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High End Luxury Cars

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  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    and since your post is #6637, you can see that no posts have been deleted between pablo's and yours! :)
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    Someone was telling me that Audi now plans to coke out with a luxury sports "wagon" version of the A8 that looks like the sporty Avant of old, that is, with a slanted rear window as opposed to the vertical one all wagons go for these days. If so, I think it's smart and stylish differentiation. The newest incarnation of the A8 -ther than the Phaeton- is the only lux sedan I haven't driven or been driven around in.

    Incidentally, since I work in a location that's somewhat off the beaten path in Silicon Valley and am on track to put over 25k miles on my car and motorcycle this year, it seems I am about to get a generous allowance for leasing a car (our CEO obviously has the same problem :-), and that in turn means I might consider one of these or one notch below these sedans towards the end of the year. Or I might just pocket in the allowance and go on as usual until the wheels fall off my current car(s). :-) I wonder what leasing deals one can get on a Phaeton - VW must be pretty desperate to move a few, I'd think, and the fact I haven't seen a single one driving around actually is appealing: counter chic and understatement is still very "in" in Silicon Valley, and the Phaeton might actually be a great car for that. Odd there's not more of them around.
  • I saw a Phaeton about a week ago driving the opposite direction on Highway 1, near Pismo. It was beige and looked like an over-weight Passat. And there's nothing wrong with looking like an over-weight Passat IMO. That's the only one I've seen so far...
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,665
    Nothing wrong with the phaeton. Good looking car and if you get a good reliable one you'll probably get the best value car around in the segment. I've seen them as low as 749 loaded up at $72-73K, zero down, 12k miles per annum. VW has to subsidize it because it's not selling.

    I will tell though you that I spent a lot of time behind the wheel of an A8 this week on a trip down south and couldn't wait to get back into my LS430. I used the dynamic suspension setting which was the besr ride the car offered but it just lacks the luxury ride I'm used to. The MMI was a disaster. It goes on and off, reboots itself, freezes the radio and is very distracting to use while driving. And this is supposed to be far superior to I-drive? Audi and BMW are nuts with this needless stuff and my bet is audi is having a lot of problems with this technology. The audi dealer certainly hinted at that. I didn't like the nav at all and the female voice orders you around rather than speaks nicely to you. She also has limited patience. I'd divorce her in a secomd. One thing great on the Audi though is the ability to access a built-in phone tied in with On-star. As well the interior materials are very high quality. But it's not a car I have any desire to own or lease. Nevertheless it's the best looking car in the segment.
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    I agree on the whole gimmickry computer interface thing. I wonder who on earth made BMW or Audi believe they could put better interfaces together than, say, Apple or other companies that spend a lot of money researching how to make information accessible to humans. My wife is buying a new SUV as we speak (I am somewhat nervous because as far as I know she might have already picked something by the time I get home, I am writing this from the airport waiting for a delayed plane. FWIW, she seems to want to stay loyal to MB and get an ML350 as of our last conversation), and last weekend she took me to sit in a few and play "bad cop" in the dealerships, and even there the user interfaces are abominable. Good old fashioned knobs are so much better.

    I had heard the Audi wasn't the smoothest rider, but of course on German highways it's got the reputation for being the most planted high-speed cruiser. Cross-country driving at 135mph is probably not a top ranking buying consideration in the US...

    Thanks for the info on the Phaeton!
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,665
    Did she ever look at the Pacifica. It didn't sell big but I always liked it and never heard anything bad about it. The Lexus SUV's are far superior to the ML. I get the RX as a loaner and it is a great ride with real luxury and built a lot better than the ML. Should take a look there. A friend took the X5 last year and while it has a harsher ride he's had nothing but excellent reliability with it. But overall CR gave it poor reliability. I'd look at that if German is the preference. Also the Tourag - how can i forget it - it's a looker and I've not heard anything bad there.
  • designodesigno Posts: 14
    Wow. Have any of you seen the recent spy pics of the 2006 S-Class? It's looks AMAZING! The rear looks like a even sleeker version of the Maybach. It will easily become the most beautiful car, having the sleek styling of the CLS, and the classic elegance of the Maybach. Great job so far, MB!!!!!

    Can't wait to get my hands on one. Planning on going to the dealership this weekend to put a deposit on one!
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,665
    Why don't you post a link to a picture. The ones shown on here a while back didn't excite anyone and many thought the current car is better looking. Maybe what you are seeing is more representative of the true style or maybe its just difference of perception on the style already posted.
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    Funny you mention the RX. We did stop by the Lexus dealer after I got back on our way to dinner, and I discovered R-r (my nickname for her, no sure if its a grumbling Rottweiler's or a purring cat's sound, it varies) is not as brand loyal as I thought. And I have to say, not having been inside the new RX330, that the interior blew me away. It's leagues ahead of anything in its segment, the only possible exception being the Touareg, but the styles are different. It seems RX330 and Touareg are the final contenders, and she's going to test drive them (and also the ML350 and the BMW X3, which she likes more than the X5). I sense we might get a Lexus in the near term, that interior seemed to put it in the lead.

    Amd thanks for the Pacifica suggestion - we hadn't thought about it, but upon a quick lookup in Edmunds it certainly deserves to be looked at! She's got a hard $35k (+ trade in) spending limit if we stick by our premise of buying cars cash, which I think needs to be revised given the fact she obviusly would like to drive a new car every 3 years without many hassles. Of cours ethe numbers look great on a lease when you bring a trade-in into the picture, but I am reminding her she needs to think about the next one since she'll have no equity build into it, and either she saves some out of her budget (i.e. not "invest" it into shoes and jewelery) or she'll be driving a Civic 3 years down the line. :-)
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,665
    Good luck. Let us know what you do.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,665
    Make sure you catch the automobile section of the NY Times this Sunday. Got mine today with the Saturday paper. They reviewed the 6 series. Very negative review with many of the things you have been saying. I started to wonder if you wrote it or influenced it.

    One thing that I remember and now understand better than ever was the quote about i-drive. They said "brilliant interface, but it has no business being in a car". I'd put in "when it works" after the brilliant interface line. The MMI I had in the Audi rebooted itself 15 times on a 100 mile trip - that is 15 times once I started to keep track of it. It did it at least 3 or 4 times before I started tracking it. It froze the radio and blew away the nav and when it rebooted put a foreign language station on. But the best of all was that on one reboot I had finally had enough. So I pulled off onto the shoulder of the road and shut the engine hoping that would cure its ailment. To my amazement the MMI wouldn't shut down. It kept working with the key out of the ignition. It was actually draining the battery! Then of course I had some trouble restarting the car but finally I did. After a minute I shut down the car and the MMI shut with it this time. Then I restarted and pulled back on the road, the MMi worked - for 5 minutes - then shut down and started the rebooting process all over again - many times. It obviously needs some kind of software fix. But my take on it is simple. It is needles, useless and downright stupid for this technology to be in a car - so I know firsthand what the NY Times reporter was saying. I fiddled with it for so long that it hit me how little I was paying attention to the road. Therein is the real danger and stupidity of these interfaces. They increase risk and deter you from the real driving experience - sometimes without you realizing it till after the fact. Plus they put you in a real bad mood. And that female voice on the nav system - well - I'm not going there. But she should be fired immediately. George Seinbrenner looks tame next to her.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Thanks for the heads up on the 6 in the NYT… will definitely hawk it.

    The following looks like an edited version of the S spy shots we saw a couple of months ago. It looks good but it's obviously photoshopped. I say hire the photoshop gurus as consultants… the car world would be a much prettier place.

    http://www.thecarconnection.com/index.asp?article=6776

    Hey, check out my latest mini review of the 2006 3-series in the "Good, Bad, or Ugly..." BMW thread. Would like to know what you think. There's an abundance of spy shots floating around that appear credible.

    designman "Good, Bad or Ugly - Current and Future styling trends of BMW" Aug 14, 2004 10:52am
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,665
    I thought someone wrote the 3 series held up well in the re-design. That thing is another wreck. BMW has lost its mind and its soul went with it.
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    Those side creases on all new BMW designs look as if all their cars were originally conceived as SUVs, and then get put through a press to lower their height and turn them into sportier cars. They look powerful but pudgy, like undisciplined athletes in the off-season. Somebody please save BMW design: the cars look Japanese at a time when the Japanese are starting to master the European design language...
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Well said except for one thing. I'd like to know how the "Japanese are starting to master the European design language." Tell me you're kidding. Japanese styling is hit and miss, mostly miss. And there is no such thing as a European design language anymore. It's now a global cacophony, a Tower of Babel.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "They look powerful but pudgy"

    An LS 430 looks pudgy, not the new 3 series prototype.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,665
    Even the BMW diehard who reviewed the 6-series in the NY Times said the BMW's needed to go on diets. His take on what BMW stands for these days - "Bring The Weight".
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,665
    What is the cause for them turning away? Bad cars or personal reasons.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    That journalist is entitled to his/her opinion, but there are others that disagree. I'm not sure I would weight the a NYT car review above Edmunds.

    I could find others that contradict that review as well, but why bother.

    http://www.edmunds.com/new/2004/bmw/6series/100382975/review.html- ?tid=edmunds.n.reviewmmindex.content.num3.0.bmw*
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    the review you post a link to states "its shape fails to elicit universal enthusiasm". no one doubts the dynamic excellence, but even a friend of mine that owns one says he did not buy it for the looks.
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