High-End European Luxury Sedans

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Comments

  • designmandesignman Member Posts: 2,129
    Those guys in the Quattroporte thread seem as happy as clams with little concern for issues. It's funny how they just HAVE to have the car. They're a rare breed and this car appears to hit a sweet spot. The following post caught my attention. I love the second paragraph:

    The car is not as "limo-like" for your passengers as M-B, Jag, BMW or Audi. The luxury is certainly there but the "performance-orientation" is for the driver more than the passenger. However, you will learn to drive it more smoothly after some miles and I think it is very comfortable and luxurious for passengers; and most seem pretty thrilled and overwhelmed by the car.

    Regarding resale value; I have no idea. I didn't buy mine with any expectation except having an adventure. I plan to put a quick 50K miles on it and sell it, take whatever hit might be involved and start over. First year car, unknown reliability, unknown resale value, terrible gas mileage, etc; just nothing practical about this thing. Repairs will be expensive after warranty, that's for sure. I had a failed cd player replaced under warranty but the part would have been $11,700, according to the dealer!)

    But I enjoy this car much more than any BMW or M-B I've owned. Can't wait for any excuse to take a road trip.
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    That has to be a misprint about a part for a CD player costing 11K! :surprise:

    I'm not surprised about the "must have" factor with a car like the Quattroporte. It is just the car for folks who really love cars and have some serious money to risk it for a car they find appealing beyond all logic. The engine, styling and mystique behind it are so strong, well at least to people who truly love cars.

    M
  • designmandesignman Member Posts: 2,129
    That has to be a misprint about a part for a CD player costing 11K!

    Indeed!
  • kbrookingskbrookings Member Posts: 16
    That was my comment quoted above. No misprint; but it was the whole electronics unit that the CD player lives in, the dealer, F/M of Orange County, showed me the price book. Still seemed rediculously high. At 28K miles now I've had no problems at all except the CD drive, no other costs other than maintenance and tires. This is definitly a car that you like better over time. I moved to his car from an M-5. Loved the M-5 and have had many wonderful BMWs and Mercs plus a Ferrari, Jag and Porsche in my life. For me, no comparision; the QP is the coolest car I've ever owned, most compelling car to drive.
    Ken
  • designmandesignman Member Posts: 2,129
    Ken... Anyone would find the cost of the CD-Drive repair curious and outrageous. However, that is not what impressed me. It's your spirit of adventure, the stuff that interesting biographies are made of. And you were quite eloquent in the way you expressed yourself.
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    I moved to his car from an M-5. Loved the M-5 and have had many wonderful BMWs and Mercs plus a Ferrari, Jag and Porsche in my life. For me, no comparision; the QP is the coolest car I've ever owned, most compelling car to drive.

    That right there says it all I think. What color is your car inside/out? Did you buy a car already on the ground or did you special order? I was amazed at all the different color leathers and woods to choose from when I got a chance to go inside the Maser stand at the Chicago autoshow this year.

    With all the talk about German cars and their repair expenses I guess I forgot that Italian cars are even more pricey in that area.

    The Quattroporte is really just a 4-door Ferrari so I guess that type of price is expected.

    M
  • kbrookingskbrookings Member Posts: 16
    gosh designman, thanks for the nice comment.
    Merc1, I went to the factory to order it, had it delivered through Ron Tonkin Gran Turismo in Portland. I ordered in in June of 2004 and took delivery in November 2004. There weren't any/enough in the States then and I just couldn't visualize all the colors and choices, so went to the factory to see a bunch of them; great trip all the way around.

    Mine is Burgundy (Bordeaux Pontevecchio), sport package and I had the wheels chromed. Interior is Ivory with burgandy piping, rosewood with inlays. Interesting: I NEVER would have chosen the burgandy from the color samples or the web site; looked like some kind of dull red. Gotta see these things in person I guess to make the best choices.
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    Now thats what I call being serious about a car! That color combo sounds stunning. Well keep us posted on your experience.

    M
  • paldipaldi Member Posts: 210
    Image hosted by Photobucket.com

    I've just ordered a set of these wheels. Can't wait to see them for real. This is a photoshop.
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    They actually look like original equipment wheels. They look great. Dare I ask how much they cost?

    M
  • paldipaldi Member Posts: 210
    Prices vary depending upon motivation of the seller. If a set of "take-offs" from a new Bentley GT is what you are looking for, the price of the set of 4 wheels & tires can be from $1,500 to nearly $4,000.

    I believe the wheels are about $600 each from Bentley including the logo center caps, plus $75.00 for each TPMS sensor. The 275 40 19 Pirelli PZero tires go for about $250 - $300 each. Then you need to pay for balancing and mounting. Michelin Pilots cost a bit more.
  • vchiuvchiu PARIS, FRANCEMember Posts: 564
    It may be interesting to look how the high-end big three are seen at home :

    http://www.autobild.de/test/neuwagen/artikel.php?artikel_id=10076

    "Meeting of the German Deluxe Cruisers" (Sorry, nor German nor English are my native tongue)

    Those who can't read German may try babelfish web page translation.

    In short, the new S500 Takes the lead, if financial issues are not being considered. Otherwise, the A8 takes the Overall lead.
    The BMW, although the most performant, comes third. Low resale value + expensive cost of repair being the key issues

    Very interesting article. They should have added the XJ8 4.2. This car worths much more
  • anthonypanthonyp Member Posts: 1,860
    I do not know from experience about the new S, but I can recomend the A8 with the sports suspension, as a great driving and so far ownership experience...I think everyone wants more horsepower on paper, but the engine and handling and feel leave nothing to be desired Tony
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    image

    Nice. I wish I knew what they were saying.

    M
  • designmandesignman Member Posts: 2,129
    They’re saying…

    "Vee tvist a nut here, vee tvist a bolt zere, und zen suh cars verk better."
  • vchiuvchiu PARIS, FRANCEMember Posts: 564
    Ok, Here is home made the summary translation

    This is exclusive for Edmunds.com Forum. I should get a free subscription


    Theme Audi BMW Mercedes max
    Room/ flexibility 25 27 29 40
    Boot space/ loading ability 27 21 22 30
    Seat and seating position 29 28 30 30
    Space feeling and round vision 16 17 19 20
    Equipment/ease of use 23 18 25 30
    Safety equipment 33 34 34 30
    Material quality 19 18 18 20
    Body overall 172 163 177 200
    Ranking 2 3 1

    Audi :
    smaller head clearance, good loading ability, good towing ability, limited rear vision, no tire pressure gauge, high quality.
    BMW
    Tidy available space, small additional load, moderate all-round visibility, partly complicated operation, simple comfort equipment
    Merc
    Best space, big boot, very small loading capacity, good use, higher level comfort equipment, good quality impression.

    Performances 36 39 38 40
    road handling 29 27 28 30
    Noise level 7 9 10 10
    Ride comfort 27 29 29 30
    Gearbox 19 18 20 20
    Steering/ radius 19 18 18 20
    Engine quality 19 18 19 20
    Brakes 23 25 25 30
    Powertrain / suspension 179 183 187 200
    Ranking 3 2 1

    Audi :
    Secure Handling, the noisiest, not the best comfort, steering weel with good feeling, reactive engine, excellent auto gearbox.
    BMW :
    best road handling, good suspension, Reference brakes , occasionally hectic transmission, Steering with good feedback.
    Merc :
    Fantastic brakes, Sovereign performances, secure handling, Good suspension and ride confort despite 19 inch tires.
    Tax/insurance 19 13 13 20
    Gas mileage/ environment 18 18 20 30
    Guarantee 12 6 13 20
    Care/service 17 17 17 20
    Extra service quality 6 6 5 10
    Cost of ownership 72 60 68 100
    Ranking 1 3 2

    Audi:
    Often thirsty, need Super plus, economical repair costs, good Guarantee.
    BMW :
    Minimalist guarantee, requires Super plus, Expensive repairs.
    Merc :
    limited thirst, best Guarantee, expensive Options
    TEST RESULTS 423 406 432 500
    Ranking 2 3 1
    AUDI :
    Such a big ship is missing passenger space. Could be more quieter and offer more MpG.
    BMW :
    quick, nimble and secure is the municher. But the TCO/Repair costs are way too high. It costs many points. MErc :
    The S-Klasse secures this quality chapter. There aren't any weak spot. The new reference has a name : MERCEDES.

    Base price 48 39 20 80
    Reselling price 17 12 19 20
    Overall results 488 457 471 600
    Ranking 1 3 2

    Audi :
    The A8 is not the quickest deluxe cruiser. But it offers an All-included pack of Luxe and Technique. For the cheapset price (of the 3). That's enough for the victory
    BMW :
    When cruising one does not want to live with place problems, a luggage limitation and bad service. The BMW just fares for 3rd.
    MERC :
    The new S-Class can do everything - and that particularly well. Dream cruises are however expensive. Therefore the Daimler ship runs in only as the second.
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    Thanks for making is more-clear (dubya-speak) for me...lol.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    Thanks!

    It is always interesting to see what the European press rates cars on. Some of that criteria is never mentioned in the U.S. press.

    Mercedes has definitely turned the corner regarding build quality as all of their recent releases (CLS,S,SLK) have gotten praise for their build. All that is except the made in the U.S. M-Class, which has improved, but is still behind the competition in this area.

    M
  • vchiuvchiu PARIS, FRANCEMember Posts: 564
    The French Citroen C6 probably won't be imported in the US, but check out this UK test report

    http://www.channel4.com/4car/road-tests/C/citroen/c6-05-/index.html

    "There are plenty of motorists who don't want a super-taut Germanic driving machine - and the C6 is targeted directly at them".

    This is the French way to see the high-end. what will designman think about this one?
  • lovemyclklovemyclk Member Posts: 351
    If in the U.S. market, it would probably get murdered by the Toyota Avalon. The C6 has a design that could only come from France :D

    Those tail lights... :P
  • patpat Member Posts: 10,421
    Ask and you shall receive. You are hereby awarded a free LIFETIME subscription. Congratulations!!
  • designmandesignman Member Posts: 2,129
    Looks like some high-school kid modded a Lexus GS. All it needs is chrome spinners and neon.

    ;-)
  • paldipaldi Member Posts: 210
    I much prefer the cleaner look of the German sedans especially Audi A8 and Phaeton.

    Image hosted by Photobucket.com
  • vchiuvchiu PARIS, FRANCEMember Posts: 564
    For me, the main problem of the Citroen C6 lies in the poor engine offer. The diesel is fair, but the gasoline 208HP V6 3.0 is weak. The car is much heavier than an XJ8.
    No turbo nor V8 makes the car perform slightly better than an entry level BMW 520i.

    Top price nearly 60K USD, that hurts...
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    My apologies to people with grille aversions, but this car is awesome, of course IMO.

    image

    image
    Say ahhh..

    image
    Daily Training

    image

    image
    Ready for takeoff!

    image

    M
  • anthonypanthonyp Member Posts: 1,860
    The sport suspension for me is just right, and the a8 has worked fully right out the box....At first the windsheild wipers made a sqeeky noise as the wiped, and I thought I need new blades, but for some reason it stopped on its own..The blue tooth has worked as soon as it was mated properly, and the navigation is the best for me out of all of them for the last ten years or so....I still think a person needs to keep in mind where they are going, or the guidance can take you an around about way... The short wheelbase is also just fine...Tony
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    Glad to hear you enjoying your A8!

    M
  • garyh1garyh1 DC metroMember Posts: 394
    My apologies to people with grille aversions, but this car is awesome, of course IMO.

    I agree Merc, I like everything about the car except that grille. Or I should say, the way that grille looks with reference to the rest of the car. Designman, I don't recall if I ever saw your opinion of the grille. Am I wrong, or does it just not go with any other design element of the car? Is there anything else that gives any cues to the grille's vertical elongation? At least on the Chrysler 300, the grille shape better fits with the other design elements (even if it is not exactly my taste). Does the strip across the Audi's grille even look like it directly syncs with the bumper to either side of it?

    While we're on the subject of front ends, what do you think of the new RR's? Its grille is SO starkly square; but at least the rest of the car has a lot of squared off elements. But it's just too boxy for my eye. Not that RR has to worry about losing my sale due solely to its styling....
  • designmandesignman Member Posts: 2,129
    Gary, here is a discussion that Merc and I had in the LPS thread on the S8 grille.

    Designman:
    Merc, that S8 grille looks like a sewer grid. People will be inclined to throw candy wrappers and cigarette butts into it. And it has the net effect of some fat ol’ plumber walking around with a big square patch cut out of the seat of his pants. Help me out, am I missing something?

    Merc1:
    Well just picture me jumping up and down on a table in disagreement. I think you have to look at the whole car to appreciate the grille, not just the grille itself, IMO. It fits on the A8 and A4 better than the A6, IMO of course.

    Am I wrong, or does it just not go with any other design element of the car? Is there anything else that gives any cues to the grille's vertical elongation?

    Does the strip across the Audi's grille even look like it directly syncs with the bumper to either side of it?


    I’m not really inclined to analyze it. In my opinion it just sucks, plain and simple. It’s like someone shaving only one side of his head to get attention. Lexusguy presented the only logic I can figure that makes any sense, curious as it is, that the motif was the old Auto Union grilles.

    At least on the Chrysler 300, the grille shape better fits with the other design elements (even if it is not exactly my taste).

    It does? That thing is a Neanderthal meat mallot IMO.

    While we're on the subject of front ends, what do you think of the new RR's?

    I like it, but not in the sense that I like other cars. To me, Rolls is a monolith, its elements and sheer being transcend time. That grille is the Parthenon. How can you look at the Parthenon and say you don’t like it? It rises above fashion so it does not really lend itself to taste, I think. If they try to fashion it, I believe it will fall into the muck. The car is not really a vehicle, it’s a venue. It’s the Plaza Hotel.
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    Merc1:
    Well just picture me jumping up and down on a table in disagreement. I think you have to look at the whole car to appreciate the grille, not just the grille itself, IMO. It fits on the A8 and A4 better than the A6, IMO of course.


    Hey I've done that before! I agree that you have to look at the whole car, which is what I do. I agree about it fitting better on the A4 and A8 than it does on the A6, but I like the way it looks on all three of course.

    M
  • designmandesignman Member Posts: 2,129
    Whuh?? You're agreeing with yourself? Either you read that wrong or I could have presented the dialogue better.
  • garyh1garyh1 DC metroMember Posts: 394
    Whuh?? You're agreeing with yourself? Either you read that wrong or I could have presented the dialogue better.

    I love it! Merc finally found someone he could agree with completely 100% of the time - himself! ROFL :D

    Actually, consistency is not such a bad thing. Some of the rest of us have been known to change our opinions somewhere between the beginning and end of a single post! ;)
  • garyh1garyh1 DC metroMember Posts: 394
    To me, Rolls is a monolith, its elements and sheer being transcend time. That grille is the Parthenon. How can you look at the Parthenon and say you don't like it? It rises above fashion so it does not really lend itself to taste, I think. If they try to fashion it, I believe it will fall into the muck. The car is not really a vehicle, it’s a venue. It’s the Plaza Hotel.

    Ah, the Plaza. It hits my heartstrings the same way. Just seeing it elicits the best feelings of NYC for me. Of course, then you go around a corner and get stuck in a smelly, dirty, congested side street and the other side of Manhattan hits you. Anyway, back to cars...

    I agree that the Rolls is monolithic, but unlike the Parthenon, it gets modified over time by other than the elements. It does need to be a standup car, not low slung (I seem to recall they tried to do this once with the convertible and it looked silly to me). But this new version is just too too squared off for me. Instead of subtly classic and simple, it comes off as IN YOUR FACE square. In that sense it almost reminds me of the 300. The RR can and should say "I don't need to swoop to be fashionable", but it doesn't need to say "I am so staid that I don't care if you cut yourself on my sharp edges".

    Sorry for all the design similes, but you got me going with that Plaza allusion. I guess I just won't be pulling up in front of it with my 2006 RR.
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    Whuh?? You're agreeing with yourself? Either you read that wrong or I could have presented the dialogue better.

    Maybe I read it wrong I guess???? I was saying that I've jumped up on down on a table in disgreement with some of the things you've said about styling on certain cars before. I think thats what I meant. :confuse:

    M
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    Some interesting pics from a link in my monthly email from Maserati.

    image

    image

    image

    I was somewhat delighted to read this about the Quattroporte's sales:

    Maserati's Quattroporte is dominating sales of luxury sport sedans over $100,000 despite and in part because of its limited production. American consumers are showing they appreciate Quattroporte's unique balance of performance, style and cachet by more than 3:1 over BMW's 760i and 760Li combined.

    The segment in which the Quattroporte will win the 2005 sales race includes the BMW 750iL, 760i, and 760Li, the Bentley Flying Spur, and the Mercedes S55, S65 and S600. Those who have driven them all will attest that, while the Quattroporte shares a price segment with the others, it stands alone on the road. Source

    I wouldn't doubt the "on-the-road" observation from a sport sedan point of view compared with those cars. I would love to see the sales numbers for each though. In that last paragraph they must mean that the Maser is going to outsell the 760i and 760Li together, and the 750Li seperately as a single model. Is the Quattroporte really going to outsell the 750Li? The Mercedes S55/S65 and Bentley are all more powerful, but heavier, a lot heavier in the case of the Bentley Flying Brick. The BMW 760i Sport is a sporty car, but I would imagine that not even it has the reflexes and charisma of the Maserati. Too bad there is no "M7". None of these have a SMG type gearbox and only the Bentley can compete with the Maser on a "custom feel" point of view when it comes to the interior, but even then some of its VW switchgear pokes through. Interesting bunch of cars though, not a boring one in the bunch. I wonder Maserati thinks of the Jaguar XJ Super V8 P. Oh, there is one company that could make a sedan to match the Maser in every way, but they don't make one at the moment, Aston-Martin.

    Interesting they don't consider the M5 or CLS55 competitors. Alrightly then lets see a comparo between the 760i Sport, S55 AMG, XJ Super V8 Portfolio, and Quattroporte then, one of you U.S. magazines!

    M
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    Oops I read that wrong. I didn't see that you were merely presenting our previous conversation. :confuse:

    M
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    I forgot, "Gorgeous" is Jaguar's line isn't it?

    image

    image

    Does it apply? You be the judge.

    M
  • anthonypanthonyp Member Posts: 1,860
    The Masseratti(sp) is a great looking car, but apparently there are some nusances to be worked out, according to some owners...I wonder how the sales of it compare to the Audi w12....Tony
  • lovemyclklovemyclk Member Posts: 351
    I think the CLS55 is an obvious ommission from the Maser competitor list... has a much more distinct and custom-coach feel than the more "mainstream" competitors. Believe the M5 leans so much more toward the sport side of the equation, than it won't be cross-shopped (as much) against the Maser like the stated competitors + the CLS55!
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    Well unless something has changed, the A8 W12 is a 150-200 unit-per-year car here in the U.S. I've only seen one since it came out.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    Actually I think the M5 is a direct competitor to the Quattroporte also because they both have SMG-style trannies and both are thoroughbred sports sedans that make no apologies.

    It is quite easy to beat the cars Maserati mentioned on dynamics and sheer driving excitement, but it is a lot harder to do that to the CLS55 and especially the M5.

    Would have seemed hard to believe a few years ago, but the Cadillac STS-V actually competes in this league. Audi has an interesting pair of competitors too for the Quattroporte, the already announced S8 and upcoming S6/RS6.

    What a wonderful time to be a high-end sports sedan buyer!

    M
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    S8 In Action

    Warning: It is in German, but the engine sounds aren't. The test driver's skill is pretty awesome too.

    M
  • lovemyclklovemyclk Member Posts: 351
    Well, I agree to a point... still believe the M5 is a much more finely tuned performance machine, where the Maser makes more of a fashion statement to go with a still-superb performance capability. Saw 2 new M5's at my dealer recently and was very impressed - was not able to drive them, though.

    The Caddy does "compete", but has some ground to cover to reach 1st place. Not the biggest fan of the STS design, but would still take one in a NY minute. Kudo's to Caddy for getting in the game in a big way...
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    The M5 may very well be, but I won't likely get the chance to drive either so....I'll have to take your word on this one.

    Oh I agree about the STS-V. Automobile says it can't compete with the Germans, and MT put the CLS55 over the STS-V, but C&D put the STS-V over the CLS55, mainly because of the price and better back seat.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
  • garyh1garyh1 DC metroMember Posts: 394
    Re: Maybach 62

    Wow. Leaves me almost speechless. Last time I saw that much wood and leather was in the Oak Room at the Plaza.

    Just had a funny thought: Wouldn't it be a downer if you had to drive your Maybach 62 on the chauffeur's day off, and everybody who saw you would think that you were just the chauffeur? Of course, that should never happen because you would have your fleet of cars to choose from on the chauffeur's day off, from your Ferrari to your 760.

    Which raises the question: What other cars does the typical Maybach 62 owner own? Assume a husband, wife, and two teenage kids - one boy and one girl. What's in the garage? I'll start:

    Husband: BMW 760Li, Bentley Conti GT, Ferrari Superamerica
    Wife: MB S600, MB E500 wagon (for shopping) or maybe a Lincoln Navigator?
    Son: BMW X5
    Daughter: MB CLK500 (maybe BMW Z4?)
  • paldipaldi Member Posts: 210
    Lets not forget the company limo...
    image

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  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    Well when someone can afford a 360K car there is no telling what else they have in their garage(s).

    The only Maybach I even remotely would want is the 57S.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    Nice! I wonder how many of those there are in the world.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    Not a luxury car, but definitely European and definitely High-End.

    Pagani Zonda F

    A pity this thing isn't sold here, yet.

    M
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