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High End Luxury Cars

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  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hi all,
    Oac, it's nice to see you back. Yes, I did trade the LS430 but I still have the LS400 so it's a mixed household. My son had the 1992 LS completely redone, every little mechanical and cosmetic flaw was fixed. It looks amazing now.

    Here are a few pictures:
    http://hometown.aol.com/sv7887/LS_ExteriorS.jpg
    http://hometown.aol.com/sv7887/LS_Side1.jpg
    http://hometown.aol.com/sv7887/LS_interior.jpg

    The way I see it, I get the best of both worlds, so I'm not complaining. My wife is highly interested in the S430 but this time I decided to put "The Club" on the Benz to stop her from stealing it. Needless to say she wasn't very happy with me.

    You know this is the first time I've been able to compare a Lexus vs a Mercedes at length. I've spent quite a few evenings looking at both cars and seeing whether some of the things said here are true.

    Here's what I've found: The Benz is definitely more competent at high speeds. It's more nimble and doesn't get pushed easily in crosswinds.

    It's also loaded with every safety feature possible. I'm not saying the LS is unsafe, it's just that MB has thought of every little thing.

    The Nanotech Paint is great, I don't know why Lexus doesn't put this on their cars. It's also nice to play DVD Audio disks upfront. The Multifunction Display has those Lexus CBest settings integrated so you can change them without going to the dealer.

    Now some of the bad: The Comand system isn't very user friendly. Their phone system is quite outdated. The Cupholders are really bizzare. Way too complex. What is funny though is that the ashtray design is one of the best I've seen. The glovebox is tiny, and there isn't that much room for storage. Reliability is a concern. I have a hard time believing this car will be trouble free for >3 yrs.

    The Lexus has a different philosophy. Everything about this car exudes Quality. All the controls feel like they'll last forever. They've thought of every little convenience feature possible.

    This car is still amazingly quiet, quieter than the Benz, and even my LS430. You can turn on the stereo get out of the car, and you will not hear anything. Even 14 yrs later everything works perfectly. There is little worry that this car Won't start. The stereo still sounds excellent.

    The car is very comfortable. The Benz is slightly better because of the long wheelbase. I honestly can't tell any difference between the two stereos.

    Styling is a real subjective thing. They both look great. Both interiors show a lot of thought. The Benz does have nice mouldings that protect the body from shopping carts. It's something I wish Lexus would do.

    Under the hood, I've noted that the Mercedes was built to be worked on. Changing tailight bulbs is a simple chore. It's a 30 minute one on the Lexus. The S430 uses synthetic oil, and you can check the oil without leaving the car. Mercedes also provides hard points to tow the car with. They've definitely thought of the mechanic on this car.

    The Lexus isn't as mechanic friendly, but you also know it doesn't require much to begin with. The 1992 has only recently required substantial expenditure. How much of it was "necessary" is a judgement call. We're pretty finicky so that's a big part of it.

    In conclusion, it's Really hard for me to pick a winner. It is clear to me that Lexus and Mercedes have Different Core Competencies. If it's about convenience, reliability, and comfort it's on a Lexus. If it's about Safety, Perfomance, and Style it's on a Mercedes.

    If I've learned anything from having both a Mercedes and Lexus it's this:

    Both are great cars period. There is no "One" top car.

    We're all privileged to own cars like these. Let's enjoy them and stop bickering over which one is best!!!

    -
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The answer to that is that the War was much harder on Auto Union than it was on Benz. In 1938, AU had 25% of the German car market, and their "Dampf Kraft Wagen" motorcycle brand had a third of the motorcycle market. Then Germany lost the war, and the Soviets eliminated their production facilities. Most of the top AU guys moved to Ingolstadt, and they basically made DKW motorcycles until they were bought out by Daimler-Benz, and then later sold to VW because they werent profitable.

    Audi's first real car since pre-war Germany was the 1980 Quattro. Thats why they dont have the kind of heritage that Mercedes does.
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    Interesting idea.
    The drawback is that you could end up devaluing Porsche.

    Also, how do you distinguish Audi from VW?
    Their products are too close as it is.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Ok, deal. Sorry I just couldn't let that comparo go, any other models I can see, but not those.

    I doubt if you'll let me "enjoy" NYIAS for long after that LS600h is shown...lol!!!

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Yeah I forgot about who got what at the end of the war. I know you weren't around to see all of that, but thanks for setting me straight...lol. :D

    M
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    I used to work in the liquor industry a long time ago.

    drinking or marketing? ;)

    So it is with diesel - it'll just never get started here and it's so hard to invest in a technology that has been rejected. Hybrids though are a natural and seamless extension of gas.

    I agree with this, but to a lesser point. You use the word never regarding the diesels, and when I consider that such a large number of vehicles in Europe are diesels, I find myself going back to basics here. With more expensive fuel costs, diesels represented the long-standing ONLY alternative. Obviously there were no hybrids all those years.

    So, let's cross the Atlantic and come back to the good 'ol USA, and recognize that for the most part during our history, fuel has been cheap enough to go through the years of muscle cars and giant SUV's. But now, there is change in the wind, and with the new generation of diesels that will be offered over the next years, I think we will see diesels slowly take a foothold for the first time in our history that could be considered significant.

    Yes, I agree with you about the logical extension of hybrid technology and it will be marketed successfully. But I also now am witnessing an interesting polarization of the hybrid. In other words, I think the hybrid will do very well at the economical end of the spectrum, where it actually financially pays for itself in real monetary terms, such as the Prius and Honda Civic Hybrid, and the upcoming Honda Fit . . . AND hybrid technology will probably do well in the upper end, such as with the upcoming Lexus LS600h. This polarization that I am predicting will leave the middle ground open for more efficient ICE engines and DIESELS, IMO. Additionally, diesels can gain ground in the economical end of the spectrum, alongside the hybrids, AND the upper end of the spectrum, in the HELMS. I have a firm belief, especially when I consider some of the passionate posts on this and the LPS forums, that MANY folks would just LOVE to have a terrific car with a terrific diesel as its powerplant.

    One hour ago, I heard on the news that gasoline will rise at least 25 cents per gallon this summer. This will flirt with the $3 + per gallon area again . . . and that seems to be the trigger point for folks to start complaining and looking for alternatives. And it will get worse, given the international political and business structure at this point in time. (The China factor, the Iran factor, etc.)

    Anyway, I am not as pessimistic about diesel's potential in the marketplace as you seem to be. I am more optimistic and think that both hybrids and diesels will make progress. It will be interesting indeed.

    :)

    TagMan
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    It will be very interesting to see how the Camry hybrid does in terms of sales, as that car is the epitome of the "middle ground" mainstream hybrid sedan. Americans are of course in love with the Camry, but will they love the hybrid?

    Toyota was smart to pair up HSD with the 4-cyl Camry. I'm sure they watched the Accord Hybrid's bomb in the market very closely. Nobody wants to pay $33K+ for an Accord. The Escape and the Highlander hybrid are also not as popular as they once were. Are hybrids a fad?
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    With gas at $3 a gallon this summer, and a Camry getting 40MPG, do you think it'll be a tough sell? For about the cost of a V6 Camry? They will sell everyone they build this year (46k).

    Timing is everything?

    We bow to your wisdom, Mighty 'Yota! ;)

    DrFill
  • psychdocpsychdoc Posts: 147
    It's small, cramped, underpowered and entirely uninspiring. It doesn't have anywhere near as many bells and whistles as the new ES and is not as sprty as the IS.

    Now add to this losing formula that it's ugly as sin and looks like a hatchback and what do you have?

    "L-O-S-E-R"

    Lexus should just admit it took a shot and missed.They missed miserably and they should go back to the drawing boards with this disaster.

    This car is a serious mistake.

    :sick:
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    Talk about beating a dead horse! :mad:

    Let it go, just let it go.

    DrFill
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    we really should try to keep our, um, focus on the high end cars. ;)
  • psychdocpsychdoc Posts: 147
    The GS has been savaged around here before?
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Yes it will be interesting, because up until now, there is no "middle ground" winner out there. The Lexus LS600h, which debuts tomorrow, will be the ultimate hybrid, at the top end of the spectrum and should do very well. The economical end of the spectrum is already a confirmed success. The middle ground, though, is large and the Camry will be towards the bottom of it. In fact, possibly low enough to be swept into the top of the lower end category as time goes, but we'll see.

    A diesel in the S class will be something to watch closely. Will Lexus enter into that arena? Even Jaguar has a wonderful diesel in their Euro XJ, and will it be available here eventually? Audi can do wonders with a diesel and what about BMW?

    You asked if hybrids are a fad, and I think that with Toyota's and Honda's huge committment to them, the answer is no . . . at least for a while in history. I believe that a different longer term solution will come, but progress comes in steps and I believe that the hybrid is a positive step along the way.

    Personally, I like the technology of hybrid vehicles, but I am attracted to the modern diesel. The last one I tried was in the E-class recently and I was pleasantly surprised with its performance. In consideration of the past and future, diesels will most likely have a longer historical life span than hybrids ever will . . . unless they get married, and we have the hybrid diesel as the next step until hydrogen finally makes its way. Yikes, maybe even hybrid bio-diesel before hydrogen. Who knows?

    A step at a time,

    TagMan
  • 2001gs4302001gs430 Posts: 767
    unless they get married, and we have the hybrid diesel as the next step until hydrogen finally makes its way

    Imagine that, buy a luxury car that would be a blast to drive and fueling up only 12 times or less a year... :D
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    Since the World Premiere is tomorrow, timing is everything.

    This is not just another LS! This car is LS squared!

    So cool, it needs it's own, dedicated, fan club!

    I'm ready to party like it's 1989! :shades:

    DrFill
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    No doubt the LS600h will be an ultimate car of sorts, but come on, Doc, prescribe yourself a valium . . . lest we find you strapped in to that rear seat massager screaming " pleeeeeease don't take me away!"

    ;)

    Actually your irrational exuberance is fun, but do you think it's contagious, and we'll all be bowing down to the LS 600h? Think again.

    :D

    TagMan
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    Irrational? What's up with that?

    You ain't right.

    Starting tomorrow, a Yellow Brick Road runs down 11th Avenue, and doesn't end until we meet the Wonderful Wizard of Oz!

    You seem to be applying for the part of the Scarecrow! :P

    I'll be Dorothy. A very studly Dorothy!

    Now what could be irrational about that? :confuse:

    DrFill
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Why shouldn't the American public not like the Camry hybrid?
    Why after only around 100,000 miles of fill-ups. they will get their $2965 premium back.
    Not to mention the 10.6 cubic feet of trunk space for the hybrid vs the 12.4 cubic feet for the regular Camry.
    I will not be joining the hybrid bandwagon anytime soon and hope that BMW steers clear of this ridiculousness.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    What might be considered irrational is the continuing off-topic comments ... :shades:
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Is a Camry a HELM? :sick:
  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 5,873
    Depends on how you define "is". Sorry, couldn't help myself!

    2013 LX 570 2010 LS 460 2002 Tacoma 4x4

  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    "The ES continues to be a great value, and it makes the Zephyr and Lucerne look like dinosaurs......."

    Let's just face it. In no way are the new millenium middle-agers going to take the Lucy or Zephyr over the ES. With everyone knowing Lexus'incredible quality and near stratispheric resale values, it's a sure winner in it's category. The Lincoln Zephyr @ $34k; the coffee must've been mighty cold when they came up with those figures. The Hyundai Azera seems more of a value than the Zephyr, indeed it is, IMO.

    But I think the Lucerne is a great DOMESTIC attempt. The car is the key in turning back to Buick's once unmatched quality of the 40's and 50's. The car is probably the best thing to come from them in 2 decades. The quality is tops among domestics(Toyota Avalon and DCX's LX cars notwithstanding). But in typical GM fashion, they fulfilled the needs in one department but completely dropped the ball in another, most notably chassis and suspension tuning.

    The Lucerne, IMO, goes up against the Avalon and Chrysler's LX-platformed car's, not the ES. It's good but not great.

    However in typical GM fashion, if they don't do anything else right, they get the powertrains done very well. The Lucerne is available with N/S V-8 power, first for a Buick since the end of the gigantic 1996 Roadmaster(dad's favorite). It does move this car with authority, altho the Avalon is still quicker.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Regardless of the definition of "is" (which in the context given there is no reason to question), none of the vehicles you mention can be considered High End Luxury Marques.

    Let's get back to the subject, please.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Interestingly, Edmunds (for reasons known only to them) gave the Zephyr a smashing review, and just recently they basically raked the Lucerne over the coals. I dont like either car, but I cant understand why they raved about a gussied up Fusion with an $8K price hike, and then went on to bash a value priced Deville.

    For a V8 to be impressive these days, I would say that 300hp is the absolute bare minimum requirement. Considering the staggering amount of power available on the 300C, showing up with yesterday's Northstar and the proverbial stone age GM 4-speed is just not competitive. As you said, its slower than the Avalon, and has the added bonus of being a gas hog.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Now doc, or should I say Dorothy . . . the scarecrow had no brain and would be continually posting about the Camry, and Pat would have put a stop to that, but I was too busy posting about the LS600h. So, therefore, Pat has a fair amount of control, and is obviously the Wizard of OZ or the Wicked Witch. I'll let you decide since you are the one following the yellow brick road.

    I recommended valium the first time, but now maybe, something a little stronger . . . ;)

    As you might recall from a recent post of mine, I mentioned that the LS600h will go down in history as one of the most technologically sophisticated production vehicles ever built . . . and I don't mind saying it again, as long as it doesn't send you too far into outer space.

    :)

    TagMan
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    I totally agree, pdoc.
    Unlike you, however I cannot say much in a positive way about the other two Lexi you mentioned.
    I find them both rather somnolent.
    I am looking forward to driving the new LS and hope I notice a bit of improvement in
    "agility."
    Some of us require more than vibrating seats.
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    Join me in the new LS600h forum tomorrow. We'll soon find out how right we are! ;)

    DrFill
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,682
    "I used to work in the liquor industry a long time ago.

    drinking or marketing?"

    Finance and cost accounting - it was my infancy in business.

    Great post - we disagree to a degree but in general are on the same track - on this and many things. I like your business views very much. Would have loved to have crossed your path in the real business world.
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    Thou LEXUSGUY to say that for a V-8 to be impressive these days, it needs to have 300-hp as "bare minimum" requirements??

    Well gee-golly. The LS430 is rated at "only" 278-hp this year with the new SAE standards in place, but it's the trick 6-speed tranny that scoots this car along in relative swiftness(impressive at under 6 seconds and with this much tonnage). I can never guess why Lexus/Toyota among a few other makers put their flagship cars/SUV's with less hp than lesser models. Exp: the GS430(300hp) and the IS350(306 interestingly) makes more power than the LS does. This is an issue that I hope Lexus will cure with the encroachment of the new LS, for sure with the LS600h.

    On another note(slightly off subject, I get it HOST), if I were to buy the either of two(never would I), no guissed-up Fusion would get my money over a Monday's discount DTS. And yes, the 3.5L Toyota/Lexus V-6 has some of the best V-6 fuel economy ratings in biz, with the Avalon @ 20/30, indeed impressive for that size of car and that much power on tap.

    P.S.- The Northstar engine yestertech? Now there's a first for me. Even in today's blossom of engine technology the Northtstar is sitll more than competitive, especially the new S/C v-Series engines. Thanks to Honda almost 2 decades ago, for ANY engine to be considered even mildly competitive, it has to have VVT on both the intake and exhaust sides, and the N/S does incorporate them, albeit it is still a older motor than the newer foreign designs
  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    You know, it continually amazes me that the blue collar elite (self employed types, usually) positively lust over diesel powered pickups. They even pay a up to 6K (post W2 income) premium to pull into the coffee shop with that big lump of cast iron just rattling away. Amazing when you consider that these F250s and Ram 2500s usually ride around absolutely empty except for the guy in the baseball cap behind the wheel who secretly imagines he is a Class 8 line haul trucker who has been "eight days on the road."

    Other groups, certainly less identifiable, I think would buy a more more modestly priced diesel in their small SUV (e.g., Jeep Liberty), large SUV (I think Ford could sell a ton of power strokes in the Expediton), or even commuting vehicle.
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