name on it. No luxury car sales tact at all.

    M
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,664
    My 2001 LS430 has a $37k buyout. I think that is the best car for you.

    On the serious side I think the TL and G35 would be great cars for you despite the Japanese origin. They are fresh. The C-class is tired looking and it's too small in size to fit the grill and tail lights that were really designed for and work beautifully on the S-class. I really thought Lexus would get the first DVD audio player into a car. Hats off to Acura for it. I know a few people who had Saabs and they regretted it so be careful there.

    What is the problem with BMW? I thought you loved them.

    Also - why not a three year old off-lease car. Most 3 year old lux cars are better than anything new.
  • u get a s class for the presidential image, and with everything even a s430 costs 87K, so yes its expensive, but the seats are like first class, and do not tire you out on long trips, everything inside is rich looking and large and open. the rear is like a limo, you can cross your legs even.
    the lexus 430 new model is a good copy of the mb. it does have nice wood and soft leather and a nicer nav with touch screen, but the back seat is not the same and nor is the image. the name is totally different.

    the vw would sell if it was priced right, at about 20k less than the a8, but its not and so it will not be a big seller, i dont think they expected it to be as they make their new factory.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well we obviously differ greatly on design concerning the C-Class. I think it's one of the best looking cars in its class, especially in "Sport" trim with the bigger wheels/tires. Between the G35 Coupe and TL, I'd probably have to go with the G35. They both have about the same power, but the G35 Coupe looks so much better than the TL. If only the G35C had a better interior.

    Something about BMW's new choice of direction in styling has turned me off to the whole brand. That combined with not wanting a new 3-Series (the last good looking one left) have ruled BMW out for me. It used to be Mercedes, BMW and Audi in my book. Now it's Mercedes, Audi, with BMW a distant third. Can't explain it, just don't want one now.

    Though we disagree on some things your advice is always appreciated. Wouldn't you know it the only used Euro cars I would want are either too expensive (CLK430) or are a little too troublesome for even me to buy....would love a 2001, or 2002 Audi A6 4.2. Still debating that one.

    M
  • mariner7mariner7 Posts: 509
    I bought a Hugo Boss winter coat, knew I had to have it the minute I tried it on. It retailed close to one grand, I bought it on sale, didn't pay anything close to that price. After wearing it for about five days, the cheap zipper doesn't work anymore. Luckily I can still wear it because of the buttons. But come on, for that price, they use a zipper that Kmart would be ashamed to use!

    Makes me think other German upscale companies also face market pressure and cut corners.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Once I was talking with a US company that had a German operation, and they said that they were issued a summons by the police because they had someone working at the office after 5:30pm...I guess that was illegal because you can't have your workers work too hard or too long hours in Germany. With that kind of worker productivity, yes maybe they have to cut corners elsewhere to compete with Chinese factories.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,664
    Most of Europe is that way. On a Friday the beer starts coming out around 3:30. Everyone is gone by 4:30. It's hard to find people at the exec level around in August at any time. Remember also stores are closed on Sundays. Most people get 5-10 weeks vacation per year. You also don't worry much about getting fired. Different culture and work ethic than America.

    Contrast all that with Japanese that are shoved onto subway cars and work till they drop. Europe is lax, America is efficient and a bit crazy and the Japanese are totally gone. There is more to life than work.
  • mariner7mariner7 Posts: 509
    Having said that, I know that the Japanese admire German cars. There's a Japanese grocery store nearby that I visit, usually just to look at the auto mags. There are several glossy thick mags that are seemingly devoted exclusively to Italian and German cars.

    In this country, we may see Lexus and Infiniti as coming close to MB & BMW, and superior to them in some ways. But I doubt if people in Japan will feel that way, even when they get a chance to drive Lexus and Infiniti in the future.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,664
    Why not a three year old 5 series or E320? I'd prefer either over the Audi and I still think the old E is a classic looking car.
  • a 3-yr old Merc if out of warranty may cost more to maintain than, say, a new G35C with full warranty, all for about the same price. You can really overlook the less than stellar interior of the G35C, and enjoy the ride. It is truly a great riding and handling sports coupe. A true hit from Infiniti. It's just that the name just doesn't resonate as much as a BMW or MB, but you really don't lose anything in ownership. Nissan/Infiniti is one understated brand, or that diamond in the rough, imo. A few left turns does not really detract from the bright stars in the den.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I driven the E-Class enough, there are two family members with E's. The 5-Series is thought I guess. I guess I really want the fat fendered A6 4.2.

    M
  • Merc1

    Couldn't agree with you more about the A6 4.2 I looked at a used 2003 with 14k miles, black on black with aftermarket 18 inch wheels. It was spectacular! Not the room of my 7, but plenty for 4. Unfortunately, Audi's reputation for big mechanical issues puts me off. Also, for some reason this car was not a certified car, despite being at an Audi dealer. Just the remainder of 4yr/50k miles under warranty. I will say however that a quick drive and those flared fenders have really got me thinking...
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Yes, even I the survey detractor have to look at the Audi sideways, only because my own personal observations haven't been good concerning the V8 drivetrain in the A6 4.2 and the previous A8 with the same engine. They are known for drop their transmission from time to time, especially the A8. A friend of mine was looking at a 1998 C280 at a Audi dealership, but Audi couldn't sell him the car because the person who traded the C280 in for a 2000 A8 had a trans failure a day after he drove off in the A8. It seems Audi was giving him static about fixing the trans so he began to raise hell about getting his old car back. Not sure what the outcome of this was. A 2000 A8 is in my price range, but oh no. That and insurance (aluminum car) would be too much for me. I wouldn't go near an Audi with "Audi Certified" being stamped all over the windshield (lol). It's a gorgeous car though and if I go "pre-driven" as they like to say now, it's my first pick.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Is it me or has Autospies run completely out of gas? Like always their reporting is full or errors and in this case way too much repetition. This is about the most ridiculous "report" I've seen from them yet in the fact that some of it true and part of it is pure fantasy. P.S. The Frankfurt autoshow is in Sept of 2005, hardly early in the year.

    http://www.imakenews.com/autospies/e_article000203773.cfm

    M
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    I think of them as the National Enquirer of the autorag business. Their motto should be "don't let the facts get in the way".
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    I think autospies is quilty of more than just errors and repitition. I think they KNOWINGLY publish fabricated stories in order to generate more readership. For example, their "scoop" of about 9-12 months ago that the 2004 LS would involve a fairly radical "total exterior redesign". The story was complete with drawings (actually of an MB concept they said the LS would resemble) and the claim that they got the story from a west coast "meeting of lexus sales managers". Utter hogwash. Then they published pictures, maybe 6-12 month ago, of the next gen S...I thought it so closely resembled the current S that it couldn't possibly be what they claimed it was.
  • I had a 2001 Black/Melange. It was a beautiful car, but required too many visits to the shop during the months that I owned it. I bought it used. The previous owner smoked. I could never quite get rid of the smell during hot weather. I even bought my own ozone machine!
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I know right. They are really something. It wouldn't be such rubbish if they said they're guessing, but they try to pass that mess off as fact and that they have type of corporate spy working at Lexus, MB and others. Most of accurate info they like to report as a Autospies "exclusive" is usually reported in real publications like AutoWeek and Automotive News weeks earlier!!

    I wouldn't even care if so many people didn't take them seriously. You'd be amazed how many people actually believe their "scoop" stories.

    M
  • Merc1, is insurance costs really an issue with aluminium bodied cars? If you're right, this should hurt the new Jag??

    Did I read you correctly that despite your hots for a fat fendered A6 if it WAS Audi Certified you would avoid it? So, that leaves you turning to Ebay and cars.com?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    About insurance, yes and no. For someone around my age, a car like an A8 would be costly to insure anyway, but being constructed of aluminum wouldn't help matters. Now the target group for cars like the XJ and A8, Donfenn, ljfix and others have those much deeper pockets....

    No I meant I would buy an A6 4.2 only if was certified.

    M
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