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High End Luxury Cars

L8_ApexL8_Apex Member Posts: 187
I've decided to open up this topic a bit from the
original HIGH END LUXURY? 7-Series vs. S-Class vs.
topic. Arguably, the LS400 qualifies at the
low-end of high-end while the S-Class and
7-Series, when equipped to the hilt with
technowizardry and cylinders in the double-digits,
define high-end. For the purposes of comparison,
the cover charge is a base MSRP of $50K. Several
manufacturers have obviously decided to
strategically price their offerings just below this
magic number. If that's the case, are they really
interested in the "high-end" or is the
"upper-middle-class" of the car world a good
target, at least for now? So... the cutoff is

Please continue your discussion...


Sedans Host


  • enigma23enigma23 Member Posts: 36
    All great cars, so let the discussions begin!!!
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    I guess no one wants to talk anymore huh?

  • bmwboysbmwboys Member Posts: 8
    I was talking wiht a friend of mine about this line up of autos. We came to the conclusion that the figures just dont add up. It is not completely fair to put these cars up in head to head competition. The Mercedes and BMW both have sitcker prices arround 95+. The Jaguar and Audi ring up at arround 70K, and Lexus starts arround 55K.
    All five are great cars but i personaly believe some are just better than others, not because one is a lesser car, but it is just not in its own league. After doing some research The Lexus is more comperable to a 5-series BMW or a E-class Mercedes. When you look at the competition that way, its pretty clear who is on top. The LS400 offers more toys than either of the 2 Germans and puts it in a totaly different class.
    Each of these cars has a totaly different personality. Audis are still a sleeper, the A8 is understated, no one realises it is what it is. Bimmers are known for a sporty reputation. Jaguars are the stuffy british kick, great style and pleanty of problems. Lexus seems to be a total isolation vehicle, a place to get away from any and all noise. Mercedes has always been the ultimate in status, not that is is the best thing out there but its all status.
    To say any of these cars is better than another is impossible, they all have some quirk that gives them an edge, i would kill to get into a design center and make my ideal car with all the best things from all the above makers. That would be my super car!
  • bernard1bernard1 Member Posts: 58
    Currently we own a vehicle from Lexus, both of the German makes and Volvo. Each offers a different level of comfort, sport and security. For vault like construction, the Germans have it, and at the top, I believe is the MBZ. Sprotiness, BMW. Quietness goes to the Lexus. Longevity, I believe will go to the MBZ with BMW second. As far as the Lexus, I will have to wait and see.

    To all who have complained of the many problems with these autos I have been fortunate. I Have owned 3 MBZ (2 S classes and one SL) and have had no problems with the sales people or the service people. I have had minimal mechanical problems and the cost have been very reasonable. I have only had the Lexus for a year and the only mechanical problem I've had was with the cd changer and Lexus gave me a brand new one. No questions asked. The sales person was a nimrod and they are overly proud of their autos but the Sevice people are execellent. The other Marques could learn a thing or two from these guys. Bye the way, Lexus even sent me a $50 check for bring my car in for a factory recall. The bimmer is only a few months old, but not one problem and the phrase fun to drive just does not describe it.

    So far the Lexus has not cost me one dime to maintain (service wise) but with the posted labor prices, I expect that to change and it looks as if the Lexus will be the most expensive to maintain.

    Any opinions on this?
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    What "toys" does the LS400 offer that are not available on the S-Class or 7-Series, or did you mean the E-Class and 5-Series? If its the 5 and E, the LS is a notch above those 2 in most areas.
    The S-Class does not have a sticker of 95K, and the only 7-Series approaching that price is the 750iL, unless you get one of the protection models. The competitive models, S430 and 740iL are not 95K cars.

  • enigma23enigma23 Member Posts: 36
    But the S500 is knocking on $90K+!!
  • bmwboysbmwboys Member Posts: 8
    After adding tax and lux tax and destianation charges you are at 95. I was reffering to a 750, primarialy cuz it is the king ok the BMW line up, as is the LS to Lexus.
    as for the toys, im not sure what all Lexus puts in their cars but i do own a BMW 7 with so many gadgets that it is almost crazy.
    To me the toys of my car are: Heated Steering Wheel, Comfort seats with an adjustable sholder rest, 8 Air Bags, Insulated Windows, power rear seats with heat, radar in the bumpers, power sun shades.
    Its all the little toys i love and BMW is known for their toys.
    What all does Lexus offer? I know that Jaguar is a pretty boring car on the inside, very plush, but boring.
  • enigma23enigma23 Member Posts: 36
    How are 8 airbags toys?? I would consider them as Safety features and would never think of them as toys.
  • jbradbjbradb Member Posts: 39
    I've seen edmunds re used LS400s, but any strong feelings? seems '96 ('95?) was a style change and '98 was an engine change. other than those two biggies, what do you Lexophiles think?

    I'm not asking opinions about WHETHER to get a Lexus vs. other brand. I've driven enough to know they are like apples and oranges. Thanks!
  • enigma23enigma23 Member Posts: 36

    The 1st generation LS400 went from 1990 thru the 1994 model year. The 2nd generation LS400 came out during the 1995 model year. The 2 1/2 generation LS400 came out for the 1998 model year.

    Basically the 1998-2000 LS400 is the same car as the 1995(2nd generation LS400). The basic changes that Lexus made for the 1998 model year were a new engine and transmission, different gauge cluster, more wood trim, different front fenders, bumper, lights, grille, and hood, as well as different wheels. Other changes were a Drive-by-wire Throttle control system, standard VSC, and numerous other features were added. ALso the rear tailights were slightly redesigned.

    1995 was a complete overhaul of the car from the 1994(1st generation) LS400.

    Is that what you wanted to know? Or was it somethign else?
  • jbradbjbradb Member Posts: 39

    Exactly what I was wanting to know. So, between '95/'96/'97, not alot of difference? (I don't think I'd look earlier than a '95 anyway)

    Price for these seems to run ~5K more for each later year u get. So, I could get a '95 for mid-upper 20Ks...but a '98 would run 40-45K, other things being equal. I guess u see my point. It might just come down to my looking at them on a lot and comparing one after another. Thanks!
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    You add taxes and destination to any car and the price goes up dramatically. The MSRP is not 90K for a S500. Car & Driver adds luxury tax to a car's MSRP too and then says that this is the "base" price. The 750iL is a good 90K car no matter how you slice it, but the S500 isn't.

  • enigma23enigma23 Member Posts: 36

    Yes the 1995 to 1997 models were basically identical. The only thing that changed was for 1997, when Lexus added Side-impact airbags.
  • jbradbjbradb Member Posts: 39
    edmund's give "fair mkt. value" at 34K, whereas Kelly BB says "retail" is 38K....who's closer? dealer seems to be 1K above Kelly BB before negotiation.
  • enigma23enigma23 Member Posts: 36
    Kelly's BB is closer to actual retail value. I always found that Edmunds numbers are usually off by alot. The reason edmunds is not as good is because they only give one standardized price for the entire country. Whereas, KBBs values change based on where you live.
  • rollierollie Member Posts: 337
    Regarding post #15:

    In my experience, Kelly's prices are typically closer to what you would PAY for a used car if you bought it off a lot. Edmunds and NADA (which offers wholesale and retail prices) seem to be closer to what you would get if you sell it yourself or buy from the owner which is typically less than the Kelly price.

  • jodys2jodys2 Member Posts: 9
    Gosh bmwboys!

    Jag boring??? Being the experienced Jaguar owner that I am, ;-) 25 days and counting, the car I drive, is anything but dull. The tires are rated to 168 mph!!! The sound system tricks you into thinking you are in a concert hall - all alone, with the artist performing just for you. I can't tell you how many friends, relatives and clients have said 'I have never ridden in a Jaguar before.' This 2000 XJ8 L is treating me sweetly. Surely, there are other 4 wheel carts with more gizmos. But ya know, I have been kept busy reading the four books that came with this vehicle, as it is. It does the important stuff, with out the clutter of features, that perhaps only bring bragging right. As one of our Edmunds comrades has said, 'The Jag, has old world charm.' Enjoying her Jag, Jody
  • simeonmsimeonm Member Posts: 1
    Upon my first visit to this site, I read with great interest, the discussion about the various luxury sedans. From my perspective the $$ has little to do with the "ranking" of the car. There is really very little difference in the cost. The issue to me is how does the vehicle compare? In my humnble opinion there are two choices....everything else and the BMW. The LS400 is a vewry fine vehicle yet it is boring. The MB....is what I'll drive when I am a grandfather. Until then, I want to hear and feel the power of my bimmer as I roll by.

    Riding The Black Rocket,
  • bmwboysbmwboys Member Posts: 8
    Hey Jody,
    I would have to admit your right on the jaguar being boring. It is one of the SEXIEST cars on the road, and there is nothing that turns heads more than a jag, but my bigest problem was that it was really slopy on the road. I traded my BMW M3 for a jaguar XJR and i wish i could get my M3 back. The jag was sexy and it was fast but i didnt feel like i was in control any longer. As for the interior appointments, what the jag lacks in gizmos it makes up for in wood. I think that is one of the best parts of a jag is all the wood. It is simple and that does make it classic, but i found the speedometer hard to read. do you have that problem?
    By the way i sold my XJR 4 months after i owned it. 2100 miles. Someone got a deal, so if you see a white XJR wiht tinted windows it could be mine!
  • bmwboysbmwboys Member Posts: 8
    Hey Simon,
    Im a BMW nut as well, what do you drive?
  • jodys2jodys2 Member Posts: 9
    Hey thanks Jon,

    You are a gentleman! Thanks for acknowledging some of the Jag's good points. It must have been VERY disappointing to regret the Jag purchase, after just a couple thousand miles. Already, I have 1,500 on mine and feel like a newly licensed driver, anxious to run errands, so that I have an excuse to go for a drive. I do admit to being a naive luxury car owner. 'Curb' appeal is super important to me. Some of the high-end models I looked at on dealer showrooms were so nondescript, that I didn't even want to take them for a test drive. So many of the vehicles today, look like every other car on the road. A big part of the fun of driving a dream car, is having a great looking car. The rides I had in the 'other' luxury models, didn't seem to compare to this Jag, for what I was looking for, which was a luxury sedan. My humble experience has been, that the comfort of this XJ8 L's cornering, and acceleration, cause me to want to drive like a NASCAR driver. Guess I understand the higher insurance now :)

  • satisfied2satisfied2 Member Posts: 1
    Over the past 25 years I have had some real nice cars. Several BMW's,several MB's, several Volvo's a Lexus an Infiniti q45 and a couple of Porsche's. My newest is an Audi A8 which is both sporty and luxurious at the same time. Absolutely the best car I have had. A fun car that instills an abundance of confidence. It doesn't turn as many heads as did some of my past vehicles but I sure do have fun driving it.
  • bmwboysbmwboys Member Posts: 8
    Hey Jody
    I am in total agreement with the errands. I was driving to the other side of town to rent a movie and the same with getting new CDs I got in some big trouble with my partner about all the errands i ran in the first 2 weeks of owning my Z3 Coupe. I put 2200 miles on in 2 weeks, i was told to put my new toy away and not to drive it till the next month. I was crushed. The funny thing is that i was "depressed" about driving my normal every day car which is a 750iL. And then it hit me how silly i was.
    I bet the L in your Jag helps a lot, our XJR was the short wheel base and i felt like it was cramped. plus i am 6'1". How tall are you that you fit so perfectly?
    I am about to get my newest toy from BMW, an X5. You know their new sport utility. Now i have to try to keep in mind not to drive so much and so far the fist few weeks.
    By the way what color is your jag?
  • jodys2jodys2 Member Posts: 9
    Believe it or not Jon, green IS my favorite color. I had no choice but to get this dark green, it is perfect for my first luxury car, stately, but still with some pizazz. You are right about the extra room in the long wheel base. The back seat legroom is huge! The deciding factor in getting the L model was the additional headroom the driver feels. While the stats don't show it, the salesfolks said and I noticed the difference. I am 5'8", and the headliner is now comfortable.

    I bet you can hardly wait for your new toy to arrive! Sport utilities are hugely popular here in the Minnesota. Enjoy it! Those first few thousand miles have to be the best, everything is so new and appreciated. Actually, I have used the 'car and toy in one' rationalization a lot. We don't have to wait for the weekend or vacations for a bit of fun. Plus the car and toy only take up one stall in the garage. :) What color are you looking forward to?


    P.S. Today's Jag Joy: Teenage boy working at the hamburger drive thru exclaims, "Is that a Jaguar?" "Wow, that is a great looking car." FYI-in high school, I also worked at that hamburger joint and rode my Schwin bike to work...
  • bmwboysbmwboys Member Posts: 8
    British RACING Green, the key word racing!
    It is amazing how many people have never, or rarely see a jag. When i took mine in for service, 3 days after taking delivery..... we can get into that later, i got an XK8 conv. and the guys at some burger place were just crazy about it, "what kind of car is that", and this one woman got out of the car in front of me and wanted to take a look. There is just something special about a jag.
    But i must be true to my passion and drive my Bimmers. I even named my dog Bmer.
    My new toy, christmas present actually, i have been a VERY good boy this year, is going to be in eihter green or silver. The green hides all the lines of the car but i already have a silver car, but silver hides dirt and is easy to wash.
    its a toss up. Ill just let Santa decide!
    You know what i miss most about my jag, the wheels, i had the big 18" wheels, they were so sexy, that and the wood steering wheel.
    Well jody i got to get to bed
    Ill talk to you later!
  • jodys2jodys2 Member Posts: 9
    What a great name for man's best friend! Specially when his master bleeds bimmer blood :)
    Does he get to ride in your BMW? My pouch, Pete, hasn't quite made it to his first Jag ride yet. I don't know how much longer I can hold out.

    Silver is a great color. You are so right about its ability to hide the dirt. Just the same, I've got to hope Old Saint Nick chooses green for you. When do you hope to take delivery? Xmas Eve?

    Jon, when you get a chance, share your horror stories about the Jag, including what model year you had. I took the vehicle in for a non-lighting heated seat button. I left the dealership REALLY disappointed, because after a full day they could not fix it. Guess they sell vehicles without having the electrical layout references on hand. FYI - that was three weeks ago and still no fix in site.
  • bmwboysbmwboys Member Posts: 8
    hey jody,
    My baby Bmer rode in a BMW after 3 weeks and now he turns his nose up at the sight of a toyota....
    He tries to drive everychance he gets, most times he has his rear paws on my chest and the 2 front on the wheel, its just so he can see out the window but it looks really strange.
    Well about my jag trouble......
    i had a 98 XJR upon delivery the fog lights didnt work, a few lights on the dash didnt work, and the car had a wobble in it when driving. The gear shift looked like it had been put on wiht some serious force, i mean really torn up. The trunk didnt close properly and the paint was not very good. I was really disapointed.
    The service department was a joke, i took the stuff into get fixed and the service mangager LIED to me. The problems took forever to fix and when i got the car back 2 of my rims were badly damaged.

    I was not happy and after that i was just burt wiht Jaguar.

    About my new toy, santa cant get it into his bag of goodies. It will be here in feb, it can be a romantic present.
    Im hopeing for green but i may get out voted on silver.

    ill talk wiht you later i have a plumber walking in the door.

  • ste345ste345 Member Posts: 1
    Tire problems cannot get the vibration out.
  • jodys2jodys2 Member Posts: 9
    Isn't it amazing the lack of professionalism found in so many places today? Jon, I totally understand your disappointment with the condition and subsequent repair attempts. True story: when I went to pick up my 2000 Jag, the interior leather and headliner were smeared with dark 'stuff' in at least five places. I am NOT a white glove type of person, but wouldn't you think SOMEONE at the dealership would have noticed the interior condition of the vehicle, before a customer came in to pick up an auto and that required writing a check for nearly $65k?

    Is great service a dealer, by dealer commodity? Or are there any models that have a corner on the market? Bets are that the BMW dealerships have treated bmwboys well. Say, what type of dog is little Bmmer?
  • bmwboysbmwboys Member Posts: 8
    Hey Jody,
    I truly believe that service is just something that a dealer has or doesnt. That was the main reason i was so unhappy with my jag was the service. It wasnt untill after i had been there that i realised that my BMW dealer was SO much better.
    But once my favoriate service manager left things went down hill fast. The replacement of a new sales manager is quickly pushing me over the top. Maybe ill just go someplace else. In the last 3 years i have purchased 8 new BMWs and refered several frineds there. The "royal" treatment is wearing off fast.

    That business with your headliner is not acceptable. I believe that when they make a mess they fix it. I had some lettering disapear off a door on the inside of my car, and it was there when i dropped the car off, well you better believe they replaced the whole panel. I expect my new car to be perfect, even if i have to bring it back several times. And since they had already had my car for a few days i gave back the 3 series loaner and demanded their 750il demo car. I got it.
    it is all in how you approach the situation.
    Good luck wiht your service dept.
    Bmer is a Yorkshire Terrorist
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    Anybody know when the Jaguar XJ8 is going to be replaced?

  • enigmaoneenigmaone Member Posts: 128
    I believe the XJ8 is going to be replaced in 2002.
  • joeramosjoeramos Member Posts: 1
    I am considering purchase of one of these two
    fine cars and would appreciate some thoughts from someone who knows both. The MB S Class costs almost $100K with all the options but has that star on the hood. The Jag S class is smaller, costs much less, but looks terrific. Any thoughts?
  • jodys2jodys2 Member Posts: 9
    Tell me it ain't true! My new 2000 model Jag will be replaced in two short years (a/k/a obsolete)- ouch. How do you find out such things?

    I am having a flash back, it was the spring of 1990 and I became the proud owner of a new Dodge Dynasty...
  • enigmaoneenigmaone Member Posts: 128
    The current Jaguar XJ8 platform has been used for over a decade. So it's been well known that a new XJ8 platform was soon to come. 2002 model year is the expected date of the next generation XJ8. Using a completely new platform but retaining traditional Jaguar styling!!! I'm looking forward to seeing what gem Jaguar turns out!!
  • VAIVAI Member Posts: 2
    Anybody have any idea when the current 7 series BMW is going to be replaced?
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    Thats a very good question. The current 7 was scheduled to be replaced for 2001, but rumors have surfaced that the car that was supposed to do that was too big, heavy and complex. It was suggested that the previous S-Class was the target. That would have made sense way back when, but it wouldn't be smart for BMW or anyone to do a car like that again. So reportedly they have gone back to the "drawing board", which will delay a new 7 until 2002 or 2003.

  • VAIVAI Member Posts: 2
    Anybody have any idea when the current 7 series BMW is going to be replaced?
  • jgoodchildjgoodchild Member Posts: 2
    Yesterday, I took a test drive in a BMW 7 series sport version and I was extremely impressed (I woke up this morning thinking about it). I recently drove an MB S430 too. Both are unquestionably fine cars - albeit they are different. I like the sporty feel of the 7 series. It performs and handles in a way that I prefer over the S430. I think I will put my order in soon for the 7 sport version. Does anyone have any opinions about the 7 series, especially the sport version? Any input is much appreciated - I think I will order one this week.
  • jgoodchildjgoodchild Member Posts: 2
    My dealer said that the new 7 series body style is scheduled for 2002. He said that BMW has had so much success with the current body style that they will stick to it --- he did not admit to having to go back to the "drawing board" --- true salesman.
  • enigmaoneenigmaone Member Posts: 128

    The pictures are in of the 2001 LS430 at the above site.

    It looks good!!!!!!!
  • enigmaoneenigmaone Member Posts: 128
    Video is also available at carpoint.com website.
  • vbnmvbnm Member Posts: 21
    indeed, it is only my opinion, but BLECH!!! it appears lexus employed liberal use of MB S-class styling but then threw in the most lamentable dimensional disproportionalities of the toyota echo. two questions: 1) what type of ganja were the designers smoking 2) (the obious follow up) where can i get some?!
  • microrepairmicrorepair Member Posts: 508
    The video (and pictures) in carpoint.com are of the 2000 model, not the 2001.

    The new one looks sorta like an E-class with some subtle bulges on the fenders.
  • enigmaoneenigmaone Member Posts: 128
    The video on carpoint.com under the 2000 NAIAS auto show is of the 2001 LS430.
  • rmkrmkrmkrmk Member Posts: 1
    I am in the process of buying an MB S500. Please share your buying experiences regarding any discounts from MSRP and which dealers you think I should shop.What color looks the best on this car? I have not seen all the colors in person. How about the interior color? Thanks!!
  • ldrldr Member Posts: 9
    Been looking at this vehicle also "very impressive" to say the least.Have seen in silver, absolutely beautiful! But being a black car freek, the black on black was obscene! Has to be the finest body style MB has to date. Reading the brochure (novel) is so feature rich, it has to be the most advanced vehicle available today.
  • dado420dado420 Member Posts: 5
    Went to the Detroit Auto Show yesterday and no real and confirmed date yet on when the next BMW 7 series is going to show up.

    BMW rep. at the BMW stand said don't expect it for the 2001 model year. He said it would most probably show up in the summer of 2001 as a 2002 model. And he would not say why the launch of the next generation 7 series has been delayed by over a year.
  • mike2567mike2567 Member Posts: 15
    That Lexus LS430 is a blatant copy of the Mercedes Benz S-class, if ever I saw a blatant copy! Wow! Body shape, rear lights, model number ... even the wheels! I suppose imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

    As to buying an M-B S500 at a discount, forget it! These cars are on 6 month back order; and M-B dictates sticker pricing a la Saturn.

    The good colors on the S-class are all of them. I have brilliant silver with charcoal interior. The only one that leaves me a bit lukewarm is the black, although it does look very formal.
  • mike2567mike2567 Member Posts: 15
    That Lexus LS430 is a blatant copy of the Mercedes Benz S-class, if ever I saw a blatant copy! Wow! Body shape, rear lights, model number ... even the wheels! I suppose imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

    As to buying an M-B S500 at a discount, forget it! These cars are on 6 month back order; and M-B dictates sticker pricing a la Saturn.

    The good colors on the S-class are all of them. I have brilliant silver with charcoal interior. The only one that leaves me a bit lukewarm is the black, although it does look very formal.
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