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High End Luxury Cars

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  • cyclone4cyclone4 Posts: 2,292
    I have been reading the numerous posts (literally 100's) on the GREAT debate: Which has been the better luxury vehicle, the S500/S430 or the LS430? The MB guys invariably bring up the handling superiority of the MB and this makes it a clear winner over the LS. Here is my question to all of you. If you were to sample 100 people here in the U.S. that can afford either one of these cars, how many would really care enough about handling to sway them towards the MB? I would venture to guess that the answer to this question is probably less than 10 (possibly less than 5). Unless handling on the LS430 is so poor that it is not qualified to be on the road, then I would think that most folks care a lot more about reliability, luxury, comfort, technology, safety, and environmental issues.

    I have been driving a 2004 LS430 since NOV. 2003 and I am of the opinion that its handling and performance is more than good enough for me. There is no way that anyone can convince me that I made the wrong decision and that I should have gone with the MB. Now, I am very much looking forward to the vehicle that will likely blow all the competition away, the LS600HL (first on my dealer's list). Sooner or later the European luxury car enthusiast will "wake up and smell the roses" as well. That will probably happen with the release of the new LS460 and the LS600HL.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    The LS wins on resale value too - by far in most cases -and the A8 is so behind the apeball on that one that all the German carfans in the world can't pull it out of that ditch, unless of course they increase their desire for a 3 year old A8. A car that virtually no one wants when new, or 3 years old when it can be had for about 40% of original MSRP, isn't great in my book. I love this lust factor that is touted around here. Lust should translate to success and often it doesn't, so how great was the lust in the first place.
  • anthonypanthonyp Posts: 1,857
    Are there many Lexus cars in Greece? You must have one of the few Tony
  • cyclone4cyclone4 Posts: 2,292
    Sorry. Heck, I don't live in Greece. I just decided to show the Greek flag for fun since I am Greek. I live in the middle of the good old USA.
  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 6,067
    I think I am seeing a pattern here. Whenever anyone mentions an objective way of measuring the relative merits of the LS vs. the S (resale value, residual value, lease rates, etc.)the Eurofans clam up tighter than the bark on a tree. In these categories the LS is the undisputed CHAMP. This is a hard one for the Eurofans to spin, thus the deafening silence.

    2013 LX 570 2010 LS 460 2002 Tacoma 4x4

  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Even Consumer Reports, normally the friendliest place to find positive Lexus reviews, has relinquished the LS' crown and given "best sedan over $40k" to the Infiniti M35x in its April, 2006 issue.

    Interestingly, even CR has rated the GS as below average. Even though it of course aced their reliability scores, they were not impressed. Lexus really blew it if even CR thinks its a poseur sports sedan.
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    "... a car that virtually no one wants when new.."

    LJ, are you and Doc getting to much sun these days?? The A8 is often the 1st or 2nd best selling premium sedan in Europe and abroad. And the kick about it's retained value can't be furthest from the truth. If so, why has my W-12 only lost 7.2% of it's total value when in the same token a similarly(to the tilts-ULTRA, the works- NO Euro tho(lol)) equipped LS loses 9.3%? The same can be said about a similarly equipped A8L.

    A 3 year old car, yet even Edmunds has to admit it is "better than most in it's class", a close match with MB. Again, no Lexus was ever mentioned. Further more, you and the other LexIthinkIcans can rant about Audi all you want, but the laughs will stop soon enough, especially when the supposed "dominator" LS600h 15 minutes of stardom wears off. For all it's technology, 430hp is akin to a 4-cylinder engine nowadays in this class. Sure it has hybrid, but why does it only get 3mpg better on the hwy than my W-12 with 450hp? Seems like yet another frivilous offer from Lexus again...

    And it has been quoted that the A8 hasn't won any comparos. HMM? Lexus won "a" comparo on the whim that it was tested against a less-powerful and "base" S430. The Audi A8 has been tested against all of Europe's, America's, and Japan's tests and I've counted 9 that it has won. So the LS won by a leaning fender, great. But that 3 years ago. The class has moved on and now THEY are playing catch up. Much to late in my opinion.
  • anthonypanthonyp Posts: 1,857
    Lexus has a better resale value imo, and will probably in the future due to their known reliability...If the European brands have gotten their problems behind them, and I think they have, then in the coming years their resale value should go up..At least that is my observation..Factually my a8 has had no problems so far, is more enjoyable than my past Lexus cars, which I have owned from the beginning, and there are few of them in the Carolinas so it is special....Now this is my first Audi, so I have a ways to go before I am sure of it`s dependability, but if this keeps up it will have beaten my Lexus experience as I had at least one major problem with each one...So far I am down six thousand miles..Tony
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Further more, you and the other LexIthinkIcans can rant about Audi all you want, but the laughs will stop soon enough, especially when the supposed "dominator" LS600h 15 minutes of stardom wears off. For all it's technology, 430hp is akin to a 4-cylinder engine nowadays in this class. Sure it has hybrid, but why does it only get 3mpg better on the hwy than my W-12 with 450hp? Seems like yet another frivilous offer from Lexus again...

    BlkHemi: I think the HSD can be thought of in tow ways - mpg and performance. Sure you do get some bump-up in MPG but the real story is in the improved performance of the car. The GS450h is a far better performance sedan than its brethren GS300 with same n/a V6 motor. Ditto the 600h will out-perform its brethren 460L when both gets here. But I do not want to point this out too much, if your V-12 A8 W12 puts down 450hp, Lexus's V8-H is doing about same with 4-less cylinders.... The torque number for the 600h should be interesting. I hope it tops 450Ibft... Lastly, key factoids will be the suspension in the 600h, the gearing ratios of the manumatic CVT 8-speed, and how those low-profile 19" rims will work smoothly, quietly, luxuriously, and yet with better performance all rolled into one. That would be the marvel of this car, assuming Lexus can do this.

    I am no Audi basher, btw. I have nothing against Audi, never has. I may not like the tootie grin of the front grill design, but I don't mind the rest of the package, even MMI. My beef is with the over-hyping of MB due to its supposed better handling/performance with its mainstream sedans...
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    I live here, not Europe, so I couldn't give a damm about Europe. My comments are about America - a place where Audi is an afterthought. This is not an opinion - it's a quantifiable fact - just look at the sales numbers of the brand and the historically low volume of A8 sales. The car is not on anyone's radar screen new or used. I actually loved the A8 styling (before that ridiculous grille was put on it) and also liked very much the old A8 styling. But everytime I drove the A8 - new and old - it was a fairly harsh ride and I didn't find the handling all that nimble particularly given the sacrifice in ride.

    Secondly, if The LS 600H prices in the $90K range, then in that class of price it's the king in HP. 430HP being equivalent to a 4 cyl in this class is yet another comment of yours that is biased and looks like a joke.
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    1st Ting: The LS600h will be in a Class of One!

    Let's not forget the easy parts of vehicle classification, ok?

    And my Hot #2:

    When you are on Team Lexus, every day is a Sunshiny day!

    :)

    DrFill
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    LJ, yet another one of your ridiculous and flat-out insane thoughts. And yes, the Europeans think the same way about the Lexus. It isn't even considered an HELM there, more like a poseur. The A8 does sell in low numbers, but so does the QP, XJ, Flying Spur, and all versions of the "hot" M/S/AMG super-sedans, but this makes them unworthy and not notable?? Cars that are far superior here and abroad than the LS is?

    The fact that you say Audi as a brand doesn't measure up, yet even in the compact (A4) class, it outsells the IS 3-1, and it has 2 hot versions, something the IS is working on, especially the IS500, in which I hope the company does build to compete with the RS 4 and M3, it's main competitors. The A6, which is beyond any GS, is the best selling premium car, worldwide. Yes this includes the "I live in America and could give a hoot(I know other words than the derogatory- that makes "you" look "bad") about Europe. And the A8, while relatively low in sales as usual in the U.S., is the best large sedan I've ever had as far as balance of ride/handling goes behind my 760iL last year. And it has stock 20" wheels on it, which given the mammoth size of them, the ride is strikingly amazing because of Audi's trick air suspension, one of the best out there. It's good enough for Porsche, isn't it, the company everyone loves to love?

    Now to LS600H. You can argue to the crack of dawn about all of it's techs and features. But to carry the "600" moniker, they could've at least given the car more oomph to compete with the real 600. Admittedly, the 600h's numbers haven't been finalized, but I can't see Lexus going to much higher than 430, which is fine, but not a class standout as you'd have it. And with Lexus tooting about all of it's inherit performance, I mentioned that about it's relatively low power output in light of the super sedans like the S600 putting down over 500 horses with very little compromise. And yes, I will admit that HSD is a very great introduction into the market place, but the jury is still out on it's long-term reliability(dare I say this and Lexus in the same sentence) with all of the Prius problems that have plagued the technology since the '04 Prius, the same can be said about Honda's IMA.

    So all of the senical and snobbish comments you dish out has been dismissed as blatant ignorance and rudeness, no swearing needed....
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Oac... I’m not dismissing anything about the LS, but I think you guys overrate its significance and place in the market in spite of its lead in this segment. The Lexus brand is about luxury cars, the German cars are about luxury performance sedans. I’ll say it again without hype… we have to respect the differences.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    1st Ting: The LS600h will be in a Class of One!

    You’re right. And I’m here to tell you that it could be a white elephant. Hybrids as mainstream cars have a long way to go. Read the auto rags, read the general news media, look at the sales. Hybrid is NOT Secretariat at Belmont as Ljflx chooses to portray it. For one thing production is limited with these cars due to Toyota’s trepidation which I perceive as good business sense. I’ve said it before, for the true hybrid barometer watch Camry, not Prius, not the GS 450h, not the LS600h. It’s too early in the game to be doing the sack dance over hybrids.

    It’s funny how Toyota/Lexus is conservative and humble, yet a lot of you guys are Neon Deons!

    ;-)
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Sorry, just the error was eggregious. All in the pursuit of truth.

    I needed fast, effective relief, on contact.


    Love it... LMAO!!! Doc, sometimes you are as repetitious and tenacious as a Home Depot fork lift going in reverse... beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep... but I would like you to teach that great sense of humor to the rest of the Kool Aid clan.

    ;-)
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    I agree, but even the Camry Hybrid is about to get some company with the Altima and a reworked 4-cyl Accord with IMA with about 210 combined hp and first ever 6-speed auto, not CVT.

    It has been quoted several times by many respected journalists and mags that hybrids will go the way of the ill-fated subcompacts of the '80's. Bio-fuels and squeaky clean diesel technology are here to stay, especially with MB's Blutec, Audi/V-Dubs new TDI's with Super-Trape, and upcoming BMW with hybrid-diesels. Hybrids, while needed in light of high fuel costs, are just far too complex and the expense to build is higher than what a new gen diesel will be, and they will be even cleaner than gas engines while returning better than hybrid economy.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    I never said Audi doesn't measure up. Go back and read other posts I made where I said I definitely consider Audi a Helm. But it's not on people's radar screens here no matter how much you try to gussy it up (and put Lexus down) with a bunch of rhetoric about Europe and cars you love. Who cares what those people think. Besides when Lexus makes a real move at Europe rather than this little lob they've made to date - and IF they fail then you have a point. Audi has made major attempts at America and it hasn't accomplished much here.

    Many of the other cars you noted are limited edition cars by choice whereas the A8 is limited by lack of demand. Big difference. Try again.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I agree, but even the Camry Hybrid is about to get some company with the Altima and a reworked 4-cyl Accord with IMA with about 210 combined hp and first ever 6-speed auto, not CVT.

    The Altima won't be a threat to either Camry or Accord hybrids. Nissan only plans to even sell them in a few states. Ghosn is not a hybrid fan.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Is not a Lexus. There was a story in the Lexus magazine a few years ago about a '90 LS400 with 560K on it, but I have yet to see any Lexus that can match this. A pretty incredible story:

    http://www.caranddriver.com/dailyautoinsider/11249/man-drives-volvo-40-years-mil- lions-of-miles.html
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    Thank you, thank you. Try to keep it loose, keep it light. :)

    Unfortunately, the GS450h may be the "White Elephant". I'm not exactly impressed by the ad campaign for this very capable vehicle.

    But there is a major hype machine behind the Next LS, and the 600 will reap all the benefits of the good pub the Prius, 400h, Camry, and other members of "Team Green" have earned.

    DrFill
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Unfortunately, the GS450h may be the "White Elephant". I'm not exactly impressed by the ad campaign for this very capable vehicle.

    Did you read the road test comparison of the GS 450h and 550i in the July R&T? Very pragmatic, stoic and unbiased IMO. One writer preferred the Lexus, the other the BMW. Among other things you can really see the difference between sport and luxury. To tell you the truth I would just love to get my hands on that hybrid GS for a week or so just to experience it.

    But there is a major hype machine behind the Next LS, and the 600 will reap all the benefits of the good pub the Prius, 400h, Camry, and other members of "Team Green" have earned.

    Toyota has to get past the novelty period with hybrids and the 600h is REALLY for novelty buyers at this point. Plus I am not so sure the Lexus market is ready for such an expensive vehicle if it comes in over $90K. That’s getting up there into rare air.

    People like to think Toyota has everything planned to the Nth detail but I don’t think this is the case. Their venture with hybrids is a work in progress. Now that they have the platform/price spectrum virtually covered, they have to observe the market’s acceptance and produce accordingly. Prius has been around for quite some time so you have to ask yourself why they have chosen not to flood the market. I don’t care how much hype there is, they can’t predict the market accurately so they have to proceed cautiously, methodically, and this is exactly what they are doing with controlled production. I think there is a lot more to this than meets the eye.

    As blkhemi mentioned, hybrid is expensive to manufacture and a tepid market will make it that much harder. But since they are obviously good at business, I think they have it figured out as well as they can at this point. Toyota has shown that they are not interested in quick pain relief, they prefer the longer-acting, enteric-coated tablets which are easier on the stomach ;-)

    We are merely at the tailgate rally in the parking lot. But yes, put the hot dogs and sausage on the grill, the beer in the coolers, hang the opponent in effigy, toss the football around and shake the pom-poms. Nothing like the fun of the tailgate parties—some think it’s the best part. Ah-h, the season is almost at hand.

    ;-)
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Toyota has to get past the novelty period with hybrids and the 600h is REALLY for novelty buyers at this point. Plus I am not so sure the Lexus market is ready for such an expensive vehicle if it comes in over $90K. That’s getting up there into rare air.

    BTW, Toyota/Lexus is well past novelty and price stage. They are pricing the GS450h close to $60K, rarefied level for the 550i/E500 midsize competitors. The new LS will come in HIGHER than the old style, and Lexus will add LWB and HSD versions. These puts the brand in upper-tier perception....

    Talking of the 600h, this car achieves 3 main goals, IMO:
    1) MPG, clean air/environment perception
    2) performance improvement, AWD, LWB, exclusivity
    3) Perceived "big engine" V12-like from Lexus

    Put all these together and you see how this car will be a huge bet for Lexus. The money people are ready for exclusivity. Lexus has already achieved a status symbol here in the US, and its reputation is rock solid as well. Now add a sexy style, state-of-the-art features, big motor (5L V8 + Battery), 8-speed tranny, AWD, LWB, MPG, Clean air, and improved performance/high TQ, etc... What's not to bet big on...
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    I’ll say it again without hype… we have to respect the differences.

    I agree... Maybe if BOTH sides feel this way there will be less rancor and name calling, eh ? My biggest beef with you, Designman, is your constant egging on of Merc1, and the cheer-leading.... This hero-worshipping must stop, IMO, cos it tends to lead to even more rancor in the tone of the debate, rather than the merits/demerits of these cars.

    I'll go out on a limb and state that, you'll be hard-pressed to find 30% of HELM buyers tell you their primary reason for buying these cars is due to their "handling" and "performance" numbers.... Far from it. These are large, full-size luxury sedans, not super sports cars... So, the 7 may be sport-biased, it is simply playing to its genre not necessarily playing to the major needs of its market. May be why its 3rd behind LS/S in sales.... And the sales distance may increase dramatically when the LS460/600hL gets here.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    BTW, Toyota/Lexus is well past novelty and price stage.

    I disagree. IMO all hybrids are still novelty purchases with perhaps the exception of Prius. I say “perhaps” because it has been around for a while and there is a certain demand. However it is nothing like the demand that needs to be created for the higher-ticket cars. Also, there are reasons why Toyota is holding back on Prius production and I don’t think anyone truly knows what this reason is.

    Put all these together and you see how this car will be a huge bet for Lexus. The money people are ready for exclusivity… What's not to bet big on...

    The only way I see exclusivity is for early adopters. Toyota and Lexus are about volume and these cars are designed to sell that way. I am not sure how many people who buy for exclusivity but I can guarantee you one thing, they are not going to come to Lexus for that. They don't even come to Porsche, MB and BMW for that.

    As far as it being a big bet, I say it is no bet. I would think Toyota has a lot of smarts and enough resources to withstand a hybrid failure, not that I am saying this will happen. The point is they have eggs in plenty of baskets. It’s probably like any one of us around here taking a hit on a stock that is a small percentage of our portfolio. We’re not going to lose our homes on such a move, it’s a small calculated risk, an investment, not a “huge bet”.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    My biggest beef with you, Designman, is your constant egging on of Merc1, and the cheer-leading.... This hero-worshipping must stop, IMO, cos it tends to lead to even more rancor in the tone of the debate, rather than the merits/demerits of these cars.

    Before I respond to that comment and the rest of the post, let me ask you to clarify. What is this “hero-worshipping” you are referring to? Are you suggesting that Merc1 is my hero?
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Are you suggesting that Merc1 is my hero?

    Well, I see the pomp-pomps rolled out after his downloads and rants on Lexus and Lexfans. I've also seen the adulation he gets for, shall we say, stomping on some of our posts... With the Eurofan cheerleading each other, you refer to Lexfans as "kool aid drinkers". All we do is give our opinions of our fav brands. None is any more important than the other. I'd hope we ALL (me included) tone down the volume of our rhetoric... It'll benefit all, IMO.
  • anthonypanthonyp Posts: 1,857
    But you guys are afterall such good writers, with different points of view, and speaking for myself, I certainly enjoy the posts...Occasionally someone gets miffed, but not that often, so don`t dispair....IMO for a good many years now, I have thought Merc to be the most articulate about Mercedes, and to be that way he has to know alot about other brands...But blkhemi, tagman oas, hpowers and several others probably know just as much therefore a lively discussion..As for writing skills you guys are the best, and you know it. Tony
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    As far as it being a big bet, I say it is no bet. I would think Toyota has a lot of smarts and enough resources to withstand a hybrid failure, not that I am saying this will happen. The point is they have eggs in plenty of baskets. It’s probably like any one of us around here taking a hit on a stock that is a small percentage of our portfolio. We’re not going to lose our homes on such a move, it’s a small calculated risk, an investment, not a “huge bet”.

    Toyota's got more cash than anybody else in the business, and they definitely will survive if hybrids other than the Prius don't really work in the market. However, I think Toyota is betting quite a bit that they will, certainly much more than Honda, and much more than everybody else, who are all still waiting at the shallow end, dipping their toes in the pool.

    Honda and VW have eggs in plenty of baskets. Honda is actively developing clean diesel engines for the US market, and VW is working on those funky super-turbo charged engines. Toyota on the other hand seems to be all in with hybrids, at least for now.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Hey Tony!

    Your writing skills are just fine and I enjoy reading your contributions.
    Looking forward to your next post.

    Regards,

    hpowders
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    I don't know too many people willing to cut their trunk room by 41% and give up a sunroof for a little better mileage and pay a big price premium for the inconveniences. ($3500 more for the GS450h over the GS430). (7.5 cubic feet of trunk space for the GS450h, 12.7 cubic feet for the GS430.)

    I don't think this will make much sense to most people.
    This technology will be doomed to the fringes and never be a big seller, IMO.
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