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High End Luxury Cars

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  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    First post of 2006, hooray!

    Detroit is but 2 weeks away! Now this is my favorite time of year!

    M
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    if they let you get closer than 15 feet from the new LS.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    A Lambroghini made in Germany? What kind of sports car connoisseur would buy a bastardized Italian sports car? This sounds like something VW would do!

    It is also likely that the car will share the same underpinnings as the new Audi R8 which itself is based on the Gallardo. This could mean that the Miura will be the first lambo to be built outside Italy, with Germany the likely choice, alongside the R8.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    Zetsche defends cuts, says Mercedes could learn from Chrysler

    The above is a good indicator of what kind of humbleness MB needs in order to succeed with its turn-around!

    link title
  • garyh1garyh1 Posts: 386
    Warren Brown wrote about the 2006 Lexus LS in the Washington Post today. The whole review was about how he didn't like the way the rear seat felt to sit on (he loves the rear seat in the Lincoln Town Car), and how the LS wasn't worth the money since it didn't have a DVD screen in the back and a Honda Odyssey, which costs much less, does.

    The funny thing is that in the sidebar to the article, he notes "The LS 430 has excellent acceleration and superior handling. From the driver's seat, the car is an absolute joy, especially when its electronic suspension is set on the "Sport" mode." But somehow that doesn't matter since his tush didn't like the rear seat and his 11-yr-old godson missed his family's minivan's DVD player.

    The other brilliant observation was "Nearly everybody mistook the Lexus LS 430 for an S-Class Mercedes-Benz. That may be flattering to Mercedes-Benz, but it does little to establish an independent LS 430 identity." Of course, no where in the article did he mention that the next model has already been announced and shown (at least in pre-production form), and it looks nothing like an S-class.

    One thing I noted is that he drove an Ultra Luxury package which had the "Euro-tuned Sport Suspension" - so merc1, other people don't seem to have a problem finding the sport setup that you repeatedly say doesn't exist.

    In any case, everybody who rides in the back of my '05 LS loves it. So unless Lexus did something very weird with the '06 model, I really don't understand what this guy is talking about.

    So according to Mr. Brown, we're all wrong here: the LS is in fact a great "driver's car" with superb handling; it's just a poor "passenger's car" filled with technology you can get for less in other (non-luxury) cars. :confuse:

    You gotta read this to believe it (free website registration):

    Wash Post LS review
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Talk to a Lexus dealer. The "Euro Sport" LS430s are in fact quite rare. Most of the cars have the air springs.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    One thing I noted is that he drove an Ultra Luxury package which had the "Euro-tuned Sport Suspension" - so merc1, other people don't seem to have a problem finding the sport setup that you repeatedly say doesn't exist.

    First of all I didn't say that a LS430 with the Euro option didn't exist. What I said was that it is a hard to get, which is true, despite one clueless reporter's report. The fact remains that a LS430 with the Euro option is all but impossible for everday consumers to test drive.

    Reading that confirms that car reviews from a newspaper (and other non-automotive sources) are nothing more than a jokes.

    M
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    As much as I enjoy disagreeing with you I will agree with you on this post. ;)
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    In fact that Warren Brown fellow from Washington Post is a genius!

    Below is a portion of a transcript from a CNN interview with Warren Brown dated March 16th, 2002.

    The following interview has wisdom that CR worshippers tend to ignore:

    BROWN: There is no such thing as an unbiased report. For example, you look at "Consumer Reports", it calls itself unbiased. And certainly to its readers, it is. But it does tend to lean very heavily in favor of Japanese cars and those kinds of models.

    CALLAWAY: Right.

    BROWN: Primarily because that's where its readers tend to lean. Then you look at something from say "Car and Driver" or "Road and Track" or "Motortrend," and you'll get a completely different picture. My favorite is the AAA car guide, primarily because it seems to come from a wider base of buyers, a wider base of experience, but there actually we have certain elements of bias.

    The best thing to do, if you can, is to read as many of them as you possibly can, and also to check various Web sites to see what's there. One of my favorites is Edmunds.com. It tends to give a fairly dry, you know, presentation of what's available. There's also KBB.com and various and sundry others. So you just have to do your research and then go with your gut.


    CNN
  • docnukemdocnukem Posts: 485
    I have found that there are far more CR bashers than CR "worshippers" in these forums. True, there are many who do weigh what CR says when they are buying (and I think anyone who consciously chooses to completely ignore CR's take on used cars is foolish. I am in no way saying that CR's take should be the only criteria--far from it). I do not feel there are many here who choose a car only by what CR says. These might be considered CR users, rather than worshippers.

    BTW, Brown can't be both an idiot (for his recent review) and a genius.

    On this (HELM) board, there are probably more people who discount CR more than on other boards, simply because they may have the means to. In other words, maintenance costs and reliability in getting from point A to point B may not be as crucial.

    I would guess that most people who bash CR are bashing their relative ratings (as bias can creep into things easier when objective measures are weighted subjectively) rather than their testing methods and surveys. Brown was probably referring to this bias (as CR does cater to their audience, and things like reliability and costs are more important to that population than those who read auto mags).
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The funny thing is, thats really not true about CR. People tend to take CR reliability ratings as CR's own review of the car. Perhaps CR should change the "recommended" tag to a different word, because cars that are often not recommended make it very high on the list because of their performance scores.

    In their Luxury Sedans catergory, the Mercedes E and S, BMW 5, and the Audi A6 and A8, all rank above the Acura RL and Lexus GS. If CR was so blatantly biased towards Japanese cars, shouldnt the results be M, GS, LS, and RL all taking the top spots?

    CR is biased like anyone else, their own editors all have specific things they are looking for in a car, which implies bias, regardless of whether advertising pays the bills at CR or not. The difference between CR and say C&D, is that one of the things CR looks for is reliability. Thats not the only thing they care about. If it was, Japanese cars would win every segment like some seem to think they do. The automags could care less about that, except perhaps in the long term tests, and then major problems are often glossed over as "teething pains".
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    are not predictive because they are too skewed to the past- averaging the last 3 years of data per car for each "current" rating.
    This faulty analysis IMO makes their "current" reliability ratings useless.

    Another flaw: When 2 cars are rated "average" and "below average" respectively, where's the cut-off point?
    A car may be black-circled as "below average" for achieving 1 point less than the "average vehicle."
    The ratings CR uses are simply too vague because they don't reveal the total number of points earned by each vehicle.
    Some cars with different ratings may be only a point or 2 apart while 2 others may be many points apart.

    I cannot respect the CR ratings until they come out and once and for all give comprehensive detailed ratings for each vehicles with point totals.

    I e-mailed them about this but they responded with their usual "mumbo-jumbo."

    CR seems to be an organization that has grown too big for its own good (much like the AARP), with little respect for the consumer they profess to serve.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    because I know what's about to happen. ;)

    This is not about Consumer Reports. I do not know if there is a current topic on Consumer Reports on our News & Views board (there have been many), but whether there is or there is not, that's where this debate belongs.

    We are here to talk about, well, you know. :D
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    To everyone and their loved ones/families and friends. Isn't it so nice to talk less and listen more ? I am loving my back-seat lurking mode so much, I may make it semi-permanent.

    BTW, just got the LX470 an '03, and loving it. Now solidly Lexus in my car/truck purchases. Was talking to my dealer last week and he opined that the 2007 LS460 base would not add much to 2006 LS430 base price. That would be nice. And that the LS600h is projected at $90K-ish base, which would come pretty much loaded. That is beyond my price range, so I am taking a pass. My 110K miles '99 LS400 is long due for a replacement, and now that Santa (my wife) has gotten her LX, the road is clear for a 2007 LS for me. However, this time I will possibly expand my LS replacement search to include the A8 and the 750i (if the new redo gets here by next year). No MB in my future until they get their act together... Sorry.

    Now back to the rocking chair.... Wishing everyone the very best in this new year.
  • scott1256scott1256 Posts: 531
    Strong October thru December sales put MB sales in the black again: this is 12 consecutive years of sales increases in the USA.

    The increase for 2005 is only 1% but this is good considering weak sales in the first half of the year.

    http://www.theautochannel.com/news/2006/01/04/204795.html
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Interesting. Why are you not including M-B? Reliability concerns? Neither the A8 or the 750 are reliable cars..
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    However, this time I will possibly expand my LS replacement search to include the A8 and the 750i (if the new redo gets here by next year).

    750 isn’t on the left coast? They’ve been around for a while around here. A colleague of mine just got one.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    MB to me represents the past.... in contrast to Audi, BMW, Lexus which are all much *newer* ... I do not want to own a car my parents/grandparents lusted after. In fact, one of the reason I owned Lexus was bcos it was the newest kid on the block... That appeals to me. Of course, that it was more reliable was only icing on the cake. Contrary to some beliefs, I have never read or subscribed to CR in my life. It certainly didn't matter to my car buying purchases....

    Like I said, I will *consider* the Bimmer and the Audi in my next go-round. If these cars meet up, reliability inclusive, I might be tempted, just to break the Lexus lock in the family stable :)
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    I was actually refering to some rumored re-design of the 7. Is that just a rumor, and not reality ? If it is still Bangled by MY 2007/2008, forgetaboutit....
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    The 7-series was just facelifed for 06 and came out this past fall. The new design is slated for 09. I recall speculating (wishing) that it would be pushed up to 08 but that was just me blabbering as all good car yentas should.

    ;-)
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    I knew what you were doing and I said to myself, "He won't be able to keep this cyber-silence up for more than 3 weeks."
    I guess I was right. ;)
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    If you say so. In terms of life cycle though, the new Benz and the LS460 will be the "new kids" while the BMW and Audi will be middle aged, giving them the automatic advantage of having the latest and greatest. I dont think I could see myself buying the Benz though, not because of anything that the badge represents, but as C&D said "more electronics than Circuit City". That would make me really nervous.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    the concept of the 3 year lease.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    OAC, my friend I'd say there is a better chance of a blizzard in Miami then you picking up a 7 or an A8 with a new and beautifully styled LS staring you in the face.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    OAC, my friend I'd say there is a better chance of a blizzard in Miami then you picking up a 7 or an A8 with a new and beautifully styled LS staring you in the face

    That was funny, Len... I had to chuckle out loud reading that. Only a few more days to the NAIAS where the '07 LS460/600h will be unvelied. We'll see... The Audi has always intrigued me. My old boss leased one 3 years ago, and I recall riding in it once. Beautiful interior. Got about a year to purchase, so we'll see...
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    I knew what you were doing and I said to myself, "He won't be able to keep this cyber-silence up for more than 3 weeks." I guess I was right.

    Funny guy....
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Not sure if it's been posted here but the unveiling will be webcast on the lexus site 12:25pm ET Sunday, see the link in the lower right of the lexus.com site.

    My guess is that the event is going to be rather short on details.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Interesting isn't it? MB actually managed to outsell BMW for the month of Dec, never thought I'd see that. Now watch as all these brand's sales drop like a rock for Jan. Happens every year after the various Dec sales are over with.

    How did Cadillac do for 2005? In looking at Jaguar for 2005, they're really a niche player in every sense of the word.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    My guess is that the event is going to be rather short on details.

    I doubt it, this is going to be the real deal I think. Either way I'll be there next weekend.

    M
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Unfortunately, things are going to get worse for Jag before they get better. (If they get better). The X, S, and XJ all have brand new, very heavy hitting competition to deal with. The X-type will just go away, but they're going to have to do something to try and salvage the S-type. Things arent much better for the XJ. While its currently Jag's most competent car, there's just no way it can hold off the LS and S-class. Jag's future basically depends on the XK.
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