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Luxury Performance Sedans



  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Your point about specific platforms is utterly meaningless.

    I only mentioned the fact that Lexus actually has cars which aren't just rebadges because you seemed to be bashing Lexus for rebadging Camrys (which are mostly just gilded Camrys anyway).

    The 9-5 is not a great value, nothing that old is worth what Saab is charing for it, (although I'm sure dealers are knocking thousands off the sticker). If by "sharper" you mean better handling than anything Lexus has, fraid not. The IS350 will cream the 9-5 in both acceleration and handling. Saabs are quirky cars for quirky people. They've never been able to do performance cars properly, they'd have to dump FWD for starters, which Saab is loathe to do. The best "performance Saab" in recent history was the 9-3 Viggen, and that was a terrible car.

    The sad truth that Saab fanatics cant seem to accept is that Saab is already dead. Thats why Saabs generally aren't even invited to comparison tests anymore, a last place finish is pretty much guaranteed. The current Saab lineup is for people who aren't into cars and should drive Malibus or Trailblazers instead, but their egos won't let them. Volvos are still Volvos. Saabs are just Chevys with a Swedish badge on them, (and now a GM badge on the side, incase you couldn't tell already who made it).
  • warthogwarthog Posts: 216
    "Saabs are quirky cars for quirky people. . . for people who aren't into cars and should drive Malibus or Trailblazers instead, but their egos won't let them."

    Careful! You'll be severely disciplined.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Just returning the favor. The difference between Lexus and Saab is that Lexus has a purpose. Their cars appeal to those who value quality and service above all else. BMW does performance better than anyone else, Mercedes does luxury and prestige, and Lexus does quality and service.

    What does Saab have that no one else has, what do they do better than anyone? Nothing. They at least used to have a sense of off-beat individualism, but thats long gone.
  • sidvsidv Posts: 64
    OK, so the Lexi are not all Camrys, they are Highlanders, Aristos, FourRunners, Landcruisers and who knows what else, but except for the SC430 (which looks like a bloated frog carcass and was featured in the book "The worst cars ever made", and possibly the LS, they are all Toyota-based. Not too exciting of a starting point to me.

    I KNEW you'd mention the Malibu, but it's a tired and weak (non) comparison. The ES and Camry essentially share powertrains with minor variations and are clearly related in the sheet metal. The 9-3 and Malibu share a platform, that is it. No sheet metal, no engine, no transmission, no interior pieces-they are far, far more differentiated than the ES and Camry. The 9-7 is questionable, I don't dispute that, but no more or less so than the GX or EX and better looking than either.

    Regarding the 9-5, no I meant the looks of it, not the handling. Styling is purely subjective, but to me Lexus is incredibly uninspired across the line, even by the low standards of Asian manufacturers, whereas Saabs are unique in a way I appreciate. Other, conformist-minded individuals like yourself may not appreciate it but that's fine with me. The IS is a completely different car than the 9-5 with a different mission, they are not even remotely comparable except on theoretical price which illustrates how much more car (the 9-5 is more ES or GS sized) you get for the money with Saab. The IS is a tiny little thing with blah styling, incomparably tacky "chronograph" style instrumentation (or did they get rid of that in the new one?) and has the worst back seat in its class. The 9-5 is a veritable limo in comparison. A better comparison would be the ES which is so obviously a Camry all I can think when seeing one is the old adage about the fool and his money. I'll take the 9-5 any day, you keep your gilded Camry with its silly "L" badge.

    I for one live where it snows and REQUIRE FWD (or AWD). So, kudos to Saab for sticking with the FWD vs RWD. Speaking of coming in last in comparisons, check out the new Car and Driver comparison test including the LS430. It came in dead last with SUV-like stopping distances so perhaps you should quit casting stones.

    Saab is not dead, it's not in its glory days but it's far from dead. That is silly hyperbole and about as big of an overstatement as one can make. As point of fact, there are no GM badges on 9-3s or 9-5s nor do I believe the 9-7 has them either.

    As to the PURPOSE of Saab's, they are good cars for people who find lowest common denominator styling such as Lexus offers not for them, people who prefer FWD and people who like turbo charged motors and the combination of efficiency and power they bring. I happen to be all of these, hence Saab is a better choice than Lexus to me and more than likely always will be.
  • I am often wrong, but never uncertain: I am certain, at this point, that SAABs are not in the LPS pack, regardless of their status as living OR dead or nearly dead or not.

    I assume your passion is genuine -- perhaps this is just not the forum to express it.

    Lord knows I have been a champion of the Audi brand which, until recently was either in jeopardy of losing its LPS status (and for some folks, I'd wager they aren't too keen on it being there in the first place) or is such a recent entrant that it is "on probation." A few years ago, I saw a ranking of cars (this was in Audis literature or attributed to Audi) that placed Audi, SAAB and Volvo in the "possible to join the club" status. Most folks that get paid to opine on this subject finally allowed Audi to join when the C6 was brought to market. FWIW, the current Acura RL has just become an LPS club member, too.

    As far as I know, neither SAAB or Volvo have products that are at this moment in the LPS crowd. Near-premium or entry level-LPS, perhaps.

    It is perhaps true, too, that FWD "only" cars need not apply (and, I, for one, happen to believe for practical purposes this is a bit unfair) for they seem unable to convince "anyone" (well, hardly, anyone) that they can play in a field that has Performance as one of its criteria. The current RL, by virtue of its AWD (or SH-AWD) is another case in point (and the lack of a V8 is sometimes cited as a reason the RL is a "poser" despite the fact that most of the Audi A6's, BMW 5's and Mercedes E's sold are 6 cylinders (for all I know this is true of the Lexus GS and Infiniti M's too.)

    Were someone to give me a SAAB, I would be quite happy to accept it. I do suspect, however, that at this point in time SAAB automobiles are considered (again by those who shape opinions and who get paid to do so) great cars circa 1999.

    Born from jets? Perhaps a cool marketing idea. But. . .SAAB doesn't offer cars that are much in touch (competitively) with what is being put forth by "these other guys" discussed on the LPS forum (even Lexus.) :surprise:
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    As far as I know, neither SAAB or Volvo have products that are at this moment in the LPS crowd. Near-premium or entry level-LPS, perhaps.

    Actually I think the new S80 qualifies Volvo as a genuine LPS player. (It is on the list at the top of the board after all). The last one definitely not, but now that it offers a V8 and AWD, and the price can go over $50K, its a LPS, at least as much as the RL is, if not more so.

    The 9-5 on the other hand is like the TL or ES. Big for an entry-lux car, but still entry-lux, and not on this board.
  • warthogwarthog Posts: 216
    Lexusguy: I think you mistook my point. I was just being a bit sarcastic--poking a stick at the PC that is often enforced around here. You know we're not allowed to generalize about owners from the cars they drive.

    I don't give a flip about Saabs or Lexi.

    Ducking now.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    Right on, Saabs rule. People just don't see how unique and awesome Saab cars are. I especially think the Saab 9-7 is marvelous.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,695
    You're right, I don't see how "unique" a Trailblazer ... i mean Rainier ... I mean Envoy ... I mean Ascender ... I mean 9-7x is.

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • Despite it lackluster sales performance in the US of LATE, Audi overall is on a roll.

    In Germany, at least. Well, in China, too. And, actually even in Great Britan.

    I know this is MOSTLY a US web log site, but:

    "The Audi A6 is the clear no. 1 in its category in Germany with 52,299 registrations in the first 10 months!"

    Or, an average of 5,229 per month for 10 months.

    In the US have we ever sold 2,000 per month for two months in a row? I don't think so.

    What does this mean?

    Probably, "who cares?"

    Thought I'd share with you fans of the brand, that Audi indeed had yet another record month, November (just not HERE in Vaspucci-land -- or did we? see below.) :confuse: (But not really :confuse:'d.)

    "AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – Audi of America, Inc. today reported sales of 9,209 for the month of November, making it the best November in the company’s history. Sales are up 16.4% over the same period in 2005. For the calendar year to date, Audi sales total 78,219, up 5.4% over 2005. Audi is on pace to set a sales record this year." - November 4th, 2006 Audi of America. :blush:
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Speaking of the A6 Mark, I've got a question for you. What do you think of the latest Avant? The wife is thinking of trading in her RX for a new car. She still wants AWD, but is willing to give up the space of the RX (we really don't use it) for better fuel economy. She wants more space though than the typical LPS trunk, which makes the A6 Avant seem like a good choice.

    What do you recommend in terms of option packages, leasing etc? Also, I've been meaning to talk home theater with you, I've got some new Bel Canto amplifiers and a bunch of other stuff. I'll send you an email about that.
  • Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,032
    A reporter with a national newspaper is hoping to talk with consumers who have received or are giving a luxury car as a gift for Christmas. Please reply to no later than Friday, December 8, 2006 with your daytime contact info.

    Community Manager If you have any questions or concerns about the Forums, send me an email,, or click on my screen name to send a personal message.

  • Since there is no longer an allroad in the US, the Avant makes a great imitation. Test drive it, I can't imagine you will be disappointed.
  • Nov 16, 2006

    AUDI AG has been presented with one of the automotive world’s most important and coveted Awards. The decisive factor for the Autocar jury was the range of products that Audi has launched in recent years. When compared to models from premium competitors such as BMW and Mercedes, the magazine concluded that Audi products: "offered equal value, were arguably better built, and often technologically more interesting. Our exhaustive tests show its models now stand with the best“.
  • reality2reality2 Posts: 303
    You are somewhat off base here. Sounds more like bias opinion for SAAB rather than actual discussion about Audi. You need to check some of the latest data that proves you wrong on the reliability front with CR recommending the A4 as "highly recommended" to start. There is no way a SAAB can touch an Audi A4 in terms of build quality, design, and just plain badge snobbery. It is like comparing apples and oranges. Audi is Tier 1 and SAAB is distinctly Tier 3 at most. Your anaylsis is somewhat off if compared to general reviews and other data. So, it is great that you enjoy SAAB, but save the anti-Audi stuff. It is so passe already!
  • The median and mean age of automobiles has steadily increased since 1969. In 2005 the overall median age for automobiles was 8.9 years, a significant increase over 1990 when the median age of vehicles in operation in the US was 6.5 years and 1969 when the mean age for automobiles was 5.1 years. Of all body styles, pick-up trucks had the highest mean age (9.4 years), followed by cars with a mean age of 8.4 years and van with a mean age of 7.0 years. As SUVs are part of a relatively new consumer trend originating mostly in the 1990s, SUVs had the lowest mean age of any body style in the US (6.1 years). The mean age has increased continuously for all body styles from 1969 to 2005
  • acuratacurat Posts: 50
    Interesting. My treasured 1969 AMX was a piece of junk after 8 years, replaced by a 1977 Celica, which became a piece of junk after 4 years. My first and last Toyota.

    What per-gallon gas price will it require for all those recently-minted SUVs and monster pickups to go to the crusher? (Oh Happy Day, Oh Happy Dayyyy...)

    Bring it on! What I wouldn't give for daily L.A. traffic reports minus the obligatory 5:30 am SUV rollover blocking multiple lanes...somehow it's never a LPS in the midst of the chaos.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,695
    Wow! That's a heckuva grudge you're carrying there. Good thing not everyone judges a manufacturer based on a car from the '70s or there'd be ALOT of companies out of business! ;)

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The entire US auto industry would be gone, as would all of the British brands, Korean brands, possibly Toyota and Nissan, and VW\Audi. Based on 1970s quality, Honda, Mercedes, Porsche and Volvo would probably be the only brands left.
  • In Australia the proportion of women buying traditional large luxury "saloons" as well as top-end luxury roadsters is on the way up, but even today only 19 per cent of E-Class customers are women compared to 17 per cent in 1994.

    If figures are similar in the U.S. and any of the men of this forum have been confused about a holiday gift for wife or girlfriend, not to late to get her an E-Class and close the gender-gap at the same time.
  • With rumors of an impending takeover (controlling shares and Board seats) of VW by Porsche, several stories emphasize VW's chance to stop the Toyota juggernaut (e.g., Business Week, NY Times) and convey the sense of people rooting for or against VW or Toyota. Interesting how much emotion cars evoke -- not that one could detect that in our controlled environment here :)
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    With rumors of an impending takeover (controlling shares and Board seats) of VW by Porsche, several stories emphasize VW's chance to stop the Toyota juggernaut

    If anybody can stop Toyota, its not going to be WV AG, at least not in this country. They are a bit player here.
  • If anybody can stop Toyota, its not going to be WV AG, at least not in this country. They are a bit player here.

    OK ... that's one unemotional bet on Toyota? And a rebuttal to the automotive economists quoted in these articles.
  • What's that other place outside this country? ... Oh, yeah, the rest of the world. No auto maker cares about the location from which its profits flow. Nor, on the consumer side of the auto market, does popularity in the U.S. trump popularity in little places like Europe and China. Porsche has been aggressively incorporating Toyota's "lean" production techniques and now has the highest margins in the industry. As Porsche more and more controls VW (with its 20% of the European market and 17.5% of the Chinese market), they might well finallly get costs down at VW and, as Business Week concluded, "it would start to create a war chest to match or trump Toyota in every segment."
  • pearlpearl Posts: 336
    "I don't think German luxury cars are built to last longer than 100K miles without major life support. Any Legend, Q, or LS though should handle 100K miles in its sleep."

    Baloney! My 97 BMW 528 with more than 155k on the clock has been near bullet-proof and is still quieter than any current Japanese LPS I have driven, and it handles much better. Keep drinking the koolaid if it makes you feel better. While you're at it, tell us about the Toyota/Lexus automatic transmission reliability. There are pages and pages of whining about this topic on other boards. If anything, Japanese reliability has gone down while everyone else's has gone up.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Baloney! My 97 BMW 528 with more than 155k on the clock has been near bullet-proof and is still quieter than any current Japanese LPS I have driven, and it handles much better.

    Thats wonderful that you've had such a great experience with your BMW, but a sample of 1 is not a valid statistic. Generally, European cars don't age mechanically as well as Japanese cars do. Thats a fact. There are exceptions on either side of course.
  • I generally agree with your reply. However, I also agree that Japanese reliability has declined somewhat.

    Overall, I do believe we are experiencing an improvement in reliability of cars from most of the major players.

    Two of my clients, Honda and Toyota have responded to some of the issues regarding an apparently temporary decline in their car's reliability; and, here we are with the quality and reliability once again on the uptick from these American-Japanese companies.

    Indeed, my casual read of articles, blogs, "expert" articles etc, leads me to believe I would not need to be too concerned with the reliability of ANY car on most folks radar screens.

    Finally, although major breakdowns are far less likely than in the past, I still would NOT want to have one of these cars out of warranty protection.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I generally agree with your reply. However, I also agree that Japanese reliability has declined somewhat.

    It depends on the brand, I think. Hondas (as far as I'm aware) are still extremely good pretty much across the board. Acura on the other hand has definitely taken a dive, starting with that nasty TL\CL transmission recall. Initial year quality for the RL wasn't any better than the A6 or 5 series.

    Nissan is definitely having a lot of trouble with their American plants, as evidenced by the dismal quality of the Quest, Titan, Armada, and QX. The Infinitis that come in from Japan though seem to be up there with Lexus.

    Toyota is still a much safer bet than VW in terms of reliability, but I don't think they are as good as they used to be. Hyundai is now at least on par with them, which should make the Toyota guys very nervous.
  • Generally, European cars don't age mechanically as well as Japanese cars do. Thats a fact. There are exceptions on either side of course."

    I have not been able to find reliability data that compares repair records of cars between, say, 50K and 100K. Have you? If not, is "a fact," in your comment, an idea to which you attach high truth value based on anecdotal data? That would seem to matter to you, since you were careful to point out that N=1 doesn't lead to statistically solid conclusions. Neither does one person's observations. But if there is a place where repair records of cars between 50K and 100K, or beyond 100K, has been collected, that might stop us from periodically circling back to an argument which we have no "facts" to resolve.
  • Domenick, I agree.

    A related example ...

    According to Consumer Reports, most newly designed models have more problems during their first model year than in the model year before or in the model years that follow. First-year models continue to have more problems as they age . Using cars made in 2000, 2001, and 2002 CR identified the 2000 BMW as the least reliable first year newly introduced model. When I did a cursory check of BMW history, I couldn't find a major BMW series that was in its first year in 2000. Do any of the BMW fans here know what brand-new 2000 BMW model CR might be referring to? Otherwise, is this another example of CR using data any way that helps to make a dramatic point?
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