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Luxury Performance Sedans



  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,301
    I drove the GS 300 and the 430 and I really felt uncomfortable-I was trying to force myself to like something I couldn't. I got a great lease offer on the 430-but I couldn't go through with it.

    After driving the 545, the choice became rather easy.
    I got a better leasing deal on the BMW than I got on the already good offer on the GS 430.
    No compromises with the BMW. Everything just right.
    Still happy after 9 months.
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    "according to WSJ, the average transaction price for an M is higher than GS, even though GS has the higher MSRP."


    Do you have a link to this? What were the respective prices for each?
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Will it? The V8 is now stronger, but the E500 wasn't exactly slow. As for the facelift, to me it looks nearly identical to last year, both inside and out. I dont think changes only the most diehard Benz fanatic will notice are enough for it to suddenly kill the 5 in sales.
  • turnbowmturnbowm Posts: 76
    "The GS has has very little interior room, limited head room, uncomfortable seats, very little trunk space, a ridiculously placed open-close panel containing necessary controls, fussy brakes, turn it with one pinky steering, cannot perform with its peers as demonstrated in comparo after comparo, and given all that, sells at a ridiculous premium."

    Couldn't agree more! Test drove a new GS300 on two different occasions, as did the wife, and we both found it to be a MAJOR disappointment. The car did not feel solid and handling was sloppy. The wife actually preferred her ES300 over the GS300, which saved me a lot of coin!
  • mariner7mariner7 Posts: 509
    They really need to hit a home run with the Q.

    It's going to be a great challenge for Infiniti. They have not proved they can build a profitable full size luxury car yet. I read Ghosn likes to build many models off the same platform to increase profitability. I'd imagine they must have a new larger platform for Q, and what other Infiniti models can share that platform. That's why I'm still skeptical about new Q.
  • msilver1msilver1 Posts: 2


  • 2001gs4302001gs430 Posts: 767
    What the heck is this, GS bashing party? I can't speak for all the GS buyers, but these are the reasons why I bought my last generation GS:
    1- I wanted Lexus RELIABILITY and luxury.
    2- I was not ready for an LS ( My wife called it Gram pa's car)
    3- The IS is too sporty.
    4- The ES is too much like a Camry and does not feel as solid as the GS or LS.
    5- BMW 5's are more expensive to insure and own out of warranty. The current model is ugly from the side (the rear end looks sliced).
    6- Never even looked at Benz due to publicity around reliability issues.
    7- Never looked at Audi since I associate them with VW and related reliability issues
    8- Infiniti is not as refined as Lexus, and seems to cut corners in few areas.

    I am not crazy about the new GS design but I would take a GS450h model any day.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    You mentioned the 530i 6-speed sport and I assume you meant the 6 speed manual.

    However, I actually had the "good fortune?" to take a long test drive in a 2006 530xi (unfortunately it had the automatic) and then afterwards get into my own 2005 A6 (which does have the 18" wheels, but no sport suspension, but the 530xi sport doesn't either.)

    The driver's car between THESE particular two versions?

    They were both similar in many respects. The BMW did have 17" wheels and all season tires. My A6 has 18" wheels and all season tires. They both have 6spd automatics, they both have 255HP engines, they both. . .well you know the story, they compete (especially in Europe) fiercely. The A6 -- TODAY may be outselling the 530 in Europe and next month the tables may be turned (but the differences are much narrower.)

    Trying to be objective (or at least keep my subjectivity as capped as possible), both cars are great to pilot. The A6 seems a bit larger (I think it really is) and this creates two impressions. One is more favorable to the performance quotient, one more favorable to the luxury checklist. If you want a bigger passenger compartment and more rear seat room, the Audi obliges more than the Bimmer.

    Performance (two components, urge and nimbleness) differences between the two were real but minor. The BMW with 100 miles on the clock was not as "peppy" and the engine at full cry sounded like a six cylinder (a strong sound, but sort of like a home theater with a B+ sub-woofer); the Audi, with 15,000 miles on it was stronger throughout (but this could be the advantage of the miles showing up) -- the Audi's engine sounds, however, were second in sweetness only to the 4.2 V8 from the same company.

    Note: a BMW V8, which I last drove in 2002 in a 7 series, doesn't resonate (no pun intended) in my "memory" as sounding this smooth and authoritative.

    In the Audi V6, the sub-woofer was present and accounted for.

    The other performance component -- "handling" -- was also close, but the BMW seems to inspire more confidence, but the 17" no season tires were working hard to kill that confidence. The Audi isn't as soft (riding) as the BMW, but it's nose heaviness doesn't do it any favors.

    Subsequently, but not back to back, I drove an A6 with the sport suspension and higher performance tires and although the ride harshness did increase slightly, the front end heavy wallowing was largely tamed.

    The Audi interior was more inviting to the eye and the butt, too -- but like 98% of all BMW's on the road these days, the Silver BMW 5 series had a Black leather interior with "black gloss wood" adorning its dash (somebody slash my wrists, please, I get so depressed, so Goth-like in a BMW with its "starker" interior when it is done in Black on Black.)

    Anyway, here is my challenge -- ONLY if you are going down the automatic transmission path: test drive an A6 SLine and a BMW 530xi back to back (and hopefully the 530 will be equipped with the optional 18" wheels and tires.)

    If you are looking for a driver's choice, you may find either car "more desirable" than some of the other cars competing for your bucks.

    Don't count the Audi A6 Sline out as a "driver's car" that is. If, however, you want the row your own car, get the BMW -- it is the epitome of L+P+S -- nothing else, at this time, even comes close. If you are thinking of the BMW with the auto, you "owe" yourself a long drive and look see at the "other, less popular (over here) German car."

    At this point, the 530xi if it is offered next year with both the stick shift AND the sport suspension with 18 or larger wheels and tires (factory spec). . .well, it would be my hands down favorite. Moreover, if the management ever decides to offer the 530xi with the twin turbo i6 @ 300HP AND the stick AND the sport package -- well, well, well, nothing (under $60,000) could even come close.

    But, that's just my opinion, I could be wrong (often am), just never uncertain. :shades:
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    Some folks put Performance, Luxury, Control, Safety, "driver's car qualities," i.e. somewhat (even if it is a little bit) ahead of reliability.

    Some folks, some Car & Driver type editors (and other car maven magazines, too) dis the GS because it seems to place "the driving experience" slightly behind some other qualities.

    This does NOT make you wrong or them less right. You put reliability and luxury as your #1. I "assume" those who put performance (in some way, fashion, manner or regard) in "their" number 1 -- apparently -- don't go for the GS.

    I gather, by reading, the GS is "less involving" and "more isolating" [some call that luxury] than some others in the pack.

    Drive it like YOU live. :surprise:
  • 2001gs4302001gs430 Posts: 767
    Mark, yes reliability has to be at the top of my list. As you can see, I am still driving my fully paid for 2001 GS. I could probably drive this cars for another 2-3 trouble free years.
  • mariner7mariner7 Posts: 509
    You bet. You've to understand, before any new Lexus comes out, its fans come out in force to say how it's the new standard and going to eat the competition alive.

    Now GS is falling behind the long-dissed Infiniti, it's payback time. And the time for the IS is coming too!
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,301
    True. The new GS just before it came out was being touted by Lexus management as the new "5 killer." Needless to say, anticipation was high.
    What a laughing stock!
    Can you believe anything those guys say?
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    Infiniti, not Lexus has "caught the scent" of the 5 series. This may be harsh, but I think I would rather have the STS -- especially after having driven one at the Car and Driver Road and Track "editor for a day" affair.

    The Lexus (NOT the new GS, to be fair and fully disclose) was way too cushy. The last gen GS was certainly a quality car and probably as has been duly noted reliable (more than the rest) -- Lexus, thus far, seems to be less interested in performance. Someone has to scratch that itch and by all accounts they do it very well, indeed.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,301
    If I couldn't swing a good deal on the 545, I would have gone with the M35.
    I found it had plenty of power, making the M45 superfluous.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    And the M45 @ $5 gallon for gas is Thirsty! :cry:
  • stevekilburnstevekilburn Posts: 359
    GS has bombed the sales charts, and it was expected. The styling is so hideous,

    1. The headlights on GS are like somebody plucked out their eyeballs and running for help here and there. The serial killer headlights on 5 are at least intimidating.

    2. The C-pillar and the overall shoulder line is too meaty and lardy. The sleekness in lines is just not there.

    3. handling is way off the mark, I guess they should put the IS engineer in charge of GS and IS both next time and

    4. HIRE a GOOD DESIGNER for christ's sake. poach it from aston martin or wherever but do something. FAST!!
  • 2001gs4302001gs430 Posts: 767
    My Subaru Impreza is actually quite sporty in term of driving fun without the gas guzzling penalty. It runs on regular gas, all season tires that would last 50K miles. It'd go around corners as quickly as most of these much heavier LPS with emphasis on the P. However, when I get tire of all this sportiness (after driving it about three days in a row), then back to the luxurious GS I go.
  • stevekilburnstevekilburn Posts: 359
    I think M45 shape has improved greatly compared to previous generation M (which was probably the most hideous infiniti ever), but its still way behind the sleek lines of E-class.

    The design looks like a stocky foot-ball player, but in this class what they need is a sleek swimmer.

    I hope they get it right next time or its doom for M.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I wouldnt call the GS a "bomb" just yet. It was in 3rd place until recently, and its still ahead of the A6, STS, and RL (now that's a marketplace bomb). The GS300 is currently stuck with back-of-the-pack power, which doesn't do the AWD version any favors. The upcoming GS350 and 460 could definitely improve sales.

    I would call this GS a "miss", but not a disaster. Hopefully Lexus will take steps to make the car better before 2014.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    How is it doom for M? The M is the best looking and best handling Japanese LPS, and the sales are reflecting that. I think Infiniti is doing just fine.
  • stevekilburnstevekilburn Posts: 359
    M does not get even one third of buyers coming to 5 and E, and is just a disaster.

    Have you looked at the last 5 year sales figures for GS and compared them to 5 and E.

    Sales is the king, and if we go by that measure, M and GS are still way behind.

    Comparing M's sales in 2005 with 2004 is just not going to do wonders.
  • bartalk3bartalk3 Posts: 692
    As gas climbs past $3.00 and heads for $4, and if that sticks, fuel economy is going to become a factor, even among luxury/performance buyers. If so, the M35/M45 are going to suffer, because they have notably poor gas mileage, worse than most of the other cars discussed here, except, perhaps, the RL which weighs in at nearly 4,000 pounds.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Sales is the king, and if we go by that measure, M and GS are still way behind.

    So I guess by that measure, bankrupt GM is 20 times more "kingly" than Porsche, the most profitable car company on the planet?

    I personally think the 5 series is a superior car to the M or GS, but I wouldn't rely on sales figures to tell me that, but rather my own driving impressions. And I also think that "sport" and automatic transmissions are mutually exclusive, but even within the 5 series, 85%+/- of the buyers opt for automatics. So be careful to extrapolate too much from sales vloumes or you might conclude we should all drive automatic Camrys - I'd shoot myself first.
  • stevekilburnstevekilburn Posts: 359

    So no, I did not forget profits. GM is a king without the queen and that is bad, very bad.

    BMW is the king with a statuesque queen,
    and so is Toyota and Chrysler (these days).

    So when you are talking about the king, dont miss your queen ;)
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I may be personalizing too much, but when I consider what my next sedan might be, the BMW 5-series is still the "driver's choice". A facelift of the E-class won't help win me over. A couple of AMG engineers taking a long enough break from their quest to produce a 1,000+ horsepower E77 to focus on a sportier chassis, better steering and, most of all, short throw 6-speed for an E500 model would do the trick. But I'm not turning red holding my breath.

    Well Habitat1 we've had this conversation before and I think you'll just have to realize that Mercedes and BMW are different and thats pretty much the way it will always be. There wouldn't be a market for a 6-speed in a E500 in the U.S. market. The better chassis/steering I think they've done with the FL or at least that is what they've said, but again they aren't aiming for an outright 5-Series competitor. A Mercedes just isn't for you, now enjoy that Porsche! ;)

    There appears to be a sea of choices for someone that wants a "nice" driving, powerful luxury sedan like an A6, M35/45, E350/500, RL, GS, Jaguar, etc. But if you are inclined to go for a 550i 6-speed like I would be, there are NO other choices. I'd take a 530i 6-speed sport long before I'd take anybody else's V8.

    This is true as far as V8s go in this class so I agree here. If you want to row your own gears you're correct here too. No argument from me.

    So, what's the wager?

    Nothing major just a "gentlemen's" bet on who will win the E vs. 5 sales race in 2006.

  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Will it? The V8 is now stronger, but the E500 wasn't exactly slow. As for the facelift, to me it looks nearly identical to last year, both inside and out. I dont think changes only the most diehard Benz fanatic will notice are enough for it to suddenly kill the 5 in sales.

    Yeah I think it will because along with those barely noticeable exterior changes they've repackaged the options and made more things standard (finally). They're getting a clue in that area now. It isn't all about the new engines and cosmetic changes, though the engines will add something for some folks for sure. True you'd have to be a Benz fan to notice the changes, but that is usually the case with most "facelifts" on any of the brands in this class.

    Oh, and not that I think it will "kill" the 5-Series in sales that won't happen. That is kinda overstating what I said. Me and Dewey just are having a little fun here trying to see who will outsell who this year. The killing is the the 5 and E do to most of the other cars in the segments as far as sales go.

  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I can't see anyone in his right mind paying a premium for a dog like the GS when so many better choices are out there.

    The GS has has very little interior room, limited head room, uncomfortable seats, very little trunk space, a ridiculously placed open-close panel containing necessary controls, fussy brakes, turn it with one pinky steering, cannot perform with its peers as demonstrated in comparo after comparo, and given all that, sells at a ridiculous premium.

    The name Lexus can take a vehicle just so far.
    It's about time Lexus humanely puts this vehicle to sleep.

    Scathing criticism've set off the circuits with that one!

  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    You bet. You've to understand, before any new Lexus comes out, its fans come out in force to say how it's the new standard and going to eat the competition alive.

    Oh Mariner7 why, why oh why did you state the obvious? :D

  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    You're not making any sense. The M is a disaster? Since when? Are you saying that M cant match the sales of 5 and E combined? What is the point of that?

    We're not talking about 2001 GS sales, or sales of the last generation M45, which WAS a disaster.

    Considering how long the 5 and E have been dominating the LPS segment, I think the M is doing amazingly well. Infiniti has been seriously competing in this segment for less than a year. To expect a company like Infiniti which doesnt have the badge prestige, doesnt have the dealer network, and only totals maybe 100K sales a year to topple the segment's two 800lb. gorillas in less than a year on the market is rediculous.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Infiniti: 2417 M sales represents 25.1% of total Infiniti sales for April

    Lexus: 2336 GS sales represents 9.4% of total Lexus sales for April

    Acura: 1031 RL sales represents 5.3% of total Acura sales for April

    Despite the brand selling less than half the number of cars in April compared to Acura and Lexus, the M beat the GS and crushed the RL. Please explain to me how the M is a "failure".
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