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High End Luxury Cars

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  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Boy, you sure have an issue with the A8 don't you

     

    What issue ? I simply provided a link and commented on hard facts. Can't handle facts ?

     

    The problem with the LS is that it is an old man's car in looks and in performance

     

    And by inference, the A8 and 7-series are for YOUNG people in looks and performance. That's why these cars are in high demand by the baby boomers who don't care to drive an old person's car like the LS ! Ooppsss.... The LS outsells the A8 and the 745/760 COMBINED. It must be that "car enthusiasts" are in such short supply otherwise the sales trend should be in the other direction, if your logic holds true.

     

    Sarcasm aside, the simple fact is that car manufacturers are in the business to make money. The A8 and 7-series are NOT niche cars, but sell like one. If the trend continues, both BMW and VW/Audi would not be able to sustain the continued loss of market share by their premier sedan, and something will have to give. If the LS is outselling its competition COMBINED, it must be doing something right. Maybe it's time for BMW and Audi to *copy* Lexus' LS success formula. Would help their bottomline a great deal.
  • 0-60 isn't really fair. You can't go by any magazine because that really all depends on what the conditions are outside, relative to temperature, and also elevation. I wouldn't ever consider 0-60 as a legitimate reason for picking a car over another, or even in comparison. What one test says, another will say differently. However, there is no doubt in my mind that the S430 is at a disadvantage because of it's engine. I think that the S500 is a far better comparison to the LS430.

     

    If one wants pure driving fun, the 7er is for you. But, I don't think that that is really what the consumers want in this segment, as you can see by the numbers of sales.

     

    The LS in my opinion, is a steal, and you'd have to be crazy not to consider it in picking out which of these cars you favor. It is a bargain compared to the german makes as far as price is concerned.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    One mag (forget which) described the LS' handling as "greasy". Also the stability control kicks in too soon for those who like to twist. German car lovers don't like this. Those who like soft rides don't seem to understand this.

     

    As far as sales go, I just think Audi could never overcome MB and BMW on branding. I also think that they never really grew roots in the USA with much credit going to the reliability issues of the 70s. However I think that next to the XJ, the previous generation A8 was one of the best looking luxury sedans that was ever made... inside and out.

     
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Let's put your quote into more proper words:

     

    "Many german diehard car enthusiasts can't accept the fact that the Lexus LS430 has rivaled and surpassed their flagship cars. Many others accepted it a long time ago and switched".

     

    In case you didn't know it the LS430 took that trophy that Audi has from Automobile the year before. Audi barely won with a totally redesigned car. The LS430 euro handles nearly as well as the A8 and with no ride compromise.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    There are a lot of German ride enthusiasts who are going to go down with the ship if the ship in fact goes down. I'd love to to test that car if you can find one around. Seems like an afterthought option.
  • I have an 01 LS 430 Ultra...It does 0-60 in 6.3 sec. In sport and power modes it handles well enough for me to navigate anything I need or want to...

     

    It is true I do not want to do 100mph on twisting mountain roads...I also do not want to be stranded in a ghetto because my electrical system has a problem or for any reason.

     

    My time is too valuable to me to want to spend time going back and forth to a shop getting my car repaired...

     

    Yes...I prefer driving a quite smooth riding car while listening to my Mark Levinson sound system...

     

    Call me an old fuddy duddy..but I like a car that doesn't need to make a visual statement...yet is as luxurious/and safe/and reliable as any car on the market

     

    There are reasons that Lexus LS is the top selling ultra Luxury brand. Have you tried driving one.
  • If you don't want the stability control on you can turn it off by pushing a botton...so it kicks in too soon seems like a stretch for something for that German magazine to critize.

     

    I also like the looks of the Jag and the A8
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    I recall reading that it can't be turned off. Are you sure about this? In any event, I'll try to find the article. I can't imagine why they would mention it with such concern if it can be turned off.
  • "it nearly handles as well" - needs tricked up sports suspension to nearly do it (A8 has adjustable suspension standard)

    "nearly won the award this year" - Almost and nearly just don't cut it. Face it - the LS is a boring automobile. It is exquisitely assembled but it is BORING.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Boring for you and a bunch of guys who you put you total belief in what can collectively be titled autorags inc. But then they are not so objective and test sport suspensions against standard suspensions and then give away the subjective points to the car they want to win. Not boring to those who buy it obviously given it has the highest marketshare by far and scores closer to 10 than any of these cars. It's a family sedan for cryin out loud not a two seater road hugger. I've driven the A8 - you have to be kidding if you are telling me its a road hugger.

     

    designman - no afterthought - the Euro handles very well and it costs $100 more than the base suspension and that cost is for the tires and wheels, not the car.
  • In August I crossed shopped all of the lux cars recently discussed here.

     

    Here's my take and final decision:

     

    XJ8- great looking and unique styling. Drove very ordinary, nothing special and interior was dissapointing.

     

    A8- Liked looks as it's very distinctive as well.

    All wheel drive is a big plus. Great interior. Only long wheel base was available and it wouldn't fit in my garage. Also, I felt like a limo driver when I looked at the back seat. Didn't feel confident in the quality of electronics just from resarch of the brand. If A6 was out I might have considered as it seems to be similar to A8 SWB.

     

    MBS 430 4 matic- My favorite in classy looks. On 2 different test drive vehicles there were electronic glitches. Couldn't tilt wheel and one window wouldn't go up! Loved the way it drove. Ruled out for quality issues which I witnessed first hand.

     

    BMW 745i- I like the styling. Interior was a dissapointment for a luxury car. It drove great but too sporty. If I wanted a sporty drive I would have stayed with my 330 or gone to the 530. Also, didn't want to deal with I Drive and have 2 friends who went lemon law.

     

    LS430-I decided that for a luxury car this fulfilled 90% of what I wanted. Comfort, reliability, performance re speed which is important to me in merging etc. tech goodies like blue tooth which I use with my cell phone, and reliability. Also, ML was important to me as it's is the absolute best car audio I've ever had or heard.

     

    In my perfect world the S Class would be as reliable as a the Lexus, have all the tech goodies and cost the same. That car didn't exist so I went with the LS and have been very happy. I also realized that all cars compromise on some aspects. One just has to decide for them what aspects they are and are not willing to compromise on.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    NY Times Sunday auto section has a good picture of the LF-A on cover page. This car looks great from the side and back and very different than anything out there. The car looks very aggressive and dynamic. They don't show the front and from the pix you showed that seemed to be its weak link. But the Times pix show the detail of the car a lot clearer than the web shots do. If they fix that droop down front this car will be fabulous. Who knows - maybe in person that front looks great too.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    A8 and S owners don't seem to like their cars very much after they've owned them for a bit, whereas 7 and LS owners do, at least according to the JDP "APEAL" study...which doesn't measure quality issues.

     

    Check http://www.jdpower.com/cc/auto/jdpa_ratings/FindJdAwards.jsp

    for the MY2004, and see how owners on average view their own cars...including on the non-quality issues.
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hi All,

      I think perspective matters a great deal..I favor objectives over the subjective comments made by the autorags..Sure the car "sticks to the road" what about about depreciation? Reliability? Service?

     

    Seeing that I seem to be buying these cars every 3-4 yrs I don't want to take a big hit in depreciation..(I was actually surprised by how well my '02 LS held its value..)

     

    Actually I bought my '05 LS after nearly closing on a 4 Matic S430...It drove nicely, but I wasn't impressed by the electronics. The CD changer is still in the trunk! (It was an '03 model w/7K miles) Maybe they've changed it on the new one. The Nav system seemed out of date..The screen was also too low. Another thing that bothered me was the air suspension..

     

    Since I like to keep my cars for long periods (well, at least TRY to) I don't want to deal with a $4K repair once it goes out..The One year Starmark warranty wasn't very impressive either..Lexus offers 3 yrs. I asked the salesman point blank "Why shouldn't I buy a Lexus instead of this car?" His answer was, "It's a Mercedes and because of the way it drives.." I don't know about you but it wasn't worth $14K more.

     

    My next purchase is likely to be a preowned '03 XJ8..They are covered by a solid 3 yr extended warranty that has won plenty of accolades. Besides it isn't crammed with all these electronic goodies that are likely to make my life miserable in 10 years. The quality is the best for any Euro nameplate..Lexus? no, but not too bad either. Unlike Lexus (Probably the only objective advantage Jag has) there are plenty of Jaguar Specialists about. If you read the reviews most owners are still happy with the car after a few years. For Looks I don't think it can be beat.The only problem I face is convincing the wife I actually "need" another car..

     

      

    SV
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    I misread your comment and thought you were referring to afterthought as my last sentence rather than Lexus options. To clarify the Euro - Lexus gave it plenty of thought but didn't dress it up in sportclad extras. They put it out as a no cost option for anybody that wanted or craved the tighter handling but did not want it to sacrifice Lexus ride quality by doing so. They found out that it was more a necessity in California to convert German car buyers than it was in the big east coast markets. Hence it is not so easy to get on the lots here but you can order one in advance.
  • SV

     

    Of course the FAMILY needs another car...For Her..if her current car broke down, it would break your heart seeing her trapped like an animal (in her beautiful home) unable to go shopping or take the dog to the animal hospital if there was an accident...

     

    YOU DEFINATELY NEED ANOTHER CAR.....FOR HER.
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hi Michael,

     

    Good idea, but the problem is that she stole my bulletproof 92 LS..Once my son headed to the London to study she prompty got rid of her Camry (Yes, thrifty I know..But she has a penchant for driving too fast..I thought a 4 Cyl Camry would do the trick) and took the LS400.

     

    Unfortunately she's too well informed to believe a Jaguar is going to be more reliable than the LS. She'll likely demand my '05 LS as a "Settlement" (In her mind I keep spending our money on cars instead of going to obscure places I never wanted to see anyway! Women, don't you love them?)

     

    She's already looking for excuses to take my new car out including, "Ooh the parking radar makes my life so much easier! How about those seats! You can make them cold too!' What I want to say is "Hey! Those are MY toys!"

     

    It's quickly becoming like that hilarious Mercury commercial where the husband and wife keep getting up earlier and earlier in the morning to drive the new car..Not that I mind driving my old LS400..But I just bought the '05 only 11 days ago!

     

    Suggestions Gentlemen Please!

    SV
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Jewelry is always the way to go but that adds a lot of cost to the car. Otherwise I find my wife is in love with a sports touring car for BOTH of us (her words) to toy around with. That's why I have my eye on the SL, SC and XK in that order for the extra toy car. As outdated as that XK is I still love and covet it. The XJ does nothing for me though. So share and grit your teeth or pay the piper.
  • garyh1garyh1 Posts: 386
    Have you considered trading in the old model and keeping the new LS for yourself? Rumor has it some of those new models have a lot of pickup...but then again we are used to our "old men's" models built more for comfort than speed-- and we do value reliability over style. Wait a minute, am I talking about spouses or cars???;-)

     

    Seriously, I would think she would find a Jag a pretty attractive alternative to another LS. And you will always have the reliable LS to get around in when the Jag is in the shop.
  • SV.

     

    See if jag has one in a color that matches her eyes and tell her how irristable it is since it reminds you of her.

     

    Tell her how pretty she would look in it..

     

     or tell her the Lexus is ok for you but she deserves a better looing car with more prestige.

     

    The final shot..is to buy it for her as a birthday gift without telling her...Use the eye thing and prestige thing as justification...Be sure to aircondition the Dog house first.
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Michael,

      You are a genius..I never thought of that angle..I would get away with it as well! "How thoughtful of you!" It's a good thing she doesn't know I post here otherwise I'd be in big trouble.

     

    I realize this is a discussion for high end luxury cars and not "high end" (As in Expenditure) women! But it's interesting to examine how our spouses influence our car buying.

     

    In my case I get away with buying LS cars because of the objectives. I can easily point to the residual value and say "Hey, it won't cost much to replace it" or, "This is the best car out there!" It's hard to argue with Lexus marketing statistics. I bought my '05 LS on Christmas Eve and sold it to her as a "Christmas present for the family." Needless to say she saw through that one!

     

    SV
  • SV.

     

    Now you have me Blushing
  • Buy her an SC.
  • famwaldfamwald Posts: 114
    <<She's already looking for excuses to take my new car out including, "Ooh the parking radar makes my life so much easier! How about those seats! You can make them cold too!'>>

     

    SV --- Just be glad the object of her desire has four wheels instead of two legs. <VBgrin>
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Fear not! Your annual Detroit Autoshow Report is here!

     

    First off I'll say that the show is getting to crowded. There simply isn't enough space for every maker to display all their products. Only the luxury brands will be elaborated on here.

     

    Audi - Each and every vehicle seemed to be a winner to everyone there. I personally love the new A6, grille and all. Ditto for the updated 2006 A4, and A8 W12. Speaking of the A8 W12, they had a special version present with a 17K Quattro GmBh "Special Build" package that contained special leathers, wood and a 4-seat package with the best interior of any car this side of a Maybach or Rolls-Royce. Stunning overall presentation. The new A3 Sportback is a very interesting car, it should do well if priced right. The A8 or Phaeton are my picks in their segment, not the S-Class anymore. Everything was very upbeat at Audi.

     

    BMW - Not much new this year as far as styling or products, just updates to current models. The new 530ix models and of course the 500hp V10 M5. What a car! Now watch as it inhales the segment. Of the current BMW family on the M3 and 5-Series are lookers to me, with the 6-Series being on the fence.

     

    Mercedes-Benz - It seems they didn't have enough space to display one of each model because my favorite Benz (the CL) wasn't present. Everyone was going ga ga over the CLS, a CLS55 AMG to be exact. Now a bit of catch-up here: I got a chance to see the CLS at a "Love Mercedes" event this past summer so Detroit wasn't my first time seeing it. Anyway, the CLS is a stunner and is the most expressively styled Mercedes sedan ever. I predict this car will easily sell the 8K units allocated for the U.S. Now for the not so good news, the M-Class. The new M-Class while improved over the current vehicle (how could it not be) didn't get the attention that a new Mercedes-Benz should get. The CLS, CLK, SL, SLR, E, and even the aged S-Class all got way more attention. Having the new ML's locked (at least on this day) probably didn't help matters any. Either way I wasn't really too impressed by it. I predict a lukewarm response in the marketplace for it. There is something missing compared to MB's cars. The two "Sport Tourer" concepts were talked about too, with the larger R-Class (as it will be called come Geneva) getting most of the attention. I think the smaller fwd B-Class is a mistake in the U.S.

    The SL65 and G-Class were in a corner of the display causing major problems for people trying to cram in that space to see them. As usual the foot traffic at Mercedes was the heaviest of the lot.

     

    Jaguar - Another example of a cramped display space. You can't get a decent picture or profile of any of their cars because of the space provided and the way they are arranged within said space. Anyway, the "Advanced Lightweight Coupe" concept is the next Jaguar XK. While a good looking car for sure, it comes off as a junior Aston-Martin. I was kinda hoping for more daring from Jaguar. Love the XJR and current XK models, classics. The X-Type needs to be thrown away, imo.

     

    Lexus - Finally a Lexus badged vehicle (production or concept) that looks like something you'd actually want to drive. The LF-A is almost there, sleek and all but the nose and details need work. That said the basic shape and stance is the best of any Lexus concept vehicle yet. The rear end with its cooling fans exposed is pure aggression and the interior is sports car correct. As for the production cars, still all yawners to me. The new GS didn't impress either, it actually manages to look worse than the 1998-2005 model. The big news is that the hybrid GS (GS450h) will be shown at the New York autoshow in April and judging by the repsonse to the RX400h in Detroit it should be a hit.

     

    Infiniti - Well it is official. Infiniti has joined the list of luxury car brands in favor with me. It goes Mercedes, Audi, BMW and then you guessed it a Japanese upstart named Infiniti. The M35/45 are the best products from any Japanese maker yet to challenge the E/5-Series dominated middle segment. I predict that the M twins are going to be a hit just like the G. One thing though, in the recent roadtest of the M45 in Car and Driver, they mention an "ATM" like dasboard. I sat in the car thinking they were exactly right..it really does look like an ATM machine. Didn't like that at all, and the rear end will take some getting used to, but those are minor things and shouldn't hinder the car in the market. The G35 Coupe has gotten expensive at 40K loaded. Youch! Infiniti has all likeable cars except one, the unloved and very little attention getting Q45. It is as ugly as ever for 2005. The FX35/45 are still unique in the market and continue to excite.

     

    Bentley - I continue to be the only person I know that doesn't like their darling Continental GT Coupe. Three years on and I still don't like it. Give me an Arnage. I see that the sedan version of the Continental GT, the Continental Flying Spur was shown today and will debut at Geneva in March. I'm still thinking its ugly, but we'll see. As usual all oohs and ahhs from behind the rails that always seperate the Bentleys from the masses.

     

    Maybach - For some reason this year people were behaving like they've never seen these cars before. I didn't understand it. Anyway, they had the car's doors open with a live jazz performance playing on the dual DVD screens and the sound was amazing. The Maybach 62 is still mis-proportioned to my eye, the 57 is the model to have if you must.

     

    Aston-Martin - Nothing new this year except the hi-po Vanquish S. It takes an expert to spot the differences between it and the "regular" Vanquish. Crowds the same a Bentley.

     

    Cadillac - I'll try to boil this one down a little. For those of you that have never been to Detroit, it is still an American car town by far. Cadillac like the rest of GM seems to really trying to compete at every level, or at least that was the feeling I got at the Cadillac display. The 440hp Supercharged STS-V is a car after my own heart. While I don't care for the looks of any of these new Cadillac it seems that they are really on their way. The same engine/6-speed automatic combo will be available in the XLR-V to be shown in New York in April. These two cars while not world beaters will go a long way towards giving Cadillac the boost they've needed for the last 30 years. I applaud their effort.

     

    Rolls-Royce - The most reserved display. Just one Phantom and I didn't see the 100EX concept there either. Very quiet.

     

      

    continued....
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Acura - Nice cars for sure, but lacking compared to MB,BMW,Lexus and now Infiniti once you get past the entry level class in which the TL competes. There is no way the RL is worth 50K. The new M45 cost the same money and will outperform it: read V8. I like Acuras but they're loosing the plot in my book. The RD-X concept is just luxury Honda CR-V and not very convincing. Acura needs something to spice up their lineup.

     

    Just some overall thoughts about the show.

     

    Styling as always with me is a big deal and two cars stand out in very dubious ways. First the new Toyota Avalon. This has to be the ugliest car I've seen a quite some time. I mean they actually managed to make it look worse than the current model, something I didn't think was possible. Next up is VW. The new Jetta is a Toyota Corolla in stance, shape and rear end, only the front with its VW grile is VW original. I couldn't believe it.

     

    I have totally fallen for the VW Phaeton. Love this car! Between the Phaeton and the A8, Mercedes better better do a SLK-like transformation with the next S-Class otherwise it is going to be a long 8 years.

     

    GM seems to be really trying to keep Toyota from inhaling them in the next few years. Cadillac, Pontiac and to a lesser degree Chevy all seem to finally seeing the light. Saturn also has a lot of new products on the board, and wisely they'are all Opel based products. These cars will be unique in the U.S. market, something Saturn has always promised but never delivered, well at least in a favorable way.

     

    Something I noticed at MB: build quality. The new SLK and CLS are built better than any other current Mercedes products. The new ML was locked so I didn't get a chance to judge it. All the others fall either in the middle (CLK,E) or last (current ML,S) in the family. Seems someone is paying attention to the bad press.

     

     

      

    There you have it.

     

    M
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 29,243
    Who thought that merc1 was dead? ;-)

    MODERATOR
    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Word! The lone M signature appeared on my screen first and I managed a double take. Servants… come hither! Slaughter my best pig, prepare my table, pour my finest wine… my son has returned!

     

    Merc… not so sure about the M5 inhaling the segment. That high-revving engine is not for the street. Mercedes has a better formula with point-and-shoot, low-end, flat, monstrous torque curves. Must-have buyers will no doubt kick it off but I don&#146;t think it will run away with sales. E55 is tough to beat in a straight line and there is nothing to indicate that the M5 does it yet. And if it does, it will be done only by skilled drivers. If anyone knows otherwise, please educate me. And the new SMG had better be smooth in auto mode for the businessmen who will represent most of the sales. That said, I have no doubt that it will be the best handling sedan that was ever made. Nice to hear from you. Can we look forward to those Monday morning breakfasts with Merc again?

     

    ;-)
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    You hit the nail on the head with the S and the SLK-like transformation.
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