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High End Luxury Cars

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  • anthonypanthonyp Posts: 1,857
    Unfortunately our auto industry took your advice, and gave us what we thought we wanted, and now have to try and catch up...I do agree with the problem of how to make one small area of a car appear warmer or cooler than the next right next to it. Oh well Tony
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    You have just described the Ford Crown Victoria\Mercury Grand Marquis, almost to the letter. Its packing an ancient 4.6L V8 with a stunning 224hp, delivering an amazing 17mpg in the city! Its heavy, slow, and handles like it came from the '70s, which it pretty much did. There's none of them there new-fangled electro-bable anywhere to be found. Except... Americans dont want them. The sales numbers say that the average American wants a Toyota Camry, or a Honda Accord.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    THE GOOD:
    Overall I really like most of the exterior shapes and new interior. Couldn’t stand the old center stack, it reminded me of an old pub urinal. Yes, Aston-like is an appropriate description. In some ways its better, particularly the shape of the butt which is delightful, and the restraint in keeping the beltline reasonably low.

    THE BAD:
    The shape of the front end is too simple and banal. Needs sculpting and better grille detail. The Conestoga wagon wheels look too delicate and hitchhike onto the fatuously fashionable megaphone spoke shape that we see on several of today’s cars.

    THE UGLY:
    Striving for good design is sometimes like building a house of cards. Make one wrong move and it collapses. Go straight to the lamp treatment for the coup de grace. They are too big, shapeless and discordant. The tail lamps didn’t need those widow’s peaks which are so out of character. The front lamps are too independent, heavy-handed, coming out of nowhere, fighting the total design. I can’t picture the exact vehicle the front lamps compare with, but Tiburon comes to mind. Look at how those front lamps intrude on the wheel well, like a cleaver on a loin of pork. Heavens, what were they thinking with that detail?

    _______

    Now for my sophisticated review of Ljflx’s favorite wine, Brunello de Montalcino… drum roll…

    A little bit strong, but GOOD!

    (Ljflx and Hpowders… I do hope that rings a bell.)

    ;-)
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    Grape juice ! Remember - Norton gets tipsy from reading the label.

    what do you think of the IS?
  • Lexusguy, I agree. Most Americans don't want oafish cars larded up with "Presidential Edition packages" that get poor mileage with worse reliability. But IMHO they really don't care about "high tech" advancements beyond AWD.

    I suspect that if Detroit built a nimble cars with good mileage, reliability, quality interiors and AWD was optional they would have winners. One way to get the reliability would be with some basic powertrains. Rather than multi-valve heads put the money into equiping every car with a transmission cooler to extend its life another 50,000 miles. Maybe double the size of the oil filter and remote mount it if necessary to prolong engine life in the hot and cramped engine compartment. Rather than MB like electronic modules, offer a heated windsheld (like Rover and Jaguar) and seats which deliver real benefits without maintenance headaches.

    Consider this: there might be fewer Volvo/Saab owners now in the US if the first Taurus and succeeding versions had a premium option that included a simple AWD system, leather seats, a decent interior and a good powertrain as an option.

    Talk about poor product planning. Just as the upper middle class exploded in size, instead of calling Haldex for the AWD (you don't think Volvo developed this on their own nickel, did you?) , young Bill offered us grey mouse colored cloth seats, lousy powertrains, and strictly FWD!
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Well, there arent many Volvo and Saab owners anyway. I dont think they even put a tiny dent in the Taurus, especially when it came out and ruled the market. Also, few Volvos and even fewer Saabs are AWD. Most, just like the Taurus, are FWD. The two companies that really pushed for AWD in cars were, and continue to be, Audi and Subaru. Everybody else is playing catch-up with them, including Volvo and Saab.

    FWD still has the same advantages that pushed everybody away from RWD in the '80s. Its still cheaper, still simpler, still more space efficient, and still lighter weight than even the most advanced AWD system. FWD isnt going anywhere. If the general public considered AWD to be a critical feature, the compact leader would be Impreza, and the midsize leader would be Legacy. It hasnt quite worked out that way. Toyota sells more FWD Camrys than Subaru does with an entire line of cars. Wether or not Fuji heavy industries could actually supply the NA market with 400,000+ Legacys is irrelevant, as nobody is asking.

    What killed the Taurus (as well as Malibu, Impala, and the Chrysler LH sedans) is that Detroit left them to rot while they enjoyed a decade long love affair with SUVs. Now that gas is starting to really get expensive, they are finally realizing that essentially giving the NA car market to the Japanese on a silver platter was maybe not such a hot idea. They are trying to fix their mistake, I will give them that. But Japan is not going to just hand it back.
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    Agree with the new Jag - it actually continues the somewhat gutless Jag design. Feels too recycled, and the new front is just way too unsophisticated, with no character at all.

    As to the Brunello, the Sangiovese grape is notoriously hard to domesticate. But if you're willing to spring the money for a top Brunello (a lot, very limited supply), wow. They take age - but try a Gaja if you ever see it. Unforgettable! I am a big Barolo fan, the nebbiolo grape is not quite as complex and can be enjoyed younger without parting with $200 for a great bottle! I also enjoy good Rhone Syrahs, one can get awesome value there.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    I like the new IS and think it will be successful. However I read somewhere around here that it got soft compared to the last version. This is not the first time we have seen this happen. I recently drove a Camry, the first time since my mother-in-law had a 91 Camry, a car which I very much liked because it was a small tight handler. Man that car has changed for the worse. It’s now a sponge on wheels. A Ford Focus is more fun to drive.

    The LF-S has grown on me. I sure hope the LS comes out something like that. IMO it is the best attempt at the future and change. It is sleek and minimal, radically and delightfully different from the 7 and new S. There is talk that the LS shouldn’t have such a sporty look. If so, I’d like to know why they even bothered with the concept. The thing I like about it is that it doubles as sporty looking and the futuristic large sedan. You can see the family resemblance to the IS and GS, particularly the greenhouse/rear deck relationship, but I think the LF-S pulls it off the best.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    I am always amazed at wine connoisseurs. There is so much to keep up with. I could never do it. The only thing I know is that I like a dry hearty wine. I know it when I taste it but don’t have a clue what to buy. I used to be up on cigars but gave them up shortly after Cigar Aficionado hit the newsstands in the early 90s when cigars suddenly became fashionable, demand spiked and quality went down. I remember someone once giving me a “Cuban” Upmann and throwing it out because it was obviously counterfeit.
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hi All,
    I'm starting to wonder whether it's time to let my 92 LS go and replace it with an ES330. Lexus and Jaguar has some good lease rates right now and I don't know whether I should take advantage of it...Having put $2K into it I know I sound like a fool..But those were safety issues, and it would be unethical to sell a car in that state...My question is, should I just cut my losses? Or am I just making something out of nothing? It has 96,000 miles and I've replaced rear shocks, Right Front Upper Control Arms, Rear Carrier Bushings, Power Steering Pump and Rack. Also, I've done the standard 90K where the Timing Belt and Water Pump.

    But the issues is this..It needs two new sets of tires (Summer and Snow) Front brakes sooner or later, and I worry the alternator will quit one of these days. Counting the 2K I've already spent, it is almost breakeven when comparing it to leasing a ES330 or getting an 3 yr old XJ8..

    Your thoughts?
    SV
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Comes down to your preferences. A new car always feels better but the most economical route is to keep the car until it rots into the ground assuming it has been maintained all along. I had a Celica for 14 years, 150K and the engine ran like a top. The only reason I gave it up was rust and torn seats. You are only averaging 7-8K miles a year which means the car should get you many more years. However I think you should find a good honest local wrench without having to depend on dealer service.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    SV: If your time is valuable, as I suspect it is, I'll get the ES rather than the XJ8, althought the latter is probably a better car. The new ES330 will give you 10+ years of worry-free life, something that the XJ8 may not be able to do. But if your preference is for more fun in driving, then by all means get the Jag. For my money, I'd get the ES330. The '92 LS needs to retire !!!
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    Sv- if you're used to an LS, the ES may not do it for you and will be outdated berfore too much longer as a new one is due in 2007 from what I understand. I rode in a friends 97 LS the other day and it had a far more more luxurious feel and ride than the 2004 ES I got as a loaner a while back. Here's a thought - why not try out the true newer Lexus engineering in the GS - either the GS3 or GS4. The GS 430 I drove was phenomenal (luxury, handling, ride and quality of materials and build) and 99% of drivers on the road are not going to nitpick about small handling differential to say - a 5-series or an Infiniti M. Great car that is still uppercrust Lexus. Besides it's for you right - as you, just like me lost complete control of the new LS to your wife.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The IS needed to soften up a bit in order to survive. From what I understand, in the October C&D, The IS350 came in second place just one point behind the 330i, and cleaned up on the rest of the class. It also apparently sprinted to 60 mph in something like 5.1 seconds, faster than everybody else by quite a bit.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I would not get either the ES330 or the XJ8. The ES is Boring McBlandville, and its due for replacement.

    As a Jaguar owner since '98 and a long time fan of the company, I do not recommend the previous XJ. Its a '95 design (when it was XJ6). It got the V-8 in '98, but otherwise its the same car up through '03. Its lacking in safety features, handling, space, etc. etc. compared to every other car in the class. Also, I think you're going to be in for a shock as to how much time and money is involved in maintaining a Jag. From 25K to 50K miles, my '98 XK8 was in the shop for unscheduled service visits ten times. My '00 R has around 35K on it, and has been in 6 times already. The warranty is up, so I will probably end up selling it and waiting a few years and then buying one of the new ones. If the super charger had failed this year instead of a year and a half ago, I'd be out $6500.

    If you want a FWD, midsize car like the ES but one that wont put you to sleep, I recommend the Acura TL. You can even row your own in that car if you want, but I dont really recommend it as the torque steer becomes a serious issue with the stick.

    Have you considered a '01 GS430? Relatively low mileage examples are pretty cheap, as the GS430 has never really been much of a hit. You can get the 18" wheels, the ML stereo, and NAV for less than $30K. I bet a Lexus dealer could even track down an "L-tuned" model with the sport suspension for that price.
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hi All,
    I was on my way to the Lexus dealer to get an ES today and decided to have a look at the Toyota dealer nearby. (Both dealers are owned by the same person) You wouldn't believe what happened. I saw a little car in the corner and asked to take it for a test drive. The salesperson thought I was messing around with him, but took me regardless. That little car was a Toyota Corolla. I was rather surprised at how well it ran. Quite spunky and well laid out inside. I bought it on the spot...It's weird how life works sometimes. I spent less than half that I expected to. Even the wife is happy to have a small car around, especially since I didn't spend much..
    It rode rather quietly and smoothly at 60 MPH. Can't argue with the 38 MPG either. The 1992 is here to stay, and Lexus will be having another look at it next week. It makes this strange creaking noise when pulling into parking spots..Really irritating, especially since I already spent $2100 on suspension work!

    SV
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I really thought you were going to say "I got the Avalon instead of the ES". I definitely did not expect to read that you bought a Corolla. I cant argue with the mpg though, at least for the rest of 2005 it will be invaluable Im sure. I also agree that, except maybe for the Jetta, its got the best interior in the class. And unlike the Jetta the Corolla can actually run for multiple days in a row without breaking down. Over 25 million served!
  • bwiabwia Boston Posts: 1,057
    James Bond has not come close to pulling off some of the stunts executed in The Transporter 2. The movie, essentially an 88 minute commercial for the Audi A8L W-12 Quattro flaunts many of the car’s exceptional and avant-guard features.

    The big black oversized-grille Audi, with the best paint job I have ever seen, is put through a grueling choreography of disbelieving stunts all without a scratch. Four-wheel drive, bullet-proof glass, blue-tooth technology, and other electronic gizmos are stretched to the limit.

    Wow! What a car. Unfortunately, the target market for the A8L W-12 Quattro probably will never see this movie in a theatre where they can gasp, hear the melodic exhaust notes and appreciate the car’s potential. I suspect Audi might put a short clip of it on their website though, a la BMW.
  • If it was me, I would replace it with a 99-2000 LS rather then a new ES...I think you will be happier in the long run...The Price will be less...and you will still have everything and More that you liked about your old LS.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    LG: The new Jetta is a Corolla wanna-be. Have you not noticed the exterior especially the rear of the new Jetta ? Talk about Zerox copy per excellence !!!
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