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High End Luxury Cars

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  • adobadob Posts: 18
    Is there anyone on this board that has a current model BMW 7 series (for 3+ months) that has not had any severe maintenance issues? I look at the edmunds ratings for BMW (7 specifically, but all models generally) and they seem to evoke either great marks, or really bad marks - especially in reliability. I have read the many horror stories and wonder whether those giving the 7 series high ratings actually owned their cars for any amount of time, or are the 10's in reliability just the first week of ownership excitment, before the trouble really begins.

    I am looking for an 04 LS, Q, or 7 - the 7 excites me, but the Germans are not really up to par (own 2 MB's) on quality, and BMW seems to enjoy Yugo type quality. Actually surprised I don't hear it in the mainstream press....
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    I think the bad ratings from the 7 series come from people who get remorse because either they get tired of jabs about the design or because the intrisuve user itnerface gets on their nerves. My uncle has the new 7 series, and right now seems to hate it, as he's constantly driving my Aunt's Beetle convertible.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Try going here: http://www.jdpower.com/cc/auto/auto.jsp# , click the 'I know what I want' and go from there.

    The good thing about JDP is that they probably have a much larger sample size.
  • Thank you Don for the info. After thinking about each car, for some time today, I have narowed it down to the A8, and the S. I want to drive the A8 again, just to get a better feel for it.
  • fennfenn Posts: 197
    My XJR is actually at the dealer today to have the defective adaptive cruise module replaced. They ordered the part a couple of weeks ago, and I just got around to taking it back in for the repair. My car also has a very minor interior trim flaw on the console, but Jaguar has issued a factory repair bulletin for this repair on some early '04's. Other than this, the car seems very solid. No squeaks, rattles, or quality issues. My father has not had any problems to date with his '04 XJ8.

    I really liked my 2002 Q45, but it is not a fair direct comparison to the XJR which costs about $15,000 more, and has about 50 more horsepower, along with bigger tires, wheels, and brakes.

    As a competitor to the more basic Jaguar XJ8, the Infiniti Q45 is certainly worthy, although the XJ8 feels a bit more athletic to me, maybe because of it's light weight and responsive six speed drivetrain.

    To tell you the truth, I do not really miss the so-called "tech" stuff of the Infiniti. Beyond the novelty of the voice activation, the logic of Q45's dash cluster was not particularly intuitive when handling a/c and audio controls. However, I do miss the tire pressure monitor, which the XJR lacks.

    I have the Jaguar Navigation option, with it's touch screen on the XJR (an option on all XJ models). This system is very straightforward and logical...I find it more intuitive and easy to use than the Infiniti's dash pod and switch-gear.

    I still think that the Q45 is a great car, especially for the money, if you can get a great lease deal, since the resale is not good.

    I also think that a base XJ8 is priced well, since the basic XJ8 is actually priced closer to the Q45 than it is to a basic Mercedes S430 or BMW 745.
  • adobadob Posts: 18
    MAxHonda - sorry about the Yugo comment - certainly don't mean to offend... I really was trying to solicit current owners. If you read the ratings, here and the many other forums google picks up, people have had horrific experiences with mechanical and computer glitches on the 7 series. You can almost feel their pain from their postings. Dealer visits ever 3 weeks, bad service, shop stays for weeks, cars returned not fixed etc... etc... it just seems to go on and on. I was just wondering, whether there truly was a current 7 series customer, that has owned their car for a while, where these problems were overblown/non-existant (I really want to believe these cars are good). Of course there are positive postings, but I was trying to discount those who just came home with their brand new car, and immedietley rated it a 10 in quality/mechanicals. I saw too many "just got mine yesterday" postings with 10 on every rating item. I love the look and tech of the 7, just don't want to make the $70k mistake, especially with adequate warning from others.

    So to restate, has anybody had a GOOD several months with the new 7 series - mechanical and computer??
  • fennfenn Posts: 197
    My '04 XJR had to sit at the dealer for an extra day and a half because of the complexity of the programming and set up of the adaptive cruise module which was replaced. I think that my car may have been one of the first in the U.S. to have the adaptive cruise changed out, and the programming required Jaguar Tech Support....

    The good news is that they felt bad about the delay in getting this done, so they gave me a new XJ8 to drive for two days. That gave me the opportunity to spend some time behind the wheel of the '04 XJ8.

    I have to say that I was really impressed. At low speeds the car felt similar to the XJR except for a slghtly lighter steering feel. Even without the XJR supercharger, the car felt quick and responsive.

    Last night, I got the opportunity to push the XJ8 on a curvey canyon road. Sure, I felt more body sway and it was less "grippy" than the XJR, but it still hadled really well..I must admit it felt lighter and more athletic than my '02 Q45.

    At one point I started to realize that I probably could have been happy with an XJ8--- for way less money than my XJR.....

    Of course, that was until I went back and picked up my XJR and pushed the accelerator pedal to the floor....Yowza!
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Over the months I’ve read from some of the MB fans that Lexus is a slouch at performance compared to MB, that for example engines of a comparable displacement will have less hp, less torque if from Lexus. For all that time I accepted this as true.

    Well I decided to check the facts for the LS430 and S430

    HP: LS430 290, S430 275

    Torque: LS430 320 lb-ft, S430 295

    0-60: LS430 6.3sec, S430 6.9

    These numbers are from the company websites for 2003 models. For 2004, the LS gets a new transmission and Lexus puts the 0-60 time at 5.9. MB gets a new transmission too so its acceleration will improve also, but my guess is Lexus will still beat them.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Having driven both cars several times in 2001 I can tell you the LS430 easily outpowers the S-430. It is very noticable in torque. You need the S-500 for this to be a real battle. In handling the S-430 outhandles the LS430 but the euro suspension LS430 - which remember is the same price as the LS430 as it is equipped 75% of the time - will put away the S-430 and the S-500. Now MB fans will cry foul and say that the S-class sport will take out the LS430 Euro (or sport as it is now called) and it probably will but that car is not the at the same price point as the base cars. Lexus never intended to compete with the European sportier suspensions. Rather its' intentions were to provide a suspension to the car - without much ride compromise - that would surpass the handling of the base S-class cars thereby appealing to customers who might not shop for an LS. I drive the Euro often as my business partner has one and it handles and rides beautifully. I am very curious to drive the 2004 LS430 sport suspension with the 18" wheels as I am leaning in that direction when my lease is up.
  • Don,

    Thanks for keeping us posted on the Jaguar. I am hoping to drive the A8L this weekend.

    I was looking at the Mercedes message boards here, and was shocked to see all of the owners' complaints. S-class (command system) and E-class electrical bugs. I have had a deposit on an SL for one year, but I think that I am going ask for its return. I am #92 on the list.

    I really enjoyed my 2002 LS430 Ultra, and may end up getting another one if I like the 2004. The Lexus may not be the most exciting car to drive, but I think that its reliability and luxury make it a rewarding ownership experience.
  • fennfenn Posts: 197
    You do not need to apologize for the thought of getting another LS430. Most of the Lexus naysayers who have commented here are Mercedes idealists. They have not been drivers or owners of these cars.

    I think that the updates and tweaks on the '04 will make the LS430 a quicker car, and the styling chages, while subtle, make the car's looks freshened. Furthermore, your past experience as a satisfied Lexus customer means a great deal.
  • In fact I have asked the biggest Merc supporter on these boards if he has ever driven an LS430 and his silence would indicate he has not.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Try out that LS430 sport suspension model. In 2004 they have it coupled with a modern luxury option package that looks like a very well balanced car. It may be short of the ultra on options but it trades off the sportier ride for it. I found that the handling with the sport suspension was better than that on the ultra in sport mode. I couldn't discern any difference in ride quality so the improved handling doesn't compromise the ride - at least in the 2001-3 model years.

    DonFenn - Perfectly stated.
  • boo20boo20 Posts: 85
    I guess that this makes me a "Mercedes Idealist": '99 SL 500, '00 E 320 4 matic and (soon) '04 S 500 4 matic.

    I plead guilty.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    He said "most" not all. But I do notice many of your posts here and elsewhere bash Lexus and praise MB which according to merc1's principles means you need to justify your purchases. I much prefer discussions like the ones DonFenn brings to the table.

    All these cars are fabulous and play to different priorities. Thus there is no need to bash if any of the brands are targeting a different buyer. Choice is the ultimate luxury and freedom and it does double duty by holding prices down.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I wouldn't bother to go on about it, as the new rules dictate that you have to own whatever car to discuss it in here now. Even with things like styling and performance you have to own it to understand, reguardless of whether or not you can actually "see" the car on the road or at a showroom or autoshow or have driven one. When it comes to performance the rules change depending what car is being discussed, and which car is shown to be more favorable....if it's the wrong way around, other factors come into play to even things up, reguardless. Either way you can't debate it here.

    You're a basher when you don't agree, but when you do agree you're the most knowledgeable person around. Car magazines are so right when they say this, but when they say that, they're idiots.

    Then you have those who don't understand any data unless it's in survey form, so talking performance or any other non-JDP covered issue with them is moot, because unless JDP covers it, it's worthless.

    Now because you've come to a non-brand specific forum to discuss (with an opposite viewpoint) a car, or a different view you're in need to justify your purchase, like thats the same as if you were to call anyone "not-smart" or worse in the past because they didn't consider brand x first before chosing brand y.

    M
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    That may be the way most of us by cars, but there is a large segment out there who buy cars frequently.
    They may just want something different on their next purchase.
    You know. The grass is always greener on the other side.

    I think for the most part they are not true car enthusiasts. They might have been car crazy at some point in their life, but not anymore.
    If they own a Lexus they may want to see what the Mercedes drives like, etc.
    So they own a Lexus for 2-3 years then buy the Mercedes, Jag, BMW, Land Rover, whatever.
    next time around it is something different.
    Their income is sufficient enough to where it is not really that important.
    They may go back to the Lexus because it is cheaper to own.
    Although I suspect that all of their cars never go out of warranty so they never find the true cost of ownership.

    For me, my time is valuable. I will not continue to go back again and again for problems that are engineering related and probably unfixable.
    My Oldsmobile dealer could have cared less if he fixed my car and my current Chevrolet is having issues which cause me to question it's long term operating expense.

    My next car will be a used Lexus LS 400. End of story.
    There will be no BMW or Mercedes in my driveway because I am scared of what it may do to my pocketbook.
    I would guess that even the Mercedes supporters on this thread would agree that a Lexus is cheaper to own in the long term.
    I am speaking of a '04 Lexus vs. a '04 Mercedes, BMW, jag, etc.
    Not a 1981 300D Turbodiesel. LOL.

    For others performance is more important, but right now with my income, it's the operating expense.
    I will accept a little flabbier handling for long term peace of mind.
  • carnaughtcarnaught Posts: 1,610
    Keep in mind that used Lexus' out of warranty will also be quite expensive to fix and maintain.
  • fennfenn Posts: 197
    Some people take this like that are rooting for a sports team. It is like a kid only rooting for his home town baseball team, who feels that has to "diss" some of the other rival teams in the league.

    With cars, if you have personal experience with these cars it may mean more to some of us, than a person whose auto ownership experience involves cars which cost a fraction of these vehicles. That does not mean that these opinions are not valid, or are unworthy of an audience, but when these folks are constantly authoritative and argumentative, it is very questionable.......at best.

    A Mercedes fan that has owned and loved Mercedes cars like boo20 is not in this category, and I enjoy factual input from such participants in these forums.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    "talking performance or any other non-JDP covered issue with them is moot, because unless JDP covers it, it's worthless". If this comment is supposed to be directed at me, please address the PERFORMANCE question I raised in post 2840, and the STYLING questions I raised in posts 2744, 2773, 2789.
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    Of course. They can be extremely expensive to maintain.
    But I have thoroughy researched the LS400 and the things that I have found don't scare me too much.
    Air conditioning is about $2K. can be as high as 3.5K if everything needs to be replaced.
    Timing belt every 90K $600.
    Suspension parts are another item that can cost a lot.
    Fading LCD's in the IP. $3-400.
    Speedometer needles can be expensive too.
    I have a Toyota mechanic who can do things for me at about 60% of what Lexus charges.
    Plus the payment will be far below what I am paying for my Chivalay with 48K miles. It just had a new front wheel bearing installed for $556!
  • Before I go for a test drive, I am interested in knowing a little more about the ride quality of the Audi A8L vs. the Merc S430 vs. BMW 7 series. Any comments?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Nothing in that post was directed at you. I'm done with the styling issue as it's just something neither side will ever agree upon.

    Now you raised the point about the S430 and the LS430 performance wise. Yet, nowhere in the history of this board in other that debated Lexus and Mercedes did I read anyone saying the LS430 was outperformed by the S430 so I don't exactly know what the point was of bringing that up. Where did anyone ever say this? I'd like to see that claim. Even you, I see can tell by the sheer stats alone that the LS430 has the advantage performance wise over the S430, yet just a little while ago the same type of comparision was made between two different cars with a much wider gap in their "stats" and the advantage took forever to be seen, (if at all by some) simply because I'm not an "owner" so anything factual (that doesn't require ownership) is invalid. Going by this logic you have to own both a LS430 and a S430 to know which one has a performance edge, as the data can't be used.

    M
  • boo20boo20 Posts: 85
    Actually the only area in which I have consistently faulted ("bashed" if you will) Lexus is in styling. I totally agree that Lexus is more reliable. Repeatedly so. It is probably a "better value" than an S class but when compared to, say, an E class the differences are much closer. I know that for many years Intellichoice has chosen the E class as the best overall value when considering depreciation, insurance, repairs, gas milage etc. i.e, the total cost of ownership. (I don't know about their most recent choices).

    Let me address, once again, the issue of reliability. My personal experience is that these cars are reliable (though, admittedtly, not bullet proof like the Lexus). I have had a few problems but this may mean I make one extra visit to the shop per year compared to what a Lexus might make. Not a huge difference. As I've said before the service intervals for MB are 10,000 miles and one year on average (sometimes longer) whereas for Lexus it is 5000 miles. So I save one extra scheduled maintanence per year which, for me, makes up for the extra visit for the occasional electrical problem that may arise. It is true that a small number of MBs seem to be plauged by problems and I think that this skews the statistics and makes the entire brand seem more unreliable than it actually is for most of the owners. MB lacks the consistency in reliabilty that I admire in Lexus.

    I also appreciate Lexus for providing competition in the luxury car segment (and you should appreciate MB for the same reason as well)Otherwise we would all be paying much more for our cars than we currently are if someone had a monopoly.
  • carnaughtcarnaught Posts: 1,610
    Your last point is well taken. I have always believed and pointed out that the competition between these (Lexus vs. MB) and other marques has made each a better car.
  • fennfenn Posts: 197
    At one level, or another, all of the other luxury manufacturers used Mercedes as their target, whether they emulated the style, or coveted the high position that Mercedes has in the automotive market. I doubt that there is any argument about that here.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    To my personal tastes, I also find Lexus weak on styling. I think the LS is the least-attractive looking car in its class, actually. It is very likely my next car nonetheless, because exterior styling just isn't that important to me (others may differ). I have said before, maybe on the Lexus vs MB board: how much time do I spend looking at the outside of the car I own, as opposed to the time spent actually driving?

    Maybe if I were single, and impressing the ladies with better exterior styling and a 3-pointed star were important, things would be different for me.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    The problem with the E has always been a simple one for me. It's the size of a Camry and thus I couldn't fit my family into it comfortably. Plus I found it too small for me as a driver. Therefore no matter what anyone says about it from a value standpoint it never makes my short list in the next 5-7 years. It's too small and not in the same league of luxury as the LS, S, 7, A8, XJ or the Q in my opinion. It's a very good car, definitely sportier and a better handler than an LS but it doesn't meet my needs or requirements. If it was just my wife and I or if we had just one child I'd give it a lot of consideration.
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    Re: Audi A8
    Just saw a review on Motorweek or Spike TV. Can't remember which.
    Check your local listings, it will be re-aired.

    I was very surprised how negative the review was.
    They said that the ride quality was not good at all and that bumps sent loud shocks into the cabin.
    They also felt that it was slow and that the 0-60 time was only 6.4 secs. I don't know how you feel but, 6.4 secs is pretty quick to 60.

    They really hammered it on the weight.
    Said at 4400 lbs it was heavier than the last gen car and the heaviest aluminum bodied car they had tested. It really seemd to bother them a lot.

    Only thing they liked about the car was the interior. Which is terrific.

    i have never been in an A8 but have always heard that the ride is choppy due to the extra drivetrain weight up front.

    I can guarantee you that the Audi will be in the shop more than ANY of the other cars we are talking about here.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    As ljflx is saying, I also don't find the LS and E an appropriate comparison. When it comes to sedans (as opposed to sports cars), roominess is a key factor and differentiator between different classes of cars.

    Here are the figures (in liters, I couldn't find a site with cu ft):

    LS interior 3036 liters, cargo 572 liters

    S interior 2973, cargo 436

    E interior 2752, cargo 450

    I think its pretty clear that the E is in a different class, i.e., the E midsize and the others fullsize.

    What the E (500) is close to is the LS's price. More a testament to MB's lack of value than anything else.
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