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High End Luxury Cars



  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Looks nice, but underneath, its still a Chevy Malibu. Thats a really bad place to start, and even with stiffer springs and what not, its still not even close to being a match for a 330i, IS350, etc. The new V6 also isnt that quick. Pretty sure it still takes over 7 seconds to get to 60, which is only competitive with the 325i or C230.

    Edit: 7 for the MT, and 8 for the automatic. Hardly what I'd call impressive for a turbo charged engine with 250hp and 258ft.lbs of torque.. also barely any faster than the old turbo four.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Wow, just like the old Ford vs. Chevy race in the States, eh? Course, now it's Yota vs. Honda, Ford & Chevy aren't relevant anymore. Wonder if that'll happen to BMW & Mercedes someday? Don't say never.....
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well I'd have to disagree with you about it being just a Malibu because it drives nothing like a Malibu. The 9-3 isn't nearly the same rush job as the 9-7 and 9-2 "Saab" models are. The 9-3 was designed from the start as a Saab built on a shared platform, not a badge job like the other two.

    I agree about the performance, hence maying saying it was interesting with a "but" at the end.

    I think you have to want a Saab and/or appreciate them for their unique character because they've never, even been outright winners in any category at any time.

  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    "The 9-3 was designed from the start as a Saab built on a shared platform"

    Yeah... but the shared platform it uses is not good enough to be competitive in this class. If GM wants the 9-3 to be able to really compete, it has to get the Sigma bits that underpin the CTS. Anything less, and its an also ran.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    are we losing sight of the High End part of our topic?
  • I was wondering tonight if some of the antipathy for MB isn't necessarily because of the quality of their current vehicles. Rather, maybe some of the people who knock MB do so because of the observed characteristics of people who now in these flush times and easy money own them? In a similar manner people might put down Lambo because of the kind of person who buys a Gallardo.

    In any case it is clear that the MB brand generates strong emotions in a way that Lexus does not. I don't think that many people see someone as a parvenue in new Lexus but they might if, say ,your hitherto Ford Explorer driving insurance guy delivered your new policy in an E Class.

    Whaddya think?
  • garyh1garyh1 Posts: 386
    I can't agree with this thought. I would imagine there are as many social climbers in Lexuses as in MBs; ditto for BMWs and whatnot.

    If anything, I think MB suffers the most because it has gone from one extreme to the other more than any other luxury brand. MB was the car that was always described as "bulletproof", "solid", "sturdy", "long lasting", etc.; much more so than BMW or Audi. Now which car is at the bottom of the relative reliability list - yep, MB. BMW sold on drivability and still does; Audi originally sold on value and later on "sexiness", and now at least still has sexiness (and perhaps still better value than MB). MB was always a compromise (perhaps better called a "perfect balance") on all the other traits, but reliability was its bailiwick.

    Hey, quite a few of us that bought a Lexus recently have gone on record here as really having wanted to be able to get an MB, and looking forward to being able to do so in the future when MB gets its reliability act together again. Of course, now some of us are also less than thrilled with the styling of the upcoming S.

    It's not antipathy you're observing, it's frustration!
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    Great post. I came very close to the 2001 S500 but in the end I couldn't pull the trigger for the simple reason that I didn't trust the car to be reliable and the 2001 LS 430 was equal or better anyway. But I did love the S styling. Something is always wrong when a company is not delivering on the tenets it was established on. Now - nearly 5 more years of Lexus perfection in 3 different vehicles makes it almost impossible to think about switching. I have no doubt that the cars will stay perfect for another 1-2 years and that the 2007 LS will be perfect for it's lease duration when I take it. That's the way MB buyers thought in the past and that foundation rock is gone. The fact that the 2007 LS looks to be the far better looking car in pix (TO ME - plus the S looks worse and worse with every pix I see) so far and with higher level technology in the LS hybrid (and likely no stupidity with an i-drive clone) is also a big advantage. MB can't pull off simple electronics so a battery is going to be a lot harder to swallow. The Germans are starting to look like a group of beached whales to me. One puts in i-drive and everyone else follows suit even though it's despised by the market and the reviewers.

    Lastly - where is the stability of the brands styling? We went from an in your face bulk look with the S to a svelte styling that was revolutionary and did everything in its power to hide the bulk and now we are back to in your face bulk. Merc1 says he reads that the bulk is hidden in the 2007 S but everything I read says the opposite and the rear of the car looks pregnant to my eyes. So I see a simple thing here - a brand searching for its reliability roots in an electronics era where the country of origin has weaknesses (this is Japan's forte) plus a brand that is searching for how its marquee car should look. It's incredible to me that the S looks stale before it's even released. The evolution of the car should almost be changed so that the 2007 is the 2001 and the 2001 is the 2007. Then at least I'd know what styling direction they're going in.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Speaking only for myself, there are a few things that shape my attitude toward MB and the people that buy MB:

    - Reliability. I would have considered a 2006 R-class but aside from some design issues I am very disappointed that MB said its overall quality issues had been fixed for 2005, yet it still trails BMW by a sizable margin according to JDP IQS...not to mention Lexus. Is is so funny that MB management initially put out a goal of being number 1 in reliability but then only months later backed down, saying "American tastes are different" so it can't finish better in American surveys. Gee, somehow other German brands like BMW and Porsche can do better than MB on American reliability surveys; so its a rather lame excuse. God only knows how their long-term reliability will look now that management thinks it has its quality problems "fixed" (except for those pesky American tastes).

    - Status. Since MB is the highest-status mainstream brand, I think the average MB-buyer is more of a status-seeker than the average Lexus-buyer. I guess I don't care for people who seek status above all else...and imho there are more such people driving around in MBs than in any other mainstream brand.

    - To some extent I just like debate for the sake of debate. It is "fun" to have an "opponent" so to speak.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Scathing criticism. I sense MB/Lexus the Sequel - Part XVII is imminent. Although I guess it has to be because the new S and LS are nearly at hand. Jim Bowie (Merc) and Davey Crockett (Dewey) will be scrambling for their muskets as the Mexicans, I mean Lexicans, come out of the woodwork.

  • deweydewey Posts: 5,251

    I am already on pre-emptive alert for the upcoming siege! :surprise:
  • docnukemdocnukem Posts: 485
    I hope for MB's sake that the outcome is not the same as the Alamo.

    A draw would be nice.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,251
    a brand searching for its reliability roots in an electronics era where the country of origin has weaknesses (this is Japan's forte)

    You sound convincing but there is only one problem!

    Electronics is no longer Japan's great strength! Look at the current demise of Sony and you will know what I am talking about! Whether Germany or Japan have national technological strengths is not as relevant to MB or Lexus as it was in the past!

    In this global economy MB or Lexus can outsource or purchase their technology from any company anywhere.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,251
    Yes MB has reliability issues that should be addressed and is being adressed. Improving reliability is not a one year task. And it was silly for MB to say they want to be number one in reliability in the first place.

    It is easier to make a Corolla more reliable than a Lexus LS and it is more easy to make a LS more reliable than a more complex and expensive MB S series.

    IMO it would be wrong for MB to dumb down their cars for the sake of being number one in a JD Power survey.

    BUT it is also essential that MBs become relatively more reliable than they are today(but not neccesarily be #1)

    Status. Since MB is the highest-status mainstream brand, I think the average MB-buyer is more of a status-seeker than the average Lexus-buyer

    I keep on reading the following profiles of German or Japanese lux owner over and over again and these profiles are just so bogus!

    German Lux car buyer: Arrogant, snobby, sharp elbowed, superficial,obnoxious,image centred life.

    Japanese Lux car buyer: affluent but humble, likeable people who treat their fellow mankind with respect, do not care about image!

    If you honestly believe that a Lexus buyer is any less a image seeker than a MB buyer than you must have difficulty distinguishing Mother Theresa from Paris Hilton.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    If you honestly believe that a Lexus buyer is any less a image seeker than a MB buyer than you must have difficulty distinguishing Mother Theresa from Paris Hilton.

    First of all, note that I was very careful to use the word "average" in my original post.

    Second, yes I do believe the average Lexus buyer is less of a status seeker. That doesn't mean he doesn't care about status. (For example, I'll admit that I care about status.)

    But if someone's number one priority is status, don't you think he will tend to gravitate toward the highest-status marque in his price range? Why would he settle for number 2 or 3 or 4 in status?

    Therefore, don't you think that people who place status as their number one priority will end up in MB more than any other mainstream brand? And that therefore the average MB owner is more of a status seeker than the average Lexus or Audi owner?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Same old stuff, just rehashed it seems.

    The 2007 S-Class is "dated" and has too much bulk - though it has yet to be seen in person by anyone here. I'm trying to find an article that says the car has too much bulk or that it looks like it does.

    Mercedes is struggling to find a new look for the marquee car while Lexus has been struggling to find a look for all of their cars and a "look" period for 15 years. Too funny. One questionable looking Mercedes-Benz (out of a mainly gorgeous lineup) and one freshly made non-ugly-from-the-moment-you-see-it Lexus and all of suddent Mercedes is struggling. Hilarious.

    The average Mercedes buyers is a status seeker and the average Lexus buyer isn't yet these are both luxury car brands that along with BMW arguably run the show right now. Nah status couldn't possibly be a factor when Japanese luxury car buyers choose Lexus over mere "Hondas" and "Nissans" at the Acura and Infiniti stores.

    I just love how status is something silly until Lexus gets mentioned in the same sentence with its Japanese competition.

    Yet if you go to the 2007 LS board you can't read 5 posts before you see something about Mercedes-Benz. The truth of the matter is Lexus is the most wannabe, status seeking brand in the luxury car market and most of its followers (not all) are no different when it comes to what they want for their prized synthetic brand, Mercedes-Benz's position in the status world. Can't say a thing about Lexus without the hyped up prediction about how Lexus will do this and that to Mercedes-Benz, like no other brands are even present. Lexus wants to have Mercedes postion in the market so bad to the point where it has become an obsesson for its fans to talk down on Mercedes, even when they really have nothing new to say. It just can't be helped.

    The new generation of the S-Class should swap places so one would know what direction Mercedes is going? Yet the new LS looks nothing like the current LS so I guess Lexus should swap places too then right? Sure, why not sell the 2001 LS430 (a knockoff of a 1992 S-Class) now and then go back in time and bring out the better looking 2007 model back in 2001 when Lexus was "searching for a look" for their cars. That way I'd know they weren't copying a Benz. Makes sense to me.

    Mercedes following BMW and Audi down the Idrive/MMi trail is yet another grave mistake because the "press" hated it so much in BMWs. Yet this is the same "press" that is utterly clueless when a Lexus doesn't win a comparo (IS350) or when the talk about how lame a Lexus like the SC430 looks and drives. But wait, Idrive is despised by the market too. A market in which BMW continues to sell more and more cars in. It seems that now Lexus is suffering from BMW envy also in order to be able to make such a false statement about what the market "despises" in the face of such good BMW sales.

  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    The average Mercedes buyers is a status seeker and the average Lexus buyer isn't

    Once again, taking something someone says and mis-stating it to the extreme to make your point. I didn't suggest that Lexus buyers aren't on average, status seekers, I only suggested that on average they care less about status than MB buyers, again on average.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    At this point does it really make a difference? The only reason this distinction is even made is because Lexus doesn't have the status of MB or BMW. If they did it would be harped about all the time, but since they don't it is looked down upon. Especially since we're running with the assumption of what the average Mercedes buyer wants, an assumption that was is routinely rejected in other arguments.

  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Lexus is suffering from BMW envy

    You have this fixation on "envy" and "wannabe". Sure, Lexus as a company envies MB's status, for example. What company wouldn't? Do you think MB envies Lexus' reliability? If they don't, they should.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The Sony products that fall apart come out of Malaysia and China. Not Japan. The stuff that Sony still makes in house is still as good as the stuff they were doing 20 years ago.

    While South Korea is starting to become a force to be reckoned with in electronics, thanks mostly to Samsung, they are still no match for Japan's giants, Yamaha, Mitsubishi, Matsushita, and Hitachi. Sony is a bit player.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    I don't "look down on" status per se. Au contraire, I like status too. But I do look down a bit on people whose purchases are driven by status as their number one priority. Not every MB buyer qualifies, but more MB than Lexus or Audi buyers qualify.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I'm sure all car companies envy something about another car company, but the big huge difference is that nowhere else but on Lexus boards do you read so much about the competition and how Lexus is going to destroy everyone else, namely Mercedes-Benz. That is so ridiculous to me.

    Don't their cars stand on their own merits without the constant chatter about Mercedes-Benz, and now BMW? I think they do, so extreme envy is all I read into all this destroying MB and now BMW talk.

    How could you possibly know that more Benz buyers are status seekers compared to all other brands? IYO is needed there.

    However mis-guided it is, there are some who think a Lexus is more prestigious than a Mercedes. Audi'd likely be right there.

  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Blink Blink - I missed the first part of that post. You like status? So Lexus having more status than say Acura or Infiniti is a plus to you?

  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Yes I like and care about status, but status isn't the number one priority for me (otherwise I'd be driving MB or Bentley), and there is only so much that I'm willing to "pay" for higher status, everything else being equal.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Ok, so let us just say for instance that the Koreans push into the luxury car market. Say in 15 years time they managed to build cars that are equal to German and Japanese cars, but they didn't make up a brand name to sell them under like Toyota did for Lexus, would you buy one?

    Say if it were made by and sold as a Hyundai for instance.

  • deweydewey Posts: 5,251
    Yamaha, Mitsubishi, Matsushita, and Hitachi. Sony

    These were very important names when teens primary source of electronic entertainment was Pac Man.
    We are swerving off topic but let us look at who is number one in electronics

    Samsung is number one. Samsung's stock market value is larger than Matsushita and Sony combined(#1 and #2 Japanese consumer electronic companies) And it is not only Samsung. Let us not forget Apple, Nokia and the dozens of Korean/Taiwanese companies that are number one in their niches.

    Times have changed!
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Possibly. If the Korean is equal in every way to whatever I am driving at the time, except for price and status, then it depends on how much status I lose versus how much money I save.

    Right now, the status of Lexus vs for example Toyota is worth 4 but not 5 figures to me (which explains in part my choice of the LX over a TLC). When I look at sedans in the LS/S/7 class, the lower status of the LS doesn't come remotely close, for me, to offsetting the higher price and lower reliability of the S. (Though there are other factors as well.)
  • docnukemdocnukem Posts: 485
    Would you buy one? Assuming everything is equal and you liked the styling as much as you like MBs.

    I bought an M35x 8 months ago because I liked almost everything about it. My wife liked the E. I have a partner who was pushing the E as well. I like status as well, (and MB clearly has more than Infiniti) but I went for the M as status is not very high on my list.

    Personally, if the M was badged as a Nissan, I would've still bought it.

    It all depends on where you rank things on your list.

    My list:
    1) Practicality (3 growing kids)--includes cost and size
    2) Fun (includes grunt and handling)
    3) Safety (3 kids again)
    4 tie) Styling
    4 tie) Reliability
    5) MPG
    6) Status

    The first four are all pretty close. The next two are not.

    So if Kia or Hyundai produced a car that matched my list, of course I would buy if it beat out others. Everyone's list is different, though. What does your list look like?
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Well since merc1 was talking about Korean cars, Samsung isn't totally off topic. In my own mind Samsung has gone in a very short time, like 3 years, from a so-so brand to a desireable brand. In my case that's only from observing that their LCD PC screens are well-reviewed, and that they are the market-share leader in DLP RPTVs.

    I have predicted before that the Koreans will eventually be a force in luxury cars, and that 10 years from now some of the guys on this board will be defending Lexus against an onslaught of a new generation of Korean luxury car fans.
  • bdr127bdr127 Posts: 950
    Let us not forget Apple, Nokia and the dozens of Korean/Taiwanese companies that are number one in their niches.

    Nokia is Finnish....
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