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High End Luxury Cars

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Comments

  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    Tag, most of your opinions about the car are pretty much what I came away with today.

    The transmission will lose it's Cambiocorsa moniker in favor of a , ironically, Audi-sourced 6-Speed autobox.

    The interior has a unique flair to it. The choice of woods,plastics, and leathers are very appropiate for the 100k+ sticker, but closer scrutiny reveals the interior is not as well assembled as MB or Audi's. No huge biggie, what cars are?

    The suspension was on the stiff side. But I like my suspensions like I like my drinks, STIFF, STIRRED and not SHAKEN. The car has that glued to the road feel of the 7, but admittedly, a 760i Sport will dance circles around it.

    I did enjoy the stiff structure and rattle free interior. Absolutely no body roll. And I thought the Audi 4-Ring was huge on the front, that Maser Trident measures 11 inches, HUGE.

    All in all, I really dig the car. It is truely what the blend of performance and luxury is really all about. The car has the perfect balance of a true sport sedan. But that is the problem: too sporty. My W12 and the S600 let's you choose between all sporty or all comfort, not so in QP, which is it's intended purpose anyway....

    BTW: Thanks to all for your respective views on this awesome sports sedan. The info is really appreciated. What do any of you think of the S600? I think I know where Tag and Merc stands...........
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    All in all, I really dig the car. It is truely what the blend of performance and luxury is really all about. The car has the perfect balance of a true sport sedan. But that is the problem: too sporty. My W12 and the S600 let's you choose between all sporty or all comfort, not so in QP, which is it's intended purpose anyway....


    If I had to choose between these two wonderful cars I would pick a QP. Is the QP too sporty? I wouldn't want it any other way. The purr of a V8 Ferrari engine is just too tempting.

    Based on my interpretation of your statement above it does appear that you're leaning towards a car like the S600 which provides more of a balance between luxury and performance than a QP.

    If I am mistaken and you do favor the sport of a QP, then have you ever considered putting your name on the waiting list for an Audi RS6? I know the QP and RS6 are at very different price levels but the RS6 does look like one great bang for the buck(at least relative to a QP)
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    Anyways I am going on vacation to the USA for two weeks (finally our Canadian dollar is worth something). I need a two week break from the stresses of work and this HELM forum. :)

    Take Care!
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    blkhemi,
    What about some of the AMG models?
    TagMan
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The interior has a unique flair to it. The choice of woods,plastics, and leathers are very appropiate for the 100k+ sticker, but closer scrutiny reveals the interior is not as well assembled as MB or Audi's. No huge biggie, what cars are?

    I agree on the interiors. The German cars are, well German. The attention to the smallest details in the A8 and the new S is of course first rate. Every last piece has been calculated to absolute perfection. That, I think, is what German luxury is all about.

    The inside of the QP is also incredibly luxurious, but in an Italian style. It's in the look, the feel, rather than ultimate build quality. The QP reminds me of the famous Italian speaker company, Sonus Faber. They use lute shaped cabinets, with hand matched wood panels, leather baffles, and silk wire grilles. To Sonus Faber, the look and feel is just as important as the sound quality.

    The QP is not an engineering tour de force like the new S class, and it feels out of its element on bumpy city streets. What the QP does have though is soul inside and out, that you can't get from Jaguar, Mercedes, Audi, or BMW, and certainly not Lexus. It's not a well rounded car, but it is a fantastic Italian drivers car.
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    As usual LG, I appreciate your viewpoint. You're not scared to give a good nod on anything outside of Japan,

    And yes, the soul of the QP is undoubtedly tops in the class.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Some of us have been working hard to get this discussion back on the right track. Unfortunately there are a couple of you who don't want to cooperate. That's a real shame - this used to be such a high-class discussion. I know others join me in hating to see it going down the drain like this.

    I have removed a bunch of posts whose primary purpose was to snipe at one or more other discussion members. I'm going to continue to do so.

    If you are not able to keep your post focused on the cars, understand that it's not going to live very long.

    Thanks to those who have been trying to get this ship righted. We would all appreciate everyone else's cooperation.

    :sick:
  • dhamiltondhamilton Posts: 873
    much time looking at the QP. I can tell you that looking at the S8 at the Audi driving event in Dallas [southfork ranch for he release of the Q7] It is as stunning a car in the class and I would bet the house that most people would say the same.
    If I needed four doors that could perform like the QP then I might jump on it [finances permitting :blush: ] However, I would probably take a GT3RS for maybe a little more money and have an awesome track car. The S8 will scare the pants of any unsuspecting soul riding in the front, while those in back would have no idea.
    My two cents, worth about two cents.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    The QP is not an engineering tour de force like the new S class, and it feels out of its element on bumpy city streets. What the QP does have though is soul inside and out, that you can't get from Jaguar, Mercedes, Audi, or BMW, and certainly not Lexus. It's not a well rounded car, but it is a fantastic Italian drivers car.

    Basically, you are distinguishing between sport and luxury, road cars and living-room cars, and the levels at which they are achieved. Although I have not driven a Quattroporte I wouldn’t say you can’t get soul from a BMW. Their sport-tuned suspensions are impeccable. However a Quattroporte owner who also had an E39 M5 said he really likes the Q better.

    I pine for said M5. Maybe I shouldn’t drive the Q lest I get ruined. I don’t know though, I’m not a fan of low low-end-torque and high redline in the heavyweights, not to mention the sequential gearbox. Plus, a slushbox contradicts that type of engine.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Dewey - have a great vacation! :shades:

    TagMan
  • topspin628topspin628 Posts: 373
    I am currently into the last year of a 3 year lease of a Lexus LS430 and at this point I feel that I can give a good objective summary of this car. (By the way, I have also leased BMWs, MB's Infiniti and Lexus in the past).
    Before I got this car, I had considered the A8L (SWB was not available at that time),BMW 7 and MB S Class.
    The A8L was so long that it would not fit in my garage and I felt like a limo driver. I liked the ride but I was hesitant about Audi quality reputation and while I liked the interior, I was not in love with the exterior and it did not "feel" like a 70-80K car to me. The S Class stole my heart in terms of looks and image. But I had heard so many horror stories about electronics issues and with the lease price a good 400 per month more than the Lexus, I couldn't bring myself to pull the trigger. If the price would have been within 200 per month, I would have taken a shot that the quality issues would not apply to my car. But to stretch to 400 and be in the service shop was not my thing. The 7 series did not feel luxurious enough to me for the price and, not that it's a bad thing, but I "only" felt like I was driving a big 3 series, a car I had and loved.
    So I went with the "value" play and to me it is a compromise. (another big reason was that I wanted blue tooth conductivity for hands free and the others didn't offer at the time). While the car has a fantastic build quality and everything works the right way every time, it is not an inspiring car to drive. I got it for comfort, reliability and convenience and it delivers very well on those. However it definitely lacks the driving dynamics of the Euros. It floats over the road and doesn't convey the feeling of control that one gets from the Euros mentioned above. Sometimes I find myself getting a bit weary because I feel disconnected from the drive. The seats are OK, like a nice couch but I prefer the firmer more supportive MB, BMW style.
    I wish the steering was more connected and tighter even if just in highway driving not canyon carving.
    Great radio, great electronics in the Lexus and one gets the idea that this car will continue to be fully functional and flawless for 200,000 miles or more. All said, I think my next car will be European. I love the new S Class and while I haven't driven one, I may be tempted especially if they bring a smaller engine at a lower price. To me,that is still the king of the road luxury car with the most solid feel and good compromise between lux and sport (The last S430 I did drive). I look at the S Class and I think that it's the pinnacle and there's no where else to go (I wouldn't drive a Maybach,Rolls etc even if I could ever afford one or won the lottery) Or maybe the BMW, if it improves with the next 7 with a turbo engine and fixing the electronic glitches.
    Lexus is still a value based company in my opinion. Meaning that they must undercut the Europeans in price since they still lack in prestige even though it's amazing how far they've come in such a short time. Dollar for dollar being equal or close, I would have gone with the S Class last time around, but while my heart wanted the S, my brain convinced me to go with the LS which had more goodies for less money with the reliability aspect added in for good measure. I think it would be premature for them to price their cars equal or close to the Euros. I for one would love to see them take a stab at a sport version (like AMG or M) with firm seats, tighter steering etc) but I think that the marketing types and bean counters are looking at the typical US Lexus owner who wants the best Caddy, Town Car ever made. And it's that by a long shot. Do they want to alienate their core clients or dilute their approach for the sake a few guys like us that rant and rave on Edmunds! In the end, they are running a business to make a profit and to grab market share. As long as they are very successful I don't think we will see them change their strategy.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Great post Topspin628!

    Pretty much confirms what I don't like about the LS-the disappointing disconnect from the involving driver's experience-due to the floaty suspension, the loose steering and the excessive body lean.

    Glad you mentioned the seats. I did not find the LS driver's seat all that comfortable either-my 545's comfort seats are a big improvement, as of course is the driving excitement.

    However, as you point out, the LS has its enthusiastic supporters here, and the fact that it has and will most likely continue to sell well, shows there are many people who enjoy the luxury of a limo experience at a HELM value price.

    The LS is very good at what it provides.
    Those of us who find it disappointing have plenty of other choices.

    I have previously posted that Lexus should offer a serious sport package for the LS as Toyota does with the Camry SE.

    Keep in mind relative quality has improved significantly, so if a Lexus vehicle is currently rated "excellent" and a BMW, "average"-that "average" would probably have been equivalent to "better than average", just a few years ago.

    Whichever vehicle you decide on, Euro or Japanese, please come back and share your experience.

    A wonderful post! :)
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    topspin628 - you have succesfully summed up with one well-balanced post what many of us have been saying on this forum for a long time.

    The fact that your post is a real-life testimonial adds credibility.

    You have hit on many of the key differences between a Lexus LS and an alternative such as an S-class or BMW. Your experience reinforces the "safer", "value-conscious" approach to purchasing a Lexus, and that when doing so, there are attributes left behind . . . "driving dynamics", as you put it, is certainly one of them.

    Yes, your heart wanted the S. . . . but your wallet would have been squeezed too tightly at the time. Hopefully next time your heart will prevail, and you will enjoy a wonderful S-class, BMW, or other Eurocar.

    Thanks again for that post . . . it was like a nice piece of candy.

    TagMan
  • dhamiltondhamilton Posts: 873
    great post. Nice to hear real world experience. The LS is truly great at what it does, value, reliability, excellent customer service, great build quality, but that is where it ends.
  • topspin628topspin628 Posts: 373
    As for overall reliability, I think that BMW is good Except for the 7. I personally know of 2 people who both had to go Lemon Law for the first year model. (I don't know too many people who drive them so statistically that's way too high). For the S Class, I also know 2 people who were given brand new cars by the dealer. That's amazing to me and good for MB for backing up their products. When I was serious about the S Class, I spoke to the manager of service who had no vested interest as he didn't even know that I was in the market. He told me that vast majority of them were fine but if you got a "bad" one it was really bad.
    I hope the new S Class is improved in that area.
    That being said, I do agree that cars today are so much more reliable than in the past that the bar is raised so high to get a very good rating. This is a good thing for all of us. My 00 BMW 3 had 2 small annoyance fixed quickly and was flawless for 50K miles. And I loved driving it!
    MY wife's X5 actually had 2 occurances of computer malfunctions which rendered the car undriveable and it had to be towed. But to this day, she will tell you that it's her favorite car of all time. Now, can we get a car with great Euro driving dynamics and the bullet proof reliability of the Lexus? That would be crowned the "New Champion"
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Now, can we get a car with great Euro driving dynamics and the bullet proof reliability of the Lexus?

    In real life . . . probably not. the Lexus is tops at reliability and no other cars, not even other Japanese cars, do as well, although some come pretty close.

    Interestingly, though, the latest generation of all-aluminum Jaguars do exceptionally well in the latest years of JD Power surveys, within a stone's throw of the Lexus on occasion. Incredible! I am not suggesting that a Jag is in your future, however, just remarking on the "reliability" topic.

    I would be willing to bet that the latest '07 S-class will start to accumulate some very good quality and reliabiity statistics as time goes. From what I know so far, it is doing very well.

    TagMan
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Basically, you are distinguishing between sport and luxury, road cars and living-room cars, and the levels at which they are achieved. Although I have not driven a Quattroporte I wouldn’t say you can’t get soul from a BMW. Their sport-tuned suspensions are impeccable. However a Quattroporte owner who also had an E39 M5 said he really likes the Q better.

    Italian "soul" isn't really about handling. It's about the sound and fury of those V8s and V12s. The M5 doesn't have that.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Look for it to be BMW in a few years.

    Regardless of what LG says, anybody blind-folded can tell the difference between an Infiniti M and a BMW 5 Series.
    They are both fine vehicles, but the BMW has better steering and handling. The M has better brakes.

    BMW has taken reliability issues to heart and their sedans are getting better in that respect.

    I have had 3 problem-free BMW's-two 3 Series and a 13 month trouble-free 545.

    Sorry to hear about your wife's problems with the X5.
    The X5 has probably been BMW's most unreliable model over the years. I wouldn't touch one.

    I can't speak for you, but I feel the very small potential of a problem with any of the BMW sedans should not outweigh the incomparable rush you will feel driving one, as you already know.

    It's a terrific feeling being behind the wheel of a BMW.
    I hope you get to re-connect with one.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Now, can we get a car with great Euro driving dynamics and the bullet proof reliability of the Lexus? That would be crowned the "New Champion"

    The Infiniti M comes very close. I believe the next G and FX will also fit this bill.

    The Jags have gotten very reliable, but the X and S type are mediocre cars, at best. The XJ is a good car, and more fun to drive than an LS430, but its not a match for the Germans, in speed or handling. Just look at this Fifth Gear shootout between a XJR and CLS55. The XJ is rolling all over the place, while the Mercedes stays remarkably flat in the corners for its size and weight.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FBlORzxlGD0
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Just remember, Dewey, your BMW synthetic motor oil is no longer a carry-on item. ;)

    You should be back in time to be one of the first to drive the fabulous, new twin-turbo BMW 335i Coupe.

    Looking forward to comparing notes.

    Have a great vacation! :shades:
  • topspin628topspin628 Posts: 373
    Yes, I'm a big fan of BMW. My point on the X5 was that in spite of those two instances of computer failure and the corresponding inconvenience, we love the car. We've taken it on several long trips and after 5 hours of driving, I feel very little fatigue. It always inspires confidence and it feels rock solid. So there is more to the car experience than reliability. It's like owning a watch that is very accurate but you feel little or no emotional attachment to or one that may need some maintanince now and then but that you love every time you look at it.
    As for the Jag, I actually had forgotten in my initial post today, that I had taken that for a one day "test drive" and tried to love it because I really liked the exterior styling. Inside though, it was rather plain and the drive was neither sporty nor luxury. It just didn't hit for me on any front.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    I drove the X5 4.4 last summer. I found it to have BMW's best interior and most generous driver's seat legroom. Handled extemely well, but was turned off by the mpg.
    "Settled" for the 545 which I got for the same lease price as the X5 4.4.

    I would stay away from the 7 Series-not enough luxury to be seriously considered as a member of the HELM realm.
  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 5,863
    Good post Topspin and a good, honest evaluation. We each have our own opinions on what makes a fine automobile and on any purchase there is some compromise.

    Once you sample the new LS 460 I am thinking that you just may make the same decision, for many of the same reasons, that you made 3 years ago. I am betting this will be your next helm!!

    2013 LX 570 2010 LS 460 2002 Tacoma 4x4

  • topspin628topspin628 Posts: 373
    I saw the new LS at the NY Auto show and I must say that it is a striking car. They claim that it will be as big a breakthrough as the first LS in 90. Let's see.
    By the way, with all of the technology available today, why isn't programable steering an option? For those of us that want a bit more effort and feel there could be a sport setting and for those that like the "american" soft steering, a luxury setting. I'm no tech wizard, but it seems to me that there are much more advanced electronics already available.
  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 5,863
    I have often wondered about that myself. I too like a little steering effort. It should be a simple option to offer.

    2013 LX 570 2010 LS 460 2002 Tacoma 4x4

  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    It is interesting to take note that all the imported HELMS listed on this forum are European with the exception of the Lexus LS.

    I think this explains, in part, why some of the Lexus fans have yielded to that pressure and fled to the Lexus LS board.

    Unfortunately, as I have checked that forum, unkind remarks and insults are being hurdled at this forum, so I decided not to post there. Apparently, the lack of class and mudslinging has now moved over there, I guess.

    It is nonetheless quite fascinating how Lexus LS has been such an amazing force to reckon with, and will most likely get stronger as the new '07 is released.

    If they can add more performance and better driving dynamics, then they could convert even more Eurocar fans, I would imagine.

    TagMan
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    By the way, with all of the technology available today, why isn't programable steering an option? For those of us that want a bit more effort and feel there could be a sport setting and for those that like the "american" soft steering, a luxury setting. I'm no tech wizard, but it seems to me that there are much more advanced electronics already available.

    The new Volvo S80 offers adjustable effort steering. The problem is that "heavier" steering doesn't necessarily equal "better" steering. I've driven cars with light but telepathic steering, and cars with heavy but dull and numb steering. Unfortunately, from what I've read the S80 falls into the latter group. I assume though that its something that will quickly catch on in the luxury realm, like swiveling headlights.
  • topspin628topspin628 Posts: 373
    Is this this the same as the speed sensitive steering from BMW? That is not something that is adjustable by the driver. What I was talking about was having a setting that can be regulated similar to the suspension settings on some cars.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Is this this the same as the speed sensitive steering from BMW? That is not something that is adjustable by the driver. What I was talking about was having a setting that can be regulated similar to the suspension settings on some cars.

    I meant the Volvo's system is driver adjustable. Automatic variable effort steering has been around for years and years. BMW was first with variable ratio steering, but I think Volvo may be the first with a driver adjustable setup. I dont know of any other cars that have it yet.
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    I agree with most of your post, however there were some things that I can't quite understand.

    I've never heard of the Audi A8L not feeling like a $70k-80k vehicle. My Audi along with everyone who has one probably knows that there are very few cars that have the quality that Audi puts into there cars.

    And the qualilty of the A8 is outstanding, as the many journals have reputed serveral times. The body is as swift as a bridge abutment and the powertrains are first rate. IT is one of the safest cars on the road and with the many gadgets this car has, one will never get bored driving it.

    And if you think the A8L is long, the 211" S550 is longer than the 205" A8L.
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