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High End Luxury Cars

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  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    I should have known better! Thanks a lot for clarifying. As mentioned, I was confused because I knew it was utterly out of character given the fact you're one of the posters I truly enjoy to read.
  • jvcnjvcn Posts: 50
    Remember that even in the extreme case that all new car buyers are indifferent to long term reliability, so long as the used car buying market is willing to pay for reliability there is an incentive for companies to keep providing that quality. Good reliability means higher sales in the second hand market which translates to easier leasing and higher initial demand from the new car buyers. What matters is the relative cost of providing the reliability vs. the net gains in demand for the car -- a point which requires more technical and specific knowledge than we have about each model and which manufacturers won't share even if it's known.
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hi All,

      A tongue in cheek remark about the 5 Series.."There is no such thing as an ugly car, you just haven't drunk enough!" The only BMW I find remotely attractive is the 6 Series..Nice lines but it's still weird looking. The 5 Series looks like some Japanese cartoon artist gone mad. (IMHO) I like the dignified stately look of my new LS430. It's not too flashy.

     

    Reliability is still an incredible marketing tool.Remember all those flashy Lexus LS400 ads in 1990? I remember watching the one with the ball bearing test and then the one with the champagne glasses on the hood and thinking "Wow!" Next thing you know I'm trading in my perfectly fine low mileage Park Avenue for one. I'm normally not swayed by these marketing gimmicks, but they got me to buy one.

     

    Even if the ownership is short term those reliability statistics are great for men's bull sessions...We all know buying a car >$35K is hardly a logical decision.(Just ask our wives!)

    If that were the case we'd all drive Camrys. If you're going to spend the sort of money we do, you need something to justify the purchase.."But Honey, it's the most reliable car on the planet.."

    (That doesn't work anymore because I keep trading in LS cars to buy new ones! This time I used the excuse of the Backup camera and SmartKey)

     

    Of course the affect on residuals is another benefit..I think the knock on Jaguar is the public's perception of poor quality..Most wouldn't know that they're one of the highest Euro nameplates now and have one of the best extended warranty programs in the business. Despite being a big fan of Jaguar, I am not willing to write the check to buy one...They'll need to improve their electronics to Lexus standards before I'll consider it. I'd definitely pay for Jaguar styling combined with Lexus quality.

     

    SV
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Honest. This comes right from C&D pg. 34. His armored S-class was left unattended for 20 minutes and it was stolen - in broad daylight. Some German paper speculated it was swiped for a buyer in eastern Europe. Efforts to find it via its GPS navigation system failed. Smart thieves or more faulty MB elctronics?? Sounds to me like an inside job from MB's version of th CIA which also goes by the name of the Internal Audit dept. Maybe they're auditing build quality and reliability. Anyway C&D recommends an upgrade to a Maybach for Jurgen.
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    Yes, this made a story in Germany's very popular SPIEGEL. A $400k version of an S class, too. The running joke was exactly about that - all the elctronics that are supposed to make the car dead except to the owner with the right crypto keycard, and yet there you go in the top implementation. Embarassing.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    A $400K car stolen in broad daylight like a common $15K Honda Civic ? That is unbelievable !!! For that kind of money, it should have ensured the highest security for the car against car-jackers....even if it was an inside job.

     

    Regardless, it would appear that the vaunted StarMark vehicle locator system designed to locate a stolen MB must have malfunctioned, eh ? Figures.... If the GLOBAL head of MB cannot locate his stolen specially-equipped S, what should the C or E class owners expect when their lesser equipped and cache cars are stolen ?
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    I think this would be a great episode for Seinfeld with Kramer playing the lead as detective van Nostrand.
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hi All,

     

    I think this goes to show that Professional Car Thieves can steal anything they want..All a security system does is dissuade 16 yr old juvenile deliquents from stealing the car..If a Profession Thief wants your car, whether it be a $400K S-Class or $63K Lexus, they'll steal it.

     

    Although amusing, I think this could have happened to anyone..What I find strange is that they left the car unattended..I bet his driver is in some German interrogation room right now.

     

    SV
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Then Schrempp could get dissed by the Soup Nazi.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    "NO CAR FOR YOU"!!
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    Unbelievable indeed. Or perhaps just an indication that several of the so-called safety mechanisms we fall for are just for our own psychological benefit... It is not so unbelievable when you think some of the more professional car-jacking outfits drive around with a truck, and merely lift the car up and sell the parts - it's quite profitable for them no matter what the true market value of the car...
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    This was from motor trend a while back. Will have to look and see if it bears resemblance to the ones we were looking at last week.

     

    http://motortrend.com/future/spied/112_0406_sketch/
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    See this link - last paragraph re the 2007 LS hybrid.

     

    http://www.barnstablepatriot.com/doc.php?28,5660,2223028,2223028x- - - p,,,Doc,page.html

     

    If the Camry comes in hybrid form in 2006 (and I've read elsewhere Toyota plans to sell 100K of then in the US) then you'd have to think the ES330 will also have a hybrid option that year.
  • What would a buyer in eastern Europe want with a car that announces half a klick away that you are a plum waiting to be picked? What eastern European would want a car that an MIT double ee couldn't keep running? The smart guys who need protection drive up-armored Tahoes and Suburbans. Look at the CNN out takes from Iraq or in any DEA motor pool. Maybe ol' Jurgen should call Bob Lutz and order up a Denali?
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    The link I posted a few days ago...an official press release from Lexus...quotes Dennis Clements "I can confirm for you today that GS will be the second vehicle in the Lexus lineup to offer a high, h-performance hybrid gas-electric powertrain. Join us in March at the New York Auto Show - and I'll tell you more about it."...the full release http://pressroom.toyota.com/photo_library/display_release.html?id- =sp20050109
  • All I see on these boards are discussions about BMW, MB and the LS 430. How come no ones likes the A8. I have been researching all these cars and from what I have read, the Audi is one of the best cars in its class. In a lot of reviews it has been even better than the almost perfect LS 430.

    Do most of you'll not like it just cause its name is not as big as the other three or are there some faults with it that I am not aware off?

     

    The A8 also has the most HP amongst all these cars and a superior interior than the other three IMO.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    I'm sure others will chime in, but you might want to use the "Search This Discussion" feature on the page bar for A8. You'll get links to 200 messages (that's the max the search will return for some reason).
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Baddman,

      It's probably the same reason why you don't hear about the Jaguar XJ too often..Low volume compared to the LS, S, and 7 Series. My purchase of Lexus cars has nothing to do with name..I bought it when it's "name" was non existent back in the early nineties..A few reasons why I personally don't opt for Audi: Resale Value, Electronics quality doesn't match the LS430 (I feel the Japanese have the edge here), and the ride isn't what I'm personally looking for.

     

    I'll admit I'm a huge Jaguar fan, but would never buy one for the reasons I stated for Audi...I simply don't have the time or patience to deal with a car that isn't trouble free..I love to push the example of the '92 LS that I own..0 unexpected hours out of service..The only time I've been without it was for scheduled maintenance. Even then I was given a brand new ES as a loaner.

     

    My LS430 certainly lacks the flair and driving dynamics of an Audi or Jaguar (Well at least the previous XJ) but that is compensated for with the outstanding quality, residual value, electronics, and customer service..I realize buying a high end car is never a fully rational decision, but in my book objectives have to come first..Just my two cents..

     

    SV
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    I drove the A8 in August and had test drove it earlier. I was disappointed both times. The MMI went dead on me so many times that I lost count of it on a 250 mile trip. It got so bad on I95 that I had to pull over onto the shoulder, not once but 3 different times with cars buzzing by at 75mph. The car has a fairly harsh ride and to me it lacks the beautiful refined rides of the LS430 and the S-class. Styling wise the car is an absolute beauty and to me its only weak point is the rear lights. The handling (which is good, not great) compromises the ride far too much for my tastes of what a luxury car should ride like (I was on the 18" tires and hear the 19" is even more harsh). There has to be a reason why Audi (on average) sells only 2500 of these annually. Sales jumped to 4000 last year but are already retreating back. The car looks great in person, and is great on paper but misses the mark as a luxury car for me and obviously for much of the US given Audi has a 5% marketshare. After the frustrating and distracting experience I had with that MMI I would never consider the car even if it had a ride I loved. Things that were simple to use and that worked perfectly on every car I ever drove suddenly were impossible to control or didn't work at all. The MMI is as dumb and needless as the i-drive.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Forgot to mention that the woman on the navigation system orders you around. "Get to the right, NOW". So if you like to hang too far to the left with a right hand exit approaching and you are using her guidance, get used to that. My marriage with her wouldn't last the life of a lease let alone the period of long-term ownership. The nav does have a nifty sidebar that is right in front of you in the dash when you are using it. But overall I much prefer the Lexus nav dynamics and the pleasant voice that assists you rather than the audi woman that orders you around. The Lexus main nav screen is also far superior imo
  • liferulesliferules Posts: 531
    Messing with "Ms. Audi" as I like to call her! I personally like the direct instructions. I don't want touchy feely from a computer, just the facts. I like the specific nature of the nav instructions also, such as "take a left and stay into the left lane entering the highway", etc... IMO the nav system is very user friendly and I even like the way you enter the address (though I've heard that the touch screen of other automakers is very nice as well).
  • wvkivwvkiv Posts: 1
    Wow ljflx you really need to do your research and make sure you know your facts before you speak. The A8 sales are not down at all...2004 finished with 5,943 units delivered in the US nearly 3 times as many as the previous A8 did in its best year of 1999. The handling of the car is absolutely amazing for a vehicle of its size. No nav system orders a person around and stating that if you hang out left approaching a right exit is obsured. Navigation satellites are not allowed to have greater than 250ft accuracy as mandated my the US Government. Want to complain a bout a bad navigation system, drive a MB with DVD nav on I-95 in south Florida while its repeating make a left turn for a right hand exit. Enjoy your Lexus as it obviously meet your needs, driving and electronic capabilities.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 31,206
    Fraulein Audi sounds like my kind of woman!!

    MODERATOR
    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    I had read that the sales were 4,000 or so but if they are 6,000 than I stand corrected. It's still a tiny fraction of the pie and my point is that the lux crowd is not intrigued by this car and historically the car has a hard time selling more than 200 units a month. I found the handling to be good but not great. Maybe after reading so much about it I expected more than it delivered. As for staying left and exiting right - well - haven't you ever passed a slow moving vehicle in the right lane because you have enough clearance (and torque) to do so and still exit a highway. I never said the nav was bad just said I prefer the operating dynamics of how Lexus does it. As for that woman - sorry - she's got to go, along with the MMI.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    And here is the link to US car sales FY2003 vs FY2004

     

    http://www.autosite.com/editoria/asmr/svsedan.asp

     

    Audi sales are indeed 5,942 in FY2004, however, they represent ~50% growth YoY (vs FY2003). In contrast, and more towards Ljflx's point below, the LS sales were 32,272, representing a 5-fold margin of sales vs the A8. See, statistics don't lie, do they ?
  • Boy, you sure have an issue with the A8 don't you. The problem with the LS is that it is an old man's car in looks and in performance. If you choose to drive a car that puts you in total isolation from the road, that's your choice. Further, most enthusiasts do not even put the lexus ls in the same category as the A8, 7 series or S class.

    I personally do not care if the LS outsells all three of the above brands combined as it is not in the same league.
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Flyfisher,

      Define Enthusiast first..Car and Driver and the rest of the autorag consider the LS in the same league. If you're going to put down the LS point to some objective measure..In the last comparo I read, the LS was second to the A8 only b/c of their preference for "Soul." Any attempt to putdown the obvious success of the LS is arrogance.

     

    Performance? The notion that the LS is slow is a myth..I've driven all of these cars and the only notable difference in handling was noted in the BMW. Straight line acceleration is comparable to all. Handling isn't 747 like as some here would believe..Have you even driven a LS430 with the Euro Suspension? Even the Auto rags agree it's competent but doesn't have the feel of the BMW.

     

    Looks? The 7 Series is certainly nothing to look at..I'm sure you're aware of how universally the 7 has been lambasted for its current design and iDrive..The S-Class tail looks more like a Korean car than a 85K sedan. The spyshots I've seen of the new one are even worse.. If you want to talk looks, let's talk about Jaguar. They continue to produce the most eye catching designs out there. Have you had a look at their successor to the XK?..Breathtaking..

     

    SV
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    "most enthusiasts do not even put the lexus ls in the same category as the A8, 7 series or S class"

     

    While there is a handling difference between the LS and the 7, for you to say that performance-wise the LS "isn't in the same league" as the S is a bit of a strech:

     

    2005 LS430: 0-60 5.9 sec, 290 hp, 320 lb-ft

     

    2005 S430: 0-60 6.9 sec, 275 hp, 295 lb-ft

     

    Who isn't in the same league?
  • It would seem as if I have struck a soft spot with you. I have indeed driven them all (S Class, 7 Series, LS, Audi). There is no comparison. The LS does not belong in that class. As per straight line performance - that is only one measure. I don't know about you, but I do not sit at stoplights anymore and look to race the car next to me to the next stoplight. What I prefer is a car that has more of a "driver's" perspective as regards performance (ride, acceleration, handling). And - a car that is all wheel drive in addition. I have never - ever - heard the ls described as a driver's car. It's referred to as quiet, smooth and isolated from the road. I spent a week in one. It was totally uninvolving as a car. In addition, I found it's interior very plain and uninspiring. Also, it is a "knock-off" to MB S as regards styling.
  • Read which car Edmunds places at the top. Read which car Automobile places at the top. Read the recent comments in Autoweek of their long tern car. As for looks. The A8 is universally commented upon favorably. I couldn't agree with you more as regards the 7 series (they have lost their way and are having significant problems with their computer systems in the 5 and 7's). As regards Jaguar - the XKE is their iconic car. They need to get a new original thought as to car design. The new XJ is attractive. However, no one can tell the new model from the old. That equals few new car sales.
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