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High End Luxury Cars

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  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    First of all, personal attacks are not necessary.

    I don't give a hoot about the Nav, that has nothing to do with 0-60, braking, or road feel. I did say that with i-drive, perception seems to be reality, but I personally don't have a problem with it.

    I'm not sure what the point of your post is. To me the 7-series is the better vehicle in it's class. I like the looks better, I like the ride better, I like the interior better. Maybe the Ultra has more supple leather, but so what? The 7 sure isn't perfect, but neither is the LS. A number of different factors go into picking a car, but they are different for each of us. But I for one, don't want an Avalon on steriods, but I recognize some do.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    BMW owner says:

    "the seven series is superior inside and out to lexus"

    Lexus owner ask the following in their rebuttal regarding the 7-Series vs the LS430:

    Does it have superior Dependability?

    No the 7-Series doesn't, but I don't think anyone said it did. The comment about "inside and out" as most people would read it relates to design, not the always talked about reliability surveys.

    Superior Ride

    Nope. What about handling though? See how one group prioritizes the opposite quality in their luxury mount? BMW folk regard Lexi as riding like their not even touching the road with a corresponding lack of handling. Apples to Oranges.

    Superior comfort

    Highly debatable, and this depends on what the person looks at when judging comfort. Ride, quietness, seats etc. etc. all come into play here. For some the BMW will be a hard-riding noisy car, and the Lexus like riding in an Amana, Apples to Oranges here.

    Superior Price (in terms of a lower price not higher)
    Superior sound system
    Superior Nav system

    I'm yawning at these three sorry.

    Superior Emissions (in terms of Lower emissions)

    What? This is noticeable to a buyer in what way? Does anyone really care either way? Neither car is a smoger.

    Superior safety systems

    Nope, the Lexus has a Mercedes style Pre-Safe system so Lexus would appear to be more advanced here. Not sure if that makes the LS superior overall in safety though, haven't seen the crash stuff on either. There are a lot of other factors here.

    Is it more quiet.

    Nope the 7 isn't, but it isn't a noise box either like some Lexus fans would lead you to believe it is.

    Does it have a superior dealer and service network

    What the heck does this have to do with someone saying the 7-Series is superior inside and out. This is a classic Lexi response, only the charts, graphs and customer service stuff is truly important.

    My point is that a BMW and Lexus debate at the 7-Series/LS level is pointless because the two cars practically bracket the segment in philosophy.

    M
  • saugataksaugatak Posts: 488
    People I talk to, don't fault the 7 series mechanically, they fault the i-drive.

    It's not just that. i-drive has also contributed to making the 7 series interior an ergonomic mess, mainly because the shifter is right next to the window wiper shaft.

    Why is the shifter in such an awkward position? Because they had to make room for the i-drive.

    Aside from i-drive, weird interior ergonomics and the nasty Bangle butt, I prefer the 7-series to the LS.

    IMO the key to Lexus's success is that they do a few boring things really well (reliability, interior luxury and ergonomics) and don't screw anything up badly. The LS430 is the greatest boring car ever made, no doubt.

    Meanwhile, BMW makes what should be a superior car but then cripples it with odd engineering and design decisions.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Yes there is a similar situation going on now......but the biggest difference between Rolls and
    Mercedes and Mercedes and Lexus is that Mercedes isn't an outdated, poorly engineered car like
    Rollers were back then. Rollers lacked basic luxury car equipment like stability control, side airbags
    and HID lights...the list goes on. They didn't even get these things until 1998, when Mercedes had
    them at least 8-10 years prior. Mercedes might have a reliability problem, but they haven't
    compromised their other core strengths in the least, but you make a valid obeservation. The
    perception has changed in the minds of people who own Lexuses, but overall in this country and
    worldwide Mercedes is far from finished and they still have the prestige and clout to go with that
    position. Secondly, unlike Rolls-Royces up until 1998 or so, Mercedes still builds at lease some segment
    leading cars and no amount of reliability praise will overcome that when it comes to the SL, CL and
    upper S-Class models. Rolls didn't have anything but their rep, Mercedes still has the tech, engineering, and performance to back up the rep, only their reliability and early build on certain models faultered. Big difference from Rolls whose whole lineup was completely outdated.

    And nobody sighted would even think Lexus has even begun to overtake Mercedes in style, that is completely nuts. There isn't a truly stylish Lexus made, and just about everything Mercedes is dripping style, if nothing else in the typical Lexi's mind. Lexus has the dullest, most boringly styled group of cars in the industry!

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    " If Lexus cars are so boring, then why would anyone buy them? "

    You are kidding right? Same reason why people buy every other boring car you see on the road. Reliability, comfort, practicality, room, etc. etc. the list goes on and on........none of this means that the car isn't boring or that it is particularly exciting. SUVs are the most non-fun things you can drive and people love them. Please don't try to imply that great sales mean that Lexi aren't boring.

    "BMW wasn't considered a top tier brand until the 7 Series arrived.

    Huh? You'll have to explain that one. FYI, the "7-Series" has been around since 1977.

    Please tell me when BMW as considered a 2nd tier brand, or not up to Lexus. The 5-Series alone put them, product/price/perception wise, higher than any of the Japanese brands until the LS430 went upmarket for 2001, only to meet the 7-Series which has been there for years.

    M
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    "My contention is not that Lexus has poor body rigidity or bad brakes. Only that the BMW is better. It's a better driving car. And, it leads the luxury segment in sales."

    What does that have to do with durability, which you say is soo superior in a BMW?
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    merc1,

    I think when sv7887 said "BMW wasn't considered a top tier brand until the 7 Series arrived." he meant when the redesigned 7-series came out in the late 80s. The 7-series before that was no competition to the S-class, which always had V8 offerings alongside 6-cylinders. The 7-series until the 90s only had a 6 and the 7-series of the early 80's was not playing in anywhere near the same ballpark as the Benz S-class.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    And about this ridiculous BMW vs. lexus thing. You know(and so does everyone else) that in terms of ride, handling, the S-class, 7-series, A8, Jag XJ8, LS430 are all very similar. I mean they all handle really well for their size and all stop well, and all ride well, and all are extremely quiet. The difference's are small, such as the LS430 handles a bit worse and rides a bit better and the 745i handles a bit better and rides a bit worse.

    As for livinbmw, I believe as someone else pointed out before, he is just simply here to light a fire! Maybe he's unemployed and has nothing better to do.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I'll go for that about the 7-Series vs the S-Class of that time period. BMW didn't really step up to the plate until 1988 when they introduced the V12 750iL.

    I have to disagree slightly with the notion that the differences aren't that much between these cars. On driving feel alone the BMW 7-Series is way different from the LS430. You're right, all the cars at this level do stop, go, ride and handle pretty well and some are better than others in certain areas here, but it is the way they go about doing these things combined with those slight differences in ride, handling etc. etc. that make a BMW a BMW and a Lexus a Lexus.

    In my personal experience with both, there are things I did while driving a 745i Sport I wouldn't dare attempt with a 2001-2003 LS430, not that the average buyer drives like I drove those cars on that particular day.

    M
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    Being that I have a friend who works for Lexus' corporate office in NJ, he has invited me to a ride & drive event that dealers also go to in previous years, Actually once, in 2002. It was at Freehold raceway park in NJ where they set up handling courses, wet track to test the skid controls, slalom cones, drag strip for acceleration runs and so on. Here they have all sorts of cars besides Lexus'. Some cars I remember driving: 2001-2002 MB S430, prev. generation 745i, 2002 LS430(w/o 17"), Cadillac STS, BMW 540i, Lexus GS430, MB E430. Some observations after driving these cars was that all out, the 740i wasn't all that much a better handler than the LS430. IMO, steering feel was better and handling was slightly better. I was able to do the slalom run at about the same speed in both cars and on the other end of the spectrum on the "rough track" section the 740i drove just a tad bit rougher than the LS430. Either way, I found both, to be very similar cars, each just a little bit different from the other in certain areas. I largely feel car magazines blow things out of proportion when they talk about cars to sell more issues. Such as steering feel & handling.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,675
    That was my experience as well. It's also why I never buy into the comparos being honest. Too often subjective things determine outcomes which is a way of saying I'll make the car I want to win be the winner.

    Vcheng - that link is incredibly revealing. I know how serious JD Powers is in the industry because I once looked at acquiring it for my old company. It's results are the Bible to the auto mfrs. In fact many auto companies have bonus systems tied to improvement in CR and JDP survey results. It is very similar to bonus systems used in the Music industry with chart performance. When I looked at JDP I had a consulting firm interview auto execs. I know how seriously the data is taken and why it'snever refuted. That's why I laugh at the posts on this board that try to undermine the surveys.

    merc1 - couldn't agree with you more on the MB and Rolls analogy. MB is a reliability issue and that's all. They are still in the lead or very near the top in advancing the industry, whereas Rolls went into a rip van winkle sleepfest. In fact the latter - trying to maintain that #1 position in development - is part of the cause of their reliability problems. Another part may simply be systematic to all of europe. I have seen some consulting reports that simply state the current group of European workers (in all industries) are simply not up to snuff with the people they are replacing.
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hi All,
      Sturdiness does evoke questions about the construction about the car..I suppose it depends on how you define it.

      "Boring" is a relative term. There are some of us who actually find our Lexi engaging. Just as some of you dismiss your car's technical issues as "Quirks" we do the same for the "boring" issue.
    In both cases the apparent issues aren't enough to stop our enjoyment of the car. I've stated many times that Lexus builds the most customer friendly car out there. I don't think anyone can refute that. Personally, the LS's superior durability, dealer support, and features are enough to keep me a Lexus customer.

    I suppose I could drone on about this and never convince a BMW/MB owner to try one..The opposite is probably true. We are all very passionate about or cars. Merc, I suppose you're right when you say buying a car isn't a totally rational decision.

    If we all wanted the same things in a Luxury car then the market would require only one nameplate. I take issue with those who try to claim their car is "better" than Lexus. Of course we Lexus owners will fire back with every single objective data we have. This data would indicate that the Lexus will offer you a better ownership experience. That's the only way to refute the claim, with hard evidence.

    The way I see it, the German MB/BMW owners cite subjective data. I haven't driven a BMW, but have driven S Class cars..The difference isn't as dramatic as the magazine may have you believe. If you prefer a more "engaging" driving experience, then by all means go buy a Mercedes or BMW. (Where does Jaguar fit in all of this?)

    But don't criticize our beloved Lexi, otherwise we'll drown you will years of JDP and CR data!

    SV
  • livinbmwlivinbmw Posts: 120
    The sturdier, better performing BMW's have the highest resale Value among luxury brands according to Automotive Lease Guide and CEO John Blair (jblair@alg.com).
    I guess the reliability issues might be a bit overblown by toyota/lexus owners. By the way my 5 series managed to make it in to work today.
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Livinbmw,

    I'm sure your 5 series made it to work today.
    None of us have attempted to categorize the BMW has a German Pinto. But the data says a Lexus will have fewer issues than anything else.

    Again you've claimed the BMW to be sturdier and better performing..Where is the data to back this up? The past few posts have cited data showing the LS at par with the competition.

    Yet you cry foul when we point out that a Lexus will more reliable, ride more comfortably and offer a better ownership experience. Is it our fault a 6 yr old LS400 is more reliable than a new 7 Series? Do we even care that the 7 Series handles marginally better? No. We will all be laughing all the way to the bank.

    As for residuals, it's been stated on this board in the past that the LS has a higher residual than the 7 Series. (And it would appear so based on my Non-Scientific look in the paper) Anyone know?

    SV
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,675
    7-series residuals have always been horreendous. LS residuals are the best of the lux group right now by a good sized margin. Historically S-class residuals - up to the past 2 or 3 years have held the crown - in some cases by wide margins. The BMW that drives its residuals high as a brand is the 3 series - not a car that is this board's subject. The E-class residuals had also been very high at one time but have dropped dramatically in the past few years. I'm not measuring residuals in leases. I'm measuring what the car sells for today as a percent of its MSRP. In 2001 the S-class residual built into the lease quoptes I got was 67%. But the value after 3 years declined to 54%. Thus someone - probably an insurance company had a nice sized loss. The LS residualized at 62% in the lease and 63% in actuality. At the resale value a dealer would sell to a consumer it held at 73% of its MSRP.
  • livinbmwlivinbmw Posts: 120
    The term "german pinto" has not come up until now. I don't recall crying foul in any sense and simply contend that the 'bimmer is a superior driving car........not marginally mind you but superior. And, this observation is not exclusive to the 7 and LS as all of these posts seem to want to focus on but the entire product line.

    For instance, the RX330 is a sloppy handler with extreme overhangs, short wheelbase and intrusive stability control while the X3 is nimble, precise and a sports car-like handler for less money than the fancy camry wagon chick car.

     
    12.03.2003 - MSN

    Automotive Lease Guide's Residual Value Winners
    by the Editors of MSN Autos

    Honda and Toyota lead the way for vehicles with the best residual value at lease end.

    For the fifth year in a row, Honda Motor Co. is a leader among automakers, winning the Industry Brand Residual Value Award from Automotive Lease Guide (ALG). BMW also garnered top honors in the luxury segment, winning the Luxury Brand Residual Value Award. These awards are based on 2004 model-year vehicles.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,675
    Meaningless report. It's a summary of what residuals they are building into the leases. Winner in 2001 would have been MB easily with that 67% residual built into the lease. Real world residuals of the 2001 cars were far off that figure - by 12+%. You won't be able to tell the real residuals on 2004 cars until 2007. BMW will do whatever they need to in order to uphold its MSRP. One way to do it is with high lease residuals. Another way is with low interest rates. Still another way to do it is free maintenance. In the accounting reports the auditors undoubtedly will make them lower that revenue by the future maintenance costs or accrue future maintenance expenses against it. The first way is the right way but the second is acceptable. The free maintenance was and is a shrewd CFO's way of upholding revenue and it plays strategically well with marketing..
  • livinbmwlivinbmw Posts: 120
    Meaningless? Lenders that do lease programs use this data now to write binding contracts.
     Meaningless? Go to any dealer in the country and ask them if the current residuals have any meaning.
     Meaningless? It's not meaningless to a consumer who is looking at lease payments when comparing different models.

    By the way........Mercedes is dropping Full Maintenance and BMW has added the option of Full Maintenance for up to 100,000 miles.

    Is that meaningless, too?
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    Do you not know what dealers look at when the evaluate trade-ins? They don't look at automotive lease guide. What they do look at is NADA guide, and auction prices. They look at auction prices to see what prices similar cars have sold for in the very recent past.

    To see that the LS430 for example has higher resale value than the 745i, simply take a look at dealer ads for used cars(a few years old) and then do the math. You'll find the LS430 holds more of it's value in the real world. And not just the LS430, but also the RX330, LX470, GX470. And the other models have resale at or near the top of their respective classes also.

    Keep inciting...
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    "I guess the reliability issues might be a bit overblown by toyota/lexus owners."

    Kinda like the handling and sturdiness is outrageously overblown by you!!
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    "For instance, the RX330 is a sloppy handler with extreme overhangs, short wheelbase and intrusive stability control while the X3 is nimble, precise and a sports car-like handler for less money than the fancy camry wagon chick car."

    Not according to what I've read in regards to the RX330.

    And I see the nimbleness, precise sports-car like handling is what people are looking for in a SUV!

    Let's not forget how all the magazines trashed the X3's ride characteristics!
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,675
    The banks do their own residuals and don't give out the data. The data you are reading is from internal lending sources within the manufacturer. A conservative business plan will adopt a low residual and an agreesive, take chances business plan will promote a high one. Besides, the residual is only a component of the contract, along with interest rates and other things. It's all a game. How else do you explain to me that a 7-series at $76K could be leased at the same price and for the same terms as a $65K car while upholding most of its MSRP.

    It's meaningless to me as a measurement of the future value of the car - which is what you were touting. That value is determined in the real world - 3 years from now - not by what someone puts into a lease today.

    Free maintenance - maybe MB is dropping it because it was costing them too much. Obviously it didn't work within the context of the financials because if it did they'd keep it going.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    "For instance, the RX330 is a sloppy handler with extreme overhangs, short wheelbase and intrusive stability control while the X3 is nimble, precise and a sports car-like handler for less money than the fancy camry wagon chick car."

    Dont make me laugh. How old are you, 12? The X3 is a $45K bone-jarring bounce machine with a low rent interior that has been ripped apart by most automags. Its also TINY. The X5 already has less interior room than the RX, which means X3 is about the size of the RAV4, not the RX. How are X3s selling compared to RX btw, can you answer that one? And as others have said, sorry but the LS is built like a bank vault. You might win skidpad, or 0-60 arguments, but when it comes to body rigidity and safety, you lose.
  • livinbmwlivinbmw Posts: 120
    I know exactly how dealers evaluate trades .......... more so than you I'm sure. I didn't at all say that a dealer would use this to evaluate a trade-in. Stay on point or change the subject. Fact remains that BMW has the highest residuals of any luxury make in the industry.
    And, by the way, dealers would very rarely use NADA to come up with a value. Bankers use NADA to loan money. Dealers use a Black Book that reflect auction prices. That's the real world.
  • highenderhighender Posts: 1,362
    I kinda like the older RX300. Looks are subjective.

    Like the X5 too. Drives excellent. steering feel is best of all cars.

    But I ended up with the Porsche Cayenne. Great for almost every situation. No need to change cars . IT 's sturdy, safe, fast , stops, handles, etc...

    but needs to improve the reliability a little. I have not had any problems, but know of some who have problems.

    Last year, JD Powers rated Porsche as the best car maker overall, with Lexus 2nd.

    This year, its diff. Porsche has fallen to x spot, but lexus is still up there, #1 , I believe.

    Still love the cayenne....and will not trade it for anything....

    :)
  • livinbmwlivinbmw Posts: 120
    I'm 36 lexusguy and you're a little over the line with the insult, I believe. Perhaps, the host would agree.

    Just so you know about the pricing, which you are completely wrong about, the base price on a 2.5 X3 is about 31 grand and reasonably equipped is about 36 or so. The 3.0 base price is about 35 grand and reasonably equipped is about 40 grand. So, I don't know where you're coming from with the $45k number. The body length of the RX is about 6 inches more than the X3 but the wheelbase is about 4 inches shorter in the Lexus (hence, better handling and a much better 4 wheel drive technology). The body width of the two are within an inch of each other. The heighth is nearly identical. So, where does the term "tiny" come in? Futhermore, the X3 has more interior cargo room than the X5 as they are two totally different vehicles.

    Certainly, I can answer the question of how are they selling in comparison. The RX sells nearly 10,000 units per month. The X3 is selling about 2500 per month. The combined sales of the X3 and X5 are still about 2000 units per month less than the RX. Lexus has a strong hold on the market but the X3 is a superior driver.

    BMW's volume leader obviously is the 3 series where they dominate the segment. The IS300 was introduced to be a 3 series beater.....last month the IS300 sold 1092 units and the 3 series sold 11,001.

    So...........
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    Come back to planet reality. Mercedes Benz has the highest overall residuals in the luxury marketplace.

    No, dealers use NADA guides as well as auction guides to appraise trade-ins.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    I would suggest you don't go the route of saying x car is better than y because of sales numbers.

    If the 3-series is better than the IS300 because of sales, by your own logic, then the LS430 must be better than the 7-series, and the RX-better than either the X3 or X5.
  • Merc.

    Thank you...You made virtually all my points...Yes, you did try to spinn some points be we can all see through that. The inexcapable conclusion is that unless you want to speed on twisty roads the Lexus is the superior car both inside and out....The only exception is for people who prize a car that is devoted to handling...which is probable fairly rare in the Luxury Car segment.

    The BMW 7 series is not superior to Lexus inside and out..(PS I interpert inside and out to mean the entire care)
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