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High End Luxury Cars

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  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 5,874
    I just read this comparo on inside line and found it to be very confusing. The MB cost about twice as much, won the performance tests, won the speed tests, won the slamon, won the braking,etc. And every editor picked it as the car they would prefer for themsleves.

    The winner.....the BMW M6. Someone please explain this to me. And while you are at it please explain the scoring explanation chart.

    I don't have a dog in this fight and don't really care which car won but this comparo makes no sense to me. I have a feeling it all hinged on the fact that the BMW was a manual trans. and the MB was automatic. They didn't say this, it is just my hunch.

    2013 LX 570 2010 LS 460 2002 Tacoma 4x4

  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The last line basically says it, the BMW won on price and more standard features. Apparently they weren't bothered by the fact that it's hideous, and the transmission is awful.
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    If you call that a manual.

    DrFill
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    If you call that a manual.

    SMGs are in a gray area between paddle-shift automatics and full 3-pedal manuals.

    The M6 is not supposed to get the stick like the M5 as far as I'm aware.
  • Without belaboring the issue, everyone seems to agree that the ownership experience of an S Class or a 7 Series isn't great. Lots of little "issues" crop up, the dealership maybe isn't as accomodating as they were when you dropped 8 or 9 large on your vehicle, the car that you bought for your 25th wedding anniversary is a lemon (see a recent post on the S Class Board), the cars are overly gimmicky and require an MIT EE who doesn't wear bifocals to figure out the controls and turn on the radio, etc.

    So, what to do? One alternative is to shop Lexus, with all of that brand's positives and negatives. Another is buy a loaded SUV such as a Denali, Navigator, TLC, etc. Maybe the thing won't be as bullet proof as a Lexus, but it will handle snow and a bunch of prep school hockey players. It might cost less than a Lexus, too. A lot of affluent families in the Northeast did that for the last 10 years. Now many are moving into MDX's, X5's etc..

    But here's a well kept secret: Porsche. Great cars and few problems. Porsche is a family owned company, the dealerships are relatively small and staffed by car nuts, the dealership experience is great with free PORSCHE loaners galore, etc. They really care about the customer experience with no end to the surveys, phone calls, and thank you notes from Porsche. Not some customer satisfaction company hired by the local dealership to smooth things over when your wife's Volvo consistently comes back from service unwashed and with more lost tools in the engine compartment than a Snap-On dealer has on his truck. Sure the routine service is expensive. But this time you get what you pay for. Just like Paul Stuart or Brook Bros.

    Moreover, they will even have a four door sedan in a year or two with a price point of 80K or so.
  • esfesf Posts: 1,020
    I'd rather have an S8. The ducktail on the B7 is atrocious, and it just doesn't seem as satisfying as the S8.

    Drop the twin-turbos from the upcoming RS6 into the S8, and you have an S65-eater. Yes, it's hard- but the car is already $100K with average options. I don't think an extra $10-15K for all that extra performance is a bad deal.

    Alpina should leave BMW designs as they are. M does a much better job with bodykits.

    '06 Audi A3 2.0T DSG • '05 Audi S4 Cabriolet • '04 Lexus RX330
  • esfesf Posts: 1,020
    I would say the "OTHER" German high end luxury marque is Audi. Porsche? Completely different class from BMW or Merc. I love Porsche, but everyone knows of Porsche- it's no secret. Everyone wants a 911 at some point in their lives. I can say with confidence that I do, and I'll be driving the Carrera Cabriolet in two years to replace the S4 ( :cry: ). If the Carrera, 650ci and XKR convertible are ALL not to my satisfaction, I'll probably end up with the next-gen S5 or RS5 Cabriolet. Audi is a pretty good secret in the US. Only their owners know how good they are.

    '06 Audi A3 2.0T DSG • '05 Audi S4 Cabriolet • '04 Lexus RX330
  • ctsangctsang Posts: 237
    "Dependable Drive
    The new LS is the fourth generation of the car since Lexus introduced the line in 1989, and it has garnered more awards for quality than any other luxury car, says Lexus. It has also won J.D. Power's Vehicle Dependability Index study every year it has been eligible.

    Lexus builds five of the 16 most reliable luxury cars. Its slogan used to be "the relentless pursuit of perfection," and it wasn't just lip service.

    While the company has world-renowned manufacturing methods, "the pursuit of perfection" is implanted so vigorously into Toyota's corporate culture that Lexus engineers its trademark reliability into cars before they ever hit the factories. The company's designers and engineers have mastered the science behind the creation of reliable vehicles, and they don't need to wait to see how their technology and engineering will hold up on the actual cars, at least not to the extent that other manufacturers do (to test things out, other automakers need to build more pre-production prototypes than Lexus does)."
  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 5,874
    Though many on this board will try to minimize the importance of reliability, I agree with you that Lexus is at the top, and it goes much deeper than simple reliability.

    In order to have the level of reliability that Lexus has, it also has to be engineered right, and built right, using quality parts and materials. Tolerances have to be less that other cars as well.

    This is what Lexus stands for. They have commited to building the best car that can be built. And they do it.

    2013 LX 570 2010 LS 460 2002 Tacoma 4x4

  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    many on this board will try to minimize the importance of reliability

    I've never seen anyone ever try to minimize the importance of reliabiity... or somehow cheat Lexus from its due credit with regards to reliabiltiy. It's a given.

    What I have seen, though, are some that try to maximize its importance... making reliability out to be the most important thing that matters in a vehicle, and minimizing other important factors, such as style, driving dynamics, and sometimes even critical factors such as steering and braking.

    Every poster here knows the importance of reliability. It is a wonderful thing. It is not minimized just because of the recognition of the other important characteristics of a vehicle. No poster here wants to own a shop lizard.

    While some do indeed maximize its importance, however, the rest of us recognize that those other factors can be worthwhile enough to give up a little of the statistical reliability and still obtain a reasonable and adequate level of reliability and own a car that offers terrific advantages in many other areas as well as still having reasonable reliability.

    That, IMO, is a more balanced approach.

    TagMan
  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 5,874
    Likewise I would never buy a car based on reliability alone. The car has perform reasonably in all the areas you mentioned as well. I just never plan to drive it on a race track, etc.

    On another forum the other day a guy said that it was true that the 7 series he owned previously would out perform his current LS. But then he said that his current LS would run circles around the old shuttle bus that he spent way too much time in riding back and forth to the BMW dealer for service and repairs. So I guess it averages out. :)

    2013 LX 570 2010 LS 460 2002 Tacoma 4x4

  • esfesf Posts: 1,020
    I completely agree with your view on the matter.

    I've been lucky, however. The worst problem I've ever had with one of my Audis was the headlight washer cap flying off of my '00 A6 2.7T on the highway (twice). No biggie.

    However, if I get, say, a Mercedes and the reliability isn't quite as good as the S4, it wouldn't matter to me much as long as the luxury/performance characteristics are better.

    '06 Audi A3 2.0T DSG • '05 Audi S4 Cabriolet • '04 Lexus RX330
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    Not too many of us will minimize the great Lexus reliability, but we will maximize that it's not just reliability that goes into these cars.

    Lexus can no longer call the LS the best value in it's class. The build quality of both LS' I've been is average at best with spotty workmanship that used to be top-notch.

    And as to those reports, the '07 models have not been "evaluated" as CR or JDP would say, so they're not valid.

    Yes Lexus vehicles are reliable, but so is every other car nowadays. Your deal.....
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Exactly!

    So tired of hearing about "reliability." When was the last time anybody has seen a tow truck bailing someone out on the side of the interstate? The reliability argument is tired and dated. Vehicles today are incredibly reliable. They have to be, to compete.

    3 BMWs. No reliability issues since 1993. Maybe I'm different, but I like getting reliability AND breathtaking performance.

    Why settle for a vehicle whose only selling point is reliability?
  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 5,874
    You can bet that BMW is even more tired than you are from hearing about the fabulous Lexus reliability. :)

    2013 LX 570 2010 LS 460 2002 Tacoma 4x4

  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The problem for Lexus is that its competitors are catching up fast. How far can Lexus possibly improve from where they are now? Infiniti is very close behind, and their products are fun to drive. When you lease a BMW, you don't have to worry about anything but the lease payment. Lexus doesn't have an answer for that.
  • anthonypanthonyp Posts: 1,857
    Hi HP

    No question about the reliability, and all seeming to be fine, including Mercedes now.....One more day of driving the Great little Honda...So simple, and agile...Too hot one button, and a small twist of one knob, and comfortable....In tafic today and a BMW pulls up next to me...Huge car, and it is a 5---in fact almost all the cars are monsters....Makes me think we may be at the pinnacle of high horsepower and large size,and if for some reason we all had to downshift it is nice to know these smaller cars have merit and are fun to drive---at least around town---I think the price of the Audi 8 may be the value, relatively speaking Tony
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Yes. I am very happy leasing BMWs.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Hey Tony! I am eagerly awaiting Tagman's impression of the A8L!
  • esfesf Posts: 1,020
    You took the words out of my mouth.

    Four Audis. No reliability issues. Unless you count what I mentioned above (headlight washer cap flying off) as a reliability issue. Granted, these are 1998 models and newer- so it's possible that they were less reliable before that.

    Two Lexi ('98 RX300 and '04 RX330). None either, unless you count the speedometer freezing in the RX300 in 2002 as a reliability issue. It could be called that. Our Lexus dealer apologized profusely for the car's behavior.

    '06 Audi A3 2.0T DSG • '05 Audi S4 Cabriolet • '04 Lexus RX330
  • esfesf Posts: 1,020
    When I was in New York last August, I somehow managed to get an LS430 to pick us up from the hotel and drive us to the airport. Although it had some wear-'n-tear, I wasn't impressed with the car's quality. It didn't scream "luxury" like the S-Class or A8.

    '06 Audi A3 2.0T DSG • '05 Audi S4 Cabriolet • '04 Lexus RX330
  • esfesf Posts: 1,020
    TagMan got an A8L? In addition to his Carrera S?

    I'm jealous...

    '06 Audi A3 2.0T DSG • '05 Audi S4 Cabriolet • '04 Lexus RX330
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    TagMan got an A8L? In addition to his Carrera S?

    No esf... sorry. No such luck. Hpowders was talking about waiting for my impression of the A8L test drive.

    Slight chance Thursday, depending upon schedule. Since the BMW and the Audi dealerships are next door to each other, I'd like to have enough time, if possible, to test drive both the Bimmer and the Audi.

    TagMan
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    As Tagman says, he wants to test drive the A8L and the BMW 7 also.

    I have given up on the BMW 7. BMW does not provide enough luxury to compete in the HELC price range. Its interior is not too dissimilar to that found in the 545.

    My HELC interest is in the A8. I sat in one and I liked the seats and felt that I was engulfed by a luxurious interior. But, I haven't driven one yet.
  • jlbljlbl Posts: 1,333
    European High Court Attorney has just proposed the Court to suspend the German Law that forbids Porsche to take executive control of VW, being Porsche as it is the major VW shareholder with 27% of the stock. The Attorney has proposed also to allow Porsche, confronting the German Law, to make a hostile offer in order to buy more VW shares.

    It is thought that European High Court will very probably follow the advice of the Attorney for the shake of free concurrence within Europe. German Law actually protects the right of the German Federal Government and the State of Low Saxon, which are VW shareholders as well, to have executive control of VW.

    May be VW will afterwards change for better its strange car model catergories!

    Jose
  • reality2reality2 Posts: 303
    Well, here is part two of the story from the Financial Times of London:

    "Porsche gains de facto control of VW"

    ------------------------------------------------------------

    The State of Lower Saxony under the stewardship of Christian Wulff has given up the battle to prevent Porsche acquiring a 29.9% stake in VW, chairmanship and a number of seats on the Board. This now leaves Porsche free to increase its shareholding in VW from 27.4%. Reported in today's Financial Times, Wendelin Wiedeking will assume executive control of the entire group with Ferdinand Piech as a kind of honorary chairman above him. Given this situation, Porsche does not need to acquire any more shares in VW, although it could if necessary.

    -----------------------------------------------------------

    It was obvious this was the goal of Porsche and to a certain degree Audi management.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Reported in today's Financial Times, Wendelin Wiedeking will assume executive control of the entire group with Ferdinand Piech as a kind of honorary chairman above him.

    There's nothing "kind of" about it. If anyone is the Godfather of the German auto industry, it's Piech.
  • esfesf Posts: 1,020
    I drove the A8 SWB myself, when my wife was going to get one. As it turns out, we're buying a new house instead- new car is delayed until next year. Because of the hike in my house payments, she probably won't end up with a $75-80K HELC like the A8, unless she gets an S 4Matic or A8L that's one or two years old.

    To get to the point... the A8 is fabulous. Nimble for its size, and yet it belies all the criticisms with its super-smooth ride. The interior, obviously, is beautiful, and the exterior is timeless. I highly recommend it. The BMW... well, I like it (I like every HELC), but there's no reason to buy it over an A8L. You have to want the badge. The ergonomics are terrible (not just the iDrive- check the seat controls!), and the interior execution, while clearly a step above its lower-priced cousins, is certainly not best-in-class. The driving dynamics are good, of course, but then again, so are the A8's.

    '06 Audi A3 2.0T DSG • '05 Audi S4 Cabriolet • '04 Lexus RX330
  • reality2reality2 Posts: 303
    You are right, there is no "kind of" about it. Piech is in control of the VW-Audi-Porsche empire. Let's call it what it is now - an empire.
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