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Luxury Performance Sedans

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  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    If you want a first gen RL, 2002 is a good year. That was the year it received a power boost to 225hp, which it needed after a big weight gain for the '99 refresh (and it was never a lightweight to begin with). The RL is a pretty low-tech car, with an old engine and an old 4-speed automatic. The advantage to that is its reliability record is pretty much spotless, and it was not involved in the transmission recall that affected the 5-speeds in the TL and CL. The NAV setup in the first gen RL was pretty crude, you're not really missing out there.

    Before you buy, I would highly suggest test driving a '02 Lexus ES300. An example with around 50K miles can be had for the same money, and its frankly just better in every way than the RL, which was designed all the way back in '96.
  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 6,023
    Tagman and Lexusguy, thanks for the feedback. I agree that it is not an incredible offer and I too have noticed that the price on these first gen RLs is all over the board. This is not my dream car (new LS 460)but I have always sort of liked them. I had a new 93 legend that was fairly bullet proof and served me well.

    I won't drive this car but about 8 or 9,000 miles per year and it will be my golf car. My 3 golf buddies(25 years +)and I take turns driving to our club which is about 20 miles away so I need some room and a big trunk. I recently sold a business so I am semi-retired and we play 2 to 4 times a week. Semi meaning no SS money for a couple of more years.

    I am partial to the upright seating and windshield on the RL as opposed to the ES. I was a big ES fan thru 2001 but not so much on the later models. They seem a little too much isolated and with kind of a "rubbery" feel to the transmission and suspension. That said, I know they are fine automobiles and I hope to have a LS 460 in a couple of years.

    I also know the history of the RL and the owner. He is rather anal (takes the tooth brush to the truck hinges, etc.)and keeps it spotless and in tip top shape.

    2013 LX 570 2010 LS 460 2002 Tacoma 4x4

  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    Audi plans to introduce turbodiesels in the USA(and hopefully Canada too) by 2008.

    I thought I would feel euphoria over the news until I read that their TDIs will be sold solely in the Q7. So I guess I better give up waiting for a TDI A4 or A6 Avant :(

    link title
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    dewey,
    I'm willing to go on record to predict that the diesel comes in at least one of the Audi sedans shortly thereafter (or concurrently). It's smart to be hush-hush about it so as not to hurt current sales.

    Further, I suspect that most, if not all, the HELMS will have diesel offerings in the U.S. market within a couple or few more model years.

    It will take a while, but one day you can either tell me I was right about my prediction, or I was full of it. Hopefully, you'll be driving it!
    :D
    TagMan
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The RL never really did it for me. I also liked the Legend a lot, and Acura gave up just about everything that made the Legend a great car, (including the name) to make this boring LS clone. Couple of things to keep in mind, despite its 197 inches in length, the RL really doesnt have that much room. Interior space is about the same as the ES, and the trunk space is smaller than the ES. Mpg is worse than the LS400, and there are of course no side curtain airbags or anything like that.

    Have you tried one of the newer ES300\330s with the AVS (adaptive variable suspesion) option? While it certainly doesn't turn the car into an IS300, its far superior in "sport" mode compared to the stock setup.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    That RL must be like new! Sounds like it gets a full detail instead of a car wash! Is $18K the bottom line on it?

    Maybe you've found your "golf car" after all.

    TagMan
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    Well I hope you are right Tagman,

    I recently read that BMW intends to introduce X5 turbodiesels. Just like Audi, there was no mention whatsoever of sedans.

    Also MB announced their intentions for new Blutec diesel GL and ML SUVs.

    Apparently the focus of their diesel endeavors are on the SUV market and not the sedan market.

    I guess we will have to wait and see. Hopefully the future turbodiesel LPS segment will not be defined by only one car, the MB E Class.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Apparently the focus of their diesel endeavors are on the SUV market and not the sedan market.

    Yes, it would seem so. The SUV market is somewhat more vulnerable to rising fuel prices, since their MPG's tend to be less than sedans anyway, given their weight, typical engines, and gearing.

    It makes sense to first introduce the diesels in those SUV's for our market . . . and strategically place those diesel engines in the sedans after a while.

    Like I said, just watch, and wait. MB E-Class will not be the only one with a diesel out there.

    :)

    TagMan
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    You'll like this, Dewey.

    http://www.autospies.com/article/index.asp?articleId=6881&categoryId=1

    Trust me, it's going to happen here eventually.

    TagMan
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    By this time next year I think Mercedes will have of course the E320 CDI (that will be this fall), R320, ML320 (October per the 2007 order guide), GL320 (next spring) and a S320 (spring/summer 2007).

    I can see Audi selling a Q7 and A6 diesel here, maybe even an A4, but BMW I'm not sure about. If BMW brought over their excellent 535d (272hp) they run the risk of making the 525/530i irrelevant in short order.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Isn't it just awesome what Audi is doing with diesels? I can't help but wonder what a hi-po diesel version of the upcoming R8 would be like. I think if diesel takes off a TDI A6 and A4 will make it over too.

    The only thing is though, are they going to sell both a diesel Q7 and a hybrid Q7 at the same time in the U.S? That might be one too many models I think.

    M
  • bartalk3bartalk3 Posts: 692
    Since most car models add features year after year to meet the competition, what once might have started out as a plain-Jane car over the years morphs into a near-luxury or even luxury car. When Lexus introduced the new ES350 at the Chicago show, the Lexus rep. said it equalled or surpassed the qualities of the original LS400 (aside from the front-drive/rear drive difference). From the early reviews, that seems to be true. The standard features and options are truly beyond near-luxury. And the performance/ride/quietness, etc. certainly approach LS levels. In the handling department, of course, forget it. Aside from that, do we have here an almost-LS at ES prices?
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    For what it is, the ES is simply in a class of its own. The competition (Buick, Lincoln) are still trying to catch up to the 2002 ES, and this one just blows them out of the water.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Lexusguy,
    Raising the bar is always good policy for the industry in general, and the ES has clearly done so.

    Merc,
    Sounds like we're on the same page about the diesels making their way into more sedans over the next years. When you think about it, diesels represent the majority of the European market, so I have gone on record that we are in for a significant revitalization of diesels in this country . . . and not just in SUV's, but in sedans as well. And, yes, Audi is a terrific surprise . . . but hopefully they realize the unique historical position they are in and don't waste the potential.

    TagMan
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    Interesting!

    A IS220d and BMW320d will definitely sell well in Europe where you can find a large number of BMW 316i and BMW 318i cars on their roads.

    But I dont think neither a IS220d or BMW320d will be a hit here in North America. While a BMW535d, BMW330d or a IS300d are almost guaranteed to be hits in N. America.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    I think a diesel Audi Q7 sounds more compelling than a hybrid Q7.

    Based on my understanding the VW/Audi/Porsche hybrids will be like the Honda IMA hyrbids. That does not sound too promising since IMA hybrids are not as fuel efficient as HSD(Toyota and Ford) hybrids in heavier vehicles like SUVs. And that is not saying much since everyone knows how fuel efficient the Lexus 400H is in real world mileage.

    Also I am willing to wager that a diesel Q7 will be funner to drive than a hybrid Q7.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    I think a diesel Audi Q7 sounds more compelling than a hybrid Q7.

    I sure agree with that. I'm still waiting to drive the diesel Mercedes GL.

    The hybrid technology has definately proven itself in the lighweight division. And, as we can see so far, it's a little more challenging in the middle-weight division. And, of course, Lexus will be the one to prove, one way or another, whether or not it can succeed in the heavyweight division with the upcoming LS600h.

    I am looking forward to the diesels that will be coming soon! It's just the beginning of something big! The U.S. market is going to be changed by them. I can feel it. Not like Europe, but definately a significant change.

    BTW, if you are interested in hybrid chat, there are some cool hybrid forums. I'll be happy to exchange opinions on hybrids there any time if you want. Just let me know. Probably better there than the LPS forum, don't you think?

    :)

    TagMan
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    "big brother" is always watching.
    ;)
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    and helping!! :shades:
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    yes, I noticed. :)
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    Here is a trick question:

    Who is the No.1 All-Wheel-Drive seller in the Premium Segment?

    Audi?

    Nope.

    The answer is BMW

    Currently 25 percent of all BMWs have x drive.

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  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I agree, I just can't wait to see how this will play out in Audi showrooms come 2007-08. I can't just see them having both.

    M
  • liferulesliferules Posts: 531
    I'm not that surprised, given that BMW outsells Audi by about 5:1 monthly...thus the odds are in their favor.

    If the question was which LPS sells the largest majority of their cars as AWD, then I think Audi would be in contention...
  • ilasilas Posts: 18
    Does anyone know how going from 17 inch all season tired wheels to 18 inch wheels with performance tires and a stiffer suspension will affect steering precision and effort, particularly on center? I imagine the ride will become more go-cart like. There are no examples on the dealer lot to drive.

    I ask because I am thinking about upgrading my 06 RL with a dealer-installed suspension and wheel package (yes, it seems I am one of the few in November 05 that actually bought an RL after comparing it to the 530xi and E350 4 matic!).

    Thanks
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,102
    In the US, BMW's 5 outsells Audi's A6 by about 3 to 1.

    Ohio's largest BMW dealer which may not translate nationally, claims 40% of the 5's sold are X-drive models and now some 15% of the 3's (and growing) are likewise.

    In the past year, it was almost not even possible to buy an A6 in the US that was 2WD. All of the A6's (virtually all) were AWD in the US. BMW's 5x cars could not be had until the second half of the year 2005.

    What may be some data points (pertaining to US sales) worth knowing (and where can we find them?) are US X drive sales of 5 series as a percentage of a known quantity.

    For if it is accurate that 98% of A6's are AWD and 40% of 5's are AWD and that the 5's outsell the A6's by 3 to 1. . .

    100 Audis = 98 AWD (if my assumption of 98% AWD is correct)
    then during the same time period, 300 BMWs would be sold and 120 of them would be AWD (if my dealer's assertions of HIS sales can be extrapolated to ALL dealer's sales.)

    But if all these numbers are indeed reflective of what is typically going on in the US, it would mean more BMW's are sold w/AWD but that a much higher percentage of Audi's sold are AWD.

    The trend that this suggests if it is accurate is a very rapid increase in the demand for AWD cars, especially AWD LPS cars.

    Now additional credence can be lent to this notion if the Infiniti and Acura dealer's assertions (locally) translate.

    Of course 100% of all RL's were SH-AWD but the "majority" of the M's sold were the M35X.

    This information comes from my Audi dealer who also owns Cincinnati's ONE Infiniti store and one of the several Acura stores in our fair city.

    Rarely do I see a Cadillac STS that is NOT AWD and ditto the Mercedes E (they seem overwhelmingly to be 4Matics here in River City.)

    We have mild winters with little snowfall here in SW Ohio, so this rush to AWD is certainly not because we are in the snow belt (one has to go north of Columbus Ohio for much snowfall.)

    Somewhere, there are statistics, perhaps they are closely guarded secrets. However, one would imagine that if the trend cited by my BMW dealer (40% of 5's are AWD and that those figures are inventory constrained) is indeed even remotely similar to the experiences elsewhere in the US, that BMW would want to publish such information so that the dealers could order what it is demand.

    Ditto: Audi, Cadillac, Infiniti and all the rest of the L and near L PS cars that are vying for our dollars.

    I believe we are seeing the end of the 2WD era and the "attack" is coming from all the different classes of vehicles, not just LPS or SUV or trucks. "There's a lobster loose, cover yourselves with butter and carry lemons just in case!"

    :shades:
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    So now Porsche is thinking of a new SUV that will share a platform with the Audi Q5. Also they will be adding a Porsche Panemara sedan. IMO overextension of product line at Porshce may soon be detrimental to the cache and image of their superior sport cars.

    But what about BMW? I heard rumors they may introduce a BMW X7 with 7 seats(a BMW minivan)? Or the new BMW coupe type SUV called the X6. The thought of these vehicles makes me cringe!

    Or how about the onslaught of new Audi vehicles: Audi Q7, Q5 and a rumored Q3. Plus what about the Audi Jet concept wagon(expected in real form in a few years). IMO the Jet concept looks like it will simpily cannibalize sales from Audi's existing Avant sales.

    Also as Merc1 pointed out it appears that the engine choices among Audi vehicles like the Q7 will be quite redundant (simulataneoulsy offering a diesel and a hyrid powertrain)

    It appears the above German marques are following the same path as MB in terms of overextending themeselves with too many vehicles.(In MB's case the GL and R Class).

    Contrary to flooding the market with every type of vehicle with every type of engine possible, I think the German marques above should focus on a few models that reflects their core compentence.



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  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    In addition I heard rumors that Porsche may re-introduce the 914 that will be based on a VW platform. Talk about brand name hari kari!
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    An Infiniti Marketing Director's view on the competition:

    BMW stands for performance, the 'ultimate driving machine,'" Fessenden says. "Lexus owns quality and reliability and underscores that with their tag line, 'the passionate pursuit of perfection.' Mercedes stood for the pinnacle of engineering. So with design, we're at a very honest place for us to live."

    1)MB whose only glory is defined by its engineering past :confuse:

    2)Infiniti as a design leader :confuse:

    Is this fellow from Infinti serious :confuse:

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  • moxiemoxie Posts: 33
    He may be hallucinating ! :)
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