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High End Luxury Cars

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  • mvargo1mvargo1 Posts: 298
    There is a performance in house tuner for Lexus that brands the cars as L-tuned. They have done a GS but have not done anything with the LS series.

    Caddy will offer a full range of rear wheel drive models in the next few years.
  • arcoatesarcoates Posts: 221
    Thanks mvargo1. I knew Toyota could not not have a plan for specially tuned cars. They are pretty market savvy.

    As for the RWD caddies, the first I know to use the new sigma platform will be the 2002 CTS, formerly the Catera. I have a good feeling about my predictions- hopefully they will turn out to be valid.~ A.R.
  • wbwynnwbwynn Posts: 246
    Now there's a success story....shameful!!
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Ejerod - as long as you're going to buy the car you should spell it correctly. The Brits get very upset about this stuff.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    .. you never know... maybe the infamous Spell Checker got the poster! :-)

    Pat
    Host
    Sedans and Women's Auto Center Message Boards
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Thank you. Well as far as the C looking like the S, it's always been that way. The previous C from 1994-2000 looked just like the S-Class from 1992-1999 (the infamous W140-Tanks) the 190E looked like the 420/560SEL's of the day. The previous C, especially at night was almost impossible to tell from the 1999 S-Class if the car was coming from behind you. Now granted the new C is an exact copy of the S, but it's just keeping it in the family. The E has always been the style leader, now I expect the next E (2003) to break away from the S and C look with something different. Actually there is spy/enhanced photo of the 2003 E in the E-Class topic. It looks similar to the S of course, but it's not exactly like it. I still way let Lexus make their "big move", Mercedes will always be Mercedes-Benz. They've been around too long to be toppled that easy, or at least not to see it coming. Believe it or not I really thought Lexus would make it, especially I saw the first dealership (Chicago area) around here. Then I looked at their main car (LS400) and who it was imitating. I thought here's a Japanese Benz, and that's basically what they are.

    Naturally I like all Mercedes cars, but the E has always been the "best" one for me. It's the right size and price and it gives a good dose of the Benz experience. My favorite E were the 1986-1995 W124 models. I don't know if you remember those, but they defined what a "Mercedes-Benz" is. Pure.

    Funny thing about all this is that in 5-7 years Hyundai will probably have a 45K car, and/or a luxury division.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    You're right on some things, wrong on others. I don't know if you've been to the autoshows this season, but the new Q doesn't even attract any attention. HP is going to have to mean a lot, because to me this is sorry, pitiful car, I would rather have (gulp!) the LS430. Japanese have no design talent at all. If that is what the new Z is going to look like they can keep it. The previous car was good looking, but this new one isn't. Mercedes' parent company didn't buy Chrysler because of Lexus, I know you don't think that. If that was the case, Daimler-Benz would have done something in 1993, when they were at their lowest point of the previous decade. I guess what I keep hearing from you is that Toyota/Lexus changed the world so much and it just isn't so. GM will never have BMW. Never. Ever. What technology did Lexus have 2-3 years before Mercedes. I would really like to know that.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Cadillac has a chance of truly competing, but they are chasing a moving target that is already way ahead of them. GM's problem is that they don't sweat the details of luxury car construction like Mercedes, BMW and yes Lexus. Lexus is the just more of the same nightmare for GM. The Camry handles one end and the LS430 the other. The Europeans have the luxury car know-how to compete better with the Japanese. Cadillac's Northstar is one good engine, and a rwd will complement it, but if Cadillac doesn't do something more with the way they build their cars, the advantages of the engine/chassis combo will be lost. Mercedes, BMW and Lexus cars don't fall apart after 50K miles, like so many GM cars do. I'm so anxious to see what the 2004 Seville will be like, but by then a new E, GS, and 5-Series will be right there waiting. Then there is Audi, Jaguar, Infiniti and I think everyone is going to be surprised when Acura decides to seriously compete in the upper segments. I know they have the RL, but it get trounced by almost all of it's 6-cylinder competition.

    M
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Was the E the car in the "Four Seasons" that fell into the lake? DO I have the right movie - You know the one with Alan Alda? That was a classic car. I also don't like looks of the new Q - but have a feeling it will be hot. Let's see.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    I didn't say Lexus had technology before MB. Only that it had a huge car base to pass it onto. In the business world that kind of leverage is a huge advantage. Their strategy could have backfired but it didn't. That's why MB had no choice. But Juergen has made colossal bad moves since the deal. You don't buy a company and then turn off their management team the way he did. Foolish German pride.
  • arcoatesarcoates Posts: 221
    I agree merc1- that is the only problem with GM. I think it's because they have always been the worlds largest company, and sell their cars regardless of the interior pieces. It's almost as if they have the same workmanship standards from the Cavalier to the STS. If they want to compete, they are gonna have to wise up.

    Acura better have something good with the new RL- because at the moment it is no competition to the rest. And the new Q is extremely ungainly in design- the front headlights, although revolutionary (they claim) are so huge they make the car look funny. The rest of it is so conservative, that I agree I would take the LS430 over it.

    The next few years should be interesting in this market- with all the new money around, more car companys are going to try and join this market, and there is going to be some extremely good cars out there~ A.R.
  • My mothers birthday, and my fathers retirement are coming up soon. I would like to purchase them both a car. I am planing on getting my mom an S430, and with the options I feel she would want it came out to $81,084. I am either getting my dad a CLK55 or a CL500. I am leaning to the CL500, because that seems to be a good mix of premium luxury and sports, although the price is a little outrageous. The dealer offered me 72k for the CLK55, and $90,022 for the CL500. I am going tommorow to make an order on two cars, any input before I decide on what to get them? Also do you think the S500 is worth the extra premium, that came out to $91,124, for my mom? Thanks for your help!
  • I am not getting the CL or the S500, I think I'll put my order in for the S430, and the CLK55 AMG. Dealer brought the S430 down to 78.5k, and the CLK is set in stone at MSRP. Making the order tommorow, ignore most of the other post.
  • wbwynnwbwynn Posts: 246
    If you love them....buy the LS430 for one of them, so you will be sure that one of them will still love you!! Take the savings and give them a trip around the world.....

    It's a no-brainer....
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I didn't see that movie. Try www.mercedesshop.com and go to the "featured cars" section and look at the 300E/E320, 400E/E420, and 500E/E500 cars. Thats the E I was speaking of. I went to the Detroit show last month and the Chicago show the other day and the new Q isn't even being looked at. I think after the first 6 months everyone that really wants one will have one, after that it'll be in the 99 cents bin like the current car. I not sure I understand your comments about Lexus' base that they passed the technology on to and that "Mercedes had no choice". I'm not clear on what you're trying say there. Now the merger/buy-out I agree with, it's a big mess. I don't see how anyone could have thought it was a merger of equals. I for one almost had to be hospitalized the day I heard of it. (ha ha...)

    M
  • Thats not a bad Idea! I have changed my mind again, and I think my dad mentioned wanting a convertible. If the AMG came in a Cabrio. I would most likely get that, but as it is I'm just going to get him a CLK430 Cabrio. And my mom...
    Well she has never really liked Mercedes, so I think I am going to order her a BMW 540i sport, I'll just load it up real nice, and although it won't be an equivalent to the S, I just dont think its practical to go out and buy to 80k+ cars. Thank you for your help. I Am taking Tuesday off from work, so I'll go make the orders then.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    What I meant was that once Lexus developed a new technology it kept it for itself - usually 2-3 years than passed it onto Toyota to use in their broad base of cars. The capitalized development cost of the technology asset could be spread over a longer period of time (improved income statement) and Toyota saved cash on development for the everyday cars. The new dvd based nav system for example is already in the Landcruiser and will work its way down the Toyota line in a few years. Don't be surprised if an Avalon is getting it at the same time as MB is upgrading to DVD. Toyotas already have dashboard cd players, MB's are still in the trunk. These are just a couple of the evident ones - there are so many engineering based ones as well like traction control etc. MB couldn't keep their prices competitive if they didn't have a platform to spread their technology to. BMW is in that position right now. Technology license deals will not solve the problem. BMW's fine for the next few years but beyond that they are in trouble. Their profit margins are way lower than Toyota already.

    I know these brands are revered here but in truth if they don't make the right business moves they won't be able to engineer the cars we are used to in the future. Let's face it they don't have the luxury of raising prices the way they did in the pre-1990 era.
  • Does anyone know what the new 2002 Jag will look like? Is there major changes in appearance?
    I am now dealing for a 98 VDP with 47K miles. Could anyone give me any insite on the non-dealer warranty? I talked to a Jag dealer and they told me to make sure that the warranty company paid directly to the dealer and not to me. This would mean if there was major problem, I would have to come out of pocket before I was reimbursed by the Warranty company. Any help anyone/
  • bwhbwh Posts: 76
    Thats all very interesting. I however as a consumer will buy the car I like best. The companies financial statement means nothing to me. Buying a Lexus based on their bottom line seems beside the point, the car is not an investment.
  • mvargo1mvargo1 Posts: 298
    I would strongly suggest that you get the Jaguar Select Edition Warrenty. Not only will the warrenty be from Jaguar, but you will also get 5.9% financing. Most aftermarket warrenty companies that provide jag warrenties are very expensive and do not offer nearly as much coverage as Jag's Select Edition coverage. Also non-Jaguar Warrenties will sometimes have considerable deductables and sometimes will allow use of non Jaguar parts. You are buying a car that finished sixth on the last JD powers long term reliability survay, but it is expensive to repair when something breaks.
  • Is there a JDPowers info site that I can look up the reliability of the 1998 JAG VDP? Any help would be appreciated.
  • bwhbwh Posts: 76
    Just don't put a lot of stock into what that survey says. For instance, Jaguar used to be well know for being problematic. Still they have strong repeat business because of the type of market they cater to. So an owner of a shoddy 1990 VDP who trades into a nice new V8 VDP will be astonished by the improvement in quality. This will be reflected in the survey, lets just say they were a little jaded from previous experience. Now if a Lexus owner has any trouble, even the smallest item, it is likely to be reflected in the survey. What I am trying to illustrate is that the survey is not as reliable as one would hope due to auto brand loyalty. That said, I would not buy ANY of the cars listed without a service contract of some type, the factory backed ones being the best.
  • arcoatesarcoates Posts: 221
    We are having a great discussion in the Seville STS- Two board about RWD vs. FWD, and what a true luxury car in this class should have. Because the STS is switching to RWD in the near future, some of the diehards prefer the FWD. Check it out, it's interesting.~A.R.

    P.S. Webmaster, I hope this is okay to do, and not breaking the rules.
  • I am considering buying an XJ series Jag - say from 1995 to 1998.
    (1) What advice can you give me ? XJ6 or XJ8 ?
    Models to avoid ? What mileage range would be advisable ?
    (2) What about the "unreliablility" of Jags - true or false for these model years ?
    (3) What extended warrenty is best among those available ?
    (4) Any other advice to someone "new to Jag" ?

    Thanks !
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Oh you mean within the Toyota empire, Lexus kept the technology for themselves. Yes that's true, luxury brand first. I'll be the first on to admit that Mercedes and all other German cars (Porsche is a disgrace) are way behind on in-car entertainment. Mercedes still doesn't offer an in-dash CD player standard, which quite frankly is silly and absurd for a 2001 model car. Remember I'm probably their 2nd biggest fan on all of Edmunds. Are you saying that Lexus has traction control first? I think it went like this, Lexus was first in the U.S. on the 1990 LS400, but the 500SL (also new for 1990) had it also, but in Europe only, it came to the U.S. on the 500SL for 1991. Cadillac *may have* had it in 1989 on the Allante. Not sure, but possible. You can't expect BMW's profit margins to be as high as Toyota's, look at the size of the 2 companies. As long as BMW does what they do best, build the best sporting luxury cars on earth they'll be ok, if not bursting at the seams with cash like you say Toyota is. You have to remember that Germans are very stubborn, they rarely if ever sell cars at a loss. And Mercedes' prices are only competitive at base, with options Mercedes' cars are still ususually thousands more than their nearest competitor, excluding BMW. Yes they have more standard equipment now, and they are cheaper than their direcet predessors, but they'll never cost less than a Japanese car. So far there hasn't been any technology from MB implemented on any Chrysler products, if that is what you meant by MB having another "platform" to spread costs too. Otherwise they've always spreaded techlogoy from the bigger cars to the smaller ones.

    M
  • bwhbwh Posts: 76
    Never intended to entertain you with anything other than race car moves. I never even listen to the CD player in my Porsche when its on the track where it belongs.
  • arcoatesarcoates Posts: 221
    Personally, I would opt for the XJ6. There wasn't a huge improvement switching from the I6 to the V8. To compare, the I6 had 245 bhp, and 289 ft.lb. of torque. The V8 has 290 bhp, and 290 ft.lb. of torque. So, in day to day driving, where torque is more important, they are equal.

    The body styles are nearly identical, the XJ6's will be cheaper, interiors almost the same (I prefer the XJ6 interior design to the XJ8 actually). The XJ8's will come with more standard equipment, but any Jag buyer would load it to the gills anyway.

    We got our XJ6 used, as you will, and it had the "Select Jaguar Warranty" I think it's called. It's whatever Jaguar gives to it's used cars, that's the name. And it pretty much covers everything.

    I would say go for a 1996-97 XJ6. It's always better not to buy the first year of a car. I would also say to go for the Vanden Plas, as the rear-seat room in the standard wheelbase is pitiful.

    As for the reliability problems, Ford had owned Jaguar for a number of years when these models came out, and they worked out most of the bugs.

    They are great cars to buy used. The mileage isn't really an issue, since the engines are engineered to high standards. I'd say somewhere in the 60,000m range.

    I think you will be happy with either an XJ6 or an XJ8, but I would advise to go for the XJ6. Better fuel economy, and not much of a difference from the V8. Good luck.~ A.R>
  • You diss Lexus for their emphasis on ride and tranquillity and recommend the Jag? Come one now. The Jaguar has far less of the driving dynamic you say you love in the German makes. It's a soft, luxurious car in the British tradition -- and it's showing its age. Check out the latest comparison test in Auto World Weekly -- the Jag came out on the bottom for a whole host of reasons, including lack of power.

    As for bwh's comment that "The companies financial statement means nothing to me. Buying a Lexus based on their bottom line seems beside the point, the car is not an investment," I believe he missed the point. What ljflx was saying is that by following a sound business plan, Lexus will always have the necessary capital to meet the market head-on, whereas Mercedes is already in trouble because of its disastrous handling of the D/C merger and Mitsu buy-out. D/C's stock went up following the rumor (some say floated by D/C executive staff) that Toyota was thinking about buying them out. What does that tell you?
  • arcoatesarcoates Posts: 221
    I am sorry, but I would take the Jaguar over the Lexus anyday because the Jaguar has a sense of heritage. That plays an important role in my decision making as well. And the Jaguar is not soft- it is not as stiff as the German cars, but when called upon it performs admirably. There is definately a difference between a BMW and Jaguar, but it is still a luxury-sport sedan. I would say the Lexus is a pure luxury car. Jaguar goes to the effort to tune their cars, and give them R designation. XJR, XKR etc...

    And also, the lady of the house is the primary driver of the Jaguar and she primarily wanted it for it's curb appeal. She's a women- you can't blame her. If she had asked for a Lexus, the answer would definately be no. The Jaguar still ranks higher than the Lexus.~ A.R.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Thanks. The moves of today will determine the cars (and prices)of tommorrow. Heritage is relevant in living things not cars. Both MB and BMW are in trouble right now. If MB mishandles Chrysler any further they will slide very fast. The car enthusiasts will notice the difference in quality in say 2004 or so. Toyota is in an unbelievably strong financial position and the fact that the LS430 is such a hit solidifies their market power all the more.

    Merc1 - Regardless of who deploys new technology first the other guy usually is there within a year. So I hardly think it matters who gets there first. But if MB is not going to share platforms or technology then why the heck did it buy Chrysler? That deployment is what is making Toyota so solid right now. By the way the worst dream MB can have is to see luxury technology deployed in everyday Toyotas before they have it.
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