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High End Luxury Cars

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  • Tiag:

    So we have some area's of agreement...Lexus LS does have Stability Cokntrol (which can be turned on and off, by the way, I am not sure how the mercedes one works) and Telematrics....

    I don't think this board is for the make up of the IS it is for high end Luxury Cars..So I will leave that alone.

    Mercedes has airbags that come out of the rear seats ...Goodie...Mine only protect your head..but even with your seat belt on you could bump you torso against the door..Hmmmm

    Since Lexus is extremely Profitable and Mercedes is hanging on by finger nails and toe nails...and since my LS has generally the same options as the higher end Mercedes.. Maybe Mercedes should take some options out of their car ...to be more competitive...

    I can think of All wheel drive (will be in LS in 07)that Mercedes has and the LS doesn't... specifically what other Options would Mercedes have that I am missing out on.

    When Lexus goes Hybred in the 07 LS ...Will their having that major feature make Mercedes a second rate car?
  • tiag:

    Actually I think Lexus costs less Loaded vrs Base.speaking only LS vrs S
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Merc,
    The poster before attempts to malign the Lexus name without any proof. The only thing those links indicated was that the Lexus performs MARGINALLY worse in rear end crashes, which the tester admits usually aren't serious.

    Now does Marginal=shoddy and unsafe? I don't think so...You'd think the Press would jump all over Lexus if that were true..Having been in an accident with my LS400 I know none of what these ridiculous allegations are true..

    The Government results don't show what he's saying. You're talking about a marginal difference here. What I am saying is that if you all want to harp on about innovation, I can harp on about reliability. With the exception of those few sentences, I responded quite directly.

    None of you acknowledge that being first in innovation isn't enough to generate profits. Prestige does not equal profits as clearly shown in the MB case. You fail to see the point that no one cares WHO built the thing first.. This is the point you all miss repeatedly.

    Despite being 15K cheaper, Lexus makes MORE money on the LS than Mercedes does on the S...What part of that don't you understand? You all seem to think Pricier=Better..Anytime someone attempts to slam Lexus I point at the profits they make. You can't argue with that kind of success..It's like putting down Tom Brady..Oh but wait, he's got Three Super Bowl rings.

    My Airbus vs Boeing argument was to illustrate that even though marginal differences in safety features exist, the airlines have not hesitated to fly them, despite the potential liability lawsuits if it was "unsafe.."

    The previous poster would have you believe we're comparing a Tank (MB) vs a go-cart (Lexus) When you use words like "Unsafe, and Shoddy engineering" that is what you are implying..In reality it seems to be a marginal difference at best. If it were a real issue, it would show up in all crash tests. It's funny, even the German loving car magazines have NEVER raised this point..The only category where the LS is slammed is dynamics and styling..

    Have you read the posts of former BMW owners in the LS forum? They don't think the difference (dynamics) between the 7 series and LS are night and day..You can quote all these pointless performance statistics, but are they indicative of real world use? Of course not! How many people race their high end cars on Tracks? This sort of data is meant for BS sessions and nothing more. Lexus owners love JDP, CR, and resale value stats because they bear the real world aspects of owning the car.

    SV
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    "The SL just beats the SC430 to a pulp by all accounts outside of a CR survey so it would probably outsell the SC430 at any price"

    Aha... I couldn't have said it any better than you just did. If the SL is a much better car than the SC, does the higher price of the SL deter its sales ? Nope. See, we do agree....

    So let us extrapolate. If the S430/500 are better cars than the LS430, regardless of their higher prices, would they not sell better COMBINED than a single engined Lexus LS430 ? But we all know the reverse is the case, right ? So, it must tell you something about the incredible car the LS430 is. That it can single-handedly BEAT all S-class cars COMBINED in units sold. The LS, whether you'd like to admit it or not, is the most popular, most DESIRED mainstream full-size luxury car money can buy. Its higher sales bears this point out. If the MBs were $20K, $30K better (as currently priced), they should clobber the LS in sales.

    So, the sales numbers tell me that S-class cars are overpriced, and their cache brand can no longer support the price premium placed on them.

    The real irony of all this is that the high MSRP of S-class (430/500) is due primarily to an inefficient and high-cost MB production system. OTOH, Lexus can price their car right, generate more sales, and make the most profit/unit because they have the world's best production system. It is that simple.
  • garyh1garyh1 Posts: 386
    "As tought in logic class, any If...then... statement is invalid and meaningless as soon as the if part becomes untrue"

    Invalid perhaps, but not meaningless. The point of the question is to narrow down the issues of contention. The fact is, given the hypothetical, and based on past comments, I would think SV, OAC, LJFLX and maybe some others would likely choose the S over a LS if reliability and value were not issues. So the corollary to this is that we probably all agree with MERC1, TIAG_M5, etc. on the S's plusses of driving dynamics, styling, prestige, safety, etc.

    So it really comes down to how much weight is given to the LS's reliability and value. For the Lexus aficionados (including me), those factors are so basic to the decision that they outweigh the (slight) positives of the S on the other issues.

    Sometimes in the heat of discussion, we lose sight of the obvious. But note that it is rare to see someone argue here that the LS is safer than the S, or has better driving dynamics, or has more prestige. Nor do you see many people saying the S is really more reliable than the LS, or that its electronics are better, or that you get more bang for your buck in the S. That disagreement may be true in comparing the traits of other cars, but not these two. We just disagree about how to weigh the importance of the different factors, not which car possesses which dominant trait.

    That's why this battle can never be won, nor can anyone be swayed to one side or the other. We in fact probably all agree on the objective factors, we just disagree on their relative importance.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
  • hi guys,

    a lot of great posts!
    about 2 years ago there were crash test
    photos of the S class on a thread over
    at MBworld. i found the thread but the
    photos could not be viewed. I've asked
    the moderator to repost them so i can post
    a link for everyone to view. let me say
    this....when you see how MB tested the
    S class you will be AMAZED! they use a
    wedged shape battering ram. they then slam
    it into the side of the car. hopefully
    the photos will be reposted soon. i can
    say this....if i had to be strapped
    into either an LS430 or S Class like a crash test
    dummy.....i would without question
    be belted into the S.

    what i feel has been lost in much of the
    discussion considering safety is this....why
    doesn't Lexus invest more time and money
    in this area? if they want to be the worlds
    number one luxury automaker .....wouldn't "safety first"
    be the cornerstone of their philosophy? this is
    but another reason that Lexus is not on the same level as the German automakers.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    On innovation. Now you're back to the IMPORTANCE of innovations, rather than their sheer number. My point here is that hybrid tech trumps anything else MB has innovated in the last 15 years. Why? Because it is probably the only new technology to come along in the last 15 years (probably longer) that SIGNIFICANTLY IMPROVES BOTH FUEL ECONOMY AND SHEER PERFORMANCE. The fuel savings are a societal and environmental good. And, through reduced emissions, fuel economy ultimately might save more lives than any one or even several safety innovations. While the performance improvement is something any germancarfan really should appreciate.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Succint and to the point.

    Spoken like an attorney....Not that you are one, eh ?

    :)
  • That's the sound of my four and five year olds discussing the features, benefits and prestige of the German makes vs. Lexus.

    Much more succinct, and as useful, as the recent discussions here. I'll check back in a few months to see if any adults have joined the discussion. (hits UNSUBSCRIBE button)
  • garyh1garyh1 Posts: 386
    Thanks SYSWEI, DENALIINPA (assuming your positive comment was intended to include my post), and OAC.

    OAC, you are very observant. Yes, I am an attorney by training, but also own and manage a financial services/investment firm. And my investment philosophy tends to run to the "value" side. I guess that predilection is what moved me from a BMW/MB owner to a Lexus owner. :-)
  • den:

    have you ever seen that wedge hit a LEXUS LS in the side?...I though not...But even so you would rather be in the S...

    That seems like blind loyality to a Brand name.

    I would want to see that wedge hit a lexus before I made statements about which car I would rather be in...

    Of course I would also like to find out how many wedge shaped cars there were out there.
  • denaliinpa:

    do you know how much money and time Lexus spends on Safety testing?...Do you know what tests they use? Do you even know that safety first is NOT their first philosophy..(Lord knows it is not design)

    Do you think it makes sense to make these comments without knowing the above?

    You are right Lexus is not on the same level as the german automakers....they are on a higher level and going higher yet...With hybred technology just a year and a half away from the LS...it is going to be hard on the Germans to maintain that tiny $30 million profit at Mercedes.
  • darlinboy:

    Darn too late he left before I could thank him for his contribution.
  • xkssxkss Posts: 722
    The Lexus LS is just a rebadged Toyota Celsior. Really exciting, eh? Does Toyota test the Celsior on race tracks?

    image

    image
  • iancariancar Posts: 31
    i dunno what other people think, but if Mercedes can even make their radio or head lamp work perfectly and dependable, how can i trust it can save my life with its airbags and all other advance technologies. To be true, i love German car styles a lot, especially the CLS and S-class. But a car suppose to be served as a daily tool, not to sit at repair shop. Beside, when i spend more than 40k on a car, i will expect a car to work as the dealer promised. Luxury goods should be separated from normal products because of every little details, not giving its owners headache.
  • iancariancar Posts: 31
    In Japan, Lexus brand is not exist until late 2004 and the only model they are selling that are badged as Lexus is the redesigned 2006 GS 350/430 (start selling in Q2 - Q3 2005). Therefore,in Japan, Lexus is not in business yet. Hence, every car Toyota coporation made will badge with "Toyota". Beside the badge, Toyota Celsior cost no less than LS model in US. Other than LS430, SC430 is named Soarer and IS300 is named Atezza, both priced similar to their American counterpart. Toyota currently is selling over 64 models (cars/light trucks excluded commercial vehicles) and 18 of them is 4 door sedans. So i may not be suprised if Toyota/Lexus is developing a super sedan that is place above Celsior/LS to serve as a new flagship for homeworld lexus in the near future.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    I have to admit, it is rather jolting to see the Toyota logo front and back on the LS 430. Not for the squeamish!
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    It is the same car, isn't it? It is a bone fide luxury car in the way it feels to the driver, isn't it? I just don't see the big deal. Slap whatever label on it, the merits of the car are the same. The rest is just in the buyer's head, and show how much irrationality there's involved in buying a car despite discussions like this one trying to make it look like one has very rational reasons for one's personal choice. Admit it: there is not one bad car among those discussed here. Nor a single mediocre one. Only great ones.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    xkss, denali and others, you do seem to have a fixation on the "badge" and keep using "rebadged" as an ephithet.

    I would have thought that a true auto "enthusiast" wouldn't care much about the "badge" or the origins of a car (i.e., whether it has been "rebadged"). I thought all that would matter are the physical characteristics of the car itself...handling, acceleration, styling, etc.

    Why should a true enthusiast care so much about what badge is on the hood?
  • My first MB was an 82 300D Turbo purchased new. Most of my friends were making the switch from American to MB because they were sick and tired of the quality issues with GM etc and because MB's were the new status car. Safety was a good "justifier" for the price and of course I don't minimize the importance, but if the image and status weren't there, I must say that I don't think that alone would have motivated us to buy.
    These cars had the reputation of running for hundreds of thousands of miles with only minor service. They also leased at very good rates due to high re-sale. At this time in the LA area there was a shift from Caddy to MB in the high rent district. Having owned 2 Caddies, 2 MB's and 2 Lexus' (Lexi?), I think I can differentiate between perception and reality.
    The Caddies were great riding boats whose quality issues as the best of the American cars chased people to imports.
    The MB's while very solid and much better build quality, were far from bullet proof. They were a big step up from the American cars and it was true that if you handled the repairs as they came up, you could keep it on the road for many miles.
    Lexus cars became the new standard for reliability and to me are about as bullet proof as one can get. I had the original GS300 and only did oil changes for the 60K and 4 years I had it. Absolutely nothing ever went wrong.

    In the end I think the bar has been raised significantly as far as quality and reliability go.
    MB was reliable in comparison to the playing field in the 80's. They have great driving dynamics and safety.
    Lexus is the new gold standard in reliability. It's driving experience is different than MB. It is softer and if I were on a track or making quick turns going for speed, I would prefer to be in an MB or a BMW. But in choosing my LS430 over the S430, which my heart preferred, I couldn't ignore the defects in 2 separate road tests on 2 different cars (a steering wheel that would not tilt due to a blown fuse, and a window that would not open)
    The American consumer is just too savvy to continue to buy status alone and I hope that MB improves the quality because it is a great company with a great heritage. They need to remember that in the long run luxury and status will only remain if it is backed up by quality. After all, the higher quality was the catalyst for their growth and the beginning of the status symbol status for MB in America.
  • obviously you have been miss understanding my posts when it comes to re badging. Toyota makes
    fine vehicles and so does Lexus. the only problem i have is that the Lexus "brand" is built on the re badging of Toyota products. i think most posters on this forum would have a big problem if Mercedes Benz sold re badged Chrysler products. this is a big sticking point with me because in my eyes i see a massive difference between MB and Lexus.

    a couple of weeks ago i was lurking on Edmund's and i came across this thread. after reading all of the German bashing....MB in particular i couldn't resist jumping in. i hope that the past 30 pages has made more posters aware of what the differences are between Lexus and the German brands. also the importance of MB in the market place...historically and presently.

    like i said in my earlier posts...i also own two GMC's...so status is not what drives me when i purchase an automobile.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    IF (hypothetically) Chrysler made a car better than say an S in every possible way, and then MB "rebadged" it with somewhat different sheetmetal and a more luxurious interior, I wouldn't have a problem with it and I don't see why any true enthusiast should.

    "Rebadging" may mean less status that building from scratch, but the car itself is no less worthy as a car, and an enthusiast should like it no less.

    BTW I actually don't count myself as a true enthusiast.
  • michael your missing the point.
    when MB designed and tested the S class
    they didn't design it around the normal
    crash testing parameters. when i saw
    these photos i was convinced without a
    doubt that the S quite possibly the safest
    automobile on the road.

    this is only my
    opinion but i believe that many
    of the automakers today design their automobiles
    to test well in the test crash that are
    currently being used. they design to the
    parameters not beyond them. to go beyond those
    parameters is what separates automotive
    companies.

    the person i contacted on the photos emailed me
    and said he doesn't have them anymore. maybe
    someone else will come up with them. sorry.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,678
    Excellent post but it will be lost here because the German lovers base best car emphasis on performance dynamics even though it can't be used 99% of the time. I've been saying that for years. Better than average handling is all you need. The sales argument got so ridiculous that someone said RX sales should not count. When you see that type of silliness you no people are groping and can't handle the situation. Meanwhile I just read a story in the NY Times which I'll link in another post that said 44% of all BMW unit sales are 3 series, a relatively inexpensive car. But I doubt the same poster would say 3 series sales shouldn't count.

    The truth is Lexus has replaced MB as the gold standard in build quality and reliability and it just can't be handled or accepted by many people who love the MB name. So they grope and find ridiculous things to bank on. That is the story of the last 250 posts.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,678
    Interesting reads.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/26/business/worldbusiness/26bmw.ht- ml

    Last line of paragraph 3 should interest merc1.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/26/business/worldbusiness/26factor- y.html

    Maybe someone is getting to Bangle but personally I still think the 3-series has a bad look in its new form. Just not as bad as the 5 or 7. But like the others IMO it's great looking on the front end and then loses it fron the rear seat back.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Of course we will never know, but somehow I feel as fine a vehicle as the LS 430 is, if it was originally sold here as a Toyota Celsior, sales would not be as successful as they have been. Yes, Pablo, a lot of it is in the buyer's head especially to status-happy Americans. Toyota recognized this. Absolute marketing genius rebadging this car as a "Lexus" for the US market.
    Let's face it. Toyota put one over on us and it worked.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Something has happened lately to break links that are over some (not very long) length. Here are the links that ljflx posted in working forms:

    Link 1

    Link 2

    (The NY Times website does require free registration to view their site.)

    I'm told the link issue will be fixed within a couple of weeks ...
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,678
    The Celsior came after the LS - why does everyone get this wrong?
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    "Yes, Pablo, a lot of it is in the buyer's head especially to status-happy Americans."

    Of course it is. Why do you think they created the separate Lexus badge to begin with. And in spite of the inherent merits of high-end Toyotas, high-end buyers want status to go along with it. Camp Lexus is like the second-born child who wants to prove he's just as good as big brother Mercedes. They know that Lexus has something going, but o-o-o-h they want that recognition. Most of them say they could care less, and indeed this may be the case for some, but I think I have a good idea of who's who around here among the usual suspects ;-) Not that it matters, I just find it to be funny.

    Status is no different from money. Many of us know that worshipping the golden calf is not the noblest of endeavors, hence the proclamations "I don't care about status," but deep down inside some do it regardless, and reveal themselves without even realizing it.

    "Let's face it. Toyota put one over on us and it worked."

    Well, I wouldn't go that far. Going into a Toyota service department is no different from Ford service. In addition to the luxury accoutrements, Lexus service seems to be in class of its own.

    "…the German lovers base best car emphasis on performance dynamics even though it can't be used 99% of the time. I've been saying that for years. "

    Ljflx… this is where you really identify your priorities and at the same time vilify those of the German-car buyer. I've been saying the following for years also. The benefits of ANY higher-performance car are 100% available even to super-cautious old ladies who drive well-within the speed limits. A performance car is a safer, more secure car, whether one chooses to exploit the car at its limits or not. My wife knows nothing about cars or performance. However she knows what she simply feels. I submit that there are many German-car buyers who are EXACTLY like my wife. Your 99%-of-the-time thing is simply a convenient rationale for those who neither desire or appreciate the qualities of cars like BMWs. The Lexus buyer is a Lexus buyer. The BMW buyer is a BMW buyer. Never the twain shall meet. And then there is Oac ;-) Personally, I think the BMW buyer is a breed unto itself, especially the 7-series buyer. It's incredible what the latter have had to put up with.
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