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High End Luxury Cars

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  • xjs5xjs5 Posts: 33
    The other marque that gets MSRP is Saturn. Mercedes and Saturn, no I can't really figure that out.

    The link sounds very interesting but it won't work for me.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I truly feel that Saturn doesn't stick to that policy all the time either. I don't see why anyone would ever pay sticker for a Saturn. I think Saturn's days are numbered..

    M
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Are you agreeing with denniswade on his great wife comment about the LS400 or his great handling comment about the LS430? If it's the latter than we may have to make you lex1 because the LS 430 rivals or beats an S-class in many other areas.The great wife comment was made about the old model whereas you referred to the LS430 on your answer back.

    dennis - youv'e got guts - If I make that type of comment and my wife reads it I'm sleeping in the car for the next month or so.

    merc1 - I was appparently getting great discount on an A-8L here in NJ and the car was not on the lot. In December Audi was certainly still discounting heavily. They were even throwing in the ivory white color, 18" wheels and alcantra interior at a price barely above an LS430 that was over $10K cheaper in msrp and that was before I even started to negotiate price. What do you make of the article on MB? In all honesty the LS430 interior blows away the S-Class. I think the german auto mags are upset about that and the fact that the A-8L interior is also beautiful and of very high quality - certainly well above an S as well.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Oh I didn't notice that. I was thinking LS430, it doesn't matter though, they're both non-lust cars for me. Are you sure he was talking about his wife? I don't *think* he was. The MB aritcle brings up some tough stuff for Mercedes. Yes their quality has gone down a noticeable degree. The little details is where Mercedes used to shine, but they're cutting back too much now. I still don't think the LS430' interior or the A8's interior "blows away" the interior of the S, but I do think they have a somewhat higher level of material quality, but certainly not "blow away". That is over stating it.

    M
  • nealm1nealm1 Posts: 154
    The problem is the close-parenthesis at the end of the URL. Try copying the URL into the location line and then deleting the paren. That should work. Have any of you LS 430 fans driven the car hard w/both the 16 and 17 in. wheels? Do the 17's degrade the ride significantly?
  • flint350flint350 Posts: 250
    Sorry about the link. Here is the working version - didn't catch that closed paren. at the end, that is what messed it up.

    http://mbspy.bacosys.be/mbquality.htm
  • denniswadedenniswade Posts: 362
    to see what they said, and unfortunately the S-class is not listed (probably too few respondents to allow a statistically relevant sample). However, the next one down the ladder -- the E-class -- is listed as having average reliability for 6 of the 7 years covered (the first, 1992, is listed as "better than average"). The LS400 is listed as having "above average" reliability for all years covered. (There is no "Far above average" rating, so "above average" is the highest rating you can get).
  • denniswadedenniswade Posts: 362
    the "large, good-natured" thing?? Pure speculation on my part....really!! =O)
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    I agree that "blows away" is overdoing it. But either the Audi or LS interiors are nicer places to live. I'm pretty sure that this will drive MB to change. Last year the S interior was better than the previous generation LS. Sometimes its just the latest chess move. But MB is in a pickle because raising prices to cover the costs of the improvements isn't so easy and you unfotunately have to decide if you are going to allow your gross profit per car to suffer. Personally I don't think MB has to improve the interior to hold their marketshare but their image will suffer if they don't.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    image

    Don't miss the weekly MB Tuesdays chat at 6-7pm Pacific/9-10pm Eastern! All MB fans/enthusists/owners/potential owners are welcome to participate. Hope to see you there!

    Click on the link below to enter the chat at the times above.
    http://www.edmunds.com/chat/mercedeschat.html


    Drew
    Host
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  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    ...they're a matter of taste and style. German cars never have gone for the most sumptuous and cuddly interiors. It's more about ergonomy and somewhat spartan functionality. "Ve zon't vant deeztrakshun in ze cockpit, schweinehund" is the philosophy there. But mind you, if you want to spend 11 hours driving on European highways, few interiors will keep you in better shape than Mercedes' or BMW's. And I say that despite my personal bias for Jaguar interiors (I'd go for an Aston Martin or Bentley, but hey...).

    I think all of us have sat in LS400s, and I have 2 colleagues with LS430s, and I do not think that the Lexus sets such a clear standard when it comes to the interior, sorry. It is not a fact, it is personal taste and a mere opinion. I for one am not a big fan of the Lexus interior. The SC430 is another story - gorgeous, if a bit overdone, interior. The LS430 is great, no doubt about it, but not untochable. It definitely has its very cheap touches here and there. To claim it is head and shoulders above the S-class is, in my opinion, an overzealous, borderline silly comment. To me, the best interiors in this class are either the Jag's or the MB's.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    is on now! (6-7pm Pacific/9-10 pm Eastern). Hope to see you there!
    http://www.edmunds.com/chat/mercedeschat.html


    Drew
    Host
    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket and Accessories message boards
  • denniswadedenniswade Posts: 362
    to characterize a subjective opinion about a subjective topic is a little silly too, isn't it? Obviously, there are those who prefer the relative sparseness of a German interior to the sumptuousness of a British, French or Japanese interior -- but that doesn't make their passion about it silly. They just have different criteria than you do.

    I've driven Mercedes', BMW's, Jaguar's and Lexus' latest offerings back to back for over 6 years running, and my opinions of the cars' relative merits has not changed in all that time. Mercedes is solid, but cold and uninvolving; BMW is sporty, with a touch of softness in the interior that the Mercedes lacks; Jaguar is very sumptuous but confining, and a little vague in the handling department; and the Lexus is both ergonomically near-perfect and sumptuous at the same time. It also has a level of performance and handling that is rather startling, considering its emphasis on smoothness and comfort.

    I've said before that I don't care much for the exterior of the LS430; but the interior is simply a work of art, and supremely comfortable. Call me silly if you must -- but that's my opinion, and it's shared by a lot of other people, including ALL of the magazine editors whose reviews I've read.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Perfectly stated! That is the exact way I feel about the LS430 - spectaclar feeling inside due to the luxury interior, extremely quiet with a great sound system, best ride of any car I've ever been in and very fast with far better handling than many of the auto mags would have the non-Lexus driver ever believe or understand. When those rare instances arise where the Lexus can't negotiate a sharp curve as well as the BMW I'll just slow down a bit. That's what I'd do if I had the BMW anyway and besides that's what the person driving in front of me is doing so I wouldn't have a choice in the matter. By the way the car's design - goofy headlight's and all grow on you every day. Now you still have to explain to me how you got away with that wife comment re the LS400.
  • flint350flint350 Posts: 250
    I also defend the Lexus interior as being significantly better than the S-Class. Subjective, yes, but based on sound reasoning. As Denniswade says, most of the press agree that this is a strong suit of the Lexus, to the detriment of the S Class. Maybe "head and shoulders" just doesn't sound good to you, but I thoroughly believe there is a significant (not subtle) difference. Much of the criticism of the Benz centers on its interior and fit/finish. Its use of cheaper parts and the fact that just bringing it up to similar appointment levels as the LS costs big $$$ in options. Have you seen the prices of the designo upgrade? And what do you really get for that except a prettier interior (closer to Lexus) that you probably should have gotten for your original $80-90K. Sorry, but most Lexus folks are quick to accept where our choice falls ever so slightly behind (the German style handling), but the Benz folks seem not to accept that the S Class seriously lags in some areas - interior is one. Reliability is another. The latest Insurance Institute safety ratings, just issued, are another. I'm not saying the S isn't safe or very good, but the Lexus is rated in the highest category and the S Class isn't. So, to end, I must disagree when you say the Lexus does not set a clear standard in this area. Indeed, this is one of the areas where its advantage is crystal clear. But that's just my opinion, I could be wrong. :)
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Mercede's problem is a basic business one.They were forced (merc1 - I know you don't like me saying it but no one will ever convince me otherwise) to lower prices not just because of Lexus but because they were far too expensive relative to the other luxury cars. When they cut prices they cut quality to preserve profit margins. They also put a low mark-up on the dealer invoice price to the msrp so that the car could not be discounted. The cut in quality hurt a lot. Never would I think, let alone say, that the old LS400 was as good a car as the old S-420 or S-500. But Lexus made big moves in the interior design and quality of materials, tightened the ride and yet still made it smoother/quieter and significantly improved handling while introducing a Euro suspension and an expensive ultra model. But the base car price stays flat and the options are very affordable - $6k in options buys you a lot. So now the car to many, including myself, equals or surpasses the vaunted S-500. MB's problem is that it has been so successful in the past and remains the class leader with the highest prices by far - $18k-25k more for an S-500 over an LS430 is absurd. How are they going to maintain that price point or if not that price than the gross profit it brings in the face of stiffening competition the likes of which they have never seen? Plus they have to deal with the Chrysler problems. A tall order!
  • denniswadedenniswade Posts: 362
    Now that Renault has taken over, Mercedes will have TWO premium Japanese brands to contend with -- Infiniti being more sports-oriented than the Lexus. God help 'em if Honda ever decides to make a real commitment to bringing Acura into the full-tilt luxury class.

    I have a feeling they're gonna have their hands full.
  • remus26remus26 Posts: 34
    The LS430 interior is better than the S-class interior, IMO, and in the opinion of the magazines also. But that doesn't mean the LS430 interior is head and shoulders above the S-class interior. Definately the S-class interior and Benz interiors in general have gone slightly down market. This is of course, due to the fact that Mercedes-Benz has realized in recent years that they can't charge whatever they feel for their cars. If any German carmakers interior is close to and/or even better than Lexus' interiors it is Audi's interiors. The A4, A6, TT, & A8 all have truly gorgeous interiors. Even Mercedes-Benz or BMW doesn't have equal interiors.

    And as for Jaguar. The current XJ8 has a gorgeous interior, but I suspect that the next generation XJ8 will not have as sumptuous & as elegant a interior as the current one does. Why? Look at the S-Type interior and upcoming X-Type interior. The X-type interior is plasticky with very little wood trim and the S-Type interior is also un-traditionaly Jaguar.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    "The latest Insurance Institute safety ratings, just issued, are another. I'm not saying the S isn't safe or very good, but the Lexus is rated in the highest category and the S Class isn't."

    Um, FYI, the S-class has never been tested by the IIHS, and it probably won't since it is so pricey and not exactly selling in large numbers. As such, the above statement about the S-class not being rated in the highest category is moot. The internal MB crash test results (specifically the 40mph offset crashes) of the S-class are excellent though, just as they were for the C-class and E-class (which was categorised in the same segment as the LS430). All of these MB vehicles didn't even crack their windshields during the crashes.


    Drew
    Host
    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket and Accessories message boards
  • remus26remus26 Posts: 34
    Yup, the IIHS or NHTSA usually does not test the S-class Benz because of it's price tag. Therefore their are no test stats for the S-class from either the IIHS or NHTSA for offset, side, or full frontal collisions.

    I wouldn't hesitate to buy a Benz if looking for safety. They are all built like tanks.
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    ".. that doesn't make their passion about it silly .." Nor subjectivity or passion are silly, in fact they are utterly critical to a satisfying choice in this car segment. But utterly subjective statements that masquerade themselves as "facts" - *that* is somewhat silly.

    I have never made a statement that goes "ABC is better than DEF" when it comes to these cars, because it's *all* based on subjective perception. But many people, you included, continuously rate these cars in absolute terms that I find unacceptable. It's great you love the LS430, it certainly has many aspects people can fall in love with. But become overzealous, and attacking other people's choices, does not add much value to the argument.
  • denniswadedenniswade Posts: 362
    let's be clear about something here: I have NEVER "made a statement that goes 'ABC is better than DEF'," nor have I "rated these cars in absolute terms," nor have I been "overzealous, and attack(ed) other people's choices."

    Matter of fact, I don't even "love the LS430" -- I consider it an old man's car (just like the S and the 7), and although I'm 53 I have no intention of acting like it.

    Theng kyoo.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    remus26 - I agree the A-8 does have a beautiful interior as well - a bit less showy than the LS430 but very elegant. Rear leg room is wonderful also. LS430 has plenty of rear space to sit comfortably in the back even when the front seats are extended as far back as possible for me - a 6 footer - but the A-8 allows you to stretch your legs as well as sit comfortably. But the car just doesn't hold its value well even though it is so well engineered.

    The S-class interior is a good one - but given the price of the car it should be a lot better. It is definitely below the level of either the A-8 or the LS430.
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    I am not sure why you and some other Lexus defenders are so passive-aggressive at times really. You unabashedly make very strong statements about Merc's S-class, basically trashing it. And I don't even own a Mercedes, so really, it is not because I have some irrational emotional stake riding on the S-class. I just think all of these cars are fabulous, and simply are different manifestations of the luxury sedan concept. As the French would say, "Vive le difference!" or something like that. It makes the luxury car world richer to have all these different concepts out there.

    And I think *all* of us luxury car owners have to face to a basic reality: *all* brands are increasingly building cars to certain cost and margin targets, as opposed to simply building them to a standard that shies no cost. *All* of these cars have the cheap interior, shared switch-gear or whatever else touch if you look for it. MB and BMW and Lexus and, inceasingly, Jaguar. I for one have no doubt that Jaguar will be increasingly compromising their sumputous interior, it has already visibly started. I can't say my XJS' switches and such were "better" than my XJR's, but they certainly were more unique and not shared with anything else. It's a sign of the times, and if you want no compromises, you'll have to increasingly look at the way-over $100k segment.

    While we argue about truly infinitessimal differences in subjectively relevant "interior quality", go check out a Bentley's interior. All of a sudden, a $200k+ pricetag does not look quite as outrageous, as the quality of the interior is at least 10x better than any of these $70-80k cars, really. No remote comparison.

    Let's all really chill and smell the flowers, and stop trying to be missionaries about some specific car-brand. That is all I am trying to say.

    I do own a brand new XJR, but you'll never hear me even remotely say it's the best car or anything like that. It simply fit my very personal requirement and taste list better. But I can totally see how people can utterly love their very own personal choice. But if any of these cars were truly measurably better, they would utterly monopolize the market. As a rule, people shopping around in this car segment are not utter idiots falling prey to simplistic brand image messages and buying garbage...
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I agree with that part about the image being hurt, but I don't agree that Mercedes changed prices of the S, simply because of Lexus, because the S is still thousands more. For an S-Class to cost 18-20K more than a Lexus isn't absurd...the Europeans won't ever be able to match the Japanese dollar for dollar. I could say paying 70K for a Lexus is absurd. The S-Class has always been this or even more expensive. Thing is there was never a car that could compare for less money. So far they maintaing that "price point" very well. And the LS430 does not surpass the S500, it may match it but it certainly does not surpass it. A S500 admitedly with options is still above the LS430.

    denniswade,

    I do think Acura will make the next RL (2003) a real contender in the mid-size catergory, but it will be years and years (if ever) before Acura has an S-Class type of car. And if Infiniti's newest Q45 doesn't do it, they're done.

    M
  • blehrlichblehrlich Posts: 92
    how Lexus owners/supporters try to make their choice look better by constantly putting down MB, often with wrong suppositions (like crash test and reliability claims). It reminds me of my mother scolding me not to try to make myself look better by digging a hole to put everyone else in (even though my mother is certifiable).

    I like the LS430, at least the interior ( I defy anyone to ay that the rear view doesn't look the same as a Toyota Avalon and the front like a Cadillac DeVille). I just like the MB better.
  • denniswadedenniswade Posts: 362
    "You unabashedly make very strong statements about Merc's S-class, basically trashing it."

    When have I trashed the S-class? The only negative thing I've said about ANY Mercedes is that I don't care for the driving dynamic -- hardly a "strong statement." And I've often said that I absolutely LOVE the SLK and CLK (two of the most beautiful cars on the road today, in my opinion).

    You don't seem to tolerate disagreement very well. Please stop trying to pick a fight where there isn't any. It doesn't lend any light to the topic at hand, and it's unpleasant.

    blerhlich: I agree -- the styling of the LS430 is derivative and uninspired. Hopefully they'll let Calty design the next one (not likely!).
  • flint350flint350 Posts: 250
    Geez, it almost sounds like I'm not entitled to my own opinion! (and it was clearly stated as opinion). The title of the board suggests an ongoing comparison of the breed - hard to do if no one "champions" his/her personal fav. Of course fans and foes are expected to disagree (in a courteous and polite way). None of this lately has sounded particularly meanspirited to me, just energetic. No name calling and IMO no need to "chill". I'm not a missionary for my choice, but I will defend/explain it when faced with opposing views, especially views that I believe are unsound or flawed. I don't believe anyone is "trashing" Benz. You can point out a perceived flaw in a brand without trashing it. And as for "wrong suppositions", I disagree. True, the S might not have been included in the insurance test (which I didn't know at the time) but the reliability issue is real from what I read, even on the S Class board. We all agree that all of these cars are terrific. And they all have their flaws, high points and low points. Pointing that out is not trashing. And with no disrespect to anyone's mother, it's hard to claim the high ground and then "defy" anyone to disagree with your personal point of view. And, as always, that's just my opinion - I could be wrong.
  • wbwynnwbwynn Posts: 246
    All these comments about the exterior are way over done. It's not about the exterior, it's about the superb overall package. The comments that it looks like this from this side or that from that side borders on a ridiculous waste of time and mentality.

    The MB500 looks like a Taurus from certain angles....who cares!! The owner of an LS430 is not pre-occupied with others perceptions; he's having way too much fun and satisfaction from the ownership experience.
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