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High End Luxury Cars

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  • have i ever called the LS430 a re badged Celsior? i don't recall but if i have i would like to see the number of the post because that would be inaccurate.

    it seems to me that the only way to praise the Lexus LS430 and the Lexus brand is to attack my own personal purchase. I've purchased German and Japanese vehicles and i can certainly see through the smoke and mirrors that is marketing. one thing that i have never been fooled by is the smoke and mirrors of Lexus. they have 4 and only 4 specific vehicles. how on this earth an automobile manufacturer could actually be compared to MB with such a minuscule car line is beyond me. Audi maybe...MB never.

    as for the E class taxi cabs....they are still E classes aren't they. they are a true E class. so what's the problem. they could be "decked out" if the buyer wanted them that way. keep in mind they are not re badged in any way. because they are being used as taxi cabs in some way diminishes them form being a true Mercedes Benz. i don't think so. talk about reverse snobbery and desperation! oh by the way are "European taxi cabs" a brand of automobile?

    the RX330 is a Toyota Highlander and vice versa. go across the street and save some money at the Toyota dealer....then you are a true "thinking man"? the breadth of the MB lineup whether it be the A class or the S class....guess what..they are still MB's....not re badged vehicles. if MB wanted to be like Lexus all they would have to do is re badge a Dodge Durango and they would have a larger suv in their lineup. well...MB doesn't do things that way. they have a brand new G class (designed from the ground up) that will be released this fall that will serve as their full sized suv. and you guessed it...it is a true MB...not re badged with a little wood here and there and the price jacked up. what is the Lexus full size suv?.....a Toyota Land Cruiser masquerading as an LX470.

    can you say with 100% certainty that the Celsior is usually equipped to the levels that the LS430 is in the US? from what i've picked up on other boards it is usually sold in a more spartan form.

    would the A8 i purchased be diminished as a luxury sports sedan if it had the VW logo?
    not in practical terms but in business terms..yes it would. all you have to do is look at the struggle that VW is having selling the Phaeton. the Phaeton is a beautiful automobile but is left hanging mainly because of brand perception. as Lexus was once considered an oddball but persiveered...VW will have to do the same.

    one difference in the Audi lineup of vehicles in comparison to VW is the use of high performance engines that
    are not available in every VW. the similarities
    of Phaeton and the A8 are the awd and the engine. after that they are completely different animals. Aluminum vs Steel. the Phaeton weighs about 1000lbs more. VW and Audi are similar in nature to Lexus and Toyota when it comes to sharing platforms. the main difference that i can see is that from Audi and VW to Lexus and Toyota is this.... the German brands reach much higher with their luxury flagship. one thing i received when i purchased my A8 was a truly unique vehicle. the only production sedan made completely of aluminum. might not mean anything to you but to me it makes the car special...unique.

    hey for 55k the LS 430 is a fine car that is limited in what it offers. at this point in time one fine automobile does not
    make a luxury brand...especially compared to MB. no comparison what so ever.
  • i buy cars not brand. i've owned BMW's, MB's, Acura's, and now an Audi. so much for brand loyalty huh? after 7 Toyota's i wonder why Lexus has yet to sell me a car?
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Denali:

    You are stretching and clawing at straws now. Seems you cannot see that a luxury brand seller of the *prestige* and status and cache (throw in as many adjectives as you'd like here) of MB has their goods being used as sherpas, diminishes the brand status. That's cool tho'....

    For me, Lexus is a brand I like. They make cars and trucks that fit my lifestyle, at this particular time of my life. Maybe when I turn 50 or something, I may change my lifestyle and go with a Bentley or a Kia.... Who knows ??? Enjoy your A8, it is a testament to your hardwork and success. The A8 is a very fine automobile with a task that may be slightly different from the LS. But both are extremely good and capable cars.
  • hi oac,

    thanks for the compliment.
    for all the pro MB stuff i've posted
    i should get a free trip to Germany!

    i still don't see how the use of MB's as
    taxi cabs lessens their brand. and do
    taxi cab drivers only use MB's? are E classes
    used as taxi cabs in Japan? if not what
    is used? on a side note last i checked MB was the worlds largest truck manufacturer. does this diminish their image as a luxury automaker?
  • iancariancar Posts: 31
    Mercedes trys to sell CLS as a coup and B and R as new "touring sport vehicle". Call me old if u want but a sedan with a sloping back is not a new idea. Good Oldsmobile had tried it in its Aurora a decade ago. Even Infiniti had its "four door coup" as J-series ten years ago. For me, R-class looks just like a good old minivan without a sliding door (which make it more inconvenience) and B-class looks just like a small European coup. Even worse, M-class' option third row seats r gone. Statistic showed almost all cossover with third row seats r blockbuster: XC90, MDX, and SRX. I just cant understand the wisdom behind all these decisions. What MB needs is not about new products, its about quality control and customer services.
  • xkssxkss Posts: 722
    because Toyotas don't excite me. The mid 90s Supra was awesome but they killed it.
  • xkssxkss Posts: 722
    The 2005 Chrysler 300C SRT-8 seems like a great car (it even has forged aluminum wheels which the new BMW M5 doesn't have...the 89-95 M5 had forged aluminum wheels) but Mercedes-Benz isn't going to rebadge it as one of their cars.

    The new Chrysler 300 uses new parts and parts from the previous Mercedes-Benz E class.
  • xkssxkss Posts: 722
    The Mercedes-Benz G class was made for military duty. It is an off-road beast and built like MBs used to be built.
  • xkssxkss Posts: 722
    just search google for pictures and information on the Toyota Celsior. It is exactly the same as early Lexus LS.
  • xkssxkss Posts: 722
    Because the LS430 lacks a sense of occasion. It isn't unique or special. It is a reliable luxo car to get from point A to point B.
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    So in post 7587 Denalilama said:

    "the RX 300 was created....get this guys off of the Corolla platform!!!". In that same post you declare the " the LX 470, GX, RX....all re badged and underpowered Toyota's. they are in and of themselves not a bad vehicles....but is this a "Luxury Brand"....rebadged Toyota's????"

    In post 8056 (this reply) the RX is now the Highlander.

    Even more oddly, you said the new Audi A8 is made "completely of aluminum". What kind of hyperbole is that? It's got an all aluminum space frame - but does it have an all aluminum engine, gas tank, jack, headlight lenses, windows, seats, CD player?

    World class baloney and a trail of hyperbole.

    There's a big difference between luxury brands and luxury things. Luxury brands work as intended by the seller, while luxury goods work as intended by the customer.

    Remember, Rolex and Mercedes. One great jewelery and a so so watch. The other great jewelry and a so so car. Luxury brands, not luxury goods.
  • Lexus has a lot of problems according to you...

    It is too inexpensive (you would say cheap)

    it only really has 4 specific models,

    It is related to Celsor,

    it doesn't make stripped down Taxi's for volume,

    It doesn't have 4 Wheel Drive

    It is not made in Germany with all those fine engineers, Mechanical and Electrical....

    YET...IT OUTSELLS MERCEDES IN THE LARGEST LUXURY CAR MARKET IN THE WORLD...How can this be?
  • Well mostly right:

    The Lexus LS does get you from A to B...Which compared to some of it's competition is a huge plus in itself...since that is it' primary purpose.

    It is Special in it's Smooth, Quiet ride, Ultra Luxury appointments, Trememdous sound system, comfort and Safety...All in a package that is well priced compared to it's competition and without question the most dependable Luxury machine on the road.

    I am sure you meant to say all of that to be totally accurate in your discription of Lexus Mr. xkss but just assumed we would all know the rest of the story.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Having owned BMW's since 1993, the reason for switching to the Lexus 430 in August is that I no longer have confidence in the former being able to get me from point A to point B.
  • hfanghfang Posts: 31
    U(denali) stopped making sense about 300 posts ago.

    1) This whole thing about the value of "rebadging" cars makes no sense at all. The reason that Lexus can take a Toyota, and turn it into a class leader in comfort, ride, and reliability is in part because Toyota makes a great car to begin with. Whether or not you think it's "cool" or "sporting" enough, is purely subjective, and not relevant here. MB can't take a chrysler and turn it into a MB because most chrysler's are crap. Once a pig, always a pig, so don't start talking about how MB doesn't "rebadge" cars. Would it make a difference if Toyota made the LS430 and didn't call it a lexus? Would it no longer be a great luxury vehicle? It would still kick the S430's butt in all the comparison tests whether it was called a Lexus or Toyota.

    2) Making 20 different cars (A, C, E, S, G, ML, CL, SL, SLK, Smart) doesn't make you the "best" luxury car maker. Nor does making the most expensive car in every segment either, which MB certainly does. Nor does taking a single platform/class and putting 10 different engines into it and marking up the price logarithmically. Jaguar has for years made beautiful and expensive vehicles, but I don't think they qualify as a "great" luxury car maker, and their cars aren't top-flight luxury vehicles- overpriced, unreliable, eccentric, cramped, etc. They get crushed in every comparison test published.

    3) If you really believe that if your A8 or S430 would somehow be an objectively inferior car if it was a VW or Chrysler then you have been completely blinded by the marketing gurus at Audi and MB. You'd be paying a premium for what? Badges? Tradition? A policy of non-rebadging? What?

    4) IMHO, the only reason that MB can still sell the S430 is precisely because of people like denaliimpa, who can't see a car for what it is beyond the badge on the hood. And there are plently of people like him, who would gladly pay an extra $15-20K for an, at best, competitive car compared to the LS430. It ain't faster, quieter, sportier, more luxurious, reliable, higher tech, etc than the LS430, but there are plenty of people who are more than happy to give their money away. Which is fine with me, but don't come back here and start telling intelligent people who can make objective decisions about how the S430 has more tradition and has thicker sheetmetal and that MB doesn't rebadge cars and therefore is a "better" luxury car maker and is superior to the LS430.

    To me, what defines a great luxury car maker? A manufacturer (regardless of country of origin, tradition, years in the business, etc) who can make a luxurious, attractive, spacious, safe, w/all the "bells and whistles" and supremely reliable vehicle for a competitive price. You want to spend $15-20K more for a similar car by another manufacturer- no problem- but just admit you spent it on prestige, looks, tradition. Not on a "better" vehicle made by a "better" manufacturer.
  • Having crossed shopped both and driven both extensively before deciding on the LS, I believe I can give an objective opinion. I rated the drive dynamics of the S430 superior to the LS. This is backed by the consumers report review as well where they rated it the best riding car they ever tested. That's not to say that the LS pales in comparison because it does not. I just prefer the tighter handling, a bit more feedback and a bit more feeling from the steering. I think the LS steering is a bit over boosted. It also tends to lean more in hard cornering and I think it floats a bit more. I also liked the S Class looks a bit more.

    As for value and reliability, I think the Lexus wins hands down. If the MB was as reliable and priced similarly, I would have gone for it.
    The S430 was also missing some nice components that a car at that price should have: Xenon lights, wood steering wheel, blue tooth. I couldn't get over having a car at plus 70K that was a bit stripped down and I wasn't ready to jump to the S500 for the proper bells and whistles. But in the end I went for the LS based on quality and value and the ride is excellent.
  • Topspin:

    Did you have a chance to test the LS ultra..with the settings of sport handling and power...

    A little stiffer steering, less lean, Quicker out of the blocks...

    If you didn't and you get a chance to give it a try I would love to hear your comments.
  • No Ultras were available to test when I made my purchase. The dealer told me that they were very rare here in the NE so I just pulled the trigger on the Modern Lux. I didn't want to pay for all the rear seat toys either. But I'm surprised to hear that the steering would offer more feel.
  • hfanghfang Posts: 31
    Things like steering feel, ride quality, looks- are pretty subjective. There are many who would say that the 745Li rides better than the MB, Lexus, Audi, etc- but then again, Car and Driver said that "the Lexus ride is unmatched in this group" when compared to the BMW, MB, Jag, Audi, etc. These subjective qualities do not make one manufacturer better than another. But quality, reliability, safety, technology, fuel efficiency, and value do contribute to how good one manufacturer is vs another. And in these areas, Lexus matches or surpasses all of it's competitors. You cannot compare a S500 to the LS430- it's $20-25K more; nor can you compare the SL500 to the SC430- it's also $25K more. The fact that the Lexus can even be compared to another vehicle that costs 30-40% more is a testament to it's greatness.

    I'm not a german auto basher, or lexus aficionado. But my wife and I have owned several of these vehicles- '95 LS400, '97 M3, '00 CLK430, '01 CLK55, '01 M5, '01 A8L and now a GS400/RX330/Boxster S- and while I enjoyed the driving characteristics of the M's and Boxster, I'd be a moron to say that BMW and MB is somehow "superior" to Lexus. Each does things a bit differently and focuses on different buyers, and each does a fine job in their own way. But in terms of a pure "luxury" vehicle, I still think the LS430 is unmatched at it's real-world price.
  • that's easy michael....price.
    55k compared to 70k
    means a lower car payment.
  • what's your point?
  • hey genius....read my post.
    no matter how well a car is
    manufactured the label that is
    placed on the hood of that car
    will in most cases dictate how
    well the car sells in the short
    term at the very least.

    if i can't see beyond the badge
    on the hood why am i driving an
    Audi instead of an MB? i buy cars
    that i like. i don't live in a jdpowers
    manufactured fear when it comes to
    purchasing my vehicles.

    and if you think for a second that
    re badging vehicles doesn't limit and
    diminish the Lexus brand then you are
    only fooling yourself and being a
    Lexus fanboy.
  • hfanghfang Posts: 31
    Yes it only diminishes the Lexus brand in the eyes of people such as yourself. You haven't addressed any of my points in my previous posts either. Lastly, JD powers has nothing to do with it. Do you think all the people out there who bought the LS430, RX330, ES330, (way more owners overall than Audi, and more than MB as well) think that their cars are somehow diminished because their vehicles are heavily upgraded versions of Toyotas? They're happy to get highly rated, high quality, ,safe, luxurious, tech-advanced vehicles at a good value. I think most of us think- damn, how does Lexus do it? Now that's the mark of a good luxury vehicle manufacturer!
  • Mine cost almost 70k..It is the ultra...So lets compare mine to the 70K whatever that you are talking about...

    I will come out on top...Mine will be faster ...more reliable...and have more luxury features.
  • not once have i posted that any of the automobiles that Lexus or Toyota sells are
    not good vehicles.

    how does Lexus do it...i think i pointed
    that out in several posts.
  • are you sure you didn't overpay?
    aren't most LS430's being discounted
    about 7-8k now?
  • My Stars and Garters...Lexus is deminished by what you call rebadging...BUT>>>BUT how can that be the Lexus sells more cars then any other Luxury brand in the biggest market in the world....Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...

    This kind of logic Just makes a guys head spin.

    As far as your Audi is concerned...LS is faster the your A-8...and it costs less and it has as many or more luxury features. Ahhhhhhh..Maybe that is why it sells more Luxury cars in the US then Audi...My Head Has Stopped Spinning.
  • Mine is an 01 The Ultra was really rare then...and maybe I did over pay...Unless I conceder what a similar car equally appointed would have cost me from Mercedes.
  • michael,

    do you really feel that your rwd LS
    is the equivalent of an awd car?
    and...you feel that your Lexus
    is better equipped? really?

    so the US market is all that matters?
    isn't that a little
    egocentric and self serving.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    We need to back off of the personal comments here ... I'm sure we can keep this conversation focused on the vehicles and stop with the sarcasm about each other, can't we?
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