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High End Luxury Cars

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  • Worldwide, Mercedes sells way more cars than Lexus.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Your the one person that can cut through all the hearsay on this board. You own top of the line MB and Lexus - so how do they rate in terms of satisfaction, dealer service etc. I was nip and tuck with the S-500 but went LS430 because I felt it was the better car for me and fully expected the perfect reliability I've had with Lexus for 8 years now. In fairness to the S though it was based on a few test drives but I had way too mamy doubts about MB reliability and dealer service as well.

    I also have the LX470 and find it a great SUV. Incredible ride for such a big vehicle. How does the H1 rate against it or vice versa?
  • cul8tercul8ter Posts: 10
    Before I go into my thoughts on each of my cars, I'd like to comment on how this message board is a perfect example of how statistics are only as objective as the opinions that back them. I recognize that 100 S500's lined up side-by-side will not have the same reliability or quality problems that I have had with mine. I also recognize that if 100 S430's were driven through a wall and off a building, neither the driver nor the car would survive in every instance.

    All of my cars are pretty good cars. I have a high level of satisfaction with all of them but for different reasons.

    The H1 is worthless as far as every day transportation goes, but I didn't buy it to be comfortable getting from point A to point B. It has a very strong presence and gets more attention than you could ever imagine. When I want attention, that's what I drive. I used a Bentley for this purpose in the past, but Bentley's don't get as much attention as the use to.

    If more than 5 people need to go with me somewhere and it doesn't make since to take a limo to the destination, I take the LX470. I don't care much for the way it looks from the outside, but everything else is excellent. When I need space and comfort, I drive the LX.

    The S80 was purchased strictly because it is very safe and I insisted that my child have one of the safest cars available. It blends in well with other cars and doesn't draw too much attention to my child.

    In all the ways that matter to me, the LS430 and the S500 are exactly the same. If I'm going to a place where S500's are more prominent, I drive the LS430. If I'm going to a place where LS430's are more prominent, I drive the S500. The differences in the cars make excellent topics for conversations. I like these two because both are very comfortable when I have to drive somewhere that's more than 30 minutes away. My dealership experiences are probably different from most peoples because I am treated very, very well at all of the dealerships that I actually visit. Most of the time I have someone else take the car in for me though. So, from my perspective there's very little difference. I do notice that other customers who are at the Mercedes dealership while I'm there are not treated nearly as well as I'm treated, but the other customers at the Lexus dealership are treated about the same as I am.

    Ultimately, when you have every car you want at the same time, the differences between them aren't as significant as they seem when you don't have them all. If I had to make a choice between cars, I think the differences would be magnified.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "So youre saying that if Mercedes started using high grade plastics and had the latest in
    nav system technology and had the greatest of stereos available in any car, then all the
    traditional Benz buyers would be pissed off and wouldnt buy a Benz anymore?"

    No what I'm saying is that the differences you and others harp upon aren't that great nor do they make enough difference for hundreds of thousands of car buyers all over the world that STILL buy all these poorly made, poorly sounding and poorly navigating Mercedes-Benzes. That shows that leather, plastics, stereos, and nav system do NOT a Benz make.

    I've said this before and I'll say it again. Every luxury brand in the U.S should sell more cars than Mercedes-Benz Why? Mercedes' average car is around 50K, there is no way they should be selling as many cars as they do in the U.S., the fact that they do is a accomplishment in itself. Furthermore the sales gap between Lexus and Merceds isn't all that big anyway, BMW, Lexus and then Mercedes....they're all in the top 3.

    And as pointed out Lexus doesn't mean squat on the worldwide scene.

    M
  • "What I'd like to know is what car does all of these things in one singular package. Outhandles a BMW, more reliable than a Lexus, better made than a Audi, safer than a Volvo. What car does all of this? Please tell me because I want one."

    Want to know the purpose of my arguments here? I think, given the fact that Mercedes has the largest R&D department of any automaker in the world, and given how much Mercedes cars cost in comparison to their competition, that Mercedes should outhandle a BMW, be more reliable than a Lexus, better crafted than an Audi, and safer than a Volvo. But they dont...and they dont come close.

    "No what I'm saying is that the differences you and others harp upon aren't that great nor do they make enough difference for hundreds of thousands of car buyers all over the world that STILL buy all these poorly made, poorly sounding and poorly navigating Mercedes-Benzes. That shows that leather, plastics, stereos, and nav system do NOT a Benz make."

    So what does it hurt to have these things? Is it ruining Benz to have these luxuries? Benz can only gain more customers by offering these things. Shouldnt be too hard for the worlds oldest automaker, right?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "Want to know the purpose of my arguments here? I think, given the fact that Mercedes
    has the largest R&D department of any automaker in the world, and given how much
    Mercedes cars cost in comparison to their competition, that Mercedes should outhandle a BMW, be more reliable than a Lexus, better crafted than an Audi, and safer than a Volvo. But they dont...and they dont come close. "

    They don't come close huh? I say bull. Says who? You're not making any sense anymore. Mercedes' cars were never about handling in the same manner as BMWs so why would they all of sudden make this fundamental change away from their core philosophy of luxury for a bunch of people who wouldn't buy a Mercedes in the first place, no matter how good it handled. Understand, Mercedes was not made on "handling" like BMW was. It's interesting that just a few posts ago you, yourself stated that Mercedes was ahead of Volvo in safety but now they're (MB) not even close. I mean which is it? The only thing I agree on is reliablility.

    "So what does it hurt to have these things? Is it ruining Benz to have these luxuries? Benz
    can only gain more customers by offering these things. Shouldnt be too hard for the worlds oldest automaker, right? "

    They do have these things, just not up the standards of some, and from what I'm thinking those same people wouldn't buy a Mercedes anyhow, they'll never get it "right" in their eyes.

    Like I asked the other poster, what car does all of these things?

    M
  • pluskinpluskin Posts: 79
    Are Mercedes clearly better engineered than other luxury makes?
    "Yes in most ways they are. "
    And these ways are what? I'm not convinced. I'm an automotive engineer, and have seen a lot of objective benchmarking data on Mercedes cars. I don't think they make lousy cars or anything (okay, maybe the SLK), but I haven't seen any of the uber-engineering that you rant about. Let's face it. You have an image in your mind of German super-engineers, efficiently working in their German way to deliver the ultimate in luxury vehicles. Except in reality, their products are the ultimate in price, and no better than their competitors in anything else.

    "Oh really, I'd like to know what other company is pushing technology like Mercedes. "

    Lexus is smart. They let people like Mercedes work the bugs out of new technology, and then implement it when they can deliver it free of flaws and reliability problems.

    Of course all companies are working on lots of neat new technologies. Its just a matter of how much risk you want to take that the technology will give you manufacturing issues, reliability problems, etc.
  • So do you own any Mercedes or have you owned any, merc1?
  • "It's interesting that just a few posts ago you, yourself stated that Mercedes was ahead of Volvo in safety but now they're (MB) not even close. I mean which is it? The only thing I agree on is reliablility."

    I do believe Mercedes is ahead of Volvo, but they are not close to anything else I mentioned.

    "Like I asked the other poster, what car does all of these things?"

    And like I said before, Mercedes should, but they dont.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Anyone read the Edmunds review? Tough indeed. It's amazing that MB can get away with a truck like that. I saw one on the road and I was half expecting Al Capone to get out of it. It looked small, narrow, ugly and hardly luxurious to me. But it certainly is unique and has the MB badge so they will sell the 2 or 3 thousand they are importing.
  • I read it. Personally, I concur with you on this ugliness related to the G500 also. I rather have an H2 anyday of the week. Now that is a beautiful rugged SUV that H2 is.

    J "CaddyLac"
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "Except in reality, their products are the ultimate in price, and no better than their competitors in anything else."

    Really? Then I guess they've not only fooled me but the entire automotive industry. Why would anyone benchmark Mercedes if there wasn't any substance to any of their engineering accomplishments? You're not making any sense. Where have you been the last 100+ years?

    "Lexus is smart. They let people like Mercedes work the bugs out of new technology, and
    then implement it when they can deliver it free of flaws and reliability problems."

    Exactly, thats why they'll forever be a follower. Lexus can't do squat with their flagship sedan until they find out what Mercedes is doing next. They're so smart they copied the previous S-Class' design. Brilliant. Question: What technology did Mercedes introduce that Lexus later perfected? Just dying to hear the answer to that one.

    magnetophone,

    Nope.

    wishnhigh1,

    "They are not close to anything else I mentioned."

    Oh really. Thats just it you're always saying that a Mercedes just doesn't compare with anything and it's a complete slaughter. That is bs pure and simple.

    "And like I said before, Mercedes should, but they dont."

    No they shouldn't. You can't please everyone, period. Nor should they try. Some of those things you listed aren't even worth chasing down. Mercedes was never a handlin' sort of car like a BMW so again, why would they now change this? Again, for a few who'll never buy a Benz. I know you understand this.

    On a different note, the G500 is a ex-military vehicle, it definitely won't appeal to everyone.
    I guess the Hummer H1 is also graceful and "pretty" too right. I wouldn't expect any Lexus folk to even come close to understanding the appeal of it. Blandness is the name of the game there.

    M
  • "What technology did Mercedes introduce that Lexus later perfected?"

    The automobile!

    JK:)
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Exactly as I thought, not a thang.

    M
  • pluskinpluskin Posts: 79
    "You're not making any sense. Where have you been the last 100+ years?"
    For most of the last 100+ years, I wasn't yet born. If you're that old, perhaps you shouldn't be driving.

    Really I could care less what they've achieved in the past. All I know is that their cars on sale now don't seem to be significantly better or worse than others in their class. In most attributes, they are not best-in-class.

    "Why would anyone benchmark Mercedes if there wasn't any substance to any of their engineering"

    Did I say their wasn't any substance to any of their engineering? Why do you twist and exaggerate everything anybody says to you? Anyway, Mercedes are very successful, of course they are going to be benchmarked.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "All I know is that their cars on sale now don't seem to be significantly better or worse than
    others in their class."

    Then what you're point in the first place?

    "Did I say their wasn't any substance to any of their engineering?"

    No you didn't, you were guilty by association.

    M
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Come ON people -- some of you have heard until *I* am sick to death of saying it that we are here to discuss the vehicles WITHOUT attacking each other.

    We all have our different needs, wishes, wants and priorities. To attack someone personally for holding different opinions on any or all of those values is childish, foolish and outside your Membership Agreement.

    This has been a very interesting, polite, stimulating and appropriately enthusiastic discussion for quite some time. Some one or maybe two of you have dropped in here with the seeming intent to upset all of that and turn this into a flame war.

    That is not going to happen.

    Give it a rest. We are going to talk about the vehicles and not each other.

    Pat
    Sedans Host
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Did you happen to see the 03 Lund Cadillac CTS on page 126 of November Motor Trend. Looks great. You can also go to lundcadillac.com

    I must say I also like very much the looks of the SRX. I'll definitely give it a look when my LX470 lease ends.

    I was so-so on the CTS when I first saw it but it has really grown on me. But then again I'm a person who likes bland cars since I fall into the Lexus genre - so what do I know..

    By the way a friend of mine just bought the H2 - in yellow - and I'll have a chance to ride in it on Saturday.
  • nealm1nealm1 Posts: 154
    1. I have given closer scrutiny to the new 7s I see on the street and am struck by (a) how beautiful the car is from some vantage points and (b) how ugly it is from others. Just what are the chrome strips running around the doors and windows supposed to do for the car's looks? BMW was so close to hitting a home run re: the car's appearance, but ended up with a mess. What a shame.

    2. Did you see the article in the NYT Sunday re: the "new" big Jag? Apparently they took exactly the opposite tack as BMW. Rather than taking the risk of revolutionizing the car's appearance, Jag left the design alone; the "new" car is IDENTICAL in appearance to the existing model. Now, I LOVE the looks of that car; it is one of the most elegant designs I have ever seen. But when you do what is supposed to be a complete redesign on your flagship and leave the exterior design untouched, aren't you admitting that you are running on aesthetic fumes? Time will tell, but I think Ford could REALLY end up regretting its timidity.
  • I seen it. Gorgeous automobile and those dubbs (rims) are super tight.

    So, have you driven the H2 yet? What do you think?

    J "CaddyLac"
  • baron87baron87 Posts: 93
    Yeah, you definitely see a lot of those and the new 7 around Chicago. The 7s looks have grown on me, but I still don't like it as much as the drop-dead gorgeous XJ. I'd take an XJ, especially the new one, over a 7-series any day...
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    I rode in it but didn't drive it. It was smoother than I expected and very roomy. Nice leather as well and overall a quality vehicle. The width is really something on that truck. But compared to an LX470 the ride is harsher and noisier. But then the LX rides as smooth and quiet as luxury cars. The H2 is definitely a special SUV but its not for the Lexus crowd imo.

    I do like the way the SRX looks. My wife would feel more comfortable with that then the LX. Most likely it'll come down to that, the LX and the new Lexus GX when I'm SUV shopping late next year. I may look at the Sequoia as well but given its size its a longshot.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    The 7 does look awesome in the rear view mirror but then you gulp when you see the car from the side. The rear actually looks nice at night thanks to its lights but awful in daylight. The car reminds me of Seinfeld's famous "festivus" episode where Jerry had a girlfriend that looked great in certain light/shadows and terrible in others.

    new Jag - It has the first interior I've seen that rivals, maybe even beats the LS430. But I wouldn't want to own a car that has had hardly any body changes for 20+ years. I also can't forget how disappointed my next door neighbor was with his 96 model.
  • trentpatrentpa Posts: 26
    Have to agree that the 7's looks are growing on me, but only in black. Saw a silver yesterday and thought it was horrendous, from all angles.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    The soon to come redesigned Jaguar XJ looks different from the current XJ. Clearly differences are visible in from all angles, The car is slightly rounder, sleeker, and looks like it's finally in the new millenium, vs. the old one which clearly still looked like it was from the 80s. It's not revolutionary, but it is evolutionary design. I wouldn't confuse the new one when it comes out with the current model at all.
  • actually- i just saw a 745Li on the freeway (i believe black saphire metallic on grey) and that looks really appealing to me. Wondering whether or not I should have gotten the 2003 745Li instead of the 2002 S430 (cannot believe that the 745 is virtually/almost the same price as the S430)

    By the way- i had the opportunity to test drive my neighbor/friend's new black/black 745i. Looks really impressive from the side with the gigantic 19-inch wheels. Love the chrome around the windows and overall styling, but i was disapointed that BMW didn't put in a DVD-based GPS system, considering how "advanced" the car is...
  • linardlinard Posts: 59
    I personally prefer the S430 over the 745 in the style department especially an S with larger wheels. However, the interior of the 7 series, to me, feels tougher. But I think Mercedes rectified it for 2003 with new materials and switchgear. The problem with the 7 series is that the technicians do not know how to service the car. My close friend has a 745Li that has had around 20 days of non-service from minor warning lights to not starting at all. Each time, the dealership has not been able to quickly determine the problem. She has lately had issues with the whole I-Drive system, a warning chime for the seatbelt that wouldn't go off for 20 minutes went off when she tried to use the phone. Her voice activated system has been erratic but that wouldn't be a problem if the screen worked. I think she's going to trade it in with 2,000 miles for the revamped S500.
  • nealm1nealm1 Posts: 154
    You might be right, since I haven't seen the vehicle. (The Jag website doesn't even have a picture of the 2004). But the NYT article quoted (a) insiders at MB & BMW (b) industry observers and (c) Jag executives all of whom were quoted as saying that the new car is virtually indistinguishable from the existing model. (a) and (b) were asking what in the world Jag could have been thinking; (c) was defending the decision by saying that once you have found the "perfect design" there is no need to change.

    As for the 7, I was just venting some frustration at BMW, which could have had a runaway standard setting design and screwed it up from the C pillar backward (and a few of the gee-haws and doo-dads). Lexus could use some of BMW's design daring; BMW could use someone from Lexus to ask "do you really want to do that?"

    The experience of linard's friend is not surprising; anyone who bought a 7 thinking that it would be reliable hasn't been paying attention.
  • but I honestly have no idea what the c-pillar is at all. Is it the pillar that seperates the front and rear door?...

    It seems to me that those who don't drive Jag's find them kind of bland, but I have a neighbor that drives a Vanden Plas model for over 10 years or so.

    in my opinion, the s-class looks really great with Designo Espresso with the AMG chrome 18 wheels. My neighbor has one, and I cannot stop looking atit. I am either surrounded by that S500 or new 2002 jet-black on black 745Li. When I used to have a LS400, they used to keep asking me "Hey Will! STill driving that lex? Get a benz!" Alas, I did, and have had problems from day one that still aren't fixed today...
  • benznutbenznut Posts: 104
    The C Pillar is that which is situated between the rear windhsield and the rear quater glass. What separates the front and rear doors is the B pillar. And what separates the front door windows from the front windshield is the A Pillar. Hope this helps
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