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High End Luxury Cars

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  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    David Graham 1981

    Better get prepared for Jeopardy. ;)

    TagMan
  • garyh1garyh1 Posts: 386
    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.

    First, let me remind people that although I don't have as many cars as blkhemi (but then who does?), I have owned BMW, MB and Audi cars in the past (and still own 2 MBs).

    I spent the last weekend driving from DC to Philly and back (attending a funeral) with my family in my '05 LS430. This car does not have the "impossible-to-find" Euro suspension, but does have the 18" all-season low profile Dunlop tires.

    Real world test: everyone in my family (one front seat and two rear seat passengers, and me as driver) enjoyed the ride. The GPS worked great getting us around without any maps in unfamiliar places (used the override sequence to enable changes in Destinations while driving - a must do!), the ride was smooth and quiet, the brakes worked beautifully in the one accident avoidance maneuver I had to make, and the seats were comfortable (even for me who has a very bad back from failed back surgery). It did not handle like a boat, and the steering on my car is extremely tight - if anything, it takes more effort than I might like (this may be a function of the sticky 18" tires).

    I admittedly rarely go more than 10 mph above the speed limit, so 75 mph is more my reality than 110+ mph on the Autobahn. I could understand why someone in Germany would choose an S600 or 760 0ver an LS for that reason, but I don't live there.

    The only knock I have on this car is the uninspired styling (interior and exterior). But looks like even that will improve with the upcoming LS460.

    If I were going to drive aggressively at high speed darting in and out of traffic (like one person I saw on I-95 yesterday in a M45), I'd go with hpowders' 545 or a tuner version E or 5 series. I certainly wouldn't choose an S, an A8, or even a 7 for that. But the reality is I don't want to drive like that. I do like to take corners relatively quickly, and my LS actually does that better than my E320. Sorry, merc1 and Tagman, at least shod with performance tires, the LS handles very well. Drive one with these tires (but without the "Euro suspension" which is how they are coming to the dealers these days), and I think you may change your one-note tune. But of course, even more relevant for the future will be how the LS460 handles, and NO ONE HAS DRIVEN ONE YET!

    Hey, I am just thankful that I, the grandson of immigrants who came here with nothing but the clothes on their backs, have the right and the capability to choose among these fine vehicles. Ain't America great!
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    It would seem that there is nothing wrong with the Burger King approach . . . "have it your way".

    Maybe so... But no car company has the dizzying array of the model selections that MB has. Not BMW, not Porsche, and certainly not Lexus by a mile:

    C: 280/320/55
    E: 350/500/55
    S: 550/600/63/65
    CL: 500/55/65
    CLK: 500/55/65
    SLK: 350/500/55
    CLS: 500/55/65
    SL: 500/55/65
    SLR
    R: 350/500
    ML: 350/500/55
    GL: 450
    G: 500

    And these are just in NA alone.... By the time you add the variants in Europe, Middle East and Asia, you'd have to multiply each model line by a factor of 2 !!! Burger King-way sure looks like it, but it ain't a way to improve brand image and marqueness, all IMO !!!
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    It did not handle like a boat, and the steering on my car is extremely tight - if anything, it takes more effort than I might like (this may be a function of the sticky 18" tires).

    I do like to take corners relatively quickly, and my LS actually does that better than my E320. Sorry, merc1 and Tagman, at least shod with performance tires, the LS handles very well. Drive one with these tires (but without the "Euro suspension" which is how they are coming to the dealers these days), and I think you may change your one-note tune.


    GaryH, thanks for that real-world post. Same thing I have said repeatedly here. The LS does NOT handle like a boat. Put an 18" rim on that car and see how it handles. How many auto mag comparos have ever tested the LS w/18" rims ? Almost none.... But those who have this on their LS can attest to its handling ability. This is from actual owners, you know, the one that drives this car EVERYDAY not a weekend tire-kicking episode on a 2-mile jaunt, or an auto mag report of a 15-mile test drive.

    What I see in the negative posts from Euro car fans often smacks of jealousy of Lexus. The new kid on the block kicking the butt of its senior statesman, MB.

    Talking of innovation, how many cogs does the new S550 have vs how many are going into the new LS460 ? And how efficient can your engine be ? A mere 4.6L in the LS puts down as much power as the 5.5L (almost a 1L more) in the S... Should we even debate the technology in the new motors in the LS460 and S550 ??? Forgetaboutit.... How about a 40GB hard-drive in the new LS, what storage size is in the new S again ? Oh, I forgot, can the new S550 park itself as the LS460L can ? Did I see a leather-stitched dash as in the 600hL or a vinyl/wood dash in the new S550 ? How many speakers are in the new LS460L vs in the new S550 ? And accident-avoidance features in these two cars, which is more high-tech ? Both cars now wear 18" and 19" upgraded tires, so we should expect significant improvements in "performance" from both cars...
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    "Jealousy Of Lexus" by the Euro car fans?

    Jealous of what??

    I can't speak for the others on team Air Euro, but I have found negative things about the GS, RX and LS after driving each, that I simply don't find in the 330i, X5 and 545.

    I do believe you are way off here.

    Jealousy. No.
    Disappointment. Yes.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Burger King-way sure looks like it, but it ain't a way to improve brand image and marqueness, all IMO !!!

    Why not? What's wrong with choices and personalization?

    TagMan
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Why not? What's wrong with choices and personalization?

    We will just have to agree to disagree here... Personalization is a key aspect of ultra high-end cars, the likes of RR, Bentley, Aston Martin, Ferrari, etc.. where each car is hand-built to a customer specification. That is personalization, not a boutique designed to please all... Put another way, why would anyone pony up $450K for an SLR when he shares service bays with a $30K C280 ?
  • topspin628topspin628 Posts: 373
    I couldn't agree with you more re the reliability of MB in the 70's and 80's. They were very reliable COMPARED to the competition at that time. Meaning that when you drove off the dealer's lot things didn't start falling off the car within 10 miles like some American cars at the time. Meaning that the things that broke down could be fixed rather quickly and wouldn't strand you. More annoyances than anything else. Meaning that if you serviced it regularly you could expect to put 200K on one of their engines and that the car wouldn't rust out and would stay rock solid. These were exceptional qualities at that time.
    Then the bar was raised much to the benefit of all of us.
    I've owned 2 Lexus's, 3 MBs and 2 BMWs. I currently drive an LS430. When shopping for my luxo car I had determined that the S Class was number one for me. Best riding and styling and more luxurious than the 7 series. BUT I couldn't justify the price difference against the LS. Especially when I factored in that the S had its share of problems.
    The LS has been bullet proof and flawless.
    For me I would say that the BMW and MB cars are better at driving dynamics including seat comfort, performance, steering and road feel.
    Lexus is plain and simply, the best quality you can buy as far as reliability and the way it's screwed together.
    Will I get another LS when my lease is up? I'm not sure since I do prefer the better dynamics of the Euros but I need to find the combination of quality and value.
    By the way, even in this segment, when someone says "it's not about the money", it's always about the money. It's a very very rare cat that can make a purchase and not blink about another 20-50K. If that were the case then I think all these buyers would also consider the new Bentley Sedan and they could consider a Maybach and then a Rolls....
    I also think that Lexus is having so much success with their "soft" riding cars that they wouldn't want to turn off their loyal customer base by creating cars with sharper dynamics. Why change a successful formula?
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Jealousy. No.
    Disappointment. Yes.


    If jealousy is not there, then why all the negative press from the Euro club here ? To get away from it the Euro fans even created their own forum which ended up dead without the LS ! Yes, there are many very jealous of an upstart Lexus who have made it all the way up there in a very short time. That the LS is the #1 luxury sedan in the NA market hurts as well... The fact that the new LS will pose a serious challenge to the new S550, is a tell-tale sign that many MB fans are nervous of the new LS. I am sure MB execs are nervous as well... The list of buyers for the new LS grows daily, and the new S cannot sustain its torrid sales pace, especially when the new LS gets here.

    Disappointment ? In what ? remember we are talking HELMs here...
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Defining the word personalization doesn't change your original point which was to create a negative spin on the fact that Mercedes offers a wide selection of vehicles and variations thereof. I still don't understand why you would make this a negative thing. And the use of the word "boutique" implies something strange about what is otherwise basically a broad selection. I do believe that if it were Lexus offering the variety it would be made out to be a good thing . . . and as I indicated, Lexus will be doing just that . . . increasing their selection as well. I just don't see the problem here.

    Me thinks that maybe oac is poking at Mercedes where it isn't necessary . . . just for the sake of poking. ????? ;)

    TagMan
  • killerbunnykillerbunny Posts: 141
    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.

    Sounds foolish to me. Can I say the Subaru WRX is a better car than Rolls Phantom, because it handles better?

    The "handling" card can only be played to a certain extend. The LS may not be the best handling in its class, but it does not need to be. It's the best overall combination for the price range, as proven by the sales numbers.

    Even for the compact segment, BMW 3 seires is not that strong against competition. Try a turbo 4WD Subaru Legacy. The latter has hard to match handling, safty, reliability and exclusivity.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Even for the compact segment, BMW 3 seires is not that strong against competition. Try a turbo 4WD Subaru Legacy. The latter has hard to match handling, safty, reliability and exclusivity.

    Ok, that I'm going to have to disagree with. BMW is hardly my favorite automaker, but they still do the entry-lux sport sedan game better than pretty much everyone else, especially Subaru.

    I've driven the Legacy 2.5GT, and while its certainly a lot better than the horribly underpowered old car, it still has a lot of problems. For one, they can't get the turbo and automatic to play nice together, so there's turbo lag, and then a rush of acceleration that is often more than you asked for. The steering felt artificially heavy at parking speeds, and much too light at critical speeds of 40-50mph, with little to no feedback.

    Handling I felt was pretty sloppy for something trying to be a sports sedan. There was body roll aplenty, and since Subaru still has the incredibly annoying habit of making stability control ONLY available on its vaunted "VDC" cars, which is like one Outback wagon trim, the car tended to oversteer without warning, thanks to the numb steering.

    While it has superb crash test scores, the fact that Subaru wont even make ESC an option means that the car is actually less safe when trying to avoid an accident in the first place. You have to be kidding about "exclusivity". Its a $25K car, you just don't see many of them because it hasn't been a sales success. Probably due to the reasons listed above. The G35x, 330xi, and A4 are much better cars.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Well, I mentioned I drove the LS and I was disappointed.
    Perhaps the new one will be a lot better.

    I can't speak for the rest of the Air-Europenos.
    But when I shop for a car, I consider the driving dynamics of the car and if it's a "good fit."
    Nothing else matters.
    None of these guys are going out of business. Fast growth. Slow growth. Who cares?

    If the GS 430 or LS felt right when I drove them, I would be driving one of those now.

    I don't consider myself especially pro-Europe or anti-Asian (my wife is Asian and she insists I get BMW's).
    I'll drive anything if its good enough to meet my standards.
  • reality2reality2 Posts: 303
    I am quite calm, so save your juvenile rudeness for someone else. As for C&D doing the "best" comparos that is simply your opinion. It is strange though that the A8L has won comparos in not just MT, Road and Track, Automobile, Autoweek (All-star pick), but even Edmunds voted it as Editor's Choice...not to mention the countless awards the A8L has accumulated world-wide in the last two years. C&D is no way the best mag in the States (again your opinion). Basically, I am not knocking the Lexus, but save the put downs for someone else just "because it is your opinion" and nothing else.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    I'll drive anything if its good enough to meet my standards.

    Interesting statement. But for many, it's what can be afforded. Read this . . .

    Imagine that your highest attainable success car is the price of a Lexus LS. Imagine that you don't have the financial clout to get the Mercedes S-Class. You can't even consider it.

    Actually this is not all that uncommon.

    Will you be disappointed? Maybe, maybe not. But the Lexus LS is certainly good enough as a "highest achievable" vehicle for so many Americans. Particularly considering the price.

    BUT. BUT. But, what happens when the affordability factor is increased, as occurs with a SMALLER percentage of buyers? This is because of the ratio and distribution of wealth to the general population, meaning that the greater the wealth, the fewer the numbers. So, as I was saying, what happens when the wealth is increased to the next smaller percentage of Americans? Well, they have an increased choice of vehicles, and here is where the S-Class comes in.

    At the higher affordability level, now those folks can compare and choose between the S-Class and the LS. They are not economically limited to only the LS price tier. This is where your S-Class purchases come from. MANY of the buyers from THIS group choose the S-Class, particularly because they CAN afford it. Some will not choose the S-Class, and will still choose the LS, even though they could afford either. But it is only from the group that can afford EITHER that will buy the S-CLass as their preference.

    But READ THIS . . . An S-Class buyer NEVER has to purchase the S-Class because he couldn't afford the LS. That's right . . . An S-Class buyer NEVER has to purchase the S-Class because he couldn't afford the LS.

    But, here's the catch . . . there are times when the LS buyer can NOT buy the S-Class. He MUST choose the LS because he did not have the economic choice and the LS was the best he could do. Again, this is an economic reality.

    And it shows that ALL S-Class purchases COULD have been LS purchases, but were NOT. Conversely, all LS purchases can NOT make the same claim. Interesting and BIG difference.

    TagMan
  • anthonypanthonyp Posts: 1,857
    Tag----Yougot that right..I`d further like to add that those that could get either, sometimes gets the lesso priced one just for variety or vise -versa....Tony
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Whoa!
    That amazing discourse of verbal virtuosity has earned you the title: Commander of Air Europe!
    Deservedly so!
    And to think I fell asleep in Logic 101!

    That's where I don't get Oac's jealousy claim against the Euros:
    All S-Class buyers can buy an LS, but not all LS buyers can afford an S-Class.
    I think he's got this jealousy thing backward. ;)

    PS: Of course you are correct: the implication in my post is "up to my standards within reason according to price."
    Knowing myself, I could see going up to about $100k for a vehicle I've tested as extraordinary, and I'd pray my wife wouldn't ask to see the bill of sale.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    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.

    According to C&D doesn't mean much when I've driven the car to find out that it does indeed handle poorly. Sure the chassis is capable as in capable of providing a good ride, but not much hanlding. See here Doc I don't have to rely on a "review" of anything, I've driven the car. It rolls like the Queen Elizabeth when asked to corner. Blaming it on tires is an easy excuse when the "Euro" model really isn't available.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    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.

    Exactly. No where in any review did they say the car had handling equal to any of the Euro cars. That was in the MT comparo in which they said the LS' handling was greasy, the same comparo in which they picked the A8L as the winner. As Reality2 state the A8 has had its share of wins here, yet the only comparo that matters is the ones that Lexus win, the C&D one.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Merc, that was your finest Monday Mornings with Merc to date.

    :D

    M
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