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High End Luxury Cars

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  • paldipaldi Posts: 210
    How does the ride height an air suspension work on your Lexus?
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,665
    No - it was a 400 mile business trip and I did my share of the driving. The MMI made it a nightmare trip for all of us and at one point even scared us that the it would kill the battery because it wouldn't shut off the power. I also would never put up with the nav system fraulein.
  • I have a switch in the car that can raise the car I think 3 Inches for getting through snow or making sure you clear the rails at he car wash...or you get on a rough road.

    With the flip of a switch you can also shift into sport mode which stiffens up the suspesion for better handling..The system will also automatically sense if you are driving agressively or making an emergency maneuver and will instantly tighten up on it's own for better handling.

    The Air Suspension system is auto leveling and has a 9 Step Variable Damper with computer Logic it will lower the car for better aerodynamics at speed ...

    As I have said before...I only drive em...I don't fix them or build them so ...That is the best information I can give you cased on what I think it does.
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    The standard on quality statistics is Quality Engineering Statistics by Robert A. Dovich.

    It is the book used in major corporations like Motorola, GM, Toyota, etc. as a text with Green Belt and Black Belt training.

    Statistics is based on samples, sample sizes and populations. The comments that the 'response rate' as %of the population is the 'key' as referred to in the sited link is misguided and incorrect.
  • tiag_m5tiag_m5 Posts: 54
    You keep missing the point: Prestige is nice, but it doesn't pay the bills..Profits do!! Hardly ramblings...You still haven't addressed the fact: How is it that Lexus sells for LESS and still makes more profit on the LS430 vs MB on the S430.

    Let me try this one more time. What do quarterly earning reports and pricing strategy have to do with anything? Why should anyone care that Lexus makes more profits on the LS430 than MB on the S430? Regardless of the fact that you haven’t provided any figures to backup this claim, I’m not sure what the purpose of this argument is.

    Merc is correct to say that MOST consumers of these cars probably don't consider profits..But I doubt they also care who was first to market the airbag or whatever.

    You’re right; most people probably don’t care because most people are uniformed about safety when they shop for a car… otherwise the Chevy Cavalier wouldn’t sell. The fact of the matter is innovation, whether it be safety, performance or hybrid innovation, reflects the values and priorities of the companies that sell cars. With Mercedes it is obvious that safety is a high priority, as we can see through their innovation and class leading standard features. With Lexus, cost cutting is obviously a high priority.

    What facts? Least safety conscious? If so, they would do poorly in ALL safety tests. I looked at those links for the crash results..You pretty much confirmed what I thought..The LS got the highest rating and in fact was recommended for frontal collisions!!!! The RX and GS were marked down to Average in one category..This is hardly a basis to judge a car "unsafe" or "Shoddy engineering.."

    The previous LS did receive the highest rating, but not all “best picks” are created alike. Both the previous 5 series and E class scored higher “best picks” than the LS. The RX was marked down the first time due to a weak structure/safety cage and the second time because the dummy “bottomed out the airbag.” The BMW X5 on the other hand, was rated the “safest SUV ever tested.”

    So basically 90% of the time the LS will hold up as well as the competitors. (In the frontal types of crashes) In the 10% where it may not perform as well the injuries usually aren't serious to begin with...This sounds like a marginal advantage at best...

    You can’t assume that all cars that scored similarly in the IIHS test offer similar protection in real world accidents or even within the IIHS scoring system. The IIHS tests are an instance in which Lexus scored well in is ONE relatively low speed designer test that most manufacturers prepare for before hand. This and other tests cannot account for the infinite number of crashes that occur in real life that manufacturers aren’t held accountable for in the form of standardized tests. What would happen if you increased the impact speed from 40mph to 50mph? Or reduced the overlap from 40% to 30%? What would happen in a rollover or shallow angle side impact? Would Lexus still hold up, or would Lexus’ disregard for safety be exposed once the predictable crash tests are removed? I would submit to you that MB and others have the upper hand in this regard. Also, these tests do not account for safety features not found in Lexus automobiles like rear side airbags. Yes, the NHTSA (and sometimes IIHS) conduct side impacts and rate both front and rear passengers, but the forces are more concentrated on the driver because the vehicle is struck towards the front. Also, crash tests don’t account for the safety benefits of things like rear seatbelt ETDs, roll bars, fuel shutoff, battery disconnect, etc.

    Why don't you list the countless times Toyota has had bad crash results...

    Here are 9 examples: Looks like Toyota puts safety at the top of its priority list judging by all these chart toping performances : /

    http://www.iihs.org/vehicle_ratings/ce/html/96022.htm
    http://www.iihs.org/vehicle_ratings/ce/html/98014.htm
    http://www.iihs.org/vehicle_ratings/ce/html/98003.htm
    http://www.iihs.org/vehicle_ratings/ce/html/95031.htm
    http://www.iihs.org/vehicle_ratings/ce/html/97023.htm
    http://www.iihs.org/vehicle_ratings/ce/html/95007.htm
    http://www.iihs.org/vehicle_ratings/ce/html/97022.htm
    http://www.iihs.org/vehicle_ratings/ce/html/96005.htm
    http://www.iihs.org/vehicle_ratings/ce/html/0106.htm

    Now how is it unfair that the S430 is compared to the LS? Using your logic, the S430 should be a fair comparison because it is priced higher. Yet the LS430 still beat it anyway. Someone already pointed out they didn't test the Euro Sport model. I read that comparo recently and said it was like comparing a person on slippery ballerina shoes to normal ones..Even THEY admit it wasn't fair..So what are you going to argue now???

    Nothing was unfair about this coparison in regards to Lexus, nor did C&D ever admit to that. It isn't anyone's fault except Lexus' that the standard "Japanese Sport" suspension is far inferior to that of the European competition. I really can’t fathom why the LS430 won the comparison; C&D must be accepting “donations” from car companies these days. Even with the Euro Sport suspension, the LS will never be as athletic as the 7 or the S. Even the most diehard LS fan should be able to admit that. The LS430 lost in all performance aspects except acceleration, has rip-off exterior styling, an interior pulled from the Camry, and fewer features than the competition. Given that all cars at this level offer roughly the same level of luxury, the LS has no real advantage except price and reliability… sounds like C&D needs to change its name to Consumer Reports… apparently driving dynamics carry little weight with a magazine concerned foremost with performance.
  • tiag_m5tiag_m5 Posts: 54
    You seem to say best value doesn't mean "best" overall..According to the recent Road and Track, Car and Driver, JDP, CR, and Resale Values, High price doesn't mean BEST either....You still don't explain why Lexus makes more Profit off the LS430 than MB makes off a S Class DESPITE being 15K less!!! You subscribe to the foolish notion that Pricier means better...Did you know a $15 Timex is more reliable and accurate than a 15K Rolex???

    I never said that high price always meant “best”, but in this particular instance it does. The LS430 is a good value, but that doesn’t mean that it’s the best. You can spend more on an S class and get the best or you can spend 70% of that on the LS and get 70% of the car. As far as your watch analogy is concerned: Apples and Oranges. The differences between highly complex, multi-faceted products such as luxury cars can’t be boiled down to the simple difference between a Rolex and a Timex. If anything Lexus is a battery powered knock-off Rolex made of yellow plastic with a quartz movement.

    Sounds like the high price of the S is due to inefficiency more than price premium..Here's where profits are important: Less profit, less R&D..As far as I've seen it, Toyota has taken on R&D projects where it can profit immensely from. You're completely ignoring the whole business side to this.

    Yes I am ignoring the business side to this. I’m not comparing the fiscal policies of MB and Lexus, I am comparing their products. Just because Lexus is more profitable (which you haven’t proven) than MB doesn’t mean that Lexus makes better cars. Less R&D? Is that why most of the features on your LS came from the MB or BMW R&D department? Is less R&D why Lexus is still riding on the coattails of MB for innovation? Interesting.

    Actually Boeing and Airbus differ big time on design. Fly by Wire vs Mechanical Controls is a HUGE issue in the aviation world. (Air Force 1 does not have Fly by Wire, despite it being available at the time) British Airways has insisted the 747 Advanced NOT have Fly by wire. The 747 has triple redunancy on all critical systems whereas the A340 has two. The 747 does have more innovative safety features than the A340, yet this has not stopped airlines from buying the Airbus..You should stop and think whether any corporation is going to open themselves up to lawsuits from a product that is "unsafe" or "poorly engineered"

    That’s probably because no body knows these details. If the public knew that Boeing made a safer jet than Airbus, you can be sure that airlines that fly Boeing would get more business. Much is the same with Lexus and Mercedes. Most people are sheep who follow the Lexus cult ignorant of the fact that Lexus lags behind the market for safety, doesn’t even offer rear side airbags or that the SC430 doesn’t have rollover protection. And if you think corporations don’t take chances with products that are “unsafe” I submit to you Hyundai, possibly the most unsafe vehicles as per IIHS crash tests. Also, GM and Ford are currently involved in a number of class action lawsuits regarding their poorly engineered SUV/Truck roofs that collapse in rollovers because they are still designed to 1970s strength specifications, while Volvo/MB/BMW have exceeded those specifications five times over for decades.

    Given that Lexus commands a high customer loyalty I doubt they'd risk their business by building cars that are unsafe. If they can spend $4 Billion on the original LS400 do you think they'd skimp on $500 electronics?? They've chose to spend their R&D on Award Winning Customer Service, NAV's, Hybrids, superior reliability, and cutting edge electronics whilst building a car that is STILL recommended by the NHTSA and various other agencies for safety..

    Well obviously they decided to skimp in $500 rear airbags, $500 roll protection bars (SC), and $500 rear load limiters on most models. They skimped on the passenger airbags for 4 years. They skimped on head protection airbags for 2 years. They also decided to wait 4 years after MB and BMW to adopt the most significant safety feature since the seatbelt, ESC. IIHS and NHTSA crash tests do not account for safety features such as these and only provide us with a limited view of a cars comprehensive safety in two designer tests. When you add up all the skimping, waiting and corner cutting that Lexus has done over the years, it’s obvious that they aren’t exactly the most safety conscious brand.

    It only makes sense to assume that a company like Mercedes would offer more comprehensive protection in all types of crashes because safety is a hallmark of their brand. Who would you expect to build a better race car? Someone with years of innovation, experience and leadership in the segment or a newcomer with a questionable record? Much the same can be said for safety. It’s a hard thing to accept as long as you are blinded by brand loyalty and bias, so think of it this way, with two companies; company A and company B:

    Company A has been in the business of making safe cars for over 100 years. Company A offers the most standard and optional safety features than any other brand. Company A has introduced many important safety advances such as crumple zones, ABS, stability control, and seat belt pre-tensioners, just to name a FEW things. Company A is one of only two companies with active accident investigation teams to assess real world collisions in order to modify their designs. Company A offers the latest and greatest safety features and structural designs before most other brands.

    Company B has been in the business of making affordable cars for 15 years. Company B hasn’t introduced any of its own pioneering safety features nor has it shown any particular interest in safety innovation. Company B often waits several years before it adopts the safety features pioneered by company A and others. Company B still doesn’t offer many of the basic safety features that have been found in company A’s cars for years.

    Assuming you have no bias, which of these two brands has an obvious advantage in the area of safety? Which would you expect to perform better in an accident? It seems pretty clear to me. Most people would pick company A, but if you’re a Lexus fan you might pick company B.
  • So the only advantage that the LS has is PRICE and Reliability and Acceleration...Hmmmmm..That sounds pretty good to me....Throw in the best ride in the business and the best Sound system and with all this on the Lexus side, what are your reasons for buying the other cars?
  • tiag_m5tiag_m5 Posts: 54
    You post crash ratings and not a single one was a Lexus..Most were older pickups and low end suvs and even a cheap chevy...

    He asked me to show him Toyota... I showed him Toyota. And since Lexus and Toyota are the same company, why should it matter?

    So the only advantage that the LS has is PRICE and Reliability and Acceleration...Hmmmmm..That sounds pretty good to me....Throw in the best ride in the business and the best Sound system and with all this on the Lexus side, what are your reasons for buying the other cars?

    Styling, performance and safety of course. In my mind, the MB and BMW advantage in these areas far outweigh the extra cost and decreased light bulb/window switch reliability.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    You win....MBs are better styled, have better performance, and more safe than the LS. Would that make you feel better tonight ?

    Michael:

    Let's just ignore the flames.... Pretty soon, it should die down...
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "On the other hand Merc can afford the C-class but says he'll pass on it if buying anew (in the past) so for all his vaunted claims finds other cars better suited in his price range."

    Excuse me? Since when did I say that I was definitely not buying a C-Class? Secondly the class of cars we were debating here are the S-Class/LS not the entry level because if I were a buyer in this segment I would buy an A8L or S-Class or Phaeton hands down. Period. I wouldn't want a LS no matter what.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "Perhaps you have a source that shows the top 5 or 10 Problems with S Class Mercedes. Or...Are you just guessing there are no such problems.

    I'm just guessing because that is all you were doing by implying that Mercedes' safety technology didn't work. If you're going to make a claim then you should prove it, I didn't make the claim, but I did ask you to prove yours. Simple as that. I haven't seen anything from anywhere that said anything about MB safety equipment failing.

    Furthermore it has been well documented the main problems with Mercedes and airbags and ABS weren't among them. Mercedes' main problems were with the Comand system, suspension (ABC) on S-Classes, fuel tank sending units and host of other things with the ML in particular, but none of these failings were with basic safety equipment that every car has.

    M
  • topspin628topspin628 Posts: 373
    You know, when I was younger, we used to have discussions like this as to who was better regarding ball players. If you were a Micky Mantle guy then he was the best. If you liked Mays then he was. And no one would change their minds since their minds were made up in advance. The S and LS are great cars with different strengths. What you like best is what you like best.
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    Well, it didn't take long to google a list of Mercedes parts failures, including safety items.

    Here's a company that makes a living selling replacement stuff for these items that fail. Some of them are obviously safety related, while others I guess are just generically inferior and prone to early failure.

    If you visit bba-reman.com, a supplier of remanufactured and repalcement parts for many cars, they have an extensive list of specific makes and models 'common failures' for which they offer parts.

    The company has a long list for Mercedes and right on the list is the heart and soul of MB's vaunted driver saftey and augmentation system: the ABS pump.

    And it also seems that ECU's are bit troublesome in almost every MB car line. That's only a safety problem, I suppose, for those cars that rely on the engine to provide power during ESD/TRAC operations or AWD.

    Here's the list:

    Mercedes A Class electric hydraulic power steering failing
    Mercedes A Class combined air mass meter and ECU
    Merecedes A Class air flow meters failing
    Mercedes 111 16v engine throttle body failing
    Mercedes C and E Class ABS pump failing
    Mercedes C/E/S Class, CLK/SLK throttle bodies failing
    Mercedes CL and SL class soft top convertible roof controllers failing
    Mercedes 280/300/350 ECU
    Mercedes 300/AMG 300 ECU
    Mercedes CLK 320, SL 280, SL 320 ECU
    Mercedes VDO ecu systems being damaged by harness overheating
    Mercedes Seimens and Bosch ignition modules failing
    Mercedes E Class ABS ECU

    I didn't see Lexus parts on the list.

    Regards
  • denaliinpadenaliinpa Posts: 169
    footie i went to the site you posted.
    if you notice Acura, Infiniti, and Lexus
    are not listed. i checked under Toyota
    and they list parts that are remanufactured.
  • topspin628topspin628 Posts: 373
    MB has a long and great heritage with many important contributions to the auto industry. However, Lexus, being the new kid, has accomplished in a very short time what it has taken others many generations to do. They have invented a new luxury product and having done that have been the focus of many business discussions and books.
    I have owned both MB and Lexus and posted earlier about the differences in both. The one key factor for me in picking Lexus this time (I am not loyal to one brand but pick the car the suits my needs and desires at the time)was reliability.
    I have been stranded 3 times in about 30 years of driving. First time was a Volvo 760, next time was an MB ML and the last time my wife's BMW X5 would not start after parked in the driveway (I also owned an 01 330i which was completely trouble free). I can put up with a few glitches here and there and don't expect any car to be perfect, but when it just plain won't go, then I'm very reluctant to jump back into that brand again. And when a brand commands a premium price due in part to prestige etc. they had better back it up with quality.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,665
    "Lexus manufactures a car to a price point while the "German Dogs" manufacture a car to a standard"

    In the old days that was true about MB - today that standard has reached and all-time low (again for MB) and it is way too low for me. With them about to cut corners with costs (they have no choice unless they want to keep losing money) it is bound to worsen.

    What are you guys going to come up with next that the engines idle .1 degree cooler. This has reached the point of desperation.

    The business argument - I made a statement that a high percentage of those buying lux cars are business savy people who can't miss headline events about MB having quality and financial problems. I then say it is logical that they will keep that in mind when buying or leasing anew because filing away things like that in their mind is how they got where they are. It is turned around on here by those who can't seem to handle that statement to read like people are investigating 10K's and 10Q's before their next purchase. Let's get real here about what was said and logical follow through. If anyone thinks news events like the ones MB are going through don't - at a minimum - at least give many knowledgable people cause to think twice then you have really lost it.

    The safety discussion has reached a point of absurdity. These cars are all safe and who invented what is the last thing anyone cares about or even knows when buying a car.

    The LS430 being 70% of the S430 is hysterical. It has a 110% victory in engine and about a 125% victory in power right off the bat. MB has a cost structure that is badly inefficient with sky high labor costs, cheap plasticky parts and lower and lower quality every year. You say Lexus is lower quality than that and less car becaues they are the opposite - extreme efficiency with the car essentially built by robots from day one in 1990 and the cars are as high quality as it gets as a result. The dreaded surveys you guys can't handle are a testament to that - for what - 12 years and running now. You are really lost becaues here is what your are saying - Lexus has to get grossly inefficient and increase its build cost with expensive labor and then the price rises and it is in a league with the S430. In essence that is your argument and that is absurdly ridiculous. Saying Lexus took the LS430 interior from the Camry is a close second though in the ridiculous meter. Again - we are in desperation city when you see comments like that.

    merc1 - I'll never waste my time reading thru the posts but more than once you said you have problems with the C-class and you'd not be a buyer of the car. My point is simple - the Lexus crowd has no problems buying, heck automatically buying, the cars in their price range. They eagerly await the next car because they are buyers of it. You eagerly await the next Benz because you are a fan of it. That is a mighty big difference right from the start. When push comes to shove the MB car in your price range was passed on. The hard evidence will always side with those who put their money where their mouth is. That's life.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "- I'll never waste my time reading thru the posts but more than once you said you have problems with the C-class and you'd not be a buyer of the car. My point is simple - the Lexus crowd has no problems buying, heck automatically buying, the cars in their price range. They eagerly await the next car because they are buyers of it. You eagerly await the next Benz because you are a fan of it. That is a mighty big difference right from the start. When push comes to shove the MB car in your price range was passed on. The hard evidence will always side with those who put their money where their mouth is. That's life."

    Wrong. I haven't passed on anything because I haven't bought anything yet. Read the profile. I said that I didn't want the 2001-2004 model, but for 2005 the C-Class was facelifted and I happen to like what they've done to it. Now they're going for engine updates which really takes care of the last problem I had with the car. Secondly my choice about not getting a C-Class in the past had more to do with not wanting a sedan. If you'll notice about my past posts since you feel you know what I said, you'll note that the Infiniti G35 Coupe was on my list, not the G35 or any other Japanese sedan and certainly not any dull Lexus.

    Besides I'm not shopping in your segment, and I seriously doubt if you were shopping in mine you'd pick the IS300 over a G35 or TL, since you wouldn't buy a German car either.

    I'm sure you can dig up a survey to prove your theory about buyers caring about Mercedes' earnings, CEO changes and the whole business side of the company otherwise this is just your opinion. I actually looked through the Price Paid and Buyers Experience boards here for every Mercedes model and guess what, not a single post anywhere about such irrelevant things about earnings and the like. Buyers of Maybachs and certain high end Mercedes read these things in the FT and WSj I'm sure, but they have money to get what they want and still continue to do so. What difference would any of this make to a person that is rich enough to afford a S600? Buyers care about reliability for sure, but they don't care about no profits. What in the world difference would it make to a buyer of this status if Toyota made more money than DCX?

    On the opposite end of the spectrum are C-Class/A4 buyers and the like and they couldn't care less about any of this press garble anymore than any other buyer could. They care about the price of entry into the brand beyond all else.

    What I find sad here is that part of a selling point of a car (Lexus in this case) is the company's earnings, that is like totally lame to me. Toyotas/Lexuses surely can stand on something other than reports and charts and financial statements no? Doesn't anything pertaining to the actual car itself appeal to any Lexi on this board? This profit mess is way too stuffy and detached for me. I happen to like this new Lexus IS based on the first pictures, and Toyotas earnings didn't play a role in that at all.

    And as usual when a person shows a Lexus in not so good a light it reverts back to the buyer comments, however personal they may be. Figures. I guess we're back to having to own a car before you can say anything about, and you must own a Lexus to know market trends and affords you the knowledge to know how all buyers think. Makes perfect sense to me.

    M
  • Tiag:

    Because they are not the same cars...What Lexus is the Rav 4...Or the Chevy that you showed...Even the Camery which shares a platform with ES only shares 25% of the ES total content...Further all the Models shown were old and out of date most from the 90S.

    Are you saying that A8 and Mercedes S have better performance..When you have already acknowledge that Lexus LS has better Acceleration...it has better 0-60 times then Audi and that is compairing to an Audi (Aluminum frame) with 46 more horses then the Lexus (6.3 to 5.9 Times)

    Safety...We have had that discussion and determined neither car has an edge..even though Mercedes invented Air Bags....40 years ago.

    Time to face facts...until the Germans do they will continue to lose Market.
  • You are right the Germans are very good in creating new Technology for cars...The Japanese have been very good at perfecting that tech and are the acknowledged leader with electronics...

    Perhaps Mercedes ...The auto Tech leader should rent their Engineering dept to the Japanese...They need to make a profit somewhere.
  • ctsangctsang Posts: 237
    If MB is that good like you said, why all the people I know will never buy MB again? I can assure you that they are not getting poorer.
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