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Lexus GS 300/GS 430



  • "Take it from me you people in these forums have no clue as to what turns on the typical Lexus buyer."


    I'm glad that you said that and I totally agree. I have a 2001 GS 300 that I absolutely love. My next car will very likely be a GS. The chance of a bigger and/or hybrid engine will definitely encourage me to wait a few more years, but I AM NOT THE TYPICAL BUYER.


    No offense to you all, but the bread and butter of Lexus' business is not from people who sit and chat on Edmunds discussion threads. It took me a while to realize this, but no matter how educated you become as an entusiast, it doesn't make you the "norm" and does not make companies market to you.
  • hfanghfang Posts: 31
    I think he makes a good point about the horsepower, 0-60 times, etc and the typical Lexus buyer. When you look at our hospital parking lot, a good 20-25% of the cars there are Lexi - and definitely more than BMW, Audi, MB, Acura, Infiniti, Toyota, Honda, etc. And from knowing many of the owners well- they could care less about horsepower and 0-60 times. Most of them don't even know how many horsepower their ES/GS/LS/RX's have. All they want is a comfortable ride, a luxurious interior, and reliability/safety + some measure of prestige. That's it. My wife wanted an RX330 simply because it looked good, rode well, was pretty luxurious, and is reliable- all for a "reasonable" price. My sister just bought an ES on Saturday- for precisely these reasons. Neither of them have any idea if the RX is faster than the MDX, ML, X5, G35, 330i, etc- and they really don't care-
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    They are all roughly similar. The Pilot\MDX have a displacement and power advantage, but the Highlander and RX are featherweights for the midsize SUV class, and that makes up for it.


    "The residuals will be so bad they won't be able to give the car away."


    As bad as the G35s? Last time I checked, its residual values are VERY strong, and they thoroughly beat IS300's. NO automaker is invincible. Lexus will continue to sell more SUVs than any other luxury maker, but performance cars is something Lexus has yet to figure out how to do.
  • hfanghfang Posts: 31
    And that's because of the cars we're talking about. I'm sure that M3, Z4, C6, Boxster, AMG and Audi S/RS owners all know every "statistic" about their cars- but that's not who the ES/LS/GS/RX are competing against. My sister (age 30) test drove the G35, TL, and 325i (about the same prices), and said, it's no contest, the ES330 is the most luxurious, comfortable and quiet, and is plenty quick. End of story. Lexus is competing for people like my sister- fairly naive about auto-technology who simply want a comfortable/fairly luxurious means of transportation. G35? "Too loud", bumpy ride. TL? "Too loud, bumpy ride, prefer wood on dash instead of aluminum". 325i? "Too expensive for what you get, too small, and RWD- not good in chicago winters. There was no consideration given to horsepower, displacement, whether there's a new engine coming out, etc-
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Lexus has never had trouble selling ES300s to women. The problem they've had is getting people who actually LIKE the 3 series and 5 series to drive a Lexus. The GS is not an ES. If it doesnt have the performance cred, it will get crushed, just like last time.
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    "Mercedes .BMW,Infinity are all light weights in the real world."


    LMAO. You really can't be serious. Infiniti is a lightweight maybe. But MB and BMW lightweights? Now I like Lexus products and I think MB and BMW is overpriced, but this is seriously insane.


    "They don't have any interest in the new M"


    Is this what you said when the G came out?


    ".. The residuals will be so bad they won't be able to give the car away."


    Naa... The residuals will be good. Just like the residuals for the G35 and FX, which are at or near the top of the class.


    "You will see Lexus within the next 5-7 years dominate to the point of annilation all the competition."


    Maybe, maybe not. True, Lexus SUV's sell like hotcakes. But historically, they've only had 2 successful sedans, the ES and the LS. One of the reasons that the ES sells well is b/c it really has no competition from luxury import makers. No other import luxury maker offers a cushy boat like the ES in that price range. Don't get me wrong, I like the ES. But it is what it is.


    What the LS has done is very commendable. It was able to take on the S and the 7 and outsell them.


    BTW, your "You guys know nothing, and I know everything" attitude really doesn't work around here, especially when your comments are so biased. Good zealous loyalty to Lexus though, they must like you as a salesman.
  • hfanghfang Posts: 31
    I think it's almost impossible to have someone who enjoys the 3/5 series to also want a Lexus ES or GS. Part of the enjoyment of the 330i is hearing the engine, feeling the road (a bit), having true steering feedback, rowing the gears yourself, etc, whereas the ES330 buyer probably just wants isolation, a quiet and luxurious cabin, decent performance and a solid chassis. It's almost impossible to please both types of people. That's why I've pretty much given up on the single "perfect car"- instead, bought a used GS400 last year for everyday rush hour, crappy weather driving, and looking for a used boxster/Z4/S2000 for more spirited driving. Total cost- less than a new GS430- but sure as hell more fun. I think it's the only true (but expensive) way to satisfy all needs-
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    BTW, I agree with the notion that the typical Lexus buyer doesn't care that much about hp. And I think the GS will sell pretty well... and so will the M...
  • pearlpearl Posts: 336
    I completely agree. As a BMW owner, I think the Lexus wannabes are a total JOKE; however, that said, BMW has done its utmost to destroy its brand with the Bangleized styling and idiotic techno baubles. Frankly, it is really too bad that Lexus did not jump on the opportunity to stomp on BMW/Mercedes by offering a serious engine upgrade at the inception? Yeah, I hear all the stuff about being "BMW-like" and offering engine upgrades during the "refresh" years, but that is STUPID AS HELL when your immediate competition (not BMW) is kicking your butt with 3.5L engines with 40 more hp and .5sec0-60 times. As a previous poster said, most Lexus owners don't care about this stuff, but I do, and so does the majority of the "enthusiast" market. I will drive a new GS300, but would be stunned if it was that much "better" than many other marques. If Lexus offered the 3.5L up front, it would not be such a question, but I am not going to buy a car to save 1mpg. Infiniti and Mercedes will hit on the new GS300 sales numbers. Count on it.
  • But the majority of buyers in this price range are married.


       And whether the guys want to admit it or not, when it comes to buying a car as a married couple, the man WILL buy a car that his girl loves, and he likes. It is a compromise. Unless they can afford two seperate $40k cars, which is not common.


       Guys buy BMW. Girls dig Lexus. Manuals and firm leather, and dark interiors. Or wood trim, soft leather, velvety rides.


       Guys appreciate the value of a Lexus.


       But they want to DRIVE the BMW. That's all.


       Considering the fact that this forum is mostly car GUYS who don't own these cars, but would like to, the commentary reflects these DESIRES.


       In a perfect world, Lexus would make a car that plays like a BMW, but coddles and endures like a Lexus. They haven't gotten there yet.

    A man's Lexus. Not something a man will appreciate. Something a man WANTS, and feels passionate about.


       Another problem is the "Passionate pursuit" slogan remix. It brought false hope. Lexus hasn't shown a commitment to building any car that evokes passion.


       It looks like the IS is our last shot for a while.


  • adb3adb3 Posts: 112
    This latest turn of the discussion has hit a chord with me. Lexus in general has never marketed its brand toward the "enthusiasts" per se. The only models that one can argue that lean that way are the GS & IS, IMO. But through its history it seems that Lexus has mainly targeted the mainstream consumer who wanted a little prestige with their luxury but also wanted to pay a reasonable price and above all wanted to feel comfortable that they were plunking hard earned dollars on a vehicle with top-notch reliability.


    I currently own a GS3 & RX330. I bought the 330 off the boat, sight unseen because I knew that this was a "bread and butter" vehicle for Lexus and figured they would do everything required to keep it ahead of the pack. The rest is history--best selling luxury SUV ever and top-notch ratings from Consumer Reports and the like. I've got 30,000 miles on the 330 with no major problems and it rides today as it did the day I picked it up. It's not the fastest or considered to have the best driveability characteristics, but it's good enough for me and a whole lot of others. Nuff said.


    This is my second GS. The first I leased and it was a great car throughout. The second I purchased at the end of my lease through the pre-owned certification program primarily to tide me over until the "new" GS arrived. BTW, its true GS sales have waned the past two years but I partly attribute this to the fact that GS consumers knew a new GS was coming and partly because of the GS rock-solid reliability--so many owners hold on to their cars for extended periods. It's quite interesting that for at least the last two years the GS models are the top-rated mid-sized luxury sedans as reported by J.D. Powers, hmmm.


    Well I've heard all the arguments about the new GS that its not powerful enough or not sporty looking enough or it looks too much like a Altima or Maxima. To each is own, but as for the looks, I've seen it in person and I say don't believe the negative hype. IMO, this is one good looking piece of machinery. I'd already put down my deposit and will receive a new GS430 off the first shipment to my area, but seeing it for myself confirmed my instincts were spot on again. Again, it may not be the fastest or the most driveable but for my money it embodies the best combination of all the attributes I want in a car. Nuff said.
  • rroyce10rroyce10 Posts: 9,359
    .. **but the bread and butter of Lexus' business is not from people who sit and chat on Edmunds discussion threads. It took me a while to realize this, but no matter how educated you become as an enthusiast, it doesn't make you the "norm" and does not make companies market to you.** ....




                 You hit the nail right on the head....


  • That is one impressive ad for the new GS in C&D this month!


  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Interesting read on many posts here lately.


    Talking about pricing for the new GS RWD twins at $50K and $57K, saw an ad for the M45 which topped out at $56,9K with the Sport/Premium Package (exl. destination charge) making it a-wash vs the GS430 price-wise (no head-to-head performance eval yet). For an Infiniti, that is pretty high considering you can get an LS430 for another $5K more. Granted the M and LS markets to different clientele, BUT, when you are closing in on $60K, clienteles are not that many and can be far choosy.


    For the price and prestige of an E500 would you buy the Infiniti M45 ?


    For the price of a 545i would you be in an equally-priced Infiniti ?


    I guess we'll find out soon enough how much market share Infiniti will steal from MB/BMW in this sector.
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    An apples to apples comparison would compare a Non-sport M45 w/ Journey and Tech packages ($54,000) vs. the $58,000 GS430.

  - - ction2=&__action3=&state_token=2%3A17%3Ainfiniti%7Cmco%7C- - - 2006%7C1%7C85D4fg%2FvPA%7CAAAAAABAEA%7CAAAAAAAAEA%3A22202&.Cu- - - rrentState=MiniConfig&unselectVehicle=null&lc=true&pr- - - =%240&ti=%240&dp=%243%2C000&ir=6%25&tm=60&lpr- - - =%240&lti=%240&ldp=%243%2C000&ltm=36&lty=15%2C000- - - +mi%2Fyr&TrimLevel=2


    The Premium package includes stuff like DVD Rear Entertainment System and power reclining heated rear seats with climate controls, things that aren't on the GS430. Nor does the GS430 have a Sport version that offers active rear suspension. The Infiniti dealer said that very few M's with Premium Package will be sold.


    A similarly equipped 545i is $63,600.

    A similarly equipped E500 is $66,000.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594


    What I am trying to ask here is if Infiniti has reached the cache level of the MBs, BMWs, Lexi, to charge ~$60K for a non-premium full size lux-sport car in the M45?


    BTW, I think you'd agree that there is an uplift in pricing based on brand recognition/cache/ whatever you call it... And Lexus/MB/BMW have all earned the right to charge high for their products. Infiniti has nothing in the high-end market to bring $60K buyers in to their dealerships.


    Talking of buyers, the demographics for the Lexus, according to Clements, are 40+-yr-olds, male, with household income >$150K. This will be the same demographics for the E320/500, 530/545, GS4, M45, A6 4.2, S-type 4.2, etc...


    This is the backdrop to my question if Infiniti can succeed with the M45 pricing close to $60K with such fierce competition. I do agree that the M35 is aggresively priced and will be a screaming bargain if under $42K LOADED.
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    "What I am trying to ask here is if Infiniti has reached the cache level of the MBs, BMWs, Lexi, to charge ~$60K for a non-premium full size lux-sport car in the M45?"


    Nope. Not yet. That's why they are priced at much less for similary equipped models.


    E500: $66,000

    545i: $63,600

    GS430: $58,000

    M45: $54,000


    Looks like a pretty representative totem pole of where the brands are in terms of cachet.


    The best selling configuration will probably be the M35 Non-sport with Journey Package, price at $43,260. Quite a few may opt for the Navi, making it $45,260.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Of the '06 GS300 has been posted. They seemed to have positive comments on the car, if a little ambiguous to just HOW sporty it actually turned out to be. They did mention though that the lightweight aluminum 6 actually feels more nimble than the 430. Interesting.
  • glenfordglenford Posts: 138
    Interesting writeup. I particularly liked this:


    "The volume seller, though, will be the $42,900 GS 300, which makes use of an all-new ultrasmooth 32-valve double-overhead cam V6 engine."


    I wonder which 2 cylinders have the extra sixth valve?
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    I've been saying for awhile that would do well to edit their articles.


    What exactly does this mean:


    "Overall the car is a hair shorter, narrower and longer than a 5 Series."


    An amazing car this Lexus- it manages to be shorter AND longer than the BMW!!!!


  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    They did mention though that the lightweight aluminum 6 actually feels more nimble than the 430. Interesting.


    And at the same time they claim that they have yet to get their hands on the 430 for a test !


    Like alpha said, a little editing would be nice.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Now this is interesting a Lexus salesman telling the devotees that they don't know what a Lexus buyer wants. Yikes, disagreement in Lexi land! Unbelievable. Mercedes and BMW the ones that Lexus and Infiniti constantly chase in several different segments are "lightweights". Ok.


    Seriously though I think Lexus is still facing a huge uphill battle with the new GS, as it really doesn't move the game on and Lexus' buyers have really shown the don't care about "sport", that much is obvious by the majority of actual Lexus owners that posts on these boards, except the rare IS300 owner. The next IS is where Lexus has the chance to make a G35-like splash into the sports sedan segment. I don't think the GS will do anything more than the previous one did, just my opinion.


  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    Shorter as in not as tall.


    Longer as in from bumper to bumper.
  • "Mercedes and BMW the ones that Lexus and Infiniti constantly chase"


    I hope that's not true, since I've owned all three and Lexus is the only one I'll buy again.
  • I am new to this board as a member but have read for months. I think our Lexus salesperson makes a good point. However, if Lexus is going to rule the world, they WILL have to appeal to the performance buyers who go to BMW or Infiniti. They cant rule the world and at same time ignore these buyers who care about 0-60 times or they will walk from Lexus.


    I am evaluating the following options based on key criteria that are important to me, which will obviously differ from many others and be carry different weights as well:


    Performance (power, handling, fun to drive)

    Comfort and convenience

    Value (not absolute price but what you get in relation to price. Hyundai is cheap, but might be low in Value)


    Looks/styling inside and out



    I am considering the GS300/430, M35/45 and a low mileage 2003 BMW 540i (later 5-series have much worse reliability, i-drive and new styling which I do not prefer).


    Here are my preliminary thoughts on these, based largely on written reports, recognizing I havent yet driven the M or GS. So tentative observations only!


    The 2003 BMW 540 rates high right now. It has superior value: You bypass the yr1-2 depreciation hit and dealer mark ups, you get outstanding performance (6.2secs 0-60) awesome handling and fun to drive, great, traditional looks, strong brand/prestige and very good reliability. It has it all, IF you can get over the idea of not buying a brand new car. Honestly, that is an issue with me as I've purchased brand new cars always. But an economic analysis I read several years ago showed that the best economic decision is to buy a low mileage one year old car and keep it til it dies. But who is thinking economics when considering a 40-60K car???!!!


    IMO, the GS300 is a little weak on performance for what you pay (lower value). That might not matter to your typical Lexus buyer, but it does to me! Don't get me wrong - I like Lexus, but am dissappointed in their price/performance.


    The GS430 at $57K loaded is OK on value given resale values of a Lexus and performance, but compared to a clean BMW540 with 15K miles which I have seen for about $42K, how do you justify the extra $15. Sure it has more bells and whistles like back up camera and Mark Levinson, but those arent among my criteria. And there's that smart economic buyer advantage.


    The M35 is also a top candidate for me. Great blend of value, performance (more than GS if you look at GS300 vs. M35 and about equal with GS430 vs. M45), comfort, style. We know Infiniti isnt considered as strong a brand as Lexus, so you have to ask yourself and be honest about how much prestige matters to you. Resale is likely better for Lexus too. I would take the M35 over the GS300 for sure, but if you want to spend $55k-$60k, then the GS430 looks better. Hard for either of those top performers to beat the BMW540 though when you weigh all the factors on paper.


    Bottom line, I am open minded on all these til I test drive the new M and GS. Let's be honest, buying cars in this class isnt a practical, economic, analytical decision, it's about what feels good. Otherwise, we'd all own 10 year-old reliable, low end Hondas and Toyotas. To each is own.
  • "I hope that's not true, since I've owned all three and Lexus is the only one I'll buy again."


    Relax. It is not true. Lexus has been the top selling luxury brand for 5 years in a row. Everyone is chasing Lexus. Lexus is pursuing perfection.
  • "The 2003 BMW 540 ... get outstanding performance (6.2secs 0-60) awesome handling and fun to drive, great, traditional looks, strong brand/prestige and very good reliability. It has it all."


    I am afraid it does not have it all. The last term, reliability, is not BMW's strong suite. In fact, BMW has some of the worst ratings with the 5 and 7 series.
  • I'm probably on the young side of the non-IS Lexus demographic. I owned a 95 3-series, 98 5-series and a Mercedes M. My 3-series was flat-bedded 3 or 4 times for electronic shut-downs, and my 5-series suffered random electronic problems as well. My Mercedes was a bigger lemon than the Chevys that I have owned, and the customer service at the dealer was the worst I've seen.


    I've had my GS for 4 years and it feels just as good today as it did the day I bought it. The Levinson audio system still blows me away. My priorities have changed. I prefer the priorities that Lexus puts into its cars and the dealer service has been great. I'll give up an aggressive ride and faster acceleration for a quite non-fatiguing reliable car all day long. That's why my next car will be another Lexus.
  • sortersorter Posts: 146
    Reliable is the key why Lexus is ahead of the BMWs, and Benz and all the other BMW wannabes. The German lovers can't really argue with that point, because they are still trying to match Dodge.


    Speaking being sporty, certainly Lexus can do better. Can anyone argue a BMW 5 vs a Toyota Supera?! But Toyota supera wasn't good for business, and a "driver car" image for Lexus isn't good for business either.


    One company can not cover all area, and can not be the ONLY company in the world. However, one that does build cars most people Love to buy, wins market share.


    Today, Most people wants a GM, tommrrow, it will be a Toyota.


    I do think, however, with the new super-car coming out in 07, It should have a different badge than Lexus or Toyota. It is time for a brand like Porsche, and not only a Lexus sub-brand like the BMW M or Benz AMG.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Just take a look at things like the controls, and you'll see how behind the times a '03 BMW is vs. the new M or GS.
  • Lexus should cultivate a niche for the GS and IS. Maybe give them a code name, like the L-Tuned concept, something under Lexus, but different. Generate a buzz about those two sporting cars specifically.


       There is A LOT Lexus could be doing better in regards to creating a more empowering image to the IS and GS.


       I could make the ads and market strategy for them, for a small fee.


  • This just hit me. Lexus isn't trying to compete against Benz and Bimmer. (Well, they probably are) but their main competitor (at least in their minds) will be the Caddy STS. Think about it. They are both eerily similar.


    -Start in low 40's


    -1 V6,1 V8 option


    -6 speed auto, no manual


    -trying to shift a bland perception of both brands


    -AWD available


    Hmm..... just a thought. But I think that the reason Lexus sells so well is because it sells to normal people. Not to say that we aren't normal, but we're sitting here talking about it. Most people will test drive, say, an RX330 against, say, an M320 or whatever and an Acura MDX. Even though the Benz has more cachet and the Acura has a better value, which do you think is more comfortable? Lexus knows what they're doing, and it isn't a SPORT luxury sedan. It's a sport LUXURY sedan.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    That philosophy works great for all of Lexus' cars EXCEPT the IS and GS. They have to try and compete in a class where luxury and reliability are not the first things on shoppers minds, and Lexus has yet to prove they understand how to build a car for these kinds of people. The GS has been around since '93, but Lexus sells more ES sedans in a year than the GS does for an entire model cycle.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well it most certainly is true. Lexus is chasing BMW in the sport sedan category and Mercedes in the luxury sedan/roadster catergories, always has and probably always will. Sure they're more reliable, but that is but one part of it. In market presence, image and product placement/acceptance in the market Lexus wishes they had a 3-Series, 5-Series, SL or E-Class level sellers in those markets to brag about, when you really really look at it, only the Lexus LS430 gives the Germans fits, and thats only in the U.S. The rest haven't even begun to make a dent as far as cars go. Secondly, Lexus whether you believe it or not openly is saying BMW is now their target in marketing, and placement of the new GS, if that isn't chasing I don't know what is. You'll hear the same thing when the new IS is shown too. Lexus has used the S-Class template right down the styling for the LS since 1990 combined with a much cheaper price for great success. To say BMW and Mercedes are lightweights is totally unrealistic and couldn't be any further from reality. Mercedes and BMW are indeed the heavy weights of the luxury car market, outside of the reliability surveys. Nobody but Buick is striving to design anything like a Lexus. You really can't mention sales, they're over 50 percent trucks at Lexus, they're cars in the sport sedan categories (GS,IS) have been duds. The ES330 is for the blue hair set, no import maker is competing with it anymore.


    Infiniti on the other hand is chasing BMW exclusively, first the G35 and now the M35/45 cars. Out of all the car makers trying to better BMW at the sport them, Infiniti is doing the best job at it too.


  • "Nobody but Buick is striving to design anything like a Lexus. You really can't mention sales, they're over 50 percent trucks at Lexus, they're cars in the sport sedan categories (GS,IS) have been duds. The ES330 is for the blue hair set, no import maker is competing with it anymore. "


    No, everybody tries to design like a Lexus. For instance, luxury SUV is INVENTED by Lexus. MB, BMW and even Porsche jump in the segment after the great success of RX.


    Lexus, IMO, does not intend to compete with BMW 5 on their terms. What I observe is that Lexus gradually makes consumers appreciate the way they view car design. True that they cannot convert hardcore bimmer lovers over night, but the trend is on.


    The GS may or may not be a 5-series killer. That doesn't matter. But Lexus as a whole will be a bimmer killer in the future.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Some of that may be true, but the problem is that has nothing to do with the GS and IS. All you have to do is read any recent press release about the GS and you'll see who the target is. SUVs have nothing to do with sport sedans. Lexus isn't even on the sport sedan shoppers lists, hence the low sales of the current GS and IS. The guy that runs Lexus has openly said that they are going for a BMW strategy, so you're really not dealing in the reality of the situation. We're talking about sport sedans here not SUVs, and Lexus is trying to do exactly that, compete with the 5-Series on their terms. Have you read the stats on the new GS. There is a brake by wire system like the E-Class and active steering like the 5-Series, if that isn't trying to compete on the Germans terms I don't know what is. Lexus has even deliberately kept the best engines out of the intial GS models so they can do it the BMW way by introducing new engines during a mid-life facelift.


    Lexus didn't event the luxury suv either. Range Rover did that before Lexus was even thought of. What Lexus did to is invent the luxury crossover segment with the original RX300. Is everyone still trying to match them crossovers are concerned? Yes. Problem is the RX isn't a true SUV, its more like tall awd wagon. The Porsche Cayenne is swiss army knife compared to any Lexus SUV. Not only will it humilate any Lexus suv on road, you can switch the tires and leave all of them except maybe the LX470 stuck in the mud.


    The target for the Porsche SUV clearly wasn't any Lexus SUV.


  • Well, all you German apologist, BMW makes the best sports sedan in the world (3-series). And that's great.


       Is a S-Class more prestigious than a Lexus LS?




       So there are your props. Well earned.


       Only one problem.


       Buying a luxury car is more than great handling, or pretty style, or prestigious heritage. That's where the Germans are weak, and will remain so. They cannot grow up, so they grow out.


       More models, trims, sub-genres. The market is changing in one direction, and BMW and Mercedes, in lock-step, stagger in another direction based on too much power, too many models, not enough service or attention to detail, and general ignorance and/or arrogance as to what the market wants. They THINK they are setting the market, but they are making things harder on themselves.


       More tech, less driving feel is starting to hurt the natural balance and exuberance their cars have for the road.


       Manual trannys (BMW) and Prestige (BMW and Mercedes) are keeping them afloat. And making 30 models apiece.


       People will always buy 3-series and E-class like people will always buy Camrys and F-150.


       The relative long-term success (10-15 years from now) and failure of the Germans lies in how well they increase the value of their cars owner's experience.


       If quality, service, interiors, value, and efficiency aren't DRAMATICALLY upgraded, they will become the next Jaguar. Great name attached to an irrelevant car.

       Merc, don't act like the E-Class is a super sport-sedan. It's fast, good-looking, not a C-Class, and holds it's value, so it sells. I don't see it winning any comparisons with great sports-sedans. Dynamically, it may be a wash with the GS!


       They need to grow up. They don't sell Miatas. It's not all about the drive. It's about the experience.


  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    You know what in reading that I agree mostly. Shocking huh?


    I for one have never pretended that the E-Class was an outright sport sedan, never. The E-Class is mid-level luxury sedan with some sport thrown in to the BMW's 5 which is mid-level sport sedan, which is why (IMO) they have long controled the market. They each know their place and give people a choice. The first GS seemed to try to target both, and the 1998 GS went after the 5-Series only to come up short. In reading the specs of the 2006 GS is seems pretty clear the 5-Series is indeed the target, no doubt. From the active steering, and the way all of the cars various systems are tied together electronically, they're embracing the same tech that the Germans have. The key will be the tuning of all this tech regarding "feel".


    "The relative long-term success (10-15 years from now) and failure of the Germans lies in how well they increase the value of their cars owner's experience.



    I agree totally because now the Japanese are discovering (well at least Infiniti is) that styling, performance, and great driving experience can co-exist with high levels of reliability. The GS hasn't made the rounds yet so we'll have to see if it matches up on the drivng part.


    For the record the E did win the last test of all these mid-level cars, and the E350 hasn't been compared yet.


    Have you read the first drive report on the GS by Edmunds? It doesn't even sound like they drove the car, real suspect.


  • Here? really? Musta mist that one. Would like more info.


       It looks like Lexus has INNOVATED (I know you hate Lexus and Innovate in the same sentence) a system (VDIM) to engineer all these nannys to work together, without making the car one big nannyburger (E-Class).


       I'm starting to grow on the GS style. I just don't understand why the Auto show cars are black (?), and why the lights are square (ish), and the hood line is jagged. Bothers me.


       And they're right, the passenger side dash needs some wood or aluminum, something.


       If the Gs is similar in weight (lighter engine), and they can knock 3/4 seconds off zero to 60, increase handling, make 17" rims, leather, wood steering wheel, etc. standard, add AWD, I can't throw make a fuss over it not having the 3.5. The comp. will all be more powerful. And HP sells in this class, that's all. It will be a strong entry at 6.7, 0-60.


       The rest works for me


  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I believe it was March of 2003 C/D.


    It looks like to me that Lexus has given a name to the same things that other cars have been doing for years, tying their stability, traction and braking controls into one system. You think current cas don't have a system to integrate all these functions together? Come on now. There really isn't anything new in the GS, but they did manage to give it a fancy new name. You think the 5-Series or E-Class doesn't have all these systems tied together? Tunning is the only thing they could do different because all the hardware is right off the 5-Series (steering) and E-Class (braking) shelves.


    You really won't know what Lexus has done until it is tested by the regular publications.


  • Everybody ties the systems together. None do it well!


       In all the reviews of the Germans anyway, testers complain about the steering is too this, the brakes lack feel, the nanny said this too me and I hate that.


       Maybe Lexus decided to get around all that? It certainly isn't the Germans.


       We'll see.


  • Where the GS was left with 16" rims, and the Q45 was invited?


        I know the GS came in 3rd or 4th,andeven they bemoaned the wheel-tire package, saying the car can do so much more with real shoes on.


       I don't know. The 5, E, and A6 were ahead. The A6 was too heavy to win, but they loved it.


       The E beat the 5?


       I have that issue here........somewhere.


  • "The 2003 BMW 540 ... get outstanding performance (6.2secs 0-60) awesome handling and fun to drive, great, traditional looks, strong brand/prestige and very good reliability. It has it all."


    Bunny1 said: "I am afraid it does not have it all. The last term, reliability, is not BMW's strong suite. In fact, BMW has some of the worst ratings with the 5 and 7 series."


    You are right on recent BMW reliability and 7-series but if you check Consumer reports, April 2004 car issue, page 83, you will see that the BMW540, 2003 model gets a better than average reliability rating and a full red circle (highest rating) on 11 of 14 categories. That's why I specified the 2003 model. The 04 and the 7 series are bad.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,328
    Yeah. It seems that many so-called "first drives" are nothing more than descriptions of a new vehicle's outside and inside.

    A rather dishonest way of "scooping a story" without really having access to drive the car.

    Even one of the "consumer" automobile websites in reviewing new cars basically copies most of the wording from the previous year's reviews.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,328
    The new GS was a beautiful silver at the Tampa Auto Show.

    Why they even bothered to show the car without allowing folks to sit in it is beyond me. The psychological implication at least for me was, they must have something to hide.
  • They want to build anticipation, make you go to the dealership and get the full treatment, the full walkaround, the salesman whjo actually KNOWS THE PRODUCT, not some flat-chested broad who goes back to the hair parlor when the show is over.


       Why buy the cow.....


  • rjlaerorjlaero Posts: 659
    Don't for the A6 4.2 Quattro.


    55k for 340hp V8, navagation, quattro all wheel drive and most every option.
  • To build anticipation, to get you to go to the dealership, get the full walkaround, the test drive, the salesman who KNOWS THE PRODUCT, not the 40 year-old secretary who's gone when the shows over. They're not selling Corollas.


       Why buy the $50k cow.....


  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,328
    Yeah. It's about time they start sending knowledgeable representatives to these auto shows. When I went to the Lexus counter, the pretty lady was too involved with a social call on her cell to pay much attention to me. When she finally finished, she rather rudely pointed to a general Lexus brochure after I attempted vainly to get her to answer a question about the new GS. Needless to say, none of the information in that brochure was useful. It's also about time that the auto makers provide comprehensive technical information brochures at these shows so if they refuse to send good people, at least they can be trained to point to a good brochure.
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