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High End Luxury Cars

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  • People are also forgetting the other benefit of the hybrid. In the Accord's case, not only are you saving gas (not enough by itself to justify the cost from a financial standpoint), but you are getting more power. Just try to find a company that will throw in a bigger engine without charging for it. While the power difference will not be the same as moving from a V6 to a V8, the $3000 upcharge for a hybrid is less than the typical upcharge in a high-end vehicle going to a larger engine.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Very true and especially appropriate since we are supposed to be talking about the high end. Getting a V6 hybrid is a bit like getting a V8 performance upgrade for "free"...the price differential is eventually recouped through fuel savings, even though it may take years.
  • bdr127bdr127 Posts: 950
    People are also forgetting the other benefit of the hybrid. In the Accord's case, not only are you saving gas (not enough by itself to justify the cost from a financial standpoint), but you are getting more power. Just try to find a company that will throw in a bigger engine without charging for it. While the power difference will not be the same as moving from a V6 to a V8, the $3000 upcharge for a hybrid is less than the typical upcharge in a high-end vehicle going to a larger engine.

    Hmm... not sure I follow you. It's the same V6 in the Accord V6 vs. the Hybrid, then add the 16hp from the "magnet motor." They say 255 hp at 6000 rpm vs 244 hp at 6250 rpm. That isn't much of an "upgrade"... certainly not worth $3000, IMO.

    I know what people are saying about being "environmentally conscious".... I'd rather donate my $3000 to an environmental charity than buy a car with it, but that's just me. Maybe it's the "status" thing? Look at all the celebrities buying hybrids because it's "trendy".... :confuse:
  • You're right, it is not much of an upgrade. The torque numbers are slightly better (not quite a 10% increase at 5000 rpm), but C&D only found a 0.3 second advantage to 60.

    My hope is that these hybrids are going to continue to improve so that we eventually see significant gains in both mpg and power. The more interest the population shows, the more likely it will happen sooner. While Toyota is leading, I am happy to see others throw their hats in.

    I didn't buy a hybrid this time. In six years, maybe we'll see a BMW 335HXi (or 335xi-H. I can dream, right? Well, as long as I'm dreaming...M5x-H.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    With BMW on board, the three companies plan to invest "a three-digit million dollar sum" in total for the project, a person familiar with the situation said, and operate a joint development center in Troy, Michigan. (from today's WSJ)

    They aren't doing it because hybrid offers tiny improvements.

    "We believe we can deliver 25% improvement" in fuel economy, Lawrence Burns, GM's vice president for research and development and strategic planning said in a recent interview. (same source)

    I think Toyota/Lexus current hybrid offerings beat Honda's in terms of improvements vs conventional drivetrains (and this might account for Toyota/Lexus relative sales success in hybrids). And every manufacturer can be expected to make further improvements to hybrid technology.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    (And I didn't even bring up the Lexus RX 330 vs 400h... 18/24 vs 31/27 for the lofty price difference of $11,000!!!)

    Oh boy, not this again. The price difference is NOT $11K. People get that by comparing a base RX330 with no options to a 400 that comes fully decked out with everything as standard. If you do an actual comparison by loading up a 330 to match the 400's equipment levels the actual cost of JUST the hybrid motor is something like $3500-4000. If you dont want the back up camera, laser cruise, air suspension, upgraded wheels, etc. Dont buy a 400h. But please dont whine about Lexus fleecing its customers with an $11K price hike when that argument is simply not factual. Its like comparing a stripper ML350 to a fully loaded ML500. The difference in that case is a lot more than $11K.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Check out this fascinating piece: European Touring Sedans in Their Native Lands. This features Edmunds.com President Jeremy Anwyl spending some quality time with a 2005 Quattroporte and a 2005 XJR. He takes a spin through Italy with the Maserati and through Wales and England with the Jag.

    The story is compelling and the video is excellent. I had the good fortune to see the video lab in full swing producing this when I was in Santa Monica a few weeks ago.

    Check it out and enjoy!
  • anthonypanthonyp Posts: 1,857
    If a person got a regularly equipped 330 and if a person wanted to get the H there is still quite a large price difference....Sort of like buying a five thousand dollar storage tank to store a hundred gallons of gas.....The Japanese are now catching up on what use to be just a good value...Tony
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    It really just depends on whether you want a loaded vehicle or not...if not, the current Lexus h offering just won't work for you.

    The Japanese are now catching up on what use to be just a good value

    I agree, over time Lexus will be able to raise its prices relative to the Germans.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    "If a person got a regularly equipped 330 and if a person wanted to get the H there is still quite a large price difference"

    Most hybrids are currently sold as the top version of their model (Accord, Civic, 400h, GS450h) and that means optional equipment on the lower rung will be standard. Thats not exactly an unusual practice, I really dont understand why everybody is so up in arms about it. Nobody seems to complain about having to pay for a bunch of equipment on a 550i that may be optional on a 525i.

    I'd say most Japanese cars still present a VERY good value compared to Germany. Ex. Mazda3 vs Jetta. Accord vs Passat. Infiniti M vs BMW 5. LS430 vs S500. Lexus charges more than Infiniti or Acura does, but they have earned the prestige to do so.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Diesel is going to be around faster then hybrid technology, as in 2007.

    Really ? Is this backed up with any hard fact or is it just speculation ?

    As it is now diesel is selling in my area for about 25-40 cents less than regular, if the price of the lower sulfur fuel holds up, it will be quite the bargain...

    Not in my neck of the woods. Diesel costs more than premium here in So Cal. It certainly ain't a bargain around here, andnot anytime soon either.

    I guess BMW is hedging their bets...

    Yeah ! And they'd need to also. Cos if the Diesel plan fails, as it will, then they have GM/DCX to bail them out.... eh ?
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "Diesel costs more than premium here in So Cal."

    Wow. For a time it did here, but then the price/gallon tanked.

    "Is this backed up with any hard fact or is it just speculation ? "

    It's as much fact as a lot of the other ruminations on this board.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    this is getting ready to get ugly?

    Folks, let's get away from the diesel/hybrid argument; that's really more appropriate on the Hybrid board or the News & Views board.

    Most of you have weighed in with your opinions and yes, I understand that we are (marginally) talking about what the High End (so to speak) marques are doing or should be doing about the situation, but that doesn't make this the right place to keep at this.

    Is no one interested in Jeremy Anwyl's comparison of the Quattroporte and and XJR? European Touring Sedans in Their Native Lands

    One wonders why this discussion is not named "4 or 5 people go at each other's throats over whatever each other has said and never stop" ....

    :shades:
  • bdr127bdr127 Posts: 950
    One wonders why this discussion is not named "4 or 5 people go at each other's throats over whatever each other has said and never stop" ....

    lol.... As host, do you have "thread renaming" privileges? :P
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    "I agree, over time Lexus will be able to raise its prices relative to the Germans."

    As far as I am concerned it happened a long time ago with 2001 being the real benchmark year of major change. That is when Lexus kept raising the ante while MB lowered its prices significantly. A fully loaded LS Ultra is a stone's throw away from an MB S430 and the lease cost is equal or higher (sometimes noticably higher) because MB subsidizes its leases. Across the board Lexus has been ramping up its revenue by adding more and more equipment and selling less and less base cars. Base prices have hardly changed in 8-10 years but the cars being sold have moved up on average of $8-10K, and in some cases $14-15K in the case of the ultra. Most new models have been in the high end segment, GX, LX. and SC over that period as well. On average Lexus sales per unit are much higher than 6-10 years ago despite those nearly static base car prices.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    "Look at all the celebrities buying hybrids because it's "trendy"...."

    Need we look any further as to why MB and BMW don't want to miss out on this the way they missed the SUV curve??
  • anthonypanthonyp Posts: 1,857
    I guess I just would like to order what I wanted even if it was then fully equipped...In my case I was thinking of getting a more stripped down version for my daughter as her lexus suv is getting on in age now...IMO the lexus use to really be a value, but as it has caught on over the years their prices have closed the gap in a big way...Still a value but not near as much...Their new LS will probably be even pricier and then no matter how you look at it sixty five-- seventy five thousand is a large number....Tony
  • anthonypanthonyp Posts: 1,857
    I read the `european touring sedans` from your previous sugestion and found the trips to be a good comparison, although the details were a bit on the short side.imo....I had the really old Jag xj6 and in it`s day the feel and steering were marvelous, although the a/c did not do it`s job here in the south....My friend also had one and it cought on fire from the catalitic converter catching the grass on fire...Burned up...Those were many years ago......I do think it better to have some people that have different opinions, on any subject, and lively interest versus nothing at all which I have observed on numerous high end cars.... When it gets tedious you have usually stopped it .Tony
  • I own a hybrid...It is fully loaded with a very good sound system...GPS...Power everything...smart key type entry...Through the dash 6 CD changer...Plenty of Power...It gets an honest 52 MPG....in mixed driving...ALSO HAS ESC..ABS...and 6 airbags...It is much Bigger in the interior then it looks from the outside....Leather...Hi-indensity Headlights...There is nothing to plug in for the batteries...I do not need to go to special gas stations...It uses regular ...It passes emissions standards in every state in the union. The rear seats fold down flat to offer a huge space for whatever....Full sized people can actually sit in the back seat.

    I paid $28,000 for the car...I could have gotten it through Costco for $25,000...(didn't find that out till later) The Base Model through Costco would have Cost $19 to $20,000...That was BEFORE the Auto industry went crazy with Discounts. (bought last March)

    What does a Diesel Cost?....Is there an inconvience factor because you need to go to a special gas stations?....Does it pass emissions standards in every state in the union...

    Hybrid Cars..are not all that expensive...Mine is an 05 Preis...
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "Is there an inconvience factor because you need to go to a special gas stations?"

    Every gas station in my area has diesel for below regular gas.

    "Mine is an 05 Preis"

    blueguy posted his impression of a Prius, it seems to be way different than yours.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    The diesel and hybrid discussion is better placed on the News & Views board and/or the Hybrids board.

    We need to get back to the broader subject of the High End marques. And it would be reaaally nice if we could talk about some of the really high end marques instead of just the two maufacturers we get so stuck on in here ...
  • anthonypanthonyp Posts: 1,857
    I also really would like to read what those that had experience with really high end cars would have to say.....I am unfortunately afraid that there are so few of them that we won`t read much......I am in the process of possibly getting an Audi 8 that I will report on when I have something to contribute, but it is not that `high end`, although for me it is very high end... Just think the Lexus , BMW, Jaguar, and Mercedes really represent the vast majority of the luxury cars that individuals purchase. I would think that the people are pretty smart in that regard as the dealer network has to be in place for when things go wrong.....I am a bit concerned going the Audi route as the dealerships have been far and few between....I did think of Bentley but it would just be `brutal` when small pebbles , or blowing sand after a snow storm, marred such a beautiful car...Also the cost of fixing anything would be exorbitant... Many month ago on the Lexus discussion I related how our driving habits have changed so much that the really luxurious cars are not really adaptible to this modern world..It would be too expensive to drive a two hundred thousand dollar car on a long road trip, therefore on the road you rarely see one other than near the ``Large Expensive Cities` .Never the less I still thought about it....Tony
  • Tony,

    Interesting post. What is the number or reference to your earlier post on US driving habits on the Lexus board. I'd like to read it.

    One reason why you don't see many very high end cars on the road is that these are the couple's third or fourth car and they get driven only on weekends while at their country place. They just aren't taken on long road trips for a variety of reasons although I don't think cost is one. This summer I did though see a Maybach with NY plates parked in front of the Ritz in Montreal while the owners checked in. The four digit, low mileage on three and four year old very high end cars amazes me.

    I have a theory about the ownership of very high end cars that I'd like to try out. By the time someone can realistically shop for a very high end car (i.e., above 200K), that purchase is probably competing with a light twin plane, a sport fishing boat, or even the second vacation home. IMHO people with the means to buy an above 200K car are not the motorheads like us or that they perhaps once were. They have moved on to bigger and better toys. (The reason for the 200K cutoff is that it strikes me that a moderately successful working couple--maybe a JD/MD, DDS/CPA, anyone really who files a joint return north of 180K-- could scrape up the money to get into a Bentley Continental or a MB S and use it as a daily driver.)
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Block Island guy - I know several people worth $100mln+ and none have a high end car beyond the class we talk about here. The reason - in at least two of the people I know in that class is that it is a total waste and one more thing to take care of - in their opinion. As well a real high end car will depreciate rapidly whether driven or not. These people are much more into second and tirtiary lux homes and the travel to get them there - one has a gorgeous second home in Nantucket and a third in the Turk and Caicos for example. Thus the interest is greater in flying planes or more accurately into buying flight time on private jets - usually the highest class possible. The reason of course is the luxury of flying to and from their vacation homes and other vacations around the world as well as the luxury of flying on business without all the nuanaces of security checks on commercial flights. They also much rather buy an expensive yacht than a Rolls. You could argue that they can do all of this but they also have estate planning as well as wanting to maintain a large stockpile of cash for business opportunities. My opinion - the people that buy very expensive high end cars are the people that inherit money much more so than the people that earn the money.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I know one guy in my town with the money for the mega lux class. He would rather spend his money on sports cars than luxury limos. He has a 996 model 911 GT2, a BMW Z8, and a 360 Modena. I think "car guys" with money are not interested in Maybachs, RRs, or Bentleys (except maybe the Continental GT).
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Many years ago I had a summer job just out of high school working for someone with very high powered job. He had a 5th Avenue apartment, home in Bronxville and a full-time chauffeur. His car was a low-level Dodge, I forget the model. You would think the guy was a nasty skinflint but quite the contrary. He was a gentleman, compassionate, treating the employees quite well. He was just a shy frugal person who insisted on keeping a low profile. And in his position and level of fame he could have had a ton of limelight. I do however remember feeling cheated by that friggin’ Dodge.
  • bdr127bdr127 Posts: 950
    The chauffeur must have loved driving around that Dodge (Stratus/Neon?).... hehe...
  • Agreed.

    The people in Lambos are often trustfunders.
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hi All,
    Those Econo boxes sure can be fun to drive. I took delivery of my Corolla two days ago. It's a nice enough car. I sure can't complain about the gas mileage. Sure it lacks the power and comfort of my LS400 and 430 but hey, it's easier to drive around town.
    My Lexus dealer is really starting to get on my nerves. As some of you know, they billed me $2100 to repair the front suspension. They didn't fix the problem, (Creaking when manuvering at low speeds) and now I'm getting the royal run-around trying to get it back in and fixed at their expense. I refuse to be billed for taking the suspension apart again and realigning it. I think it would be fair to pay for parts. I told them I want a diagnostic approach taken...Without a doubt you'll find plenty of things to replace on an old car, but is it relevant to the problem?
    Replacing parts blindly isn't going to do it!
    I left the service manager a message today. If he doesn't get back to me, I'll have the credit card company halt the $2100 payment, and file a complaint with the Mass Attorney General's office. It isn't so much the bill (I told them to fix it properly no matter the cost the first time!) it's the shoddy service I've received that's making me angry..How has everyone else dealt with these sort of behavior from their dealers?

    SV
  • bdr127bdr127 Posts: 950
    We can state the name of dealerships in these forums, right? Just not salespeople? If so, SV, just wondering what dealership are you dealing with...
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