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High End Luxury Cars

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  • tiag_m5tiag_m5 Posts: 54
    When you read things like that you realize that all logic has gone out the window in order to detract attention from such obvious and glaring shortcomings.

    Exactly. I couldn't have said it any better.
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety would probably disagree with you. You seem to ignore that frame construction is the Number ONE factor whether it be an airplane or car.
    http://money.cnn.com/2005/03/06/pf/autos/iihs_side_impact/

    It's funny, the New Beetle had all the side impact airbags yet it still did poorly. The Corolla did better (but still not great) with the airbags. Here's a telling quote:

    "Four of the vehicles tested -- the Elantra, New Beetle, Forenza and Spectra -- have standard, head-protecting side air bags. But the institute's chief operating officer, Adrian Lund, said the cars had poor structure that failed to prevent injuries to the torso and pelvis."

    Notice he's saying the same thing I am: Structure is key. Had any of you had an engineering background like I do, you might understand that. An Airbag isn't going to compensate for a lacking structure.

    You've already read in prior posts that the LS430 structure is studied at various engineering schools. The LS430 scores equally well in every objective measure out there. You offer opinions, yet I have facts to back up what I say. Not that I wouldn't mind the extra airbag, but it's not going to make a major difference as shown in the results I've posted above.

    You're still taking that comparo out of context. Go back and read the article. They did say it wasn't a fair comparison, and likened the LS430 to wearing slippery ballerina shoes if I remember the quote correctly. And No, the Lexus never scores dead last in anything. It's usually in the higher end of straight line acceleration and middle of the pack in other performance realms. You can bluster all you want but even the Autorags give Lexus it's due.

    I've driven a S430 and no, the difference was not huge. The S430 was stripped of options for $78K (List price). The Navigation system wasn't close to that of the LS430. Lexus has been using a DVD based system since 2001, MB 2004. As far as electronics go, Lexus is much better no contest. The Benz looks better and feels marginally better on the highway at 90 MPH. The Lexus has better resale value and reliability. So why would I pay $13K more?

    If you're going to consider Objectives, the Lexus wins every time. There is no refuting that one. You keep harping on about Innovation...My answer: We don't care who built it first. So as long as it works. Basically you're making the snob appeal argument, that's what it all boils down to. Sorry, I don't buy my car as status symbol to brag about. I think that perfectly illustrates the difference between Lexus owners and Mercedes owners. It's the same reason I wear a Seiko instead of a Rolex. Reliabilty is better and it does the same exact thing...So why spend $10K for show?

    SV
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    There is only one thing wrong with your airbag rebuttal, you're using much smaller and far less well built cars in your example. Those cars have absolutely nothing to do with the cars mentioned on this board. They're not nearly as big or well built. Now earlier when tiag_m5 showed you results about various Toyotas you said they were invalid because they weren't Lexuses, so you can't point to an Elantra to make a point here either.

    I don't think anyone said that an airbag would compensate for a lacking structure or that any car here had a poor structure. The point of paying more for a luxury car is to have all the latest safety features, especially compared to cheaper cars in this case that have those rear side airbags. Same thing about paying more money should get you a more reliable vehicle. You can't seperate the two because Lexus isn't a safety leader. The issue isn't even that MB or whoever had rear side airbags first, the issue is that Lexus still doesn't have them on what is supposed to be their top-of-the-line sedan.

    I think tiag_m5 brought the airbags up at this point just to illustrate how things are glossed over and deemed unimportant by the Lexi who simply can't admit that even their LS doesn't have every base possible covered. Reading this board you'd think Lexus has thought of everything. To say that side airbags are in place for bragging rights is the most ridiculous thing I've read in the last few weeks.

    Is roll-over protection on a convertible no big deal either?

    M
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Merc,
    You do have a point there. tiag_M5 has repeatedly said the LS 430 is UNSAFE because of the exclusion of a single airbag. No question all high end marques will fare better, but this goes to show the difference that an airbag will make using a common benchmark. You will agree all cars in the compact class have similar build quality? If so, then you will agree the marginal effects of such side airbags will also be accurately shown. The VW Beetle is a superbly engineered car, but the side impact airbags didn't make a difference. In the Corolla case, it made only a marginal difference. The key here is the structure is the No 1 line of defense in a crash. It goes to show that a single airbag does not make one car safer than the other.

    No doubt Lexus is slower to adopt these measures, but I take issue with calling these cars unsafe because of the exclusion of a SINGLE device. ALL of these arguments can be used to call the Jaguar unsafe too. Will you accuse Jaguar of cutting corners as well? We all now know the Frame of the LS is used in classrooms for its design. The crash tests have shown that the LS has performed equally well.

    In my comment to snobbery I was referring to the "being first in innovation, Prestige, history" and other arguments used to put down Lexus. I was not referring to the side airbag.

    The only criticism which I think is valid is styling. Lexus doesn't market to the BMW crowd with the LS, so being #1 in the skidpad, Horsepower, and 0-60 aren't going to be expected. In the fifteen years of reading Lexus test drives the car performs somewhere in the middle. What Lexus' focus is Customer Service, Reliability, cutting edge electronics and cloud like ride. Despite this, the LS always places highly on Auto Rags reviews..

    Don't get me wrong, Mercedes is a great car. Once they get their quality issues sorted I'd probably buy one. What I don't get is all this hype about their styling..Jaguar still wins that one hands down..BMW's look terrible these days and Audi is okay. Lexus needs alot of work in this regard, as I don't like their styling direction at all. But then again, I can't even remember the last good looking Japanese car I saw recently..(Mazda RX-8?) Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and hardly a reason to slam a marque as being inferior.

    SV
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "You do have a point there. tiag_M5 has repeatedly said the LS 430 is UNSAFE because of the exclusion of a single airbag. No question all high end marques will fare better, but this goes to show the difference that an airbag will make using a common benchmark. You will agree all cars in the compact class have similar build quality?"

    Well you and Tiag_M5 will have to debate the first part of that, I didn't claim that. My only point was that it seems that anything Lexus isn't leading in is deemed unimportant or irrelevant. A luxury car should have all the latest safety features along with all that other stuff you prize, is my point. Most cars in this segment probably do have a similar build in their structure, but there is no way for any of us here to know that. Just in my limited experience and looking at the specs I think the 5000lb VW Phaeton would be safer than any car here, but that is just my personal belief. It seems to be a veritable tank to me.

    " If so, then you will agree the marginal effects of such side airbags will also be accurately shown. The VW Beetle is a superbly engineered car, but the side impact airbags didn't make a difference. In the Corolla case, it made only a marginal difference. The key here is the structure is the No 1 line of defense in a crash. It goes to show that a single airbag does not make one car safer than the other."

    I don't really think this is a good example because the VW is a two door car and the Toyota is a regular 4 door, seems to me the Beetle is more at risk in a side impact compared a sedan.

    Styling - you are correct way too personal to really debate, but we do. I too think Jaguars are beautiful cars, especially the XJ and XK, but I think Mercedes and Audis are more up to date in styling, while still being true to their heritage. Unlike Jaguar which seems trapped by theirs.

    M
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Yes. This could be a problem for Lexus.
    A new GS 430 would cost me $53,400.
    An equivalent LS 430 would be about $52,000.
    You can take it to the bank that the 2007 LS will be priced way above the GS.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    "For me reliability takes a back seat on my priority list when I shop for a car."
    Wow! That sure places you in the minority.
    I do believe most folks looking for a good new or used car place a very big premium on reliability.
    Proof? This is why Lexus/Toyota/Scion has been so successful.
    Let's face it people buy these cars primarily for their dependability. Any negative comments by their owners usually have to do with bland styling and not any mechanical issues.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    "Well first of all CR is a fraud."
    Wow! This is huge news. A scandal of mega-proportions!
    Please list your proof of this in your next posting.
    Inquiring minds want to know!
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,683
    OAC - the age issue. Don't know about your area but I must have a lot of young looking 60's folk where I live. This 60's group also decided to have kids after they hit the double nickle I guess. Everytime I am in for service I see these real young looking 60's folks dropping off their LS cars. And in town the folks I know have young kids that play sports with my son. But what the heck - the people I know shouldn't count in merc1's logic but the people he doesn't know should.

    denalipina - wrong again as usual on prices. Very wrong in fact. Lexus has the LS430 at 62-71K (most are sold at 62-66k), the LX 470 at 65-70K, the GX470 at 50-55K and the SC430 at 62-63K. I'll even leave out the GS430 for this even though it will easily command 52-55K. Some of the new RX hybrids, which has double the A8's annual sales before it is even available also will command 50-52K. But somehow all this adds up to just one $50k vehicle for you. The volune just from the Lexus cars that sell over $50K alone dwarfs Audi's entire US sales including all those cheap A4's. You really need to get your facts straight because they are so off the mark it's comical.
  • denaliinpadenaliinpa Posts: 169
    i'll make it simple. how many 4 door SEDANS over 50k does Lexus sell a year?
    re badged Toyota SUV's is really what Lexus is all about.

    "Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming, about how the LS430 is driven by old, blue-haired retired folks, while MBs and Audis are owned by yuppy 30-somethings...right ?"

    you said this not me. does anyone know the average age of the LS430 buyer?

    when it comes to safety inovation. if MB and BMW didn't pioneer new safety features for automobiles it seems very unlikely that Lexus would. to me that says a lot about what the brand stands for.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Yeah. Old bench sitters like Bill Gates drive the LS 430. I wouldn't mind that kind of company.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    I read somewhere that the average age of the LS buyer is around 58. I could be wrong.
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hi All,
    Since we have been discussing safety alot, here's something to think about. This is totally UNscientific..

    http://members.aol.com/sv7887/myhomepage/Cars/92_Crash.jpg

    Now my car took a 30'ish MPH impact from a Honda Civic (of all things). The wheel and suspension took most of the hit. Amazingly the wheel was still straight when they tested it. However everything attached to that wheel had to be replaced. I still don't know where $7000 in damage came from. The engine mounts and coolant container also had to be done. All mechanical work was done by the Lexus dealer using OEM parts.

    The fender didn't scratch (Amazing what five coats of polish and wax can do) and I felt it should have been straightened out and repaired instead of being replaced. Ditto for the moulding and bumper. I guess it's all racket from the body shop's perspective. They did a lousy job on the paint. You can see drip marks on the bottom on the fender and the bumper is starting to peel. The fender isn't aligned properly either. Totally unacceptable for a Lexus dealer approved body shop. I'll have a reputable Toyota shop I know fix it.

    As far as impact goes, I heard a muted "Thump" and the car barely moved. It drove home and wasn't making any funny engine sounds. The suspension was clearly messed up and the tire was rubbing against the wheel well. (I don't know if you can tell that the wheel is slightly bent in)

    This car doesn't have any side impact airbags, pre-collision, or any other electronic measures, but makes up for it in frame construction. I don't think this is an "unsafe" car..I'd take a hit any day in this car.

    While many will disagree I think the old cars were sturdier than the new ones. My friend had a nasty accident in his 1988 MB 300SE and walked away. The car was in the shop for three weeks and was seriously damaged. Like mine, he doesn't have any of this new age stuff. But he wouldn't hesitate to hop back into his trusty 300SE and drive it around. (Mind you he has a '02 S430 but drives his 300SE more..)

    SV
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,683
    I didn't realize I said anything about Audi, MB or any brands age of buyer. Just inferred that the whole 60's thing is badly overblown. Last I checked in 2001 the avg ages of the S class and LS 430 buyers were real closs in the 50-55 range.

    I didn't realize a lux or exclusive brand is defined only by how many 4 door sedans over $50K one sold. I must have been asleep for 40 years. Wow - that leaves out some of the most expensive car brands in the world - Porsche just to name one. How more narrow do you want to define your scope to try and leave Lexus out? You realize I hope that it is a fruitless attempt.

    Since Audi isn't one of your safety pioneers I guess they don't count either. Personally this is the silliest argument I've seen yet. Pioneering safety defines lux brand. Volvo should have been there ages ago then.

    I for one will never dispute the great things MB has brought to the table in engineering and in safety. Their problem is electronics, reliability, shoddier interior materials and build quality that isn't up to snuff with it's well heritaged past. To call them an inferior brand is wreckless and irresponsible. Yet your Lexus arguments fit those words perfectly.
  • denaliinpadenaliinpa Posts: 169
    nothing worse than your car getting hit. body shops today are much better than they used to be but there is still nothing like factory. you were probably better off replacing the fender. why have a filler used to remold it and fill it in. $7000 seems like a lot but the suspension components are most likely made of aluminum and probably very costly.

    regarding the construction of your LS and the other cars of this thread. they are all unibody construction. they don't have the traditional ladder type frame as say a pickup truck. the exterior body is also called the safety cage.

    300SE is a very nice car. imo a classic. i don't know if it has a traditional frame or not but my guess is that it doesn't. even though the 300SE was very safe for it's day i would bet that vehicles manufactured today...even the LS430! are designed to protect their occupants better.
  • Merc.

    Yea...The best thing the people at Lexus can do is listen to the Germans...Take your advice...Learn how to treat their customers and build a real quality automobile...

    Those German cars are real money makers...ROTFLMAO
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    According to Ann M Job of Associated Press, the median age of Lexus LS 430 owners is 62 and the median income is $178,000.
  • denaliinpadenaliinpa Posts: 169
    the reason i asked how many sedans they sell is this. to me ...Lexus is basically the LS430. most of the other vehicles they sell are imo filler.
    re badged units from Toyota. the LS is fine automobile but how can 1 fine automobile be the equivalent of the MB brand and line of vehicles?

    the only vehicle that MB manufactures that i feel uses poor interior design and materials is the ML. i know this because i have had 2 of them. the interior didn't match the ability and safety of the vehicle. MB deserved a black eye for that interior but if you have seen photos of the upcoming ML the interior terrific. i had an S and the interior materials are easily on a par or better than anything in its class. all of the MB's that I've seen lately have stunning interiors.
  • Tiag:

    1)Chrysler and Mercedes...Toyota and Lexus...Very similar...In both cases Parent and child are very similar to each other...Chrysler and Mercedes are both unreliable and have difficulity making a profit.......Lexus and Toyota both make the best most reliable cars in the world and are both Blazingly profitable The most Profitable in the World.

    The fast one was you trying to run links of 1990 cars and pickups by us including a chevy and not a single Lexus and claim they had anything to do with lexus...HUGE SIGN OF DESPERATION ON YOUR PART TO PROVE THE UNPROVABLE.

    A reputation for safety gets tarnished quickly when the cars reputation for reliability goes down the tube...Others Specifically LEXUS/Toyota have safety features that you can be sure will work when you need them.

    The ESC in LEXUS works...It is one of the highly replaced parts on the Mercedes...What does that say?

    Your wrong...Lexus puts all safety features in their cars that 1) work and 2) make sense and provide function...

    That is why they often will take a German engineered feature and have to work on it for a couple of years..So when it goes in their car it doesn't become something may not work when needed, something that often needs replacing because of mal-function.

    The manufacture of the Lexus provides some cost savings but the Reliability and absentance of Warrenty repairs (because nothing breaks down) provide Huge savings...I know Caddy Budgeted $10,000 into the price of my old Allante for warrenty repairs...God only knows what Mercedes needs to budget for Warrenty...It has to be a very Big number.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    But he also imported an $800,000 Porsche.
  • gs450gs450 Posts: 10
    I agree with Merc. As much as people have complained about the GS not coming out with more powerful engines I think the whole idea behind delaying the release of the new engines was to ensure that the car continues to sell after 2 years unlike its predecessor. BTW Merc i went to test drive the 430 yesterday and although i am in agreement with you about mercedes designs in general being more superior to lexus (can't stand the ES in particular) i have to say that i have to disagree with you about the new 430. I think lexus has finally taken a step in the right direction designwise with this new car (finally!).
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Yeah but which one does he drive to the office each day?
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Right. The GS 430 is probably their best handling car up to this point. I was impressed.
  • gs450gs450 Posts: 10
    "Well first of all CR is a fraud". until that statement, i was actually taking your posts seriously.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    I heard he takes the Porsche out quite frequently. So that's the net, net out of the last 3000 posts. Bill Gates owns an LS430, (and probably millions of dollars worth of other fine Italian and German automobiles as well) and that's the benchmark for this conversation?
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    I would like to think that some thought goes into the cars Bill Gates buys.
    All I know is that this guy who can own anything he wants, selected the LS430. The fact that he also has an $800,000 Porsche speaks volumes about the $65,000 LS. Why not just exclusively collect Ferraris, Porsches, etc; A $65,000 Lexus?There's got to be a reason, eh? Hear what I'm saying?
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Nah! Much better off using the other "conversational benchmark" that I've been reading here ad infinitum, ad nauseum that goes something like "My Mercedes/Audi is better than your LS 430."
    But then again that's the benchmark for the night-shift.
    The fact that you got irritated and wanted to change the topic when presented with a simple fact that Bill Gates drives an LS 430 betrays you as a BMW, MB or Audi fanatic.
    Why can't you fanatics accept facts? Who said anything about Porsche?
    Just like the other fanatic who didn't like the facts CR presented about the German carmakers, so he calls CR a fraud!
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Actually I was amused that you needed bolster a point by attempting to make a connection by the implication that rich person A drives luxo automobile B and therefore automobile B is the cats-meow.

    Why can't you fanatics just accept the facts. I fully agree Lexus is a great boring brand of car, who has successfully reached their target market, much like MacDonalds. I would never drive one, but that's me.

    BTW - I've been a CR fanatic for 20 years, but when it comes time to buy cars, I light the fireplace with the paper the annual surveys are printed on, like some others.

    Those surveys don't get you reliable cars, as I found out first hand.
  • 6_speed6_speed Posts: 37
    From what I know, he likes to drive fast. At one point, he had so many tickets that his license was almost suspended. So, what did he do? He bought a very old Mercedes beater - figured you can't go too fast in an old beater. I suppose he figured wrong. But a LS430 fixed that real quick. And THAT is the reason why he's still driving one.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    I am not a fanatic even though I have had BMW's for 13 years now.
    But since their reliability has gone down the toilet, I am prepared to dump them in favor of Lexus-either the LS 430 or GS 430.
    If Lexus screws up, I will dump them too.
    I always laugh at the fanatic mentality whether it's for a sports-team or an automobile.
    After Tampa Bay won the superbowl, the fanatical fans who screamed their lungs out all season were rewarded the following season with increased ticket prices and doubled parking rates!
    Until Lexus or BMW sends me dividend checks from their profits, I have no loyalty to them. There is no vested interest here.
    It's a business relationship. That's it. They offer a product. If I like it, I buy it. If I don't like it, I don't.
    I would just as soon sell BMW down the river. So much for my 13 year "relationship" with them.
    You folks who spend all night defending Audi or Mercedes Benz, well I just don't get it and never will.
    And as far as CR's reliability survey is concerned, there is nothing else out there to help the average consumer shopping for a new or good used vehicle.
    JD Powers? I've been driving for 40 years and have yet to be asked to take one of their surveys.
    At least CR sends the surveys to each subscriber every year.
    The autorags sure don't address reliability. It's even hard to find anything about front seat comfort in most of them. All they care about is performance. Zooming from 0 to 60 mph in 5 seconds. Wow! Gotta have it!!
    Ridiculous.
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