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Luxury Performance Sedans

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Comments

  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    OAC...Dare I ask for your opinion of the RL?
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Well, you like the 3-series so I take your review of the M seriously. Plus it tells me you can view individual cars objectively. Brand loyalty is nothing but a bonus for marketers, the pot of gold at the end of their rainbow.

    I finally set eyes Quasimoto (GS) yesterday… in the flesh. Didn't get to drive them because the dealer only had two—300 and 430. The 300 was in the showroom and the 430 was sold. It appeared considerably smaller to me than in the photos so I'll have to give it a new nickname. Anyway, it has a beautiful interior but there is one major problem in addition to exterior styling—my head hits the roof. Can't believe it because I am only 6' 0".

    I look forward to driving the Ms. Maybe Monday. I've been wanting to drive the RL also. By the way, a while ago you slammed the 5-series when you were shaking the Lexus pom-poms. Now that you seem to be in a different zone, go drive the 530 and 545 with and without sports package. That's the benchmark for sport sedans in this class when it comes to pure driving. Even if the Ms are as good as I'm hearing, the BMW 5s are the cars they have to beat. And remember, power is second to handling and drivetrain synergy. They're the soul the sport sedan. Period.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    So far it seems that at least the 530 is hardly a benchmark, as its now lost several comparisons. It couldnt even muster a second place in either. Another thing I dont understand, the sport package adds Active Steering, but then the M department removes it. So which is it? If the M's are the ultimate sport BMWs, and they feel Active Steering makes the car less sporty, which I believe is 100% correct, why is it on the sport package?
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    "So far it seems that at least the 530 is hardly a benchmark, as its now lost several comparisons. It couldnt even muster a second place in either."

    The 530 loses on styling, iDrive and price. I agree with all of those knocks. However, the E39 530 was the benchmark for driving quality/integrity and the E60 530 drives even better.

    "Another thing I dont understand, the sport package adds Active Steering, but then the M department removes it. So which is it? If the M's are the ultimate sport BMWs, and they feel Active Steering makes the car less sporty, which I believe is 100% correct, why is it on the sport package? "

    I've killed BMW's active steering. I expect it to be an option on the 06 as it will be (I think) on the 3-series with sport package. Yes, BMW dropping it from the Ms is the ultimate irony. Indeed, active steering is horrible IMO. However, the sport-package suspension is still the crème de la crème. If they insist on pursuing active steering, they should emulate Porsche's mechanical version which is garnering nothing but praise. I've yet to drive the latter but I've questioned the enthusiasts on it and they are not shy about criticisms when it comes to Porsche steering—hardly. They are jumping all over Porsche for other issues, but the steering is not one of them. It is pretty unanimous in both the press and among owners about Porsches improved steering.

    I am certainly anxious to see if the Infiniti Ms compare to my driving opinions of BMWs. And I have slaughtered BMW on many counts so I think I'm pretty objective about this. But I remain skeptical in anticipation. One reason is because there were raves about the FX. I think it is an able handler but the sport-package version is deficient with regard to tracking stability and neither version compares to the X3 ride. No one tunes suspensions and designs drivetrains like BMW. Did they do it with the M? We'll see. I suppose if they just get closer as they did with the FX, then beat them on price and power, they will have greatly succeeded.
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    The 5 is still the benchmark in handling and road feel.

    It doesn't seem to be the overall benchmark, nor the benchmark in any other category, such as power, exterior, interior, features, comfort, ergonomics, room, reliability, or value.

    I like the exterior styling though, contrary to many others.
  • I am thinking of a nice luxury car. The 03 q45 I think has beautiful interior and not to flashy outside. Jag s 4.2 has both. What do you guys think of the cars. Both would be pretty reasonably priced off lease. I have driven both and liked them very much. I am afraid of the reliability problem with Jag. Any problems out there with Q45s that anyone know of
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Both the S-type 4.2 and Q45 are largely underwhelming cars, and neither have sold well. In the case of the Q45, Ferrari sells more cars. The Jagified Lincoln LS motor isnt a model for refinement, or exhaust note, or power. The only bright spot in the S-type line up is the R model, because they've dropped the price to be in more line with the competitions regular V8s. They know the S-type R would be slaughtered by an E55 or RS6. The S-type is merely an OK car, but I feel a late model GS430 or BMW 540i is a much better value.

    I dont know of any major issues with the Q, but then there are so little of them actually on the road that it would be hard to tell. The Q just isnt a great car. It has that awful minivan dashboard, sloppy handling, and a poor transmission that just kills the power that the 4.5 V8 should have. If you want something in that class, the Lexus LS is a MUCH better car, and one of the most reliable rides in the world.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Yes, I am becoming more open-minded, thanks to the many excellent debaters out here. WRT the M, my greatest problem is what car to give up for the M ? My LS is my cushmobile, has been excellent through 98K miles, no reason in the world to give up the very best from Lexus, for a mid-size Infiniti ! My wife's Sequoia is a no-go area. The only thing she wants is an LX470 for her 40th b'day this summer. That leaves the Matrix, my grocery runner. I love that Matrix. Its zippy, good on gas, and a blast to drive. Besides, why give up a small car for another large sedan ?

    My LS is planned to be replaced by the MY2007 refreshed LS, the M45's main claim to fame is the extra horses over the M35, and maybe a tighter suspension. I'll wait for the LS, and if it fails to meet my very lofty target, then its the M for me. So, I am afraid I am going to pass for now.

    In the interim, I'll schedule a test drive for the 530 and 545, just to see what I am missing from BMW. My last BMW drive was in an older 528i non-sport.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    OAC...Dare I ask for your opinion of the RL?

    I have not driven the RL yet (maybe I should). But the honest truth is that I've never really been a RL fan. I prefer the TL over the RL. Like I said before, where the TL looks muscular, the RL looks more effeminate, imo. Squeezing 300hp out of that VTEC 3.5L motor is a good thing, but the RL needs a V8, until then it's not gonna register on my richter's scale. Sorry.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    "The only thing she wants is an LX470 for her 40th b'day this summer."

    Might I suggest a new GX? The LX is very, very old, and is due to be killed off for the Sequoia based JX470. There really isnt much to justify the significant price hike from GX to LX.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Let us know if you actually do decide to get the M.

    I am gonna wait to see the direction the new LS takes before making the plunge. If the LS stays true to my expectations - new, sleek design, 4.6L 330+bhp motor, typical LS-like quality of finish, ride and handling, then I am sold. BUT if it comes in as a larger GS, with soft mushy ride, I am gonna jump on the M45 faster than I count 1,2,3.... That won't happen until next summer when the LS is due to arrive here. ANd should give us a good enough to see how the M is received by the public. I may very well regret not buying an M now, but we'll see.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Know what, I have suggested same and she won't hear of it. Want a real 8-seater Lexus, in the mold of the LC/LX. She loves big trucks, and after owning a Sequoia, she thinks the GX is way too small for her. To go up from a Seq is an LX. Besides, I am only gonna buy an '03 LX470 coming off lease. I gonna save up for that LS you know :)
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    What does she think of the QX56?
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Thanks, Lexusguy, for all the suggestions. The debate (my wife and I) was over a long time ago. Its an LX and nothing else. Gotta give to Ceasar what is Ceasar's ..... so that I can have mine too....
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Hehhe. I know how it is. Do you guys have a big family? Or does she just like the space? My wife loves her RX300. We tried the Seqouia, and she was not a fan. She likes the driving position and the cargo space, but without kids the back seat is rarely used for anything besides fragile cargo. The 400h is most likely what we'll trade for.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Do you guys have a big family? Or does she just like the space?

    2 kids 11 & 12 (soon to be 13). Yes she loves the space, safety, comfort, sitting up high, don't-mess-with-me kinda truck/SUV. Plus, with two kids, it sometimes pays to have them apart on long trips. Keeps everyone from killing each other :)
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Psst guys ... we're on the Sedans board ... ;-)
  • kfhmailkfhmail Posts: 199
    Just had my first look at the 2006 GS 300 today. Stopped by the local dealer when they were closed so I did not get inside of the GS.

    Opinions:

    Undecided on the GS exterior...need to see it again. Really like the front and back of the RL...the weak point for the RL is the side view.

    On the interior (especially the console/navigation area)...the RL wins hands down over the GS 300 IMO.

    Still waiting to see the M in person.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "Overall: I'd give Lexus a B+. This car will not touch the Bimmer, nor (imo) the E. Maybe the A6. It can be said to be a disappointment, for a Lexus-ophile like me. It is smallish, looks smallish, feels smallish as well."

    I cannot believe what I'm reading here! I said a while back that I didn't think Lexus would truly make a 5-Series competitor when it comes to being sporty. Such a move would alienate their core buyers, which prefer LS, ES and RX softness. Now they have to deal with Infinti on their terms (sportiness) if they want to play sport sedan in this league.

    After reading that from you I've got to drive the same two cars. That was the most insightful post from you in quite a while. I hope you drive the RL and post as the other poster requested.

    M
  • ckelly14ckelly14 Posts: 105
    OAC: great post; agree with your driving impressions 100%.

    Wanted to get your thoughts on my experience with an Audi salesman yesterday. This guy wouldn't stop with the BMW comparisons. The A6 to the 530, the A4 to the new 330 is all I heard about. I mentioned that I drove the M35 the day prior, he said "that ugly car, I drove it last year". What an idiot. He was shocked when I mentioned that the M35/45 is all new and just came out. He didn't have a clue!

    I guess my question is: is this guy just in the dark or does Audi corporate only consider BMW as their legitimate competition? Is our comparisons of the A6 and 530 to the M35, RL and GS a reflection of the population of this discussion boards being "in the know" but not reflecting the interest of the buying public?

    This is the same salesman that told me "the A4 will have the best residual of any German car", so you can take that for what it's worth!
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    "the A4 will have the best residual of any German car"

    Hah! Yeah if BMW and Mercedes didnt exist. Most of the Japanese even beat Audi. Residual value primarily comes from 2 very important factors: reliability which determines future ownership costs, and name plate prestige, the latter of which seems to count more than the former. BMW and Mercedes especially get their awesome residual values from the name plate. Lexus gets theirs from industry leading reliability. Audi has neither. You can pick up a fairly recent Audi A8 for pocket change.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well you know a car salesman is the last person to trust about information on a competitor, usually.

    A Saab salesman once told me that Saabs were made in Germany "right along with Mercedes and BMW". Imagine my reaction to this.

    The best one yet was back in the day when my Aunt was looking at some Biucks. I asked about the Reatta convertible they had on the floor. The salesman told me that it an exclusive model that competed with the Mercedes SL and Porsche 911. I couldn't stop laughing.

    M
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Even Bob Lutz seems to think that Cadillac is the American BMW (quite a stretch) and that Buick is the American Lexus (a hilarious pipe dream). The LaCrosse may have ripped off some GS cues, but nobody will mistake it for an ES330.

    I think the Germans reaction to competition from Japan, or lack of a reaction, is a natural response to being in the lead. They arent used to Japan even being on the radar. They've grown fat, happy, complacent that they rule the world.

    Things are very different when you're say Infiniti, out for German blood. Infiniti salesmen (at least in my experience) are VERY aware of the latest German models, and would be more than happy to share with you performance figures and how Infiniti knocks them on their fat, happy, very surprised tails. (According to the Infiniti salesman of course).
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well I had such respect for Bob Lutz but he's fallen into the GM trap, very little substance and lots of bragging. None of the cars that he said would be world beaters have been anything close to that.

    I just meant car salesman in general, not the whole company and certainly not the Germany vs. Japan issue.

    The car companies themselves I'm sure are very much aware of their competition. The problem is that in Europe none of the Japanese luxury car makers are represented in decent numbers or sold at all for the Germans to even notice them.

    Nissan/Infiniti is pushing boundaries on all fronts, but I worry that they won't be able to keep up such an assult, all new models will all age at the same time too.

    Also, I believe this new M will be a hit, but the next Q is what I'm waiting to see.

    M
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    "but the next Q is what I'm waiting to see"

    You and me both. Frankly Im not sure why Nissan is even bothering. If I were them, I would focus more on the cars that need attention: Maxima, Quest, Murano, etc. The Q has been a big fat failure for 15 years running. They tried to do sport with the original, that didnt work. They tried to fight the LS400 with the '97 version, that didnt work either. They went in a new direction with the current model, and again, didnt work. Whats left?
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    I think the Q (or its successor) is important since a successful $60k flagship can go a long way toward raising brand cachet, which Infiniti sorely needs. So they should keep trying; it'll be hard though.

    Face it, without the success of the LS, Lexus would just be known as a company that makes a nice tarted up Camry (ES) and some nice SUVs.
  • warthogwarthog Posts: 216
    But BMW built its rep on the 3 and 5. I don't think it depends on the 7 for any of its cache. (At least it better not, given the sorry current iteration of that model.) Why do you think Infiniti can't do the same with the G and M? Looks to me like they're off to a pretty good start.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Thats what I'm thinking. BMW is the company with driving excitement as its core philosophy. It has the 7 series because otherwise those sales would go to Audi or Mercedes Benz. Theres only so much sport you can put into a car that big. Thats why there has never been an M7. The 7 is sporty for a full size lux car, but nobody will mistake it for an M3 CSL.

    Infiniti is trying to reinvent themselves from a company with rebadged Nissans to also putting the driver first. So.. why make a full size car? Infiniti sales are still going to be primarily in the US for many years to come, and the new S-class and new LS4xx will have the full size market pretty much carved up to themselves. Getting any sales in that market will be significantly harder than sales for the new M. Infiniti would be much better off, in my opinion, with the Skyline GT-R as their flagship, rather than what will almost inevitably be another "me too" boat from them that will flop.
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    I disagree. Even though most of its sales come from the 3 and the 5, the 7 gives BMW a lot of its cachet as an upper-level luxury brand. Without the 7, BMW would not even be mentioned in the same breath as MB, in terms of brand. Same goes for Lexus and the LS. Cache is the main reason that BMW offers the V12 760i and 760Li, even though the sales of those models are really low.

    A successful G was the first step, and a successful M is the second step. Good job by Infiniti on those cars. A successful Q (or successor) is the final step, in terms of sedans. Yes, they have failed for 15 years (although the very first Q was semi-successful), but I think they should keep trying.

    3, 5, 7.
    C, E, S.
    A4, A6, A8.
    ES/IS, GS, LS.
    G, M, Q(?).
  • bartalk3bartalk3 Posts: 692
    What's been completely ignored in this discussion of lux-sporty cars is the potential impact of the new BMW 330i, coming in May. Initial reviews have been raves. It will probably revive BMW's reputation after disastrous 5's and 7's, and scramble the whole rating system here.
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