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High End Luxury Cars

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  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    Since we aren't privy to the raw data in the surveys, or the folks that are sending them in, or the professionals that are actually capable of interpreting them realistically and statistically for their paying customers (the car companies), almost any kind of commentary attempting to justify the results is pure guesswork.

    For example, in an earlier post it was said:

    "I mean isn't a Lexus buyer used to fast and convient service more apt to overlook a minor problem than a Benz buyer with the same minor problem who's dealer ticked him off by not handling it properly the first time or in a timely manner? This type of scenario doesn't make a difference? I think it does."

    The implication is that this poster's scenario was possible and wasn't accounted for in the survey. And, that revealing of this insight should make everyone wonder if the surveys weren't somehow misleading us all.

    The insight is speculative and unsupported by real information.

    I haven't seen any survey data to indicate that Lexus service is fast or convenient in general, or faster and more convenient than other brands. If that's true that might be why they get kudos. But there is data that says that Lexus customes are more satisfied with their dealer experieces than Benz.

    There's no data that I am aware of that says that makes the Lexus owners more or less likely to overlook a problem.

    More importantly there's no data that I am aware of that says that Lexus and Benz have the same problems.

    There is data that says Benz owners report between 2 and 3 times more problems. With the Poisson distribution that tends to apply to these kinds of defects, the probablities that Benz owners will see their dealers for problems many times during ownership is MUCH higher than Lexus owners.

    With 2 to 3 times more problems, I would be surprised to find that these are the same kinds of problems as the Lexus owners experience, but happening at 2 or 3 times the frequency.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "I've always been curious about something, why cant the Germans manage to put in-dash CD changers in their cars? That is something that Nissan and Honda were doing 10 years ago, and yet just recently Audi managed to actually put one in a few of its cars, and cars that just came out like the Taureg still have it shoved in the trunk. Whats up with that?"

    I'm going to surprise you and the board here, but Lenn probably remembers my positon on this from a few years back.........its pure arrogance and dissmissive behavior and/or the U.S. arms of the German luxury makers not having their parent's full attention in Germany. I've said for years they need to start tailoring their cars more to the US market when it comes to details like that.

    Mercedes-Benz has one available in the 2003+ E-Class, but not on any other product. For years Mercedes-Benzes didn't have any in-dash CD players in any of their cars. The 2003 S-Class, CL and SL were the first ones to offer this along with the 2003 E-Class that has a single+ 6CD changer. Amazingly, astonshingly, help me out here...the 2004 C-Class, CLK and SLK still don't have an in-dash CD player of any type. The 2005 C-Class now has a single in-dash CD player. The 2005 CLK gets one as does the new 2005 SLK so Mercedes has managed to still come up behind the Japanese cars in this regard. Go figure.

    Most BMWs have a single slot CD player now with a changer either in the glovebox or somewhere else, I honestly forget.

    The most perplexing case is Audi. For 2004 all of their cars had a standard in-dash 6-disc CD player, but for 2005 they are going back in the glovebox! They did this is the name of style in the A8 I think and simply because the new A6's interior is so cluttered, a complete reversal of the 1998-2004 A6's interior.

    The CL600 - "That much horsepower in a 2.5 ton car is just dangerous and stupid."

    So when Lexus does it with the oh-so-often-hyped-upcoming LS500GT (Car and Driver says 500hp at least) it will be just as stupid and dangerous right? Where do we draw the line, 400, 500 or 600?? I guess wherever Lexus tops out at will be repectable and prudent. Please don't let me down by saying yes to that.

    ljflx,

    "merc1 - you read so much into the power issues. The comments always were that with cars that go 0-60 in 6 seconds on 290-320HP and with great torque - why is there a "real" need for anything more. We are talking main stream cars here not exotic specialty cars. We also were saying pour the investment money into things that produce a better and safer car rather than even more excess power. Need should have a higher priority than excess. In the big cities wherte 90% of these cars are sold you can't use that power very often anyway. What percent of MB's or BMW's sold do you think have 400-600HP. Maybe 5% and that is a real stretch. So to portray that power as brand representation is one heck of a statistical flaw."

    Ok I'm trying to follow all of that double talk. First off, nobody said or portrayed that 400-600hp models represent anything even close to a majority of BMWs or Mercedes sold, where you got that from I don't know. Basically what you're saying otherwise is that 400+ hp is pretty much useless right? If so why is a rumored 500hp Lexus LS500 (a sedan not a specialty car) hyped like the second coming of the automobile? BTW, it doesn't take much money to develop more power in most cases. It is hardly a big resource drain.

    " Now it's amazing to me to hear that the majority of Lexus buyers are people who can't wait for a survey to come in the mail and answer them."

    Stay with me here, I meant on this board sir. Please lets not get into comments we wish we could take back from other posters. Where did anyone try to defeat or dispute Lexus' reliability? What one is allowed speculate in favor of Lexus and others aren't when it comes to how people fill out surveys? Come on now.

    michael_mattox,

    You mean to tell me they have both a radar-based and a laser-based cruise control system on offer at the same time? Didn't know that. Doesn't make much sense either if that is true, I don't know. I do know that a radar-based system is superior. You'll love this...on some Sundays I check out the lots here and the Lexus dealer here is moving to a new location (read bigger) and he has not a single LS430 or any type on his lot, not a one. Plenty of SC430s and GX470s but no LS430s. Business is good in luxurycarland.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    You mentioned the S65 AMG earlier, I'm not sure if that model is coming to the U.S. However the SL65 AMG has just been released. Price you ask.....$179,720. HP: 604, Torque: 738 lb-ft, gas guzzler tax: 3K. Pure, glorious excess.

    image

    You other Lexus guys will love this. The 2005 SL joins the 2003 S, CL, and E with a DVD-based Nav system. The 2005 C, SLK and CLK also get DVD navs. Gee whiz they're trying to get there.

    M
  • brightness04brightness04 Posts: 3,151
    On price alone certain Benz's owners would expect perfection and surely Mercedes has been seen as the top brand longer than anyone else.

    Wrong on both counts. People pay big bucks and expect perfection in return for their money are buying Lexus. Over the past decade, Benz has become synonymous with big expensive liability (not reliability ;-) While buyers of an ES330 might be an upward mobile young professional who have to have the car for commute, the buyer of the top of the line S600 more often than not don't even drive the car themselves; some buy them just to have them sit in the garage.

    BTw, Benz has hardly ever been the top brand. Rolls Royce command the top of the snob-appeal toten pole; that's why Benz has to revive the Maybach brand after half of century of hiatus.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I'm done with the who buys what expecting this and that discussion. There is no way to know what every buyer expects etc. etc. That bit about the S600 is complete and utter nonsense. How in the world would know what most S600 owners do with their cars? I don't recall seeing anyone but the driver behind the wheel whenever I've seen a S600.

    Secondly Mercedes-Benz was indeed the top car as far as reality goes. Rolls-Royce might have been the top "brand" name, but their cars were 20 years behind the average Mercedes up until Vickers finally developed a modern car in 1998 - the new Arnage and Silver Spur and even those cars would get their hood ornaments handed to them by a Mercedes S600 of the day. Back even further in the day the Mercedes 600 Pulman was also consider the best car in the world, over Rolls-Royce. I see nothing from Rolls that even competed with the legendary SL and SLRs of the 50's either.

    Mercedes-Benz put everyone else on shelf for years as a mass manufacturer of quality cars until Toyota got stronger using their TPS system. This is common knowledge, look it up if you don't believe me. In mass market luxury cars MB was the undisputed leader. Period.

    Only rich people who wouldn't even consider another brand of car thought a Rolls was a superior car to a Mercedes, everyone else knew better. Lexus folk knock Mercedes for riding on a past reputation and Rolls-Royce was more guilty of that than Mercedes has ever been. A superior car in a Rolls, I think not......it surely wasn't in the 70s, 80s or 90s. An 70s Rolls was a nicely leathered and wooded antique of a car and a complete mess, ditto for the 80s and 90s until 1998.

    Mercedes reviving Maybach doesn't have anything to do with who lead in the past. Maybach is part of Mercedes' heritage anyway.

    M
  • livinbmwlivinbmw Posts: 120
    The ES300 is at such an extreme low of the luxury segment and the RX330 represents such a large portion of Lexus' sales that I can't totally relate to toyotas high-line brand as a top tier luxury make.

    they're a tweener
  • Merc:

    Good Post..If I read it right you are pointing out how Rolls survived on it's reputation for quality for 20 years or more then the torch was passed to Mercedes who had actually had built better quality cars for years and it just took the public years to catch up...

    Now the torch (the public perception of quality and style and prestige) is passing from Mercedes to Lexus...
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Lets try not to double post, mk? Are you saying that the C230 coupe isnt down market? Or how about the 325i, A4 1.8T, X-type 2.5? The ES prices above the Mercedes, and about the same as the Audi, BMW, and Jaguar. If you want to complain about where the ES comes from (and less than 25% of parts are shared) then Jaguar is just as guilty, if not more so. As for the RX, I dont see what the problem is there, either. Is the X3 going to ruin BMW as a top tier player? Lexus is a 15 year old company, and when you compare them to companies that have been around more than 100 years, I think they are doing pretty well for themselves. They've certainly shown Honda and Nissan how its done, and even die hard German buyers have to admit that Lexus has had a significant impact on how the Germans do business and design their cars. This SL will not have another 14 year cycle as the last one did. When Lexus fully establishes itself as a world market brand, their position should only go up.

    Merc, I think 500hp is too much for a Lexus too. If there Germans werent in this all out war with each other to have their quad turbo V-12 be more powerful than the other guys quad turbo V-12, then Lexus wouldnt be building this car. I think Lexus is doing it because they have to offer something along the lines of the M, AMG, and S\RS cars to be taken seriously by enthusiasts.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    is easy to do because the software here is particularly, err ... *quirky* (to be polite!).

    Hitting Refresh after posting means your message reposts and it's very easy to never notice it since the last post you saw was yours, and the last post you still see is yours although it is there again.

    This is something that has bitten almost all of us at one time or another, and if it hasn't happened yet, it probably will eventually. :)

    Rather than fuss at someone for double-posting, why not explain that the thing to do is to use the "Recent Msgs" link on the page bar to redisplay a page after making a post. And the other thing to do is to use the Delete button to remove any duplicates.

    :)
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    You do realize over 50% of BMW sales are made by their lowest product range-the 3-series? How do you see them as a top-tier brand?
  • livinbmwlivinbmw Posts: 120
    Certainly, these entry level type models don't carry the same cache' as the "big dogs", but the lexus just doesn't seem to have the sturdiness or nimble driving performance as say a 3 series. Price is not the determining factor in my mind. And, true, the Jaguar is at least as guilty but probably more so. The RX330 carries a certain stigma to me because it is, in a way, a tall, fancy camry wagon. To have that vehicle as the anchor of their sales volume could mean that the brand is not having the over-all appeal that one might associate with a luxury buyer. Maybe, it's more of a market driven by Moms who don't want to look like moms in a minivan.
  • livinbmwlivinbmw Posts: 120
    How do I see BMW as a top-tier brand?
    They have the finest model selection of sport sedans in the industry. And they don't have a problem building entry level vehicles that are clear cut leaders in the industry.
  • quemfalaquemfala Posts: 107
    "Who came up with Navi systems? I'm not sure, but Japanese Navi systems are for the most part superior to Euro Navi systems."

    I know that you're referring to "Nav" systems for cars, but give a little credit to the US Military and their suppliers. I think that's where the development of these systems began. And, we may as well give a little credit to the US taxpayer for funding the satellite systems supporting all of these Nav systems -- and, it's free to use. What a country!!
    Life is Better at the Beach
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    I disagree with you on many counts. A Lexus is not as "sturdy" as a BMW? The 740iL in my family is nowhere near as sturdy as the GS300 and ES300 also in the family, despite costing a lot more.

    Of course the Lexus will not have the same "nimble" performance as the BMW. It's not made to. But it does have superior quality, a nicer interior (IMO), superior navigation, better dealership experience, etc.

    And the RX330 driven by moms who don't want a minivan stigma? A minivan can seat 7-8, the RX only 5. Lexus purposely did not add a third row because the vehicle is not aimed at moms. Moms use minivans to haul around kids for carpool and go out with the grandparents, something the RX wasn't designed to do and can't do.

    Maybe your mind about the RX330 being a tall Camry will change in a few years when all Lexus models will be independent of Toyotas.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Uh oh, I sense the Germans have some fresh pitching here in Livinbmw. Hope you Lexus guys can get around on his pitches... seems like he's throwing some heat. It's about time, I think Merc needs a day off. Let's see if he can go at least five innings. Livinbmw, go right at them with the high hard one. These guys are tenacious!

    ;-)
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Lexus makes nice all-around middle of the road vehicles. I can see why someone spending $70K on a vehicle would chose a Lexus LS430. But it is still boring and ugly.

    The 7 series is a superior vehicle inside and out. BMW has to address the criticism of the i-drive, because with $70K perception is reality.
  • livinbmwlivinbmw Posts: 120
    Boy, I'd like to drive your two lexus' that are more sturdy than a 7. That's the only thing that would make me a believer. I've been in a lot of these models in question. In fact, I can't recall anyone ever claiming that any lexus has superior body rigidity or quietness compared to a BMW..... that's sturdiness to me. Let's get some other opinions here, please.

    Furthermore, I must disagree that Lexus does not have an intention to provide competitve performance. Why the IS300 or GS? BMW is the segment leader in sport sedans and Lexus has certainly attempted to bridge the performance gap.

    True, the RX does not have a 3rd rear seat, but it's a chick car and a clumsy handler. It's like a fancy livingroom on wheels.
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Quemfala,
      You're quite right about the Military's GPS systems..It was built in the old Cold War days. The Soviets had a similiar system and the Europeans are planning one as well. This is probably the one innovation I can appreciate.

    linvinbmw,
      BMW wasn't considered a top tier brand until the 7 Series arrived. This has been discussed only a few posts ago..You've simply ignored the Success of the LS series in your discussion..This car consistently beats its' competition in every objective survey. Sturdiness? Please..A SIX year old LS400 was proven to be more reliable than a NEW 7 Series..When I bought my LS in 1992 it was ranked as the quietest car in the world. (I believe it was later supplanted by the A8..Not sure what the current ranking is..) Which leads me to ask..Have you ever driven a LS?

    There are a library full of statistics to prove Lexus builds the most reliable car out there. I'll concede the handling point, as Lexus doesn't cater to that segement.

    The RX series has established the smaller Luxury SUV..It was really the first SUV to drive more like a car..It's a best seller b/c of it's practicality. Lexus has done a good job of catering to the practical consumer needs. I think the release of the RX400H is a clear indicator of how Toyota spends it's R&D money rather than some overcomplicated iDrive system.

    Toyota is currently one of the most profitable automakers out there..If BMW was so "upmarket" please explain the presence of a 1 Series and X3?

    SV
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    well, as I pointed out before the cheapest rung BMW the 3-series brings in over 50% of BMW sales. That must mean "To have that vehicle as the anchor of their sales volume could mean that the brand is not having the over-all appeal that one might associate with a luxury buyer."
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    Also, have you noticed how the LS430 outsells the entire 7-series range?
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