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High End Luxury Cars



  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690

    Just in my neck of the woods there is an MB dealership that is equal to my Lexus dealership (based on my limited experience). Like everything in cusomer service there are stars, there is medocrity and there are failures.
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hi All,

    I think Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The person who spoke of the Golden Age is the Head Mechanic at my Lexus dealer. Other mechanics have made the same comment.
    You can argue that there is nicer leather and what not in the 1995+ models and I'll have to agree with you.

    Mind you the 1995 was very similar to the 1994 mechanically. It had the same 4 spd Automatic and 1uz-FE engine in it. It was just a 10 HP increase. The interior was completly different however. The exterior was a clear derivative of the original.

    Next time ask your Service Writer what he/she thinks about the quality of the early ones compared to now. Did you ever see any recalls for fuel pumps and transmissions on the old one? Did you see any problems with the display cluster like they had in the 1998 model? How about the jerky accelerator? They had a single recall for the Cruise Control in the 1990 model.

    The question here is absolute quality. Look at the side mirrors for example. They are much thicker on the old car. Feel the dimmer on your new car. Then go feel the dimmer on a 1990 LS. Then feel the door handle. The 1990-94 had a much thicker handle. Check the grille next, and then the window switches. Everything is thicker plastic or chrome. You'll notice the difference, but I appreciate it is hard to realize this unless both cars are sitting next to each other. My 1992 sits next to the 2005 so it's easy for me to make the comparison.

    I will be the first one to say that my experience is NOT the norm. Maybe it is just the MA dealers. Of course. I've never been out of state for Lexus service. In dispute resolution with Lexus HQ I've found that they always offer the same excuses and apologies. It takes legal action to force action on their part.

    Like I said, Lexus still makes a great car. This is an undisputable fact. They are technically advanced as they come, and they're starting to establish themselves as an innovator. I see only good things happening to them in the next few years.

    As a long time owner I've really been let down by their customer service. I would have bought the LS460 without hesitation had I not had such a bitter experience with Lexus HQ and Dealership over the maintenance of my 92 LS. In fact, the goodwill of the 1992 experience kept me a Lexus buyer, even though I liked the S Class more.

    By Probability it is unlikely the S430 will be as reliable as the LS cars. It is also true that it will not hold value as well nor will it have Bluetooth, Backup Camera, and Parking Radar. I've always maintained that Lexus appeals to the objective buyer.

    What does the S430 offer then? Many Safety features standard, a timeless graceful design, Airmatic (Hope that doesn't cause more problems than it solves), 4 Matic (Big one for me), and enough toys to keep me occupied. Of course I didn't have to pay for it, so that's a plus! In addition maintenance is paid for over 3 yrs.

    I fully expect this car to be more problematic. That isn't the issue. The MB dealer really treated me like royalty. That was the clincher.

    This doesn't mean I'll cease being a Lexus fan. The 92 LS has created enough goodwill that I'll always defend them!

    However, I won't be so quick to slam Mercedes unless this S430 falls apart of breaks down somewhere!

  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I think I just got the same S-Class advertisement you got a few days ago. A Black velvety box with 4 cards, 3 exterior shots and 1 interior shot. Nice, but I would have liked more info.

  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    Yep. That's it. Mine included a test drive invitation and a special number to call. I think it was classy and the pure side view of the car looked great.

    On Idol - I'm still amazed at Chicken Little's survival. Someone told me that there's a "vote for the worst" group that is probably keeping him alive each week. It's a shame that he can be so awful each week while the others can't make a mistake or they're in danger of being gone. Some of the better people, who can actually win this thing are worried each week with this crazy voting when Seacrest puts them on the bubble with his safe or danger calls. I see this coming down to Chris, Mandisa and Katherine. Mandisa's weight could be a problem but she does have a beautiful face and great charisma going for her. I think those three plus Lisa and Paris will all have future careers. Taylor's the oddball as he is a great entertainer and should get into the business in some way. I just don't see a future where we are listing to his songs on the radio. Lisa and Ace almost being eliminated was sickening and while I was not a real big fan of Melissa, I still think it's a shame she's gone as she is light years beyond Kevin Covais in talent. I have a feeling Randy is going to come down hard on him the next go round as I'm sure Simon is speaking to him and Paula behind the scenes about this contestant.
  • anthonypanthonyp Posts: 1,860
    It has always been my contention that the dealer is the pivotal player for service...As we have had many lexus cars over the lastfourteen years or so, I personally can say the first was the best and had the least trouble for its time,..Four years later there was good improvement, but not quite the build quality and a little more problems, then the next was a huge improvement in the driving department, but again the build quality was a bit worse....All those years the dealer has been the best I have ever experienced...Right now I have an Audi as a change is nice occasionally....The Audi for me is a wonderful change and has been trouble free so far..I further think the dealer is going to be a good dealer---I just haven`t had occasion to test them out yet, but I know they won`t be better than lexus.. I bet the Lexus will not be priced much higher than the present model LS, and will be a huge sucess....My Audi cost a bit more than eighty thousand and the Lexus is a lot less than that...Tony
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    I bet the Lexus will not be priced much higher than the present model LS, and will be a huge sucess

  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    I'm hearing the prices will range from $63-$82K, stripped SWB car at $63K and loaded LWB car at $82K. Nothing on hybrid but IMO it will be $95-100K.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Obviously the LWB and hybrid will bring the prices into new territory. It'll be interesting to see how it all goes, although I have little doubt it will all go well . . . very well.
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    The Hybrid will come in around $90k, with a loaded LS460 reaching the low $80's.

  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    I whole-heartedly agree with your testimony. I had numerous problems with my '98 LS that I promised myself that I wouldn't ever buy another again, no matter how reliable they were supposed to be. In a short 32,000 miles, the steering rack and both front hubs had to replaced($6k job, albeit all under warranty). Then the cluster failed twice, and then the electrical system went hay-wire. It reminded my of my 1990 Jaguar XJ VDP. Like yourself, I was completely let down on this car compared to my '92, which believe it or not, only had a bad battery and two flat tires in 76,000 miles.

    I eventually unloaded the LS for a '01 S500 which was a model of both quality and reliability, despite the reputation.

    It has to be said that not everyone is on the "Lexus is for everyone" band-wagon. May it be style or just utter disgust, it's not for everybody. If Sam had a terrible experience with the cars after spending a huge bundle over time with the company, then I would very upset with them also, which was the case with myself.

    The Lexus is a time-honored vehicle as it should be in it's own right, but it is "NOT" the perfect vehicle most Lexus customers would lead a person to believe. Up until the upcoming LS460, the post '01's looked more like a puffed-n-buffed Buick Park Avenue than luxury distinctive,IMO.

    I now drive one of the less talked about vehicles on the HELM, the A8. And very happy with my purchase and wouldn't get rid of it for any car that's out now(maybe the upcoming S8). And maybe that's a good thing.
  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    I agree that a "stripped" S500 will hold its value more than a loaded S430. Lets agree to disagree on my belief that everything else being equal, a loaded (special edition, whatever) S500 will hold its value less than a stripped S500. (I think cars are like neighborhoods: the best house in the neighborhood won't do as well in terms of value as the average house; everything reverts back to the mean.)

    Incidentally, the air suspension is so problemattic on Range Rovers that companies offer kits so you can remove the darn air bags and go back to shocks and springs. You can do the whole retrofit for about 2K less than the cost of fixing the air bags. Do used S Classes have major trouble (i.e., expensive repairs) with their air suspension?
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    The S-Class air-suspension is pretty rock solid, in fact one of it's greatest attributes. However, some early ABC-equipped cars were prone to failure. This was fixed during the '03 redesign. My ABC-equipped S65 suspension never had to ber serviced or anything of that nature, despite my rather "enthusiastic" driving habits.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Yeah mine had a little card inside too with the local dealer's info, couldn't really do much with that info! I've wasted enough of their time over the last few years driving cars that are 2 to 3 times the price of what I'd be able to buy from them!

    Idol, I agree totally. While I like your choices for the winner I think I'm going with Ace. He just had a bad week. Hopefully that is what it was. Yeah anything forget words to a song you're gone that is as bad as dropping the mic.

  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484

    Top 10 Lists See all Top 10 Lists

    Top 10 Cars With the Best Residual Value for 2004
    By Erin Riches
    Email | Blog

    Want to buy a car that really holds its value? If resale value is important to you, these are the cars likely to depreciate the least during the ownership period. Below we show the percentage of its original value that each vehicle is likely to retain after five years with an annual mileage of 15,000. Keep in mind that the residual value percentages are based on the national True Market Value® (TMV) price, plus typical options and destination charge. A quick scan of our list shows that import nameplates rule when it comes to retaining their value, Viper and Corvette excepted. Beyond that, it's clear that luxury nameplates hold an edge as well, though the lineups of non-luxury brands like Honda, Toyota and Volkswagen are also well represented.

    Porsche 911 — 57%

    Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class — 53%

    Acura NSX — 52%
    Dodge Viper
    Honda S2000
    Mini Cooper

    BMW Z4 — 51%
    Nissan 350Z

    BMW M3 — 50%

    BMW 3 Series — 49%
    Honda Accord
    Honda Civic
    Volkswagen Jetta
    Volkswagen New Beetle

    Acura RSX — 48%
    Chevrolet Corvette
    Lexus ES 330
    Lexus GS 300
    Lexus GS 430
    Lexus SC 430

    Mercedes-Benz CLK55 AMG
    Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class
    Mercedes-Benz SLK32 AMG
    Toyota Camry Solara
    Toyota Celica
    Toyota MR2 Spyder

    Audi TT — 47%
    Infiniti G35
    Mercedes-Benz CL-Class
    Mercedes-Benz E-Class
    Toyota Matrix
    Volkswagen GTI
    Volkswagen Passat

    Acura TL — 46%
    Acura TSX
    BMW 5 Series
    Mazda RX-8
    Mercedes-Benz CL55 AMG
    Porsche Boxster
    Subaru Outback
    Toyota Camry
    Volkswagen Golf

    Jaguar S-Type R — 45%
    Lexus IS 300
    Lexus LS 430
    Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG
    Nissan Altima
    Toyota Avalon
    Volvo XC70

  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Curious. 911 went from top gun at 57% to below 47% in one year? Or is it just absent from the listing for 2005? Or maybe their discounting which just started around 2003 has something to do with it. CLK is up there from 04 to 05 but it’s not discounted, right? I’d like to see a comprehensive list, not just top/worst 10. The listing seems inconsistent from 04 to 05. Too many questions.

    I haven’t watched much but I like Mandisa. Even if she doesn’t win, I think she has the most talent… knows how to bend those fundamental blues notes, plus her degree is in music, sings professionally and has that passionate gospel-rock background. I could care less if she’s had a few too many slices. She has the kind of demeanor that I think helped Carrie Underwood win it. And remember, Dorothy singing “Over the Rainbow” is the number one song in movie history... the ingenue racks up points. Yep, Kevin needs the hook… very puzzling.

    Ljflx... I was disappointed with the Sopranos... thought they laid it on a little too thick... far fetched. This is probably a stupid question, but is Tony gonna make it? I don't think it's necessarily a lock.
  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    Lots of us HELM forum readers/posters are closing in fast on 60 or are already on the wrong side. Let me pose a question. For a car nut like most of us, what is the best Last New Car?

    Allow me to narrow the range of alternatives. Lets assume that at this stage in your life someone else is handling your boat towing and snow plowing chores, so no pickups, however luxurious. Lets assume further that your kids have moved on (apparently though this is not the trend) and your Irish Wolfehounds have died. So no large SUVs. Lets assume further that you need/want AWD or four wheel drive to get down to Walgreen's to pick up your meds, no matter how bad the weather. Because you are going to buy this car just before you retire and it is going to be your Last New Car you are going to spend a few bucks so you can enjoy your lifetime of hard work and keep it for 10 or so years. Minor reliability problems may or not be of the same significance they were when you were working 65 hours a week and bringing in a car for service was a major hassle. Status concerns may or may not be as significant as when you were taking customers/bankers/vendors to lunch. (Although if you were single and 70, you might be better off in a HELM if you were trying to get something going with your best friends's widow.) Depreciation rates may not be of importance (who cares what your estate may get for it?). Running costs such as fuel, insurance, maintenance will be of concern because of your now fixed income. (Before you quickly think that an E Class diesel is the way to go, re-read Habitat1's post of a year or so ago on this.)

    Whaddya think the best Last New Car is?
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    "Ljflx... I was disappointed with the Sopranos... thought they laid it on a little too thick... far fetched. This is probably a stupid question, but is Tony gonna make it? I don't think it's necessarily a lock"

    I agree on the episode. But if Tony doesn't make it than there's no show. Chase is also playing with us. The whole story about the guy - who came from nowhere - and wants to go to Florida was about his own real life situation. He was the guy that wants to abandon the show and Tony was HBO saying there's no retirement in this business. I think we see Tony in intensive care having dream sequences for a few episodes while his "family" fights for his position as leader and some even plot to kill him in the hospital (Godfather takeoff). This is just my opinion - I have no news on this. Anyway best scene of the opening episode - The Lexus GS cutting off the guys after they ate in the restaurant. Did you see that handling!
  • warthogwarthog Posts: 216
    Easy. Carrera 4 if no back seat is required; 530xi if it is. Caveat: even if you don't need the backseat, you might still choose the BMW if that widow you're courting can't get into the Porsche. Screw the fuel economy--this is the HELM board.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Curious. 911 went from top gun at 57% to below 47% in one year?

    Here are the LATEST projected depreciation values, and, yes designman, the 911 is in the top group. Notice the Lexus LS is only mid point.

    Here it is, straight from the source:

  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    With cars like Mazda3, Civic, Scion tC, and Chrysler 300 haveing average depreciation, along with Lexus LS and S-Class.

    Frontier has 5-star resale value?

  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Whaddya think the best Last New Car is?

    Lordy, that’s a depressing thought. The final ride is the Subterranean Bobsled, but I ain’t ready for that yet. I’ll answer the question with this. Which car did you want as a kid? Well, go with the current version, gift your estate to the kids, max out the credit, and drive west into the sunset. Suddenly I have this vision of Thelma and Louise…

  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    But if Tony doesn't make it than there's no show.

    I don’t know. There are lots of creative ways to go about it. Sylvio, Christopher and Carmela could wind up on Boston Legal for all we know. And Denny could be sharing a room in hospice with Uncle Junior. Merc and Oac could be the next Google.

    THESE are the days of our lives! (I miss Oac)

  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    That’s more like it. But curious is the Boxster which is rated high in Edmunds 04 rating and only 3-star with the 06 ALG. Anyway, I could care less, it’s one of the best, most tossable driver’s cars around. Furthermore, I paid $14K under MSRP for my new leftover with the full warranty. They take a hit in the first model year, then stabilize. Paid 42 for my S and could get at least 32, two-plus years later. IMO best bargain on Porsches are the leftovers or 1-year used. Never buy a Porsche early in the model year.

    If you have a passion for old Porches, and lots of people do, that’s where the best opportunities are. Porsche rules. Screw MB, screw BMW and screw Lexus. Just kiddin’ guys... can you tell which car is close to me heart?

    Compared with reliability, I think depreciation is overrated. As a matter of fact, all of this coffee-klatch junk is overrated. Go with the car that floats your boat. It was good to hear Sam excited with his new S.

  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Poor Jaguar only managed a 2-star rating across the board. The XJ as a lightly used buy is pretty hard to argue with though. In 2 years, $35-40K of value simply evaporates into thin air.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    can you tell which car is close to me heart?

    I think I may have mentioned to someone here recently (maybe it was you) that I had the very first '97 Boxster, because I placed a deposit three years before it came out. I just recently sold that car. I loved it, even though it needed more power, which the S provided later on, but man, could that car turn a corner into a straight road! My previous 911 Carrera Targa is the car I should have never parted with, but I didn't want to fix the syncromesh problems it had. In hindsight, I wish I had fixed it.
    The new Cayman looks terrific, IMO.

    Anyway, the other thing I wanted to say in response to the other post was that picking up a recent Jaguar XJ as a model leftover or as slightly used is a great way to get so much car for the money. There are really few situations like it. As I look at the big picture, I believe that history will show that right now is one of the best times to get an XJ. Of course a prerequisite is that you need to appreciate the car, and it often seems to be a love/hate relationship when it comes to Jags. Of course that is understandable, considering the way the '03 and prior cars have too often betrayed their owners with a serious lack of reliability and dependability. That's why the the new generation XJ's ('04 and forward) represent an unusual historical window of opportunity, that won't last, IMO.

  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    It's really interesting to see that the '06 Caddy DTS' projected value loss is right up there with the big boys: M-B S,SL, Lexus LS among other import brands. The Caddy also beat-out Jaguar XJ, Lincoln TC, and Audi A8. And the good part about it is that it is the one of the best values out there. In fact, would've bought one if the DTS would've been RWD instead of being a nose-heavy fronter.
  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    What do you mean, "screw the fuel economy.."? A 911 C2 gets an easy 26 mpg. The C4 maybe a little less. If someone couldn't get into a 911, they wouldn't get a ride home.
  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    Very interesting list indeed.

    The big 3/4 pickups that the dealers have to discount the most because nobody is buying, get a four star rating? The GMC Yukon gets three stars whereas its sibling the Chev Tahoe gets 2 stars? Even Edmunds TMV rates the Tahoe as having higher resale. I won't even get into the fact that the now 9 year old Saab 9-5 of which there are STILL some new '05 left overs around gets a four star rating. An old time used car guy would laugh his head off at these.

    Who did the ratings? GM accountants? Anybody who relies on these ratings is going to wind up like the GM stockholders last week after they announced the books were cooked.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Tagman, good post on the XJ buying perspective. If you have a passion for a car and want to keep it for quite some time, the depreciation bargains play right into it. The bad thing about the Jag is that the depreciation curve seems steep and steady. It makes a beeline to absolute zero over the years. The great thing about Porsches is that the depreciation curve stabilizes and there is considerable value and demand for them down the road. Sedans—nada!

    Yes, I recall reading your post about your Porsches. I can’t begin to tell you how much I love driving the Boxster S. I love 911s too and am thinking of getting one. Don’t ask me which one because I love many of them. The pickins are great both new and old. Porsche buying is a sport in itself. If you know what you are doing you can get a lot of pleasure out of older Porsches and give up very little or nothing in depreciation.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    A 911 C2 gets an easy 26 mpg.

    Hmm, I don’t know about easy. I’m pretty sure you’re looking at pure highway driving in 5th and 6th gears.
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