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High End Luxury Cars

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  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    You know you're going to get a bunch of ribbing for that, right? 48 degrees is probably almost summer for dewey. ;)
  • anthonypanthonyp Posts: 1,857
    Well I can attest to Audi and break dust....I, at one time, was told that there was a European law of some kind that made the cars have some sort of carbon in the pads, but it didn`t make much sense...Tony
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Yes, but he gets even by not having to endure tomorrow's holiday traffic.
    Bet they have a lot of frozen turkeys in Deweyland! :)
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    From what I read here, it seems the German vehicles have the brake dust problem: Audi, BMW and Mercedes Benz. But as far as I know, we haven't received any input on this topic from Japanese vehicle owners, have we?
    So it could just be a false assumption on my part.

    Yes...it would be nice to hear from the Lexus camp every once in a while.
    Oac...please get out of your rocking chair! ;)
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    Pat & Howard,

    a temperature of 48 degrees during late November is what we call here an Indian Summer.
    Enjoy your turkeys. We had our Thanksgiving dinner last month and we are still making club sandwiches from our leftovers.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Hah, I knew it!!

    We've just been through a terrible nor'easter here - flooding everywhere on one of the biggest travel days of the year. Lots of folks stranded in drowned cars and with flight delays. :(

    I'm not going anywhere except across town tomorrow and things are looking decidedly better now than they have been all day.

    Thanks for your good wishes. :)

    (Month-old turkey?? YIKES!!! Careful not to get :sick: !)
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Well, 48 degrees here is quite uncomfortable. These Florida homes are not well-insulated. Should have spent more and gone with the HEL home, I guess.

    Wow! Hope you have an antibiotic handy!
    Even canned tuna sounds great after all that!

    I actually eat turkey all year, so no big deal with tomorrow.

    I wonder if I will be the only passenger on my flight tomorrow, since most everyone left already.

    Love the indoor airport parking lot. Lots of HELC's, LPS's and premium SUV's to lust over! Maybe I will see my first LS 460 there tomorrow. (The auto show doesn't count.)

    Happy Thanksgiving to all participants and hosts wherever you are! :)
  • esfesf Posts: 1,020
    "Mercedes, BMW, and Lexus interiors have all improved since the mid '90s..."

    And so have Audi's! I just had to say it. Best in the industry!

    The A8's interior is simply stunning... there's nothing about it that feels cheap. Nothing.

    '06 Audi A3 2.0T DSG • '05 Audi S4 Cabriolet • '04 Lexus RX330
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Maybe they froze some of their turkey (we do it with Ham every Christmas) and thawed some of it when they want a portion of it.
  • Well I finally made over to my MB dealership today to test the new S550. I took it for about 30 minutes and here's my short take. I like the outside looks very much. Inside the quality is good but the interior did not match the A8 for quality or aesthetic appeal. I think that their command system would be easy to get used to but on the test drive I found it a bit frustrating at first. I'm sure that once you have the car for a bit and put in the time it would be fine. The seats were good, not great.
    The stereo was good, not great. It was very tight and quiet on the road and the suspension was very good. The car drove smaller than it is. Acceleration was very good but not "rock your socks". Maybe it's just too smooth to really create that excitement. It is definitely tuned more for luxury than sport and felt closer to the Lexus than I remembered in past MBs. Maybe they want a piece of that pie. I found the breaks to be excellent but the steering was very overboosted. The old tight MB steering was not anywhere to be found.
    After the drive, I got back in my 05 LS430 and it felt very, very similar. I don't see the price difference unless you love the looks and the prestige of the Benz. To me they've gone too far to the luxury side and have abandoned their Euro roots with this one. It's a very good car and one that I would love to be driven in if I had a driver but I found it to be rather uninvolving to drive. I think blindfolded one would be hard pressed to tell the difference between the LS and the S550.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    OK, the rest of the story, now that I've got a few more minutes here. Yesterday's visit to the Int'l Auto Show was certainly a lot of fun.

    And as I posted late yesterday, the S600 is the nicest sedan of the HELC group. It's a stunning standout. It's striking contemporary interior delivers the perfect balance of materials, ergonomics, comfort, and luxury, without overkill and without coming up short. The S600 hits the bulls-eye. Terrific vehicle that I will want (no, lust) to drive at some point in the future. That blkhemi is one very lucky fellow, I'll tell you.

    Right on the heels of the S600, IMO, is the Audi S8. This S8 is such a beautifully crafted car. Wonderful in every way.

    Overall, Audi interiors once again showed their merit. In addition to the awesome S8, the Audi RS4 was a favorite of mine. Terrific little car.

    Jaguar is a car I have a soft spot for, and the XK/R did not fail to get my pulse going a bit faster. Ignore those back seats, as it is really a 2-seater for all practical purposes. Makes for a gorgeous convertible. The XJ is still an icon, IMO, but needs some more contemporary styling, inside and out. The rest of the Jags are irrelevant to me, as I only acknowledge the XJ and XK as true current Jaguars.

    The Aston Martin vehicles are quite stunning, and I see even better times ahead for AM.

    I love the Quattroporte, and took the opportunity to check it out closely. The rep was very clear about the transmission's shifting being smoothed out by way of updated software. I still need to drive this vehicle one day and see for myself. Beautiful car though, the Q, and one of my favorites.

    The new BMW X5 was not at the show for some reason, although the rep said that they are being shipped to the dealers. I was hoping to see it. The all-new 3-series coupe is sweet, and is probably my favorite BMW at this point in time. The M6 convertible was a turn-off up close. The X3 is definately an improvement over the first edition, but it is still boring somehow.

    Speaking of boring, the Lexus LS is just that. I spent a huge amount of time looking at the LS460, LS460L and the LS600hL, looking for things to like about them, and it was more difficult than I imagined. Because I spent so much time looking at them, I'll spend some extra time here going over my impressions.

    Clearly the long wheelbase version of the LS is the way to go. Surprisingly, the LS's interior was so chock full of hard plastics that I was truly surprised. Sure there is leather and wood, but almost the entire center stack and parts of the center console as well as the instrument cluster sourrounds are all hard plastic, and the dash/stack layout is very conventional and common, similar to economy cars from a design standpoint.

    The LS's seat was spongey, but comfy. It felt like there was likely a layer of memory foam or something. The standard LS's footwell was a bit tight, but not as bad as some have reported. Almost everything about this car seems very logical, but almost from a utility standpoint. This vehicle would clearly get someone from point A to point B with ease, but without much excitement. In addition, I don't think the prices are a bargain any more, IMO. I acknowledge that I must drive these soon to know the full picture.

    The LS600hL is a bells and whistles LS, and I would never spend six digits on one, expecially when there are so many other much more exciting vehicles to choose from out there. I have clearly changed my mind on this vehicle, which I initially called a new exclusive benchmark. I now think it could easily be a very risky purchase.

    The IS sure is a cute little Lexus, and it does get someone a decent Lexus for a reasonable price, IMO. Rear seat is tight, however. . . and it's no 3-series, BTW. Perfect for the young early driver, IMO.

    The Maybach was ridiculously off-limits . . . dissapointing, of course.

    Some other interesting highlights... One of the cool surprises of the day for me was over at Infiniti. I was pleasantly reminded how those interiors are so very tasteful, and the amount of car for the dollar is staggering. Every one of those Infiniti sedans and coupes is a bargain, IMO. The rep informed me that there are to be some serious updates coming from Infiniti, within 6 to 12 months. These cars are such obvious bargains, it is almost ridiculous.

    A few quick little off-topics . . . the Toyota FJ Cruiser is chock full of cool factor. It's a slam-dunk winner. And the new Camaro concept was also cool. VW's Rabbit looks to be a bargain, but will it sell? Prefer the looks of the '06 MDX to the '07. The new '07 Jeep Wrangler should be called the world's first plastic car . . . horrible. Hold on to the originals. Honda's new CR-V is a winner, and the Tesla electric car is a Lotus-engineered and built sports car that goes 0-60 in 4 seconds and gets the equivalent of 135 mpg. Price of such environmentally-correct performance? Over $100,000. Sorry, I'll take a Porshce instead.

    Speaking of which, The Porsches were as cool as I expected, and I now have the official delivery date of my 4S Targa. Tuesday, November 28th, and it seems that all new Targas can not be released before that date even though the cars will be in dealer's inventory. Oh well, less than 1 week.

    Back to Mercedes for a moment. The E63 AMG deserves a mention. It gets my award for the show's best monster in disguise. Wow, what a machine disguised in an everyday E-Class sedan. I need to drive this animal.

    Anyway, enough about the show for now. Yes, great fun . . . have a Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.

    TagMan
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Thanks for the auto show writeup. I agree on the S, S8 and XKR they are three hotties right now. Though I must say that I do like this LS, the LS460L specifically more than any other previous LS. I have yet to see any on the roads though to give it the true styling test. The SWB model is just ill proportioned next to the LWB model.

    M
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Well, my XKR finally forced me into making a decision about what car to buy next. It was starting to have transmission issues, and there's no way I'm paying for a new transmission. I took one more look at a new 650 convertible and a 2 year old SL, and the Maserati of course. The 650 still hasn't grown on me, both inside and out. The SL is nice, but as I've said before I think its somewhat of a boring choice at this point, and I'm not really excited about the idea of Mercedes quality circa '05. I love the Maserati Gransport Coupe.. but a 2.5+ hour drive to and from the dealer is just too much.

    I just pulled the trigger on an "almost-new" '07 XK8 convertible. It has 6,000 miles on the odo, and is Jag certified, so my warranty is actually much longer than if it was new with 0 miles. (Strange how that works). The engine babying period is also basically over, so I'm free to give the engine and transmission the proper workout that they deserve. The Jag's ZF six-speed is 95% of the fun of the Maserati's SMG, and is of course 1000x smoother in full auto mode. I'll try to post some pictures soon. Its silver\blue with a blue top. The interior is two-tone gray\tan with the full-leather luxury package and Burl Walnut.

    Happy Thanksgiving!
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    CONGRATS!!!!! That color combo sounds gorgeous, after turkey pics please...lol!!!

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I saw this and was reminded of your push for the E-Class to be included on the old HELM board. A little history on the E-Class:

    image

    W120/W121 1953-1962. Also known as Ponton.
    image

    W110 "Heckflosse / Fintail", 1959-1968
    image

    W114/W115 "Strich-8" 1967-1976
    image

    W123, 1976-1985
    image

    W124, 1985-1995
    image
    My personal favorite E of all time so far, the car I saw so much growing up. It was also the "300E" from this model series that started my love affair with Mercedes-Benz. I plan to have one of these one day, either a 500E/E500 or a 300CE/E320 Coupe.

    W210, 1995-2002
    image

    W211, 2002-2010?
    image

    Some special E-Classes through the years:

    W124 500E / E500 with the R129 500SL V8, 326-hp

    image

    This car is likely the most exclusive sedan Mercedes has produced in the last 20 or so years. It had a Porsche engineered chassis, exclusive interior and the engine from the 500SL of the day, unheard of during that era. In 1994 it stickered for about 80K and a good example can go for 30K still today. Today, the E550 and SL550 sharing the same engine is no big deal.

    582-hp W211 Brabus E-Class
    image

    W124 Stretchlimousine
    image

    The weakest gasoline engine in the W120/W121 had 72-hp. Now, the weakest gasoline E-Class has 163-horesepower (a Euro model of course).
    image

    M
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    "The LS seat was spongey."

    I agree. I sank rather deeply upon sitting in it.
    Same with the S Class driver's seat.

    Just the opposite of what a good driver's seat is supposed to do. I want to feel comfortable, but firmly in place for the matter at hand.

    I also found the LS 460 disappointingly boring in appearance.
    I found the new ES350 quite a bit spicier.

    Thanks for the write-up.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    Two new lucky cars owners!

    Congratulations Tagman and Lexusguy.

    Tagman,

    thanks for the informative car show report. I do agree 100% with you about the 3 series coupe vs. the 6 series/M6. Bigger is not neccessarily better in this case. An new M3 coupe will be very interesting too.
  • on the new whips. That new Jag is drop me to my knees gorgeous.

    Speaking of gorgeous, has anyone seen the new Bond movie? Very well done, without a lot of the corny/campy feel of the last 10 or so. All that to say, the new Aston DBR9 is to cars what mexican food is to me. A daily neccesity, or beauty in it's purest form. [I hope that got the point across]

    Blkhemi, have you ever owned an Aston Martin?

    Topspin, I can't get with you on the whole " you'd have a hard time telling the difference between the LS, and S if you drove them back to back blindfolded. To me their is a huge buttoned down feel in the Benz that is lacking in the S. The S feels more agile to me. I'm no Mercedes guy in general, but for that kind of money, the LS still doesn't drive right for me. [Although a very nice car in it's own right]

    Tag, congratulations on the Porsche. I don't know who I want to be adopted by more, you, or Blkhemi lol.

    I sure am thankful for this sight, and all the other car nuts like me, that make me feel a little more normal, for being so nutty about cars. But I'm even more thankful for my beautiful wife, as I can say with confidence that she is better looking than all of you...... :P

    Happy thanksgiving Edmunds, and all who frequent.. :shades:
  • Topspin, I can't get with you on the whole " you'd have a hard time telling the difference between the LS, and S if you drove them back to back blindfolded. To me their is a huge buttoned down feel in the Benz that is lacking in the S. The S feels more agile to me. I'm no Mercedes guy in general, but for that kind of money, the LS still doesn't drive right for me. [Although a very nice car in it's own right]

    I was very dissapointed in the softer seats (too soft) and the very artificial over boosted steering. I've owned benzes in the past (82 300D,86 E Class,01ML) and they all had very supportive and firm seats that you could drive in all day without a complaint and very direct steering that gave you a sense of complete control. Those are the 2 items that are missing from my LS and I was counting on seeing in true MB form in the new S Class. Hence my disappointment. I think they dialed it back to the comfort, soft formula a bit too much for my taste. I may be more of a BMW guy now.
  • But as far as I know, we haven't received any input on this topic from Japanese vehicle owners, have we?


    Never had any break dust problem with my GS. My chrome wheels are always shiny like new.
    48 degree can be very uncomfortable if your home is not built for cold weather, but it can be very pleasant to play golf or test driving cars though.
  • Congrats on your new Targa. I bet you are counting the hours until Nov 28.

    By the way, the LS's little brother/cousin, Camry took the Motor Trend's 2007 Car of the Year award. This includes the hybrid model. See article here link title
    . I would not doubt the success of the new LS regular and hybrid. There is no TOL in Toronto, but my salesman promise to give me a test drive of the new LS once it becomes available here.
  • Congrats on you new toy.
  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 5,894
    Call me crazy but I like the circa 1959 "Fintail". I have always been partial to more "upright" styles. Now if Mercedes would start with one of these, thoroughly update it, and give it a good diesel engine I just might be interested.

    Lexusguy, congrats on the new ride. Enjoy.

    Happy Thanksgiving all.

    2013 LX 570 2010 LS 460 2002 Tacoma 4x4

  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Lexusguy - You already know that I love Jaguar XJ's and XK's. So to learn that you've picked up (you likely stole it. LOL) an almost new certified XK is terrific news. And a convertible! What a beauty. You MUST keep me posted on this car from time to time, as I'll be asking you anyway! Congrats, my friend.

    Merc - Thanks for the E-Class evolutionary pics. I hope you haven't altered the space/time continuuum ;) .
    I guess you picked up my monster-in-disguise remark about the E63 at the show. To think that the current E buyer can choose between a BlueTec diesel or an E63 AMG shows what this one car is capable of. Even though the E is not a HELC vehicle, it sure deserves a lot of respect. Thanks, again. If that pic I posted last week is indeed the new E, then it will surely continue its great success story.

    Thanks to the rest of you with regards to the Targa...but, until I take delivery next Tuesday, it's not "official". I'll post after the final "official" outcome.

    That XK/R won't get out of my head. Uh oh. :)

    BTW, I saw some of those weather posts . . . it will be sunny and 59 or 60 degrees here today. Lexusguy would probably have the top down! ;)

    Happy Thanksgiving again.

    TagMan
  • garyh1garyh1 Posts: 386
    I do like this LS

    Well, I did say that I missed reading about 1750 messages at the end of the old HELM board, so maybe the answer lies there, but I have to say the above are 5 words I never expected to see come out of merc!

    That's what I am thankful for today! :D

    If this isn't enough to get Len to come back, I don't know what it will take. :confuse:
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Speaking of which, The Porsches were as cool as I expected, and I now have the official delivery date of my 4S Targa. Tuesday, November 28th, and it seems that all new Targas can not be released before that date even though the cars will be in dealer's inventory. Oh well, less than 1 week.

    Congrats, I didn't see this the first time around. Pics after turkey!

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Mind you I wouldn't take it over the usual suspects, but I do like the LS460L more than any previous LS.

    M
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Mind you I wouldn't take it over the usual suspects, but I do like the LS460L more than any previous LS.

    Personally, I dislike it less than any previous LS. ;)

    So, from that standpoint, I acknowledge the improvement, but honestly, I'm not a fan of the car. I can't bring myself to feel anything for it. Respect, yes, but that's it. Sorry to the LS fans. Don't take it personal. I know the car is well built, and improved, but it is bland and boring to me. If I dig deep, I could find that it might appeal to me in a some sort of a logical way, but that's it.

    TagMan
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well that is a different way of putting it.

    I have actually liked a LS model before though, the 1993 and 1994 LS400.

    I too find the new car to be boring and kinda slab sided with an interior no different from any other Toyota model when it comes to design and layout, but still I like to cars too much to dismiss it completely. Haven't yet seen one on the road to really see how it "looks".


    M
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    I too find the new car to be boring and kinda slab sided with an interior no different from any other Toyota model when it comes to design and layout

    I understand completely. When I looked at and sat in the LS, I was logically impressed with the car, although I was seriously disappointed with the amount of hard plastic and basic dash/stack/console layout.

    On the other hand, the Audi S8 and S600 left me wishing for one and truly admiring them. Big (really big) difference that can't be ignored.

    Haven't yet seen one on the road to really see how it "looks".

    Generally, they ALL look better on the road, being in motion and all that, so I don't think that matters enough.

    Take care, and "give thanks" today for that beautiful CLK, and more importantly, all your loved ones.

    TagMan
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