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High End Luxury Cars



  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    I, too, find it odd that Toyota would style the Solara to resemble the SC 430. That being said, don't forget Lexus will soon have its own styling direction that will be different from Toyota. This will set the groundwork for the launch of Lexus in Japan in the next year or two.

    The first model with the exclusive new Lexus "look" will be the new GS going on sale in about 6-7 months. Hopefully it will be shown at the Tokyo Motor Show at the end of October.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    No matter what the new GS looks like, you can be sure that some rabid MB fans will claim that it copies MB.
  • fennfenn Posts: 197
    Thanks for asking.....I traded my 2002 Q45 for a new 2004 Jaguar XJR about two weeks ago. I was impulsive and went for the new XJR's 390 hp. power, along with its superb handling.

    After much thought, I decided against getting another Q45, which will be much the same in 2004 as my 2002 version, so I looked around. I narrowed my choice to the '04 Audi A8L and the '04 Jaguar XJ series, but I briefly considered the BMW 745 too...

    At first I was going to get an XJ8, since the new '04 XJ8's are really nice cars, especially at the $59,500 base price. I was surprised to find that the new XJ8 is quick, and handles extremely well. However, I ultimately gave in to the allure of the supercharged XJR, which can rocket from 0-60 in 5 seconds. Better yet,I am getting about 17.5 avg. MPG out of the supercharged 390 hp. V-8 engine because of the new Jag's light aluminum body and frame.

    I should mention that I think that the Audi A8L is a beautifully executed vehicle. The build quality, and interior is the best I have seen...It is a great grand touring sedan, but it feels like a big luxury cruiser compared to the sporty quickness and acceleration of the XJR sedan.
  • Sorry if I offended anyone, especially a brand new car owner.

    On the other hand, bashing can liven up a board. This is the first I'm back on Edmunds, since they shut down a board where Nissan & Honda owners were really trying to run each other over.

    Don, congrats on your XJR. I've seen quite a few new XJ8, none of the new A8. Audi probably will still have problems selling its excellent sedan.

    What do you think of new 6 series? I think it's the Z4 frontend grafted to 7 series backend. Hideous! And believe or not, I'm partial to BMW.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    Best of luck with it. You got a great deal. How do you rate it vs your Q experience. Also what kept you away from the 745. I drove the A-8 and found the ride too harsh. One of these days I'm going to get around to driving the 745 though. A friend of mine who was in one said it had an excellent ride.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Come on now the Crossfire looks like a CLK, but the new 04's LS430 doesn't take any styling cues from the current S-Class in it's facelift? Its a little bit hard to believe you really think something like that. One view is obvious and the other isn't even close. The LS430's tailights for example, why a clear lense treatment like the S-Class? It's ridiculous and was done for no other reason than to look like the Mercedes.

    Chrysler and Mercedes "mixing" isn't going to cause MB to loose any buyers. In case you haven't noticed, Chrysler is using the old platforms from Mercedes, and the Pacifica isn't built on a Mercedes chassis. Chrysler is having the same problems they've always had, slow sales due to a bad reputation for quality in the recent past, and in the case of the Pacifica, it's pretty expensive for a Mopar product. So far they haven't done anything that a Mercedes buyer will care about. But you're right if they did the unthinkable and shared C, E and S-Class hardware with a Chrysler there will definitely be a problem.

    As for the "passion" viewpoint...we should probably agree to disagree there too because you're still talking about a silky smooth ride as being something passionate. What you're talking about is your priorities (can't argue with those) when buying a car, not passion. If the LS truly had any of this ("passion") you'd be talking about how it drives and feels compared to how it rides. I guess I can understand how you'd be passionate about a car, especially an expensive one like the LS430, but I can't see why. Why is it that a magazine only cares about a racetrack one minute (i.e. when they put a Lexus down), but in other instances when they don't like an A8 (C&D) they're oh so right about everything.

    Now I see you and DonnFenn feel that Maxhonda nor I aren't allowed to discuss this because we don't own own a Benz or Lexus. When all else fails thats whats ususally said. I don't need to own a Lexus to know what kind of cars they are, or whether or not they appeal to me or any other person that calls themselves an enthusiast. I really don't need to own one to have an opinion on their styling either.

  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    The Crossfire has an MB look. You don't think so? Even the NY Times auto section yesterday showed a front page picture of one with the headline "Can you find the Mercedes in this picture". Ordinary car buyers usually aren't sophisticated about platforms and the like. They look at something and draw conclusions from it. In the case of the Crossfire I'm sure they'll see an MB front-end in it - just like the Times did.

    I never knocked the A-8. I drove it and experienced the harsh ride the reviewers talked about in the magazine. Thus all I said was I could confirm their experience. Inside that car is wonderful and outside I like its looks and it has the best paint I've ever seen on a car.

    Now on the LS430 they wrap around the clear light panel in the tail light amd that makes it a copy of the new S. You are kidding I hope but even for you that is a very far stretch.

    DonFenn made a simple observation that you are reading too much into. But in a simple translation it means the bashers should put their money where their mouths are.
  • The New Pacifica is built on a Mercedes Chassi.
  • I'm just chirpin' in here. I don't think the 04 LS430 looks like the S Class in any way. The front reminds me of the RX and the GX. Styling is very subjective so I guess everyone is open to his or her own interpretation.

    I can see a bit of Mercedes in the crossfire. The front at least. The rest of the car though, Imo, has no resemblance to any Mercedes.

    Isn't the Pacifica built on the next Gen. M Class platform?
  • If the mercedes and the LEXUS LS 430 look so much alike I would think you would love the car..The interor is much better excuted, the nav. and music systems are better and the LS is FAR more dependable....Hmmmmmm

    P.S. You never did answer my question...Have you ever driven an LS 430.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Now here where you and I differ the'll take what the NY Times says about a car, styling no less, as something gospel, yet people who test cars for a living don't know what they're talking about. No I don't think the squat, short, bubble back Crossfire looks like a CLK.
    Lots of cars have big grillework today, Chrysler, Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Maybach, Jaguar etc. If a person can't tell a Crossfire from a Benz they're automotively challenged to say the least. The NY Times is NOT an automotive publication. You have the classic way of calling them "autorags" when they say unfavorable things about Lexus, only to say that they are right on the money when it comes to other cars and their faults. Thats a double standard.

    "Now on the LS430 they wrap around the clear light panel in the tail light amd that makes it a copy of the new S. You are kidding I hope but even for you that is a very far stretch."

    Well let me as you this then...why do it if it looks like your main competitor? Its silly. The reason I came down so hard on the car is because someone across the street from me has a 04's LS430 with manufacturer plates on it, so I was able to get a good look at the car. If you honestly don't think the 04' model's changes aren't at least influenced by the S-Class, then we're much further apart in opinion than I ever thought possible in the what 4+ years I've known you. You nor any other Lexus owner, fan, supporter etc can come up with an functional reason why the LS430 has to take it's styling cues from the past and current S-Class cars. It's done to confuse the issue between the two cars. Again, I don't have to own any of the cars being discussed here to see them and comment on their styling, I didn't say anything about their technical status or other characteristics that would require me to actually own the car.


    The Pacifica is NOT built on a Mercedes platform, it's built on a version of their minivan platform, that platform being modified to the point of almost being all new. The Pacifica has nothing to do with any Mercedes.

  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    I don't work for Toyota or Lexus so I don't need to defend them. Plus I think defending a modification to a tail light that is so incredibly minor would be crazy. But everything Toyota touches seems to turn to gold. They may not be the biggest auto manufacturer out there right now but they are the most profitable and the most powerful so they certainly know what they are doing. I'm glad I'm not competing with them.

    Now the Times simply said - find the MB in the picture. I don't even remember if they said the Crossfire (to which they gave a positive review) looked like a CLK. But they put the accent on the front in the picture and all that was missing in my opinion was the 3 pointed star. I don't think the car looks like an MB from the side or rear and personally I think it looks awful from those views. I hardly take the Times word as gospel. They are the people that preferred a Maxima (the old one) over an LS430.

    I haven't seen the 2004 LS430 yet. I was told they arrive on September 26 so needless to say I'm surprised you've already seen one. But I did get an advanced brochure in the mail and it looked like a modified 2003 to me. I didn't see any current S-class influence at all and in fact had to ask on the LS board what the change was to the tail light - to which lenscap, I believe - gave me the answer. So we do indeed see different things. Heck even a Benz owner said earlier he didn't see any similarities. I see a 2004 that looks like an awesome car and not one that took any cues from the current S-class.

    I hope that car across the street is not going to haunt you.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Oh I agree, Toyota is the most feared automaker around today, with their quality and production systems...they're pretty much unstopable. Everything they do doesn't turn to gold however, the current IS300, GS430 and others haven't exactly been a raging success. There are some on other boards who love to point out who dependent Lexus is on SUVs for sales, I don't really subscribe to that being a weakness because SUVs are hot, but it is true. Some companies are in better shape than others when it comes to competing against Toyota. What Toyota's Lexus will probably never do is create a following comprised of people who care about the other aspects of owning a car, besides reliablity and stereo systems. Believe it or not those things aren't the end all of car ownership, as European car popularity soars in this country. On paper a Lexus would be perfect if they added some excitement to the driving experience and styling. They more or less have stated that they intend to do just that. There is another NY Times article being discussed on the News and Views board that says that Lexus' VP said that BMW is now their target. You can imagine what the enthusiast crowd thinks of that one.

    If you truly don't see where the LS430 has been influenced by the previous S-Class and the current one with it's 04's update then thats a wrap. I still maintain that there is no reason why a Lexus' tailights have to look like a Mercedes' when Audis, BMWs, Jaguars, Infinitis or Cadillacs don't. The whole theme of the car is that of a Mercedes, especially in the details like wheels, lights etc, I guess I don't see how anyone can not see this. I want to you look at the car and person and tell me that you don't see these things.

    The car across the way is gone...

  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    Last post of the day for me. I don't dispute for a second that it took cues from the previous gen S-class just the current one. But I also think that other than no other Lexus copies MB. I know you feel otherwise so we'll just disagree on that.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Actually the LS is the only model I see as being as close to a copy as possible, the others not.

  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
      I can agree with you about the LS looking similiar to the last generation S class. As much as this trend annoys me, I still have to agree with the others in saying that the current S class and the new 430 don't have similiar styling cues.

      While we're on this topic...Don't you all
    think the exterior cues are converging across automakers? Footie posted a picture of a Ford Taurus and E class some weeks back, and there was some resemblance. With the exception of Jaguar, I don't really see a nice looking design out there.

    MB used to make some awesome timeless designs with their SL and old S classes of the late 80's. Lexus' first designs (LS, ES, SC) were great, but they've resorted to "borrowing" styling cues from MB as of late. (With the exception of the RX). BMW's 7 Series isn't bad, but the back of it just looks too "busy" for me.. What do you all think?

  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    Glad I'm not the only one that sees similarities in MB and the Taurus design. I see it in both the S and now in the new E, which in reality is a 12inch shorter S-class.
  • fennfenn Posts: 197
    So many car styles are derivative or similar. Check out the rear of the latest Honda Accord Coupe....The tail lamps and lens design look like a Mercedes. I am not suggesting that Honda was out to do this, but since the wedge tail light design is a common theme, there are bound to be similarities in the way that many tail lights appear.

    I do not see a physical resemblance between the Crossfire and the MB either. The silhouette, the front end, and the rear fascia are not the same. I doubt that anybody at Daimler Benz does either, as that was not their intention.

    While the big Lexus may have originally been somewhat derivative of the MB, I do not think that folks at Lexus are currently trying to clone MB's in their styling studio. I also think that Lexus build quality on the LS 430 is better than the build quality of the recent S class generation.

    BTW, I think one of the worst copy cat designs was the older Mitsubishi Eclipses, which look sort of like a Ford Probe or a mini-Firebird.
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    I've always felt the 1990-1994 LS was fairly original and a timeless design. You wouldn't look at it and think it was a MB. (That's why I still keep my '92), but over the years, they've definitely resorted towards taking cues from the S-Class. From the gated shifter to the profile of the Old S-class, Lexus hasn't been very original with LS430. Here's a quote from a Car and Driver Issue when the LS430 came out,

    "It seems Lexus has fired the "Seiko" designers who designed the original LS, ES, and SC and brought in the Rolex knockoff artists"
     Before the Lexus owners on this board cry foul, I own 2 LS cars, a '92 and a '02 LS430. Even I have to admit, there is some truth to this quote. However, like most Lexus owners I feel I'm getting a higher quality car and a better ownership experience at a lower cost.

    Most people my age don't care about 0-60 times, Indycar like handling and other sports car cues. The LS430 caters to the 45-50+ age group very well. They gave us a very comfortable car, with the latest in high tech wizardy and bulletproof reliability/service. And yes, if we want to pretend we're 20 again, we can stomp on the V-8 and get a very satisfying response..

    All you Lexus owners, is the above a fair characterization of what we want?

    Your thoughts would be appreciated,
  • fennfenn Posts: 197
    sv7887 said "Most people my age don't care about 0-60 times, Indycar like handling and other sports car cues. The LS430 caters to the 45-50+ age group very well. They gave us a very comfortable car, with the latest in high tech wizardy and bulletproof reliability/service. And yes, if we want to pretend we're 20 again, we can stomp on the V-8 and get a very satisfying response.."

    OK, I am in that age range too, and I like my sedan, but I also like to drive it hard at those times when I have the open highway or a mountain road without traffic. Any of these cars, which offer a 0-60 time in under 6.5 seconds should feel quick and responsive when you stomp on it.

    I felt that my '02 Q45 was quick enough to keep me ahead of the pack, but the XJR that I am now driving is a real thrill. There is something about driving a sedan that is faster than most sports cars, which makes me feel younger than I really am...LOL.
  • - 1.html

    read this on the Pacifica. The Suspension is a mercedes E-Class Suspension.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    You Lex guys can't see the details refinements made to the 04' LS430's tailights and headlamps/fenders that bring it closer to the current S-Class, but you can think a S-Class or E-Class looks like a Ford. Ok. Right. You all haven't even seen the car in person yet right?

    This theory about cars all starting to look alike for whatever reason is an excuse when it comes to the luxury class. A Jaguar doesn't look like an Audi, nor does a BMW look like a Mercedes, basically they all have their own look, even Cadillac and Infiniti have discovered their own identity as of late, basically everyone except you know who.


    The link you posted doesn't work. However all new generation Chrysler products are going to share some Mercedes-Benz hardware, including the Pacifica. But there is a big difference in using a whole Benz platform, of which Pacifica does not. The Crossfire is the only one to do this, so far.

  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    I read the opinion somewhere, maybe on these boards or maybe in a autorag, that the SL takes some styling cues from Ferrari.

    What do people think?
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    Syswei - I think MB fans (not really the owners) want to think MB is nothing but original in everything they do. Now Merc1 thinks it is LEX people that want to draw comparisons to the Taurus and MB. But it is starting to be said in a number of places including the autorags that always seem to prefer BMW first and MB second.

    Merc1 - two things:

    One - there is a big difference between saying a car looks the same/copies another car vs saying it lifts a few styling cues from another car. I have no doubt that MB lifted some styling cues off the Taurus but that doesn't mean the two cars look alike as a whole. Plus - once they do it once they end up doing it three times because the C and E are replicas of the S. The Taurus with its revolutionary style 10 years or so ago bothered the Europeans because they thought they should have designed something like that first. You talk about the MB taillights as if they are sacred yet they have the same shape as those of a Taurus and that is just one of the similarities I see. Today the car that is bothering the Europeans - a lot from what I've been told - is the Cadillac Sixteen - another car they wished they had designed first. Let's see if they go in that direction in the next several years.

    Two - It is inevitable that platform and part sharing between MB and Chrysler would develop and will now go deeper and deeper. It is the only way to justify the acquisition financially. They are in business to make money rather than please enthusiastic fans. They have two choices - cut costs via platform sharing which also lengthens the depreciable life of capitalized expenditures (sorry for the accounting jargon) or divest of Chrysler. Since they are already proceeding quickly (now) down the sharing path - after tons of infighting in the executive hierarchy about it - it's obvious there are no divestiture plans. That's business.

    Finally I think the most original company out there is BMW. But the BMW and Jag grills always looked quite similar to me. I'm not really sure who got there first. As well the new 6 series looks like a Pontiac to me. Maybe it is impossible to design unique cars these days with all the brands and models that exist. Even the Maybach has a very Lincoln-like grill.
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
     You've illustrated my point. I don't think anyone who's driven a V-8 powered Lexus would call it sluggish in any means. Sure, the handling isn't indycar like, but who cares? It's not like we drive on the Autobahn everyday.

    Of course this is an objective thing, and when you drive a Supercharged Jaguar, I can see why you'd want to step on it..One more question, how's the XJ treating you? Any of those new car gremlins Jaguar used to be known for? I'm thinking about getting a plain XJ within 2 yrs and that's the only thing that is holding me back.

      Don't you think you're streching abit in saying the LS430 looks like a new S class? Your fanaticism is quite entertaining. Yes, I've seen the E class in person. and it does bear some resemblance to a Taurus. (I'm not saying the cars look EXACTLY the same here) If you were to tell me that the LS430 is borrowing it's cues from the OLD S Class I'll buy it.

    Changing the marker lights to clear and extending the headlights makes the car look a little more aggressive. It's just a slight touchup. The RX and IS have clear lights too. Are they copying Honda? No...Don't tell me that MB is the first and only Automaker to put clear strips on their tailights..As for Lexus styling..

    Okay, the LS takes cues from an OLD S class but what about the rest? The RX, ES, GX, GS, LX and SC are their own designs. While people say they're bland, they are still Lexus designs. The ES, GX, and RX don't borrow from anyone and they are the newest ones. I have no idea what the 2006 LS will look like, so the jury is out there.

    Happy Motoring,
  • fennfenn Posts: 197
    These drawn out, highly subjective, debates over styling and it's lineage are beginning to seem more than a bit silly to me. I do not think that 2004 freshening of the LS430 was a deliberate Mecedes copying effort. To put such a focus on the Lexus' revised tail light lens seems a bit absurd. I walk away from debates over politics and religion at cocktail parties, and I am going to walk away from any debate over styling with a certain Mercedes fanatic.

    As I mentioned earlier, take a look at the tail light lens of the newest Accord coupe if you want to see a Mercedes look-a-like. Was Honda trying to make the Accord coupe look like a Mercedes Benz....I do not think so.


    I actually surprised myself when I began to consider the new Jaguar. Jaguars were never my interest, and the old XJ8 was too cramped for my 6'3" frame. I initially only went to look at the '04 version as a curiosity seeker. Upon my first test drive, I was really impressed with base XJ8's feel and responsiveness at basic city driving speeds. To me, the base XJ8 felt more fun to drive than the base Mercedes S430, the BMW 745 and my former '02 Q45 in the normal 0 to 45 mile per hour city driving. The drivetrain and it's gearing offered responsiveness that felt great for such a big car. It felt quicker and smaller than it is.

    Then I got seduced into going for the XJR after taking it on a test drive. The wonder of this car is that the drivetrain and six speed tranny make this car so driveable in city driving, but the Supercharger makes this thing scream when you need it. The power and handling set up went beyond any other sedan I have driven in this price range. Of course. the XJR is not cheap at $75k, but compared to the other cars in this class, it drives like a fast sports car. From it's performance stats, it is a better comparison to the much more costly Mercedes S55 and the big 12 cylinder Beemer...Although I think that the XJR is still a bit quicker than either of those cars too.

    I am not yet sure how this car will hold up, but so far, so good..... Problems....? Well, my adaptive cruise just went inoperative, but that is a component issue. The dealer ordered a replacement cruise module. By the way, my father also just got a new XJ8 and his car is trouble free this point. We shall see how they both hold up...
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    Agree. The copying issue is getting rather boring.
  • Audi Le Mans is simply gorgeous, but I see resemblance to VW R two seater concept! Won't surprise me if the same team did both.

    Audi Nuovolari (?) is sensational too, just the aesthetic opposite of 6 series. Amazingly I'm starting to like the new Audi grille!

    Now only if VAG can do the really hard part, make their cars reliable, they'd be unbeatable!
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    Take a look at the Mercedes Vision CLS revealed at the Frankfurt Auto Show yesterday. That front end sure looks a lot like the current Lexus ES 330.
  • fennfenn Posts: 197
    Those new Audi designs are great.

    I think that Audi executes some of the best designs, and their current interiors are the highest quality. The new A8 interior is close to perfection. I preferred it over my new XJR's.

    By the way, Mercedes makes some great cars, and has been one of the most respected and hallowed automotive icons, but the concept that Mercedes has the holy grail and Lexus and all others are out to steal it, copy it, and clone it, is a bit overblown ----if you ask me.
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