High End Luxury Cars

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  • kappamankappaman Member Posts: 47
    Listen to merc1. Try them all out. Thats the only way you will know which is best for you. They all have their own charms, good and bad features. I've found that I have enjoyed something unique in each brand that owned(Mercedes,BMW,Lexus and Jaguar). I've also found that they all have maintence problems,some less than other, but it has been pretty even actually. But then again every car has something wrong with it.

    Although I presently on Jaguars, I would recommend the new S-class to someone in the market for highline luxury cars. My reason is that it is the only newly developed one in the pack. You can try it while waiting to see what Jaguar, BMW and Lexus will do next. Actually, the new Lexus LS and SC will be out soon, but if you buy the Benz you buy the original not the copy(Lexus).
  • automophileautomophile Member Posts: 780
    Since you seem to like performance with your luxury, you might consider the Audi 2.7t or 4.2. Speed (VERY fast), handling, confort, the world renowned Quattro drive, and a gorgeous interior that many feel is the best in the industry. It's worth a look!
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    Monday was a real "car" day in my area. I say this because after I had passed everyone through a stoplight I found myself all alone at the next light, or so I thought. The car that pulled up next to me was none other than a BENTLEY ARNAGE RED LABEL. (He was the old $millionaire$ type, cigar and all) This was the longest red light I had ever been in. Finally the light turned green and naturally the Bentley just kind of wafted away from the light, I proceeded to get into the left hand lane to make a left turn while still looking at the Arnage pass up to the right, and by the time I came to rest in the turning lane a Mercedes CL500 was flying in the opposite direction(!). This was straight out of a commercial. Unbelievable. This was the first time I have ever seen the CL on the street. I was starting to think Mercedes was lying about selling this car, but they are out there. Oh well just thought I'd share that. Then their was the time that a F355 Spider blew past me in Applebee's parking lot, but that is another story.

    M
  • kappamankappaman Member Posts: 47
    Test drove one at Lokey Mercedes in Clearwater,Fl. They are the only dealership that I've seen that has one to test drive. You have to get there before 5pm though. The manager drive it home every night an on some weekends. I've also seen two on the road and one or two Bentley's and Rolls,new ones.

    I enjoyed seeing a new DB7 coupe on my way to Orlando the best though. Even though it really the same car as my XK8 coupe, it was a rare treat.
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    What did you think of the CL?

    M
  • kappamankappaman Member Posts: 47
    The CL500 is nice as hell. I most admit the new S-class is growing on me, but it can't touch the CL500. The car is just the right size, the interior is nice(not as strange as the S)or as plain as the old S, and the design is really nice.

    As far as the ride is concerned, the S-class has it beat though. I felt a little shake in the steering column. I notice things like that in cars. My XK8 does the came thing sometimes. It may have something to do with the tires, I don't know.

    Would I trade in my XK8 for it? Yes. Maybe one day, but not yet. I need a little more time in the Jag.
  • budfox057budfox057 Member Posts: 2
    thank you for writing back w/ so much information. i agree that the test drive is the best way to determine what we want. merc1 i don't understand when you mentioned that bmw is notorious for changing the car in the last model year..please explain. and thank you both for writing..p.s. i'm a stockbroker thus the name budfox..my e mail is: [email protected] if you would like to say in touch..thanks again!!!
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    Hold off on trading in for the CL coupe, I believe their is a CL cabriolet coming in a few years. I think.

    Budfox057,

    Ok this is how they do it. The 2001 7-Series just went on sale, and it has body-color molding and trim now plus more standard equipment....even though the car has about 16 months to go. The did the same thing in 1995 with the 5-Series. The upgraded it for the 1995 model year and then the 1997 (no 1996 models were made) model came out spring of 1996. I like the way they do it personally, they wring everything they can out of a design before changing it, and the customer almost always benefits from this. Have you driven any one of your choices yet?

    M
  • kappamankappaman Member Posts: 47
    merc1,
    not going to trade in the XK8 yet. I need a little more time in the Jaguar. The convertible CL500 does sound good, but I like coupes more than convertibles. I can see a CL500 in my future.

    gstutz,
    I had a 95 740il. I think its the best all around luxury car on the market. Hopefully you will not have the electrical problems I had. Looks like you got a good one.
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    I wish I could see into the future that way. I see "only" a C320 in mine, or maybe an M3 or 530i. Don't know yet.

    M
  • kappamankappaman Member Posts: 47
    I really like the looks of the 2001 C320. Looks just like the S on the outside, but the interior look nicer to me. I would go with the C320 over the M3 or 530i myself. Newer, fresher look.
  • skuldorskuldor Member Posts: 1
    I'm sure this sentiment has been aired before, but let me vent: the new S class has none of the panache or "Mercedes-ness" of the old. My lease is up on my 1996 S320 and I am FORCED to look at a new 740iL or Jag....But perhaps I will opt for a 98 or 99 S320 or 420 with low miles. The only problem is that so many other Merc owners who are disenchanted with the Mitsubishi-[non-permissible content removed] Toyota-[non-permissible content removed] Mazda styling of the new "S" are also on the prowl for the old body style. There is a now a shortage of "old" S's!! Who'd a thunk it?
    Ah well, we'll have to wait a couple of years for headquarters to figure it out and bring back the Mercedes we all love to be intimidated by.
  • kappamankappaman Member Posts: 47
    My wife told me to tell you that you're her new friend. She ready dislike the new S too. I bought her a S320 a few years back. She went from their to the 740il and now drive the Jaguar Vanden Plas. So, I know a little about all these cars. The 740il is the best around luxury car made to me, but ours had a lot of electrical problems. The Jaguar Vanden Plas is something special. We call it our "Baby Rolls", and as far as reliability is concerned, we had more problem out of the 740il than we do with the Jag. No really many problems with the Jag at all to tell the true.

    We look at the new S, and just can't do it. We are fairly young too, but the retro on the big Benz does quite work. It remind me more of the 740il. The old problem you have in my mind is that the BMW and Jag are both going to change styles in the new year or two.

    Anyway, happy hunting.
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    I can see this view point on the new S-Class. It is shapely and dazzling where as the old car was stodgy, upright and intimidating. I still want the old car too. I'm hoping that the S55 and S600 will add some of that old goodness to the S-Class line. For me a 1996 S420 (before the new 1997 wheels) would be perfect, or maybe a 1994 S500.
    The new one just lost that imposing, larger than life aura of the old car, but the new S is gorgeous though!

    M
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    I have narrowed it down to the C320, 530i (will have to see what the facelift will look like) and the M3. The M3 will be a stretch because of insurance (for my age) and price. 45K is my limit, and the M3 is supposed to start at 45K. If my company's stock doesn't improve I'll be looking at a C240 or 328Ci.

    M
  • kappamankappaman Member Posts: 47
    Talk to manager at a Benz dealership that I've know for years. He is talking about getting a C320 for himself.

    Do you mean BMW 528i, and didn't they just get a facelift a couple of years ago?

    If it is the 528i vs C320, that a hard choice actually. I think I would go with the C320 though. Newer design, more room than old C, and you save $10k
  • hello26hello26 Member Posts: 62
    I thought I was the only one who wasn't impressed with the design of the new Mercedes flagship.

    I don't like the interior. LS400 laser light- show-[non-permissible content removed] Ford F150- [non-permissible content removed] Spaceship Mercedes.


    The exterior is very modern. In this case I don't find that to be good.
  • hello26hello26 Member Posts: 62
    While I'm at it let me say I think the LS430 is ugly. Fake new S front combined with Toyota Avalon.

    I think the problem is there is nothing original anymore. It seems probable that styling relates to material. When cars were metal design had to do with the characteristics of metal work. In this plastic world everything looks melted.
  • mcgowan1mcgowan1 Member Posts: 16
    Perrmit an older, wiser, and somewhat pragmatic auto critic to make an observation.
    As I read this topic it occurred to me that there are two kinds of people who buy these kinds of cars.
    Type 1. Those who seek status because they can afford to indulge.
    Type 2.Those who seek status and really can't afford to, but somehow manage to find the wherewithal to create the impression.
    I honestly believe that we hear most from the latter in this topic.
    Sincerely hope I haven't stepped on anyone's toes.
  • monterreymonterrey Member Posts: 4
    Any thoughts on the difference in snow handling between the A8 and the 740iL or S420 (all with stability control programs?) I want both a luxury and performance car for my 75 mile commute. Love the A8 but at $70k, it is missing a few of the luxury features I want. Also, Audi just put their stability program on, so am stuck buying a new A8 and paying the big bucks as I want this feature. Am considering looking at used '99 740iL or S420's (with stability option) instead. Certainly cheaper, but how much will handling be impacted -- it's really about AWD vs. rear wheel drive. I'd also do snow tires on the RWD.
  • quattro_pearlquattro_pearl Member Posts: 51
    Compared the A8(not L) to the 740il. Actually preferred it over teir own. They my have a web site in which the article is written.
  • gordonb1gordonb1 Member Posts: 1
    I have owned 2 740iL and been pleased with them. For a change I am considering a A8L anyone have any comments, opinions, insights, experiences etc?
  • hello26hello26 Member Posts: 62
    Only two? And they're both status seekers? Neither is a car enthusiast? My dad said I can't play with you anymore. Oh, he also said my car is better than your car.
  • quattro_pearlquattro_pearl Member Posts: 51
    Other than the one C&D performed, which a short review available in their curent magazine. I believe it's also on their website.
  • bmwaaronbmwaaron Member Posts: 16
    I've read many disputes on the LS 400 / 430 and how wonderful (and terrible) they are.

    A lexus is a Toyota, with better leather, that costs 20,000 more.

    My cousin was looking at a lexus and when we looked at the glass, it said "TOYOTA" on it, not even Lexus. That's an example of how cheap a car company can be. It's the little things that count.
    Almost got him into a BMW 540i, but instead he took the Porshe Boxter.
  • mmcbride1mmcbride1 Member Posts: 861
    Who cares who made the glass? What if it said ACME Glass Co.? Does it make the glass better if it says BMW or LExus?
  • hello26hello26 Member Posts: 62
    If you find "Toyota" it is supposed to be proof of the car's guilt somehow.

    Some think about the 1966 Corona and think this is the status of Toyota. If you look at industry global platform sharing, engine families, and parts sharing you can put the name in some more perspective.

    As to the fixation on "Toyota," I've been saying that the Celsior (LS400) is Toyota's flagship.
    It isn't.

    ES300 topic:

    #104 of 105: Crown (jrct9454) Mon 29 May '00 (06:50 AM)

    The Crown has always been their flagship car,
    intended for the corporate mucka-mucks who are
    driven in the back seat. Styling in the past couple of decades clearly is designed to appeal to the local market, and the car has rarely been sold in any significant numbers outside Asia. Think S-Class by way of Maybach...with doilies on the headrests and a bodyguard in the front seat...


    Toyota is one of a handful of companies that have the ability to make V-12 cars from the ground up.
    LS400 is the highest build quality of any car being sold in the US. You'd better research the glass, the specifications to which it was made, who made it, and where else it might be used instead of jumping on the fact it says Toyota.
  • kappamankappaman Member Posts: 47
    isn't that big of a deal, but if they want to differentiate the luxury line, they should put Lexus on or take Toyota off the glass. It does turn some protential buyers off. No matter, a Lexus is a Lexus. A high quality, reliable, plainly designed, copy of a Mercedes. It is an excellent auto,and if reliablity is what you seek in a luxury car, the Lexus is the best. On the other hand, if you want some style or/and prestige to go with your luxury, along with pretty good reliability, look at Jag,Mercedes, or BMW. No matter which one you choice, you'll be making a good choice. They all hold something unique to themselves.
  • bmwaaronbmwaaron Member Posts: 16
    All I meant by the glass comment was that if they are such great cars, and status symbols, they could at least make glass that has the same name as the car. Even Acura and Infiniti have glass named after the car, not the parent company that made it.
  • mmcbride1mmcbride1 Member Posts: 861
    Wanna bet? My 2000 Infiniti I30 says NISSAN on the glass. Not Infiniti. And I still bought it.
  • mmcbride1mmcbride1 Member Posts: 861
    I'll bet Acura cars have Honda on their glass, too.
  • bmwaaronbmwaaron Member Posts: 16
  • mmcbride1mmcbride1 Member Posts: 861
    So you saw the "special" Infiniti. I see.
  • automophileautomophile Member Posts: 780
    It says "Toyota" because the Lexus is a Toyota in Japan where it is made and in most of the rest of the world. It is only a Lexus in the USA to escape import restrictions, the same as Infiniti and Acura. Also - Toyota is probably the maker of the glass.

    Some auto glass says "PPG" (Pittsburgh Plate Glass)or "LOF" (Libbey-Owens-Ford) - 2 of the largest suppliers to the auto industry. Does this mean that the the cars that use it are cheaper or less good in some way? I don't think so.

    Sounds like Lexus-bashing to me!
  • kappamankappaman Member Posts: 47
    Its not really Lexus-bashing(which I have good reason to do because of my Lexus experience), it just may make some folks think, "why should I pay and extra $20k for a car that says Toyota just like their Camry". Regardless, Lexus has done and will do well in sells. They are here to say and are a needed segment of the car market. I think they are for the most part excellent cars. Wish my experience would have been better. I doubt I'd ever buy another one.
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    Response from earlier post. The 528i will become the 530i this fall with the 225 hp engine from the X5 3.0i, 330i and 330Ci models. I also expect the 5-Series to get a facelift too, being that it will be in its 5th model year. So it will most likely be between the 530i, M3 or C320.

    M
  • kappamankappaman Member Posts: 47
    They usually do facelifts ever 7 years like Jaguar. Mercedes usually 7-10. It would be nice to see some clues early as to how the really new 7-series will look.

    Don't know man, that a hard choice. A 5-series is very nice, but the new C-class look very interesting to me. Personally, I would rule out the M3. Good luck on choicing this one.
  • mmcbride1mmcbride1 Member Posts: 861
    While I do understand your POV, I personally don't think it is a big deal at all. It's not the glass that makes a Lexus better than Toyota or Infiniti better than Nissan. If someone is just looking for the name plastered all over, they should buy something else. For those of us who bought because we love the way the car looks and drives, it is a non-issue.
  • kappamankappaman Member Posts: 47
    And you are right...for you. Some would see it differently. Lexus is a great car for the most part, but for some potential buyers Toyota one the window can be a turnoff. Anyway, good luck with your Lex.
  • mmcbride1mmcbride1 Member Posts: 861
    But it's an I30, not a Lex...
  • kappamankappaman Member Posts: 47
    Sorry, good luck with your I30. By the way, I really like the look of the new body style and the commercial too.
    Anyway, the only person that a name on the windshield matters to is the potential buyer. If you don't care, then its all good.
  • hello26hello26 Member Posts: 62
    The $20,000 comment I didn't think was worth a response. I think the point is that there are Toyotas and there are Lexus and there are rebranded Toyotas (as Lexus). There is no Lexus Crown. There is no Lexus Echo. For Honda there is no Honda NSX. Look at the car, any car, and don't get hung up on the badge.

    Since we are talking about these cars Lexus ES300 is a rebadged Toyota Windom and not Camry. How many times have I told you grasshopper. In fairness to the gentleman Windom and Camry share parts "less than 25%. " The glass might be one of those parts.
  • hello26hello26 Member Posts: 62
    BTW, how many interior parts did the Edmunds review identify as being made by Lincoln?
    How many whole engines in Jaguars are made by Ford? SAAB 9-5 is platform sharing with Opel and Saturn. Some Hondas are made in Canada of Canada, US, and Japan parts. If people are going to be "turned off" by this they better stop buying cars.
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    I think you getting facelift and makeover mixed up. I consider a facelift to be what Mercedes did to the 2000 E-Class over the 1999 model. A makeover would be the change from 1995 to 1996. The 5-Series will get the equivalent of what Mercedes did to the 2000 E over the 1999 E. Why would you rule out the M3? Curious.


    M
  • hello26hello26 Member Posts: 62
    Hey merc1. I've waited a week for you to answer the questions (even though I've figured out one of the answers already with the correct spelling:)-
  • kappamankappaman Member Posts: 47
    If the Lexus comment doesn't deserve a response, then why are you responding. First of all, I was merely commenting on what some people actually say. I have owned 2 Lexus product(ES & SC), both had Toyota on the glass. Wasn't that big of a deal to me. Understand, I do not hate Lexus. Even though I've had bad experiences with them, I revere them as a auto manufacturer. Its not that serious.
  • kappamankappaman Member Posts: 47
    For me the m3 is not that special. Looks just like a regular 3. That the same problem I have with the m5. I need something strikingly different for all that extra money. Speed is cool but I like to cruise more and have power on demand. I speed rarely in my XK8, it for show and comfort moreso.

    Now, the 5 vs. new C-class is a hard one for me. I could think of many reason to choice one over the other. The facelift thing I understand now, so I guess that give the 5 one more point in my mind.
    Good luck in your decision.
  • benjaminsbenjamins Member Posts: 56
    Agreed. Nothing feels as solid, stable. However, I feel Mercedes feels a bit hard because of this. Doors or hefty, controls are higher effort. There is a silkiness in a Jag or a Lexus that is missing in the Mercedes. Mercedes, for that reason, always feel like high speed trains (or how high speed trains should feel) to me. BMW's do also, not as hefty.

    Mercedes age well. For me, Mercedes make sense in Germany, at ultra high speeds. But for me, there is stiffness in the car, well oiled stiffness, but a bit of it is there. I like Audis, seem less stiff and I actuall find the fit and finish best of all German cars currently.
  • benjaminsbenjamins Member Posts: 56
    Ok, fine, maybe the Lexi look like Mercedes and copied them from without. But what about within? That's where you are when driving or being driven in them. Mercedes and Lexus look and feel nothing alike from within. Lexus looks and feels, and always has, decidedly Japanese. Soft Japanese textures, Japanese hues and colors, Japanese egonomics, switch gear etc. My complaint about Lexus is that there is still too much Camry evident in their highest quality cars. They don't quite look rich enough, but they sure feel wonderful.

    The cars also differ suspensionwise and how they work out the important things. To me, so what, if Lexus copies Mercedes to some degree. Inside Lexus is very much Japanese, if not necessarily distinctive Japanese (although I feel the GS series is more distinctive within)
  • scongroscongro Member Posts: 80
    my .02 on this auto glass crap...

    First of all, if I am in the market for a new luxury car, I dont care what it says on the one inch of glass. Second, all three luxury cars out of japan ALL have their parent company names on the glass. Third, they probably thought it was a waste of time to put "Lexus" on the glass, since they would need the glass on a Toyota anyway (hence in Japan). They probably thought that they could spend more time, let's say, building a better car?

    BTW, in the "Early" years of Lexus, they had both Lexus AND Toyota on the glass.
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