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High End Luxury Cars

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  • carnaughtcarnaught Posts: 1,594
    ......tell me how I "made a joke of what I drive" by just mentioning it.

    "Why don't you read what this debate was/is about before accusing me of anything...."
    There ya go again!

    Lighten up, man.
  • Merc, ljflx made a good point about your comparisons.

    Rarely will ANYONE, except those with absolutely so much money that they cant keep track of it, compare purely on a class by class basis. They have a set price limit...and they try not to go over that.

    I do not know how you seem to think that the SL and the SC are competitors. There is a $30,000 price difference!!! Sure they both are two seat convertibles(lexus back seats dont count). But if that is the case, why dont we compare the Pontiac Bonneville and the Mercedes S class? What about the Camry Solara and the CLK430 vert?

    How many people do you know, even those looking at luxury cars, that will cross shop cars that are $30,000 apart?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Ok whatever, me having an opinion has nothing to do with my emotions, I'm just so tired of reading the BS in here. It's ridiculous. You and others constantly reach for any little thing and blow it all out of proportion. Just like now you're saying I'm comparing a 95K car to a 60K car. Where did I do that? Where? I said nothing about the S55.

    Lexus' cars underpriced, thats about the most ridiculous thing you've yet said.

    wishnhigh1,

    You think so huh? Do you even know what "comparision" he was talking about. If you mean someting dealing with the S55 then you're as lost as he is because I haven't mentioned the S55 in this round. Period. If the SC and SL aren't competitors then the S430/S500 and LS430 aren't either right? Don't they have a 20K base price difference too?

    M
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    You've mentioned such things (comparisons that are so widely different in price) many times. I read one recently on the SC board. I've read many such comments in the past or maybe wishinhigh and I just imagined them. BTW a $95k SL should blow away a $61k SC but it doesn't - not by a long shot - and I've now driven both. It's the same story as usual - a bit more handling vs. a plushier ride. MB is making the interior more fashionable - finally - but the SC is still the nicer interior to "live" in.

    I'll leave you with one last comment and I'm really done with this.

    I've read your posts calling the LS430 and other Lexus models boring so many times I need a calculator to keep track of them. When Lexus does bring in the handling and you can't make the boring comment - like on an IS - you say it lacks luxury. I read today in a post of yours that the LS430 rides like an Avalon - I hope you're not serious about that one but given your dislike of Lexus I wouldn't be surprised. Yet unless something changed very recently you've never driven an LS430. So how is it that you are such an expert on it being a boring car - in your opinion of course. Well I thought about that and the only time I came across the boring comment in any article was when a NY Times reporter preferred a Maxima over the LS430 for whatever her ridiculous reasons. Now where did I read the boring posts - yours - countless times and many S-class buyers most of whom didn't even take the LS430 out for a test ride. V-12 power was one of the few who did and I'll respect his opinion but obviously he was looking for a lot more growl and power as his name implies. Another honest poster agonized over the decision of S vs. LS for months and went with the S - which later gave him lots of problems and he had to trade it in - due to style preference. If I remember right he even put a deposit down on an LS430. So for all your boring comments - you've made them with no basis - other than hearsay - most of which came from German car lovers who seem - imo - to need to justify their purchases by thrashing Lexus.

    Enough said - I'm tired of this as well but from a totally different viewpoint than you.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well first of all before I say anything about the SL500 and SC430....let me ask do they or do they not compete against each other? Secondly, I'd like to know how the SL500 doesn't blow away the SC430. All the SC430 has going for it is a fancier (tacky to me) interior, stereo and nav system. That in itself is why I label Lexus' cars boring and yawnish, they aren't about driving they're about isolation even more so than Mercedes-Benz. I have never seen so many people harp about a sound system as being one of the main reasons for buying a 60K car!

    The SC430 doesn't have anywhere near the technical specification or equipment of the SL. Peirod. The SC430 is outdone at nearly everything.

    Sure you're read where I've compared cars with widely ranging price tags, but I thought we were talking about the E-Class and LS430, which is how this latest "discussion" got started.

    Yep, I'll knock the IS300 till they redesign it. If Mercedes made a car that different from the rest of their lineup, you and others would be all over it for days on end. Yet Lexus makes a small sports sedan with a Toyota Corolla interior and it's some type of god-send. Sure the car is a good handler, but compared to the ES300 it's interior is a joke for a Lexus.

    "I read today in a post of yours that the LS430 rides like an Avalon."

    My friend please go back and READ what I said. I said it LOOKS like an Avalon, I said nothing about how it rode. But since you bring it up, are they really that far apart in ride, I mean Toyota's philosphy is pretty much the same across the board. Of course the LS430 would and should ride better, i.e even more isolated. I never agreed with any NY Times reporter about their preference of a Maxima over a LS430, that wasn't me.

    Lastly if you havent' seen the word boring when it comes to Lexus' car you aren't reading the right sources. Boring is almost mentioned when talking about the ES300 and LS430.

    Like so many times before we're at total opposite ends of this, but you can't tell me you haven't seen where reviewers constantly harp about Lexus' cars being non-involving and boring. Have you seen the latest review of C&D on the ES300? "Not able to invoke a hint of excitement" or something to that extent was said.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I don't think you looked hard enough if you couldn't find any posts on the S-Class board in which some passed on the LS430 dues to two main things, styling and it's completely isolating character. I see more than a few references to Buicks when talking about Lexuses, especially when talking about the LS430 and ES300. Even C&D said that about the SC430. Now before you say it, I'm not saying they're Buicks.

    You're right I haven't driven the LS430, but answer me this has it truly become any more involving from the previous 1995-2000 model? I've driven that model more than a few times and I haven't seen anywhere that the LS430 has become so much sportier relative to the previous model.

    I'll ask you this just like I asked wishinhigh, why compare the LS430 to the S-Class since the price difference is so great, what makes the SC430 vs SL500 debate so different from the S430/S500 vs LS430 debate?

    M
  • The new E class is pretty nice and looks nicer than the current model and the technology is pretty impressive.

    I could somewhat understand its high price from the base model because of its advance technology, features and such ilk. The E class is not a 5 series and not trying to be but the car is more involved with road feel, outside noises and sporty character.

    The E class looks like it sets the standard in its class and makes the competition look bad (technology-wise that is).

    But still, there is no way I will pay near $60,000 for a V6 E class even $50,000 is ridiculous as well.

    Now who says that Lexus's isolation from the road, lack of handling, cloud-like ride is boring? Just because someone's description of the Lexus is boring to him does not mean that it is boring to a Lexus owner. Who says that harsh ride, rough exhaust note, loud and harsh engine noise is fun behind a sports car? It could be boring to have all those things in a sports car.

    Lexus cars are different from Mercedes cars but to say Mercedes or Lexus is better than one another is silly.

    Both of them are great cars but to a different degree.

    J "CaddyLac"
  • carnaughtcarnaught Posts: 1,594
    ......well said!
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Well said for sure.

    Merc1 - the E-class/LS discussion got started on price comparatives of 6cyl E vs. LS430. No technical issues were involved. Nealm1 just tried to state how crazy that was, and except for you, found plenty of agreement. Even you would be hard pressed to say that a 6cyl E could compete with a V-8 of just about any pedigree. Now let's end this and I promise I will never say another negative thing about MB on this board because you simply can't handle it.

    Common sense - maybe its me or maybe it's a bragging rights thing. But when I was behind the wheel of the SL the only thing I noticed was a bit tighter road feel and the three pointed star. This was a 15 min drive. All the techno wizardry seems wasted - at least 99% of the time you are behind the wheel. I don't pay $35k extra for things I may need 1% of the time. The SC handled plenty well, rode nicer and had the nicer interior and the better stereo. That and the ability to go from 0-60 with plenty of torque is what I care most about. The excess stuff seems to happen everywhere. I bought a Denon AVR-4802 receiver a while back and compared it against Denon's 5803 and Onkyo's top of the line. The 5803 had it all including 170 watts per channel. The 4802 and the Onkyo had it all also (multiple component HD inputs, 8 optical inputs etc) but the latter two were 125 watts and 130 watts. Now if I put the 125 watt up to a minus 10 setting I will go deaf in my house. If I put it in the plus level it may cause the house to explode. So why bother spending another $1200 dollars on all that extra wattage. Sorry for the sidebar but this discussion just reminded me of my receiver research.
  • adu1adu1 Posts: 47
    "Yep, I'll knock the IS300 till they redesign it. If Mercedes made a car that different from the rest of their lineup..."

    C230 Coupe, perhaps? (And, if we extend our discussion to the European market -- as some posters tend to do -- then add A-Class, V-Class, Vaneo...)
  • An E-class is not that much smaller than an LS. Really, if I had $60K, I wouldn't be "buying up" to the largest size possible. I'd buy the E-class, because to me, the rear seat space beyond a certain point is just overkill. This would especially hold true if I lived in a large city. The LS is entirely too ungainly, as is the S and 7.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Depends on your family needs and what you've gotten used to. The E is only 189 inches long and I found it too confining in the front and back for myself and my family. It's not all that wide. My wife thought it was far too small in the back particularly with a car seat. The LS430 should be 2-3 inches lomger and the S 2-3 inches shorter imo. The S-class is deceiving as it hides its bulk real well. You tend also to forget how long it is until you drive it.
  • Well, I don't have kids and a lot of E-class owners don't either...
  • If we did not live in the suburbs of Chicago, there would be no way we could ever have a vehicle as large as our DTS. I think for city driving that a vehicle C-Class or 3-Series size is perfect, and I think something the size of a CTS or 5-Series is approaching the upper end of managability.

    One of my dad's business partners who lives in the Streeterville area of Chicago, just has a Porsche Boxster as his only car. For he and his wife, living in the city, it's a perfect car. Small, fast, fun. And if you have guests, or need more space, you just take public transportation. That's an interesting thing about Chicago, everyone from blue-collar workers to CEOs will be seen taking the CTA.
  • nealm1nealm1 Posts: 154
    I can't explain why Edmunds said that "pricing" for the E320 starts at 53k when the MB website says otherwise. Maybe they were assuming that most buyers in this class would want to order "options" like a sunroof. If you count doors and seats as options, boy you can really drive down the base price
  • "You think so huh? Do you even know what "comparision" he was talking about. If you mean someting dealing with the S55 then you're as lost as he is because I haven't mentioned the S55 in this round. Period. If the SC and SL aren't competitors then the S430/S500 and LS430 aren't either right? Don't they have a 20K base price difference too?"

    Okay, you asked for an explanation, and I can give it to you, just be patient.

    When someone decides to buy a new car, they usually set a goal price...usually the top price they will pay, out the door. This is even before they start looking at and comparing different models. They might have a few models in mind, but the real comparison starts after the goal price is set.

    I think we could all agree that price is the most common limiting factor(do not confuse with determining factor) in a new car purchase, right?

    So in the sense of the market, the LS430 is more of a competitor with the E430. There is the basic answer to your question. Same goes with the SC versus the SL...in terms of the market, the SC430 is more of a competitor with the CLK.
    ------------------------------
    However, the issue you push is comparison. There is a difference between cars that are comparable and cars that are competitors.

    The LS is comparable to the S class. The GS is comparable to the E class.

    For me personally, the SC and the SL dont even compare. Sure, the arangement is pretty similar, but the purpose is completely different. The SL was designed with performance and luxury. The SC has never intended any emphasis on performance, other than having a fairly powerful engine.

    The same goes with the ES and the C class. They are competitors, however they do not compare in my mind. FWD never has competed with RWD in my mind though. But that doesnt stop them from competing.
    ----------------------
    Competing encompasses price as a major priority, because that is how cars compete in peoples minds. Comparing does not encompass price. You could compare a Pontiac Bonneville with a BMW 745, if your only consideration was size...however that does not mean they are competitors.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "Merc1 - the E-class/LS discussion got started on price comparatives of 6cyl E vs. LS430.
    No technical issues were involved. Nealm1 just tried to state how crazy that was, and
    except for you, found plenty of agreement. Even you would be hard pressed to say that a
    6cyl E could compete with a V-8 of just about any pedigree. Now let's end this and I
    promise I will never say another negative thing about MB on this board because you
    simply can't handle it. "

    First of all I'm trying to figure out where you and Nealm1 got 60K from for an E320, most of them would never be optioned out that high. I don't know why you and him can't understand that. For 60K I myself wouldn't want an E320 either, I'd go with the E500. Who other than Nealm1 was silly enough to actually believe the BS you and he kept harping about is the question. Where oh where was this "plenty of agreement" that you found....other than from another Lexus fan?

    You and I have had this conversation before and we'll never agree on it, but then you turn around and say things like I can't "take it" because I disagree, you're starting to sound like all the GM fans out there who, once you don't agree with them, start saying "you're not being objective". Objective meaning you're not agreeing with them. You and him never cea

    I can understand why you didn't get anything from driving an SL, all you're looking for is the stereo performance and soft ride, you may as well drive a Buick if thats all you're going to look for. I mean really, you dismiss technology as being nothing and then go on to say how it isn't needed, all from a 15 min test drive....that is ridiculous. Stick to Lexus, they've got your best wishes at heart.

    nealm1,

    I already explained to you why Edmunds website says that, it was a "FIRST DRIVE". Haven't you ever read a car mag where they list the price as "estimated", i.e. meaning they don't have the actual price yet? I can't believe that was so hard for you to grasp.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I've already explained why I think they are competitors (SL/SC) so I'm not going to go over it again. You may not see them as compeitors, but the market does. Read some of the posts from people right here on Edmunds, they do get compared. "Most people" aren't shopping for a SC430 or SL500, these aren't "most people".

    M
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    You just never seem to get my point. I love performance and Lexus delivers plenty of it. It just doesn't over-deliver it and to compare it to a Buick is absurd because the latter has no performance at all. Plus it delivers it without compromising an incredibby wonderful ride. I'll take excess luxury with the right amount of performance over excess performance and less luxury all the time.

    Wishinhigh - you said it about as well as it can be said. That is why when I was last shopping i initially started out comparing an E to an LS430, That was a mismatch supreme. So i went to the S-430 which was in the same league but priced 9k or so higher. Now we had a match going but the S-430 was an underpowered car next to the LS430 so I quickly moved onto the S-500. A great match but the latter was $18k more and could be optioned out to be $25-35k more. I thought the LS430 a better car than an S-500 for my driving desires and its ride quality and it was the more luxurious car. The sport version - if I wanted more performance - handles better than any base S-430/500 and it costs $100 more than a base LS430 - for the tires. But there was a wait for the car at the time and I couldn't wait.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    If you say so, but a Buick Park Avenue Ultra with it's supercharched V6 does provide some performance. Seriously though its the overall character and feel of Lexuses are often compared to Buicks. The SC430, ES300 and LS430 in particular. If you think about it the philosphy is the same, Lexus just elevates it compared to a Buick.

    "I'll take excess luxury with the right amount of performance over excess performance and less luxury all the time."

    Thats why I said you'll be better off with Lexus.

    M
  • nealm1nealm1 Posts: 154
    The "First Drive" was dated 8/27/02. Wasn't the "actual" pricing info available last week? What do you think a typically optioned E320 will contain?
  • jstylejstyle Posts: 129
    I was just looking through Motor Trend's new issue on 2003-4 models and saw everything I expected except something that was curious. I was under the impression that the 2004 Bentley GT coupe was a competitor for the CL600, Z8 etc. MT listed its estimated price at $350K or what Bentley has traditionally charged for coupes. It is the sedan MSB project that is an S600 competitor at about 160K. Anyone know for sure? Was this an error or is the new coupe and coming convertible from Bentley really coming in above $300K?
  • adu1adu1 Posts: 47
    My impression also was that the GT Coupe would come in *below* the current Bentley line-up in pricing. I wonder what MT's source is for that price?
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    We've had our discussions often and always end them well no matter how much we differ. That has remained the same once again as I'll take our last two posts as a good way to end a spirited discussion.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,896
    Hi there,
    Hope someone out there responds to my journalist friend on the following mission:

    Anyone out there shopping for a BMW? I'm a journalist with a national
    publication looking for people who have owned or are seeking to buy a
    BMW. I'm also looking for long-time BMW owners with thoughts about the
    styling of the new 7-series. If you don't mind being quoted, please send
    an email with your telephone number to carguy147@hotmail.com and I will
    call and interview you. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

    Thanks from both of us,
    Jeannine Fallon
    PR Director
    Edmunds.com

    MODERATOR
    Need help navigating? kirstie_h@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.
    Share your vehicle reviews

  • August sales data is in, and once again GM's Luxury Engineering and Manufacutring Division is proving that it is on a huge roll...

    Cadillac Divisonal Sales:
    --Up 53.6% over Ausgust 2001 to 21,942
    --Up 19% for the year to 128,700

    Cadillac Car Sales:
    --Up 41% over August 2001 to 16,493
    --Up 6.1% to 96,565 for the year

    Cadillac SUV Sales:
    --Up an astounding 110% over August 2001 to 5,449
    --Up an astounding 89% for the year to 32,135

    Indeed, nothing short of amazing...
  • I've already explained why I think they are competitors (SL/SC) so I'm not going to go over it again. You may not see them as compeitors, but the market does. Read some of the posts from people right here on Edmunds, they do get compared. "Most people" aren't shopping for a SC430 or SL500, these aren't "most people".

    Yeah, I have seen people compare the pontiac bonneville to the 740i. Does that mean they are competitors too?!

    And regardless of what you think, buying habits are the same with rich people as those less well off. The only difference is those with more money to spend can rationalize spending more money for certain things.

    It is not like they are thinking, "Hey I like the SC430 a lot, it has everything I want, and at a great price. But wait...I can afford the SL500 so I think I'll get that."

    So where do you draw the line between "most people" and "rich people"? You seem to imply there is a distinct line between those that can afford an S430 and those that can buy an C230. Does someones mindset change as soon as their income increases past your line?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Who knows, I'm done with it. Anyone who buys an E instead of a LS430 is dumb anyway.

    wishnhigh1,

    Ditto. But I can't help but say that anyone who seriously compares a Pontiac Bonniville to a 7-Series is an idiot to begin with. I know you understand that those two buyers couldn't be more different.

    ljflx,

    True, and I'm done with it.

    M
  • I think a good barometer of how the cars stack up against each other is to follow the migration of people who have owned both.. where they ended up and how they felt about their choices.
    I got an LS430 after two MB, and it would take a major upheaval in one of the two brands to make me think of switching back. Most of the people I have seen posting in the LS board had previously owned MB as well, and also considered an S class purchase. None come to mind that regretted their decision to go with Lexus.
    How many former LS owners have switched to MB and been happy afterwards? To me this is a true test of how the customer base for both these cars perceives their relative merit, more than comparisons based on magazine statistics from people that have never had more than a test drive in either. The zealots on either side would not budge in any case, but the shakeout of the "undecideds" tells alot.

    ljflx - so this is where you and the crew have been hanging out!
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    The car does everything so perfectly that there is only so much you can discuss on the LS board. I also think that the individual boards are great for people who are currently pricing and to help anyone who is unsure of certain aspects of the cars or what options to go with. If you read in between the lines and past the loyalties, you can also get a lot of assistance on which model to go with. If I remember right you utilized those discussions in your product decision. Naturally they are also great for discussion of tire changes and the like and upcoming model year changes.

    There are many overhauls coming up for the 2004 LS but I don't even think Lexus has yet finalized what they will be. I'm glad because that's when I renew my lease and I'm not going anywhere. You're right about many of those who have switched. It's hard to leave near perfect reliability in the first place, let alone when the competing brands are slipping.
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