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High End Luxury Cars



  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Appreciate the quick response.

    I am doing great actually. Wife is back to school doing an E-MBA. Means I'm doing double duty at home (kids and grandma to care for), and work which is hectic and triply demanding. I am barely hanging on sometimes, but I do get a few breaks in-between :) I saw a nice cruise trip on Carnival to the Bahamas, a 7-day trip, for like $1K (taking off from Tampa) and I'm tempted to just get on one and sail away !!!

    Currently, wife wants me to replace her Sequoia with an LX470 so I am back shopping for one. Should be fun.... I've got only about $40K to spend, and that'll probably be for an MY2002 at best. My choice would be an '03 tho', but I'll see what I do get. Still waiting for that LS in 2006!!! Looks like the Lexus makeover will truly shake the industry - all over again.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    I had the 2001 LX. It was great. Best SUV made as far as I'm concerned. Our friends have a Range Rover and while its nice it just doesn't have the build quality of the LX and they've had some problems with it, though nothing major. My wife drives the GX and it's excellent but the LX is definitely the premium of the two. You won't go wrong with any year from 2001 - 2003. But the rear-view camera which I have on both the LS and GX was a great addition. I thought it was only needed on the SUV's but it's great having it in the car as well. But I don't know when they added it on the LX.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    I always said, even from pictures, that the '06 GS has alot of the LF-Ss styling cues. As people see it in person they see the resemblance to the concept. I always thought the '06 GS looked good in pictures, but I have noticed alot of people that didn't like it in pictures are liking it as they see it in person.

    I know some people at Lawrence LExus in Princeton, NJ and they are a little worried about the 2 new Lexus dealers coming-the one in Freehold and Difeo in Edison area.
  • As a previous owner of several Mercedes, Acuras, Lexus, and BMW, I now can say I am in the best car of my lifetime----The Volkswagen Phaeton!!!!
    Never have I seen quality this good. Everyone that sees it, raves over it and just can't believe what a beautiful car it is - and from VW!!! One is in my garage and I plan on keeping it. Goodbye Mercedes. You sold out to chrysler and it really shows. I hope the Phaeton continues because I'll trade for a new one in 4 or 5 years I hope..
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    The Phaeton is a great looking car, inside and out. It has that generic VW styling, but I really like it.
  • The plan of keeping the Phaeton is a very good one----there is no demand for them on the market and VW can't give them away. You need to hope that you don't need service on it because the VW dealers treat everyone like they own a beetle. Even if it were as good a car as the Lexus,the whole dealer experience with VW sucks!
  • dcowan:

    Good for you..Can you tell us what you paid for you Phaeton and some of the features? Does it have radar Cruse, heated and cooled seats, GPS and what type (one disk or several # of points of interest) Engine and HP that kind of stuff...
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Looked like a happy owner here. Ultimately, what you'd like to see is that your ownership experience matches your excitement, and hence no regrets. This will be borne out over time.

    Congratulations on your new car.
  • It was the W12 of 2004. Black with a charcoal (anthracite)leather. I got it at $83000.00 with every available feature except the 4 seater package. I didn't like the fact a person couldn't slide through the backseat if they had to and it just wasn't necessary. This car by far is fabulous. I wouldn't have a MB ever again if this car remains as good as it is now. The fit and finish is awesome. The ride is great. I tossed and turned about the longevity of the Phaeton in the market and decided "so what if it struggles, I have a great car for the next 5 years". I really hope more luxury car lovers will consider this car because you are missing out on a great buy. If it were a MB, it would be over $130,000.00. The sound system is AWESOME!!!!!
    Seats are so comfortable. My wife is not a 'car person'. But even she is having a fit over it.
  • I disagree with your comment on the dealer issue. They have treated me as if I bought a Maybach. They (usually 2 or 3 salesmen) almost come running to the door when I walk up. They are so proud to have the Phaeton on their floors. Now they don't have to send their older customers down the street to bmw or mb dealers for a nice upscale luxury car.
    Phaeton lives on.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    The Phaeton is a seriously nice car. If you hide the VW emblem you can tell it's a 70-80K car in a NY second. If you don't hide the VW emblem you can tell it's a 70-80K car in a NY second. I was seriously thinking about this as my next vehicle, even before the 745.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    According to Edmunds, a loaded 2004 W12 had a list price of around $103,000 and an invoice of around $94,000. Are you saying that - at $83,000 - you bought a brand new 2004 Phaeton for around $11,000 UNDER invoice?

    On the one hand, this sounds like a great deal. However, if VW has to give them away, the resale value is likely to drop like a rock as well. It would be interesting to see how much the Pheaton will really end up costing buyers if they end up giving them away after 3-4 years.

    A high school friend of mine who is an orthopedic surgeon and a car nut jokes that he can't afford a Phaeton. His fun car is a $132k 911 Turbo Cabriolet and he is trading his 2001 E55 for 2005 S55 ($110k +/-). But, or so he claims, his two cars totaling $250k will depreciate less over 3-4 years than one $100k Pheaton. Probably not, but he does quite well driving very nice cars that hold their value well.

    We happen to be SUV shopping and he advised me to reconsider buying a new Land Rover LR3 for the same reason. He bought a used low mileage 2002 Range Rover for his wife this spring for $33,000. At that price, the original owner took a $40k+ bath for 30 months and 30,000 miles. His prediction was that a 4 year old Phaeton will be a $40k car. A good value then, not now.
  • rroyce10rroyce10 Posts: 9,359
    ........ There is a $10,000 kicker on em', and there isn't a dealer from Maine to Monterey, California that won't drop-kick one of those dudes off their floorplan, the W12's are only doing the $59/$60,000 figure at the auctions ...

                   $40k.? that might be a little on the optimistic side .l.o.l... .. great vehicles, but VW missed that market by light years .............. :(


  • You will understand my comment about the dealer experience better after you call to get a service appointment for one of the many electronic glitches you will experience and you are told that the only tech that is trained on your car is sick,on jury duty,or has been called up to go to Iraq for 2 years. Before you are finished with your VW experience, the Lexus LS430 will seem like the biggest bargain in the world and the Phaeton will be really,really expensive to have owned!!
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    "Before you are finished with your VW experience, the Lexus LS430 will seem like the biggest bargain in the world and the Phaeton will be really,really expensive to have owned!!"

    todd2004… In case you haven't noticed, some people can afford to spend more than others. I'd like to know the one person who can buy stocks at the bottom and sell at the peak.

    dcowan699… Congratulations! Sounds like the Phaeton has what you want and will offer you a most enjoyable experience. That's all that matters. And it's an absolutely handsome vehicle in my opinion. Enjoy! Also, stay around, I'd love to hear more about your experience. Sometimes we are like a bunch of yentas around here but it is mostly good-spirited.

    Pat_host, can the Phaeton be added to the list in the masthead?

  • Yes! My car stickered at $103,000.00 yet they sold it to me (no miles on the car) for $83000. No arguing at all. I simply said," How low can you go" and without a second of delay, he told me $83K. I new right then it was a done deal.
    Yes, I realize that the car will only auction for $60000.00. A Mercedes will drop just the same instantly. My last car was a Mercedes and within 3 months I just stepped into a MB dealership just to act interested in a trade, to see what I could get for it. The car new was $101,000 and within 3 months, they only offered me $65000.00 for it. Therefore, I kept it for at least 3 years. The car never really kept any value. I think the Phaeton will do no worse than benz. Phaeton's are going to stay around for years as this car is IMO the most serious competition to a lot of other high end cars. Quality seems excellent and the prices are great considering the competition. All of the other high end cars have quality issues, except the mighty Lexus. I just don't like the looks of the Lexus 430. I like German cars. I have not had my Phaeton long enough to judge it on quality, but at this point, it seems as if it will be fine. Most all comments of the Phaeton experience seem positive.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    Best of luck with the Phaeton. It is a screaming bargain at those prices - V8 at the prices I'm seeing or V12 - at what you paid. The biggest issue will be if they keep making them because if they stop, and there is a good chance they will, the residuals will drop. But if you plan to hold the car and it has decent reliability - who cares. You'll end up with something that is rare on the road and serves you well. VW will service it no matter what - either thru the VW network or if that is a bad route than they will let Audi handle it. If they keep making it and it turns the corner than you got in at rock bottom. Even I - nothing but a Lexus buyer since 95 and a Japanese buyer since 91, would have opted for the big VW if I needed a third car at these prices. But that phenomenal Japanese reliability is impossible to walk from for my primary cars. But if I were a German car lover I'd run to the Phaeton immediately. A Phaeton is cheaper than its lesser German competition. Reminds me of when it snows in late March. You know the ground can't stay white for long. Likewise these prices can't hold much longer.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    >> Pat_host, can the Phaeton be added to the list in the masthead?

  • rroyce10rroyce10 Posts: 9,359
    ..**Yes, I realize that the car will only auction for $60000, A Mercedes will drop just the same instantly. My last car was a Mercedes and within 3 months I just stepped into a MB dealership ...**

                 Looks like I wandered into a hornets nest here ... personally, I like the Phaeton and I'm not knocking the vehicle, I've bought a few, sold a few and I probably put 1,500 miles on the last one, it's just because of bad marketing and super poor advertising (and being waaay overpriced) that this vehicle has not gotten off the ground, nothing personal ... that said, there isn't a Benz made that drops $40,000 in the first year, or any year for that matter ~ are you sure you weren't in a Kia store.? .l.o.l....

                  Anyway, enjoy your vehicle - nobody is knocking it ................ :)

  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I am curious as to what Mercedes model you paid $101,000 for that was only worth $65,000 on trade.

    I understand the S-class and 7-series do not hold their value as well as the E-class and 5-series, but I don't know of any Mercedes model that would lose 35% in 3 months.

    FWIW, a couple of weeks ago I called on a 2004 E55 that was advertised in the Washington Post for $79,000. the seller indicated that it had already been sold and that he had a back up offer at $82,000. The car was $85,000 new, had 5k miles on it. Relocating foreign diplomat.

    It seems to me that a BMW M5 or AMG E55 would be a much safer $80K+ investment, albeit a smaller car.
  • Terry,
    I didn't perceive you as knocking the Phaeton. Let me be more specific about the loss I had on the MB. The particular benz is a 2002 CL500 with AMG package, keyless go, comfort package, trunk closer. The car dropped quickly within the first few months (40000K). I had it appraised several times over the past 2 1/2 years and I never got the value suggests. I was always quoted values of $10000.00 less than "good" condition for the car. I kept this car immaculate. I therefore kept it until just this week as I found this W12 and couldn't resist it. My boys are getting bigger and we needed a 4 door car again. Just this week the CL 500 was down $60000.00 since April 2002. Edmunds put it at $62000.00 wholesale and yet the dealers only offered between $43000.00 and $47000.00!!!!! 60% depreciation in only 2 1/2 years. It only has 31000 miles on it with almost new tires. Dealers and wholesalers both have told me this is one "cold" car. An S class may not have taken quite the hit. What is your thoughts?
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    When I was researching MB's in 2001 I found that the E-class had the highest residual value after 3 years of any luxury car - about 67%. The S was a fairly close second - 65%. But those days are long over. Typically now - both lose nearly 50% of their value after 3 years and 36K miles. This is where the reliability and fear of faulty electronics is killing MB and its why the upfront premium pricing will not hold.

    When I checked how residuals held up in 2004 I found the residuals in the low 50's for both the E and the S. So whoever bankrolled those 2001 leases with 65+% residuals built in got killed. The LS430 in 2001 residualized at 62% in the lease and about 63-64% in real world prices after 3 years. I checked all of this real closely when I leased earlier this year and concluded it was the reliability issues that were the causes and the rewards.
  • rroyce10rroyce10 Posts: 9,359
    **The particular benz is a 2002 CL500 with AMG package, keyless go, comfort package, trunk closer. The car dropped quickly within the first few months (40000K) .. **

                 Nice car.! - that said, you couldn't have picked a more "niche" vehicle .. depending on where you live, color, miles, condition, time of the year, etc, these can take a little bite .. lets face it, a C55 is not going to pull the Big Money in Milwaukee in January as it might pull in Atlanta or Dallas, but that will also be true of any expensive rwd coupe on the planet .....

               Unless this thing has been miled out, caught in a 2 month blizzard and hit by a meteorite, then I can't see where you were getting the figures .... right now, the 02 super clean ones with miles in the 15/25k range, perfect paint, no Maaco are doing all of $60++ and on the Retail side, they will do all of $69 after the smoke clears ... where you have me lost is, the "01's" where doing the $60,0 region in the spring/summer of "03" and the "02's" were doing the $70,0+ and on the retail side, $79ish ... so you have me a little confused .................... :)

  • Hey. Im interested in leasing a 2005 S430 4MATIC. I am also looking at the 2005 A8L and the 2005 Phaeton V8. They are all beautiful cars. Does anyone know what the deals are for the "Winter Dream Event" on the S Class (from mercedes)? Thanks a lot
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    When you go to the mbusa site you click around and can get 'offers' on the C and E. The S says says 'see your dealer' and we all know what that means.

    Whatever you do, make sure you get the extended warranty and free Mercedes loaner service.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    Good news, bad news. First the good - I just got something from MB in the mail with a cover page that said there were special deals and incentives on the S-class (which I hear are not selling well right now) as well as the E and C class cars. I have seen S430 deals (generally $77K stickers) at $799 per month on a $12K lease deal with $2K down advertised (about a month ago) and 4-matic is no extra charge in 2005. So you should be able to get a great deal. Bad news - My wife threw the MB mail piece out before I looked at it.

    Phaeton - $549-649 in NJ with 0 down and no lease application fee. Driveaway is basically your first months lease fee + Motor vehicle fees.

    A8 - about 950 a month on a 12-15K mile lease with zero down. Someone I know is looking at one. I just forgot if the miles were 12 or 15K.

    Good luck and be careful with that Phaeton. It may be on its last legs. Problem is it's the same car as the A8 pretty much so why pay 350-400 a month more? Plus the VW probably has the better lux ride. I've driven the Audi twice - once on a test and it was harsh and again on a 350 mile spin (less harsh but I just wasn't impressed as it lacks the lux ride of the Benz S or Lexus LS430). Finally Audi service by me is as bad as VW so that doesn't cut it for the extra bucks - at least not here.
  • Thanks a lot guys. Yea i know it says "see dealer for details." i asked that question hoping that someone ALREADY went to the dealer and found out.
    Yea i test drove all three. All VERY nice cars with their pros and cons.. My only concern about the phaeton is that it is a pain to get, service, etc. I actually test drove the cars in Florida over thanksgiving. The dealer in Pompano had the exact Phaeton i would get (Black/Black with the comfort package and technology package) with a decent deal... 2000$ down + inceptions at 800$ a month. He would deliver it to my (Philly) for like 350$. The nearest dealers to me dont have phaetons and i think that could be a problem if there is a problem. I also dont like the fact that i see SO few of them and that they may be "retired" at an early age.
    Thanks for your help
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    If you live in Philly pick-up the Newark Star Ledger and/or a NY or NJ edition of the NY Times this Sunday - if you are interested in the Phaeton. They are on a few lots here - one guy had 3 or 4 of them and advertised a $499 a month zero down deal a few weeks back. He's now at $549. Dealers do everything they can to avoid them because they sell so slowly but at the current prices I think they are a steal, particularly on a lease where you don't need to worry about future value. Ray Catena MB in Edison NJ on Rt 1 (a huge MB dealer) was the advertiser on the $799 S430 deal. He runs some great deals on the Cayenne also and even on the 911, the latter at just under a grand a month. He's had some good deals advertised on S500's as well - so good that I just stared at them in amazement given the prices I was seeing in 2001. He has any and every MB you want at virtually any time.

    Good luck.
  • Thanks a lot. Im going to look into that now!
  • bwiabwia Boston Posts: 1,907
    I see am not alone in singing the praises of the new 2005 Acura RL. It topped C&D's list of best luxury sedans.

    C&D writes, "The arrival of the RL marks the end of Acura's inferiority complex...and the ultra-quiet interior combines typical Acura ergonomic good sense with all the hedonistic features you'd expect in a first class sedan."

    Yesterday I saw a gentleman driving the RL with a permanent smile on his face. I couldn’t tell if he was rehearsing for a Levitra TV commercial or if he was just soaking in the the total satisfaction of driving the RL.
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