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High End Luxury Cars

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  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    The Phaeton statrted selling in May 2002 in Germany. It also surprises me a lot about the number the fact that in

    http://www.autobild.de/suche/artikel.php?artikel_id=1986&A_SE- SS=667dbe625caa0f297a306233a544933f

    it is mentioned that that VW sold 1,063 Phaetons in June 2002 in Germany alone, turning it into the best selling luxury sedan (at least that month). Mercedes was next with 786 S-class cars sold in Germany that month.

    The articles on the Phaetons success or lack thereof seem to be contradictory depending on the source. The reports on its driving aren't, in Germany the V6 engine verison is seen as the best and most balanced, which makes the article -in which the usual US predilection for V8s without consideration for the rest of the package becomes obvious- somewhat formulaic...
  • Mercedes cut the cord on the 6 cylinder S a good 4 years ago, with the out going model. BMW hasn't offered a six for over ten years in the 7. Audi, to my knowledge has never offered a 6 cylinder in the A8. I could be wrong about that. And Jaguar got rid of the XJ6 back in 96 or 97. Or was it 98? I don't remember. But my question is, would these cars sell here? All of the companies I listed have them on sale in europe, so why not here? Thoughts, answers, all are great. Thanks:)
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Interesting question, as we've discussed this before in this thread. I don't think we'll ever see those models here because of their price relative to the top line V8 versions of the 5-Series, A6, E-Class, S-Type, and the single car that bridges the gulf in between..the LS430. A six-cylinder of the 7-Series just wouldn't fly now, neither would an A8. The BMW is way too heavy and Audi has worked very hard to postion the A8L as a premium car, and a 6-cylinder variant would just be a mistake now. I personally would like to see the 735i, S350 and XJ 3.5 V8 on sale here, if only to give more people to truly experience the top car from each of these brands, for a lesser price. Not everyone is caught up on sheer hp. I do think the Benz V6 would have to be spruced up a little to compete with those smaller displacement V8s. I don't think anyone else can pull off a 6-cylinder car in this class now except Mercedes because they were the last to do it.

    Mercedes in particular shocked a few people by dropping the 6-cylinder S-Class from the U.S. lineup, as the old S320 made up 40 percent of S-Class sales during some years of the previous S-Class' run from 1992-1999.

    I could see a lot of people choosing a car like these over a LS430, the only car that would cover their price point. Of course the Japanese car would have a power advantage, but that would be about it.

    The price of having the right image is high in the U.S. market as these are seen as "premium" cars and thus no sixes or even small eights are deemed worthy. Now if you want to talk diesels, they'll be bringing them as soon as they can!

    M
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    Merc1,

    Didn't you know "all generalizations are false"?

    Edmunds comparator is a great reference tool:

    Lexus LS430 betters S430, A8 and Jag XJ:

    turning circle,
    cargo capacity,
    gas mileage,
    horsepower,
    torque,
    braking...

    oh and about $20K over S and A8

    and most importantly to folks that actually want to be able to drive these puppies EVERYday...

    And my favorite, JDPower Customer Service, Quality and Reliability ratings:

    far and away leadership reliability, availability, and undisputed best dealership customer service.

    While Lexus strives for perfection, the rest of the pack just strives to make cars that work.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I've never seen a person post so much incorrect information time and time again. You know what footie, your posts are not even worthy of serious response from me, so I'll leave it at that.

    M
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    I guess that you just don't believe our good folks here at Edmunds.

    Go do the comparo and see if the info isn't right.

    You are welcome to characteristically carry on with out any serious response.

    However, when posts get light on facts, fill with inuendo and forget the 'in my humble opinion', I'll post data to clarify issues. And Edmunds is such a great source!

    After all, we wouldn't want newbies and lurkers here to think anything of these cars but exactly what the facts demonstrate, right?
  • Just curious...Have you ever driven an LS430?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Here's the difference between you and me. I don't need a configurator to tell me that you're wrong about the LS430 having a hp advantage over the A8L or XJ8. Simply put it does NOT have an advantage in hp over those two cars. That I see from merely reading what you posted as being incorrect. You live by the surveys, and when you state certain things it shows that you have little or no actual knowledge about the cars you so like to put down.

    Secondly, the survey issue has been exhausted in here and in the News and Views section, and you're one of those people who'll believe anything that JDP says without a second thought, thats why I stated your posts are not worthy of a serious response. You think JDP is the bible and that everybody who owns a Benz is subjected to such awful conditions/cust service trying to get their junk serviced. I don't think or agree with any of that, so lets just disagree and be done with it. Oh, if you think me not responding is my character, you're wrong on that count too. I just don't respond to obvious nonsense like your posts, anymore.

    M
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    Mercedes seems a decent case study: in Europe of course they offer the S350 and the S430. Whether power difference (245 vs 279) and supposed smoothness of the V8 (which I am not always convinced of) truly justifies a $11k+ premium of the latter in Europe is a question. I think quite a few people would grab the S350 if it was available in the US, because it seems a rational choice: a bit less power, but also lighter by 150lbs, and near identical in 0-60 times.

    Of course, Mercedes also lowers the price of the S430 for US market purposes.

    I just find it interesting, since when it comes to their SUV offerings it seems somehow magically they arrived unanimously at the conclusion that you must offer both 6 and 8 pot configurations.

    Finally, I have always find it somewhat amusing that, in a country limited to 65mph that are enforced by a highway police force with less sense of humor than the German Gestapo (my Californian perspective speaking), somehow car consumers cry out for the models with the additional power, and the love affair with bigger displacement for its own sake continues. Must be in the genes or something... :-)
  • t6553gwt6553gw Posts: 18
    I think the root reason of this conflict is Merc is German car fan and footie is Japenness. I have to say so far Merc has the edge. If footie have driven one of the top German car, this conflict might be self corrected.
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    It is different car philosophies somehow. I admire what Japanese car makers do, but it leaves me cold. There's something about them that simply doesn't connect with my brain, and whether it's brand snobism or simply an aspect of car philosophy that withers with mine I can't exactly tell - and I don't have to, and neither has anyone else. It's perfectly legit to have a personal perception based on gutfeel and intuition. And since no one is ignoring real merits and real figures, the only major sin is to be missionary and preachy on the topic, and ignore the fact people can arrive at different conclusions.

    Before I get told I should give Japanese cars a chance: when I moved to the US, initially I got an Infiniti because I wanted the most troublefree ownership experience, and truly wanted the appliance-like utility that Japense brands seem to bring along, popular-wisdom-wise. Bad luck: it was the worst car I have had reliability like, its rear bumper paint job lasted less than my Fiat Uno's many years ago, and it's the only car to ever leave me stranded by a highway other than a Citroen (the latter having the good excuse it was over 10 years old and very poorly maintained). My least favorite car ever was that Infiniti - other than the fact I didn't lose much money when getting rid of it again after less than 2 years, and that the service experience was always very good (though I got to enjoy it more often than I'd like) I can't say much good about it. I replaced it with a mildly used Jag XJS convertible with a horrid reputation for reliability, and it was the most reliable car I have ever had - never had one single issue. That comes to sho how much one should be ruled by consensus when making an individual choice.
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    You are absolutely right.

    Individual experience is individual experience.

    The statistics for Infiniti, which these days is right behind Lexus, are very good, far better than MB, Jag and Audi.

    What you point out is that unfortunately you were one of the relatively small number of folks that have bad experiences with Infiniti.

    Similarly, you were fortunately one of the relatively few that had a great experience with a Jag.

    Nothing like being a double outlier. (ier not iar)
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Please be very careful.

    This is a very respectful and respected discussion about, well, about luxury marques. There is no room in here for petty sniping and backbiting.

    There is no reason to get into any kind of a turf war. We are not here to prove a marque better or worse than another. We are here to enjoy them all.

    Contribute respectfully if you wish to participate. If you want to get into a pissing contest, you are in the wrong place.
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    Actually, I think public consensus typically lags about 5 years behind evidence. I read somewhere Infiniti had some issues for a while -as did Nissan as a whole- but they fixed them in time for their "Japanese built" reputation to not take a dent. Similarly, Jaguar had quite stellar reliability rating before people started to realize it was no longer the brand with electronics designed by Satan himself.

    As with everything, people should buy what they enjoy. There are no bad cars anywhere near this price category, there are just different value propositions that appeal to different people. And it is wired in part of my car credo that there isn't a single car brand that is "better than" whoever else - it is all merely a function of someone buying into the value propositions the brand accentuates with their cars.

    Vive la difference, as I'd say if I was French (and possibly dyslexic)...
  • I enjoyed reading Lexus vs. Mercedes for a long time until it got out of hand. Let's not let this happen here. I would like to see the S350 here it sounds like a good idea. Maybe it could be a shoe in to the S430? It is the only engine with that spec in the line now.

     On a side note, does anyone know if the new XJ8 will be offered in a long wheel base version?
    Bryan
  • Perhaps you missed my question...or..I missed your answer....Have you ever driven an LS 430?
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,949
    When I see an old LS at 400+ K miles as I have seen more than one S class, I will believe it. I am sure footie has the free time to find an example of a likewise LS.

    They still make a very good 6cyl S class, and a diesel one too, and sell them in big numbers elsewhere. MB's marketing dunces just don't see fit to offer it here. I believe such vehicles would sell
  • Mercedes Engines Will go on to prob. 500K or even 600K we have had several hit over 700K and still going Strong when we sold them. Mercedes is just having trouble with ELECTRONICS.(Not all of there models have the ELECTRONICS problem Either)
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    What always happens here is that people come in with basically nothing to add to truly meaningful discussion, with incorrect information about hp figures etc and then when it's proven to be incorrect there is no response other than someone is lying. If its not in a JDP survey it doesn't mean anything, nor is anything else possible. JDP is the end all of the automotive world.

    M
  • Is Mercedes going to be selling the 400CDI here? I really want the 400CDI to come over ASAP! Also, will the 320CDI, become the 350CDI? I can't wait for the diesel invasion!
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    I was wrong, when comparing 2003 models, the A8 has highest horsepower.

    Lexus has highest torque. MB and Jag trail.

    When 2004's are out for all models we can revisit. Both Jag and Audi are up in 04 from 03. I supposed MB and Lex will be too.

    For those of you for whom seeing is believing, links follow:

    From the following sites: Lexus, MB and Edmunds

    Click to follow to actual data:

    http://www.mbusa.com/brand/container.jsp?/models/features/specs/o- verview_engine.jsp&modelCode=S430V&class=03_S&spec=0&- amp;menu=3_1

    S430 275 hp @ 5,750 rpm 295 lb-ft @ 3,000 - 4,400 rpm

    http://www.lexus.com/models/ls/specifications.html

    LS430 290 hp @ 5,600 rpm, 320 lb-ft @ 3,400 torque

    http://www.edmunds.com/new/2003/jaguar/xjseries/100171794/standar- d.html?tid=edmunds.n.prices.leftsidenav..7.Jaguar*

    (only 4.0L)

    280 hp @ 6100 rpm 277 ft-lbs. @ 4250 rpm

    http://www.edmunds.com/new/2003/audi/a8/100164586/standard.html?t- id=edmunds.n.prices.leftsidenav..7.Audi*
    (only 4.2L!)

    310 hp @ 6200 rpm 302 ft-lbs. @ 3000 rpm

    Horsepower: A8, LS430, Jaguar, Mercedes

    Torque: LS430, A8, Mercdes, Jaguar
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    So let me see if I have this right you're comparing the LS430 with two cars that aren't even available anymore, the 03' XJ8 and A8. Manipulation of the data at it's best. Like I said before the LS430 DOES NOT have a hp advantage over the XJ8 or A8L, you know the ones you can actually buy from a dealer now.

    M
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Again, this is not the place to get into these kinds of arguments.

    Let's move on.
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hi All,
      I'm sure you guys know Horsepower doesn't tell the whole story. I think the old XJ had 290 HP and not 280 as reported. Not that it makes a difference. Does anyone really care whether their car can do 0-60 in 6.5 sec instead of 6.2? Everyone ought to know Lexus builds a solid car on par with pretty much anyone. If you want to drive like a race car driver go buy a M5, pure and simple.

      I think we've (Lexus enthusiasts) all have our fill of the Lexus bashing crowd. Moving on..What do you all think of the '04 LS430 revision? (You can get the pictures at the Japanese Website of Toyota) I thought it looks more aggressive, but preserves the look. The Autospies pictures were WAY off, thank godness. I'd hate to have my '02 LS look old only after one year of ownership!!!

    Here's a question for the whole forum. Do you all think Automakers are cramming too many electronics into their cars? I feel they are focusing less on the mechanics in favor of developing new toys for their customers.

    Your thoughts would be appreciated,
    SV
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    I had a Lexus LS430 for a week: drove a friend to the airport, he asked to also keep his car and drive it all I wanted. There is no doubt it is a superbly well made car, I certainly haven't seen anyone dispute that. I liked the interior quality. And if you like a car that siolates you from the exterior -including the road- this is the right car for you. Personally, I like more feedback, I like to be entertained while driving. With that I am not saying the Lexus drives like a Lincoln towncar - it's nothing like that. In my opinion, however, the biggest strike against it is unimaginative styling. Just like I find the new 7-series ugly, I find the Lexus very boring. The day Lexus hires some Nissan designers (about the only Japanese car brands that cranks out designs that aren't terminally bland, in my opinion) it'll be a different story. But design, of course, is a personal thing.
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    I agree - HP figures only tell 33% of the story, as anyone who's ever driven a Mini Cooper S, BMW 330 coupe or old Saab 900 turbo knows. The gearing (and clutch in manual) is key to how lively and fast a car feels and also really is, as is its weight.

    I also think at some point in time we will see car manufacturers making "purists" versions of their cars, with no or very scaled back electronic intervention for some models. With big cars like these, you definitely want electronics to assist when the going gets rough, because a 300HP large and heavy car set free is no easy thing to control. As to interior electronic ammenities, to this day it amazes me that they invest so much money into their silly and misconceived user interfaces, instead of going for a familiar computer interface (the new Microsoft PocketPC or so) - I mean, use *graphics* if you're making things this complex, for heaven's sake! All those rolling menus are anachronistic idiocy.
  • Very well said...I think you are right on ..except..I am on the side that likes the peace and quiet and Isolation that lexus offers.

    I also like the fact that the styling doesn't jump out and say look at me..as you said we all have different tastes.

    Thank you for your honest and balanced evaluation.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    I agree with you on styling, the LS exterior is to my personal tastes one of the least attractive in its class. But personally, I am going to buy one anyway (when they add awd) because exterior styling just isn't that high on the priority list for me...reliability, quality, isolation, great stereo are.
  • I just looked at the new LS photos and they don't look too bad. It still isn't anything that will grab attention, but it is more stylish. The front looks more swept back and less like a bubble. It looks more masculine now, in my eyes. Not a beautiful piece of art work, but an improvement to say the least.
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