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High End Luxury Cars

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  • Speaking of the Prius, I was reading through Popular Science and I came across this little story: click here
    It looks like a nifty feature.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    That is WAY cool!! No plans to make it available Stateside. Why on earth not, seems it would be a great feature on an upper end Lexus if they want to limit availability for whatever reason.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    I think I read something saying that a large fraction of Prius sales in Japan were of a version that included the auto-parking feature.

    I don't know if it will be the case with this feature, but sometimes the litigation-happy nature of the USA keeps certain innovations out of our country. With this one, possibly Toyota would be concerned about potential legal liability should a car back into a pedestrian.
  • is ray catena a good dealer to get a cayenne from? did they have a lot of them there?
    how about buying it, do they give it for invoice price yet? or even less?
    i know the inside sucks but its typical porsche, who knows,
    why is audi chaning the front end? whats the point? is that all?
  • pdd7pdd7 Posts: 2
    I am new to the forum, and I apoogize in advance if this topic has already been discusse.

    My 3yr lease on a 2001 740il with 39+k mi is about to expire. I can purchase the car for $38.8k, and I believe this price is good. I have had no problems with the car, just had new brakes installed, and love the car. I don't feel the need to buy an extended warranty to 100k mi, or pay the premium for a similar certified pre-owned model. Other than routine maintainance, are there any big ticket repairs I should expect in the next 3-5 years?

    I would appreciate any input. Thanks.
  • pdd7, I own a 1998 740i with 65000 and since about 45000 miles it's been one repair after
    another. Maybe you will have better luck but
    my opinion would be to buy the ext. warranty.
    I love the way my bimmer drives but it's
    been driving me to the poor house. My next car
    is gonna be a Lexus ES330. My dad's 97 ES300
    with 95000 miles has been trouble free. good
    luck
  • The item below comes from Autoweek, yet I could not verify the news at the USA Audi site. Can anyone confirm?

    (22:54:39 Nov. 27, 2003)
    Audi says shorter-wheelbase A8, performance variants likely on way to U.S.

     
    The 2004 Audi A8 L will probably have some company soon. (Photo © 2003 Ingo Barenschee)
    Don’t look for Audi to stand pat with its 2004 A8 L in the North American market. Though the company will offer only the long-wheelbase version of the luxury flagship, starting at $68,500 beginning in June, vice president Len Hunt says a less-expensive, shorter-wheelbase model will likely follow as a 2005 model.

    After that, the plan isn’t as clear, but Hunt says Audi is discussing S8 or RS8 performance models for 2005 or 2006 featuring a twin-turbo V8, the 5.0-liter V10 shown in the Nuvolari concept in Geneva, or even a turbodiesel.

    All three powerplants would take advantage of the high torque capacity (443 lb-ft) of the A8’s six-speed Tiptronic transmission. The A8 L’s 4.2-liter V8 produces 330 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque.
  • Here is the link: http://www.canadiandriver.com/articles/rp/04xj.htm

    This web site has good reviews and great photography. I am really tempted to get a Jaguar. I wonder if the resale has improved?

    Here is a link to an amusing Lexus LS review in the Detroit News:
    http://info.detnews.com/autosconsumer/autoreviews/index.cfm?id=12- 235
    Scott
  • So an XJ8 with a V8 292HP, retails for Can$87K, and you don't even get HID or Navigation ? And the reviewer liked the Jag at this price point ? Strange !

    Besides everything the reviewer said, one area that I must disagree with is the interior. Comparing the Can$92K (test car) XJ8 versus that of the LS430 are, imo, not even close in comparison; here I am giving the nod by a mile to the LS.

    XJ8 interior
    image

    LS430 interior
    image

    The Lexus simply blows the Jag right out of the water ! Where the Jag looks old world, the Lex fits into 21st Century modern lux car. Everything about the interior of the Lex says luxury. I find the Jag seats not as plush as the LS, and certainly not ventilated (cooled) as with the LS430 UL.
  • pathdocpathdoc Posts: 126
    In the pictures the Jag has more wood and looks more inviting.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well I can't say that I've had enough time to get use to idrive. I've driven the 745i twice and the OMG 760Li once. I had a chance to take the 760Li for about an hour during BMW's annual charity (Susan G. Kormen) event so I can't really comment on the details about idrive. I do know that it would require time for even me to get used to and proficient with it, and I'm on a computer for 8 hours a day, troubleshooting voice over IP, Frame Relay and other "technical" applications. Some that are very menu (detailed as hell!) also. Does the 04' 7 have the same simplified idrive system as the new 5?

     Sadly, the spy photos suggest Mercedes is going the same route with something similar to idrive, but I'll keep hope alive until the new S is unveiled next year at Geneva.

    Call me biased, but I've always regarded Mercedes' seat shaped design the best in the industry for obvious reasons. The BMW reminds me of the Pontiac Bonneville a relative of mine had back in the 80s'. It required 12 different buttons to adjust the seats, as opposed to just a simple seat shaped control like MB and now just about every other manufacturer uses, though only a few got the patent permission to use them on the doors. Infiniti tried to do this back in 1990 and got hauled into court for this and lost, but that's another story. But everyone uses the simply 2 bar control, seat cushion and seat back control whether or not it's on the side of the seat on the door, it's easier to use. There are variations on the theme, but I've seen nothing that works better. All those buttons and a rotary knob is just overkill for the sake of doing so. I did get comfortable in the 7, but it took way too much time to do so, compared to a simple 2-bar seat control.

    BMW used to make fighter jet inspired "cockpits" that were relatively simple (for a Euro car) to operate. When I first drove the 7-Series I was shocked as to all the changes and more importantly I kept thinking "why".

    I too like how the German brands don't give too many details about a new car before launch. The only thing is that most of us who follow Euro brands can kinda tell when something new is due especially when you look at the years any given car has been on the market. I can predict MB changes and new models better than the average dealer. For some reason they either don't know or always pretend not to know about something new. I suspect it's a little of both. One reason is to keep the older cars moving (S-Class for example) and then again they aren't privy to the info some of the mags get until months later.

    M
  • Pathdoc is right. The Jag interior IMHO is a lot classier and less techno. Then again I like private dining clubs and windsor chairs. While it may be the photo, the wood on the Lexus console looks like a 12" X 20" piece of contact paper and does not match the wood on the steering wheel. The Jags wood does match.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    In my opinion the Jag and the Lexus are the best interiors around. The Lexus wood is stunning in person and steering wheel, console and door sills match perfectly. The picture doesn't do it justice.
  • oac3oac3 Posts: 373
    with ljflx, that the LS picture posted by Blue does NOT do it justice. So I found a couple that does, somewhat.

    LS interior
    image

    and another interior shot
    image
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Let me preface this with IMO. My vote for best interior would go the Audi A8. It has as good or better finish than any of these cars, and it looks classy without all the overdone wood compensation for an otherwise plain design, like the Lexus.

    M
  • Being biased to the Audi, I agree with merc1, and I think just about everyone in the Industry does. As far as the XJ8, last time I sat in one, I felt a bit claustrophobic, and the knobs, switches, etc. did not feel that great.
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    A friend I knew when I lived in Brussels used to say:

    "A Jag is the most beautfiul thing in the world to sit in while you wait on the tow truck".

    Of course, I'd vote for the Lexus.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Also has plenty of wood and I miss what everyone is raving about. The dash is uninspiring and the pop-up nav looks terrible imo.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Car & Driver has a good pix of the next GS430 on page 38 of this months issue. I think it is a stunning car and that it will eat up the 5-series, which I think is butt ugly. BMW seems to be going backwards in time with their new designs. I'm already tempted to sign up for this GS car instead of getting a toy car. It will be AWD and likely come with a hybrid option as well. Looks like a grand slam for Lexus to me. I wonder how they are going to transform the conservative LS into this next platform. I would also expect that Lexus will bring out the HPX at the same time as this next GS.

    By the way what do you think of the Honda S-2000. Isn't that a potential car for you? It would have been on my short list if I were in your life stage.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Thats about the only time I've ever heard anyone dislike the A8's interior, different tastes for different folks...nothing wrong with that.

    I just happen to see the LS430's interior as overdone and trying too hard to look good. It uses wood for shock value, Audi does it more for a backdrop or a structural effect. Sure the LS' interior is higher quality materials than a regular Toyota but the presentation is the same, no style. Audi, to me has the smarter Nav setup, it's not this big gapping whole in the dash when not in use like in the LS and 7-Series.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    As usual you have your copy of C&D before me, all I got today was Motor Trend. Per MT's usual all they talk about is the Corvette, and Viper. Now add the Ford GT. Nothing wrong with these group of cars, but I'm so sick of reading their childish writeups about these cars each and every month. Sorry, typed all of that before I knew it.

    The Honda S2000 - great car, just not for me. Me no want any more smallish sporty/sports cars. If I went that route again I'd get a 350Z. Me wants some luxury to go with the sport now.

    Lexus has to hit a homer with the next GS, because their is a new E, 5, and soon A6, these cars rule that segment.

    M
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    I didn't say I don't like the A8 interior. It's very nice but I don't see anything earth shattering about it. I just don't think it's at the top of the list. Actually the wood door sills are very much like the Lexus and Jag. On the nav - I much prefer the 7-series and Lexus set-up over the Audi. It's got the classy flat screen/plasma-like look.

    I think the next GS trumps the field. Lexus will be selling very few of the current cars once this next model is discovered.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    We'll just agree to disagree on the LS and A8 interiors. I was speaking of the dash treatments and the overal look. We'll just have to see about the next GS, it's going to have to be heaven sent to trump this field of brand new cars. As usual I'll probably have to wait a week to get C&D.

    M
  • oac3oac3 Posts: 373
    Once more, here are the two interiors:

    Audi A8
    image

    LS430
    image

    Me like the Lexus. Cos I am biased since I own one. The Audi is nice, but not earth shattering. Stunning ? Puleazeee... The Lexus is truly luxurious and rich looking, while the Audi looks plain in comparison. The flip-up Nav screen looks much like a Lexus 1st -gen Nav. Nothing distinctive like the 4th-gen version on the 2004 LS. If you haven't seen one go take a look. Pictures don't do these justice.

    And I did take out an A6 4.2 on a test drive last year while looking to buy a lux car. Didn't like it that much. Nope, Audi ain't on my radar in luxury car. Seems the US market agrees since the A8 is pretty much invisible in this class.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well maybe someone can explain to me whats earth shattering or stunning about the LS' interior, because all I see is a lot of wood and pretty much just a better made (materials) version of a Toyota's layout. Really, the Camry Solara and the new Sienna minivan share the same interior architecture, tall center stack and all, only the Lexus is of higher quality materials. Lexus goes for shock value with wood and lots of buttons, the Audi is so much cooler and laid-back, with a touch a retro style to it.

    M
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    This Audi layout looks like something from a 1970's GM car to me -- maybe an Oldsmobile or Pontiac. The row of rectangular air vents isn't very appealing.

    The console looks like an add-in, do they sell these as a bench front seat version and a column shift?

    Having to reach the radio controls by going through the shift lever isn't very good ergonomics. The radio also appears to be titled upward for some odd reason - to catch dust or sunlight or both?

    As an aside, having tachometers in cars with automatic transmissions is dumber than nails (Lexus, MB, etc. included). Who in the world would ever drive a car like this in such a way that how close you had the engine to the 'redline' ever mattered.

    I'd much rather see the tach space give a display of surrounding traffic based on the radar or laser reflections from the emerging systems for automatically controlling the following distances under cruise control. You know, the "bogie at 3 oclock display." Plus it could show the radar and laser police speed detection systems at work. ... Must be the war making me think like this.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    The tach is there for those who might want to use the manumatic shift feature found on these cars.

    M
  • zdudezdude Posts: 22
    The tach is in the LS430 so you can see if the engine is running ;)
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    I agree - the dash reminds me of a 70ish Chevy Impala. That pop-up nav is a turn-off - I hope Lexus never adopts it. But the Audi materials are top shelf and it is definitely a lux interior. Besides looks - and I love the Lexus because I feel like I'm siiting in my living room - the LS430 interior makes every function so easy to do on the fly. The layout is simple, elegant and as logical as it gets. Finally the seats are the most comfortable car seats I've ever sat in. The only problem I have with the LS430 is you can't adjust the nav destination screen while driving but that, unfortunately, is due to the lawyers.

    Merc1 - Those Toyota interiors are all about ease of functionality. No reason to stray from that standard in a Lexus.
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    I understand what it's for, but a tach is a Smithsonian piece of technology in today's cars. Anyone who thinks that they can out think and out react the engine ECU and the car's VSC and automatic trans controller etc. in any situation other than a straight line on dry pavement is some kind of Walter Mitty.
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