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Luxury Performance Sedans

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  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Surprising how perennial favorite Lexus got a real panning from CR. Definitely the worst Lexus review ever in CR.
    I couldn't adjust the driver's seat to my satisfaction when I drove the GS300/GS430.
    CR seems to say the same thing. That should be worth a renewal to CR right there!
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    You will be delighted to know that experts in body repair have stated that dings on a door that "Thunks" are no more expensive to repair than dings on doors that don't "Thunk". ;)
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Well, CR had different expectations for the GS than say, an ES, RX, or LS. They arent supposed to be sporty, and so CR loves em. The GS is supposed to be sporty, but it ultimately fails to deliver, which is pretty much what I expected. They took a radical step towards sporty handling above all else with the IS300, and paid for it. What I think they learned from that experience is that they need to try and change the general public perception of Lexus much more gradually. If the IS300 was diving head first into the sports sedan pool (stay with me here), then the GS is a tip-toe onto the first step at the shallow end. The IS is maybe up to the shorts. Maybe in another few years, they'll be willing to try for the deep end again.
  • cstilescstiles Posts: 465
    I went the "paintless" dent repair route with the last couple door ding episodes on my other cars. It is quite amazing how they can get behind the body panels and literally push the dings out from the inside. As long as there is no paint damage or cracking, definitely check out this option the next time you are cursing over a door ding. The process really works, and will save you hundreds.

    Many of the RL's body panels are made of aluminum, so I'm not sure if it will work on those. Interesting experience the other day when my son wanted to stick one of the (annoying) magnetic yellow ribbons on her mother's RL. Well, they don't stick because many of the RL panels are not made of sheet metal! Took me a second before I was able to intelligently explain to my son why the magnets wouldn't stick.

    Who's making the money on those magnets anyway? I keep visualizing some slimeball making millions and tanning himself on the beach, thanks to selling "Support Our Troops" yellow ribbon magnets. Surely the money goes to a good cause, but I somehow doubt it.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Well then, that Lexus VIP around the beginning of the year had no business getting all our hopes up that the new GS was going to be taking dead aim at the 5 series. It sounded great to me. Excellent handling and Lexus reliability all in one vehicle.
    What a letdown!
  • akrakr Posts: 14
    As someone who only buys AWD vehicles and having owned an Audi 2.7T and BMW 3xi in the past, I checked out the Audi A6 3.2 (did'nt like the new front exterior and the engine felt underpowered compared to the old 2.7T), the Infinity M35X (beautiful engine, but the feel of the vehicle, which is admittedly subjective was not for me) and the 5 series (Xi) although the all wheel drive was not available to drive (I liked the handling very much but the V6 did not seem as powerful as the M and the exterior was not particularly to my liking), I finally, somewhat as an after-thought ended up at my local MB dealer.

    For the very first time I drove a 2006 E350 4-matic and a 2005 E500 4-matic. MB's recent reliabilty problems were on my mind, but the moment I sat in these vehicles I was very impressed and one ten mile drive sold me. The E500 was my initial choice, but a second drive in the E350 convinced me it was adequate for my needs.

    Bottom line, to my surprise I purchased an E350 4 Matic and am so far very happy with the vehicle.Therefore, my question is how come this vehicle has been virtually ignored in this discussion?
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I agree. I've said many times on these forums that Danny Clements comments on the GS were all bark and no bite. For whatever reason, Danny doesnt work there anymore. Hopefully the new guy (cant remember his name off the top of my head) will talk more about the strengths that Lexus actually delivers and not hype.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I think there's a few reasons. First, the E still rules in sales, but its just not an "interesting" car right now. Its been on the market for several years, and falls behind the latest models in terms of geeky technology. Second, the Benz still commands pretty big bucks, and yet they nickel and dime you for things like an optional CD changer and an $1100 keyless entry\ignition. A loaded E350 can cost more than almost all of the competition's V8s. Third, when you think AWD luxury sedan, MB is not usually the first name that comes to mind. AWD to Mercedes seems almost like an after thought. They certainly dont agressively market that they have it, like say, Audi, or Acura with the new RL.
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    "Therefore, my question is how come this vehicle has been virtually ignored in this discussion?"

    It's interesting that the perennial sales leader in this class is virtually ignored in this thread. I'm not sure why E class owners don't chime in more. In fact, it got so little mention that the moderator took this thread off the E class forum.

    Maybe with the new V6 and all, people are more excited about this car, and will get more mention if this thread is put back in the E class forum.
  • sacguysacguy Posts: 27
    I was wondering the same thing about the lack of discussion on the E350. I checked out the Audi A6, Infiniti M, BMW 5 and Lexus GS. I found the E350 had the overall best combination of features and luxury car styling for a car in this class. The price was higher, but I got a comfortable cruiser, with classic good looks, a very nice interior (premium and appearance pkg) and with enough good road manners/handling and power, to make it a very nice choice. I have had it one month and am very happy, no trip to the dealer yet, everything works as advertised. After all the bashing lately of MB, I almost did not even check a MB out, but was pleasantly suprised when I did. :D
  • I guess that would be "Ding Theory".

    And the corollary to that is if you park next to another LPS you are less likely to get Dinged.

    I try to park away from the madding crowds (the Great Unwashed?), and whenever possible I park at the end of a row so there is only one car next to me. I also park next to bimmers or MBs when I can find them. On a really good day, I'll find two shiny new LPSs with a space between.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    You're right its been out since 2003 and thus isn't the newest and hottest thing, which is why I think it isn't talked about here. Obviously there is interest outside of Edmund's mesg boards because it sells so well, even in the face of a half-dozen newer entries, impressive imo.

    True the E doesn't have as many toys as some of the newer entries.

    I disagree about AWD and a Mercedes being an afterthought. Mercedes is only one of 2 makes that offers the option on both their V6 and V8 models, them and Audi. Mercedes' 4Matics are very popular in certain areas of the country. If you visit a state like Minnesota every E and S-Class you see are of the 4Matic variety.

    The only reason Acura and Audi market agressively is because that is the only way their cars come in this class.

    I suspect things will pick up on the mesg board when the E500 gets the new 5.5L 382hp V8 from the 2007 S500, along with a facelift.

    M
  • ckelly14ckelly14 Posts: 105
    MB always has a great exterior, and despite all the talk about reliabilty, my interest was peaked after your posting. I configured "My MB", a E350 with lighting/preimum/sirius, and the result: about $59K! Even if it was comparable to the other cars we are discussing, it's not in the same ball park on the value side. About the same price as a fully loaded M45....

    Now, if they were heavily discounting, I may be interested, but the last time I went to a M-B dealership, they weren't giving them away.
  • No, designman and hp, the point was that restricting this list to a certain set of vehicles (LPS) and then declaring one brand of them to be the 'Ultimate Driving Machine(s)" is pretty silly.

    It's a lot like picking six different kinds of apples and then declaring one of them to be the "Most Tasty Fruit in the Universe".
  • docnukemdocnukem Posts: 485
    Another reason no one talks about the E is the six car limit on the discussion (currently Lexus GS 430, Acura RL, BMW 5 Series, Lexus GS 300, Audi A6, Infiniti M35). Because it is not included, no one gets shunted here when they search the discussions. Either that, or they are spending all their time on the "E series-Owners: Problems & Solutions" board.

    (Just kidding, Merc1)

    Maybe Pat should remove one of the GS models and replace it with the E (only one of the M versions is listed).
  • ckelly14

    If you are willing to head north a good ways you should look at a MB dealership with very large inventory.

    The main one in Boston is Herb Chambers. They show 105 E-350's and E500's (a few) in stock on lilne today, ranging from around $53K to $68K. You can ping the ISDs for a deal, follow up with a call.

    They have to sell MB's with heavy discounting to turn over that much inventory. Nobody with their brains in gear pays list for any car on the lot unless they just like to send the sales guy's kids to college.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    My mistake was parking next to a big van or SUV on my right. I never did that before but I figured with only one day left to return the car....

    Totally agree: Look for 2 LPS to park between. If I can't do that, I try to find an island to park next to. At least my odds for dings go down 50%.
  • Mercedes, second only to Audi offers AWD (ONLY with auto trans) in virtually all of its models. Mercedes, not BMW has been committed to AWD for some time now.

    Granted this is year 25 for Audi, but Mercedes could hardly be called for having a casual affair with AWD.

    However, even with Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Infiniti, Jaguar, Lexus, Mercedes, VW and Volvo offering some to wide availability of AWD -- the company that seems to be synonymous with AWD is, sadly, Subaru.

    Ask the "person on the street" and they will probably be able to note the SAV from BMW and Mercedes, Subaru and finally Audi.

    The real loser here, once again thank you Audi of America marketing, is Audi.

    Audi squandered its "lead," its secret weapon, for almost 25 years. Now, although Audi cars are the best ever, they are not synonymous with quattro and AWD like they perhaps could have been and some (me) would argue should have been. :confuse:
  • jlbljlbl Posts: 1,333
    Not only in Germany but also in South Europe Audi sells much more autos than BMW. And yes, there are many MB taxicabs and very few if any Audis and BMWs.
  • akrakr Posts: 14
    I don't agree that MB does not push AWD. They have it available on nearly all their sedans (the CLS being the exception). Second, while I agree with you on MB's pricy options on stuff that should clearly be standard in a 50k+ car, the secret weapon at the moment is subsidized leases. A fairly well loaded E350 can be leased for exactly the same as an Audi A6 and less than a 530 XI right now. Also, I dis-agree that the MB is technologically inferior to its German competitors, but do admit the Japanese electronics are superior.
    However in safety and solid driving "feel" (admitedly subjective) the E class is second to none. Finally, the new E V6 is an excellent engine and dramatically changes, in my view, the E350's competitiveness with other V6 competitors.
    When MB brings the diesel E class with 4-matic here, I believe AWD buyers will have a unique choice with that engines tremendous tourque.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,210
    I also agree about them pushing AWD. The MB commercial I see the most is the one where the guy is plowed into the spot he parallel-parked in ... and he says "oh, i just press the gas to get out."

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • akrakr Posts: 14
    I completely agree with you, Mark. My A6 2.7T was an excellent vehicle (I loved the engine) and despite several minor problems, I was very happy with my 3 year ownership experience (my first Audi). The sole reason I went with Audi or even test drove it was quattro. Audi has totally botched its historic lead in AWD in the uS.
  • janssenjanssen Posts: 74
    I always try to find two cars parked opposite directions, such that I can park between the passenger doors. Obviously, cars don't always have passengers, but always have drivers.

    Additionally, I try to park next to 4 door, rather than 2-door cars. Less travel/smaller doors.

    You're welcome.

    BTW, I had a horrible dream last night, thanks to reading these posts, my car had somehow morphed into this cool-looking convertible sports car, but had been absolutely trashed in a parking lot. As I looked at the damage, it got worse and worse before my eyes.

    Yoiks!
  • docnukemdocnukem Posts: 485
    My only problem with parking on the passenger side of vehicles (particularly family-appearing vehicles) is that the doors on that side are frequently opened by non-drivers or non-owners (kids, grandparents, etc.). Granted, they are opened less frequently than the driver-side doors. When I park a little closer than desirable (due to the other cars encroaching on MY space--I never encroach, of course) to another car's passenger side, I actually peek in to see if there are child seats/boosters/toys (bad) or papers/briefcases (good) on the seats. BTW, my wife thinks I'm nuts.

    I agree...Never, never, never park next to a two-door/coupe.

    My luck is that I will park between two LPS vehicles when I go into a store, but when I come out, the only remaining driveable gremlins/pacers/Yugos in the state are parked beside me (1/2 mile from the store) and encroaching, once again, on MY space.
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    I am pretty fussy about where I park but my son is absolutely beyond help. His wife recently got very upset with him when they were out in his immaculate M3 and he refused to stop at a target store because he did not wnat to park anywhere near the place.
  • ksomanksoman Posts: 590
    can you combine the GS 430 and GS 300 in this topic to just GS and add the E?
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Wow! I'm writing all this stuff down! I never realized! Your post may even tempt me to take the car out of the garage.
    Thank you!
    PS-One flaw in parking between passenger doors is that the driver is more likely to be careful in opening his/her door than a potential passenger. But, as you say, many times there is no passenger.
  • janssenjanssen Posts: 74
    Both you and hpowders raise very good points about the passenger door. Darn! I thought I had a good thing going.

    I like the child seat thing very much.

    How about we start a company with products for people like us:

    1. A small canister that you can insert into the lock of the doors nearest your car, that temporarily disables that lock from being used.

    2. A radar or laser detector that activates a voice warning when an object gets too close to our cars.

    3. Disposable sticky rubber strips that you can apply to all protruding points or the door edge of adjoining cars.

    Or maybe we can work out an arrangement with Targets/ Macys/Walmarts to have courtesy 'pens' that people will park in with their nice cars. If JUST Target has these, they will get all those affluent people who can afford vehicles like these (of course, no one will tell them that after buying one and paying for its maintenance/gas we have no money left)

    This will sound funny, but a couple of times, when I absolutely had no other place to park than next to somebody crowding my space, I took a snapshot of their car over the line with my cell phone, including license plate. What would I have done if they had caused some damage...? Who knows.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    How about some ding-sensitive metallurgist making an alloy that is simply ding-proof?
    Might cause me to take a car with said alloy out of the garage and make him/her millions and millions of $$$.
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