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High End Luxury Cars

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  • denniswadedenniswade Posts: 362
    Autoworld Weekly rated the 7-series best in handling, followed by the LS430 and Mercedes, then the Jaguar. Nice of you to choose the BMW to compare the LS430 with, but what about its other competitors?

    And as for handling, I agree -- unless the differences are enormous, they are unlikely to be noticed in a car of this class. It's a luxury car, fer cryin out loud, not a sports car. And I definitely prefer the feel of the Lexus to the Mercedes. The Mercedes is just not driver friendly, in my opinion -- the BMW and Lexus are. Dunno about the Audi 'cause I haven't driven it -- but I imagine it's pretty nice.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    I drove the Audi - its a very nice car. Handles well but its ride is behind the Lexus and the S-Class. Can't comment on a 7-series because I didn't drive one. I didn't find anything special about the Audi and dismissed it very early. I actually wanted to like this car because of the quattro. The Lexus LS430 beats the pants off of the old LS400 model in virtually everyway and the bodybuild is exceptional. If your comments are tied to the old model than we are not talking the same language here. The new model handles much better than the old.

    As for your Toyota comments it sounds like you are pretty bitter about them for whatever reason. I have a Landcruiser and love it though I realize it is not a vehicle for the masses; My mom's Camry is very nice and friends of ours who have Toyotas praise them particularly because of their reliability.
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    A strong statement like ".. The Mercedes is just not driver friendly, in my opinion .." At least this time out, the "in my opinion" disclaimer makes it clear.

    Still, I think to say a Mercedes S-class is "not driver friendly" is one of those hyper-distorting arguments. I'd be happy as a lark in a Mercedes S-class, and I haven't heard of any ergonomy complaints from owners.

    As to handling, the S-class does offer the sports package, and if utter performance is what you're after, they have something called the S55. Nor the Beemer nor the Lex stand up eve remotely to that package when it comes to performance. Fact is that Mercedes does offer far more idividualization of the car than any other brand, which I think a key advantage in this price range. Sure, it'll set you back even more money, but if that's a concern, Mercedes simply does not want your business in some cases. At least not yet.

    Given the huge set of options and sub-models, I do think there is little doubt that Mercedes coul be easily labelled by far most driver-friendly. The only caveat is said driver needs to pack about 40 more bills in his wallet. But that's why they call this luxury segment, and if Mercedes can get people to spend more money than they would for other brands, hey - can't blame them. It's market economy at work. Luxury items, even more than others, are never priced on real cost.
  • wbwynnwbwynn Posts: 246
    I do think that there is a dumb luxury segment and a smart luxury segment....
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    Luxury is always dumb, period. It is utterly irrational. The very concept of luxury is utterly based on making cost irrelevant. The genuine luxury market does simply not care about cost, merely about perceived value.

    That is basic marketing theory.
  • wbwynnwbwynn Posts: 246
    I do think that there is a dumb luxury segment and a smart luxury segment....
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    Care to elaborate what, in your expert opinion, falls under "dumb luxury segment"?
  • denniswadedenniswade Posts: 362
    for a car you don't love. (Other than that, all bets are off!)

    pablo -- look in the mirror, friend -- you're the only one here that cannot seem to tolerate any disagreement with your infatuation with Mercedes. Get over it -- these are ALL just personal opinions, and they have no more weight than what anyone chooses to give them. Why does it surprise you that some people feel as strongly about their brand as you do about Mercedes?

    As for "driver friendly," what I meant by that was that ALL of the Mercedes I have driven for the last 6 years -- E-class and S-class specifically (haven't driven the SLK, but would love to) -- have had interiors that are hard and visually cold, steering that is nicely weighted but not particularly sharp or intuitive, and a suspension that handles rough pavement extremely well but doesn't appear to have that much ultimate grip compared to the competition (in this case, BMW and Lexus).

    Now, it is true that you can tune the car to your liking -- and Mercedes is to be commended for that -- but that will cost you even more than the base car, which already costs many thousands more than the Lexus. So unless you REALLY LOVE THE CAR -- and obviously you do -- the Mercedes is simply not a very good value. To me, the BMW is a different story. It's dynamics are so great and the styling so sublime, I'd probably bite down hard and get one in SPITE of the price premium. The last BMW I really fell in love with due to its styling was the 850 -- and the 740 is as close to that as you can get nowadays.
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    If I were even remotely infatuated with Mercedes, I would own one or two. I decided against a Mercedes. And in part for the reasons you provide: I find the interior rather clinical, like with all German cars. That does not make them "driver unfriendly", which is a generic put-down, even if it's just in your opinion. Unlike you, I do not go and say "the Lexus is a cheap Toyota, feebly diguised as a luxury car, in my opinion." Opinion or not, I personally don't go for generic statements that the market quite obviously proves wrong every day.

    I'll aid your comprehension one more time: Personally, I own a Jaguar. It was a better subjective choice for *me*. I feel no remote need to defend my choice, nor to declare it superior. That is not polite.

    You go on and on about "I am not against Mercedes", while publicly labeling the S-class driver unfriendly. Sure, everbody is entitled to their personal opinion, but if they express strong opinion, hey - if you can't stand the heat, get out of ther kitchen. Don't make it look like your being oh-so-unfairly attacked. Your posturing defines passive-aggressive.
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    ...I should point out that I don't mean to single you out. Many others, oddly mostly Lexus defenders, seem to fall prey to the same behavioral pattern: they say "These are all great cars" while the puppet on their lap says "Mercedes is overpriced and inferior and basically dumb", and then wonder why-oh-why some would argue back forcefully against the latter lapses in their argument.

    I truly don't care. I just witness a blatant double-standard at work, and point it out. I am neither a Mercedes nor a Lexus enthusiast. And if you want to bash Jaguar as an outdated platform and whatever, be my guest. I don't mind the cars at all. It's the conveniently twisted argument I have an issue with.
  • denniswadedenniswade Posts: 362
    you consider "not driver friendly" such a flame against Mercedes -- perhaps we have a different concept of what that phrase means. I thought I explained what I meant by it. In any case, this argument is neither enlightening nor pleasant.

    Have a nice day, pablo. Please continue to share your opinions about cars with us, and keep your opinions about us to yourself.
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    A car that is not driver friendly just utterly and totally seems to miss each and every design principle. I am for one totally amazed anyone could regard an S-class as "driver unfriendly". According to each and every car test I have read, it handles up there with the 7-series, and after just having parked next to one 15 minutes ago, I got to say that the interior is, by any standard, *very* nice. You can prefer another car, and put your own money elsewhere (which I have done), but arguing for it claiming the S-class is "driver unfriendly" is simply ridiculous.

    This is all an opinion about the S-class.
  • wbwynnwbwynn Posts: 246
    When I sat in the S500, the interior was just plain disappointing to me, and I knew that I would not part with 80M for this vehicle. Maybe I'm getting old at 48, but I just expected to be overwhelmed...and wasn't.

    I took delivery of an LS430 today, and I really love this vehicle (including the exterior!). If not for the LS, I would be in the 500 or the 740...no doubt....because I've owned them before.
    I could love an S500 AMG easily, but no more so than that new Silver LS430 in my garage.

    I'm very happy and saved $20,000....part of the "smart" luxury car segment!
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    No one ever said the S had a disappointing interior in absolute terms. But relevant to its price is a different story. That's all that is being said here. On the other hand people attack the Lexus for being bland and Lexus buyers speak up and say that's nonsense. To you it means we are defending a purchase. That is hardly the case. We are merely refuting a bad statement because it is utterly untrue. The car is very engaged with the road and the only mag that seems to have gotten it right is auto weekly. The fact that it is very quiet and rides great at the same time are its attributes. It exceeds the S in both of those and in interior luxury in my opinion of course.
  • xjs5xjs5 Posts: 33
    The very concept of luxury is utterly based on making cost irrelevant. The genuine
    luxury market does simply not care about cost, merely about perceived value.

    Pablo, if this is true, Mercedes is not a participant in the genuine luxury market and no car on this list is a luxury car. Price points of suppliers, cost cutting, and market competition
    are what result in buyers questioning the fit and finish of Mercedes and its quality relative to previous Mercedes.

    Do you think it is passive aggresive to say:

    Many others, oddly mostly Lexus defenders, seem to fall prey to the same
    behavioral pattern: they say "These are all great cars" while the puppet on their lap says "Mercedes is overpriced and inferior and
    basically dumb",

    Is that passive aggressive? I don't know.

    When I think of "ride" I think of my teenage neighbor's Nissan.

    Am I right? The Lexus and the Mercedes sell at a mutiple of 15x as many units as the Audi?
    The Lexus owners are like a gang that go around Edmunds beating up on you if you fail to see the superiority of Lexus? Oh, I see the superiority of Lexus- please don't beat me again lol.
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    I, for one, did not base my purchase on what magazines said. They ranked the XJR dead last in the "performance super sedan" category every time. But based on what I read between the lines, I could sense my personal ranking would be different, simply because I value different stuff higher than the editors did.

    Every magazine I have seen rates the dynamic behavior of the LS430 behind Beemer, MB and Audi. Check this very site, or the New York Times Automobile section (which, by the way, I think the most informative, because they simply praise the good aspects of a car, try to come to grips with the design philosophy, and never go for simplistic rankings). Then again, no one buys any of these cars for their lap times around Laguna Seca. But the fact remains that, when it comes to handling prowess, about every editor says the same [quote from New York Times]: ".. I have to acknowledge that after a week in the Lexus on the mountain roads of Santa Barbara County, it was a relief to go back to my own Nissan Maxima, with its tighter, more responsive steering and better road feel. .." To claim, as if being doen repeatedly here, that the Lexus is "class best" in pretty much everything is silly. They'd monopolize the market here.b There is nothing the remotely resembles "fact" to buttress such partisan views.

    "Relevant to its price" is relative, too. I, for one, am picky about interiors, and must say I prefer the Mercedes' to the Lexus'. It's because of styling. I find the Lexus a bit too Detroit-like, noveau-epoque Lincoln-like. Nice materials, very comfortable, but subjectively somewhat old. I could say "I would expect more for the price", but I simply realize others love it, are more than entitled to their view and personal taste, which is just as valid. I do not try to come up with artificial "bang for buck" scales that are fake facts, badly disguised personal preferences that state that *I* find I'd prefer different execution.

    And if I have a choice between a $5,000 Brioni suit, and a $6,500 Byblos suit, I'll simply buy the one I like best. Once I have committed myself to a somewhat irrational pricetag, I better get what I simply like *best* and suits *me* personally. It'd be stupid to think the $5k suit is a "smarter buy" if I simply like the other suit more. It's not. It is dumb to compromise once you've gone that far.

    Sure, car handling is subjective, too. It's great the Lexus dynamic behavior suits you fine, and no one doubts it has a sweet engine, and that its ride is buttery. But you always go the extra step and make those points at the detriment of the other cars' merits. Merits that about every writing so-called expert has already established. And while they might not be as relevant to your choice, it is silly to try to re-define obvious statements.

    I don't mind you making your point, of course not. I totally believe you are extremely happy with your car. But why do you have to keep on making value statements about the other cars, particularly some that can be proven wrong easily.

    The interior of the S-class is not cheap. That is a ridiculous statement. Every car in here has one or the other cheap touch - it is a general automotive trend, sadly. About the only thing find somewhat cheap about the S-class is the little plastic drawers under the seats (which you never see), and the cup-holders (according to one owner, and cup-holders in car being a US aberration anyway that are ugly no matter what. Whoever tells me their cupholders are sumptuous will see me laugh at them). All cars cut corners.
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    I have no idea what you are saying. If you happen to put a coherent chain of thought together I might be able to reply.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Recently, we have had mostly a very worthwhile exchange of ideas, opinions and thoughts, but it seems like a good idea at this point to remind everyone that the Town Hall Terms of Use to which you ALL agreed when you became members requires respectful and civil discourse in the event of a disagreement with other opinions expressed.

    Let's all just take a deep breath and find a way to express our opinions and thoughts that does not involve going after other posters in a personal way. Surely we all are aware that opinions are just that - neither right, nor wrong and always arrived at by our own unique set of preferences and priorities. That's what makes us all who we are, and different from our neighbor.

    Thanks.

    Pat
    Host
    Sedans and Women's Auto Center Message Boards
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    I know of no one, other than that NY Times reporter, who would want to own or drive a Maxima over an LS430. What a joke! I read that comment and wonder what on earth she was thinking or how on earth the Times let her write it. To put it in a different perspective it's as if a woman told you she preferred a fake cz over a certified diamond. I don't think anyone took that story seriouly much to the detriment of the NY Times - a paper I couldn't possibly live without.

    By the way these are all great cars - no one is hustling you about that. It's you who are reading a double standard into things. What do you expect someone to say that car A is great therefore car B is not. I came damm near close to buying an S - in the end I walked because I didn't believe I was getting my moneys worth. I bought the LS430 because I felt I was getting more than my moneys worth. That's all there is to it.

    By the way who ever said the S or Mercedes was dumb? I certainly don't recall reading that at least not about their cars. If you are referring to how they absorbed Chrysler thats a different story. As a businessman with lots of experience in takeovers I'll tell you that how they handled that was as dumb as you can possibly get.
  • As an owner of an '01 S500 I must say that it is odd that a disproportionately large number of LS430 owners feel the need to justify their purchase. I'm not going to waste my time on such an inane argument but it is odd.

    By the way, the fellow (wbynn?) that said he just took delivery today of a LS430, also said he took delivery of a black cherry of the same model about four months ago.

    Be happy with whatever you end up with, as all these cars are superb in some respect and there are a whole LOT of people that will never be able to enjoy NEITHER of them.

    I agree with the fellow who issued the suit metaphor, at this price level buy what moves you most and you won't regret it.
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