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High End Luxury Cars

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  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 5,874
    Even though I am a big fan of Lexus/Toyota I am certainly not sold on hybrids and have no intention of buying one. Just give me a good, clean, simple, diesel. I hope there are more breakthroughs in diesel technology in the next few years. Then I would reach for my wallet!!

    2013 LX 570 2010 LS 460 2002 Tacoma 4x4

  • I sold VW for 5 years and I am now with Audi.

    It is a Joy, because the product is even better, and the clients are just as fun (with more money) and there is that quirky eccentric aspect just like VW.

    What frustrates me more than anything is the Marketing. Audi, continues to do the same A4 or A6 around the same twisty road and shows our Racing Heritage. In the racing world we dominate, but in the US nobody really cares about F-1 or rally driving. It is not something that we are passionate about.

    The Q7 commercial, yet beautifully filmed does not capture the emotion that people who buy Audis in the U.S have. Why does VW do such a great job with TV and Print and Audi can not? Yes we are on our way to a Tier One Brand. We have the product that in my mind blows some of the competition away, but why are we so aroggant to show it off?

    Google Audi commericals, and you will see some great, funny and award winning commercials......In Europe. We need something like those that people will remember and associate us with, and want people to check us out and find out that we are better and less expensive than alot that is out there......

    I had to vent.
    HOpe I have a job tommorow. :P
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Houdini, would you tell us the reasons you wouldn't buy a hybrid? I would also like to hear from other Lexus owners why they would not buy one either.

    Actually, despite the current shortcomings I'd love to have one just to experience the mechanical aspects of the drive train on a daily basis and doing my own mileage/performance/city/highway tests. Having the GS 450h for a while would be just dandy. I would even consider buying one for the short term and flipping it if the resale was good enough. I suppose it's too early to know though.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    I had to vent. HOpe I have a job tommorow.

    Hey hey... that's something we don't do here ;-)

    (I wouldn't do it at work either.)
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    Then why name it an SUV? Just say GST like the MB R-Class or SAV like Bimmer if they don't won't to be associated with SUV's.

    But I have to retract my former post. It seems Lexus is indeed getting serious about performance as they've showed an RX350 being hustled around a racetrack by a professional driver with the poor owner to never know what it is to drive his vehicle. A very good look, and huge step foward for Lexus as they've showed the atheleticism of the 3.5L V-6 engine in the commercial.

    Now to the Q7. The ad pretty much sucked. No arguement out of me on that one Doc and LJ. They could've done much better than that. The A8 when new for '04 ad was vastly better, albeit they stopped showing it after 1 year. I did however just watch a new Q7 ad featuring a "4-Seasons" type layout, which undoubtedly zeroed in on the quattro system and the trick 4-level air suspension, which did get some interest out of me.

    EARTH TO AUDI: I love your cars, but please invest in some great marketing strategies as people will know who we are! Other than that, I'm lovin' it.
  • WE are working on it. I promise!
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    I agree. Diesel technology should be explored to the max.

    Bye Bye hybrids.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Well one of us will be right.

    Hope we are all here (including Edmunds) in 5 years to find out.

    And I predict we will still be arguing about reliability.
  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 5,874
    Designman, where do I start? I think they are over priced, over hyped, overly complicated, and just too different for my tastes. My neighbor has an RX400h that he paid almost 10 grand extra for. Nearly all driving is around town yet he only averages around 22 mpg. I suppose the thing has plenty of pep but so does the regular RX.

    Another thing that sort of turns me off about hybrids is that it seems to me that a lot of people buy them as a political statement and that the far left has adopted them as their savior vehicle. So I guess you could say that I don't like hybrid politics either.

    2013 LX 570 2010 LS 460 2002 Tacoma 4x4

  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Just another fad.

    Should have been perfected before releasing it on an all too gullible public.

    Nobody on Fox News drives one. :P
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    My neighbor has an RX400h that he paid almost 10 grand extra for. Nearly all driving is around town yet he only averages around 22 mpg.

    How much of the "almost 10 grand extra" is for (non-hybrid-related) equipment that is optional on the non-hybrid trim? $6000? $7000?

    When I drive my RX "nearly all around town" I get only 16 mpg.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Please explain why MB is working on hybrid, including diesel hybrid, and why MB has shown diesel hybrids at the major autoshows, if hybrid is such a worthless technology?
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Houdini... when you say "overly complicated" what does this mean to you? For instance, does this suggest potential problems and additional servicing? I'm just trying to get an understanding of what perception is because it seems a lot of the public sentiment is similar to yours. If you were guaranteed to get the same reliability as other Lexus products would it change your mind?

    Cyclone4... You said you want the 600h. Can you tell us why? Is it the LWB, hybrid, or other?

    Thanks.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    First of all, I’m not really a hybrid naysayer. I am thoroughly intrigued by it and have stated my reasons some time ago. However I have gone from optimism to skepticism in terms of its potential acceptance. I don’t think it’s a lock for instant sales in anything above the economy class. I would think a slow growth is more realistic. Hybrids aren’t personal computers where their productivity justified the prices.

    Secondly, Hpowders is the only real naysayer and his reasons are noteworthy. He seems to be a sharp value buyer and this is characteristic of Toyota/Lexus buyers also.

    Lastly, I don’t hear much enthusiasm from the Lexus brand fans in terms of their buying interest. I think they are reluctant for the same reasons as everyone else. The value and benefits are not overwhelming at this point.

    Is the technology noteworthy? Indeed, I believe it is. But I think there could be inherent marketing problems that Toyota does not have sussed. This is expensive convoluted stuff and I am not convinced that the negatives come out in the wash.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Actually I agree with you, that hybrid isn't going to take the world by storm, at least in its current form. I've stated more than once that I might not buy a 600hL. What will happen as the technology improves is another matter, for we don't know how much the technology/price is going to improve. (That was my point in comparing it to another technology, namely the PC; I meant that the ultimate utility of the PC should not have been judged by the very earliest years of the technology; I did not mean that hybrid vehicles would ever become as ubiquitous as the PC.)
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    It is true that both MB and BMW also have investigated hybrid technology. However, the approach is quite different than toyota. MB/BMW seem to be of the opinion that progression of the IC engine will allow it to remain the central component of the drivetrain. For example, in the hybrid X5 there is a small but very powerful electric motor attached to ultra-capacitors. The electric motor produces 479lb-ft.

    The ultra-capacitors don't hold that much power total, but they are compact, light, and shouldn't "wear out". The idea is that the x5 could be supplied with a small engine, perhaps a 3.0L but still perform like the big stomping 4.8L v8.

    However, unlike the lexus approach, the car wouldn't get very far on electric only. There is no stealth mode, running on electric-only, and no future for plug-in hybridization. It's more geared (hah!) for quick shots of power, such as merging and at lights. Less potential but less compromise. I think the toyota approach is better for "regular" cars, BMW's more for the performance/lux cars. But it's hard to say what will happen over the next few years. Tech changes may chance what's feasible.

    BMW is also testing a steam engine that runs off the heat from the exhaust and helps drive the crank. This is a smart idea, because it both adds 15% to the power and increases fuel economy by 15% as well. AND it makes a lot of sense to pair with the hybrid, as the steady steam power could recharge the batteries/capacitor with little to no drag on normal driving.

    But this isn't really germane to high-end luxury, is it?

    Have any of you guys driven a 2004+ xj8?

    I only care if you actually drove it. :)
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    That’s interesting. There are plenty of ways to go about it and engineers must be having a ball. I guess the bottom line is they will have to turn it into real products at the right prices. I can’t wait to see what Porsche/VW comes up with too. It would be funny if Toyota knew all along that hybrids won’t sell and just did it to make the Germans dip into their pockets and drive them crazy, like the dude with mountains of chips in a poker game.

    But this isn't really germane to high-end luxury, is it?

    Well the LS 600hl sure is a striking contrast to Prius.

    BTW, how are you doing with the Boxster? Are you still interested?
  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 5,874
    Designman, it is not the reliability that I am concerned with. I am not a die hard hybrid naysayer either. If I could get that RX400h for about the same price as non hybrid and it got 40 mpg around town then I would have one in my garage. I had a 2000 RX 300 that my wife drove for 3 years. Great car, no trouble. Averaged about 22 mpg overall. I just don't see what all the hybrid fuss is about, that's all.

    2013 LX 570 2010 LS 460 2002 Tacoma 4x4

  • cyclone4cyclone4 Posts: 2,278
    "Cyclone4... You said you want the 600h. Can you tell us why? Is it the LWB, hybrid, or other?"

    There are several reasons why I am going with the LS600HL:

    1)I am pretty certain that it will be one of the most, if not the most, technologically advanced vehicles to date.
    2)AWD and LWB.
    3)My wife and I own an RX400H and I really enjoy driving a hybrid. I find it fun to try to get great gas mileage. BTW, my wife averages about 25-26 in the city and about 27 on the interstate. I tested it in the city a couple times and averaged between 38 and 40 mpg. The reason my wife only gets about 25-26 is because she makes a lot of short trips. That really eats away at the gas mileage (due to warm up period). This next generation of hybrids from Lexus should be improved.
    4)I look forward to its spectacular power when needed.
    5)I look forward to its fuel economy.
    6)I am pleased to do something good for the environment.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    The value and benefits are not overwhelming at this point."

    Well said, and that of course IS the point.

    I would advise anyone serious about purchasing a hybrid to wait at least 6 months to a year because eventually a point will be reached when hybrids will inevitably be achieving close to pricing parity (dare I say one day hybrids may actually sell for LESS than their corresponding gasoline-powered sedans?) with their equivalent traditionally-powered sedans as inventory builds and builds because the American consumer won't be taken in by this.
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    Now that the RX has an enhanced 3.5, the 400h isn't the same value it was.

    But if I told you two years ago the 400h would stay at 230HP, but give you 30MPG........

    Houdini, you are one of the few who can squeeze 22 MPG out of a two ton SUV, so I understand your point.

    For the rest of us, 40% better economy, plus a noticable power upgrade, for an extra 3k over a loaded 330 is a good deal.

    And you still have tons of cargo room! ;)

    BTW, Edmunds seems to love the Camry Hybrid :)

    DrFill
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    That would be funny. I doubt that toyota would make a feint like hybrids just to make the germans scramble. However, it makes sense that they might pursue hybrids before they're fully baked to get favorable PR and make the others play catch-up.

    Yes, i am still interested in the boxster. I have toyed with the idea of a z4. It's a lot cheaper (lease deal/free maintainance), but i think i'd still feel sad whenever a boxster cruised by. Not only do i find the boxster much better looking, but everything i've seen indicates that it is the better car.

    I am often tempted to just go to the dealer and get a boxster/ However, I'm waiting until my living/parking situation upgrades to get a car i'll notice dings on again before transforming appreciating assets to a depreciating one. :) Crowded downtown chicago takes its toll of vehicles.

    In a year or so i think i'll be ready to jump to a house + 2 car garage, then i was thinking of boxster for fun, and a big cruiser for other occasions. Hence the xj8 question. 2 year old CPO ones seem to go for ~35K, and i find it interesting for that money.

    Plus, the S is getting a nice HP boost for 2007!

    dave
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    "...(dare I say one day hybrids may actually sell for LESS than their corresponding gasoline-powered sedans?) with their equivalent traditionally-powered sedans as inventory builds and builds because the American consumer won't be taken in by this."

    In today's market out here in Cali, the small cars are in huge resurgence.... Many people now want a gas-efficient used small car (budget under $15K) - Civics, Corollas, Sentras, etc., as a second/third/fourth car in the stable... The prices of these cars in the used market have gone up, due to demand. In fact, you'd be better off buying them new... Check out the prices in your neck of the woods and see what you find...

    And what is behind the resurgence of the small cars ? Of course, the high-price of gasoline. Many people are looking for small gas-efficient cars they can tote around town instead of their big gas-guzzling sedans, SUVs or p/u trucks. The Civics, Corollas, xA, xB, Fit, Yaris, etc.. have become quite hot cars to buy for under $15K or thereabouts. So now for about a $199/mth payment, you can own one of these cars and get >25mpg.

    Alternatives are: you can spend $25K to buy a Prius. $30K to buy an Accord-H. $30K+ for a Camry-H... $25K for a Civic-H.... See the difference ?

    Hybrids will go the way gas consumption and oil prices go. If prices go UP, hybrids (of all types) increase in demand. If gasoline prices go DOWN, so goes hybrids.... But, if you are a betting man, you'd not bet against oil prices going up, and concomittant gasoline prices at the pump. Geo-politics, law of demand-and-supply, and novelty and coolness will make H-powered cars/sedans/trucks/SUVs popular and growing in sales for the foreseeable future.

    That, my friend, you can take to the bank....
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Sounds good on paper....
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I've used R&T and Automobile to make my points, not just C&D. PLus, Merc, the Lexus LS has won more than one comparo! The previous generation beat all comers, including the S, as well!

    You never seem to get this Doc, but the LS430 only beat the S430 not the S500 which is what Motor Trend put over the LS430 back in 2001. This about the LS having beat the "S-Class" really isn't accurate because the LS hasn't beat the entire range of S-Class cars, only the S430. I have seen where the S500 beat the LS430 back in 2001 in MT so it isn't a cut-n-dry as you'd like to incorrectly blur it here. Also Motor Trend put the A8 over the LS430 much more recently.

    The LS is a better car than the Germans, if things like interior, drivetrain, smoothness, fit and finish, braking, ride, seating, features, acceleration, price means anything.

    Only by certain comparos, it isn't unaminous.

    As I've stated long before this discussion, C&D has the most well-thought out, balanced comparisons. They don't over-value sports car moves, they always have a scorecard so it isn't too subjective to find a winner, and they back up their objective results with logical conclusions.

    As I've stated before you only use the comparos that put Lexus on top and saying that the rest don't know what they're talking about is just plain nonsense. Now when the others put the LS first, which they have sometimes you'll use them, but when they don't you knock their criteria. That is the oldest crybaby excuse in the book Doc.

    Is that the best you can do? So you admit the S-Class has been an "also-ran" for years? Out on vacation with a whimper!

    Nope, back unfortunately to read the same Lexus rantings. What you don't see here is that the S-Class is still the world's benchmark and was just recently surpased in the later years of its (W220) life, unlike the SC430 which was a loser and a dullard from day one. It has never been the benchmark and has had its windshield handed to it from the time it came to market. Again the S500 beat the LS430 back when both cars were relatively new in a MT comparo. The SC430 has never, ever beat the SL. Ever. Period. Big difference.

    That very same C&D comparison had the LS dead last in objective dynamic handling numbers! Fortunately, C&D doesn't say if it is a class-best handler, the car has no value, like you do.

    Again, I thought we had settled this about the LS430's handling. I don't count the car out because it doesn't have handling as good as the German cars in the class and I think you and I settled this with your addmission that the LS430 didn't handle as well as the German cars here? The only reason I went on with that is because of the absurd notion from other Lexicans about how the LS430 would handle if it had this and if it had that. The problem is that die-hard Lexus fans can't admit anything and will tell you that anything the LS can't do best doesn't matter which is why this about the LS and its handling was about the most rediculous conversation going. Anyone who knows anything about handling wouldn't even mention the term in the same sentence with the LS430 and this about a what if is just a big fat excuse for the exhausted Lexusfans who can't accept anything else.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    What I find hillarious is Merc needs to say it's one writer's opinion and then spin it in your direction. You've accepted the other mags but he can't even begin to digest the C&D review and is going to be biting his nails over the upcoming 460 reviews.

    I find it equally hilarious that you'd even care what an "autorag" has to say, but I guess you agree with all the comparos that put the LS first. Lastly I don't think it was I that said that piece from C&D about the LS being a dancer in slippery shoes was one writer's opinion. I believe that was designman. At least try to keep the accusations accurate.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    If you call me calling him out on S-Class' poor media performances, and him quickly changing the subject to the SC430 "picking you apart", go 'head!

    Didn't change the subject, I brought up the SC430 to remind you and other Lexusfans that Lexus isn't perfect because reading this about Lexus "mania" would lead the uninformed to think Lexus has all winners when they have some constant comparo losers like everyone else. I know you don't want to go into who changes the subject, it certainly isn't me. I'm accused of pounding the subject to death if anything, not changing it. I don't have to.

    BTW, "Team Europe" only echoed what the press/writers found when they tested certain Lexi and found them to be "Buick-like". The SC430 would have done GM a helluva job as a Rivera, which is what it looks (and drives like according the press).

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    guess when I said "screwed together" I was also referring to quality. It's just my "seat of the pants" evaluation after having driven these luxury sedans. To me the Audi still feels a step behind in build quality. I don't find that "vault" like feeling in the A8 that is in the S, LS or 7 series. It almost feels like "luxury lite".

    I really can't take issue with that if that is what you've felt. If anything I've always read/heard that Audis don't hold up over time compared to a MB/BMW in that regard, but not much on how they didn't feel as good from new, but these things vary with butts....lol.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Performance. The LexIthinkIcans can rant all you want about a 3 year old test that the LS "won", but if the S500 was there, it would've been an entirely different playing field. True, both the A8 and S is a step behind the 7 in the adhesion department, but the Lexus is, well, Park Avenue-esque in the turns(don't want to sound "bad"-but it is). So strange that all of sudden MB,BMW, and Audi are getting hammered on performance models of the big cars, but why did Lexus say that the "600" will have the performance to hang with the "big guys"?? Now Lexus has joined the autobahn stormers?? Very interesting indeed.

    There has already been such a test way back in 2001, the only time the LS430 faced the S500 and the S500 won but of course that old test won't be acknowledged here, only the old tests that matter.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Merc1: Every one else is biased but not you. After disecting your entire diatribe and snide remarks, I condense everything down to this: all you got left to hang your hat on is handling, eh ? Talk of desperation... Lexus provides me nothing in return beyond the pleasure of their cars and trucks. What about you ? You get paid for trumpeting MBs are great the world over ??? Geez... what if an MB outhandles an LS, then what ? You get a victory lap for that ? 'scuse moi....

    Sorry Oac, but it all sounds very desperate to me. I said that I didn't think you knew anything about handling, nothing snide or anything nearly on the level of your comeback about "having a real job". You're seemingly forgetting what you write from day to day here. It was YOU that took it there not me. All that about what Lexus provides you is yet another diversion from what the debate was in the first place. Who in the world was debating what Lexus provides you or anything like that. It isn't my fault you make your (always) pro-Lexus post so easy to disprove. See how you never addressed the original issue here, only bogged it down in all this needless talk about everything else but that.

    No handling isn't all I've got to hang my hat on concerning a Mercedes over a Lexus, but why go into that again when you'll simply say that all of it doesn't matter. Nothing matters unless Lexus is the winner in a particular category or capability.

    The point of the discussion before you turned into something else was that the S-Class was a better handler than the LS430, something you couldn't admit when nearly everyone else here could. Now of course since you still can't concede that you'll revert back to how the LS was superior to the old S-Class anyway, read: I won't admit this about the LS430's handling so I'll go back to square one.

    Like I have said, repeatedly, NO one has tested an LS with 18" rims AND the Euro suspension against a comparable S. If you know of it, let's hear it. I am sure YOU have not driven such a car against your much vaunted S-class, despite your holier-than-thou attitude and knowledge about MBs and the LS.

    Likewise the car was rarer than a VW Phaeton and because of that no mag ever tested one. Tuff I guess. Again, you're reaching for something rarer than henn's teeth, but then you turn around and talk about the "real world" yet no one really ever bought this LS430 with the Euro option. That make no sense and contridicts your earlier posts.

    As to why I don't go around kicking tires every weekend cos I got better things to do, sorry if that offends your automotive spirits.... I got lots better things to do than indulge in a one-track-minded automotive digest like some people here on Edmunds. I don't need to drive all these cars to form an opinion, just as your not owning any of these cars make you an "informed" poster... Sheesh !

    Like I stated before this these types of comments are your typical last gasp when you know you're done with a particlar point that can't be made. Now one doesn't need to drive the car to form an opinion on it? Apparently you need to as far as handling goes and you'd really need to be deft at finding that LS430 Euro. Now I don't have to own the car to make an informed post? Another reversal of something previous implied (for years). How in the world is one to be informed on any of these cars without driving them?

    M
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