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Luxury Performance Sedans

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  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Ok, I only even mentioned the M because Mark brought it up. I never at any point said that the M's interior "defines luxury". It's interior is pretty good for the class. Somewhere in the middle.

    I'm sure there are many who would LOVE a return to the good ole days when German cars where all about drivetrain and driver. Unfortunately, those days are over. There's no better example of this than the M5. The old one was purely about driving pleasure. The new one is the epitome of German techno-obsession, with about 800 combinations of settings for the engine, suspension, and transmission. And not a single one of them can turn it into a good car. "Would you like your side mirrors in normal, sport, super sport, track, or race position?"
  • "Ok, I only even mentioned the M because Mark brought it up. I never at any point said that the M's interior "defines luxury". It's interior is pretty good for the class. Somewhere in the middle."

    OK, I over-interpreted the point you were trying to make. Point taken now.

    "I'm sure there are many who would LOVE a return to the good ole days when German cars where all about drivetrain and driver. Unfortunately, those days are over. There's no better example of this than the M5. The old one was purely about driving pleasure. The new one is the epitome of German techno-obsession, with about 800 combinations of settings for the engine, suspension, and transmission. And not a single one of them can turn it into a good car. "Would you like your side mirrors in normal, sport, super sport, track, or race position?"

    I don't know how many people want to go back to the mid-1960s and relive the fun of what BMW was doing with a small sedan -- the unique combination of a sports car into which you could fit your family and a few groceries. The owners of German cars with whom I talk about their iDrives and MMIs and Command Centers don't lament them the way people do who have tried them out during a few test-drives or over a few days for an auto-mag review. There is no question that if you have to master them in a couple of days, as if preparing for an exam, you'll feel frustrated. The actual owners of BMWs, Audi, and MBs with whom I talk, with a few exceptions, do master the control system within a couple of weeks and then find it interesting and easy to use. I just don't get you objecting to over-generalizations by others and then throwing out a line like: "And not a single one of them can turn it into a good car." I have to assume that you mean none of them have created a control system that pleases you. You can't honestly believe you know that all German LPS sedan drivers hate the technology of their cars.
  • I am asking what "attributes" or "characteristics" are part and parcel of the definition of an LPS.

    I do not in any way think the STS is a joke -- can't ever remember writing or thinking that. And, yes I was impressed with the 300, but I was just "wondering" as a point of discussion, what -- besides sticker price, for instance -- was/were several defining characteristics of the "breed."

    And, yes you are correct, we could insert a Buick Lucerne, et al. But what I am asking is for the "generally accepted minimum requirements to be 'in the LPS club.'" This way, we would never even "go there" for the Lucerne would not have the qualifications.

    When in college, I took zoology, we had to memorize the characteristics that defined, mammal, for instance.

    What can we accept as the traits for LPS, "they give birth to live young?"

    I don't think MSRP and power operated do-dads are sufficient, even if they are part of the "formula."

    I would gladly take an STS -- but the base STS seems several notches UNDER the fully optioned, similarly priced 300C.

    This is not, in any way, to suggest I am pro 300 nor anti STS. Just stirring up a bit of conversation to answer the question "whither LPS." :confuse:
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I just don't get you objecting to over-generalizations by others and then throwing out a line like: "And not a single one of them can turn it into a good car." I have to assume that you mean none of them have created a control system that pleases you.

    No, thats not really it. I've driven the 5, the A6, and the E, as well as the last gen M5 (love it) and the current M5 (hate it). In both the old M5 and the E55, you mash the pedal to the floor, and it goes. If I were going to buy a super tuned execu-rocket, thats how I'd want it.

    What I do NOT want is a million pointless settings, like 500 horsepower and 500 "sport horsepower". Who needs that?? Who is sitting in their car while the light turns green and all the cars behind are honking their horns thinking, "Hmm, it sure would be fun to do a nice burn out here, but I'm not sure just exactly how long I want those black stripes to be. Maybe 500 "sport" is a little too aggressive for this particular situation? What do you think, honey?"

    More over, who needs a horsepower settings menu at all? Here's a novel idea, the gas pedal is an infinitely variable horsepower settings menu! Why didn't BMW think of that? Infinite is sure a lot better than three choices.

    The COMAND or MMI systems would not stop me from buying an RS6 or E63. I just dont particularly want\need that kind of car. There's no way I'd buy an M5 though, unless it was the old one. The engine sounds lousy unless its screaming toward redline, the transmission is awful, and the fact that the car needs a "my favorite settings" button is idiotic.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,281
    where none exists.

    If it "feels" right, it is right. If you need to ask. . .

    Or not.
  • Lexusguy, I think it's possible that you are both calling it as you see and letting people push some buttons,

    It seem reasonable for you to take the position that, as you see it (and apparently you've had a somewhat unique opportunity to spend significant time behind the wheels of all three major German brands, as well as your Lexus), German engineers and designers have done something with cars that you don't like and, more, have done something that depletes the quintessential "car-ness" out of cars, turning them into computers with wheels. I guess I can also follow your skepticism that anyone who has bought and is driving one of these cars actually likes the electro-technology (although it can seem a bit presumptuous at times). I haven't driven the new 5-series. I am driving an A6. The mirrors are controlled by the usual knob on the driver's left and I actually find the MMI less distracting and time-consuming to operate than I found the huge array of buttons on the M35. But that seems to me like a personal preference that I only feel I know for sure after having driven both cars over 3000 miles.

    Putting the A6 into "sport" mode is simply one shift of the gear-shift. No extended self-reflection or polling of passengers is involved.

    The rant takes away from the points you're trying to make.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    German engineers and designers have done something with cars that you don't like and, more, have done something that depletes the quintessential "car-ness" out of cars, turning them into computers with wheels.

    Exactly. I think that the ultra versions of the German luxury performance sedans should be like the old M5, a wolf in sheep's clothing. The old car didn't look much different than the 540i sport, both on the outside and the inside. You had to actually drive it to see where all the money went. The E63 and the RS6 still are that way, and I like both of them a lot. The new M5 is a wolf in wolf's clothing. It lost the stealthy "only I know what I've got until I nail the throttle" attributes of the old car. You won't be fooling any cops with it, thats for sure.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    The new M5 is a wolf in wolf's clothing. It lost the stealthy "only I know what I've got until I nail the throttle" attributes of the old car. You won't be fooling any cops with it, thats for sure.

    Not sure I understand what you mean. The look of the current M5 has a little more sass in comparison to the run-of-mill 5-series varieties, most notably the tailpipes but the average person can't tell the difference. As far as the cops, you ain't fooling them with anything. When they're on a mission they set those radars and it doesn't matter if it's a Prius or a Ferrari that sets them off. I seem to remember a time when they went after more expensive cars but from what I can see this isn't the case anymore. They seem to be pragmatic... anything and everything out there can and does speed.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,281
    was meant to move the discussion forward. It seems there isn't a lot of logic involved in determining what constitutes an LPS, so far as this board is concerned. Mark has presented some very interesting questions.

    Is it, at the core, all about snob appeal (certainly a dated phrase, come to think of it, but apropos)? I certainly hope not. After all, I've finally decided that I can live with owning a BMW, in spite of all of the people who drive one only because they've been led to believe they're somehow superior if they do. I think this falls into the category of reverse snob appeal, but I've "grown."

    So far it appears to be about brand image. Lincoln isn't worthy, Chrysler isn't worthy, but Cadillac is. That's pretty much it for North American brands (oh, but wait, Chrysler isn't, really).

    What constitutes, beyond being listed on the header, a Lux Performance Sedan? I'll clearly need help with this.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I still think cops look at the car, at least if your right on the line of ticket\no ticket. If you're going 71 in a 55 in a Vette or Porsche, you're probably going to get pulled over. In a standard E-class looking E63, maybe not. If you're going 81, then yes, the car doesnt matter.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I think Lincoln is worthy...at least as a brand. Its actual products are laughably uncompetitve, but they still qualify as luxury cars. The MKS at least counts as much as its Volvo S80 platform mate.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Well I suppose it can be a local thing, but around the NY metro area there is very little pacing done anymore. They find a nook and whatever trips the radar wins the prize. There are several notorious traps in my area and I've made it a point to see if any certain type of car gets caught. It really is a splendid variety. It's a matter of volume (revenue) and they don't take it "personally." If anything, I think the kids with the tuners are profiled, but they actually beg for it. Have you been in a traffic court lately to witness the processing of cattle? And that's nothing compared with those who just send the check in the mail.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Well I suppose it can be a local thing, but around the NY metro area there is very little pacing done anymore. They find a nook and whatever trips the radar wins the prize.

    Perhaps you are right. The last car I saw pulled over was a little white Hyundai just ahead of me, going about 2mph faster than I was. A little white sedan is about as "safe" as you can get, and it didn't work. If he hadn't been there, it might've been me.
  • rayainswrayainsw Posts: 2,530
    Several inflammatory words chosen ( intentionally? ) in this post – and several phrases that I find particularly intriguing.

    1 – “big OHV lump, rather than refinement, materials, and dealer experience”

    Again, my current Daily Driver is not an LPS ( nor a PLS, depending one’s priorities ), but I have driven several ‘members’ of this club, considered a couple very seriously, and chose a Corvette Coupe, with a big OHV lump. I appreciate you granting me every right to chose my “OHV lump”.

    Similar discussions to the above on Corvette boards here & elsewhere lead me to believe that although many magazine comparison tests pit the Corvette and a Porsche with similar performance, a very small percentage of Porsche buyers actually would consider the Corvette – and vice versa. The level of refinement ( allowing many now to position the Corvette as both a ‘sports car’ and a ‘GT car’ – partly depending on option level ) has increased markedly from the C4 to the C5 to the current C6. Materials & dealer experience are not yet at typical Porsche levels. And reliability of my 2007 remains to be seen. But the dealer experience has been satisfactory, so far. And not materially different than when I drove a couple of Lincolns.

    But my point here is: The level of refinement is most cars is improving, as the standards evolve over time. Many previous Corvette owners ( including a good friend who owned 1 in the 80s ) have a perception of the Corvette’s attributes that is largely a reflection of that ownership experience. A couple of minutes in my 2007 resulted in several comments about the progress in this area & others since he sold his. And the level of refinement in the current Corvette meets or exceeds ** MY ** thresholds. And the leap in refinement ( and price ) to a competitive Porsche is not worth the current incremental increase - for MY money. My Corvette = ‘Value’ with a capital “V”. To me.

    2 – “badge snobs”

    Am I a reverse badge snob, buying a Chevy? And driving a Corvette provides me with Porsche level performance, excellent fit & finish, seating & ride comfort sufficient to make my recent 6.5 hour drive to the Gulf Coast a pleasure – and even returned a rather pleasant 28+ MPG. I’m happy – and I am not suffering from any Porsche Envy.

    3 – “all you care about. . .500 horsepower”

    The 400 HP & 400 TQ in my Corvette is \ are certainly not all I care about. However, a burst ( or 2 or 3 ) of full throttle acceleration is something that I can enjoy virtually every time I drive it. ( Though briefly, most times – respecting most speed limits. ) And I find that level of acceleration quite satisfying. And the cornering is quite adequate, thanks. Probing the absolute cornering limits ( of any car ) is something I absolutely will never do on public roads. I always leave room for the unexpected – slippery spot, junk to be avoided and \ or idiot moves by other drivers.

    We each care about different attributes, and set different priorities.

    You spend your money & I’ll spend mine. And ( with any luck ) we’ll all be happy with our choices. . .

    Just my 2 HP worth . . .
    - Ray
    Drive Happy!
  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,938
    You certainly have every right to choose to spend your money on a big OHV lump, rather than refinement, materials, and dealer experience. If you think that equals value, by all means buy your Chrysler or Jeep. Don't characterise ALL luxury buyers as badge snobs who only care about being "better" than their neighbors, though. If horsepower is all you care about, why not buy a Shelby Mustang? There's no cheaper way to get 500 horsepower, and you can laugh at all those Porsche driving badge snobs...at least until there's a curve in the road.

    Good to see that you aren't one of those badge snobs. Although, it seems every other phrase in your reply simply validated everything I said. :confuse: And since you're dealing with human beings, dealer experience is a crapshoot. I've read plenty of posts here of people having horrendous experiences at BMW and Mercedes dealerships and others having fabulous experiences at Chrysler dealerships. If you think "dealership experience" is worth the tens of thousands of dollars you pay over a "lesser" yet equally capable/viable car worth it, you might want to get some friends so you can have a pleasant human interaction experience for free. The $20K - $30K you save could take you and your new friends on a really nice vacation.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,432
    On one hand, you are asking for what makes an LPS an LPS, but then you go on to say you don't think price and features don't matter .... so it sounds to me like you already have the formula in your head.

    I didn't intend to put words in your mouth regarding the STS. I just didn't write out my whole interpretation (as I didn't think it necessary), which would be more like "factoring in price, the STS is a joke compared to the 300." And I'm not saying your wrong or its a bad thing or whatever. I understand you don't think the STS is a joke, persay, just that, for the money, you'd go elsewhere.

    The point was simply that, its opinion, no matter how you slice it or what adjectives you use. Again, not that you are wrong, but if one exception is made based on opinion ... well, anyway, you get the point.

    So, why don't YOU state what you feel the criteria are that you apparently already have in mind?

    To get it started, my suggestion is to concentrate on the "luxury" part of the equation, since the performance part is more easily quantified through statistics. What the titles of these discussions mean, as its been explained to me, is that the car is from a luxury manufacturer, not just a more luxurious offering from a mid-class manufacturer. So then that begs the question, what is a luxury manufacturer. And that has been the subject of some debate on these boards already. One host, i believe, suggested that, at the least, the manufacturer should have one car priced over $50k. I'm not sure how well that works, but I guess its a start.

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

  • Having the luxury of a friend who owns (at one time) 3 car dealerships and several reasonably close friends who work at auto dealerships -- coupled with a wife who loves to test drive cars (almost as a "hobby") for a year before she makes up her mind coupled with regular and frequent rentals of cars for long weekend drives (600+ miles) -- I have been able to drive perhaps a lot more different cars than one would expect "on average."

    That being said, we spent the last weekends since Thanksgiving test driving or having "loaner" cars. First we were loaned an Audi Q7 4.2 Premium (two and a half days), then we test drove a Mercedes ML (350), followed by another loan (4 days) of a BMW 530xi station wagon, followed by a look at a Land Rover, a new Infiniti G, the X5 and then yet another test drive of a Chrysler 300 and a Jeep SRT-8. We even tested an Acura RDX and a Hyundai AWD Santa Fe back to back with a new Audi A4 2.0T S-Line (all the same dealer group's offerings made this latter flirtation easy to do.) We rented Cadillac CTS's, SRX's and DTS's, Chevy Tahoes, Pacificas, Chargers and Maxima's, too. Moreover, we were invited to the thinly disguised Cadillac Car & Driver/Road & Track "editor for a day" scam (did I say that out loud?) where we got to "test" Cadillacs against BMW against Lexus.

    Meantime, I could back-to-back these cars with my own A6 3.2 and sometimes we could back-to-back a tested vehicle with my wife's X3 3.0.

    The entire experience demonstrated a few near epiphanies. We, at this juncture, are in a sweet-spot of choice, quality and performance when it comes to cars, these days. I know, I know, a BGO (blinding glimpse of the obvious -- FOR SOME.)

    The recent test of the DC products got me started thinking about the "dirty trick" Cadillac played on us "editors for a day." You see, the Cadillac STS outdid (in every way) a BMW 530 and two Lexus autos (an ES and GS). Heck, even the CTS felt ever so slightly better than the Japanese and German rivals. Of course, the "cheat" was that the STS, for instance had optional sport wheels and tires (probably inflated to maximum normal) and was outfitted with Maganride and the "luxury performance" bits, while the BMW, was a base car with tiny all seasons on smaller wheels and with spongy brakes. The Lexus cars, especially the ES, were woefully at a disadvantage seemingly unable to travel in any direction other than "straight and true" without tire howl.

    So, there I sits in a $44K Chrysler 300, knowing that this car with its wonderfully smooth and potent V8 with its genuine wood panels, sat nav, voice controlled BlueTooth, rear seat DVD, heated and powered do-dads and leather lined, etc, showed none of the poor fit and finish I expected. Further, knowing what could be had from (for instance) the STS at a similar price point, I wondered "whither LPS?"

    By this I mean, I consider this group of cars we report on, debate and discuss here to be "members of the club in good standing." Yet, were I to be given $44,000 and change and told to get an excellent 4-door sedan that could offer luxury and performance, fit and finish to be proud of and no discernible roughness or crudeness -- well, I would have to say I would be nuts not to consider the 300, despite its current status as a "non member" of the club.

    The lines of demarcation in this historic sweet spot of cardom have been bent and have become blurred (for me.) I thought I knew what an LPS car was. Indeed, not too long ago, I was certain there could be NO American car on the list. I accepted the STS (the current iteration) as a member in good standing. I accepted the Germans and the Japanese (hell, I'm even willing to at least recognize at least the possibility that a Brit and a Swede qualify, these days.)

    Yet, time and again, when I actually ask the question "how do you know?" or "what are the characteristics, the form, substance and perceptions that can be enumerated that describe such things as 'quality' or in this forum, an LPS car?" -- I get no answer.

    If I had anything more than an inkling, I would gladly publish my list here and now for you to kibitz over, emasculate, eviscerate and perhaps even concur with.

    My bubble, as of yet unburst, has at least developed a slow leak, that is.

    The equation, thus far, seems to include MSRP. Does this by anyone's imagination mean that if the Chrysler 300 were, for instance, to somehow get to $54,000 that it would be a nominee for club membership? Does it mean if Audi were to have an across the board price cut of $5,000 that they would be driven out of town on a rail, banished from the club? If BMW elects to not only offer Mini's but import "really inexpensive" versions of their cars (such as are quite commonplace in the EU) that they too could fall from grace? Or is VW permanently precluded from consideration in the LPS - Members Only fraternity?

    Can Lexus (and Infiniti and Acura for that matter), lacking global cred, ever find itself (themselves) in danger of being excommunicated?

    What features, functions, affiliations, history, price, style, etc, qualifies one to be here. I kid you not. I thought I knew. I didn't.

    As you know, I feel the cars we go on about here in LPS-land have become closer and closer and closer to each other in the traits and characteristics we seem to cherish. I wouldn't kick any of these fine cars out for eating crackers in bed. Heck for the gifting of one of these, I would gladly bring the crackers. To me, these cars are on a continuum from high lux to high performance. Yet, even the highest lux versions at the very least have adequate performance and vice versa. So, it gets down to styling preference and perhaps some historical evidence of reliability and durability (but even these statistics are, like a densely packed frequency histogram, almost opaque -- there's damn little white space between the dots that is.)

    So, because I had the time to test and the time to write and the genuine curiosity, I started down the path of (to repeat) "whither LPS?" To what place will LPS go? If you were asked what "X" traits are "fur shure, fur shure" LPS traits, what would "we" (the experts, the customers) agree upon?

    My zoology professor said, ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny -- and this phrase leapt from the cobwebs of my mind as I pondered the meaning of LPS. As I recalled some of the interpretations of the theory, it made me wonder if all LPS cars were (are) not born from earlier "species" and that the LPS is just the highest form; and, if true, there are new LPS's being formed all the time. It just seems to me that what once were clearly NOT LPS contenders are advancing much more rapidly than the true LPS members are. It seems, that is, that the LPS cars are, as we discourse, able to look over their shoulders and see a new "ontogeny" gaining fast.

    :confuse:
  • What defines LPS? The question, as far as I am concerned, has not been answered. Price and amenities can't possibly be the end all be all of this pithy topic? Do you think?

    :confuse:
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,432
    Well, I'm going to stick my neck out here and take the stance that, yes, economy models in the lineup lessen a brand, and, yes, expensive models raise a brand's status.

    I'll go ahead and be the snob here. I say that if Chrysler insists on keeping their badge on the PT Cruiser and Town and Country, they cannot be allowed into the luxo manufacturers' Xmas party.

    If they eliminate those 2 from their lineup (send them to Dodge) and introduce, let's say, the Imperial, then we may be able to safely reclassify them.

    I can't say what will happen in the future. If mercedes sells smart cars here with their badge, yes, it may diminish the brand. I can't say for certain, however, until actually seeing how it pans out with pricing, options, quality, etc.

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

  • I wonder if too much energy is being put into the task of categorization, for its own sake, when categorization (e.g. LPS, entry-level luxury, etc) matters not simply for semantic precision but because it is one legitimate source of the pleasure of owning and driving a particular car.

    Viewed that way, it's allowable for one person to claim "I've feel I've located a hidden-gem bargain LPS in the form of the Chrysler 300, while it's equally legitimate for another person to say "well, good for you, but I wouldn't be able to extract the LPS-ownership pleasure ingredient from driving that car or any car from a line of cars that covers the whole range of car categories. There is actually a book by two auto-industry financial analysts where they argue that only MB, Audi, BMW, and Porsche make "Premium" cars and that Lexus and Infiniti are "only" luxury cars. If you bought their argument and that mattered to you, then you might heavily weight the pleasure of owning one of those brands.

    A lot of what we argue about falls into categories of "general truth claims" (this is how things are and everybody who sees it differently is in denial) or "relative truth claims" (for me to have maximum pleasure in owning and driving a car it has to be one of these brands, not break down more than once in three years, etc).

    As some of you recall, I made myself miserable by striving to make a purchase on the basis of convincing myself that I had found (in two auto mag comparos and in CR and JDP) an objective truth about the current LPS marketplace: no car could come close to the Infiniti M in providing overall car-pleasure. I over-road my own aesthetics and driving preferences, because spending this much for the first time made me more anxious than I anticipated. I found a lucky resolution based entirely on the enormous variations in how much pleasure (a multi-ingredient stew, I am suggesting) each person gets from one car or another. My sister-in-law is delighted with the M35 and I'm extra-delighted with the A6 S-Line (since I got a rare second chance to take the right fork in the road for me).
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    I wonder if too much energy is being put into the task of categorization...

    I have no doubt in my mind that the answer is yes.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,432
    I think both of you guys have been around long enough to know better.

    The reason so much energy goes into it is because the powers that be will slap you silly if you post off-topic. And its not that i'm saying they shouldn't ... its an all or none proposition. Do you really want folks here comparing their Kia to an M45? Without categorization, it will happen.

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

  • Maybe we need a "Bang for the Buck" forum.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Whats the difference between Kia and Chrsyler? They both sell similar cars, and at least around here the dealerships are pretty similar. I do find it funny that your post implies "how dare Kia show its pathetic head around here", and yet for whatever reason, Chrysler is now a-ok. Suppose Kia started buying Chevy small block crate motors and stuffing them in their cars? Would you all then start demanding that the 400hp Optima be included? After all, dealership experience is a crapshoot, the Kia's materials are "close enough", and she sure is fast.

    You can stuff 500hp in a Sebring, or 300, or T&C if you want. They are still no better than Fords, or Hondas, or Kias for that matter.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Well I wasn't talking about the energy on Edmunds' end of things, rather, that of the posters. It is what it is so there's no use in fighting City Hall. You are right about not wanting to compare a Kia to an M45.

    By the way, there are threads on Edmunds where one can compare shoe laces to banana peels if one so desires.
  • We're both the "writers" and "readers" of this magazine. If the name of the magazine is LPS and the subtitle is "Lexus GS 430, Acura RL, BMW 5 Series, Volvo S80, Audi A6, Infiniti M35, Infiniti M45, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Cadillac STS", then there would seem to be some consensually agreed upon responsibility to keep "editorial content" within the generally expected boundaries.

    We're in a funny position because, unless the managing editors (the hosts) declare that a thread is drifting outside the boundaries of the "magazine's" editorial scope, then anyone can post anything about any car (we had a brief foray into the Mazda CX-7, but that materialized more like a one-shot op-ed piece) and the only brake on the length of the thread is others ignoring it and moving on.
  • A few posts back, I expressed some confusion regarding the "common traits" that we all [or mostly all] could list and agree were LPS traits.

    I did use, purely as an example, a Chrysler 300 (in large part because I had test driven one recently) as the instigator of my confusion and to shape the question.

    I am not now nor then suggesting we alter the brands and models discussed here -- not suggesting we consider anything for inclusion (not Chrysler, not Kia.)

    I had assumed we might come up with some broad consensus as to the attributes that defined the list of cars at the top of this particular forum.

    MSRP and "amenities" (and perhaps the availability of either RWD or AWD) seem to be all I can glean from the responses.

    I am fine with dropping the topic since it either has caused a drifting of the subjects posted far from the LPS topic or perhaps because "no one knows" what an LPS car really is. My only real issue is that there must be "the next" LPS cars in the wings and what are they and how will we know?

    And, could one of these marquis fall from grace?:

    Acura
    Audi
    BMW
    Cadillac
    Infiniti
    Jaguar
    Lexus
    Mercedes

    & a possible inclusion of Volvo.

    As I read the posts over the past year or so, it seems to me that some think Acura could be in some danger of slipping.

    Is it simply sales volume, or is it as has been suggested, the lack of a V8 (which I find odd since it appears that the V8 versions of the above list are but a fraction of the sales of a given model in the LPS niche of that particular brand (i.e., most BMW 5 sales, by far are 6 cylinder versions, ditto the A6 and I would assume ditto the Infiniti M etc etc.)

    Which goes to my original question -- that is germane to the LPS forum -- "what attributes, features and/or functions (or design traits) comprise an LPS entrant?"

    At this time, I see no reason to discuss Kia unless there is some reason to mention it in passing to demonstrate "the lack" of a trait. There was a time, for instance, when I would have assumed Saab MIGHT be a candidate for LPS inclusion. I also assume, today, we would pretty much agree that Saab need not apply (but is that because they, or "it" don't have any RWD or AWD applicants in the right places?)

    I'll live if this question remains unanswered. And, I certainly don't want us to have this thread suspended because it drifted.

    If you care to list the LPS traits you believe are immutable, however, I'm still all ears. :surprise:
  • I guess authorial intent is in the mind of the reader. Rereading your posts, including this one, I didn't read them as intending only to invite a "scholarly" (for lack of a better word) re-opening of what we're actually talking about on this forum, but also to involve the group in something you and your wife experienced while car-shopping, which came across to me, as reader (not as mind-reader), more like "we're finding the Chrysler 300 to be quite desirable and I want the group to tell me why, if I or my wife bought one, we should feel we had not leased an LPS?" I have the sense that, by and large, the invitations were rejected (or, perhaps, better stated) evoked a kind of annoyed RSVP.

    My guess is that the question itself is somewhat off the mark (no pun intended). I think the forum has merit, as currently defined, because (1) I think a large majority of people, who are really thinking of buying one of our "official" cars, tend to do their comparison shopping within this group, and don't exclude the RL as not belonging nor consider the Chrysler as belonging, but that's just my take, obviously; and (2) most of journalism about cars keeps these cars grouped and doesn't include the Chrysler.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,432
    I do find it funny that your post implies "how dare Kia show its pathetic head around here", and yet for whatever reason, Chrysler is now a-ok.

    I never said Chrylser was ok. And you have demonstrated EXACTLY why I feel that way. Once one exception is made, you open the floodgates.

    And I never said Kia was pathetic (by the way, saying someone "implied" anything or "meant" anything is just another way of saying you have made the mistake of trying to read between the lines rather than reading what was actually written). But, no, Kia does not belong in this discussion in any way, shape, or form.

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

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,432
    I do feel Acura is currently borderline. The RL barely breaches into LPS territory, and only by merit of AWD and 300 hp. The fact is, it is not selling for anywhere near MSRP because the LPS buyers don't feel its worth 50 large. If, for instance, a limitation of LPS was $50k street price, rather than retail, they'd be out. And what if they drop their MSRP on the car?

    In any case, I think they'll need to bump the size and power of the RL to really compete with the likes of the M45, for instance.

    Volvo, on the other hand, has answered the call, IMHO, with the new v8 S80.

    I think we've demonstrated on the other board that Lincoln already has fallen from grace.

    And as I stated earlier, I think the addition of the Smart cars to MB showrooms could hurt their image. But with something like the S600 still in their stable, I don't think they'll fall from grace completely.

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

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