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High End Luxury Cars

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  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    Thanks for the link. "Unreliable luxury cars" should be an oxymoron. Like "military music" or "political science" , it shouldn't compute.

    While certainly not luxury cars, part of the appeal of an upscale, leather bedecked, Tahoe/Yukon/Explorer etc. must be the perception that its NOT high tech and not going to require an EE to fix. While not a fan of GM, I do think you could get 10 years/150,000 miles out of a Tahoe without being driven nuts by electrical gremlins.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Nobody is interested in a leather bedecked Explorer. (See: Lincoln Aviator) People like the Escalade for... some reason.. but I dont think the Denalis are exactly on fire with sales (maybe with the employee pricing).

    Just because a car is luxurious, it doesnt have to mean its automatically unreliable. Lexus has been proving that since 1990, Acura since '86 or somewhere around there. The MDX and RX330 are both extremely reliable, and luxurious. They arent burdened with the lousy handling of a body-on-frame truck, nor the lousy mpg of a monster OHV V8 required to pull said body-on-frame truck. GM is putting an awfully big bet on the fact that people will still be interested in these monsters 10 years from now. Ford is playing it smarter and greatly expanding their line of car based crossovers.

    For the record, I turned in my '96 LS400 with 156,840 miles in 2001, not one electrical gremlin ever reared its head. Not one unscheduled service visit of any kind. Other than oil and fluid changes, the dealer replaced an oil seal at 90K and the rear shocks at 110K. That was it. My '01 LS430 now has over 90K on it, and so far its been just as bullet proof as the '96. I'm not the kind of Lexus zealot that will say Lexus will rule the world by 2010 and carve a giant L into the moon, but the unrivaled quality and reliability that Lexus is known for is the real deal.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    In a somewhat related note, I just saw a very old ad on TV for GMC products (the one with the smashed trucks landing in a field). I mention it because it specifically is advertising GM's "higher standard of ideas" such as the Envoy XUV, which was killed due to slow sales, and Quadrasteer, which was killed because nobody ordered it. Way to stay on top of things, guys.
  • KD

    What Toyota did you buy...and why did you buy it...based on your message you would much rather have a German car??
  • Prius doesn't discount.
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hi All,
    It's funny to see the same things being discussed again. Despite Mercedes' problems, it still has a mystique that no other car maker has yet, save Rolls Royce. The MB is still something people aspire to and a brand that evokes an emotional response from its followers. I think their designs have only become attractive in the past few years. The outgoing S Class is a stunner, especially in the darker colors. Why did they have to mess around with such a nice design??

    It's something Lexus needs to improve on. I am no fan of any Lexus car at the moment. The GS doesn't do it for me, and it seems pointless to put such an intruding Traction control system in a car designed to take on the 5 Series. Why not put an "off" button? I hope the same mistake is not made with the IS. Lexus cars normally sell well in the first 18 months, but then start to fade. I think it's still too early to call it a victory for Camp Lexus. The only reason I stay with the LS cars is simply because of the competition's quality issues at the moment. I'd like to see Lexus come out with the sort of designs that put them on the map in the first place like the original LS, ES, and SC. These were interesting cars that actually stirred some excitement in me. Let's see what Lexus does next..

    SV
  • aggie76aggie76 Posts: 265
    Boy, do I have to agree with your comments. Have had my '04 LS430 for about 18 months now and had thought it was going to be a long-term affair but am finding my emotions stirred by other offerings after owning Lexus autos for almost 10 years now. The one compelling factor remains the quality of Lexus vs. the others in keeping me in the LS today and not jumping to another marque. The '07 intro the next generation LS is really what I have my heart set on but we do have to see what gets to the market.

    Had a chance to look at Jag, MB, & Audi while shopping a Honda Odyssey Touring for my spouse and am impressed with the style of each one. Will attend a Drive & Ride event by a number of Luxury brands in a couple of weeks and am anxious to see several of these in action.
  • ideleidele Posts: 200
    My history with Japanese cars: First a stick shift Honda Accord. Followed by a Toyata Camry and a Toyota Cressida. Both cars were revelations to me in quality and reliability. The Cressida especially. Lexus arrived and I started with an ES250 followed by three LS400's. ( I trade every two years). Intrigued by all-wheel drive I got an RX300 when it came out. I liked it but preferred a sedan and switched to an Audi A6 4.2 after two years. Lots of problems with that Audi: nothing disabling but lengthy time costing trips to dealer to get things repaired. The ride on the car was rough. I switched to an Allroad 2.7T which has air suspension giving a much better ride. That had no problems but when I recently traded it in at 17300 miles there were engine noises and vibration at speeds over 60 which, had I kept it, would have required warranty service. I decided to go hybrid and get an RX400h. The hybrid represents a paradigm shift and Lexus has produced, in my opinion,a winner. Being such a big change it's very hard for the public and even for many enthusiasts posting here to understand that car. The fuel consumption on the RX400h, by the way, ranges from 30 to 40 per cent better than the Audi Allroad 2.7T. I had seriously contemplated getting a BMW 5 or 7 series, but my previous experience with Lexus and their unique hybrid technology made me settle on the RX400h. However, I prefer sedans and expect to purchase a hybrid LS or GS in 2007.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Unfortunately, they made the exact same mistake in the IS350. There is still no off switch for VDIM. Worse, according to Edmunds even the traction control comes back on on its own after something like 10mph.

    My first experience with Lexus was a '94 SC400. When the "trac" button was hit it stayed off, and there was no stability system. With the pedal to the floor you could really fling the old SC around if you wanted to. They need to bring that back as well.
  • anthonypanthonyp Posts: 1,857
    I am on a similar track, but opter for the bmw station wagon over the h, simply because we have had lexus so long...Each of our lexus`s had one problem that was serious enough to be remembered....Wife`s last car was a Mercedes, which had only two small switch problems.....I have been messing around with the i drive and find it cumberson at first, but am making headway...Would sort of like to get a 7, but I`m not sure...I am sure I would get a lexus if it were introduced next winter, but they still say fall next....I was checking some mpg from european sources and remember they do thing in Imperial gallons, which is like a gallon and twentypercent more...That acccounts for part of the higher dollar per gallon charge, and also the really big mpg in a deasel Tony
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Unfortunately, they made the exact same mistake in the IS350. There is still no off switch for VDIM...

    LG: Edmund's review was on a PRE-production car. Have you read MPH and Automobile's new reviews.... They were glowing or the IS350...
  • ideleidele Posts: 200
    One big difference I noticed is between the local Lexus and BMW dealers. They happen to be on adjacent lots where I live. Showroom and facilities of Lexus are spectacular. Those of BMW neat but standard plain. Salesman at Lexus was excellent. Salesman at BMW was good and knowledgable but spent a lot of time checking on the value of my Audi Allroad and mentioning that he had a customer for it. Salesman at Lexus was an F1 racing fan and discussed the performance of the GS300 detailing its cornering. Salesman at BMW when I mentioned a stock I had, checked the price on his computer, saw it was up that day, and turned to me and said "The rich get richer". I have a lot of respect for BMW and if I could buy one of those Japan only models with left hand drive, I probably would have done it
    There is a lot of discussion of diesels. I have rented MB diesels in Germany and because of their fuel efficiency and the considerably lower cost of diesel fuel in Germany, my fuel costs per mile there were in line with premium fuel in the USA. But diesels pollute badly and that's why they are banned in California and about ten other states. The hybrids are not just fuel efficient but also meet super low emmission standards. There are diesel hybrids. Fedex has tested 16 diesel-electric hybrid delivery trucks with great success. And in Japan hybrid trucks are not very rare. The real next step is replacing the ICE in hybrids with fuel cells. I conjecture that Toyota/Lexus is leading in bringing this technology to production. For example, GM's President, Wagoner went to Toyota in Japan to cut a sharing agreement and from the newspaper reports has been rebuffed. Getting back to the question of diesels, from what I can discern from articles and web postings, BMW and Toyota both excel in diesel engines.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    "Clean diesel" 50 state spec that was originally excluded from the new energy bill in regards to tax breaks was lobbied in. The new US spec for diesels is much tougher than European standards, so diesel pollution shouldnt be a major issue anymore. Unfortunately Detroit also lobbied to not change the standard '70s era EPA mpg test methods. This means that there will still be plenty of people angry about why their hybrids arent getting EPA numbers (answer: the EPA tests cars driving like an 80 year old grandmother and doesnt use A\C)
  • ideleidele Posts: 200
    I'd love to get a diesel hybrid especially if made by Toyota/Lexus or BMW. I would never buy one from the other manufacturers,. But it has to be a hybrid. They are so superior in performance that I would never again buy a non-hybrid. I find all the harping on gas mileage just dumb.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Sunday's NY Times has a couple of good stories on Porsche but they can't be linked in until tomorrow. In the smaller (addendum) story it briefly addresses the 4 door Panamera and notes that even Ferrari may build a 4 door sedan. The story also notes that the Porsche purist hated Cayenne easily outsold the whole sportscar line last year. But one funny comment was made by George Petersen, President of AutoPacific group. It addresses the business side vs. the purist side that we always clash about on this forum. The quote as follows:

    "From a business standpoint Porsche's bottom line is certainly healthier than if they had listened to their purists - many who may be lunatic-fringe car crazies or gold-chain poseurs - and limited their lineup to sports cars."

    He's actually being kind as Porsche almost went bankrupt with just sportscars when the demand for sportscars fell in the early 90's.
  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    SV,

    Like you "I am no fan of any Lexus car .." but I can't agree with you on the extent of the MB mystique. The market has spoken clearly: the resale is poor. Speaking of resale, resale may be a better measure than new sales of brand cache. The buyers are usually buyers, not leasors (leesees?), they may be younger and more "with it", and they are spending post tax money. The government/company isn't picking up a lot of the tab.

    BMW for all their well discussed problems seems to be the rising high end brand these days.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    If that is true - and its an excellent point - than MB's mystique is becoming tied into AMG rather than its bread and butter cars. It also does speak volumes about BMW and Lexus. To me the real MB mystique was the real high resale values the cars historically held - heads and shoulders above everyone. That was attributed to quality and is what always made you desire to own an MB in the first place. The past couple of years commercials making you think you should own one because some star owns one is a lot of baloney and insulting to potential buyers as far as I am concerned.
  • Which event will you be attending?
  • aggie76aggie76 Posts: 265
    Lujack's in Davenport has a Ride and Drive event by invitation.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    BMW for all their well discussed problems seems to be the rising high end brand these days.

    How so ? The rationale you provided earlier was based on YOUR personal observation of owners and demographics of MB, Grand Marquis, and BMW in your neck of the woods. By age, the LS and S-class owners are older than BMW, but that says nothing about which car is the rising high end, according to your statement above. There is old and new money awash in the US these days. Many people can *afford* much higher end cars than in the past. Thanks to the choices out there today, MB is no longer the car to drive for high-end lux car buyers. I don't see how the 7-series wins cos its style is so polarizing, and saddled with the i-Drive, its just not winning that many converts, imo. If Lexus can modernize its style, it will drive a huge nail through the MB/BMW market.... seeing that the new S may not set its sales on fire. Let's just hope that Lexus doesn't screw up the next LS460 and its many variants.... And then we'll see how BMW, MB and Lexus dukes it out in years to come...
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    The German crowd is always pointing out that Lexus sales are dependent on SUVs and that they don't fare as well with cars. All true (though why SUVs shouldn't count is something I don't understand). But Lexus is starting to catch up in cars, despite offering far fewer variants.

    Lexus 2005YTD non-SUVs 81,849....2004YTD 79,630....+2.8% for 2005

    MB 2005YTD non-SUVs 100,881....2004YTD 106,762....-5.5% for 2005

    BMW 2005YTD non-SUVs 107,152....2004YTD 111,580....-4.0% for 2005

    We'll see what happens over the next few years...everyone has new models coming. Hybrids should help out Lexus. But maybe MB will improve on the reliability front.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    The IS is going to be a real hot car. I wouldn't be surprised to see Lexus move 45-50K of them vs. the 10-15K they moved in the past 12 months. If that happens look at the effect on the numbers. The GS will stay a strong seller because of its variants in the near future and then you have redesigned and more variant LS and ES cars in the works plus next gen hybrids which the LS will go right to. So Lexus strategy is turning back to cars and they may end up very close or over the top there as well in the next few years. The RX looks like it may top 100K sales on its own this year the way its going. Those high resale values are also a big draw these days.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Interesting sales numbers....Maybe a sign of things to come ?

    But looking at facts on the ground today, Lexus is definitely turning back to cars. All of the new entrants for the next 2 years will all be cars.... GS300/430/450H (MY2006/07); IS250/350 (MY2006); LS460 (MY2007); GS350/460 (MY2007/08)... I don't see how Lexus won't catch MB and maybe even BMW in car sales by MY2008.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Lexus also has plans to expand the IS line with a convertible, though apparently they are still debating soft top vs. hard top. If they decide to go with a soft top, I think a coupe version could be possible. That would be a sort of spiritual successor to the SC300 coupe. IS460 and LS600h sales will probably be small, but they will help bring up the total a bit higher. Also, the SC430 just got its refresh, for '06, which means a totally redesigned version should hit by '08 or '09.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    I don't think LS600H sales will be small at all. It will be a $75K car (give or take a few thou), priced just above the current LS430 ultra. In fact I'm anticipating a pretty large annd long waitlist for the car. The real niche small seller will be the 2008/9 V12 they are coming out with as that will be its $100-105K car and probably will only be a 1500 unit annual seller..
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    After reading through all the usual doom and gloom about Mercedes, which has become the norm here.......I spotted this very interesting statement:

    Thanks to the choices out there today, MB is no longer the car to drive for high-end lux car buyers. I don't see how the 7-series wins cos its style is so polarizing, and saddled with the i-Drive, its just not winning that many converts, imo.

    Really? Mercedes isn't the car for high end lux car buyers? Based on what? If Mercedes isn't then who is? It certainly isn't Lexus. Lexus barely has one car that is truly in high-end territory, a fully loaded LS430. While Mercedes on the other hand has at least a dozen cars that cost and sell for more than any Lexus. From 70-100K nobody else sells more cars than Mercedes does. Are there other choices for ever higher-end buyers? Of course, and they've always been there, and they aren't new choices either. Mercedes was never the only choice for high end buyer which is what you seem to imply, they are just the most popular one between that bracket where most brands like Lexus, Infiniti, Audi etc. fall off (70-75K) and where the truly "high-end" and exclusive players start, which is somwhere between 100-150K and way beyond, again depending on which brand you're talking about. For luxury cars between those prices points Mercedes is it, by far no one else is even close to their numbers in that segment, BMW is a distant second. Bentley, Ferrari, Aston-Martin, Porsche, Lamborghini and others, all of which except certain Porsches sells for much higher prices than most Mercedes. The only one of these brands that truly lowered itself into Mercedes' price territory was Bentley, which has become very popular around the 160K price point for a Continental GT, and 160K is right at Mercedes upper price limit give or take 3 very rare MB models.

    "seeing that the new S may not set its sales on fire"

    Big IYO statement. How is it possible to know anything about the sales of car that hasn't even been launched yet? Just because you don't like the car doesn't mean it isn't going to sale.

    Mercedes is still #1 in clout, prestige, whatever you want to call it when it comes to the mainstream luxury brands. Only brands like Ferrari, Bentley, etc. sit any higher. Everything isn't judged by surveys, obviously because MB would have been finished long time ago if everyone adopted the one-track thinking present on the boards here.

    BMW's 7-Series isn't winning over any converts? Converts from where? Exactly who is BMW supposed to be converting? I saw no mention of winning over any converts during the launch of the 7-Series. They certainly aren't out to win over anyone who's idea of the perfect luxury car is a numbing Lexus. You're forgetting, this is BMW we're talking about here, not Lexus. Lexus is the one with the converting to do with both the GS and IS, by pumping some life and excitement into a dull brand, not the other way around. Lexus states that BMW is the target every chance they get so saying BMW isn't winning over any converts really doesn't make any sense to me.

    The really funny thing is that for all the negative remarks about the 2002+ 7-Series (both here and in the press) it has gone on to become the best selling 7-Series all time.

    You're right if Lexus ever gets a clue about styling, they'll be even more competitive, but at the same time if Mercedes can fix their reliablity the same will hold true for MB because they're styling is as about as far ahead of Lexus' as Lexus' reliabilty is Mercedes' reliability.

    M
  • anthonypanthonyp Posts: 1,857
    Do you know just what mecedes and bmw reliability problems have been? After trading the Mercedes for a bmw stationwagon, and as I previously told you--the Mercedes clk was trouble free except for one window switch one time, --I sort of think the Mercedes problems are a little overblown....Our experience at the dealership is not terrible, but a far cry from Lexus...So far the bmw has had no problems...The i drive is a challenge, but getting more intuitive so all is well so far....I find the really big difference is the prices..They are really much more expensive than what I would think...The bmw is not very far from the Lexus ultra, so I think that is really what turns most people off , and sort of angers them the most...Tony
  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    Tony,

    Let me see if I can follow this. Your BMW has had no problems, you are OK with the i Drive, but after buying the BMW wagon you realized that its price is "not very far from the Lexus ultra, so I think that is what really turns most people off.."

    Hello, did you ever look at the Moroney before you bought the car?
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