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Luxury Performance Sedans



  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    Ha...I usually avoid tight spots and back into most parking slots using the automatic drop focus side mirrors. The 2005 RL specs show a turning circle of 39.7 feet about 3.5 ft larger than the 2004. Yes close-quarters maneuverability is not the strong suite of the RL but I am used to it because my previous car was a TL with the same turning circle.
  • The 2005 RL specs show a turning circle of 39.7 feet about 3.5 ft larger than the 2004.

    I miss the tighter turning radius of my 99RL - harder to maneuver in my office parking garage. However, it's not a big disadvantage and is more than made up by the other benefits of the 05RL.
  • frisconickfrisconick Posts: 1,275
    I have recently become very interested in MB because of the exterior styling. However, I am very concerned about reliablity, I don't want do spend a down payment on a house, and have a car in the shop all the time. :cry:

    Any MB owners out there to help me with thier experiences?
  • Hey, if it breaks down, you could always live in the car rather than the house you didn't buy for the sake of the car. Of course, you might have to have it towed to a state park or the local Y if you want to use the rest rooms/showers. ;)

    Economics 101: Opportunity costs.
  • Some candidates

    BMW 3-series
    Infiniti M
    Lexus GS
    Lexus IS
    M-B CLS
    Toyota Avalon

    What other autos to include and who will win?
  • bdr127bdr127 Posts: 950
    I guess it all depends on what the criteria for "winning" is, and how the criteria is weighted.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I thought MT didnt do an "import of the year" anymore? I admit I havent read the magazine in a few years though.
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    Go with your the MB

    Life's too short! ;)
  • kfhmailkfhmail Posts: 199
    You are right...MT no longer divides the cars into domestic or import...all are judged/tested together.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    It really no longer makes any sense to have an "import" award anyway. What is the definition of an import these days? Accord, Altima, and Camry are all built here in the US. Are they imports? Are Mexican or Canadian built Fords or Chevys domestics?
  • Where do you go find out production and sales #'s on cars?
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 63,005
    Trust me.... the winner is whoever buys the advertising package that comes along with the award...

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  • The trade magazine "Automotive News" has monthly figures on sales, by model.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    If you're concerned about reliability, get a Lexus GS. It might not be as classy, but it will get you home, every time.
  • hendjazhendjaz Posts: 155
    "get a Lexus GS"

    I might do this when the GS 450h comes out next spring. After a short time in our RX 400h, can't wait for what the Lexus hybrid performance approach will do for the GS. Hope it comes out with a bit better performance suspension as the 400h has, with 18" wheels and tires standard. Great torque and accleration on demand may really bring the GS up a couple of notches in the LPS evaluations. Fingers crossed anyway.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The 450h actually doesnt make a lot of sense to me. If Lexus had made it AWD then yeah, great idea. But its going to be RWD, just like the GS430. Acceleration should similar to the 430. Its supposed to cost more than the GS430, but I dont really see any advantage other than fuel economy. If it was using the 4.3L V8 and HSD to make a 375hp+ GS500h or something like that for $65K or so then that would also make sense, but they arent doing that either. Having both the 430 and the 450h at once seems very redundant. Also, what happens when the 430 is replaced by the 460? Where does the 450h fit then, if its supposed to slot above the 430? I dont understand Lexus' logic with this car.
  • Lexusguy: when do you figure Lexus will introduce the GS350--next spring, alongside the 450h or next fall, presumably when the 460 debuts? When the 350 comes out, do you think they'll drop the GS300, or continue it, as BMW does with its, say, 525 and 530, etc.?
  • From my own personal experience I would only go with the Benz if the dealership is very close to where you live or work. Better yet, some form of personal reference regarding their service department would also help.

    My 2001 has had LOTS of problems...I have a stack of service records several inches deep. The thing that is maddening is that it's as if (at the time) they had no quality feedback loop. The w210 version was introduced as something like a '97. That's 4 iterations and it still has had all the same bugs everybody talks abou ton this forum. Luckily, with the approx 12k mile service interval you can just pile up the issues and have them address them when you are in for scheduled maint (as long as the problem isn't severe like a leaking transmission x3 or BAS/ABS failure, etc).

    My dealership (that I've grown to despise) is a 50+ mile round trip. If it were 5, even after my experience, I'd consider it again. As it is. No way. Bring on the LS460AWD.

  • I've been putting in super since day one, now at a bit over 5,000 miles I am trying regular for the first time with a fillup yesterday- after 40 miles, no noticeable difference. See the below. I use my car primarily to commute to the office, no racing or any type of high performance driving.

    • How thirsty? GS 300 RWD is rated 22 miles per gallon in town, 30 on the highway. GS 300 AWD is 21/27. GS 430 is 18/25. Premium fuel is necessary to get advertised power. Regular is OK but cuts horsepower 2% to 6%, Lexus says.
  • I'll be in Munich later this month (Oktoberfest, don't you know?) -- and it will be perhaps my 20th visit to Germany. I almost always wander into a couple of car retail outlets whilst I'm "in country."

    I have found that -- based on MSRP -- Audis and BMWs and Mercedes retail prices are closer THERE than they are here.

    Earlier this year, I moaned and groaned about the lease price differential between an A6 and a 530. The 530 was (and remains) more from the MSRP perspective. Then -- 7 months ago perhaps -- the lease per month on a thousands more 530 was over $100 less than an A6.

    Subvented leases, bumped residuals, etc etc etc aside, at MSRP, the BMW 530 and the Audi A6 3.2 shows the Audi at a several thousand dollar advantage IF you option them as closely as possible. The disparity widens if you attempt to configure "option identical" Audi A6 3.2's vs BMW 530ix's.

    Yet, when you go to Germany and price cars, the prices are closer together -- depending on how you look at it, Audis cost more or BMWs cost less.

    Go with this for just a second. Politics aside, Germans and Americans are "modern" countries. We have similar access to information and products. And, we have similar wealth that would allow us to acquire LPS cars with an eye toward preference rather than mono-vision favoring the least cost product.

    So. . .I saw this:

    LPS sales (for August) numbers for Germany:

    Total LPS cars sold: 15,723

    Audi A6 = 5,739
    Merc E = 5,601
    BMW 5 = 2,749
    The rest = 1,634

    The rest = Lexus, Jaguar, Saab, Volvo and a cast of plaster.

    In the US Audi or Acura seem to fight tooth and nail to see who can be last on the list.

    Using the basic rules of price's ability to effect demand, wouldn't you think that since Audis are closer in cost to their German cousins IN GERMANY than they are here, that Audi would be at even a greater disadvantage over its rivals?

    Once again, I wonder how much of Merc and BMW's market penetration and performance is due to the number of retail outlets?

    Who knows how many Audi, BMW and Mercedes dealers there are in the US?

    Inquiring pea brains want to know. :confuse:
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    Do you know the YTD sales of those cars in Germany?

    More than # of dealers (although I suspect this has to do with it to an extent), I honestly think that it has more to do with "brand" image in the US.

    1) Americans LOVE luxury brand names. MB and BMW has a much higher status cachet in the US relative to Audi.

    2) MB and BMW, relatively speaking, do not have the brand status in Germany that they have in the US. In Germany, people probably don't differentiate THAT much between Audi, BMW and MB in terms of status. All three makers sell a LOT of decontented, downmarket cars in Europe, like the A class, etc.

    3) The A6 is the newest model out of the 5 and the E. Domestic (in this case German) shoppers tend to go for the "newest" thing out.

    4) I would think that because of adverse weather conditions in Germany, the fact that most A6's are Quattro gives it an advantage over the 5 and the E, most of which are RWD.

    just my 2 cents
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "MB and BMW, relatively speaking, do not have the brand status in Germany that they have in the US."

    I believe you're right. Surprisingly they have that brand status in Japan.
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    And Asia in general. They love MB's and BMW's over there.
  • ksomanksoman Posts: 593
    I agree with jrock.

    I think outside Germany, the brand image of MB & BMW far outweighs Audi. Heck I've friends who live in UK who clamor for the E rather than either the 5 or the A6...

    As such you see far too few A6 sized cars in europe, compared to the state-side. They are much more into the 3's and C & A4 & A3's... You do see a heck lot of A3's though, don't you?

    As an A6 owner, though not the latest avatar of it, I'm simply not passionate about it's ownership. I like the overall wholesomeness of the entire package, and i think the interior is far more personable than most others despite the irritating excess of buttons and switches. However, it just doesn't make me passionate about it. Now of course, if the plethora of things that break doesn't reign in anytime soon, i'm looking to boot the thing out of my life.

    on the other hand, i'm irritated as hell by the little issues and the # of trips i have to make to the dealer for the 3 series convertible. i'm pissed by the gremlins in my car. it also has a fairly boring interior. but man the delicious drive... now that's a car that makes me smile, just by firing up the lovely inline 6 engine and oh la la, the drive.... yumm yumm good.

  • I won't bore you with the whole story but I own an '03 SL500. Most wonderful car I've ever owned. Most unreliable car I've ever owned. Local Sales Manager sympathized with me and called the car **expletive deleted** yet will do nothing to satisfy a 20 year customer. Regional Manager made promise to repurchase car and reneged. Same manager made promise to make payments for time car was in service. Reneged.

    Prior to that owned a '00 CLK430. Not as unreliable as SL but still had plenty of visits to service for electrical problems.

    When the current version of the C-Class was introduced over 30 percent of it's owners reported significant electrical problems within the first year of ownership.

    The prior version of the ML-Class was the worst car Mercedes-Benz has ever put on the road. My local service advisor indicated that they could run a profitable service shop working on ML's alone. There were few of those vehicles that made it any significant time without electrical problems, window problems, and air conditioning problems.

    The last E-Class? Sumptuous ride, wonderful materials, and for the most part very classy. Reliability? Ask the many frustrated E owners and you'll know the answer.

    For almost three years now M-B has stated that they understood that they needed to return the quality of their vehicles to the standards they had set the previous 90-odd years. Long term reliability tests have not indicated that they have effectively done this. Rather than an improvement in quality, '04 vehicles actually showed more problems per vehicle than the '03's.

    Perhaps the greatest indignity and the one I found most amusing was former CEO Jurgen Schrempp's adventure in attempting to drive back to the office in Mercedes-Benz's home city of Stuttgart. Mr. Schrempp found that the navigation system misguided him three straight times in his attempt to get to the office. It's sad that the navigation supplier couldn't manage to get the info right for M-B's home city, and it's even sadder that it took Mr. Schrempp three times to figure out it was wrong. I'm afraid the company has suffered from this same inability to recognize significant problems for some time now. It pains me to make these comments because I've respected what this company has done and had great experiences with M-B autos prior to the last two. I for one, however, will no longer pay premium prices to be their beta tester.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I would be curious to know how the A8 does in Germany vs. S and 7. In most areas of the world the A8 seems like it is the unwanted step child ridiculed by the BMW and Benz, no matter how good the A8 actually is.
  • I picked up my new M35x this weekend. Got a very satisfying deal from a highly classy dealership in NJ. I have only driven it home and docked in the garage. I will continue to use my '00 Maxima until I am ready to part with her, a loyal and faithful partner for five years. I know the M will be a dramatic improvement to my Max, but my love for Nissans (had '90 240SX and '79 280Zx first car ever) led me to choose over the soft Lex and Accordesque RL. I know my choice is best and can't wait to roar up and down my block day after day in my new M. Infiniti has separated itself from the other boring brands in the LPS market and is superior to its BMW and Merc competitors. It will take a carmaker like Porsche or Mazrerati to make a car to compete with this new M.
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    I believe Porsche and if I may correctly spell Maserati for you, are in a class that the M can't touch and they have already made hundreds of cars that M can't compete with...IN MY Opinion.
    And also, you might find some others in this forum that believe their LPS choice, quite to the contrary IS not boring. I personally don't like the Infiniti design and would choose Acura, BMW, Lexus, and even Audi over Infiniti...but again IMO.
  • You are entitled to your opinion.

    I looked up the word, "hooey," to make sure it applied however.

    It does.

    I ordered an "M35X" because at the time I felt it was of very high value and the Audi A6 3.2 was priced out of touch with reality and there was no 530xi at the moment.

    The M35X is a fine car, perhaps an excellent or great car.

    I would be happy to have one. It was my second choice, however.

    Your choice IS best for you. The "M" has hardly separated itself from the the other "boring" brands -- indeed IMHO it is the poster child for "boring" (in terms of its styling.)

    Superior? Well, while I am certainly NOT against the M35X, I would have to say that the Acura RL, Audi q, BMW x, Mercedes 4Matics and even the Cadillac STS (AWD) are not bad cars. These cars, in many respects are more similar than dissimilar.

    You should enjoy your car, be proud of your car and I hope the ownership experience is fantastic for you.

    Perhaps rather than declare the rest of us LPS owners of something OTHER than an M as having chosen "inferior" cars, you could regale us with stories about your vehicle without resorting to blanket statements.

    OK, so the M isn't boring to you -- and I already said I would take one -- but there are quite possibly others who will have strong disagreement and will fight tooth and nail the statements such as the ones where their choices have been put down.

    The LPS cars we discuss are not carbon copies of each other, but in terms of their overall features, functions and driving experience the differences are real and are subtle.

    I know that my Audi A6 3.2 is the best and it has separated itself from all these other lesser cars that have the audacity to claim LPS status. Or words to that effect. See? :shades: (Oh BTW, that last bit: just kidding!)
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