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High End Luxury Cars

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  • killerbunnykillerbunny Posts: 141
    No, it's one C&D writer's perception. Someone else, I think it was in R&T, described the LS430's handling as greasy so they are at odds. I fully agree with Merc that the LS handles like a boat and is numb. Also, I'll take R&T's evaluations any day over C&D.

    Sounds foolish to me. Can I say the Subaru WRX is a better car than Rolls Phantom, because it handles better?

    The "handling" card can only be played to a certain extend. The LS may not be the best handling in its class, but it does not need to be. It's the best overall combination for the price range, as proven by the sales numbers.

    Even for the compact segment, BMW 3 seires is not that strong against competition. Try a turbo 4WD Subaru Legacy. The latter has hard to match handling, safty, reliability and exclusivity.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Even for the compact segment, BMW 3 seires is not that strong against competition. Try a turbo 4WD Subaru Legacy. The latter has hard to match handling, safty, reliability and exclusivity.

    Ok, that I'm going to have to disagree with. BMW is hardly my favorite automaker, but they still do the entry-lux sport sedan game better than pretty much everyone else, especially Subaru.

    I've driven the Legacy 2.5GT, and while its certainly a lot better than the horribly underpowered old car, it still has a lot of problems. For one, they can't get the turbo and automatic to play nice together, so there's turbo lag, and then a rush of acceleration that is often more than you asked for. The steering felt artificially heavy at parking speeds, and much too light at critical speeds of 40-50mph, with little to no feedback.

    Handling I felt was pretty sloppy for something trying to be a sports sedan. There was body roll aplenty, and since Subaru still has the incredibly annoying habit of making stability control ONLY available on its vaunted "VDC" cars, which is like one Outback wagon trim, the car tended to oversteer without warning, thanks to the numb steering.

    While it has superb crash test scores, the fact that Subaru wont even make ESC an option means that the car is actually less safe when trying to avoid an accident in the first place. You have to be kidding about "exclusivity". Its a $25K car, you just don't see many of them because it hasn't been a sales success. Probably due to the reasons listed above. The G35x, 330xi, and A4 are much better cars.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Well, I mentioned I drove the LS and I was disappointed.
    Perhaps the new one will be a lot better.

    I can't speak for the rest of the Air-Europenos.
    But when I shop for a car, I consider the driving dynamics of the car and if it's a "good fit."
    Nothing else matters.
    None of these guys are going out of business. Fast growth. Slow growth. Who cares?

    If the GS 430 or LS felt right when I drove them, I would be driving one of those now.

    I don't consider myself especially pro-Europe or anti-Asian (my wife is Asian and she insists I get BMW's).
    I'll drive anything if its good enough to meet my standards.
  • reality2reality2 Posts: 303
    I am quite calm, so save your juvenile rudeness for someone else. As for C&D doing the "best" comparos that is simply your opinion. It is strange though that the A8L has won comparos in not just MT, Road and Track, Automobile, Autoweek (All-star pick), but even Edmunds voted it as Editor's Choice...not to mention the countless awards the A8L has accumulated world-wide in the last two years. C&D is no way the best mag in the States (again your opinion). Basically, I am not knocking the Lexus, but save the put downs for someone else just "because it is your opinion" and nothing else.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    I'll drive anything if its good enough to meet my standards.

    Interesting statement. But for many, it's what can be afforded. Read this . . .

    Imagine that your highest attainable success car is the price of a Lexus LS. Imagine that you don't have the financial clout to get the Mercedes S-Class. You can't even consider it.

    Actually this is not all that uncommon.

    Will you be disappointed? Maybe, maybe not. But the Lexus LS is certainly good enough as a "highest achievable" vehicle for so many Americans. Particularly considering the price.

    BUT. BUT. But, what happens when the affordability factor is increased, as occurs with a SMALLER percentage of buyers? This is because of the ratio and distribution of wealth to the general population, meaning that the greater the wealth, the fewer the numbers. So, as I was saying, what happens when the wealth is increased to the next smaller percentage of Americans? Well, they have an increased choice of vehicles, and here is where the S-Class comes in.

    At the higher affordability level, now those folks can compare and choose between the S-Class and the LS. They are not economically limited to only the LS price tier. This is where your S-Class purchases come from. MANY of the buyers from THIS group choose the S-Class, particularly because they CAN afford it. Some will not choose the S-Class, and will still choose the LS, even though they could afford either. But it is only from the group that can afford EITHER that will buy the S-CLass as their preference.

    But READ THIS . . . An S-Class buyer NEVER has to purchase the S-Class because he couldn't afford the LS. That's right . . . An S-Class buyer NEVER has to purchase the S-Class because he couldn't afford the LS.

    But, here's the catch . . . there are times when the LS buyer can NOT buy the S-Class. He MUST choose the LS because he did not have the economic choice and the LS was the best he could do. Again, this is an economic reality.

    And it shows that ALL S-Class purchases COULD have been LS purchases, but were NOT. Conversely, all LS purchases can NOT make the same claim. Interesting and BIG difference.

    TagMan
  • anthonypanthonyp Posts: 1,857
    Tag----Yougot that right..I`d further like to add that those that could get either, sometimes gets the lesso priced one just for variety or vise -versa....Tony
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Whoa!
    That amazing discourse of verbal virtuosity has earned you the title: Commander of Air Europe!
    Deservedly so!
    And to think I fell asleep in Logic 101!

    That's where I don't get Oac's jealousy claim against the Euros:
    All S-Class buyers can buy an LS, but not all LS buyers can afford an S-Class.
    I think he's got this jealousy thing backward. ;)

    PS: Of course you are correct: the implication in my post is "up to my standards within reason according to price."
    Knowing myself, I could see going up to about $100k for a vehicle I've tested as extraordinary, and I'd pray my wife wouldn't ask to see the bill of sale.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    According to C&D, this is your perception, not reality. If your read some reviews of the car, you will find that the chassis is plenty capable, and inspires confidence, but ride-biased, ultra-quiet tires don't yield the handling numbers this car can generate.

    According to C&D doesn't mean much when I've driven the car to find out that it does indeed handle poorly. Sure the chassis is capable as in capable of providing a good ride, but not much hanlding. See here Doc I don't have to rely on a "review" of anything, I've driven the car. It rolls like the Queen Elizabeth when asked to corner. Blaming it on tires is an easy excuse when the "Euro" model really isn't available.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    No, it's one C&D writer's perception. Someone else, I think it was in R&T, described the LS430's handling as greasy so they are at odds. I fully agree with Merc that the LS handles like a boat and is numb. Also, I'll take R&T's evaluations any day over C&D.

    Exactly. No where in any review did they say the car had handling equal to any of the Euro cars. That was in the MT comparo in which they said the LS' handling was greasy, the same comparo in which they picked the A8L as the winner. As Reality2 state the A8 has had its share of wins here, yet the only comparo that matters is the ones that Lexus win, the C&D one.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Merc, that was your finest Monday Mornings with Merc to date.

    :D

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Everything was all anti-Lexus ramblings. Typical ranting/downloads of "MB is superior, Lexus is crap" shpeel. Its old news now; read: we've heard it all before. Reading or listening to Merc1, you'd come away thinking how bad Lexus cars must be, and why no one in their right minds should be buying one. Thankfully, reality is far more clear than the biased and myopic viewpoints of everything "performance" that Merc1 and others in the group-think shares.

    And the exact saome thing could be said about your constant ramblings about Mercedes, often with incorrect information passed off as facts. Mercedes this and Mercedes that and then when I inevitably prove your argument to have no basis you cry foul Oac, its been that way for years now. The only reason you're going this route instead of discussing the issue is because everyone here except the most devoted Lexus fans (you basically IMO) know what I mean by performance and that it isn't just about numbers. I clearly stated in the same post that this class isn't all about performance, clearly I stated that but you continue to say that I only think about performance. How in the world could that be when we're talking about an S-Class? You asked what the Germancarfans mean by "performance" and I gave the details on what it means to most of us then you turn around and dismiss it by not discussing the issue only to say that I'm talking down on Lexus. Yet you do the same all the time in the same manner you do about MB.

    Thankfully the reality is that the LS430 isn't the end-all of the market and thank god such a dull car isn't the only choice in this segment.

    MB has 110+ years of making automobiles, and Merc1 expects Lexus' 16 yrs in the market to meet or equal MBs. Sheesh ! MB's myriad of variants is nothing more than an attempt to shore up its image and brand against the onslaught from companies like Lexus, MB and Audi.

    Actually they have 120 yeas of carmaking under their belt. Secondly no one here expects Lexus to equal Mercedes overall. Where did anyone say this? MB's many variants are an attempt to shore up its image? See this smacks of an inherent bias that precludes all sensible reasoning on the subject. Lexus is doing the same thing with upcoming versions of the IS, LS, and that sports car....uh..to shore up their image. BMW and Audi are also on similar expansions with the many models they have planned over the future. If anything they're all taking a page from the MB playbook, not the opposite like you're trying to imply here. Your bias doesn't even let you see that Lexus is doing the same thing. Why short and long wheelbases and different engines in the new LS? S-Class does it, that is why!

    Eventually, this brand dilution and high cost structures to turn out these myriad of models will lead to image problems that MB will be dealing with for awhile.

    To who? People that don't even know what Mercedes was or is about? Eventually is right because we're been hearing this same tired thing for quite some time on this board, yet at the same time, Audi,BMW and Lexus are all on pace to introduce new models in new classes over the next few years are they not?

    Some of the symptoms are already here.... The idea that you can always add another AMG variant to the lineup to make the cars sexier can only get you so far... To maintain a high brand equity, MB needs less models not more, IMO. That's how you get a lust-factor !

    Don't get this one at all. Someone had better tell Lexus, BMW and Audi this. Mercedes is no longer a botique shop anymore they're a volume player now just like everyone else so less models isn't an option anymore. More models, provided that are done right doesn't hurt image at all. You can say the R-Class is stain on MB's image for sure, but with the everything that has been recently introduced, being hits the R hasn't done much damage to the MB's overall standing. The new S, facelifted SL, E, and the monster AMG intros are taking center stage every month everwhere. Lexus can't buy that type of buzz!

    That's how you get a lust-factor ! But right now, there is a dizzying array of MB models, and its turned into a boutique shop. Is that what MB stands for today ?

    According to what, the Lexus way of doing things? There is absolutely nothing in the Lexus lineup to lust after so I can't see where you're getting your definition of how to make a lust object from. Lexus has nothing. Zilch. Yeah Mercedes has a lot of models and I'm not always crazy about it either, but going back to a true boutique shop isn't an option at this point.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    And these are just in NA alone.... By the time you add the variants in Europe, Middle East and Asia, you'd have to multiply each model line by a factor of 2 !!! Burger King-way sure looks like it, but it ain't a way to improve brand image and marqueness, all IMO !!!

    Yet it works. See this is where knowing about Mercedes comes in at. They've always had a lot of different models, more than either BMW or Audi, only recently did really expand into totally new segments. A little FYI here some of those cars are like the S-Class and CL have always been there, just before the "CL" was just the S-Class Coupe, which is really what it still is. Why would you list the SLR there? Surely a 450K, 612hp supercar isn't hurting their image and you certainly don't see one on every corner. The only new models there are the R and GL and CLS and maybe the SLK having come out in 1997. The only one there that is questionable is the R-Class, which has done a belly flop in the market. The rest have done nothing but "shore up" MB's image not hurt it. The CLS has opened up a new segment that VW, Porsche, Aston-martin and others are now trying to come up with something similar. Again that is nothing but sheer prestige for Mercedes having done that. What the CLS has done for MB is no more different than what you claim the RX did for Lexus. Since BMW has an X3 and others like Audi, Infiniti, and Acura are going to join the small-lux SUV arena should Mercedes stay out of it?

    What I really want to know is how more models hurts Mercedes when Lexus is going to do the same thing? Aren't you guys always talking about all these Lexus models coming in the next few years? How is that any different?

    M
  • landilandi Posts: 44
    I am another under 45 LS owner. When I was considering purchasing my car in 04 my other choices were 530i, S4, and Cayenne S. Very wide choices, indeed. I wanted to get the best car for my wants and needs. My second choice would have been S4 with manual tranny. I am due for a new one this fall and my choices are LS460/600 or S8. So handling is important to me (but is not everything) and the LS does not fail in that department. Yes it leans too much but has excellent balance, steering and brakes for everyday driving. I Put it in second gear and step on it on the on ramps, it goes (even with 17s)! But I would not buy the LS if I lived in an area that had twisty roads, lived in Germany where I could go 120 all day, or if I wanted to use on the track. But I live in Sunny California, so the LS is good enough to exceed the speed limit every now and then.

    Frankly, I would love to own a German car if their total package including the exterior, interior, handling, reliability, dealer service, and yes the big bad word VALUE exceeded Lexus's. I like the S8 because it is beautiful inside and out and will be a great performer. I am willing to live with its reliability but the dealer service and to a lesser extent the MMI are what I am afraid of. Has anyone seen the A8 Audi Exclusive interior? The wood and the leather are out of this world. Just simply Exquisite.

    I do not put much thought to the Magazines because they only have the car for so long and they drive them mostly to test their performance. By the way, one of the magazines rated the AMG E63 first, S6 second and M5 last! Go figure Bimmer fans. M5 must be an inferior product! NOT.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    GaryH, thanks for that real-world post. Same thing I have said repeatedly here. The LS does NOT handle like a boat. Put an 18" rim on that car and see how it handles. How many auto mag comparos have ever tested the LS w/18" rims ? Almost none.... But those who have this on their LS can attest to its handling ability. This is from actual owners, you know, the one that drives this car EVERYDAY not a weekend tire-kicking episode on a 2-mile jaunt, or an auto mag report of a 15-mile test drive.

    Yet we're talking about handling on a family outing and that is supposed to be a clear indication of how the car handles? Again, no one here is saying that any of these cars are sports cars only that the Lexus LS DOES NOT match the Euro competion. What was the point of Lexus staging such a rediculous event with a handling course? That is what you should be asking Lexus. On THEIR course the car was pitiful and this was low speeds. How much handling are you going to get out of a family outing. I'm starting to think that even discussing hanlding here is pointless if anyone thinks the LS430 "handles".

    Talking of innovation, how many cogs does the new S550 have vs how many are going into the new LS460 ? And how efficient can your engine be ? A mere 4.6L in the LS puts down as much power as the 5.5L (almost a 1L more) in the S...

    Gee now when MB came out with a 7-speed the Lexusfans dismissed it as useless overkill and said that a 6-speed was good enough, now of course the tune has changed in typical fashion. Now MB will need to come up with a 10-speed in order to become #1 again based on all these johnny-come-lately "innovations".

    Should we even debate the technology in the new motors in the LS460 and S550 ??? Forgetaboutit.... How about a 40GB hard-drive in the new LS, what storage size is in the new S again ? Oh, I forgot, can the new S550 park itself as the LS460L can ? Did I see a leather-stitched dash as in the 600hL or a vinyl/wood dash in the new S550 ? How many speakers are in the new LS460L vs in the new S550 ? And accident-avoidance features in these two cars, which is more high-tech ? Both cars now wear 18" and 19" upgraded tires, so we should expect significant improvements in "performance" from both cars...

    I guess now that when Lexus updates existing technology they automatically become an "innovator". This has to be the weakest list of "innovations" I've every seen. All of it is an upgrade on existing tech. The Lexus has more storage space on its hard drive compared to the S550, but the S550 has the same exact thing, but not as much space. WOW that took a lot of work on Lexus' part. Forget that the S550 has been out since Sept 2005 plenty of time for Lexus to change their specs to include more space. Now that is innovation. Uh...do I see a leather stitched dash on the S600? Yes. Now leather on the dash is an innovation. Quick someone call Bentley and tell them that they have been upstaged!

    What I see in the negative posts from Euro car fans often smacks of jealousy of Lexus. The new kid on the block kicking the butt of its senior statesman, MB.

    That is exactly what it is, but in the reverse. Whenever a Lexus can't be #1 in a particular area the criteria is dismissed. Lexus' whole being was based on just envy of Mercedes-Benz. Their flagship car has been up to this point the very defintion of jealousy. I mean to take a whole bodystyle and copy it says something when you do it for your "marquee" car. Lexus tags their top LS a "600" to ape from Mercedes' S600. Another clear signal as to who the target (read: who they want to be like) is. As for their fans they suffer from it too. Any mention of Lexus has to include the obligatory comment about the destruction of Mercedes-Benz. It is never BMW, Audi, Jaguar, Cadillac, Infiniti, just Mercedes and that doesn't say who is jealous of who I don't know what does.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Sorry, merc1 and Tagman, at least shod with performance tires, the LS handles very well. Drive one with these tires (but without the "Euro suspension" which is how they are coming to the dealers these days), and I think you may change your one-note tune. But of course, even more relevant for the future will be how the LS460 handles, and NO ONE HAS DRIVEN ONE YET!

    The LS430 "handles" compared to what though?

    I haven't read anything about that experience that says anything about the car having any real "handling" Gary. What I read was about a nice family outing at moderate speeds. The fact of the matter is that when these cars are driven aggressively (which most people don't, never said they did), the LS can't cut it. That is all I, Tagman and Designman (and all the professionals) are saying. I've drive the LS back to back with the previous S500 on a course Lexus provided and the S500 handled much better.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    We will just have to agree to disagree here... Personalization is a key aspect of ultra high-end cars, the likes of RR, Bentley, Aston Martin, Ferrari, etc.. where each car is hand-built to a customer specification. That is personalization, not a boutique designed to please all... Put another way, why would anyone pony up $450K for an SLR when he shares service bays with a $30K C280 ?

    Interesting so I guess the fact that every other Lexus on the road is just like every other Lexus except for colors and some options doesn't hurt their image? The majority or Lexuses on the road wear beige leather and bright-colored wood like some type of badge of honor. Mercedes has so much customization available now it isn't even funny.

    That said, none of these cars will ever be on the level of Bentley, Aston-Martin or anything like that, these are mass-produced cars. Lexus doesn't even offer anything special on one car from the next, no performance version no special interiors, nothing. It is equally interesting to read all this about the SLR sharing a service bay with a C280 being some sort of problem? How many times do you think a SLR owner ever walks to the back to see the service bay? I seriously doubt any MB dealer would even require that SLR owner bring the car in as opposed to going and picking it up for them.

    They'd buy a SLR because it is a amazing vehicle one in league so far above anything from Lexus so far, not because of what it has to share service bays with. I know Lexus fans get a kick out of going for service so I guess this might be an issue at Lexus dealership when they start adding 100K+ models that still have to share the service bays with the glorified Camry, the ES.

    Truthfully why would it matter? This is not a VW service bay in which a "regular" car like a Jetta is sitting beside a different breed of buyer like those of the Phaeton. The services bays at a MB or Lexus dealership are supposed to be to a certain standard anyway and it isn't like there are that many SLRs to come in for this to be a problem anyway. They sell maybe 200 of them a year. That isn't going to create some type of glut of SLRs in the service bays with the "regular" Mercedes-Benzes.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Very good post. The only thing I disagree with is:

    Lexus is plain and simply, the best quality you can buy as far as reliability and the way it's screwed together.

    Reliability yes, but the build part no. Any Audi and several newer Mercedes are built as good or better than any Lexus as far as their physical build. Audi in particular is often called the standard in that area. The new S-Class is built much better than the W220 was, especially the 2000-2002 models.

    Other than that little detail I agree with what you've said.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    That's where I don't get Oac's jealousy claim against the Euros:
    All S-Class buyers can buy an LS, but not all LS buyers can afford an S-Class.
    I think he's got this jealousy thing backward


    Yes, definitely. A new Lexus can't be talked about unless Mercedes is mentioned as being the car to be destroyed. This charge about jealousy is really something.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Thanks for re-wording what I've been saying all along. Price matters one minute here and then the next it doesn't. Just like status, number of gears, or 0-60 times. If Lexus has the advantage then it is seen as a major selling point, but if it one of the Euros, nope.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Yeah I didn't get that one either. Lexus has nothing on the order of "personalization" of MB,BMW or Audi yet it is brought up here concerning Lexus. The fact that Mercedes offers so many choices has been one of the reasons they've been so highly regarded all these years. What does an LS buyer do after they've had a 1/2 dozen LSs? There is no coupe or roadster at Lexus that equals the LS like there is a Mercedes. There are no performance models, no 4-seat cabriolets, sports cars? Nothing. Even Cadillac provides more choice now. Lexus is all sedans and suvs at the moment and that is the only reason why this about having too many models is a problem, because Lexus doesn't have anything to compare.

    Before you arrived here Tagman there was a knock on MB/BMW/Audi/Jaguar about them making all their cars look alike. It was seen as a "problem" for the C to look like the S and the front of the SL to look like the front of the CLK, but since Lexus has now (finally) adopted the same policy by making all their cars look more or less alike, the IS and LS, but in different sizes like the C & S were, its all good now. This about the having too many models too with fall by the wayside after Lexus gets done flushing out their lineup. That about having more models is definitely just a nit-pic for the sake of doing so underlined by the fact that Lexus is going the same route really exposes that claim for what really it is.

    M
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Now there’s a Lexus post I can relate to… no rose-colored glasses, no bluster, not an ounce of fat… it plays to the LS's strong points and is probably a perfect example of why many buy an LS.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    The "handling" card can only be played to a certain extend. The LS may not be the best handling in its class, but it does not need to be.

    I agree, and that’s the point Lexicans should stick with. Instead, some of them try to score points with handling only to get trumped. It’s like the average Joe thinking he can hit a Mariano Rivera fastball. After all it’s pretty obvious what Lexus is successful with. When a Lexus buyer says he doesn’t like a teeth-chattering ride, he prefers the softer luxury ride, this is what I respect and there’s nothing to debate. The problem is when they get greedy in these discussions and go outside the area of Lexus product benefits. I don’t know who they think they are fooling. They can’t win a performance argument and they shouldn’t even try.

    The LS is a pure luxury car. We need to respect the differences in these vehicles.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    This talk of tires is way off the mark. You can’t just put on low-profile tires and say a car handles good. The entire suspension has to have the proper components in the way of struts, shocks, springs, sway bars, rigid chassis and frame, balance and proper wheel alignment settings—caster, camber, toe angles. In addition, the steering should have a lower numerical ratio so it is responsive. Lexus suspension and steering are tuned for the luxury ride which is soft.

    The Legacy GT was mention recently and this is a perfect example of how low-profile tires on a car with soft suspension do not do the trick. It’s like an obese person expecting a pair of sneakers to work wonders for him. I mean, there are other things to be concerned about, the least of which are the shoes.

    I don't like low-profile tires anyway. The old BMWs and Porsches had 15 inch wheels and I would think they still outhandle many of today's stars. Even the track rats are shunning the extreme low profiles. There is a point of diminishing returns. I think today's wheels and tires are more about bling. The Conestoga wagon look is in.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Better get prepared for Jeopardy.

    If they let me google and allow two minutes for each question I might have a shot.

    ;-)
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Just a few more hours and . . . I'm outta here! . . . for a month . . . on a rather isolated summer vacation.

    Anyone with treatment advise for forum withdrawal? . . . it would be greatly appreciated.

    I'll look forward to catching up on all your posts upon my return around July 20th. So . . . until that time . . . have a great July 4th . . . and please take care of yourselves and your loved ones.

    The primary vehicle I will drive while on vacation? . . . ahh yes . . . a boat.

    :shades:

    TagMan
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    No withdrawal necessary if you take a laptop with you.
    Enjoy your vacation!

    Merc will serve as Air Europe Commander in your absence.
  • dhamiltondhamilton Posts: 873
    Have a good time Tagman, be safe, and don't forget the sun screen :shades:
    drumminham
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I don't like low-profile tires anyway. The old BMWs and Porsches had 15 inch wheels and I would think they still outhandle many of today's stars. Even the track rats are shunning the extreme low profiles. There is a point of diminishing returns. I think today's wheels and tires are more about bling. The Conestoga wagon look is in.

    I'm with you on that one. Most of the experts say that if you "+1" your wheels, you will generally get slightly better (but it wont turn a sloppy car into a Lotus) handling, with little to no penalty in ride quality. How much it affects the turning circle depends on the car.

    Putting 20" wheels on a car designed for 17s just makes no sense though, as it ruins nearly every aspect of the car.

    I dont remember who it was, but somebody tested an XKR a few years ago with the standard 18" wheels, and then tried some 20" BBRs from Tire rack with ultra-low profile tires. Slalom speed I think improved maybe 1mph, but ride quality was shot to hell. No thanks.
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    " ...I am willing to live with its reliability but the dealer service and to a lesser extent the MMI are what I am afraid of..."

    Yes sir! I look at it everytime I get into my double-covered leather buckets and view out of my leather stitched dashboard. The best 12k option I've ever spent. I'm expecting delivery of my '07 S8 in Nov. Sold the CLS55 for it, which is a very nice car, but does have it's limits, as even MB tells you.

    As to the dealer service and MMI, my dealer in the city has been the best behind my Cali MB dealer. Never do I have to ask for anything. They do it all. And the MMI, my 8 year old grandson mastered in 30 mins. Super easy.

    BTW: Did you know that the wood in each car is from the same tree? All the hides are from the same skin? I guess this justifies the price in the way Bentley does in it's cars.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    I got news for you. The LS wood in each car is also from the same tree.

    I guess in the Camry, the "wood" is all from the same test-tube!
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