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High End Luxury Cars

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Comments

  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    ...love the ad, and the car looks striking. from a quick peek into a mag, the interior is also extremely cushy. Extremely well-executed concept, topped with smart marketing and positioning.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I didn't look at it in (here) Chicago, but I did in Detroit and I kind of felt sorry for Infiniti. The 3 they had were just sitting there doors closed with no interest. Meanwhile the LS430 you couldn't get in due to the crowd. I agree on paper the car looks to be a class-beater, but the looks and the Infiniti stigma isn't going to let this car reach it's full potential. I'll be waiting to see the first reviews of it. I can't see anyone paying 66K for a Infiniti. But time will tell. If you signed up for any brochures from any car company you're open game, they share lists reguarly.

    On another Note the Detroit show is so much better than the Chicago show. Everyone is there...Ferrari, Aston-Martin, Lamborghini. In Chicago these 3 don't have company sponsored stands. A local dealer has a few Ferraris and maybe a Lotus on hand but thats it. I have never seen an Aston-Martin outside of a magazine until January of this year. The Ferrari Barchetta Pinifarina...WOW!!!

    M
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Make sure you stay within your budget. But I agree all of us can get carried away with too much enthusiasm on a moments notice on just about anything but particularly on cars. It started for me with the Jags in the late 60's. I always preferred them to the Corvette but the vette was within my budget when I opted for a sports car later in the 70's.(by the way I still love the Grand Prix and Monte Carlo from the 70's - what beautifully styled cars they were. I had a wonderful 74 Monte Carlo in sky blue before I moved on to the vette) On Infiniti I think they doomed themselves with the "clouds" commercials. Remember that. Meanwhile there was Lexus in front of everyone's eyeballs. This new Q may be their last at bat.

    Do you think Audi is the Infiniti of this group? You don't speak much about the A-8. It is a great car but loses value so quickly. When we looked at it my wife felt it was too much of a "man's" car and didn't like the noise emanating from the Quattro. After you get used to the quietness of a Lexus LS it is hard to put up with any noise.
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    ...the A8s design is just too basic, I find. Great car and all, but boring. The A6 and A4 somehow seem far more refreshing and original, I'd rather drive either of them than the big A8.

    But talking about utter non-appearance - has cadillac ever been mentioned in this group? A guy I know leased their 4 door (is it the Seville?), and I must say it is quirkily nice. I'm not sure why they aren't more popular in the US, given how pathetic roads are (at least in CA).
  • denniswadedenniswade Posts: 362
    a wonderful looking car with much better than average handling and a smooth, powerful engine. Unfortunately, the build quality is not up to par and they haven't done much to keep the styling fresh. I actually preferred the previous version -- it seemed edgier and more masculine. The dash treatment is simply and elegant. They just don't hold together well.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I agree totally. Infiniti's rocks and trees made some wonder what the cars looked, but the majority of buyers said "oh well". You're right the new Q is their last time to get into the minds of buyers in this class. When people want to spend big-money they think Mercedes, BMW and Lexus....and maybe Cadillac to a degree. They don't think Infiniti. Don't worry those cars I mentioned in my previous posts are totally out-of-budget, if you know what I mean. For me it started in 1986 with the then-new-for 1986 300E, I won't say what my favorite brand was before that...the room would be shocked. The Audi A8 has been one of favorite cars since it came here. I love the conservative design and the interior. The S8 or the Europe only A8 6.0 W12 model are truly awesome. The A8 has 2 things working against in here. One, is the Audi image, while it is changing, it still isn't up to MB and BMW, especially when people starting spending 60k and up. Two, it's aluminum body I think has kept many away, too expensive to repair. Now the A6 is about as good looking as a 4-door gets, in my opinion and I think the new A4 is going to be a looker too from the European models I've seen in books and on TV. In short Audi is my third favorite luxury car.

    M
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Do I detect your favorite brand came from the eastern sector of the globe. Couldn't be - only the Supra or the Z would have had your interest. Must have been Cadillac or Lincoln. Just kidding merc1 but it is a pleasure to converse with you even though I'm more prone to someday buy a Mercedes than you are a Lexus. I do like that new Lexus SC430. Maybe I should have waited for it for my daily commute. I have a Land Cruiser for the bad weather days anyway. I'm going to test drive the SC when I bring my car in for service. I haven't been behind wheel of a sports car since I sold my 1983 944 in 1991.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Chrysler!!!
  • xjs5xjs5 Posts: 33
    Mitsubishi.
  • xjs5xjs5 Posts: 33
    For what it's worth, quattro (the trademark is no capitals) does not emit noise lol. Also, there is no movement of the passenger cabin, except a condition called "driveline wind-up" at slow speed
    which is an arcane phenonmenon that I don't understand . The comparison to infiniti per resalemakes sense. We're talking about volume in the 2,000 range. In comparison to sales however, Audi the company sets records every month for two years. As for the S8, quattro, high speed stability, flat corning, straight line tracking
    I'm just guessing it would wipe the floor with the Lexus. merc1's third place evaulation is the convential thinking on the subject and has been for decades but the truth is Audi enthusiasts don't consider Mercedes to be true competition (BMW, that's antoher story...)
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    We certainly noticed some noise coming from the sides of the car when we test drove the A-8. The sales person told us it was from the quattro. It certainly wasn't constant but seemed to occur when you initially accelerated. Since we never seriously considered the car we never followed up. Given that we had a 98 LS that was extremely quiet it bothered us. I know I didn't imagine it or the sales persons response. What more can I say. I'm certainly not out to bash Audi. I like the car's style and the interior is beautiful. But I definitely agree with merc1 in his assessments of what cars you are ready to pluck down 60k+ on. For me it's MB, BMW or Lexus not necessarily in that order - in this class of course.
  • xjs5xjs5 Posts: 33
    I guess the cars you are ready to spend money on are the ones money is spent on- and presumably you thought about it before you did it. Emdunds TMV gives you a perfect idea of what you can get for the same money or less. I don't think of Lexus when I think of 60k cars because no Lexus through the year 2000 sold for 60k (2001?). If the LS430 sells for 60k it will have been a single year that Lexus made a car that sold at that price. The Audi S8 sells for between 70 and 80- the L is probably very expensive, too. I must disagree with the list merc1 made in regard to people not thinking about Audi- they think about it and they pay the money and in terms of Cadillac- what you think of when you think "Cadillac" is $39,000.
    eight cyl. sedans.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    I actually think in terms of lease payments to be honest. The sub $60k days for the LS car are over unfortunately. It was great while it lasted. The Lexus ultra-lux tops $70k all in and the eventual V-12 will probably reach $80k if not more. Remember also that the Japanese laborers don't average 8+ weeks a year vacation (sometimes I wish I lived in europe where 4 consecutive weeks of vacation are so common) and Japanese interest rates are less than 1%. This helps keep the prices down as well. The fact that a fully loaded LS430 has just about reached price parity with the MB S-430 is telling. One thing that I am glad about is the fact that Lexus allows dealers price flexibility given the difference between dealer invoice and msrp which I am so greatful to Edmund's for posting. MB's narrow price mark-up for dealers leaves them with almost no wiggle room and that's bad for the consumer.

    By the way when I looked at the A-8 (long version) it had a $72k sticker but was only $30 per month over an LS430 with a $61k sticker. Audi must have been heavily discounting. The buyout was only $2,500 more and leases were equivalent terms.
  • xjs5xjs5 Posts: 33
    Subaru re-introduced a six cylindar and raised the price of the jacked up Outback to 32k. This put it within 2k of an A4 2.8q Avant.

    The LS400 at low 50's was a bargain. LS430 sticker 61k seems right. I know they have "European Suspension" upgrade- I hope it is not $9,000 :)
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Believe it or not the euro suspension costs only $100 extra. It makes the $61,130 car which is the most common import a $61,230 car. But the ultra-lux is usually $68k-71k (with or without euro suspension)and is rarely discounted. The $61k car still sells at or very close to sticker but has been discounted up to $2,000 by some dealers if you press them.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Actually if I remember correctly the ultra-lux has adjustable suspension settings.
  • bigrichzbigrichz Posts: 4
    Have been doing some test driving and researching the LS 430 and the S class 430. Someone said the the prices are almost comparable. Well, if you think $18,000 is the same, God bless you. I found the LS 430 quieter, more luxurious, (more wood, leather) peppier and just nicer and for just about $18,600 less than the comparable equipped S 430. I bought an LS 430 and am as pleased as can be with my LEXUS purchase.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I'll never tell, but I will say it was an American brand. You're right, I would probably never buy a Lexus, at least not for myself. I'm also convinced that a German car or any Euro car will never be as quiet as a Japanese car, the Euros are just too skewed towards driving overall, not isolation.

    xjs5,

    Definitely not Mitsu. I just meant that people don't consider Audi as much as they do Mercedes or BMW. Audi is still afterall feeling its way in this country in the 50K+ market. Of course I would have no problem with 70K for a an Audi because I know I can get that sticker way down compared to a BMW or Mercedes of the same price.

    M
  • mlmullismlmullis Posts: 1
    I've been looking at a '97 Mercedes S600 Coupe and was wondering if anybody could give me some advice about this vehicle. It's got 45K miles. Should I stay away (maintenance nightmare?)? How about the S500 Coupe? (less of a nightmare, maintenance wise?) Anybody want to share horror stories? (Positive stories appreciated, too.)
    Thanks!
    Mark
  • flint350flint350 Posts: 250
    bigrichz, many of us came to the exact same conclusion - and don't find $18k to be insignificant, given what you get for it (or don't get, in this case). Myself and many others were willing to spend it if necessary, it just didn't seem necessary for our needs/tastes. If you haven't already, also visit the Lexus LS board where other like-minded folks hang out.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    A fully loaded ultra lux LS430 runs around 71k. An S-430 (which has some ultra-lux items)outfitted with a few basic extras like heated seats, a cd player and hid lights gets around 73k. Pretty close. Now you can keep loading the S-430 and probably get to 80k+ but Mercedes usually doesn't do that because common sense would say get an S-500 at that point. Of course if you stay away from the ultra lux your usually in the upper 50's to low 60's in price for the Lexus depending on whether you get the nav/levinson combo. I opted for the LS430 for the same reasons you noted and if it were $10k-15k higher in price I would still have opted for it because for my style and preferences it is the best car. I can't wait to drive it and the lev/nav package increases the enjoyment. Personally I think the LS430 competes more with the S-500 because its engine is closer in power to that model and quite a bit more powerful than the S-430. If you look at it from that vantage point than you are anywhere from $18k - $25k cheaper. What a bargain.

    flint350 - did I make these points well. You are super elegant at making them and have done so several times in the past.

    Merc1 - never say never. But I do realize you would be committing heresy. Maybe flint350, myself and wbwynn are going to kidnap you sometime and force you to drive an LS430.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Must have been Mercury. Logical conclusion as it has same first 4 letters of your id and if your like me you probably always preferred a Lincoln to a Cadillac in the 1980's.
  • flint350flint350 Posts: 250
    ljflx, you got it right, as I see it - except I think you're closer to the mark saying the LS should be compared to the S500. I priced the new 2001 S430 and it was well over the 73K you mention (that is, if you equip it even nearly as well as the Lexus - the S430 STARTS at $70k without the many "options".) You're exactly right that the Lexus is closer to the S500 and there the real money difference becomes obvious.
  • xjs5xjs5 Posts: 33
    Edmunds TMV for S8 is $71,280. Now merc1, if you can do better, post your results at www.audiworld.com - they'd be glad to hear it lol !
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Never say never, you're right.......I just might one day drive an LS430 myself just to see what all the hoopla is about it. I haven't driven the LS since 1998. The last Lexus I drove was the IS300 last summer. Nope not Mercury. Merc is short for Mercedes of course.

    xjs5,

    That probably as good as it's going to get for an S8. The Audi dealer here can't keep them, but the regular short wheelbase A8 is being heavily discounted.

    M
  • flint350flint350 Posts: 250
    bigrichz, ljflx - as if you needed further ammo in your decision making, the S Class board is currently discussing the alarming drop in Benz quality as described in a GERMAN magazine. (the link, if interested: http://mbspy.bacosys.be/mbquality.htm) The headline to the article (with photos to match) says: "The star does not shine anymore. Mercedes, once synonym for top-quality slides into mediocrity with negligent finish"

    So this is what you get for that extra $18k! I knew there had to be something. (sorry Benz fans, I just couldn't resist - after all it's on your own board.)
  • denniswadedenniswade Posts: 362
    believe it or not, you and I feel the same way about the LS -- or did, although not for all the same reasons. To me, the LS400 was like a very large, sweet-natured woman who also happened to be a helluva cook -- a great wife, but nothing you'd fantasize about, if you get my drift.

    When I tested the LS430 and IS300, though, I was actually more impressed with the LS than I was the iS, simply because I expected less of it. The thing handled great, and the interior just made me drool. The styling is another story -- I still think it's ugly, especially the upright grille and goofy headlights. But if I wanted a large luxury car, it would definitely be on my short list.
  • xjs5xjs5 Posts: 33
    I want to see the mercedes link but it doesn't work on my computer. I want to see an expose
    of Mercedes quality- maybe it will work.

    merc1,
    the days of 10,000 $ discounts on Audi are gone from what I can tell. ...anyone who has not bought an Audi recently might not be aware of
    how expensive they have become.

    Edmunds TMV for A8 is $59,249 (with no option).
    It is not MSRP but it is $4,268. over invoice.
    A6 2.8 are getting $2,000 and it goes up from there. The deals on Audis are when they
    sit on dealer lots and become two model years old- there are a few you might find in a national search but the picture you're painting of "heavy discounts" is from two years ago- trust Edmunds TMV, unfortunately it's right.

    I want to see the expose!
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    ...which german magazine is that? The provided link actualy does not work.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    You're right on point with your descriptive notion of the LS430. Wow, I agree totally!

    xjs5,

    I know. Do you think they'll get to the status of Mercedes of at least trying to charge sticker price without blinking?

    M
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