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High End Luxury Cars

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  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Volvo sports a LOW number! Definitely would expect an older, more conservative, loyal buyer for them.

    I'm not really that surprised by Volvo's showing. They get most of their sales from the S40 and S60, which are more affordable and generally aim at a younger crowd than most of the conventional luxury brands.

    I think Infiniti has the most impressive number.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Maybe you'd like to list all the innovations MB has brought forward since 1989 ? And stack them up against Lexus' in the same period... Let's see who wins...

    Sure, it will easily be Mercedes-Benz. Lets see since 1989, Mercedes had done stability control, active roll-over protection (something Lexus has no clue about on a 60K SC430 while a VW Bug has the same feature as a 95K SL550), brake assist, curtain airbags, just to name a few. The only innovation Lexus has brought to the table is hybrids and that was done on Toyota buyers first to test it out. Lexus doesn't innovate squat, they wait for Mercedes and all the rest to do it.

    Pls include well-integrated into the list.

    Everything I named above has been well integrated and test over and over in the real world and it works, so much so that every other luxury car company around today uses it. Mercedes-Benz the innovator, period. Lexus don't do squat in that area.

    Do you recall your post commenting on how many electronic features MB are removing from their newer cars just to reduce the electronic gremlins afflicting them ? And that was only circa 2005, or thereabouts... If you don't recall, I can find it for you.... its right here on this HELM board.

    Of course there was an article from a MB engineer about this, but again you missed the gist of the story by a country mile. Mercedes did remove unnecessary electronic functions from their cars, not the entire removal of any one particular system. A lot of pre-determined settings and other things that customers wouldn't understand unless they read the manual were removed. Things dealing with pre-sets for the sunroof and things like needless features in the Comand system. BTW, that is you that doesn't remember what you wrote a while back, not me.

    Obviously you are wrong here. For starters, the affluent class has EXPANDED globally in recent years. Many more people can now afford to own/lease luxury cars, and you see the evidence all around you, and in luxury sedan sales growth.

    Obviously you don't know what you're talking about here; this doesn't apply to every single person in the luxury car market. 86K is still 86K and 58K is still 58K. Not everyone leases either.

    Secondly, a car like MB with so much more attributes than its competitors should be selling in droves, despite its higher price (heritage, class, features, performance, etc).

    Well the S-Class is, but at 90K a pop it won't and can't last forever, there aren't that many buyers out there at that price point to keep sales at the current level forever. Again, prestige/status doesn't mean anything if you don't have the money to buy the car that has it. I don't see what is so hard to understand about this. If price didn't mean anything they why the hell does Lexus consistently low-ball the entire class with the LS? They do this to add a PRICE ADVANTAGE to their resume.

    Besides, its not like most S-class buyers pay cash for a $90K product. They mostly lease.

    Stats please? Facts, not speculation. What percentage finances the difference or buy with cash vs. leasing?

    I don't suppose that if I can pay $900/mth on an "inferior" LS430, I will be easily scared to pay $1200/mth for a "superior" S500.

    You would if 900 bucks a month was already a reach, and you have no way of knowing the entire world's financial situation. Again, not everyone leases.

    Real-world pricing/leasing knocks your argument down, Merc1.

    Common sense obliterates yours because you don't seem to be able to either produce the numbers about who leases vs. buys or understand that never every luxury car buyer leases in the first place. There are folks right here on these boards that will tell you that they buy a car like this and keep them for a long time, these folks don't lease.

    Finally, MB is priced higher BCOS ............. its cost structure is higher, not bcos the car is better.

    Yeah sure, that must by why people still pay more for MBs and while Lexus can't even get more than merely competitive in more than 2 segments. Makes sense. If Lexus were so much better wouldn't they be the king of every segment they compete in? Wouldn't the American consumer see this stunning Lexus superiority by now? Oh, you'll say that they're the best selling luxury brand, while they pedal ES/RX vehicles at price under 50K while the bulk of MB's lineup is price above (sometimes way above) 50K. Yeah that is an apples to apples comparo.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Let's ask this again: What exactly do you guys constantly harp on as "performance" ? is this about suspension setup, steering and/or road feedback, speed, or what ?? You also add "handling"... Is the MB better at handling than an LS ? And sayz who ? Is the MB a better performance car than the LS ? Sayz who. The last comparo of record was the MT Dec 2003 report for MY2004 releases. The LS430 won that comparo, while the S430 came dead last... or close to last. And pls note that the S didn't come last despite its better performance against the LS....

    If you have to ask OAC then I really don't think you'll get it. Seriously. The LS430 I drove keeled over at the mere thought having to corner or change directions on the course that LEXUS provided. Granted that previous S500 was no BMW 7-Series, but the car remained flatter, the steering has more feel and a Benz has always felt rock-steady at speed. These are things that Lexus doesn't seem to want to do with all the of the LS models up to this point. The seats in a Mercedes are more supportive, the LS430 seats in particular are appallingly flat and church-benchish. Its all that about the steering, brakes, seats, stability in a car like the LS430 vs. the S-Class, A8 or 7-Series that germancarfans talk about here. Ask the ones that have recently bought an S-Class or A8, Tony and Sam, they'll tell you exactly what I'm saying having owned both cars. Performance isn't just a straight line which is what I think a lot of Lexus fans seem to think here with all the constantly rattling off of 0-60 times, especially since they aren't going to drive like that anyway, its silly really. Performance is the whole package, something Mercedes admittedly doesn't do as good as BMW, but does better than Lexus.

    I guess its easy to always throw the "performance" and "handling" shpeel out there as things German cars are always better than Japanese cars... It's simply become an acceptable fact to be announced everytime whether its actually true or not.

    It is, but you wouldn't see it that way because how a car stops, steers etc. is seemingly lost here if the numbers don't put the German car ahead of the Lexus. Just because a car might put up better numbers in certain tests (especially handling) does not mean that the car feels natural doing those things. Neither a Lexus or a Mercedes is a BMW, but a MB is closer than a Lexus is when it comes to the S-Class and the LS. No one saying the S-Class is a sport sedan.

    Note: There was a time when Cadillac had tuned and worked on the previous fwd Seville to death, getting it to the point where it could outhandle a E-Class or A6 and could hang with a 5-Series through a slalom, but in the process it would shave all the tread off of its tires and the body control was gawd-awful. Numbers only tell part of the story.

    I have yet to read of an LS that tipped over taking a corner way too fast bcos its handling was terrible.

    Ok, you've lost the plot with that one. Modern cars don't "tip over" unless you've done something terribly wrong, especially a German car or any other car of this class. I said the LS430 I drove at the Taste of Lexus felt like it would tip over, not that I could get it do that on that course, but that feeling doesn't lend any substance to the LS being on equal dynamic footing as the Germans in this class. It isn't.

    Does the LS430's 278HP not best the S430's 275HP ? Always.... Put a Z-rated shoe on the LS with the Euro suspension, and pit it against an S with dynamic suspension and the crap on it, and let's see which car outshines the other.

    Old news and to add insult to injury Lexus dealers know their customers don't care about handling because a LS430 with the so-called "Euro" package can't even be found. Talk about an answer to a question no one is asking! Until Lexus can produce the car you'll never know, but there is nothing to indicate the Lexus would win over a ABC equipped S-Class, anyway this is all old-news and we'll have to see who the new S and LS stack up.

    Hmmmm ! The likes of JDP, CR, etc are mere nuisance in the industry then, eh ? If buyers and auto execs don't care about what these companies provide, why do they even exist ??? They must not serve any need in the business, right? I'll let you answer that one....

    For the indusrty of course they matter, but again you missed the point. My point is that obviously it isn't the holy grail like Lexusfans make it out to be otherwise no other brand would be able increase sales or get a new product off the ground with such a bad rep. The previous S-Class was trashed soundly in these same surveys for years, yet the new one is selling like hotcakes, obvously not every cares about and worships CR/JDP resports like Toyota/Lexus fans do. Range Rover and VW buyers really couldn't care any less.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    As this comparo shows, the LS430 was weakest in skidpad grip shorn with all-season tires in 17" gab, compared to the German cars with upgraded suspension and 18" Summer tires (in sport gab). Not particularly apples-to-apples.... but like I said earlier, all you need is to put same 18" on the LS and with its Euro suspension pit the car against its comparable S, and let's see who wins that "performance" test.

    Until someone test a LS430 setup the way you're talking about (and time is running out) you have no way of knowing what the LS430 will do.

    What remains a mystery is how easy it is for many people to simply believe the perception that the LS has poor performance cos its luxury-biased.

    Then you aren't getting the meaning of performance here. The LS430's body rolls (leans) too much for it to feel as secure the S-Class. The LS430 has a too-light, almost completely detached steering with no feel even compared to a Mercedes. The seats are too flat to even entertain mildly aggressive driving, honestly they're very Buick-like in that regard.

    It does everything so well and effortless that makes you think it couldn't be that good....

    It does everything except drive with a sense of authority, it is too much of an isolation chamber to win over the Germancar crowd that likes German cars for their nuances. I didn't even hear the engine and generally Eurocarfans like to hear the engine at least a little. Yes the LS put up good braking numbers, but they complained about the pedal, that is the difference there and in other areas between a Lexus LS and the Euros in its class. Numbers only tell part of the story. The Euro suspension LS is a rarer car than the VW Phaeton.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    CR had this car blacked-out from engine to trans to electricals to even the comfort level, which was interesting as the car was quite comfortable, ahead of all Germans in '01. What they don't tell you is that for every "eventual" prob they think the car will have, they'll mark it out. Check every single European car tbey test and it tells the story of bad electricals.

    I'm starting to think that CR is even more full of it than I originally thought. Just looking at the dots for the 2005+ SLK it seems that the car is much improved compared the previous model with only 2 half black circles I think, yet they can't recommend it. One of the black marks was for body rigidity! Its a convertible! Though Mercedes makes some of the world most rigid convertibles, they are still are convertibles. I meant to see what they listed the SC430 in body rigidty. If had a red circle then obviously they're as clueless as the buyer, in this regard because body rigidty has been a constant complaint about the SC430 since day one.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Its bcos contrary to the perception being thrown out here, its actually the Germancarfans that constantly harp on RELIABILITY..... How many Lexophiles point out reliability, relative to how many Germancarfans do ?

    I can't believe what I'm reading. Reliability has been the selling point of the Lexus since day one on this board. Lexusguy just spoke on reliability of his 2 LS vehicles. If anything Germancarfans mention this because that is all we hear from camp Lexus, reliability and sales. These are thrown up anytime a hole is found in the Lexus armor. Whether it be styling, performance, safety, lack of technology, we see "but they're selling and they're reliable". You've got to be kidding if you don't see this OAC. You just hinted about reliability in regards to my post about MB and electronics. Hilarious! :P

    In the same vein, pls reduce the worn-out "performance" issue of the S vs the LS. As many of you have agreed, most HELM buyers are not concerned with skidpads or slalom numbers, so why harp on it ?

    Nope, because performance is as part of the Germancar vernacular as reliablity is a part of the Lexus vernacular. True most buyers aren't going to race or slalom these cars, but at the same time real buyers right here that have owned both cars can tell you the difference and that difference is partially what draws certain buyers to German cars in the same way the promise of supreme reliability draws Lexus buyers in and keeps them. This about the LS and its performance being equal in your mind is because you're simply looking at 0-60 time and a bunch of numbers while being completely oblivous as to how these cars go about putting up these numbers is most telling - you don't understand what is meant by performance. Think of this way: A CLS55 AMG (you saw the video right?) can put the same or nearly identical numbers in most performance tests as a BMW M5 or a S550 can do the same against a 750Li in certain areas, but the BMWs are better at doing it. They don't roll (lean) as much, their brake pedals are firmer, steering firmer, better feeling etc. etc. This is why the more powerful IS350 can't cut it against the weaker 330i. On paper the IS350 destroys the 330i, but in the real world the control and poise isn't there. Regardless if the IS350 can put up the same braking or slalom numbers and outright stomp the 330i in a straight line it doesn't "outperform" by the definition of performance used by Germancarfans. The LS is the same way compared to a S/A8/7-Series in that order.

    Lastly for this post this about the LS and the S-Class is a highly-inaccurate. The LS430 has never beaten the S-Class as a whole, only the S430. A LS430 has never beaten a S500 and the one time they did meet in a U.S. magazine back when the LS first came out, MT put the S500 over the LS430.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Where exactly did anyone say that? The silly comments about Lexus being an upscale Buick make you look bad. if it was that easy GM would have upgraded Buick or Cadillac a long time ago. The moment I see a comment like that is the moment I know I'm dealing with a a person who can't handle Lexus' success. As for the IS - they are buying the success of the brand's quality and reliability and assuming it's in the IS.

    It is said here all the time by the Lexuscamp. Lexus is just "better" with no reason as to why. What do the founding Lexi like the ES and LS really have over a Buick other than rwd and and of course a better quality of build? Seriously whether or not the question makes me "look bad" a real answer would be nice. No, I'm not saying that a Lexus isn't superior to those GM cars, but I'd like to hear why you think they (the car not the dealer and what not) are.

    A ES350 is a much of a Lexus as the LS430 is and it certainly is as good as the GS for what Lexus buyers buy them for. Seriously why would anyone shopping for a Lexus buy a GS over a ES or even LS430 unless they need more room as in the case of the LS? I really would like to know this from you because you've spoken so highly of the LS and besides the room what does it really give you over an ES? The concept (reliablity, lots of beige leather and isolation) is the same.

    For eons MB's story was bullet proof reliability, rarely was performance and MB ever mentioned together until the last 10 years when MB moved more in that direction.

    True, but this is where the heritage part comes in becuse Mercedes was know more for innovations than reliablity as Toyota/Lexus fans know it today. Unlike Lexus, Mercedes' story included that about their reliablity, but it also included innovations. I mean look at the things they've introduced to the market that EVERY car in production uses now. That alone was worth its weight in gold. Mercedes was also known for their racing victories too along with performance LJ. That about performance having only come up in the last 10 years simply isn't true and is sure sign of someone not really familiar with the brand. Mercedes bigger cars back in day are what created all that autobahn high-speed talk. A 1986 560SEL would do 140mph and could get 60 mph in 7.0 second flat, which was fast for that time. The only part of Mercedes performance resume that has been improved in the last 10 years is how they handle, not much else because a lot of their cars were always powerful and fast. Just because you've only heard performance and Mercedes mentioned together only recently doesn't mean it hasn't always been there.

    Mercedes' reliability was so stellar because of all the other European cars of the day were much worse and anything American was just junk. When people say this I find it funny because MB's peers of the day were BMW/Audi/Jaguar, not a reliable one in that bunch back then so of course Mercedes looked as though it was not of this earth. Of course when the Japanese moved the bar beyond Mercedes and Mercedes made some mistakes in the 90's this problem got worse, but I seriously doubt a Mercedes-Benz was ever like a modern day Toyota in reliablity.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    The truth be known, MB, Buick, and Jaguar have the OLDEST buying demographics not Lexus. Blue-haired driving LS ? Look at the MB owners for blue-haired moneyed people. I'm 42 and have been driving an LS well into my 30's.

    Truth be really known that survey was about the brand, not the individual cars. Though you'd likely be right again, but most folks with 90K for a new S550 are going to be a big older. Driving a car like the LS while in your 30s? Clearly you're the exception and no where near the median age for a car like the LS. It says old man more than any other car in this segment just by looking at it IMO.

    He could not be disuaded to even consider any other car. He simply wanted an MB for the name. I will say, he represents the typical MB buyer....

    Now that is logical isn't it? See that type of comment is really telling. Now I guess all MB buyers see nothing else good about the car, but the badge. How rediculous is that? I don't think we want to get into what we all think the typical Lexus buyer is going by the posts here? Way too much of a loaded subject. Anyway, your friend kinda reminds me of your position on Mercedes, but the exact opposite.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Of the brands we usually discuss on this board, the clear number one choice of Senior Citizens seems to be...Mercedes!

    I thought you had to be 65 to be considered a senior citizen? I bet that other than OAC the LS owners here are older than 49 and by more than a few years too!

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    If you are middle-aged, there is not much to lust after MB for, except when you get to its upper-tier cars/roadsters/AMG variants..

    And what exactly does Lexus have for anyone to lust over? The LS430? The SC430? The ES350? You're kidding right? What the lust object in the Lexus lineup execpt arguably the new IS? Their SUVs are certainly not lust objects and neither are the LS, GS and ES. What are the Lexus lust objects? What does lust mean to a Lexusfan might be the more imporant question. Sounds like something very, very watered down from what I thought it meant.

    By the same token your every Benz sedan isn't a lust object either, but they have enough coupes/roadsters/AMG products to easily shade Lexus 5xs over when it comes to "lust".

    M
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Well I never said my car was the fastest on the planet.
    I don't do the challenging. They all come after ME!
    But once they do...... ;)
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Take the SUV sales component out and Lexus' average age skyrockets.
    There are many more seniors driving the LS than younger folks.
    Not a crime. Just a fact.
    After all, 2 of my best parents were seniors.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    There are many more seniors driving the LS than younger folks.

    Probably, but also true of the S, and even the E, imho.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    But NOT true of the 545!
    Gracias a Dios!
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    May be the first time an Aussie has won?

    David Graham 1981

    Merc, that was your finest Monday Mornings with Merc to date.
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    Then you aren't getting the meaning of performance here. The LS430's body rolls (leans) too much for it to feel as secure the S-Class.

    The LS430 has a too-light, almost completely detached steering with no feel even compared to a Mercedes. The seats are too flat to even entertain mildly aggressive driving, honestly they're very Buick-like in that regard.

    According to C&D, this is your perception, not reality. If your read some reviews of the car, you will find that the chassis is plenty capable, and inspires confidence, but ride-biased, ultra-quiet tires don't yield the handling numbers this car can generate.

    Lexus isn't selling track numbers. They're selling what the customer wants. An LS!

    DrFill
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    According to C&D, this is your perception, not reality.

    No, it's one C&D writer's perception. Someone else, I think it was in R&T, described the LS430's handling as greasy so they are at odds. I fully agree with Merc that the LS handles like a boat and is numb. Also, I'll take R&T's evaluations any day over C&D.

    Doc, you need to at least put quotes around the text you are quoting. It's hard to follow your posts sometimes because of this. Thank you.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Doc, you need to at least put quotes around the text you are quoting. It's hard to follow your posts sometimes because of this. Thank you.

    I concur! It would also be helpful, doc, if you'd use the Reply link. It's often hard to know which message(s) prompt your posts.

    :)
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Merc, that was your finest Monday Mornings with Merc to date.

    Not in my book... Everything was all anti-Lexus ramblings. Typical ranting/downloads of "MB is superior, Lexus is crap" shpeel. Its old news now; read: we've heard it all before. Reading or listening to Merc1, you'd come away thinking how bad Lexus cars must be, and why no one in their right minds should be buying one. Thankfully, reality is far more clear than the biased and myopic viewpoints of everything "performance" that Merc1 and others in the group-think shares.

    MB has 110+ years of making automobiles, and Merc1 expects Lexus' 16 yrs in the market to meet or equal MBs. Sheesh ! MB's myriad of variants is nothing more than an attempt to shore up its image and brand against the onslaught from companies like Lexus, MB and Audi. Eventually, this brand dilution and high cost structures to turn out these myriad of models will lead to image problems that MB will be dealing with for awhile. Some of the symptoms are already here.... The idea that you can always add another AMG variant to the lineup to make the cars sexier can only get you so far... To maintain a high brand equity, MB needs less models not more, IMO. That's how you get a lust-factor ! But right now, there is a dizzying array of MB models, and its turned into a boutique shop. Is that what MB stands for today ?
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    To maintain a high brand equity, MB needs less models not more, IMO. That's how you get a lust-factor ! But right now, there is a dizzying array of MB models, and its turned into a boutique shop. Is that what MB stands for today ?

    You are making it sound quite negative, and I'm not sure why, especially when you consider that Lexus is going the direction of increasing it's number of variants as well. BMW has quite the assortment, too. Even Porsche, of all marques, has a considerable number of variations now, with even more on the way.

    It would seem that there is nothing wrong with the Burger King approach . . . "have it your way".

    TagMan
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