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High End Luxury Cars

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  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    And I must say that I couldn't agree more with those who are saying this subject of the safety issue is done. We've exhausted every aspect of it and we are way past the point of agreeing to disagree. It is time to move on.

    Really.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    I concur totally. The initial and rather flippant comment of using the Princess Di tragedy to try to make a point about which of 2 auto manufacturers has the safer cars was ludicrous and inappropriate.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Which carmaker do your instincts tell you is the best-selling luxury marque in the U.S.?


    Acura 20%
    BMW 20%
    Cadillac 11%
    Lexus 36%
    Mercedes-Benz 13%

    See, this is a poll about *instincts* not feely, touchy thingys....

    Looks like Lexus is running away with the crown isn't it ? Hehehehehehe....
  • paldipaldi Posts: 210
    Would it be better to start a new section in order to exclude the Japanese cars and focus on the German/English/French/Italian?
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    "Would it be better to start a new section in order to exclude the Japanese cars and focus on the German/English/French/Italian?"

    And why, may I ask ?
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Please expand on your reasons to exclude Japanese cars from high-end discussions. What's the point?
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Mercedes' …"reliability problems" are nothing more than electrical quirks and other minor things anyway…items of importance have proven to be rock solid…All of the safety systems introduced by the Germans have worked flawlessly from day one.

    Care to back your sweeping claim up with some proof? When a claim is that broad it only takes an anecdote or two for me to prove you wrong.

    Like the MB manufacturing defect that caused brake failure and at least one death:
    http://english.people.com.cn/200205/24/eng20020524_96350.shtml

    Or the failure of a brand new S’s airbag to deploy, costing the driver his left arm:
    http://www.injuryboard.com/view.cfm/Article=1371

    Or the family that met its death after their MB broke down and they were rear-ended by a truck:
    http://www.wnbc.com/traffic/3709872/detail.html
    (though in fairness we aren’t told why the MB was disabled…possibly it was a flat or something unrelated to reliability)

    And as for your claim that MB’s brake reliability issues (reported in CR) were just due to excessive pad wear and had nothing to do with safety:
    http://www.consumeraffairs.com/recalls04/mercedes_recall.html
    …the article suggested that 1300 or so MBs required greater than normal distances and greater than normal force applied in order to stop. Doesn’t that mean safety to you?

    Lexus’ lack of certain safety features like rear-door airbags does matter, but how much? How many people have died due to the lack of that or other features? Versus how many have died due to MB reliability issues? I don’t know and you don’t know, so as I stated before there is simply no convincing proof that real world safety of the S is better than the LS, or vice versa. We should just drop that line of discussion.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    CR has rated both the Mercedes E and S better in accident avoidance than the LS 430.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Since you guys are throwing around words like "CR is a fraud", let me point out some info that you could have found on the CR website:

    "...2004 models were generally less than six months old at the time of the survey...Vehicles that new should have few problems, so a score of [half-red] or worse is below average for most...WHY DOES IT LOOK RELIABLE BUT GETS AN X? This is a frequently asked question about our reliability charts. Sometimes a vehicle (especially a 2004 model) will have seemingly high Ratings, such as [all red] or [half-red], in the 14 trouble spots, but gets a below-average (X) reliability verdict. That’s because at least some of the trouble-spot Ratings didn’t compare well with the average ratings for that model year, as shown in the average vehicle chart. For instance, the 2004 Saab 9-3 was rated [all red] in nine categories, [half-red] in four categories and [blank] in one category. By comparing that with the Ratings for the average 2004 model, you can see that the 9-3's Ratings are worse than the average in five areas, one of which--transmission--is weighted more heavily. The result is a below-average (X) reliability verdict."
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    All well and good, but what about the 2005 BMW 5 series? 13 full or half red circles indicating above average reliability and 1 clear circle indicating average reliability. So no below average ratings out of 14 possible trouble spots for 2004-the first year for the new model. A very impressive showing! From this, CR gives this car a much worse than average projection for 2005?
    I believe CR has some 'splainin' to do!
    I wrote them about this specific example and hope they respond.
  • rgswrgsw Posts: 333
    I copied the following from the Lexus.com safety features for the LS430. If I read it correctly, the LS430 does have "side-curtain airbags" on all LS430s. I know you said "read side airbags", does the "side-curtain airbags" suffice?
    Quote: "For added protection, side-curtain airbags [1] run from the front to the rear, across the side windows. We've also equipped the LS with driver's- and passenger's-side knee airbags [1]." end Quote.
    Maybe Lexus waites a while to see if the new technology is really going to work before adobting it, thus a better quality rating.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Can be found posted at this link

    oac, "The Next Lexus IS!" #1317, 11 Mar 2005 12:37 am

    If this roadmap holds true, coupled with MB and BMW releases to come, buyers should have plenty to choose from. And maybe provide even more debating issues for die-hard fans on all sides over the coming years....

    :)
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    That poll just goes to show how much people really know because Lexus and Mercedes sell more high dollar cars than Acura.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Yep they all have a lot on the way, but I think Lexus and Mercedes might have more product on the way than BMW does.

    Mercedes' roadmap for 2006 and 2007:

    2006 E350 (on sale now, 268hp V6)
    2006 E55 Wagon (special order only)

    2006 S65 AMG (On sale next month)

    2006 CLS500 and CLS55 AMG (on sale now!)

    2006 C350 (268hp V6)
    2006 C280 (227hp V6)
    2006 C230 (200hp V6)
    All on sale in June of 2005.

    SLK280 (227hp V6) On sale this summer.

    ML350 (268hp V6)
    ML500 (302hp V8)
    Both on sale last week of April 2005

    CLK - facelifted model range, including new CLK350. On sale this fall.

    R-Class - debuts at New York Autoshow and goes on sale late fall/early winter 2005.

    S-Class - debuts at the IAA (Frankfurt Auto Show) in Sept 2005, debuts here at Detroit 2006, goes on sale first quarter of 2006.

    2007 and beyond: E, SL facelift w/new V8s for MY2007. Entirely new C-Class for MY2008. New CLK in 2008.

    M
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    What about the G? Also I heard that its going to be just slightly shorter than a Suburban...what do you hear? IMHO that might be a little too big for the luxury market.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Regarding the Princess Diana tragedy I would like to point out that the driver wasn’t fatally cue-balled by the unrestrained back-seat passengers who were probably projectiles in that crash. This could be testament to the integrity of the front head restraints and seats which I have no doubt is designed into the S. The again, I don't know, was there a privacy partition in that vehicle? That alone could have done them in. Also, it is hard to know what the dynamics were in that incident—the direction of the forces and level of impact—it is virtually impossible to speculate unless it has undergone a thorough engineering analysis which is also speculation, similar to being unable to calculate where pool balls will be positioned after a break. My engineering intuition tells me that because the driver survived there was mostly frontal impact. Surviving lateral forces in a car going that speed is a tough proposition.

    The important thing to remember in this safety debate is the original point made when it was started a couple of days ago. With all of MB’s reliability problems, it is very reasonable for a buyer to speculate whether safety components are included within their realm of problems. I can easily see how someone focused on safety would raise an eyebrow and say "later for Mercedes"—regardless of the truth. That said, I personally believe the safety integrity of the Mercedes helped save the driver in the Princess tragedy and to suggest anything regarding Lexus here is indeed ridiculous.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    What CR is saying is that all-red means 'excellent' but NOT relative to all cars of the same model year, its more like relative to all cars in the survey, accross all years. So if you look at every single model in the survey, you see lots and lots of red for 2004 model year cars, but for 1997 models, less red and more black. So if a 2004 model has red but less than other models, especially in categories rated as more important, it still gets an X overall.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Once again -- it is time for those of you continuing to argue about the safety issue to agree to disagree and MOVE ON.

    If the only way to get you to stop is to remove the posts that continue, that's what I'll do.

    Thank you.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,675
    OAC - That $100K+ LS is a done deal. When I brought my car in for service and stopped at the dealership (separate locations for me) I got some new info. The car will be muscular, more sporty and a bit larger and will have 3 engines, the 460 (350HP), a 460 hybrid (450HP) and a V10 hybrid (600HP) for the super LS. Lexus research, despite what anyone on this board thinks they know says no problem whatsoever selling $100-150K cars. Lexus name is very highly regarded in all US research done. By the way the new GS, next LS and new $150K sports car are all Italian designs. Supposedly the front of the $150K sports car will be redone (Lexus wants it's grill on it) but the general sheet metal will be what we have already seen. Jury is out on whether an LS LWB is available in production to just the two larger motors, the super LS or all three cars. Betting is that it will be available to all three. $55K entry price for a car with no options and $58K premium car is finished. Prices will be $65-75K for base LS (ML and nav will all be std. now, you won't be able to get premium car lacking them supposedly), $75-85k for the hybrid and $100-125K for the V10 hybrid. The super LS will come to market at same time as, or a few months behind the next LS based on current planning. New LX470 will be a $70K+ SUV with hybrid options and the GX will also go to hybrid options and get a bit larger in size. RX is an even bigger hit than they ever imagined and they won't mess with it while the ES will get a complete redo with hybrid options there too.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Okay, let me amend this.

    It is the arguing and the nitpicking about the safety issue that needs to stop. It's the saying the same things over and over to the same people over and over as if the more you post, the more likely it is that the other person will just cave in. And of course that ain't gonna happen from either side.

    If we can have a calm and thoughtful conversation without the insistence on fighting about whether Lexus is or is not as safety conscious as MB is, that would be great.

    Deal?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "By the way the new GS, next LS and new $150K sports car are all Italian designs.

    Do you know the designer because every article says these were designed by Lexus in Japan, especially that sports car concept. The GS itself started out as an Italian design in 1993, and has since been altered greatly. Lexus is working with an Italian designer, I read that somewhere, but the cars you're seeing now the GS and that sports car concepts aren't of Italian design, if they are thats most unfortunate. The next LS might be though.

    All luxury car brands are highly reguarded, at least the ones we discuss on this board, doesn't mean there won't be price resistance. Every brand has their limits.

    I'll believe a 600hp Lexus sedan when I see it. I hardly see Toyota approving such a car with such a pointless amount of horsepower.

    M
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Definitely pointless for me personally, but in terms of helping the brand image, no more pointless than the "S65 - 630hp V12 10/2006" you listed not too many posts ago.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Right, which I why I don't see why Lexus buyers would get excited about 600hp because it seemed to me any discussion about hp was pointless in the past.

    M
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    If Lexus does put out a 600hp vehicle, they won't sell many, just as MB and BMW don't sell that many V12s. I think none of the companies is doing the extreme vehicles for direct profits, it is more to add luster to the brand...indirect profits.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Yeah thats true its done for brand luster, but actually Mercedes and BMW do sell a decent number of V12s worldwide, especially Mercedes when you look at all the models they have with a V12, but still nothing near the V8/V6/Diesel versions.

    M
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,675
    You are talking about a LS super car that will sell 1.5-2K US units a year, based on their research, not a car all Lexus buyers will run to. It's just a halo effect car.

    He just said an Italian designer headed up the project of the Lexus sports car and is heading the design of the new LS. Nothing was said about the GS. I meant to say the the LS, LS lwb and sports car. I said GS in error in my earlier post. But in one of the mags I got this week - can't remember which but I'll double check when I get home - they had the sports car shown with name and even a picture of the Italian designer involved.

    Meanwhile merc - have you ever driven the Pacifica. I'm Disney world bound and have a chance to rent one. I've never driven it.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    The Pacifica - Nope never driven it. I've sat in it a few times though.

    I suspect it won't be to your liking if you're used to a GX470. Its a nice crossover, but some of the interior materials are cheaper than they should be. Beware this is wide and squaty vehicle with smallish side windows like an 80's S-Class. Just like the Chrysler 300. I was amazed at how wide this thing was riding behind one.

    M
  • Merc:

    With the Lexus entry WORLD WIDE (could be the reason for the big engine) Mercedes and BMW will sell a lot fewer of these cars...
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    A hundred posts back, but there was an episode of cops where a Mercedes wiped out at 125, and the driver got out and ran from it. So, so what?
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Doesn’t matter who the designer is or what his cultural influence is. If the design director and the corporate culture of the company handcuff him the chance of design succeeding are severely compromised. Corporate culture does not work in artistic circles, never did, never will. Today’s horrible design directions in the automotive world are living proof of this except in boutiques where there is distinct and single-focus vision.

    The exception is the Bangle story. The opportunity afforded him was incredible and may never be offered to anyone in his position again. He single-handedly blew it. A true artistic visionary in his unshackled position would have had customers stepping on each other to get at BMWs. The problem is that Bangle is a corporate warrior first, and an artist with very limited talent second.

    The Italian designer working for Lexus is Leonardo Fioravanti. He was Pininfarina’s chief designer for 24 years and also worked for Ferrari. He is mentioned in an article originally provided by oac. Here is the link again:

    http://www.automobear.com/WhatThe2006LexusISIsAndIsnt.html

    Who knows how many handcuffs they took off him. If he was the pen behind the GS and IS the results are limited IMO. Looks like the design direction there was “take the generic Japanese design of Honda, Mazda, Nissan and try to improve it.” Well, SOMEONE screwed up the GS. If you ask me it was the company’s corporate grinder. You know, "teamwork" is the specious buzzword.

    “C’mon Norton. You’re not boomfing right!”
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