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High End Luxury Cars

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  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Anytime the circular reasoning on this thread seems to defy all logic despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary just take a deep breath, raise your arms and face toward the sky and shout 3 times as loud as you can:
    SERENITY NOW! SERENITY NOW! SERENITY NOW!
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    According to the Business Week article on Audi (Hot Audi!), in JD Powers latest study Audi ranks behind (of course) Toyota and (surprisingly) Mercedes, yet ahead of BMW in quality. I was somewhat surprised by some of the data points mentioned in there, but then again perhaps not, beause the article mentioned that the US market remains a top "need to fix" for Audi, since for some reason it's been left with an obsolete sales and marketing channel that has been revamped elsewhere. But here some reasons why BW had the hots for Audi: stock has grown over 4X since '00 (VW is a majority owner, but Audi stock still trades); record profits of $1.2B in '04; total cars sold have grown 3X since '94. Sales volume in Europe now matches BMW (each about 550k cars), but still trails behind globally (~800k vs 1.2M). In Europe, the current Audi line-up -from A3 to A8- has cleaned up on mag and industry analyst awards. And I was surprised to learn that in Europe Audi outsells BMW and Mercedes with the A8 in the top 8cyl and 12cyl category - it's the "hip" luxury brand when it comes to those top of the line models.

    It'll be interesting to see how quickly they pose a stronger challenge to the perceived Merc and BMW superiority in the USA, because it's obvious that in Europe by now that is a thing of the past. Moreover, Audi's surging strength in Europe is supposedly making Toyota reconsider some of the goals for Lexus.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    some of you have given great suggestions to lower the heat in here, thanks!

    But I need to point out - again - that things are getting too personal. Talk about the cars. Leave out your opinions of other posters and we'll be just fine.

    Now raise your arms, shout about needles and pins and ask why you are mad at serenity... or something like that...

    :-)
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    I just wonder how MB can sell vehicles in the USA when Consumer Reports comes out in its highly influential April 2005 auto issue on page 18 predicting from its accumulation of previously submitted data that 2005 new car reliability across the MB brand should be about 80% below average.
    Only Jaguar and Land Rover are worse.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    pablo - their distribution network/dealerships that I have seen are awful. Walk into the Audi dealership near me and you can't wait to get out. It's tiny, claustrophobic and ancient. Walk into the Lexus dealership and it's like being in the executive offices of a fortune 500 company.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    Or maybe it's huchimama or however you spell that word.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    I'd like your informed opinions on this article... rather long, I must warn. Gobs of design details to the finest "ith power". And of course, the story would not be complete without the element of intrigue between TMC and an Italian car designer (formerly of Fiat and Ferrari) in Lexus' new design direction !!! Methinks it may be more fodder for the MB fanatics.... Hope not tho'.

    happy reading...

    http://www.automobear.com/WhatThe2006LexusISIsAndIsnt.html
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Upon entering the Lexus dealership today for my test drive, I thought I was at Windsor Castle. Very impressive and absolutely spotless.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    But what about the test drive ? Forget the fluff, give us the real scoop....
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    I already posted on the LS thread but here goes again.
    I was given a 2004 pre-owned, euro-tuned with the 18" summer tires and modern luxury package which had about 12,000 miles on it.
    This vehicle was better than the bare-bones LS that I drove at a different dealership.
    This time, I found the driver's seat quite comfortable.
    The suspension created the illusion that I was riding on air and very high off the ground.
    The combination of seat and suspension made for a very relaxing ride. I see why so many people love this vehicle.
    The only negative and it was a big one is there was a quite noticeable hesitation when accelerating which I wouldn't expect from a $55,000 vehicle.
    Others have posted on the LS thread in response that they too have the same problem with their LS430.
    It is especially noticeable on turns when you either take your foot off the accelerator or apply the brake and then after the turn is finished, you attempt to re-accelerate. For a long fraction of a second, nothing happens.
    I would invite other LS 430 owners to please let me know if they have a similar experience.
    I couldn't get over how you can set the ac vents so they rotate from left to right continuously.
    I also liked how the rear window's sunshade removes itself when you put it in reverse so the rear-view camera can do its thing.
    I felt very relaxed driving this vehicle but would not consider buying it with that annoying and sometimes scary hesitation.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    I have an LS400 and it does hesitate oh so very briefly.... no biggie to me, personally... I don't zoom off at every stop light. I gently ease into traffic before my heavy foot takes over. And the big hunk LS obliges my heavy foot so readily, :)

    But, back to your test drive. Can you describe its handling with the summer shoes. Was it floaty or sure-footed ? Any leans around bends ? How 'bout straight-line acceleration ? Any ride, handling, performing issues you'd like to share ? Surely, you cannot disqualify a car bcos it hesitates so imperceptibly ? It gotta be a lot more than that, don't you think ? So let's hear it....
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    If you are implying by your questions, did it handle like my BMW? The answer is easy. No.
    It did seem floaty, sort of like riding high on springs. I didn't feel the road but that's the way it's supposed to be. That's the LS ride-love it or leave it. Apparently many love it. It did lean a bit around turns-not a lot. Better than I expected.
    Steering is a little lighter than I'm used to.
    Brakes are excellent-I floored it and stopped on a dime-nice and straight. The car accelerated straight too.
    This car will never be a sports sedan. It is what it is-relaxing and comfortable. It is not a car that likes to be pushed and I am used to pushing my cars.
    I accepted it for what it is and except for the hesitation found the experience quite relaxing.
    The difference is that when I got back in my BMW, I was so thankful to be at one with the road with a real driver's suspension and perfect steering. I push it and the car responds.
    For me, BMW's are just perfect but I respect you and everyone else here who love their LS 430's. Having driven it myself, I can appreciate where you all are coming from.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    "It is not a car that likes to be pushed and I am used to pushing my cars."

    Beg to differ.... The LS loves to be pushed. I certainly push mine every day, not being a blue-haired Floridian, you know :) That car moves, especially if you put it into the "Power" mode. Much better acceleration, despite its almost 2 tons of weight. I recall C&D obtained like 6.3s (Lexus claims 5.9s) 0-60 for an '04, back in a Dec 2003 comparo of super lux cars. That ain't bad for a big sedan.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    I agree. It is a good car-especially for its bulk.
    But once you experience a BMW's driving dynamics, it is really hard to drive anything else. Absolute miracles of engineering.
    Now if only they could get their quality control act together.
  • denaliinpadenaliinpa Posts: 169
    your test drive reminded me of mine.
    the LS is a nice vehicle but something
    was missing. it is a vehicle that is
    good at many things but sporty driving
    dynamics is not one of them. it all
    comes down to what is most important
    to each individual buyer. for
    me personally i felt the LS was designed
    for someone older...that i was not in
    it's demographic.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Yes. I do see why retirees like the LS 430. It is conservative, cushy, insulating the driver from any road feel. Very light on steering. Very comfortable seats. Good brakes.
    A lot of folks(not only retirees) desire exactly these things and Lexus delivers. This is the "luxury" experience that they have perfected.
    To each his/her own. I wouldn't like or respect anybody less because he/she drives an LS 430!
    I also drove the GS 430 and Lexus is more on target for me with this vehicle.
    Steering very well-weighted. Excellent cornering. Good straight-line acceleration. Brakes stop on a dime. Probably the best handling Lexus ever created.
    I would like to see the autorags do a comparison of the GS430 to the BMW 545 and the Audi A6. That should prove interesting!
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "Well then that progress to produce a sporty design took a long time - 100 years or so."

    Right, like other cars during those years, 4-door luxury cars to be exact had such swoopy designs. Like I said before this is all because Mercedes kills Lexus in design today so naturally the only defense is to reach back 30 years to knock Mercedes, when there was no Lexus to compare to because no doubt the Lexus would have looked far worse.

    "Sales - it reverts back to sales because that is the ultimate barmometer that is indisputable. Much of your stuff is subjective to each person which is quite disputable and always will be.

    Yep it sure is just like your theories about why people by and how they come to a decision about buying a car. You have no way of knowing anything about buyers reasons outside of your circle.

    "Surveys - what a ridiculous statement it is to say we buy because of surveys. Where were the surveys about Lexus in 1990?? Didn't exist of course. But the brand skyrocketed right out of the starting gate. It's too bad that the surveys bother you so much and you have to resort to nonsensical BS to try and counter them."

    Got me mixed up. Never stated that sir. Lexus didn't skyrocket at first either, they stayed behind Mercedes and BMW until the RX and the rest of their SUVs got popular. Sales, your favorite word, sales of their cars would put them behind MB, BMW, Cadillac and Acura if thats all they sold. They got lucky by catching the SUV wave while the Germans were not ready. Please stop pretending that all of their cars were stars before 1998. They weren't. The first ES250, GS300 and every edition of the GS and IS since have been duds. Lexus' only claim to fame before the RX was the LS400. Their other sedans were afterthoughts at best, and so was the original SC after Lexus left it on the market for 9 years with no real changes.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "I did go way way overboard. I just can't stand that denaliipna and merc1 kept saying MB's style (which is so subjective) is better than Lexus. Even if MB were the same price as Lexus, I think Lexus still beats MB in safety, value and reliablity (all objective criteria)."

    Style is in the eye of the beholder for sure, but Lexus being better in safety? You're free to think what you want, but there is nothing to support that view. MB's do make Lexus' look like Maytags, very reliable but awful to look at.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "I just wonder how MB can sell vehicles in the USA when Consumer Reports comes out in its highly influential April 2005 auto issue on page 18 predicting from its accumulation of previously submitted data that 2005 new car reliability across the MB brand should be about 80% below average.

    That is because you've been led to believe that CR should be the ultimate authority on cars for everyone and it cleary isn't. Believe it or not more than a few people couldn't care less what CR says. I think I ready where CR is used by about 40 percent of new car buyers, most of them clueless about other aspects of a car, that CR couldn't even begin to tell anyone about.

    Japanese cars in particular need glowing CR reviews, well at least Toyota/Lexus products do because in Lexus' case they surely aren't selling based on performance or styling. Consumer reports caters to those on this board that actually think consumers care about Toyota's earnings last quarter and other irrelevant stuff about behind the scenes corporate matters. For people who want an Audi, Land Rover, VW, or Mercedes based on the car itself CR is only good for wrapping fish heads.

    There are other factors when deciding on a car besides reliability. Not that reliability isn't important, but reading these boards every German car (except BMW according to one Lexus owner here) is just not capable of providing a rewarding experience. Yet there are satisfied MB owners on Edmunds, one of which owned a Lexus during the same timeframe as a Mercedes.

    It amazes me that BMW is thought of to be more reliable, yet the 7-Series, 5-Series and 6-Series, X5 and X3 have all been very problematic. This is why I don't take surveys as being the bible as Lexus fans do here.

    I suggested before that the BMW 3-Series is the model holding up BMW's score in the past, but nope that couldn't be possible to the survey chasers, though they sell over 100K 3-Series a year. Wouldn't they get the most surveys? The 3-Series has been out since 1999, so it should be pretty reliable, but here the finer points of these surveys are not even talked about. There was a Cadillac owner here some time back that said over and over how BMW was superior to Mercedes, yet they purchased a 2002 745i. A brand new model for which no survey could help them determine the reliability of a brand new car at the time. Needless to say that 745i was the worst car they've ever owned as far as reliability. Isn't CR the one that said a 1996 LS400 is more reliable than a new 7-Series?

    M
  • denaliinpadenaliinpa Posts: 169
    the new GS is interesting.
    not offensively styled or radically different. this segment will be a tough nut for Lexus to crack.
    i suspect it will sell well for the first 18 to 24 months. mainly because people who like this size Lexus have not had a new car for 6-7 years now. what makes the GS different when long term sales are figured in is that the buyer in the GS's segment imo puts sport over luxury when making a buying decision. the exact opposite of the LS. this has never been a Lexus strong point. plus the German competition are getting all new more powerful engines in their base V8's by the end of this year. 300hp will be on the low end compared to it's direct competitors.
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