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High End Luxury Cars

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  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Do you like the Maserati?

    What cars did you end up seeing or driving/riding in last weekend and what were your perceptions of them?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Yes I'm liking the Maserati more and more. I especially find the interior to be such a relief from the regular business like interiors of the S-Class, 7-Series, A8 and LS430. It's so sensual and scultped...the only thing close in this reguard is a Jaguar's interior. The Quattroporte is exactly what it should be, different from all the rest. I can't wait to see the car in person.

    Well I didn't get a chance to see a Maybach at the Benz dealer, they didn't have any around. I guess this strictly by order thing is for real.

    We looked at the Acura TL-S, TSX, Passat W8, and the Infiniti G35. Now I'll tell you honestly the G35 Coupe could be my next car whenever I decide I want another car note, I haven't had one since 2000. I love the power and styling overall. I'm not crazy about the rather thick looking rear bumper on the coupe, and some pieces of the interior are cheap feeling/looking.
    Anyway back to the sedans, which is why we went in the first place. My friend likes the G35 sedan the best, he as did his uncle hated the TSX, mainly because in automatic form its too slow. We'll go back to the Acura dealer in early Oct to see the new TL. The salesmen were talking as its going to re-write the rules of the entry level market...we'll see. The Passat W8 is almost impossible to find in the Sport configuration. The regular W8 is ok, but it really does need the sportier chassis setup to appreciate the W8 engine. I stand in awe of the Toureg, it's got a knockout interior, and in V8 form is a very complete truck. Dealer says the big vee-dub will be here in Oct, with the V8 going for about 60K and the W12 for about 75K. Can't wait to see that.

    Where are you in your decisions for 2004? Range Rover, SL500 and LS430? Or is it LS430, SL500 and LX470 or GX470? I guess you can tell I really want you to try one European car huh..

    M
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    The Maserati interior indeed had me also thinking "Jaguar", albeit with some more modern Italian style elements, and the leather stitching seems a beaut.

    The Passat is a much better car in 6 cyl configuration - pass on the nose heavy W8. A colleague bought one and hates it since he rode in another colleague 6cyl...

    Also agree on the Infiniti G35. European prestige vendors better start taking note of the stuff Nissan corporation is doing, because Ghosn has implemented the most remarkable turn-around witnessed in a while: keep the built quality, spice up the design, and explore lifestyle niches other vendors with less imagination haven't tried.

    Totally agree on the Touareg - awesome interior.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I just read your question about electronics and yes I think Mercedes and BMW especially have gone far enough with this. One thing thats driving this techo war is the fact that every maker in the true luxury class of cars is making a better product and it's getting harder to stand out above the crowd. Some do it by styling/horsepower/innovations (Mercedes and to a lesser extent Jaguar), others do it by sheer quality and refinement (Lexus) and others do it by handling prowess and providing a more stimulating driving experience (BMW)...and then you have Audi that aims to provide all of the above in one dynamic package in the A8.

    The side show to all of this is the hp war between the German automakers.

    Your concerns have been heard by Mercedes-Benz of all companies. In a recent article in Automobile Magazine and Britian's CAR Magazine, its reported that Mercedes has decided NOT to go ahead with even more complex things like automatic lane correction, among other almost unbelievable things. They (Mercedes) thank god, have also decided not to try and match BMW's idrive concept. The next Comand system is to be designed by Nokia, instead of their current supplier...it should be much simpler to use and more reliable.

    BMW has obviously heard the complaints too, as the 5-Series' idrive controller is reported to be much simpler. Audi got wind of the whole thing much earlier and made the A8's MMI system much easier to use than BMW's idrive or Mercedes' Comand setup.

    I'm anxious to drive the new 5-Series with it's new electronic variable-ratio steering rack though, in theory it sounds perfect, but the press will tear it apart if it lacks that all important "feel" that a BMW's steering is supposed to have.

    I wonder what other innovations are coming down the pike from any of these brands?

    M
  • Automatic lane correction! What will they think of next?!?! About idrive, so does this mean Mercedes won't have anything like idrive or MMI? Or, that it will just be easier to use than idrive? And finally I was reading MBSPY earlier today. Is their stuff credible? Sorry for all of the questions! Thanks

    Bryan
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well the current speculation is that Mercedes won't have anything like idrive, they're sticking with Comand and they're going to simplfy that. Yes! MBSPY is the best source of Mercedes-Benz info. Far and away better than any garbage posted by others like autospies.

    M
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hi All,
      Merc, I'm glad to hear MB is holding back on implementing an iDrive concept. That sort of thing drives me crazy. I think it's better if Automakers focus more on the drivetrain and interior design.

      Obviously some innovations such as Traction Control and ABS are welcome. I like the Heads up Display on the new 5 Series. It's a good way to keep the driver's attention on the road where it should be. But, gimmicks like Voice Activated Controls on my LS430 annoy the everlasting hell out of me.

       As far as the HP wars..What are you going to do with all that power? In Massachusetts, you'll be pulled over after 70 MPH. Unless you live in Montana, what's the use? (Of course: Bragging Rights) I don't really care that my LS430 has 40 more Horsepower than my older LS400.

    As for the future..It'd be nice to see automakers come out with a simple attachment to integrate any current cell phone into the car Cellular system. I know this is hardly Innovation, but it would be useful, as I'd rather not spend $700 just to get the "Lexus" carphone!

    SV
  • Well Merc, I'm glad you like MBSPY, because I certainly do. I also find Autospies interesting. But, some of their stuff is pretty iffy. So, I am always cautious of what they have to say.

    I think that systems like idrive, and MMI, are great concepts. But they need to be done right. I'm sure that after time, they become easier to use.

    And even if Mercedes stays away from a system like idrive, there is no doubt in my mind that this next S will be a technological tour de force. Let's just hope Mercedes doesn't take any styling hints from the BMW killer, Mr. Bnagle!

    Bryan
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    What I want in a car is premium craftsmanship and solid built, very nice materials, great ergonomy, and actually a good feel for the road without much electronic intervention. I want to sit nicely and comfortable, while having as little electronic between me and the engine and chassis, that way I don't feel like there's a chaffeur between me and the car. I don't want a car that is so refined that it isolates me to the point of boredom - I like a certain raw edge. Not kit car, loosen your fillings, like, but simply direct and with a certain amount of insolence. Less hyper benevolent "I am sure that's not what you meant", and more of a "you asked for it" attitude. Less Four Seasons concierge, more Paris French bistro server.
  • bwiabwia Boston Posts: 1,235
    I understand that the traditional black London Taxi cab will be operating in Boston soon. The hideous looking taxicab was introduced on Boston TV two nights ago and I believe you can buy one as a private passenger car as Arnold Schwarzenegger has already done.

    The car is estimated to have a useful life of 500,000 miles. Does anyone know the pedigree of this car and how much it costs?
  • Sounds like you want a Miata...I think it fits all your criteria. Close to the road, Very fun to drive (I have one), not much power assist. Definately no boredom, and reasonably comfortable. (as long as you are not driving cross country)
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    I'm only deciding on the suv. I've decided to wait for the 2004's and will decide later in October or November.

    I don't need to make any car decisions until February.

    I'm likely staying LX and LS. I'm a year or two away from my toy car and that is when you will likely get me behind the wheel of an MB SL500. I saw a guy behind the wheel of a new SL500 today. He was enjoying a big fat cigar and looked like a very happy camper. He was headed south on the New Jersey Turnpike - top down - with me at about 75mph - away from all those big power outages in NY. I passed him rather easily in the LS430 by the way.

    The Infiniti is a real good looking car and one you will enjoy if you ever go that route. It's great to have so many choices and all of them are excellent cars.
  • boo20boo20 Posts: 85
    You may have 'passed him easily' but, if so, it's only because he didn't care to race. The SL is faster to 60, in top speed and just about every other way than an LS is. It has incredible midrange torque (I have one) and can accelerate as seemingly effortlessly from 60 to 120 as it does from 0 to 60.

    The bottom line, though, for me is not acceleration or top speed but aethetics, safety and innovation. I find the Lexus to be consistantly insipid and lacking in inspiration.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    I was kidding around.

    A boxy Camry from sometime in the early 90's with 4 cylinders passed him as well and then went zooming past me. I find the LS to be a great car, fun to drive and plenty powerful. It's a matter of tastes. You don't like it; I do.
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    While I might not be a target customer, there is no doubt in my mind the Lexus (pretty much any Lexus, but the LS and LX and SC more than anything else) represents excellence in car engineering. And again, the LX has an all time great interior. But you should really check the Range Rover interior again. Just yesterday, talking to my wife, I stated that for me to switch to SUVs would take a Range Rover. But for now the Vespa we just bought is the only motorized vehicle purchase. :-) Ah, the SL, very discerning stuff. I still feel they puts a few too many line and creases of the design, but I'd take the SL500 any day, and keep the extra horsepower models - the softer versions are typically the Mercedes version with the more classic benz character, in my opinion.

    The Miata is a great car, when they came out in the early 90s, a very good friend of mine got one, and I toyed with the idea. But the Mini is the only sub-30k car in the US that appeals t me - in Europe things would be different, they have a slew of smart, spiffy and very stylish little cars.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well I'm glad you like the site, you should have discovered it years ago when they were really ahead of every other source on Benz information. The traffic on their now is pretty slow. I hate to outright slam any website about cars, but autospies is complete and utter garbage. If you notice all their info this week has been on other sites for weeks, and/or in Autoweek Magazine. In fairness when they first came online they did have to some real inside info, but have since become just an echo of leading websites like vwvortex.com, vtec.net and others that almost always beat them to the punch. I wouldn't have problem with them just repeating what others have said if they weren't constantly trying to pass it off as something they found out first.

    ljflx,

    Ok..I see. Well in either case let us know what you decide.

    M
  • I have read through a lot of their stuff, which is pretty dated now, but I still find it very interesting.

    You are absolutely correct about autospies. I didn't care to read through half of the stuff tonight, becuase I had already heard about it. And, their "world exclusive" bits about upcoming models, look fabricated. I'll have to take a look at the websites you listed.

    Bryan
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Yeah...if you like Honda/Acuras...then vtec.net is to Honda what MBSPY is to Mercedes-Benz. Freshallow.com is the Nissan/Infiniti hangout. I read them all every night. Of course my favorite is Germancarfans.com. The best site on the web for everything in ubercarland.

    Anyway guys, Maybachs, Bentleys and Rolls-Royces are Camry priced compared to this:

    http://www.germancarfans.com/News.cfm/NewsID/2030814.003/volkswag- en/1.html

    M
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    Am I the only one that thinks a sportscar in two-tone color, especially red-black (Note to VW: classic cars you want to emulate had the body in the bright color and the fenders in black for obvious practicality reasons) looks kinda weird? Odd as it may sound, I' rather have an Aston Martin or the new Bentley Continental (awesome, I saw it when they introduced it in LA a while ago) than the "Bugatti". The Bugatti thing is reaching a bit too much - the brand had been dead for way too long. I have far more respect for someone like Paganini or other guys trying to introduce *new* brands and trying to turn them into classics by their very own merits.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I agree about the two-tone theme, but somehow I think the Bugatti would look worse in one solid color. The curves and scoupes seem to jive better (i.e. hide) with the two tone color schemes.

    I LOVE the Pagoni Zonda S! It's the 2003 Peformance Car of the Year, CAR Magazine. Runner ups: Ferrari 575M and surprise...Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG.

    M
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    Well I saw my third Mayback today (this is Silicon Valley, after all), and seing it live has done nothing to improve my opinion. It does look entirely Lincolnish, offensively so from any rear angle, in fact. But I am sure it's very nice to sit in one. :-)
  • ejerodejerod Posts: 86
    With both my 2002S-500 and 2003 SL500. My car payments could finance the national debt but it's fun. Since having my car serviced I've found that the roof would not lock in place on the SL500 because of a loose nut, the key fob wouldn't work because of a dead battery, but I replaced the batteries with what I thought were new ones from Walmart and it still didn't work. The dealer put new batteries in and walla, everything was fine. No other problems to report and I must say that my dealer, Phillips Automotive of Virginia Beach is great. THe service department is always responsive and I do get superstar treatment. If I call a day in advance they will put me in a C-class benz or better. I often don't need a loaner because I have several vehicles but it's nice to know it's there is I ever do need it. Overall the experience this time around has been a lot better and that's because of the dealer and the product. The only nitpick I have now is that I wish they would go ahead and put in the dvd based nav system so I'd have no need to switch out cd's. The SL 500 now has the capability of playing cd's in the nav system cd slot so I have a 7 disc player which is nice when I'm tooling around town and have no need for the nav system, or just want to pop something in without getting out of my seat and loading it in the cd player behind the seat. Oh yeah.. that's the other thing.. place the cd player in dash for convenience.... again.. nit picky stuff.. MB is listening to the consumer and going back to quality as opposed to just a lot of bells and whistles that break down a lot... happy motoring...
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,794
    Glad to hear of a positive experience out there.

    LOL what do you do for a living?
  • carnaughtcarnaught Posts: 1,593
    For driving well over $200k's worth of Mercedes they should surely treat you well. In fact they should kiss your butt at high noon if you were to ask them(LOL).
  • mariner7mariner7 Posts: 509
    There is a review of 3 Infiniti cars in British CAR. CAR practically begs Infiniti to come to Europe in 2004, declares Infiniti, not Lexus, is the Japanese luxury brand the European marques should most fear. And declares the G35C has done the impossible by besting 330Ci.
  • fsvfsv Posts: 196
    I read somewhere, that Nissan was entertaining idea of building ultra-lux toy called Isotta-Fraschini. Did anybody hear anything about that? (And, per the same article Packard name belongs to Russian ZIL? Where the world is going to? BTW, did anybody see these ZIL cars?)
  • That article was a parody on today's "practice" of manufacturers resurrecting old luxury brands.
  • fsvfsv Posts: 196
    Joke or not, they ARE resurrecting the old names - see nothing wrong with it. If not for that, RR, Bentley, Lambo, Jag, Aston-Martin, etc, would have died off long time ago, and Bugatti, Maybach and others would have never existed today. ZIL, as the matter of fact looks very reserved and classy, in my opinion, and you can have it and it's 8 liter V8 for cool undisclosed pile of cash (numbers differ - from $380,000 all the way down to 80,000) - and it is bullet/mine/gas/etc proof, as per what they say - and it will be only you and President Putin of Russia, who could be seen in it...
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    What do you think of the Crossfire? I love the front but dislike the rear.

    My 22 year old nephew just took a Z. It's nice - real nice. Took me back in time to the last car I bought as a single person - the 1983 280ZX. Great car back then but horrendous electrical system.

    Also did you see the Toyota Camry Solara? It looks so much like an SC430 from the rear. Whether you like it or not you have to wonder what Toyota was thinking.
  • jstylejstyle Posts: 129
    A friend of mine said that next fall (2004) a completely new S class model will be introduced. Is that true?? I did a search on the web and found virtually no info. Usually things start coming out by now if this is the case.
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