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High End Luxury Cars

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  • Ok, so perhaps they are not exactly the same. But, I was not comparing, rahter making a point.
  • boo20boo20 Posts: 85
    0 - 60 times? That's not the most important consideration when I'm looking for a winter car. Remember I want AWD (which, incidentally, Lexus does not make in a sedan). Anybody can build a fast car. I had a Camaro in the early eighties that would smoke both of these cars. So what does that prove? It had old technology: overhead valves, carburator etc.

    If you really want to compare 0 - 60 times look at the E55. At 4.5 sec to 60 it is faster than a vette and will have the Lexus eating its dust.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    You wrote, "0 - 60 times? That's not the most important consideration when I'm looking for a winter car. Remember I want AWD..."

    I must say, this sounds like a rationalization. Would you be dismissing 0-60 times if a base S430 "smoked" a base LS430? Are the curve-anticipating headlights (that MB wasn't first with anyway) more important to you?
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,677
    Is anyone else as far along as Toyota with the hybrid technology? Other than Honda and GM, I haven't read much about anyone else. That technology is indeed going to set this whole segment on its ear. Plus the improved gas mileage coming with more power to boot is really going to peak the interest of the European buying public. Changing the way the game is played is the biggest innovation of all. Lexus already did that once in 1990. Apparently it's on the verge of doing it a second time.
  • carnaughtcarnaught Posts: 1,580
    that some of the Mercedes zealots dismiss survey data (JDP) and 0-60 times when it doesn't favor their marque over Lexus? Yet, they'll look to sportiness of driving and AMG data to negate the Lexus arguments. Oh...then there's the tired "refrigerator" looks and "Buick" driving characteristics arguments as applied to Lexus continually being dredged up.
  • boo20boo20 Posts: 85
    Rationalization? What are you talking about? When I'm looking for a winter car the most important factor for me is the presence of AWD. NOT 0 -60 times.

    If I want a fast luxurious car without regard to winter driving I would get an E55 which would blow ANY Lexus out of the water.

    The point is that with MB I can choose to have AWD. With Lexus sedans I can't.
  • You have only told 1/2 of the story about the LS Pre Collision System, it also closes the sunroof if necessary and adjusts the seats backward and down to the most favorable position to withstand the collision and provide maximum effectiveness for the harness.

    ARE YOU REALLY THIS DESPERATE TO MAKE SOME UNKNOWN POINT?

    Bottom line: (My Opinion) BMW is the best true drivers car, Lexus offers the most luxury and dependability and Mercedes is somewhere in the middle. They are all wonderful cars and it serves no purpost to make outlandish claims or negative comments about any of these cars.
  • boo20boo20 Posts: 85
    I was quoting directly from Lexus' website with regard to their "pre-collision" system. They don't mention anything about adjusting the driver's seat or closing the sunroof (both of which are done by MB's "pre-safe"). I made a good faith effort to find out and am curious where you get your information.

    I also disagree that "these are all wonderful cars." There's nothing "wonderful" about the LS430. It appears to me to be uninspiring and lacking in subtlety.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,677
    If anyone read (or missed) the October 6 edition of Time there was an interesting business story in there. In it a high ranking exec of a company many of us have likely purchased from made the following statement. "We're not first. We just do it better. We're not embarrassed to admit it. We've come out of nowhere to be the No. 3 consumer brand in the U.S. in less than 5 years, while Coca Cola has been doing it for 100 years. Of course, we're not in this to be No. 3. No.1 is the only target around here. Who's the company?

    Dell.

    How did they do it - they copied others and then innovated a new way of selling and manufacturing. They turned the whole industry on it's ear. This whole innovation issue and who is leading it is absurd in my opinion. Auto manufacturing is a business. There is nothing wrong with making another company be your R&D department. It's actually smart business. The company that changes the way an industry does things is the ultimate innovator. That is the big picture. Things like a pre-collision systems and the like are little parts of the story. Of course Dell did innovate one thing as I noted earlier - that is for sure. They changed the rules of how the game is played by selling a computer differently then anyone else and out of nowhere pulled ahead of the likes of IBM (the innovator of the open PC in the first place) and HP. That is called smart business.

    Boo20 - theres is nothing wonderful about the LS430 --- TO YOU. You left out two important words. I diasagree with your comment by the size of the world.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    I don't know where other car companies stand on hybrid, though I do know the US companies, including Chrysler, have done some work in the area. Toyota was first with a commercial vehicle, the original Prius, and has sold over 100k units worldwide. The 2004 Prius is much improved, offering more room (midsize rather than compact class), but at the same time better acceleration AND better mpg. I think there is a short review in the current R&T and/or C&D.

    Of course with the Prius, Toyota chose to emphasize fuel economy...using hybrid to downsize the gas engine to 1.5 liters.

    With Lexus, we will see the same size gas engine as in the standard vehicles, so hybrid will be additive to performance (while offering a still impressive but lesser fuel economy improvement). As a sign of the performance angle, the RX hybrid as I understand will be called the RX400H (despite having the same 3.3L engine). Also as I've posted before, hybrid has been banned from Formula 1 competition, apparently because it would have given too big a performance advantage to those teams that incorporated it first.

    More info is at http://en.lexus-hybrid.com/home.html and http://www.toyota.com/html/shop/vehicles/prius/index.html

    I agree with you, this technology stands to be a very big differentiator if Lexus can move its whole product line to it before others get their acts together.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    2004 Prius reviews:

         http://www.caranddriver.com/article.asp?section_id=19&article- _id=7066&page_number=1

         http://www.roadandtrack.com/article.asp?section_id=6&article_- id=828&page_number=1

    Also, Californians take note of this from Automobile Magazine: "California May Allow Single-occupancy Hybrids in Carpool Lane"
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    and I'm thinking that it is WAY past time to stop feeding the troll...
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hi All,
    Boo,
    How can you compare an E55 to a stock Lexus sedan? That comparison doesn't make any sense. How much does an E55 cost anyway? I'm guessing it's somewhere near the price of a 911.

    Anyone know if there are any modified GS cars out there? Lexus doesn't seem to have a dedicated Racing outfit like MB and BMW. But, for stock sedans they're pretty good in performance specs.

    I seem to think the advantages of AWD are grossly overblown. I'm not saying this b/c Lexus doesn't offer it, but b/c of my 35+ yrs of driving experience. I've driven in the worst of weather with a variety of cars. I found the Range Rover (Back in the mid 70's) to be the best in harsh Scotland winters. In New England, I've had little trouble with my front wheel drive cars. The LS cars I've had needed snow tires, but drove fine otherwise. I didn't bother putting snow tires last year on my '92 and didn't get stuck anywhere.

    For those who've driven AWD...Is there a perceptible difference in ride quality vs RWD?

    SV
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,677
    Just for the heck of it I checked the Ray Catena MB advertisement in the Sunday paper again this week. It listed 62 NEW MB's and said this was a partial list of more than 500 NEW cars. The cars listed were all 2003's but then I checked Edmunds new cars and the 2004 S, SL and E are not out yet. So 2003 is all you can go by. Let's see - we have 12 E320's, 3 E500's, 17 S430's and 4 S500's. The impossible to get SL - there are 9 of them including an AMG. There are even a few CL AMG's and a CL 500. This is out of the 62 listed cars not the 500+ available cars. There are also 6 used (Starmark) 2003 SL500's and SL 55's. Those who returned them obviously drove them for far less a period of time then they waited for them. So where is the waiting list if all these new can be driven off the lot tommorrow. The other mystery is why did 6 SL's come back so quickly.
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    are usually the first to go off the road.
    Drivers get overconfident.

    AWD vehicles generally ride a litte harder
    riding.
  •    Is the Cadillac "SRX" better than the Infiniti FX, or VW Touraeg (As C&D states)? Which would you rather own?
       Will the upcoming Lexus "HPX" lap the field?
       Will Infiniti EVER get the Q right?
       Will Acura ever step up and build a V8 luxury car?
       Will the upcoming underdogs 2005 Audi A6 and Lexus GS find equal standing against the redesigned E-Class and 5-Series?
       Will they add a stick to their V8's?
       Will Infiniti bring a convertible version of the Nissan Skyline here as an answer to the SL/SC/XLR convertible fight?
       Will Lexus start to pull away in the Sales standings over the next decade with their Hybrid system for enhancing performance/economy/vale?
       Will Mercedes ever give us a break with the C230 hatchback?
       Is the upcoming BMW 2-Series a Mini Crapper with 4-doors?
       Will there be an M7?
       Will the BMW 645ci sink or swim?
       How long will BMW go with Bangle's Hit-or-Miss design barrage?
       Can I get a Bud?
       
       drfill
  • bmwsellerbmwseller Posts: 200
    from a 'bimmer guy....

    Go with the X5 if you want a stick. It' the best driver anyway.

    M7 won't happen, IMO.

    The 6 coupe and convertible will be a huge hit and then all of the sudden fade off into the sunset, like any great car should. M6 will be a show stopper if that happens.

    BMW doesn't want to mainstream and widely accepted by the average john/jane so, Bangle is a good fit and I appreciate the streams of the new designs.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,677
    The HPX will lap the field just like the RX did. I wish they would have built it already. The GS will gain a lot of ground quickly if the pix I seen are authentic. As for Bangle - he should remember he is designing cars not painting on canvas. These eyebrows and things like that on the BMW's make me think he should have been a portrait painter.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Pat or someone, please explain for the ignorant, what exactly is a troll?
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    a bombthrower who lurks around these threads and pops up causing trouble -
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Gee whiz, I take a 4 day break to enjoy Chicago's last few decent (summer-like) days and actually watch a baseball game for 2nd time ever (Cubs) and there are more posts made during those 4 days than in the previous month!!

    bmwseller,

    When I first saw you on this board I remembered Edmunds' agreement that prevents from saying anything about you as far as your motives go.

    syswei,

    In you post 3048 you stated:

    "Not a judgement that runs something like "gee, the Acura TL has had some transmission problems, and although I have no idea how widespread the problem is, it shows that the ENTIRE Acura brand might be just as unreliable as brand X"."

    Exactly! You don't know yet you assume the best. I can't wait until the 02' and 03' model Acura TL comes up in the 05' and 06' dependability survey.

    "I have news for you. The 2004 E does not come with the 7 speed."

    The 2004 E500 does too come with the 7-speed transmission, the dealer here just got 3 of them today. Check the MB website if you don't believe it.

    Thats funny you have to compare the acceleration of the LS430 to the SL500. Is Lexus really that bad off?

    When and if Lexus' hybrids actually make V8 power and V6 gas mileage a reality, I'll be the first to congratulate them, until then however it's just wait and see.

    Still reading through the posts. RE: #3153.

    Do we have to go through this innovation and technology thing again? When are you going to realize that your list of what you think Lexus does so well aren't innovations? Do you not realize that Mercedes is responsible for your Lexus' ABS, crumple zones, stability control etc? You gave your list of things in reply to what boo20 said about technology. What in the world is technical about customer service, which you try to list twice as service and then customer service. Value? What does that have to do with technology? Thats good marketing. You're confused as to what innovations and technology are. Hybrid technology is just that, technology and innovation.

    The adaptive headlights were on sale here FIRST by Lexus with their 04' RX330, but you do realize that certain 04' BMW and Mercedes models will also have these? We're not talking about the years lag like when Lexus finally gets something Mercedes has had for years, like Keyless Go. They're basically being introduced by all three brands for the same model year, if no the exact same month.

    BTW, JDP can't tell you what every MB dealer has in stock. Only the larger-volume, more affluent area dealers are going to have SLs in stock.

    boo20,

    "Another reason people may be waiting for the '04 E class is because this is the first  year that MB is bringing back the legendary E 500. The '03s are only available with 3.2 and 4.3 L engines."

    You're letting them force you to spread yourself too thin. The 03' E-Class was available as a E500 model.

    sv7887,

    The car, like practically any other, requires an Oil change every 5000-7500 miles. Any decent mechanic will tell you frequent oil changes are probably one of the best things you can do for you car. Obviously, the Duration depends on how much you drive.

    Right and Wrong. Wrong as far as Mercedes goes. The FSS (Flexible Service System) computes when a service is do, unlike Lexus which needs an oil change every 5000-7K miles, a Mercedes doesn't. Mercedes also specifies synthetic for all its cars no, so no they don't go back for service every 5-7K miles like any other other. You're right as duration dictates the service interval, of which a Lexus can't determine for itself. The Lexus way is low tech in this reguard. Did you know that a very much dissed American car brand has the technology to read it's own oil and determine the service interval?

    "As for the Seven Speed Issue...Don't you think this is overkill? I don't see anyone else rushing to adopt a 7 Speed Transmission. Even a high performance car like a Corvette, Aston Martin
    Vanquish, and Porsche 911 only have six speeds and can probably beat anything MB has to offer."

    At first I would honestly say YES. However if the new trans delivers on it's promise of better acceleration and fuel economy whats not to like? The Corvette doesn't compete with any Mercedes, so whats the point of bringing it up? The Aston Martin Vanqish gets beat by a the SL55 AMG, with it's 5-Speed, so image what will happen when AMG tweaks the 7speed for their cars. The 911 Turbo in automatic form I guess you could say competes with the SL55 or SL600, but they are vastly different types of cars. Yes the 911 TT is faster than either, but it should be considering it's 1000lbs weight advantage. The SL is a GT car, the 911 is a purebread sports car. When you want to compare the GT cars (you know actual competitors to the SL55) to each other, let me know and I'll show you where you can read about the awesome SL55 AMG and it's capabilites.

    The real test of the new 7speed will be in the E500, S430, S500, SL500 and CL500, when they are tested by the automags and prospective buyers.

    You're knocking Mercedes for going further because Lexus doesn't and isn't a leading innovator. It's the same old story, unless Lexus comes up with it, it doesn't matter. Mercedes is bringing a 7speed to the market for the same reason Lexus is bringing a 6sp to the market, better acceleration, fuel economy and just more all around flexibility, and lastly competition. Truth be told, a 5-speed trans is more than an "enough" in these cars, or are you telling me the current 5-speed in the LS430 is so lousy that a 6-speed was actually "needed"? I know that wasn't the case. If Mercedes is bringing needless tech to the market then so is Lexus, and Lexus is doing it "late" as usual.

    ljflx,

    Now as always I look forward to your take on this issue, but there are a couple of things you've missed.

    These surveys. I don't know what you think Mercedes' problems is specifically, but you seem to think that these are breakdowns by the side of the road. A lot of this "survey" hoopla is bs because when I see certain cars getting knocked for cupholders and stereo systems and fuel economy there is a problem. Fuel economy on a Hummer? Thats the most ridiculous expectation any Hummer buyer could have ever had. Cupholders on a Mini Cooper? Ditto. Now when it comes to Mercedes...........and before you say it....I'm not saying that this simple stuff is causing their downfall. From what I've read, seen, etc etc, it seems to be smaller electronic glitches, especially dealing with the Comand system. I've also seen things about ABC when it first came out, ditto for Airmatic. The problem is that you guys who think these surveys are king don't even know the criteria they (especially JDP) uses or what they feel is a "problem", because fuel economy in a Hummer surely isn't a "problem" in the basic sense of the word, it's more like a unaviodable trait of a 6000lb tru
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    There is something the Lexus faction will never grasp. People who really like cars (dare I say enthusiast) aren't going to want a car like a LS430 no matter how reliable it is because of it's design. It doesn't help that in the AutoWeek buyers guide they list the LS430 as being a JDP star. To some, not all..that says boring.

    Now a few days ago you stated that the same dealer has 35 SL's in stock now they have 9? Come on now. I think you know you were mistaken on the first number. SLs like any other high-end car are sometimes "flipped" back to the dealer for more than the person paid for them. No, I'm not saying that this is the case with the 6 SLs you're saying (not sure if that is true) have come back to the dealer. This is something a Lexus buyer couldn't do until the SC430 came out. Unfortunately for Lexus that practice died quickly with the SC430.

    Yes I see that Lexus has something similar to Mercedes' Pre-Safe system for 2004, and they also have an option similar to MB's Keyless Go for 04' also. It's about time since MB had Keyless entry since 01 and Pre-safe since last year. Lexus is always the come from behind, late as usual entry, that isn't always the MB's equal, like their so called pre-collision system. When are they going to do something first? They've cut it down to 1 and 3 years repectively, 300eguy05.

    pablo_l,

    I don't see how you can equate Mercedes and Chrysler's relationship as being the same as Toyotas and Lexus'. There are no gussied up Chryslers running around as Mercedes'. Chrysler is raiding Mercedes' old parts bin, not the other way around. The IS300 is just that, a Toyota....outside the U.S. The ES300 is much closer to the Camry than any Benz is a Chrysler. The GS, LS and SC do stand alone as they don't have Toyota cousin in THIS country.

    _________________________________________________________________- - - ___

    Waiting Lists. They vary by area and by model of car. Simply put there may be one (there is) here at Naperville for the SL55 or just introduced SL600. Yes they do have one used SL55 in stock, but there aren't any new ones. The CL55 or E55 are also in high demand here. They have a pretty good mix of 03 and 04 E-Class cars on the lot right now, some are tagged as "sold" some aren't. If there is a waiting list for the E-Class, its probably for the 4Matic models being offered for 04', there is good chance that dealers have people on a list for these as they are quite popular, especially in the Northeast and Midwest. There is a "waiting list" for the new CLK Cabriolets. I'll bet that no Lexus fan will find 6 of these sitting unsold on a MB dealers lot.

    Overall it depends on the model and where it's being bought. There are no blanket rules for this nationwide after the first year a new Mercedes has been out. Right now the only MB I can see that would have a waiting list nationwide is the CLK Cabrio, and possibly the E55.

    A "waiting list" is just the time between when a person orders a car and when its delivered. This is not anything new for Mercedes-Benz or any other luxury maker with a hot product. The difference is that Mercedes' rarer cars are limited in production, unlike certain Japanese makers who will "ramp-up" production to meet demand. That will satisfy the market, but it kills the brand image. Lexus doesn't have anything comparable to the AMG cars or the CL in general so there is a big difference here. How many Lexus fans are awaiting Lexus to come out with awd, of course there will be some sort of waiting list for the first year's worth of GS or LS cars when they get awd. So why is it so unbelievable that the E-Class 4Matic models don't have a waiting list? There also seems to be a theory that just because a dealer has a SL that was returned for some reason or have a stray SL55 in stock nobody else is waiting for their car to come it. Thats ridiculous at best. What does this have to do with people who have ordered a specific color and/or options and don't want the dealers leftovers and/or traded back cars? Nothing.

    M
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    Those are some long posts.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I know, I had a lot to address, there were like over a 100 posts in just 4 days!

    M
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    One can and should point out the Chrysler DNA in MB corporation if Lexus supposedly "is a Toyota" - the thing is that none of these companies is an exclusive luxury goods maker. They are mass producers, MB every bit as much as Toyota. Check out the German MB site and tell us how the A class or cars such as the A class or the C180 contribute to the exclusivity of the brand. It's called economy of scale.

    Does MB have higher brand equity in the luxury sedan market? Yes.
    Does Lexus have good brand equity in the luxury sedan market? Yes.
    Does Toyota have the same - no. The argument is a fallacy. Toyota successfully createda different brand. Incidentally, Mercedes did the same with Maybach, seemingly thinking there was a target audience that had already lost with given the downmarket appeal they have created and aspired for in the last 20 years.

    In a nutshell - I would not buy a Lexus myself for some weird psychological reason, but I draw the line at someone making silly points such as making it a big deal that they are under the Toyota corporate umbrella, and claiming that means every Lexus is a Toyota.
  • bmwsellerbmwseller Posts: 200
    MERC1.........welcome back, and GO CUBS...

    BMW had the 1st ones ........... fact. The 2004 coupes and convertibles were released in the early spring. By the way, I sold two cars Saturday(Z4 and used Jetta), neither of which I solicited from a chat room.

    Autonews yesterday says that DMX will use mercedes parts on the new Magnum (20%). SO, will Mopar drivers go around saying "hey, check out my Benz!"
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hi Merc,

      I agree with everything you said. I do feel as if a 5 spd transmission is enough. I suppose Lexus doesn't have much choice but to update, lest they be left too far behind. They've stayed out of the Horsepower races, simply updating the cars enough to remain competitive but not win.

    I think Lexus is making a smart corporate decision by letting someone else spend all the R/D $$$ and gamble whether the marketplace wants the feature. It's good business, but not good for matters of prestige. I've noticed Lexus seems to wait until certain options have matured in their product cycles.

    As we've all stated, Reliability is Lexus' chief Marketing tool, so it's no surprise they lag in adopting cutting edge technology. I suppose they don't want to rush something to market and find that it brings down their reliability ratings.

    At least they're being "innovative" with their adoption of Hybrid technology. This is a considerable leap forward in automotive technology. We'll how the Hybrid RX does (Mid 2004?) The Prius is a pretty good car, so my expectations are high.

    SV
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    5 speed gives advantage of lower and closer gear spacing below 1.00.
    6 speed gives advantage of 2 overdrive gears.
    With 6 usually being taller than what a company would offer in a 5 speed.
    I see no use for a 7 speed.
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    Toyotas are good cars so I don't hold that against Lexus.
    Mercede's are used as taxis in Europe.
    They only send the high equipment ones here.
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