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High End Luxury Cars

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  • THE Acura will never be a Ultra Luxury Sedan until it put in a V-8. I agree it is a wonderful car but it is just not a LS430 that can be had for as little as $55,000 with Nav. and Mark Levenson. (you have to deal a little)

    If you want to experience a real Ultra Luxury that is not that much more expensive then the RL..Go drive a Lexus LS430 (any yr. 01-05) YOU WILL NOTICE THE DIFFERENCE

    Same thing with S Class Mercedes but they are much more expensive.
  • I am now on my fourth Lexus - LS400 first and now
    the LS430 the time span is 10 years for 4 Lexus LS type cars.

    During these 10 years absolutely nothing has gone
    wrong with any of the cars. Not even a light bulb.

    When talking about whose best and whose second best consider where and how they are built and the exchange rate.

    Thousands of Turkish and Greek workers make the
    Mercedes and BMWs. The 10 Lexus models are made by 66 persons - yes thousands against 66. Taraha is the most advanced auto manufacturing plant on the planet, and at least 5 years ahead of the next plant which is probably Nissan.

    So when it comes right down to it, the Lexus is much better built than BMW or MB or any other Euro car. Plus it costs much less - robots don't earn wages!!!!
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    They've been building them with robots since inception in 1990. Maybe that is indeed why the cars are so near perfect in build quality. No German car I've ever been in can touch the LS400/430 build quality. Toyota's financial clout from earning 12+bln a year will keep them well ahead of everyone else. In fact it will likely increase the distance in factory quality further. Remember that robots don't go on strike either and they don't get annoyed from getting to small a pay increase.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    You have been extremely lucky. I have a very small sample size of people I know that have LS. After a few years, they are like "real" cars, squeaks, rattles, noises in the drivetrain, interior wear issues, etc. Now I wouldn't say these cars are unreliable, but they are mechanical and unless they are stored in a bubble, mechanical things break, electronic things break-down and they need to be fixed.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 28,621
    Yep.. Lexus is the only company that has those..

    And 66 workers.. That is correct.. Every Lexus is made by the same 66 people...

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  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    The 66 workers thing is funny!!!

    66 workers make about a half-million Lexus and simlarly TOyota badged vehicles(Celsior, SOarer, Aristo, WIndom, Harrier). Man that's efficient, although I think the numbers of factory line workers needed to build these products are alot lot higher.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 28,621
    John Benson
    Bob Bingham
    Mike Boltz
    Jonathan Bredenkamp
    Darin Buscaglia
    Ryan Culver
    Debbie Daniel
    Sean Darcy
    Steve Ellsworth
    Ward Fulcher
    Melanie Gagnon
    Brian Gardiner
    David Garibay
    Cathy Gottardi
    Steve Holdaway
    Dion Hyland
    Rich Jackson
    Bruce Laing
    Mel Melliza
    Darrell Packard, Jr.
    Clint Sanders
    Gary 'Smitty' Schmidt
    Dan Scott
    Leslie Siegel
    Gregor Stewart
    John Sylvester
    Patti Totten
    Don Yocum
    John Zaninovich

    So, there!!

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  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    You're a riot Alice! A regular riot!
  • I have a 01 LS 430 and it is as solid as the day it came off the Dealers lot....I would be horrified if it rattled and made noises and had a rash of anything breaking down it just doesn't happen. ...

    Lexus LS doesn't rattle and squeak and make noises...Perhaps your small group of friends with Lexus have other then the LS...they are closer to what you would call a "REAL CAR"
  • carnaughtcarnaught Posts: 1,589
    Amen with my '01 LS430 as well.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    Hey, that's only 29.....Where's the other 37???lol
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 28,621
    It was a Friday... they all called in sick.

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  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    I'm not trashing the car, only saying like any other car, stuff happens.
  • KD:

    I know you are not trashing the car but I don't think you really understand it is not like any other CAR..

    I remember the first time I drove one it was very different...(that was in 91 or 92) I couldn't afford it then but eventually got lucky and could afford whatever I wanted I Drove a BMW 7 Series and realized I didn't want a drivers car I wanted pure Luxury...Then I tried a Mercedes S class and loved it I really liked the ride, the look and the quiet....Then I remembered Lexus LS and gave it a try it is a different experience to own and drive one.

    PS...Lexus has give me the ES, GS, and several different SUV. as lowners over the years when I have gone in for service...THEY ARE nice but PRETTY MUCH LIKE OTHER CARS IN MY MIND...IT is just the LS that I find so awesome.
  • Interesting read on the vast quality process difference verses the Euros.and Domestics.. Consumers Union engineers said that the Japanese Lexus and German BMW were found to be at opposite ends of the reliability spectrum not only in electronics but across the board-engines, transmissions, suspensions, exhaust, brakes and other areas. Based on surveys from approximately 675,000 respondents, they found that eight-year-old Lexus LS400s had fewer problems per hundred vehicles (41 per 100) than six-month-old BMW 7 Series vehicles (42 per 100).

    http://www.embedded.com/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=18401442
  • That doesn't surprise me at all. Any luxury cars that have made it to 8 years are going to be fairly stable, contrasting that with a brand new car just off the factory line, only in its 2nd year of build... I think the statisticians built this comparison to suit their needs.

    That being said, I do sincerely feel that Lexus is a much more dependable car than most any other, especially BMW, but I just think that comparison is a little rigged.
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    The comparison isn't rigged. It's significant.

    In fact an earlier post had it partly right, things do wear out. However wear out rate varies over time and with manufacturer.

    In addition, most manufactured machines go through a break-in period often called the 'infant mortality' interval. Results for this interval are captured in statistically significant surveys by folks like JDPowers in their IQS.

    The resulting overall problem arrival rate is a "bath tub" shaped curve, where problems are high at the beginning, then they experience failures at a more or less lower rate during the opearational lifetime, followed by an increasing uptick in the failure rate near 'end of life'. In service failure rates are captured by JDP and CR etc. for most major brands.

    What's different about Lexus, particularly the LS, is that it's infant mortality failure rate is so much smaller than anyone else and it's in-service rate is also the lowest in industry. The Lexus bath tub is very shallow. It starts low, stays shallow. The European car companies own the deepest tubs. They start high, stay full and overflow at the end.

    As a result of high quality, highly durable components and subsystems, the Lexus LS in-service length is very long and therefore very low cost to owners.

    Lexus strategy pays off hansomely for Toyota in profitability, especially in very, very low warranty costs.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    I can guarantee you the 2004 I have now won't rattle in 2007 and the 2007 I will take to replace it won't rattle in 2010. I would be shocked if anything went wrong with either car. That's not luck - it's confidence in phenomenal build quality/reliability. I'm sure there are a handful of bad ones out there but I've never come across anyone that had a bad one. Even when I went to a showroom opening party for the 2001 car and talked to many, many LS400 owners/lessees at that time I couldn't find one gripe. This car doesn't score those unmistakably high red reliability circles it gets in Consumer Reports year after year on luck. It gets it on know how.

    Michael - No question the LS430 is super special. It, the LX and the SC are the elite of Lexus. The GX470 - which I have - is a just miss in that elite circle but it is an excellent SUV nonetheless. The GS430 is a heck of a car but after that I do find the GS300, ES and RX more ordinary, particularly the ES and the old RX. But the new RX has jumped a lot and is not far from that elite circle. Never drove the IS so I can't say anything about it. The LX is the SUV version of the LS. I could live without the LX, but the LS has me hooked forever unless they screw it up at some point. For me - it's a must have car. I also agree with you on the S500 - a great luxury car that would be the car I'd be in if Lexus wasn't around. But its poor reliability would drive me nuts.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    I posted this on the LS forum

    oac "Lexus LS" Dec 6, 2004 9:01pm

    For a relatively high mileage car (95K miles) and having no problems to report, is a remarkable feat. Nothing. NADA.... I still cannot hear the engine while driving with the music off. BTW, the build date of my LS is 09/1998, and the delivery date was 11/1998. Six years and 95K miles and it drives like it just rolled off the factory floor. I haven't owned many luxury cars, but I doubt if there is ANY car out there that can beat the LS in pure reliability. Isn't that a good quality for any luxury car ?
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    It's what MB's whole reputation was built on - in the past. They certainly aren't at that level now.

    I've got to find out what's going on with OUR 2007 model. I made a service appointment on my car (14K more perfect miles) and my sales guy told me a 5.0 liter and a hybrid version of it are what is coming. AWD - he doesn't know yet, but given your location you probably couldn't care less any way. But definitely a complete revision of the styling in line with a stretched LFS look. I'll keep you posted. By the way he hadn't heard anything about the HPX.
  • While the bimodal, "bath tub curve" analogy is good, Footie, I still think the study needed to compare apples with apples.... i.e. just come out and show that the initial 6 mo repair rates are much lower in Lexus than BMW. To compare it at different phases of an automobile's life is poor design and flawed. It sounds good, but doesn't really compare the same thing...6 month repair rate would imply the quality of build and the parts going into the car. The 8 year repairs more reflect the durability and longevity of the car. Two different aspects (both important, but different).

    As I said, I feel it is a misrepresentation just for the "shock" factor.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Thanks, Len.

    Only one thing I am dying to clarify. Will the new LS be an MY 06 release or an MY 07 ? And when is a likely date for its availability here in the US ? Seemed like Lexus is keeping info on this redesign pretty tight to their chest.

    And they gotta build that HPX ! Would make so much sense and much much $$$ for Lexus, imo.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Doesn't look like a concept to me....

    http://www.ultimatecarpage.com/frame.php?file=car.php&carnum=- - 1653

    BUT, will this car ever hit the streets of NY or LA ???
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Is Jim Jones... I mean Denny Clements... going to take you guys to Guyana for the unveiling of the next LS?

    ;-)
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Bismarck, North Dakota - Danny wants to stay in the US.

    Hey - If BMW and Porsche guys like you get hooked why wouldn't you think it'd be the same for guys with different preferences. Lexus hits their mark every bit as perfect as BMW and Porsche hit theirs.

    You know what is in Bismarck don't you? Another classic episode.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Yep, we're all nut jobs. But I'm starting to criticize Porsche and so are many others. Whatever it is that is afflicting German cars, they could have become infected. You never know, I could be drinking the cappucino ;-)

    Raccoon Cemetery, Bismarck ND
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Hey - here's one for you? Where did the Grand High Exalted Mystic Ruler work? Hint - it was right next to someone.

    Lexus hasn't given us any reason to criticize yet - unless you consider a minor default in the current nav system and the failure of the lights to shut off if you leave a door ajar. But some of our best people are already working on this - see the LS board. Actually the cars are getting better, with tighter handling and no sacrifice of ride quality, and reliability that is through the roof. Hard to even think of moving away from something so perfect because you just know you'll be damned if you do.
  • rwoodsrwoods Posts: 129
    Len,

    I test drove the LS430 and GS430 side by side in May and decided on the GS430. Reasons: It was $10,000 less, and with its 235/45/17 inch summer tires, it handled better although the LS was smoother over bumps. And finally, I felt the GS430 projected a sportier image than the LS. I'm 56 years old and not yet ready to move into a car that seems suited for the senior citizens.

    The GS has been bullet proof in reliability so far. My only regret is that I don't have time to drive it more often, only 4,000 miles on it. The V8 is so quiet and potent. The feedback from the steering wheel is perfect for me. I'm still closer to the luxury mode than the sport mode so I like the silent, refined cabin.

    Compared to my BMW328 the GS430 is more confidence inspiring regarding reliability. I still think the day will come when I purchase an LS430 but that may have to wait until I reach 60.

    Bob
    Malverne,NY
  • liferules -
    Yes, the ends of the bathtub (which is a fairly common way of looking at failure rates) measure different kinds of failures, but in many ways they're the same as they both spring from the same root cause. First to qualify myself, I'm an engineer with some familiarity with the subject. 95% of the results of the short or long-term JD Powers surveys were determined before the first piece of metal was bent.

    If you remove external factors such as the owners driving habits and the care he has taken, both ends of the bathtub trace back to before the car was built in the reliability vs cost decisions made, and in the MMT (manufacturing methods and technologies)used to build the car.

    Higher specifications, increased component testing and an aggressive QC program lead to lower initial failure rates. These same factors as well as a better fit in manufacturing (tighter tolerances from robots vs humans in this case)reduce wear and lead to fewer problems years downstream. Both numbers reflect the builders commitment in design and manufacturing to get a more reliable product. Lexus is relentless in this area, and they can afford to be (it does cost big bucks). As ljflx points out fairly often, with a $12B war chest you can do some remarkable things.

    Having said all this, mistakes still happen. Rather than roll the dice, Lexus preferred to replace thousands of transmissions (the early 2004 LS problem) and give owners $ 200 worth of gas for the inconvenience of bringing the car in and driving a new Lexus loaner for a day before a failure rather than wait and see how many actually developed a problem. Big bucks decision, but easily embraced within their philosophy. If querried I wouldn't even count that as a problem in my survey response unless the transmission actually failed when I had the car.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    I've driven the GS430 a number of times and love it and maybe it is also an elite member. Great combo of luxury and sport. I'm younger than you and so are many of the people who own the LS430 around here. It's size rather than appeal or sport that makes the LS430 my choice all the time. GS430 simply is too small for my family needs. Big difference though between the GS430 and GS300. The 430 just felt smoother and its far greater power made the GS3 feel like a more ordinary car. Same experience differential for me with the E-class cars. I'd take the GS over the E because of its far greater reliability and I thpought it had a better ride. The next GS looks fabulous.
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