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High End Luxury Cars

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  • guestguest Posts: 774
    I'm surprised there is this much debate.

    The 550i is the best car in that class for 5 reasons:

    1. Manual tranny available
    2. Most Power
    3. Most street cred
    4. Best resale value
    5. Best seats (Comfort)

    DrFill
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    I can't believe I was criticized for choosing the 545, when I was offered a 545 for $720 a month and a GS 430 for $750 a month-- given the 545's indisputibly better performance, better seats (love the comfort seats), higher prestige and maintenance-free warranty.

    To me this was as close to a no-brainer as it gets!!
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hello All,
    Wow, looks like nothing has changed here! I'm been happily motoring around with my S430. It hasn't broken down yet! :P I've only driven it 2K though, so we'll have to see. I also drive my 1992 LS400 for a change on Fridays.

    It's really hard to say which car is "Better" That is such a subjective word. Even comparing the S430 to my LS430 is a tough thing to do.

    Both cars have an amazing feature list. I can't even tell the difference between the Stereos. The Lexus is quieter, but the MB is more nimble. The Lexus has a better Nav design, but the MB lets you use it while driving.

    The Lexus has more electronic features like Backup Camera, Bluetooth (Very surprising MB is so behind here), and Parking Radar standard. The MB has interesting features like Nanotech paint (I wish Lexus had this!) the ability to check the oil from the car, and that very useful Multifunction display in the Speedometer cluster.

    I find myself deliberately taking a longer route home when I'm driving the S Class. The LS400 is a great car to relax in. It's almost like a different car for a different mood.

    Looking at Objectives: Depreciation, Quality, Price, etc etc, the Lexus has the edge. The only exception would be safety technology and the numerous drivetrain choices. The last thing in the world I expect is to be stranded by a Lexus. Everything in the cabin is perfectly laid out. It's such a well designed car.

    Looking at Subjectives: Style, Feel on the Road, Interiors, etc Mercedes IMHO has the edge. This car is like a tank on the highway. It does not move, even at 90 MPH. The driving dynamics are amazing.

    One more thing: Mercedes has gone all out to make me feel welcome. They've sent me numerous surveys and the dealership has made every effort to make me happy. I've gotten three letters from the dealership itself making sure I'm happy. Mercedes even sent me a small thank you gift (wonderfully wrapped).

    Maybe I'm being unfair towards Lexus, but I never saw that effort from them. The dealer (Which is part of a big chain which happens to own the MB dealer I bought mine from) is certainly nice, but hasn't gone the extra mile like the Merecedes Dealer has.

    Despite buying 4 LS400/430's I never got a thank you gift from Lexus. The GM of the Lexus dealer never came out to congratulate me. And they never offered to bring a car from Maryland at No charge to satisfy me!

    Okay these are minor things and perhaps I am nitpicking. It certainly made my family feel special when the GM and Sales Manager came out to greet us after buying the S430. It was a really special day.

    The Dealer Experience with Mercedes has been great. Of course it could be a different story when the car actually breaks. But then again, my experience with Lexus Service hasn't been great either. (Or ANY Service DEpt for that matter)

    Despite all of this, I'm definitely consider the LS460 in a few years. It is a fantastic car. The rear end is a work of art. I wish the Front end had more flair. I'm a little concerned about Quality with all the new Tech they're coming out with. Toyota has had some problems these days, so I'll wait to see if there are any issues with this one.

    -Sam
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    From The Wall Street Journal July 27, 2006:

    While past ads focused on the vehicles and how fast they could go, Cadillac's new spots will feature the kinds of people the brand is trying to attract. Typical is a print ad showing a young blonde woman hanging out with a friend in a Cadillac; another print ad shows a young man with his friend in a Cadillac DTS

    But while the brand's popularity with rappers and athletes boosted its cool factor, Cadillac executives worried it could also be a turnoff to mainstream consumers such as housewives. Some dealers worry that the new campaign is too mainstream.


    How many young people desire a Cadillac DTS? In fact I cant think of anyone (under the age of 70) who wants a DTS and if there is one I dont think they will confess that desire in public.

    Should LPS/HELM autos be catered to housewives? Is this approach going to make Cadillacs more exciting?

    Should Cadillac ads become more mainstream? Mainstream ads works wonders for Corolla , but will it work for Cadillac?

    IMO I dont think these future Cadillac ads are going to helps GM one bit. They are better off with Led Zepellin.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    All this about a buyer caring about why a car is priced the way it is falls under the same catergory as a buyer caring about what a CEO says or company's profit statements. Toyota/Lexus fantics are the only ones in the whole world who believe that. Honda, Porsche, BMW and others that make money also and they don't have nearly the same one-track group of supporters when it comes to all this irrelvancy about corporate matters.
    I wonder as well.. Have u been talking to Dewey lately ?


    I have not a clue what you are suggesting? Nor do I care to find out. :P
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    This has to be the most balanced and objective post ever written in this forum.
    Glad to hear that you are enjoying your S430.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    "This has to be the most balanced and objective post....."

    Obviously, came to the wrong place! :)
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    "Mercedes has gone all out to make me feel welcome."

    Sure. It's called playing catch-up.
    Bet they wouldn't have treated you so well 10 years ago.
    Amazing what falling sales will do.
    When they need you, they play nice.
    Human nature strikes again!
  • brightness04brightness04 Posts: 3,151
    Lease/finance subsidy, instead of the MSRP's that hardly anybody pays, indeed goes a long way towards the decision for most people who actually get these cars, or any other cars for that matter. Alfred Sloan discovered that some 80 years ago.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Ah yes!

    The good old Alfred P Sloan School of Economics at MIT.

    Paul Samuelson-where are you when I need you? :sick:
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    He was supposed to be on vacation for only 3 weeks ! Maybe he's out there lurking and prepping his return... Tag, wherever you are, hope you get back here soon. Your team needs you cos they seem to be floudering without you. The great linebacker anchoring the middle of the D-line is AWOL, and the D is missing....

    Hope you've had a wonderful vacation with friends and family, and that you'll be here soon.


    Got back late last night . . . and you know the saying . . . "when you play, you pay!" Well, I have a nasty stack of stuff to catch up on, and I won't be much help to this forum for a while. I have just read most, but not all, of the posts since my departure, and I have a few comments for some of you, but nothing so urgent that it can't wait.

    Unfortunately, I will be "out-of-service" once again the second half of August, so I won't really be able to dig in until after Labor Day.

    I missed ALL of you, however, and look forward to chatting with you again as soon as I can catch up on things.

    TagMan
  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 6,067
    Be careful what you wish for. Hyundai is probably already out selling Mercedes in the USA. Anybody got any figures?

    2013 LX 570 2010 LS 460 2002 Tacoma 4x4

  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Wouldn't be at all surprised.
    What made Toyota so successful was giving the great middle class very good value in quality automobiles.
    And now Hyundai is beating them at their own game.
    They just have to work a bit on their interiors.

    Look for the Sonata to be the best-selling car in America by the end of 2007.
    So it shall be written. So it shall be done.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    I have just read most, but not all, of the posts since my departure

    You are definitely a good speed reader. It would take me many days just to catch up on just a few weeks of posts here.

    Talk to you after Labor Day.
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    Glad to see that you're still enjoying your '06 S430. The car is a magnificent piece of machinery, even if it isn't a S500.

    About the standard stuff on the MB v. Lexus, the S430 was always meant to be the volume S-Class, even more so before the S350 arrived. Most of the things that Lexus instituted over the life-cycle of the LS as standard equip was not so standard in '01, when the car was new. This was in effect to keep the car at it's traditional low-price. Take for instance a sunroof, which did not become standard until '04. And most of the things that you mentioned about the MB became standard with '03 refresh. And MB counter-fired with No-Cost AWD, something only Audi can touch in the class. This proved to be a huge success and bolstered AWD-equipped car sales by 63%.

    But what's most important is that you're still happy with your purchase.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Good to see you - oac posted something that I've been wondering about for a week or so.

    Good luck with your catch-up.
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    Interestingly enough, with all of the baby-boomer-era LZ commercials and a new styling direction, the median age of Cadillac buyers has fallen to 54, or 3(57) and 5yrs(59) behind Lexus and Jag, respectively.

    And the company is enjoying record-breaking sales. One-up for Caddy. And with the product that is in the pipeline scheduled for production(RWD DTS, '08 CTS, totally refreshed XLR on the Vette chassis but with a Caddy rear-suspension, the Escalade V12, and a larger volume/smaller hard-top convertible to compete with likes of Z4, SLK, Audi A4 Cab-thankfully based on the Zeta platform and not the G6 FWD architecture), the company has a lot to be proud of.
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    With the great re-emergence of Caddy comes great compromise. GM announced today that 2nd QTR. earnings fell 3.2bil. They say it's because of it's lingering healthcare obligations and early retirement plans... The same excuse of 2yrs won't cut it anymore.

    And with all this talk of the Lexus canning the S-Classes sales: MBZ posted a 34% rise in S-Class sales and 51% overall line-wide. Top execs say this is one of the best quarters on record for the company- 120+ years worth. And the S-Class isn't losing any steam. So much for the lord of lords LS....

    Conversely, Chrysler sales have slumped sharply. The 300 can't carry the weight all it's own. The Ram is holding up it's side of the table with 289,000 units sold this quarter-a pickup truck record. But with the '07/'08 revisions to the LX-platform, a new from scratch '08 Dodge Caravan/Chrysler TC with a reported minivan-first 3.6L direct-injected 300hp AWD full-hybrid(co-developed with VW/Audi- no doubt)(the Chrysler 3.5L 250hp engine to serve as the base engine), diesel SUV's(possibly a 300 CDI) the company should pick-up steam. One solution: Please lose the dialect-bound Zietche for more formidible ads.

    Nissan, with a 29% rise in sales and better production, the company is still on a steady march north. With the company going full-CVT line-wide on it's ubiqitous 3.5L V-6, better quality, and better customer service, why would the company get conflicted with GM???

    Ford, well...............
  • guestguest Posts: 774
    Uh....I don't know where you get Mercedes up 51%. This certainly isn't US sales.

    I know for a FACT that Dodge Ram has the highest Days Supply in it's class, even though I like the Ram.

    And the same with Nissan, as sales have stagnated here in the US for '06.

    Comparing the New S-Class to the lame-duck LS makes a lot of sense at this point........

    That party is almost over! :P

    DrFill
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    We may need to get the old glasses examined.

    I didn't mention anything about the Ram's supply. Supply and o/h are to different things. Sales are jsut that. And no, your facts off the mark. The F-150 has the highest days of availabilty in it's class. Would've been the Chevy had production not deceased earlier this year. The Ford has lost -41%(down some 189,000 units ytd)- the Explorer 58%, despite a refresh. Those are Ford's two pushers, and if they can't get these right, how do they run PAG? That's why Jag is in the shape it's in now, with the X-Type a laughable cover up of the Mondeo. The XK8 is appealing tho.... even with the Taurus grille.........

    Nissan. The maker as WHOLE, on the 6 continents that they sell in...

    Same for MBZ. It's not the DCX's fault that they choose to market/sell the S on every continent(except Antartica-penguins can't drive), unlike Toyota with the LS.

    Mercedes is up 51% due on the part of some particularly good product such as the red-hot GL(despite fuel prices, it outsells the most reliable LC/LX combined with change to spare- I know, I know, they're a decade old, get over it) and the ML. The SLK sales have risen moderately, so has CLK. All is not peachy. The C-Class has absolutely tanked, not surprising. SL's have dipped slightly, altho it still reigns supreme in it's European and domestic comp, oh there is one Japanese entry.....

    BTW: Wasn't it you and a many other Lexican preaching about how the new S couldn't stack up to a 5 year old Lexus? Ah now who's being arrogant? It's been quoted many times on this very thread that the LS is still superior the new S(which couldn't be futhest from the truth). So that's why I choose to include the untouchable LS as if it's that perfect, then no car new or old should scare it off.
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    Two Tings:

    #1: If you are talking about sales globally, say so! K?

    #2: No, I didn't say the current LS is superior to the new S, that was someone else.

    I DID say the LS will outsell the S in 2007.

    And I DID say the Next LS is better looking than "My HumpS550". ;)

    Oh, and I said the LS460 will be the dynamic match of the S550, and could successfully sell for 7-series money. I'm am against pricing the car at $60k.

    I think the LS460L could be sold for $70-75k, to start, with no real impact on sales numbers. It would still be a awesome value vs. the S550, and the 7-series wouldn't affect LS sales, as they go after different clientele, IMHO.

    The LS460 will sell 35-40k units in 2007.

    DrFill
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Conversely, Chrysler sales have slumped sharply. The 300 can't carry the weight all it's own. The Ram is holding up it's side of the table with 289,000 units sold this quarter-a pickup truck record. But with the '07/'08 revisions to the LX-platform, a new from scratch '08 Dodge Caravan/Chrysler TC with a reported minivan-first 3.6L direct-injected 300hp AWD full-hybrid(co-developed with VW/Audi- no doubt)(the Chrysler 3.5L 250hp engine to serve as the base engine), diesel SUV's(possibly a 300 CDI) the company should pick-up steam. One solution: Please lose the dialect-bound Zietche for more formidible ads.

    This weeks Autoextremist.com column is all about the trouble with Chrysler. "Caught in a classic Twilight Zone of "Our new stuff coming is kick-[non-permissible content removed], and it won't be long now!" and the reality of a mounting inventory that's just not selling - even with massive incentives, the Chrysler Group is barely treading water. The words "not good" come to mind."

    Another very interesting point was this: "And on the other hand, the homogenization and gradual decline of the Mercedes image and raison d'etre continues, with word that an upcoming DCX "Phoenix" V-6 corporate engine program will see identical engines shared in Chrysler and Mercedes-Benz products.

    Just how much will Zetsche allow the once-hallowed Mercedes-Benz brand to be "blended" into the vast vagueness and marked inconsistency that defines the Chrysler Group product lineup - before it all comes unraveled?"
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    LG: Did Dr Z not come from "turning around" Chrysler that earned him the nod for the DCX job over Cordes ? That is, Chrysler was saving MB's bacon not that long ago to give the DCX CEO job to the guy at the Chrysler helm - the now famous Dr Z !!! Hmmmm... How times change....

    DCX's archilles heel will be Chrysler, and I don't see anything they offer, save for the Ram and some of the SRT8 stuff, that has any modicum of lusting for. Hey, maybe MB can save Chrysler afterall.... Wasn't that one of the reasons for the "merger" ??? I wonder what Schrempf and Eckard Cordes are thinking these days ???
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Sure. It's called playing catch-up.
    Bet they wouldn't have treated you so well 10 years ago.
    Amazing what falling sales will do.


    Sort of a low-blow and an incorrect one at that. If that comment about dealer treatment which suggest they were never any good at that sort of thing before Lexus applies to Mercedes (which it does not) then it also applies to BMW and all other luxury car makes, post Lexus.

    Falling sales at Mercedes-Benz? The last 10 years say otherwise and this year really says NOT! to that assumption.

    M
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Some nice posts while I was absent, and I'm feeling very slow getting up to speed here. I've only got a couple of things at this point.

    So excuse me if this was already mentioned here, but I've reviewed many, but not all, of the posts since I left. I noticed on my return plane trip that on page 20 of the September Road & Track magazine that there is more information about the upcoming Lexus super sedan. We all talked about this somewhat before I left for the summer. I think that it might have been lj that first mentioned it, but I'm not sure.

    Anyway, it seems that if the vehicle is produced it will be likely slated for the 2009 model year and will be a V-12 hybrid, possibly called the L 650h (not LS). The word is that the V-12 will be a 5.0 liter, with power of about 400 hp, mated with two electric motors, and the next-generation CVT, for a total of about 500 hp. The sedan will be larger than the LS, but possibly on the same flatform, and the price is expected to be about . . . drumroll please . . . $150,000.

    This might explain the latest information on the LS600hL, which seems to have somewhat more conservative hp ratings than first projected, and possibly a lower price point than expected by many.

    For example, according to the September Motor Trend, the projected base price range for the upcoming LS600hL is $75,000 to $85,000. While this is still early here to know with assurance, it appears to be possibly lower than many of our earlier predictions. Also the upcoming '07 LS is shown to have a projected base price range of $58,500 to $62,500.

    This tier structure is developing in advance in order to accommodate the potential L model super sedan, IMO, and might explain a slightly lower LS600hL base price. All to be seen, of course.

    BTW, I also liked the pics of the new CL class that were posted here earlier in the month. Admittedly and gladly, it looks much better than I had thought it would.

    I noticed that there were some discussions about the purchasing power of LS buyers, and what I found to be interesting was that if they are truly an affluent group, why then do the Lexus buyers seem to have an obsession with resale? Would they actually NOT buy a car they otherwise like because of the mathematics of resale?

    After all, I realize that resale is important, but would someone actually choose to NOT buy the car they want, and take second or third choice because of resale? It seems a shame to me, and perhaps an exercise in self-deprivation.

    Anyway, hope the Lexus info is helpful and not overly redundant.

    TagMan
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    That ultra-Lexus in this month's MT looks like some type of cross between a Maybach and a seal, god I hope it looks better than that if it goes to production.

    I can see something like that coming to market from Lexus, if and only if the LS600hL is a hit.

    M
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    LG - Dieter's a business guy out to make money. He has to undo the merger or blend the businesses. The first is impossible right now as neither business is performing well and the direction in the auto industry is consolidation not divestiture. Thus the blending model is the right business model. That's why he's put the German imprint on the ads as he wants noone to be mistaken about his strategy. MB was sinking when he inherited it and had turned red and he's a cost cutter synergy type of guy. Who do you please - the purists like Merc1 or the investors? The answer is obvious and what I'd do if I were him is re-invent the Maybach at a much lower level and let it be the MB purist brand. Maybach is bleeding and going nowhere in its current state.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Mercedes has fallen quite a bit in market share but not in actual sales number. The market has shot way up in the last 10 years but MB has'nt gotten much of the growth. They've been flat to down in sales the last few years with either an upturn on the way or a temporary spike this year. Time will tell.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    That ultra-Lexus in this month's MT looks like some type of cross between a Maybach and a seal, god I hope it looks better than that if it goes to production.

    I can see something like that coming to market from Lexus, if and only if the LS600hL is a hit.


    Yes, I reserved any comment on its appearance in my first post about it, but since you bring it up, it is definately not the good-looker its price range would demand. I imagine there are those that would buy a Lexus regardless of its appearance . . . you know, for all those "other" reasons, but hopefully the production vehicle would look better. I think some of the problem is that horrible two-tone red & silver paint job.

    Regarding the LS600hL, I have little doubt that it will be a hit.

    BTW, I noticed a lot of previous chatter about hybrids and gas prices and the "payback" equation . . . you know, the usual stuff, but I was surprised to see that the reference for gas prices is so low. IMO, people should start projecting a much higher price per gallon for gas than they are. $2.50/gallon is NOT realistic, IMO. I think at least $3.50 to $4.00 or even much higher is very reaistic very soon. In fact, I would not be surprised to see those prices by next summer or even the end of this summer, and I easily see gas between $4.00 and $5.00 within three to five years thereafter.

    Also, the talk about the Camry styling and the LS styling was nothing new. Certainly all the Toyota and Lexus vehicles are not as identical as some were indicating, but they do, however, all seem to share a very close design theme. Personally, I think that is OK and somewhat typical to have design similarities within a marque itself, but I do wish there were less similarities that cross the lines between Toyota and Lexus. After all, they really should be more clearly different marques, IMO.

    It begs the question . . . is a Toyota a cheaper Lexus, or is a Lexus an upscale Toyota?

    TagMan
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Who do you please - the purists like Merc1 or the investors? The answer is obvious and what I'd do if I were him is re-invent the Maybach at a much lower level and let it be the MB purist brand.

    So are you saying you can't have it both ways? It's a sad day when pleasing investors is synonymous with stripping the soul from products. At one point Merck pleased investors with Vioxx.
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