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High-End European Luxury Sedans



  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I think there might be a few reasons as to why an S-Class buyer wouldn't buy a used "Bentley". For one most might think that a Bentley would be a pain to service and maintain. Yeah Mercedes' rep has taken a beating, but they still aren't on the level of "care" that a Bentley needs. Secondly how many Bentley dealers are there in the average S-Class market? In Chicagoland there are only 3 and they're miles and miles apart. I just don't think think Bentley clicks to the "working rich" in the same way a S-Class does, imo. Especially when the Benz is a "new" car as opposed to a "used" on that still cost 100K. Something about that wouldn't appeal to me if I had 100K to drop on a car. I'd want something "new". Mercedes' are everyday cars too, I doubt if someone would drive a Bentley to the office everyday. Mercedes-Benzes for all their glamor and giga-hp models are still utilitarian when it comes to their non-AMG sedans.

    Now for the group that has money to burn Bentley is all the rage. I would suspect that big drop in Mercedes CL sales is due to the Continental GT being not too much more expensive. For the average CL500 (100K) buyer 165K+ might be a stretch for some of them, but for a CL600, CL55 and of course a CL65 buyer this new Bentley Continental GT is easily within their reach.

    The Continental GT is hugely popular because of its pricepoint. All the while growing up and noticing cars it was a rare even to ever see a "Bentley" and it still isn't a regular think to see an Arnage, but this Continental GT I see almost on a weekley (daily on the the weekend) basis. And not just in the burbs where I live, I've even seen them in the old neighborhood where I grew up.

    Now the even bigger question will be, depending on where Bentley prices the Continental Flying Spur, is whether or not it will have the same effect on the S-Class and the new S due this time next year.

  • ffb13ffb13 Posts: 181
    as an owner of these types of cars ( jaguar,porsche,mb,bmw ) this is an interesting site.

    my two opinions.......

    phaeton .............yesterday's news. i wanted one badly ,until i took 3 or 4 test rides..........and visited 4 or 6 dealerships ..........what a desilusionment ,... someone from vw corporate should send some of these guys to finishing school.............only one good dealer ,in conn. ,from the lot i visited
    ........been to the dresden factory......great .......just incredible, but the product does not live up to its billing..............
    i predicted when the phaeton first came out that this factory would build something else ...... it is the bentley.
    goodbye phaeton. too much car , too complicated ,and poor dealer network to support such a market niche.

    bentley............great ,nice ,the car to own,but given that i travel 4 or 5 times per year from florida to the north east ,i am concerned about the lack of dealers ,and service..........(i hate the airbuses ) also, an overpriced vw lies beneath that bentley ,the arnage ,this is something else and special.........rides like an suv, but what class..........

    a8...............great car ,but reliability keeps cropping up.........and still a disguised vw.....could be a great car and the a 8 is such.........but reliability ??????

    mercedes.............with their downturn in quality of materials and assembly ,and the total reliance in electronics......i have stayed away ..... i still own their pinnacle car,a 1989 420sel with 240,000 miles.
    and ,looking to buy another one car ever made .

    recently saw the S 350.................looking good..............but, there is the ls430 from lexus which is a far superior product from almost any aspect. it also beats all the S sedans ,in the usa......

    bmw ......relying too much on past reputation. no longer a drivre's car.
    almost got the 6 series until i looked in the trunk and found a bunch of computer parts where the spare tire should flat tires can only be fixed in few places ,at a premiun, and no stock for a quick replacement............... the fx , and still like it , has been great unlike the european cars that i have owned in the past and still own. great reliability over the same time period and mileage experienced with the other cars.but the new m series ,though good,.too much like the fx in ride quality,too similar .
    but , this is the car to get for those of us who have owned bmw's in the does not have the crude but great ride of the old 635 which i kept for many years, but it is more refineed and fun.and reliable.

    would buy this one over any german or british car. it has what it takes to be a driver's car. oversized honda accord for $50.0...................nice ride ..........but still an oversized accord...

    quality -----if you read the german press ,you will note that in germany,german cars are rated way ,way lower than the japanes cars...troubling signs for the german car industry.

    porsche ... the new 911 is no longer a sports car but a brother has one and i do not like the feel of the steering ....and ,the motor blew after 7,000 miles.
    has been replaced under warranty..................get the 993.
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Posts: 1,722
    Not sure what happened, but the formatting of your post is strange. Makes it difficult to read. Did you compose the message in a different editor and then paste it into the Townhall?
  • ffb13ffb13 Posts: 181

    i did try it. 3 times. the 2 door one ..........have not tried the 4 door.

    liked it. loved it.just great looks and feel,

    but ,i use my cars to comute from fla. to ct and vt. .if this car breaks down in the middle of the carolinas or even upstate conn. or vt. i will be stranded ,and it being a vw the possibility of this happening is high.

    sounds like an excuse not to spend the 170 g's ,.maybe
  • vwguildvwguild Posts: 1,620
    As a point of order...PHAETONs have been on the road now for about 17 Months, and I am hard pressed to remember hearing from any owners that their cars were ever "on the hook".

    And from a personal perspective...17 Months in two of them...not one mechanical malfunction, no squeaks, no rattles, no electical gremlins that would put the car "out of service"...Every repair made in my shop has been benign enough that it was handled during routine maintenance...
  • stroudmanstroudman Posts: 192
    "stroudman, how would you propose to sell a new S-class to a customer who had located an Arnage with say 10k on it with a sell price of 100k?"

    I think for my market it would be easy since there is no dealer anywhere near to service the car. That's assuming the prospect is being logical rather than emotional. If they are emotionally caught up in the Arnage (which would be easy to do) it would be an uphill battle. They are both very nice cars, it would likely end up coming down to personal preferences.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    mercedes.............with their downturn in quality of materials and assembly ,and the total reliance in electronics......i have stayed away ..... i still own their pinnacle car,a 1989 420sel with 240,000 miles.
    and ,looking to buy another one car ever made .

    I'm curious as to what you think about the W140 S-Class. A lot of S-Class owners consider it the best of the lot. Also Mercedes' interior quality has changed with every new model introduced, specifically with the SLK and CLS. They're built much better than the current S-Class. Not sure why you think Mercedes is any different as far as electronics go. Only the truly sportier luxury cars like BMW and Infiniti don't rely on electronics as much.

  • ffb13ffb13 Posts: 181
    merc 1

    my point is that the 87 thru 91 420sel and 560 sl are the pinnacle of quality materials and quality of assembly , and product engeenering at mb.
    it remained so from 92 until the new s class came out recently ,but the 92 thru 2001 or so, were in fact over engineered .too much mass . and high quality of materials and assembly . but way overdone in size, and highly complex systems. whereas the 87 -91 are just perfect cars.
    a look at the engine bay ,or ,talk to any mechanic and he will tell you that this are the easiest cars to work on.

    my 420 is going on 240,000 miles . mostly trouble free with the battery lasting 10 years and 4 months and the alternator wearing out at 210,000 miles .
    the timing chain was replaced at 200,000 miles .
    this car was hit twice,not our fault, with repairs over $12,000 one time and $6,000 the next. still a keeper.

    i also have a volvo with 245,000 miles a 1986 740 gt........nothing in the engine or trannny has been touched . the a/c ,muffler and brakes do not last long.but overall ,also a great car.still have it as a new york city hit it if you want ,i do not care ,type car.

    regarding the phaeton and are a vw dealer ,and obviously you are a good dealer,even though you do not care for my phraseology,spelling ,etc...
    but the fact is that the phaeton is history ,and even in germany ,it is history,and vw can spin it any way the want ,but the facts are facts.
    check the ratings of phaeton at the german ADAC .
    check the current production schedule for 2006 thru 2008 for the dresden have an inside as a dealer ,maybe, ---a hint ,you can get it from vw marketing group.

    the infinity is ,in my humble opinion ,the replacement for the bmw cars .i used to rent or borrow bmw in europe all the time. no longer ,my favorite is the audi a6 with the diesel engine,and the vw passat which i get for $ 500. a week all included .

    also, my 9.5 aero.2000.but just got a letter from saab telling me that the engines ,4 cylinder are self destructing because owners followed the factory recommendations for oil changes and this causes sludge to form and block internal passages ,and wham..........
    i have 80,000 miles on mine with engine and oil changes done every 3,000 miles.
    tranny fluid changed every 6,000miles because i did not trust this tranny.
    anyhow ,saab now tells me that they have extended my warranty to 8 years unlimited mileage. probably a class action lawsuit ?????/
    so. it looks like my saab is a short term car. i think that they screwed up .
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    I don't think whether someone "care(s) for" your "phraseology, spelling, etc." is quite the issue. Several folks in several different discussions have pointed out that your messages are difficult to read and therefore to comprehend. When it becomes a lot of work to understand what someone is trying to say, many folks just skip it and go on to something else.

    If you want people to hear you, you would help yourself a lot by using correct capitalization and making more of an effort to punctuate your sentences more accurately.

    It's entirely up to you, though - it depends on whether you want folks to understand what you are saying without having to do so much work that they just give up and move on.

    This is just some friendly advice.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Ok, I see your point. I did notice though that during the W140's life they did decontent it during the last few years. Thinner this and lighter that, but still oversized and tankish. I liked the design because you always knew what it was and the quality of build was unquestioned.

  • rjlaerorjlaero Posts: 659
    Yup! Don't waste your time with long responses that are too difficult to read.

    No need to be an English professor. But at least try to make some sense.
  • ffb13ffb13 Posts: 181
    if you cannot read my post ,so sorry.

    but i type and post .maybe i should read what i post before posting . at times i do but not always
  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    Merc1, I think you are absolutley right on about the "working rich" not connecting with a Bentley. AND, it would be significantly harder to buy than waltzing into your local MB store and putting down first and last month's lease payments. (Most working rich are as cash strapped as a retired NBA player two years out of the league.)

    Speaking of the Continental's price point, there is a good piece in this AMs WSJ on the explosive growth in families with a net worth of 10 mil or more in the US. This is the car for them. The Phantom at 400K on the other hand is not selling.

    Re: Merc1 and only three Bentley dealers in Chicagoland. If three dealers in Chicago isn't enough coverage for you, we have significantly different service accessability thresholds. ....

    Re: ffb (aka ee cummings for his punctuation) and his four time a year commute down I95 to FL. From previous posts you have mentioned driving your SAAB from VT to FL. I think you would find better service support for a Bentley than an AERO on this trip. Far better. I'll bet that you are never 45 minutes away from an authorized Bentley dealer once you are out of VT and into CT. Even in the wilds of the Carolinas there are excellent dealers, one smack on I95 in High Point and another further down in SC. I'd rather be broken down in an Arnage on I95 in the Carolinas than in AERO with a wierd tire size (see article in European Car) that no tire store stocks. One cell phone call to the Bentley dealer and a ramp truck would be on its way. You could even get some use out of the trays in the back seat while you waited.
  • paldipaldi Posts: 210
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Posts: 1,722
    Funny you mention that Bentley dealer. I spent a good part of a business trip staring in the window of that dealership! Amazing little collection of cars they have there. Still amazes me that they park a chunk of their inventory out on the street during the day. Guards or not, I can just see some person in a SUV on the cell phone plowing into a couple of them.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081 is a fascinating place isn't it. I mean the cars are so crammed in there its a wonder they can every get them in/out with scratching them. At the end of the main window is a lift that they use to get the cars inside from somewhere. I haven't quite figured out if the lift opens up to the street or to an upstairs location. On that lift there is always something interesting resting there. Yeah it is surprising that they put so many cars outside, but I guess its the same as most car dealers put their cars on the grass out front.

    Have you seen Fletcher Jones' new used car showroom on the corner of Ontario and LaSalle? Its in what used to be (in another lifetime) a Hanley Dawson Cadillac store. I've seen a few Vanquishes and SLRs there too.

  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Posts: 1,722
    Sorry, not that familiar with Chicago. Just spent a week of conferences across the street from the John Hancock Center. So mainly just spent time around that area. What's funny is I was milling about with my old boss and I pointed out a Bentley parked on the street......then noticed a couple of Porsches sitting out front. Finally the light went on in my head and I knew where I was going to be for awhile!

    They had a new Rolls on the floor and I just don't care for that front clip.
  • ffb13ffb13 Posts: 181
    blockisland guy

    i changed the donut spare tire into a full size spare tire .it does fit into the space but the top of the floor in the trunk is now about 1/2 an inch higher towards the rear .and,have had to use it 3 times already. and ,no problems getting the new tire.

    regarding the bentley and dealers.. yes ,but they are not that close to i95 nor the mountain routes that i favor.
    and once you own one , a bentley ,the dealers own you.
    same happened with a testa rossa some years ago.hated the feeling.

    regarding the saab, this one is reliable so far. but as i posted above i recently received a letter advising that the warranty on my car has been extended to 8 years unlimited miles due to engine failures ,therefore my new commuter car is my infinity fx35.
  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    What a dealer! After a long day of meetings, I was trying to find a Borders or a Barnes and Noble around 6PM on a Friday night before I went back to my hotel room. Then I stumbled into this combination clothing store/night club (up stairs)/high end dealership just off Michigan Ave. The ambiance was amazing with lots of eye candy of all descriptions. The cars were nice too. It looks like they consciously took the model of a Harley dealership and applying it to high end cars, moved it upscale.

    I had to wonder though how many of these Bentleys get driven in Chicago in February (as I think S Class cars do get driven). Anybody going to Chicago should put this dealer on their must see list.
  • paldipaldi Posts: 210
    This photo makes me laugh!

  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Posts: 1,722
    looks like a dog herding sheep ;-)
  • ffb13ffb13 Posts: 181
    the new bugatti ,and appears to be in germany.
    the first 2 or 3 letters in the plate gives you the city.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    "looks like a dog herding sheep"

    LMAO! Very clever and creative observation. You must have some writer in you. And kudos to Paldi... you discovered the talent in that shot!
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Posts: 1,722
    "You must have some writer in you."

    Ha ha. No, just a southerner's gift for metaphor.....well I guess in this case, simile ;)
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Posts: 1,722
    Good thing I'm not a writer because now that I look at it (and dusting off my memory) that wasn't a simile at all.

    Somehow that photo wouldn't have been near as funny if those VW Beetles were any other car. Had to be those Beetles being "chased" by that vicious looking Bugatti
  • stroudmanstroudman Posts: 192
    Is that Bugatti ever actually going to make it to market?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Re: Merc1 and only three Bentley dealers in Chicagoland. If three dealers in Chicago isn't enough coverage for you, we have significantly different service accessability thresholds. ....

    Well I just meant that a Bentley dealer isn't as visible and they aren't usually on your typical "dealer row" like more "common" makes. I'm sure that three are enough for service and what not. Here they're spread out pretty good, one is in downtown Chicago and the other two are in the Western and Northern Suburbs.

    The Bentley dealer in Downtown Chicago is wonderland for the rich. They sell any and everything expensive with wheels. Spykers, SLRs, Saleen, you name it.

  • paldipaldi Posts: 210
    I saw a couple of photos of a Bugatti 4-door that looked a little like a Bentley Flying Spur with a long hood and rounded tail. Zoom, Zoom. Supposed to be a line forming for that! Does anyone have details/photos?


  • xkssxkss Posts: 722
    For all the many luxury brands out there, I believe no one does it better than the Euro's, so those are the luxury cars I'd rather talk about.

    One reason for that is due to the wide range of European car makers.

    Duesenberg did luxury and performance better than anyone else, imo. Plus they had racecars that won the Indy 500 four times.
This discussion has been closed.