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High End Luxury Cars

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  • xkssxkss Posts: 722
    The new XJ's 4.2 liter V-8 does not have the potential timing chain tensioner or nikasil problems of the old 4.0 liter V-8 in the 98-00 XJ8. Isn't that reliability?

    The new XJR and Super V8 both have high-quality Brembo brakes. The brake pads were changed last year. Perhaps when you see an owner of a new XJ, just ask them how reliable has it been.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    No, haven't tried it. It is an image issue...can't have that toyota badge and toyota styling! We may end up in a MDX, at least it guzzles less than a LX.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Toyota's cleanest design. If I needed a van that's the one I'd get. Most of their other vehicles look like they came out of Toys-R-Us.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Well, we're not in a big rush, I'll see what comes down the pike. I'm still hoping that Lexus "copies" ;) the R, but does it with a 7-passenger option....or puts out something based on the Sienna.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "I'm still hoping that Lexus "copies" the R, but does it with a 7-passenger option....or puts out something based on the Sienna."

    Isn't this against all the Lexus principles/preaching about them being seperate from Toyotas? Sorry couldn't resist that.

    Seriously though I expect that HPX concept to come to market, unless it didn't get a enough attention on the stand a few years ago. That concept is exactly what you'd be looking for. A Sienna based Lexus isn't going to happen. That HPX concept was based on the new GS platform.

    M
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    That HPX is a beaut, if Lexus builds it in the exact concept design. We know how much faith one can put on that hope !

    image

    Sienna ? Lexus would never build a minivan !!! That should remain part of the Toyota family of products.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    To actually see the vehicle again, it might not be a 7-seater. It looks like room behind the 2nd row is at a premium. Can't really tell by that pic. It looks more like a giant version of the IS300 wagon, more of a sporty tourer than a family hauler.

    M
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    I agree, the HP-X looks to have less 3rd row room than an R. It doesn't seem to be a soccer-game hauler.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    SUVs are perhaps inherently ugly. But exterior-styling wise, what do people like (or least hate)? My favorite among current vehicles is the X5, followed (distantly) by the MDX.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Styling and SUV, in my book rarely do they go together. Styling wise I like the VW Touareg the most, inside and out. The Touareg has the right balance between purpose/function and sheer eye pleasing style imo. A surprise stunner is the Infiniti FX. This little brute is a knockout in the styling department and really is a sports car with a back pack. It looks like something a villain in a cartoon would drive. Small and mean looking with a pug little shape with the big wheels preferred today. Next up would be the new Range Rover Sport. Not the traditional Range Rover, but the new sport model. It has the same look, but is smaller and sleeker. I'm probably the only person on the board that like the Porsche Cayenne. Brutal looking, but sporty once you get past the snout, imo. After these precious few SUVs become road filler to me. The X5, new ML, Cadillac Escalade EXT and even the GX470 are interesting to me, either from the outside (X5/ML/Escalade EXT) or inside (GX470) and/or for their sheer "truckiness". I like the style of Nissan Armada too, but not its twin the Infiniti Q56, its just overdone imo.

    If forced to get one I'd get either a Touareg or a FX. Then again I generally despise SUVs, but based mainly on styling I like those mentioned above, and the Touareg and FX based on styling and driving because these are the only two I've driven for any length of time and liked doing so.

    M
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    I have to admire your devotion to to all things automobile-related. Practically every board on Edmunds that I look at, you're there. Have you ever tried to get a job in the auto industry?
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    I thought this was interesting:

    "Last summer...BMW, Honda Motor Co., Toyota Motor Corp. and General Motors Corp. joined together to recommend gasoline that meets a higher standard for detergents than the one set by the EPA. Those making the "Top Tier" list for all grades of their gasoline: Shell, Chevron, ConocoPhillips' brands of Conoco, Phillips 66 and 76, QuikTrip, Entec Stations and MFA Oil. According to the car makers, the EPA standard is minimal and, in many cases, isn't sufficient to keep engines clean." source: WSJ

    So much for those old Mobil ads touting "detergent gasoline".
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    There is actually a website for this: http://www.toptiergas.com/
  • stroudmanstroudman Posts: 192
    Indeed, when you have to consider looks, aerodynamics, maximizing utility space, lowering the center of gravity, AND making yours look different from everyone else's, it's a pretty tall order. The FX, and to a lesser degree the murano, are great style statements, IMO. Does anyone have any UNCLADDED/UNPHOTOSHOPPED pics of the 2nd gen X5? I like it, too, but it is getting a little long in the toof, and curious if any "flame surfacing" is going to carry over to the new one. X3 is a little odd in proportions. The toureg is typical bauhaus austere, and looks great for it, really a well laid out vehicle in every way. (my store also sells VW). Like the new ML more every time I drive one. Mercedes actually had the FORESIGHT to include an i-pod port in the glovebox! (optional, of course). I'll alert the media. The GX is a good looking truck in certain colors. If I had a blank check-type budget, I would still pass up all of them in leu of an E500 4-matic wagon, black/black, keyless go, premium pkg, and appearance pkg = dream machine. : )
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Personally with the GX I think it looks fine from the front or side but terrible from the back...from that angle it looks too skinny and tall. And it is...I would never buy it because when you move up within an SUV product line you should get more size in every dimension imho...but with the GX you get something as narrow as the RX.

    I've noticed the ML getting good reviews, but imho MB really shouldn't have taken out the 3rd row option...after the all, the new vehicle is 6 inches longer than the old. Also, even if it had a 3rd row, there is no way I am going to buy an MB in its first year of production, despite management's quality assurances.

    I know that the G is going to have a third row, but it isn't clear how the G is going to be priced. And I read that it is going to be really long (like 2.5 inches shorter than a Suburban...which would make the G 24 inches longer than an LX)...too long for me, anyway.
  • xkssxkss Posts: 722
    are ugly. all of them.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Crossovers have better potential for the bathing suit contest than SUV piggies. Freestyle is pretty good but not as good as the concept version. As a matter of fact I like Ford SUV styling better than most. MINIMALISM!!! That's why Toureg looks good.

    We are going through a period of excess in styling that is similar to the 50s. Will the Bangle trunk lid, craggy surface terrain, and oddly-shaped lamp treatments of all manufacturers become nostalgia as did Cadillac fins? Who cares. Just get them out of here and we'll decide later!!

    At least Caddy fins were caricatures of rocket ships. Most of today's cars are just fruity.

    ;)
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    You think the Toureg looks good? Bah! :lemon: The Caddy fins are elements of design to excess. The Bangled looks are at least handsome and are attracting a new set of eyes to BMW - more than are leaving.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "I have to admire your devotion to to all things automobile-related. Practically every board on Edmunds that I look at, you're there. Have you ever tried to get a job in the auto industry?"

    Thanks, but no I decided to pursue other things in order to make the money to be able to afford at least some of the cars I like so much. I just like all things about cars, and despite my preference for German autos I truly get a kick out of driving anything new from any maker. My passion actually was in race car driving but that is whole different story. That is what I would have been if circumstance allowed.

    I also like keeping up with the industry too, contrary to popular belief. I read the auto industry news each and every day. I just don't put to much stock in non automotive publications as the bible on automotive news, like the WSJ or FT. They don't have the full scope of the automotive industry nor do they fully understand it imo. Everything isn't balance sheets. They're good on the corporate side at times, but the whole picture I prefer the carconnection, automotivenews and others.

    I enjoy the News and Views topics a great deal also. There are some real impassioned folk over there with a lot of great ideas. I truly believe that with the right business person as a partner I could turn MB, GM, Mitsu or any other troubled car company around in less than 5 years. Nissan's success being the blueprint to follow, with minimal changes imo.

    ...And of course you'll see me in any and every Mercedes topic.... :)

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well its on the record about me not liking the X3, but the X5 I was crazy about in 2000. It blew the ML away at the time. I mean totally. For the moment in SUVs the Touareg is for me followed by the FX.

    I like the current E-Class wagon a lot more than the previous design. The E500 4Matic Wagon is swiss army knife of a car.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Careful because Jaguar the company that produces this:

    image

    is rumored to be mulling a crossover to replace the X-Type.

    M
  • xkssxkss Posts: 722
    That blue Jaguar is the Advanced Lightweight Coupe. It is concept, NOT a production car. It shows what the next XK will look like. The next XK will have to comply with new European pedestrian safety regulations. It will use the new XJ's aluminum chassis.

    I surely hope Jaguar doesn't make a crossover suv, like just about every other luxury car maker.

    New aluminum Jaguars
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Of course I knew that about the car pictured above. I meant that a company that the company that produces such sleek sports car concepts and highly styled sedans might have to do a crossover to survive.

    M
  • xkssxkss Posts: 722
    There is an interview with Mark White, the senior body structures manager for Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles, who says that the XJ is profitable. The next XK, which will have to comply with new European pedestrian regulations, will use the new XJ's aluminum chassis, but will likely use conventional springs instead of the XJ's air suspension. The next XK will cut costs by spreading the costs of the investement in the aluminum XJ. The next S-Type will likely use the new XJ's chassis which would further cut costs.

    This S-Type reminds me of the 2003 Jaguar RD-6 and the 2001 Jaguar R Coupe. Please feel free to comment about the new aluminum Jaguars in that new thread.

    image
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Though I did like the XJS way back in the day, I really never really gave Jaguars too much thought until the 1997 XK8 showed up. Then came the 2000 S-Type and now the 2004 XJ. The XK is still as timeless as day one. Remarkable. The 2000-2002 S-Type was not up to the Jaguar name imo. The cheap Ford touches were everywhere. Then for 2003 the car got its first facelift. New interior revised engines and transmissions. Finally being worthy of the Jaguar name. For 2005 they've made even more changes to the S-Type which is about all they could do in the face of all the newer competition in the segment. The S-Type is a "nice" car but it really doesn't standout in any one area. Now the new XJ, specifically the XJR I really dig. I sat in one at the Detroit show this year and thought 'I could really see myself' in one of these one day. Such a sensuous car.

    IMO, a Jaguar is not an everyday car like a Mercedes or BMW, because I personally don't know if I'd want to drive something that wears its styling on its sleeve like that. I mean a Jaguar always stands out. Most of the German sedans blend in unless you take that second look, well the MB CLS or BMW 7-Series do grab attention from the moment you see them, the latter of which isn't a good thing. Jaguars are flamboyant, provocative and I'd imagine to drive one everyday is to be center of attention most of the time. Not something I'd personally want. They sure are purrrty though.

    The business case - Jaguar needs a mainstream hit like the next S-Type to fund all of their other projects. That F-Type sports car would be a nice competitor to the SLK/Z4/Boxster class and could form the basis for a true rwd sedan to take the place of the X-Type. Sharing the XJ's platform with the next S-Type and XK is a brilliant move imo. State of the art technology shared. Trouble is will Ford give them the money to do all of this. I think so up to the next X-Type/F-Type idea. They may wait and see how the aluminum triplets do first. Jaguar can be saved imo. If Ford can spend on Land Rover and Aston-Martin they should be able to find a spare billion here or there to make Jaguar right again.

    M
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    I truly believe that with the right business person as a partner I could turn MB, GM, Mitsu or any other troubled car company around in less than 5 years.

    Well I've never done anything like this myself, but if you have concrete ideas, here's a thought:

    Put your ideas for turning around MB on paper, and send separate snailmail letters to DCX's CEO and to the DCX board of directors. You could also send something to The Detroit News (or whatever the biggest paper is in Detroit) as an op-ed piece (though that would have to be shorter, whereas a board version could be as long and as detailed as you like).

    If you're lucky your ideas might even have an impact, and you'll be helping out your favorite company. And if you're very very lucky maybe a job will come of it.

    Another idea:

    Back 20+ years ago I had a summer job at IBM, and they had a formalized system for accepting ideas from anyone (employee or outsiders) on any subject (like, one guy suggested painting the fire hydrants neon yellow or something, and the idea was adopted). There was a specific form to fill out and a department to send it to, and they would eventually send a written reply. The company would even pay cash rewards in some cases. Don't know if DCX has anything similar, but you could try calling their PR dept to find out.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    In response to a series of articles about the auto maker, General Motors Corp. has pulled all of its advertising from Tribune Co.'s Los Angeles Times for the foreseeable future, GM said yesterday....One media buyer said the amount would likely be in excess of $10 million annually..."We respect and support the news media," Ms. Carney [GM spokesperson] said. "They are free to report and editorialize as they see fit. Likewise, we and our retailers are free to spend our advertising dollars where we see fit." source: WSJ
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well I'm way ahead of you on this one. I've written Mercedes-Benz many times since 1988 or so. They've always responded back and they've been very responsive to my ideas. A couple of times they've sent me things for writing them. They always give repsonse about the ideas given being fowarded to the right departments, and I so want to believe that...lol! Right.

    Now I've never written DCX itself about their Mercedes division so that is a good idea. Maybe they'll respond a little differently than me writing Mercedes-Benz in New Jersey directly. I'll do that when I get some really good ideas together. It has been a few years since I've written any car company.

    About GM pulling their adverstisng, they're the biggest cry baby in the automotive world. This isn't the first and probably not the last time they'll do this. They pulled their advertising from Automobile Magazine like in the early 90's or late 80's because Automobile called a Chevy "junk", which btw it was. Eventually though everything is forgiven and adverstising resumes. This time however it might be a long time since GM needs to save money.

    M
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