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High End Luxury Cars



  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    Now if they could only get the styling right...
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    I love the looks of my car. The sharpened edges on the 2004 are a definite improvement over 2001. The car looks awesome to me in black and flint mica and very good in just about any color. If you mean a more sport look then that will come in 2006. But I still think the 1995-2000 LS is the best looker of all and a classic timeless luxury car among any lux sedan.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    I think the current '04 LS430 looks good too. And so did the 2nd generation, especially the 98-2000 LS400. I just wish that it was more distinctive, that it had it's own style completely through. The current LS430 is pretty nice, but the rear(C-pillar and rearward) looks a little like the old S-class Benz.

    My accountant was over last week and he just got a new 2004 LS430 to replace a 00 LS400 that was totalled. Looks nice up close. The new frontend is a big improvement over the 01-03 front end.
    The rearend looks a bit better and the wheels are a gigantic improvement over the 01-03 flat dish wheels.
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    > Why would anyone want an E220? If you've got the $$$ to buy a MB
    > to begin with, I doubt the price of gasoline is a real deterrant.

    A combination of things - most of these cars in Europe are part of professionals' compensation, and you get a car leasing allowance. A big cost element are the emission-based taxes for the car, which encourage smaller cars and very heavily penalize larger engines. Most people prefer to simply stick with their allowance and don't take potential liabilities on - you get taxed based on car emissions for your personal miles on the car, again quite heavily. Thus the very clear tendency towards smaller engines in Europe.

    It's a matter of personal preference - some chose to pay out of their pocket to get a larger engine. I know when I was there in the early 90s, the company offered an allowance that covered for a BMW 318. I got a barebone 318is coupe with a nice revvy 4 cylinder engine, and it was a very good car. Most of my colleagues picked the 320i with the base 6 cyclinder engine, and paid about $100+ extra a month plus the gas out of their own pocket, which I prefered to spend on food. :-) By the way, my barebones 318is -since it was Germany I didn't even get aircon, which means I stayed under allowance and saved the company some bucks- was noticable faster than the 320i with aircon, and in my opinion much more fun to drive due to the fact it was very nimble without the added weight of the aircon and 6-cyl engine.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129

    Basically, I think the LS needs some length, a lower greenhouse, and the lamps finessed. I love big ol' luxury battleships... tried to illustrate this here. Let me know what you think.

  • footiefootie Posts: 636

    Nice photoshop work!

    The original is better proportioned both in the picture and in reality.

    The photoshopped version has the "I just got squashed Audi A8" look.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    Supposedly the 2006 will have a LWB version.

    Great work.

    Do you like the LS430?
  • a_traina_train Posts: 2
    Does anyone have a photo of an LS with the saddle interior? I have seen the SC with saddle and like it; wondering how the larger interior of the LS looks with it. (I already searched edmunds, eBay, autotrader, and for photos -- no dice.) Thanks ahead of time for posting!
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    Very subtle revisions, which corporate bosses would love since it leverages established identity. Of course, detractors of the current design would not be persuaded by very subtle tweaks - but the big problem with a major revision is that you might alienate an existing customer base that is sold on the existing concept and will stay loyal as long as you don't screw around with the recipe. Just ask BMW... :-)

    I think the luxury sedan world has 2 schools of thought: the first one is the school of stealth & understatement, to which Mercedes used to belong until the new S-class came out. Interestingly, the previous generation 7 series also competed with Mercedes on conservative ground. Lexus undoubtedly has remained a clear proponent of conservative design. VW's Phaeton clearly follows that school of thought as well. Audi's A8 also does, even if in the non-stretch version it has a somewhat more dynamic look.

    Then there's the school of "look at me", which ranges from merely some more ornate elements to the downright flamboyant. The current generation S-class now looks conservative, but it was regarded as a risque design when it came out. People weren't used to that from MB. BMW of course has gone all the way with the Bangle 7. I'd also say the new Jag XJ is a bit more ornate than the cars in the first group.
  • hjcanterhjcanter Posts: 31
    The Lexus website has a pic on it. You have to look at the interior pictures and change the color. That pic of the interior looks pretty good.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    Lexus scales back color options and combos late in the model year - from April or May on. Saddle may not even be available. You may have to wait till 2005 - assuming they will still offer it. I don't like it on the SC or LS as I find it too "orangy". But that's just my taste. I haven't seen it on a new LS but did see it on a 2000 LS that was certified in the showroom. I've seen it often on the SC though. It's better looking on the SC in my opinion because of the smaller area coverage.
  • a_traina_train Posts: 2
    Thanks, hjcanter.
    However, I'm looking for an interior shot that shows a better angle of the entire interior. Not expecting a perfect photo, but something that gives a better feel than the Lexus site, which only shows the front seats / dash area. The SC looks good in saddle given its smaller interior, so the saddle does not become too strong a color. My only concern is whether the saddle is a bit too in-your-face when in the larger LS interior. Assuming saddle is still available, this would be for an '05. Any photos, anyone? Thank you.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Footie… "squashed A8 look"… that's funny… actually, I think the previous generation A8 was one of the best sedan styles ever made! Don't like the new one though, it's too rough-hewn IMO.

    Ljflx… yes, there are a lot of things I like about the LS… interior, reliability, and of course the passion of all you Lexus nut jobs ;-)… I find the exterior only acceptable though… I'm rooting for the next design bigtime… want to see the longer wheel base and finer features. BTW, with this pedestrian safety BS I'm not sure how much we can expect.

    A Train… are you a Duke Ellington fan or just stuck with a certain daily NYC itinerary? FWIW I like all earth-tone interiors, particularly saddle. I don't know the ins and outs of Lexus but according to the website it seems saddle isn't offered with the LS. If it is available however I wouldn't hesitate a minute to get it but not with black or blue. You pay a premium to get saddle (aka brown) with a Porsche. I think it works great with a medium grey metallic exterior… Briarwood, Cypress and Mystic Gold and the silvers on the LS… YES THE SILVERS!
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Been away for a while, so I'm responding to your post #6168. You're right there has been a whopping 175 posts since I last checked in. The reply button used to include the post # you were replying to, I wonder what happened to that feature?

    Anyway...guess what configuration Porsche sells the most of when it comes to 911s? The 911 C4S in tiptronic from!

    No I don't think you're anti-German, but I'm the same way when it comes to German cars compared to Lexus because most (not all) of the Lexi's that rag on German cars here have never even driven or owned a Mercedes, BMW or Audi, yet claim that they're such piss-poor cars, and all of their harping is based on three things, JDP, CR and the WSJ. I couldn't believe it when a LS430 owner came up with so many excuses and so much pure bs to defend what truly was a awful car, a certain Cadillac that was debated a few weeks back. This is the knowledge base I'm supposed to rely on to tell me which car is "best". I don't think so.

    Please don't lump me in with posters like audibob.

    You think Lexuses are great, obviously others don't think so, it is all personal preference beyonds the surveyed factuals. You tend to talk about stereos, navs and reliability and fans of other brands simply don't place those things as high as styling or driving pleasure, and they tend to define the latter differently. Nav systems and great stereos don't define luxury for everyone, nor is that all to it. What gets me about some Lexus folk is that they seem to think that their criteria for a luxury car is the bible and written in stone and that every car should be as detached from the driving experience like a LS430 or ES330, which are Lexuses biggest sellers are brand-identity cars. The IS300 might put down the numbers of a 3-Series, but the car has been complete commercial flop. Why? Because Lexus buyers simply don't care about a BMW-like car. Something I tried to articulate at the start of this BMW vs. Lexus outbreak. Ditto for the GS. Not even your friend with all the sales rhetoric can deny this. Porsche can help Lexus with the GS, but Lexus' values of smoothness and silence aren't going to be thrown away in the name of handling, so I hardly expect the new GS to do anything to the 5-Series on the track or in the showroom. Furthermore the IS300 is an totally icomplete car compared to the 3-Series. It is too small and has what I'll be nice and call a very un-Lexus-like interior.

    I've always said Lexuses were "quality" and if you don't care about a how a car looks or drives, then by all means. If you want something that doesn't put you to sleep, look elsewhere.

  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Mike you're run out of gas give it a rest. You're quoting things I never said in the first place.. You're confused and lost, again.

    If a Mercedes wasn't confortable when in the hell did people buy so many of them then? Say you didnt' find them comfortable. That goes along with you not being able to "fit" into the SL so you bought an Allante. Makes sense.

  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Please stop, you're embarrasing my favorite underdog brand - Audi.

    If you're a Audi salesman you'd know the Audis most emphatically do not sell at sticker price. That is an absurdity along the lines of some of this Lexi stuff I'm reading.

    Audi has the worst reliablity of the three German luxury brands. I say this based not only surveys, but on personal experience. The previous generation A8 will drop a trans much faster than any S-Class or 7-Series.

    I personally think Audi's styling makes Lexuses and Acuras look like lawnmowers and refrigerators, but the reliability of the residuals and of the Japanese brands can't be compared to with Audi's right now. Some of the things I just spend the last 30 mins reading here from you are plum no-contests from Audi compared to Lexus, and even BMW or Mercedes.

    Audi kills them in design inside and out, this has been stated over and over, including VW by the automotive industry, but those bad things about them have been equally stated.

    Argue Audi's racing heritage, Quattro, styling, price, free maintanence, but lay off the other stuff.

  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    All of that is pretty much wild speculation on your part about Cadillac. When Cadillac actually builds an SL55 or M5 killer I'll be one of the first to (grudgingly) admit it. Mercedes has no rivals in the current hp war going on in Germany/Europe, at least among the luxury car makers. Cadillac is about 200hp short already compared to Mercedes biggest hi-po offerings.


    Nothing will help the LS430's styling. The 2004 facelift made the car look worse to me, especially in the front. It looks like someone just tacked the grille on afterwards. It is as homely a car there ever was that cost so much, imo. The W140 looked better when it was introduced.

  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Fact is, all of the luxury battleships are struggling in the bathing suit segment. Winner XJ, no contest. Personally, I don't see how anyone can knock the LS and defend the S. The whole MB lineup looks American. At least the LS resembles what a Mercedes is supposed to look like. W140 is a box. Most of today's cars need serious help.

    IMO Acura did a great job with the new RL. There's a lot of chatter about the "Bangle" trunk lid. What everyone fails to realize is that it came from Honda first in the mid-90s Accord (I think), then was followed up by Chrysler with Cirrus, Stratus etc, and THEN the Bangle disasters. Personally, I think this look was originally influenced by the pill-box-flat-top haircuts that the basketball players made popular in the early 90s.

    "Don't the girls all get prettier at closing time."

    Mickey Gilley

  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    We'll just have to agree to disagree there. The current S-Class shames the bloated wannabe W140 S-Class LS430 in styling, imo. That is a no-contest for me. A Mercedes is never supposed to be ungainly or homely looking like the LS. My pick for a styling winner in the segment would be the A8L.

    Mercedes' lineup looks "American"? Uh...ok.

  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    I'll pull the opposite on you. I'll bet most critics of an LS430 have never sat behind the wheel of one. I'll also bet that many LS430 buyers have owned MB E or S class cars before. Do I have statistics - no. Just my feeling because its the situation with the people I know and I'd bet it's representative of a large part of the buying group.

    Have you truly ever driven an LS430? You said so in some post not too long ago but I never remember reading about any driving experience you had. I know you've said you drove LS400's in the past but the LS430 is a different animal than the LS400, far tighter, better handling with excellent driving dynamics. So if your basis is the LS400 you are far off the mark. I've driven S-class cars pretty often and there is hardly any different feel than an LS430 in my experience.
  • Merc:

    I orginally bought the Allante because I didn't fit in the SL of that time. It ended up being a lucky break for me, The Allante was far more comfortable..Had enough trunk space for two sets of clubs with pull carts, had plenty of power, handled well, and was far more beautiful. In addition the sound system was much better, it actually played CD and tapes, The German car didn't play CDs. There was even a pass through the trunk so you could carry your ski's. As I recall you could not even carry you golf clubs in the trunk of the SL with the top down.

    I could follow your advice on how to write and re-word this comment to make you happy....but...Nooooooooooo..I don't think so.
  • PS:

    Merc. I neglected to mention that the Allante also came with a 7 year bumper to bumper warrenty..It was probably as flawed as the Mercedes of that period but at least you could own it for awhile withou it costing you an arm and a leg....It was a second car for most who owned it so the inconvience of having to put it in the shop (yes I always got a Cady for a loaner, It was part of the warrenty) was a pain but a bearable one.
  • sapparosapparo Posts: 68
    The current S class shames no one. The last S class was one of the worst lookin overweight, blocky cars of that time. You just can't accept it (a little envy) that your lousy german brand is getting clobbered by the premier Japanese car maker who's new models will again redefine the segement as the original did 15 years ago. Your matter of fact opinion from someone who supposedly drives a bottom tier Japanese brand has zero, zilch, credibility on this board. Lexus is capitalizing the most with former Benz owners who ditched them in favor of a tad less stylish cars but oh so much higher in quality and ownership experience.

    Audi's aint killin no one that's a serious laugher! Who the hell is buyin Audi's their in virtually last place in market share and reliability, have been for years. The interior design of Audi's are neato and nice but the rest of car is subpar and going with the new MACK truck grill design will no doubt make them a sales success. Not! A big prediction the new RL will surprise everyone in that segment.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    I'm not sure about that. Friends have an LS430 can't wait to give the boat back. Their next x500. Take on LS it's a great car to be a passenger in. But some people want to drive cars, some don't even care about the disparity in the JD, CR, WSJ surveys with defects per 100.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    "Anyway...guess what configuration Porsche sells the most of when it comes to 911s? The 911 C4S in tiptronic from!"

    Impossible. You have it confused with something else. No way C4S even comes close to C2 sales, ditto for manual vs Tip.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    And they think an S500 is a drivers car?? Are they kidding. Its a premium lux sedan with a heavy leaning to lux over sport. MB leaned even further to lux in the refresh. If they want sport they need to go to the Maserati based on what I have read or drop $100k on an S55.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    LEt's not go overboard with that one.....
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    Did I ever link you and audibob? If so I apologize and it certainly wasn't intended. But it was clear to me that you were rather repulsive of his posts early that day. I actually laughed when I thought of your reaction to all the posts by the latter part of that day.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "I'll bet most critics of an LS430 have never sat behind the wheel of one. I'll also bet that many LS430 buyers have owned MB E or S class cars before. Do I have statistics - no. Just my feeling because it's the situation with the people I know and I'd bet its representative of a large part of the buying group."

    You might be right on that because most German car folk have read too much about the car being an isolation chamber and more importantly just looking at the thing is most off-putting so I doubt many would bother. However on this board, most of the negative noise about Mercedes comes not from former MB owners but survey and graph chasers and folk who couldn't "fit" into a Mercedes. Reading some of their posts its obvious they don't have a clue as to what a Mercedes was or is about today.

    The same could also be said about the Lexus owners who talk down about Audi and BMWs, most of them wouldn't and haven't gone near one to even know what they're talking about. Especially the Audi detractors.

    I think the friction comes in when someone on either side tries to say what defines a luxury car, while knocking a car they've never even driven, and know they don't want the other car anyway...for whatever reasons.

    Yes I have driven the LS430, but it was a 2002 model. I've driven a used 2001 model also, so I haven't driven the 2004 model. The Carconnection review still hints that it is still too isolated from the road, and others have said that very same thing about the 2004 models so I have my doubts about this "far tighter" claim you're making. The same press that praises the LS' other attributes says the same thing about the 2004 model as they do the 2001 model, it doesn't have the dynamic or feel/roadholding of the German cars. The 2001-2003 models drove like a Buick to me especially when mildly pushing it. Way too much body roll. What you and other Lexi never seem to get is that nobody is saying the S500 is a "drivers car" in the purest sense, only that it is more of a drivers car than a LS430. It feels more connected to the road than the LS430. I've seen a many of post from LS owner talking about how they felt nothing when driving, meaning it was smooth, that isn't what most German car buyers look for, at least the ones that buy for technical not status. The only true "drivers car" in this segment is a 745i (short wheelbase) with the sport package or maybe the A8L, haven't driven it yet.

    Yeah audibob was being ridiculous to say the least, and I'm crazy about Audi so imagine me reading stuff about Audi that even I couldn't sell here.


    What I said to Lenn above applies to your post about the Allante. You never even drove the SL and because you didn't fit into it very well it was a lesser car. Wow very astute analysis. The Allante was junk plain and simple. Nobody bought them and even the normally big-mouthed Cadillac would like to forget about the car. You're a big fan of sales when it comes to Lexus but when it comes to Cadillac you don't mention sales? The car was a flop and everyone knows it. The 1990 SL only sealed the coffin the fwd, underpowered Allante already put itself in from the start. It was a second car for most so who cared about how well it was made or how reliable it was? Are you serious? That is a complete stack of bs. Fact: in the early 90's Mercedes lead your precious surveys, where was Cadillac. I see where you're coming from now. Surveys and sales to tout Lexus, but not for Cadillac. I've never seen a non-GM owner/fan come up with so many excuses for one of their worst products in history. What you say about the top alone is just far too surreal to be coming from a Lexus owner. Would you buy a SC430 if it had a manual cloth top and that only half-arsed worked? Heck no. How much more hypocritical can you be about the Allante.


    I'll have to find the article. I think they stated the #1 selling configuration for the 911 was the C2 with an auto, not the C4S. The article went on to say that Porsche was semi-worried about this.


    I did drive a couple of SLs I think one was an older model 450 and I don't recall the other a 380 or something like that...I just don't remember...I didn't fit well in either and as I said the car was uncomfortable and harsh and just not nearly as nice inside or out as the Allante...P.S. you could just plug a chip out of the Deville into the Allante (cost $200 bucks) and jump the HP from 200 to 250...I don't recall the HP in the 93 Allante but it was around 300 with the Northstar system and outperformed every SL around in those days.

    The cockpit was exactly the same size as the front of the Deville..Very comfortable...The car always turned heads...I remember feeling sorry for the poor guys that were driving SLs

    It took me under 30 Sec. to raise and lower the top and with the top down I still had full use of my trunk (nice design) Power opened and closed it and pulled everything down and inplace all I had to do manually was pull it back and down or up to open and close it....I would think a real car man like yourself could handle something as simple as that. It was a very nice touring car with plenty of luggage space (and you could still fit in your Golf Clubs, I did it many times.) You couldn't do that in the SL...

    You will need to print your source (cut and paste) for the speculative information you have cited...the survays were positive as I recall...It is difficult to find them now so if you would care to cut and paste something in to prove your point that would be a good thing...

    They sold 20,000 Allante's between 1987 and 1993 the production run for the car...The last year had the highest sales with about 6700 sold as I recall.

    My convertable days are over now...I loved my Allante kept it for 10 or 11 years. I would only compare to what was available when I bought my car late in 92...I know it will still turn heads, it was a beautiful Italian design with an enduring quality.
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