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High End Luxury Cars

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  • guestguest Posts: 774
    The RAV 4 is now the equal of the X3? What?

    So 10 extra hp V-6 and a size that's now within the size of the X3 is now meant to say they're in the same class?

    First off, the RAV4 ain't no X3, nowhere close. Yes, it has slightly more power, but the X3 will flat out smoke it in performance. And with RAV4's rather pedastrian interior as opposed to the more premium materials in the X3, well you actually do get what you pay for.


    Maybe I came in too late to join this fight, but let's not make the X3 out to be no Range Rover! You got the X3 having a Bentley interior over there. Jeez! Last time I checked, the X3 didn't have a posh interior, as few BMWs do. :confuse:

    The X3 is nothing scary, and the Rav4 ain't no RX, fair enough?

    DrFill
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I never thought I'd say this, but Ford is in worse shape than GM is and the scary part is that they don't seem to have a clue as to what to do about it. It seems that no other automotive company wants Aston-Martin, the beautiful but high maintanence, expensive to maintain British brand. I would have loved to have seen what BMW could have done with AM. However if Ford sells off Aston to someone that means Jaguar can move up and that will likely save the cat from extinction. My goodness anything that looks this good deserves to be saved!

    image

    I think I have a new lust object.

    M
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    A4s, Jettas, Passats, TLs ISes, 3-Series, ES350s - these are high end how?
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    I think I have a new lust object.

    Man, do I agree with ya . . . absolutely stunning Jaguar . . . but don't think about trading in your CLK just yet! ;)

    TagMan
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    This is for you, Doc . . .

    Here's two briefs:

    link title

    link title

    TagMan
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Toyota Motor Corp. will buy 5.9 percent of truck- and diesel engine-maker Isuzu Motors Ltd. for $373.0 million, the automaker said today. The companies plan to combine their diesel and alternative drivetrain efforts, perhaps leading to the development of vehicles powered by hybrid diesels.

    source Automotive News
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Isuzu makes very good diesel engines. I'd call it a good strategic move by Toyota.

    And . . . just another indication that diesels are really coming.

    Their written agreement clearly focuses on a collaboration surrounding diesel technology. Here's a little more detail from the same source:

    PRESS RELEASE: Isuzu and Toyota sign basic agreement on business collaboration

    Diesels . . . ahh, yes. How sweet it is!

    TagMan
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    The diesel I will likely purchase will be the upcoming GL BlueTec, but it won't be available for one more year as an '08.

    image

    I think the wait will be worth it.

    TagMan
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 2,606
    Thanks. I've been to two games at Gillette this year. Denver and Indy. Two losses. I'm beginning to get a complex. And I'm fairly sure I won't be invited back! :cry:

    New England Patriots: A perfect 6-0 sans Laurasdada! :sick:

    And, as a TL owner, I will disagree with the poster(s) criticizing the interior. I find it to be a stylish, functional driving envrionment. While not a huge fan of aluminum, at least it is real and breaks up the sea of (quality and nicely textured) plastic. Also, the faux carbon fiber goes mostly unnoticed by me, inoffensive. The faux, light-colored wood I agree is not very attractive. Too each...

    Bring on the Jets, I'm feeling a little better (I'm not quite dead yet...).

    '13 Jaguar XF, '11 BMW 535xi, '02 Lexus RX300

  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 5,873
    I see only one fly in the ointment right now and that is the price of diesel. In my area it has steadily climbed to be about 25% more than reg. $2.50 vs $2.00.

    I think that our friends at "Big Oil" will eventually charge us 40% more (than reg) for diesel because it will increase mpg by 40%. That way they get the savings and not us because I think diesel is actually cheaper to make. If diesel will increase your mpg by 40% but costs 40% more, where's the advantage?

    Boy, do I hope I am wrong on this!!

    2013 LX 570 2010 LS 460 2002 Tacoma 4x4

  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    I think the GL is too skinny for a large SUV. Q7 diesel is a possibility for me, if we decide to wait that long before replacing our LX, and if Audi cleans up its reliability in year 2. I just checked the A8 reliability and that doesn't look too bad, so there is some hope.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    If diesel will increase your mpg by 40% but costs 40% more, where's the advantage?

    I will check the local prices here and report back to you, because I know they are much higher overall than your prices . . . lucky you.

    But, the higher prices makes diesel's increase less on a percentage basis. If you really believe that diesel will be 40% higher, then you should consider that the E-Class diesel in most of the recent real-life reports achieved an average of 33 mpg overall. The gas-versions of the E in real life typically average about 19 mpg. I know this because I owned one a few years ago with the 430 V8.

    So, here is where we are with this. The current percentage increase is about 25%, and you are fearful of 40%. Even if that happens, the E gets almost 73% better mileage with the diesel! That's right . . . the jump from 19mpg to 33mpg is an increase of approximately 73%! I highly doubt diesel fuel's price increase will ever approach that.

    Also, with regards to the SUV, there will still be a significant increase in fuel economy, although it is not factually known what percentage increase it will be, but I think it is safe to expect it to be at LEAST 50%. For example, if the gas SUV gets 16 mpg avg. in real life (which is possibly optimistic!), and the diesel only gets 22mpg, then we are talking about a 50% increase in fuel economy.

    So, unless something catostrophic happens to the price of diesel fuel, I think it is fair to say that the diesel will be a very good alternative with regards to fuel economy at a real-cost level.

    TagMan
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    I think the GL is too skinny for a large SUV. Q7 diesel is a possibility for me, if we decide to wait that long before replacing our LX

    The Q7 and GL both have a 65" front track and their difference in the rear track is 9/10ths of an inch, hardly worth mentioning. Their lengths are also near identical, with the Q7 coming in at 200.2" and the GL at 200.3". Overall body widths are similar, but I do know that Audi includes the side mirrors in its reported dimension, and I cannot confirm that Mercedes does the same. If so, then the Q7 would seem wider, but the interior width or the width excluding mirrors would be more accurate to really know . . . especially when considering that the front track widths are identical to each other..

    In any event, I believe these vehicles to be very similar in their overall dimensions. As you know, the GL was just awarded SUV of the year by Motor Trend with 22 contenders. It's a good write up on a terrific vehicle.

    I certainly should add that the Q7 is a nice vehicle, too and I don't want to infer that the GL is the ONLY good choice out there.

    I would also expect something new and nice from Lexus soon.

    TagMan
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    I guess I should have checked! I was going by how the GL "looks" on the road....long and skinny, to my eyes.

    My thinking is that Q7 reliability is more likely to improve than ML/GL/R, since that Alabama factory still produced unreliable MLs even late in the previous generation.

    I think the rumored JX may be interesting, though more of a crossover and less of an SUV. Am waiting with baited breath. Need to see if it will be roomy enough, primarily.
  • Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,018
    A national newspaper is looking to interview consumers who have recently purchased a luxury car for the first time and about why you decided to purchase a luxury car. Please send an e-mail to ctalati@edmunds.com no later than Friday, November 10, 2006 by 2:00 PM PST/5:00 EST containing your daytime contact information.

    Community Manager If you have any questions or concerns about the Forums, send me an email, karen@edmunds.com, or click on my screen name to send a personal message.

  • guestguest Posts: 774
    This is for you, Doc . . .

    Here's two briefs:

    link title

    link title


    Thanks, but I can't say this rumor is exactly news to me. How else would Lexus compete with 5.5 Turbo-charged V12s but with hybrids?

    DrFill
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    How else would Lexus compete with 5.5 Turbo-charged V12s but with hybrids?

    Can an apple really compete with an orange?

    Y'know Doc . . . I wonder if we have now come to an age where the electric motors of a hybrid are a modern day alternative to a turbocharger or a supercharger. Whereby those motors provide the additional ponies in the same vain as a turbo or blower might add extra power?

    It has already been shown that they can add power, but we're talking about a major shift in perception here . . . from fuel economizer to power booster.

    Those electric motors are going to have to prove themselves at the top tiers to be taken seriously . . . they will have to compete SUCCESSFULLY against those Turbo-charged v12s to prove their merit . . . and prove that an apple can indeed compete with an orange. We'll see.

    TagMan
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Man, do I agree with ya . . . absolutely stunning Jaguar . . . but don't think about trading in your CLK just yet!

    Isn't it though. I think my next car could be a XKR or a SL, in about ahh...4 years or so! I'm over (I think) the CLS for the moment and the new CL will still likely be out of reach for me, maybe. That leaves the SL. I sat in one of these for a while the other day while getting my first oil change and man I love that car! The way it seals you up once you're inside is priceless. The smell, the materials the promise of 382hp on the "base" 550 model is just overwhelming.

    Then you have the Jag. While the XKR is gorgeous in general, the XK in general has one of the best rear ends in the business. It is classic in the sense that it looks like they "stretch the sheetmetal to cover the chassis". While looking at some XKs while the dealer was closed (Sunday, no pestering from sales folks) I really became drawn to the XK. The car is downright stunning in Jaguar Racing Green with a beige top or Indigo Blue with a blue top. Oh well, the SL/XK decision is years off.

    M
  • I'm rather skeptical of the 73% increase claim. I had 6cyl MB diesel before. The gas mileage was good, but not that great. Also a jump from 16mpg to 22 is 37.5% increase, not 50%.

    In any case, I doubt many in the HELM realm care about gas savings. The real breakthrough on diesel will depend on how the noise, vibration and tail pipe smell work out in long term real life ownership. That, and how the fuel system copes with cold weather. Americans don't take care of their cars like Europeans and Japanese do (e.g. I have never seen any car in the US draped with blanket over the grille like it's common for winter season overseas); our garages are full of whimsical purchases, and many of us do not have the patience or discipline parking two cars tightly side by side into the garage :-) Northeast also happens to be the highest income area outside of California (which is hell bent on tail pipe control), so the acceptance of diesel will depend on how well they start and run smoothly on sub-zero mornings with two inches of snow on the hood ;-) Can the new diesels be idled overnight like the commercial trucks do? and is it noisy on the outside?
  • Yup, turbo, nitrous kit, VTEC, performance hybrid are all methods of cheating good old displacement :-)
  • I can certainly agree that there is such a thing called luxury brand; i.e. a brand that is mostly associated with luxury products. However something wearing a luxury brand does not automaticly make it a luxury whatever. e.g. Ferrari sells far more souveniors than cars (in terms both revenue and profit) . . . bearing a Ferrari brand however does not make a mug a "performance mug," a baseball hat a "high performance hat" ;-) A case closer to home would be MB A and B classes. These are not luxury cars even with the MB brand. Please note that I never suggested that RAV4 was a luxury compact SUV . . . merely that X3 was not a luxury compact SUV either, despite the BMW badging. It was simply a BMW entry into the compact SUV market segment. We can certainly both agree that X3 is not HELM :-)
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    I'm rather skeptical of the 73% increase claim. I had 6cyl MB diesel before. The gas mileage was good, but not that great. Also a jump from 16mpg to 22 is 37.5% increase, not 50%

    The 19 mpg rating of an E class V8 is absolutely real-life, as is the 33 mpg reported mpg average of the BlueTec so far. That represents a 73% increase, no matter how you slice it. As far as the 37.5% increase, thanks for catching my typo. I had originally calculated based on a 24 mpg average for the BlueTec SUV, but since I posted 22, it is correct that it should have been 37.5%.

    In any case, I doubt many in the HELM realm care about gas savings.

    Absolutely not true. Many in this forum DO care about mpg, as proved by syswei's original post about the fuel economy of diesel, and many, many other previous posts that have referred to fuel economy. Sure, many of us are willing to suck it up and pay the fuel costs when its worth it, but on the other hand, most of us are not going to just fork it over unnecessarily.

    There's been plenty of enthusiasm on this forum regarding diesels (as opposed to hybrids) as a terrific way to increase fuel efficiency and many of us look forward to it, me being one of them. Sure, there are other benefits to diesels, such as increased torque and longevity, but none is more pronounced than fuel efficiency.

    the acceptance of diesel will depend on how well they start and run smoothly on sub-zero mornings with two inches of snow on the hood

    Recently diesels represent the largest sales increase ever, and this is in spite of the slim product choices, and further is in the face of hybrids, whose growth percentage is now overshadowed by diesels. Diesel sales projections are greater than hybrids and they are expected to take at least 10% of the market in a relatively short period of time. I had posted these statistics a couple of months ago on this forum.

    I have confidence in Mercedes Benz diesels. Their success with diesels is unsurpassed, IMO. Further, the diesel alliance between all the German manufacturers will only help to reinforce the positive perception of diesels.

    TagMan
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    I'm not that educated about diesel and would like to hear from others here re one of the issues brightness raised. Namely, winter starting of modern diesel engines. Is cold-weather starting sometimes a problem as compared to gas engines? Is the engine supposed to be warmed up before driving off?
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Isn't it though. I think my next car could be a XKR or a SL, in about ahh...4 years or so! I'm over (I think) the CLS for the moment and the new CL will still likely be out of reach for me, maybe. That leaves the SL.

    Maybe its just me, but the SL leaves me a bit cold. I've seen that front end on at least three Benzes for years, and when I see one from the front, it takes me a minute to even figure out which Benz it is. I just don't think the SL is a "head turning" car anymore. Combine that with the fact that the XKR outpowers the SL550, costs $10K less, and weighs 400lbs less, well I think the choice is obvious.
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    The thoughts that you share for the XK have all been reaffirmed by myself.

    I don't know if any of you caught my post a few days back, but I mentioned that I would be going to view an XKR. And WOW! What a machine. This car is phenomenal to say the slightest. And this coming from me, a guy who didn't get to test drive. The car was on a Jaguar tour, so it was their car.

    On the SL, I always thought MB could've smoothened out the lines a bit, but, the car is still the king in this arena. And with the '07 refresh, the car is still at attention.

    But the Jag just offers something different, including the SC, XLR, and Porsche 911 Cab. It's unique British charm somehow rings through with a new and refreshing flare. If the R8 wasn't on my radar, that XKR would look very good in the stable.

    BTW: The CLS' look kinda grew on us in about 6 months and we sold the CLS 55, so I feel ya Merc. First oil change on the CLK? Welcome to the wonderful world of the 180 buck oil change.
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    With the modern diesel engine, it's virtually the same as starting a gas engine.

    For instance, in my common-rail(most diesels are this way now) equipped '05 Dodge Ram 3500 that I use to haul my showcars from show to show, the truck requires two things: You and the ignition key.

    Sure, with the conversion to low-sulfur diesel, some diesel still start with clatter, especially in below freezing weather, however not overbearingly so. But once everything is warmed up, they can be as quite as gas enignes at idle, surprizingly.

    Take for instance MB's new 3.2L V-6 Bluetec TD. The engine is quieter at idle than MB's outgoing, once top of the class, 5.0L 302hp, 24V, quad-cam, high-tech V8. This was the engine that started the whole "over 300hp race", with great success.

    The Bluetec, conversely, is starting a following. MB has ramped up development of the engines from 365k(including European variants) to 550k, just to take up some of the demand. I've sampled it in a Jeep Grand Cherokee, and the thing was simply amazing. A short 10 years ago, you could hear a diesel engine a mile away.

    And then the mileage awards kick in. The 5.7L HEMI-equipped GC gets 15/19 in EPA ratings on a very good day, while the 220hp/376lbs-ft of torque Bluetec gets 20/26. and this is a truck-based SUV, built for crushing boulders, and still gets to 60 in under 8 secs.

    In short, the latest in diesel technology is simply astonishing. You can actually buy a vehicle without the need to worry about what your neighbors may think when you bring home a chugging diesel.

    I pulled up next to a new Jetta TDI and there was no way for me to tell if it was gas or oil-burner, as it was just that quiet and refined.

    I'm(along with Tag) looking hard at the MB GL Bluetec to replace my Commander as my do-all SUV, because the engine is just that good, surrounded by the best full-sizer on the market today.

    Hope this helps..
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Thanks. Didn't realize that you show cars. What do you show? If I go to the Greenwich Concours again maybe I'll see your stuff?
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    "If I go to the Greenwich Concours again maybe I'll see you stuff?"

    Just maybe.

    BTW: For the most part, I'm more into late 50's Detroit and all of the muscle car era.

    But I do have a Model A and T that 100% restored to spec that get a lot of attention.

    But my most prized possessions are probably rare rides like the Weber fuel-injected '57 Chevy(only 181 made), the super rare '62 Elorado Convert, a '63 Split Window Vette, a '69 Yenko Camaro, and of course the big one, the '71 Challenger R/T 426 HEMI. Since DCX has sparked interest back into this car, these cars are taking close to $400k at Barret-Jackson auction.

    As you can see, like myself, the older the better. I go through new cars like drinking water, but the collectable are here to stay.

    I saw where you said that you may hold off until the Q7 gets a bit better to get one.

    Well I'm holding off anyway until the V12 TDI gets onboard for '08, so it looks like the GL and Q7 will be getting cross-shopped in the distant future.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    I saw where you said that you may hold off until the Q7 gets a bit better to get one.

    That's if I get one. MDX still a possibility (don't like the fake wood). Or Lexus JX (don't even know if it's for real, much less whether it will suit our needs). Or maybe Q7, possibly diesel if one is out in the right timeframe, but not V12 as I don't need that much power and also don't tow anything...unless you count a hitch-mounted bike carrier.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well LG I think it might just be you. ;)

    The SL is shall we say a familiar sight on the road today. Now comparing the SL550 to the top XKR is only somewhat correct, you and I both know the SL55 is the car to pit against the XKR. Of course on price Jaguar almost always manages to look better and duck the real competition. I wouldn't get to caught up on what front end has been seen on what car before with the XK's snout being in place on cars other than Jaguars. The SL and CL (and recently the CLK) have always had a similar front end, only that dreaded C "Coupe" messed it up by taking it downmarket.

    M
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