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High End Luxury Cars

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  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    The 760Li is supposed to be available in Jan per the local BMW folk here. Price will be "about" 110K. Equipment info:


    http://www.germancarfans.com/News.cfm?NewsID=2021127.003


    M

  • Can't agree more with PathDoc. The huge center console that houses i-drive and cupholders would be better served with a tiptronic style shifter for the 6-speed automatic with the redundant controls on the steering wheel. My current 2000 740iL has what I feel is the perfect cockpit. Spacious, yet intimate. Driver oriented, but luxurious. I would probably appreciate the i-drive as my car with the integrated phone, GPS system and upgraded sound with DSP processor is about impossible to figure out anyway!

    My only other suggestion to BMW would be to go out on a limb and provide warranty and maintenance protection beyond the 50k currently offered. You see more BMW's with lots of miles for a reason, they beg to be driven! How much additional cost would it add to the vehicle to make the statement, bumper to bumper warranty and maintenance for 7 years or 100k. That would really make a statement about BMW's confidence in their product.
  • pathdocpathdoc Posts: 126
    I just read on Autospies.com that starting in Jan. all the 7's will come with steptronic. This will at least allow you to shift up and down using the buttons on the steering wheel.While I still would prefer a shifter in liew of the iDrive it will in my opinion improve the driving experience and eliminate a "fatal flaw"
  • While on the subject of flagship marquees, you might want to do a Google search on "BMW NIKASIL" before making your decision. As recently as 1995 BMW had major engine problems that they tried to blame on inferior petrol. Funny, my wife's Mitsu runs regular and has had no engine problems while I, running Amoco white, had engine failure at 6 years, 6 months and 74k miles. I, being one of the lucky(?) owners of one of these will probably never own another BMW - at least not one out of warranty. I took my car to the dealer for all maintenance and they never alerted me to this potentially devastating problem. The car ended up running like an ill tuned model T and I traded for 5K under wholesale 'poor' condition even though the car looked and drove perfectly(except for an idle that would wake the dead and 0 to 60 in 5 minutes). I've owned plenty of German cars but this car single handedly drove me back to Japanese reliability - but that's not necessarily a bad thing.
  • l943973l943973 Posts: 197
    Just read in interesting article in AutoWeek about the 745i. It turns out that the other cars that owners looked at were the

    Mercedes Benz S55
    Audi S8
    Infiniti Q45

    All happen to be high powered (310+ hp) autos.

    So it would seem that even though there isn't much talk about the Q45, there are folks out there still checking out the car. The LS430 and S500 weren't on their lists.

    Which brings up another fact I came across on the BMW website. It turns out when you select the competitors to the 745, it only lists

    Audi A8,
    Jaguar XJ Series
    Lexus LS430

    In this case, they left out the Mercedes Benz S-Class. From a price point, I guess it makes sense since the 745 is cheaper than the S500.

    Looking at Carpoint, it looks like the income demographics for an S-Class ($185k) is much higher than the BMW 7-Series ($175k, no longer listed) and the LS ($145k). So even if the LS is trying to compete with the 7 Series and S-Class, the buyers are a lot different they maybe what marketing is expecting. The Q45 trails at around ($100k) even though marketing is trying to cater to an income demographic of $200k (Edmunds src).

    So in the end, if you want status, get the Mercedes or MB/MayBach. Actually if you afford the Maybach, then the S500 is probably too cheap for you. :)
  • jstylejstyle Posts: 129
    Very cool I think. I always liked the Black & White Individual model from this division. For those that don't know what I am talking about go to the BMW worldwide site and click the links for the program. (think designo from MB)...Any comments?


    http://www.germancarfans.com/News.cfm?NewsID=2021217.001
  • nealm1nealm1 Posts: 154
    I have always said that the new 7's interior is simply gorgeous. Wouldn't own one on a bet at this point (have you seen the depressing turn the 7 board has taken?), but it is a stunning piece of design ON THE OUTSIDE. Don't get me started on the rear exterior. (I can do w/o the stripes (inlay?) on the console).
  • fjk57702fjk57702 Posts: 539
    The stripes are what make it the Yacht interior. The standard 7 interior does not have the stripes.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    The 7-Series BMW has been the single most styling disappointment I've ever seen from BMW in my 15+ years of being a fan of the brand. The car brings all types of engine and suspension technology to the table, but for the life of me I can't bare to look at the rear of the car. The front has become less severe with time, but that rear end is only palatable in black or dark blue. Strangely enough though, the car also makes a statement in white, I mean it's get the looks and fingers pointing....though I'm not sure all are saying it's a "good" looking car.

    The 2004 BMW 5-Series is where the straw will be broken. So far it looks even worse!

    The S-Class has always been on another level as far as it's average buyer;s demographic is concerned. One basic reason for that is the price, it starts where all the rest top out (except the 760Li). The S55 has moved further upmarket with 493hp and 107K sticker. I've driven the S500 and thought it was good enough, I can't image how a 191 hp increase must feel!

    The Q45 is a very interesting car. Infiniti messed up on the marketing of it though. It was never as sporty as a 7-Series or an S55, and for all it's 340hp it's no faster than similar cars with less power. No large car marketed as a sports sedan has been a success, except for the 7-Series. Even the 7-Series has started to place more emphasis on luxury with each re-do. Infiniti should have marketed the Q45 as a luxury car first, with a touch of sport. Why can't Infiniti get their transmissions right? The M45 is a midsize car with 340hp and it's actually slower than the way less powerful E500, GS430, and 540i.

    All is not lost at Infiniti. They are doing great on the lower end. The G35 is a hit, and rightly so. I'm forced to drive this G35 Coupe the first chance I get. The FX35 and FX45 look to be potential winners also. Infiniti, like Acura just can't get any respect past 40K.

    M
  • diploiddiploid Posts: 2,286
    Anybody else notice that the Maybach's rear end is similar to that of the BMW's 7-Series, but for some reason, it actually works better than the BMW's?
  • diploiddiploid Posts: 2,286
    merc - "Infiniti, like Acura just can't get any respect past 40K."

    Unfortunately, it's true. The 88K NSX is way overpriced and the RL, Acura's only true luxury sedan, really doesn't stack up well against the competition. Honda needs to figure out if it wants to run with the likes of Buick or BMW. I think right now they assume they can run with both.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Yep thats true, it's the same sitting-on-top trunklid, but the Maybach looks so much better, at least in the rear. The Maybach could have looked a little more exciting too, but I'll reserve final judgement until I get to Detroit.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well I guess for right now they don't see themselves as having a "problem". They are selling for the most part a lot of TLs, MDXs and RSXs.

    The RL needs a V8, but Honda says that isn't going to happen. There really isn't anything "wrong" with the RL, its just being a "good" or "decent" car doesn't cut it against the E320, 530i, GS300, and A6 2.7t. Not to mention the V8 versions of those cars. The only reason it sells at all is because you can easily get 5-7K off it's sticker. The CL (boy I had hopes for this car) doesn't even look as good as the TL sedan, how bass-ackwards is that. They may drop it, but that too would be a mistake with all the 2-doors coming...it would be another segment they "gave up" on. I can't say it enough, bring back the "Legend" name and make the car worthy of the title and Acura would be back in style again.

    The NSX was a stunning piece of work compared to the 1991 Ferrari 348 and 993 series Porsche 911, but times have changed. Ferrari stomped a mutthole in NSX with the F355 and they sealed the coffin with the 360, and Porsche did a complete re-do of the 911. The Acura is basically a 12 year old car with the a price thats totally unrealistic.

    I still hold Acura as my favorite of the 3 Japanese luxury brands, with the TL-S being my favorite fwd luxury car. They just keep letting me down, with terrible styling and nothing to really "lust" after.

    M
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    My sister is an Acura fan. She put 160K on her 95 Legend before giving it to her daughter. No dealer services except book maintenance. None.
    She got a 2001 RL and now has 60K on it. Same story.

    Her RL has the same set of options and technology as the E class in 01 when she got it. Plus it is fractionally longer, wider and lower and heavier, so it looks lithe and rides very solidly and smoothly.

    But I digress. I also asked her about performance. She said, "Does fine for me. And a few seconds here or there getting started doesn't add up to much in a two or three hour drive does it?"

    I asked her why she didn't look at the Mercedes and BMW. "Easy" she said, "My friends that have BMWs and Mercedes are always bitching about going to the shop. I don't have time for that. When you got the money, honey, time is the luxury."
  • Did she trademark that little rhyme?
  • diploiddiploid Posts: 2,286
    Your sister's got some wit there!
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I'm not surprised, Acuras are good cars, but as that testimonial illustrates, there is nothing to lust after there, the car is an appliance. There is no way a 2001 RL offered everything that 2001 E320 offered. The E320 is faster and handles better for starters and technology wise I'd have to look up the RL's features for that year, but I doubt they match the Benz's. Of course the Acura will have all the *usual* luxury car features. The RL's biggest failing is the obvious wannabe E-Class look and the fact that it was not named a "Legend" to begin with.

    The Acura Legend, escpecially the GS version was a better car from a driving and styling standpoint. The Acura Legend is one of the hardest cars to find around here on the used car market, your sister's experience is why...they run forever!

    M
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    Thanks, Merc1. Here's what I think...we each have our opinions...

    Let's see, both the 2001 E and RL came out in 1996 and were pretty sharp styling changes from prior models (thought the RL seemed more of an evolution from the Legend than the 96 E from its predecessors). The RL and the E were signs of the times, not unique styling icons. No copying here.

    The feature list for the two is remarkably the same. Probably the biggest difference is what's standard on the Acura and optional on the E. The option list for MB goes on and on - and the already high price, goes higher still.

    This is how they differed on major items: MB had one extra transmission speed, head curtains. Acura had Moonroof, Xenons, Bose, CD player, bigger engine.

    Performance dynamics were similar, both had ABS, ASC, Traction, good handling and braking.

    Mercedes listed about $9,000 more and went up from there. Acura came with everything but NAV, another $2K.

    As has been true for about a 10 years, Mercedes had far worse reliability, dependability and durability record, and much higher cost of ownership.

    MB is like a Rolex. World-class jewelry, so-so watch. Comes in lots of different styles and glitter. Looks belie its constant need for service and erratic timekeeping.

    Acura is like a Seiko. Nice jewelry, world class watch. Comes in one major style, low on glitter but still black tie. Owners find out that they are the luxury car deal of the decade and keep them forever.

    Enjoy the different choices we have!

    2001 MB E class ( superior standard features)

    Automatic 5-Speed Transmission, Automatic Dimming Rearview Mirror, Trip Computer, Wood Dash, Head Curtain Air Bag Restraints, Premium Audio System, Telematic System, Automatic Climate Control (2 Zone) -

    Acura RL ( superior standard features )

    6 cyl 3.5 L Engine, Bose Audio System, Digital Clock, Power Heated Mirrors, Intermittent Wipers, Overhead Console, Power Moonroof, Xenon Headlamps, AM/FM/Tape/CD Changer Audio System.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Question, what difference does a larger engine make when the Acura was slower that the E320? That larger engine stuff sounds like GM type advertising, it made no difference in accleration.

    Your list proves the Benz had more important standard equipment. A moonroof hardly sells a car nowadays.

    Their dynamics were not similar, the Benz handled better, no contest there. Yes, I've driven both. Car and Driver and Road and Track have compared the two and they agree with me.

    I'll give you that the RL (being a Honda) has a better reliability record, but durability I would have object there. A Benz will still have better paint, body and interior quality longer than a Honda will once the years/miles really add up. I don't think the car would have outsold every other car in it's class if it was such this unreliable beast.

    And for the record Xenons didn'tshow up on the RL until 1999, they were an option on the E-Class in 1998. Some of the other things you listed like a moonroof, overhead console are really, really minor and were also available on the E-Class. Mercedes tends to put the important things first, technology, safety etc....then add the trivial stuff, a "overhead console" come one, thats a weak defense.

    In short the E-Class was the better car, the market has proven which one was preferred. The RL didn't compare, even by your own post.

    M
  • nealm1nealm1 Posts: 154
    On this one, I agree (God help me) with merc1. The RL may make more sense for a lot of people given the price differential, and one could forcefully -- maybe even compellingly -- argue that the law of diminishing returns sets in with a vengence once one gets above the RL's sticker, but you can't really say that the RL is actually competitive w/the E in a price-blind comparison. Which makes the LS/S/E comparisons all the more amazing. The E (IMHO) can't compare with the LS (isn't supposed to) and the LS, at a minimum, is competitive with the S, even though there is a huge price differential.
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