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Luxury Lounge

designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
Hey, the Subie crowd has the Subaru Crew Café forum where they discuss anything. In the words of its masthead description “This is the place for Crew members to kick back, relax, and talk about...whatever!” Nice. And it seems quite successful. Maybe it’s time the luxury-car forum participants have such a place.

I often find many of the conversations in the model-specific threads most interesting when they digress but the rules discourage this with good reason. However, I always pay keen attention for instance when Lexusguy talks about audio equipment, or when Ljflx carries on about marketing or when Shipo talked about flying in the past. Shipo is quite the raconteur. There are many others around here. And of course some of us have been invited by the host to take our golf klatches elsewhere! The nerve! ;-) So in the spirit of friendly conversation in which one thing inevitably leads to another, where it is impossible to digress, and with the blessings of Edmunds, here is the Luxury Lounge. Let’s see if it works.

I’ll start by asking Tagman about the Elise he purchased recently. Tag, I believe you were reluctant to talk about it in the HELM thread because it is off-topic and I haven’t seen anything in the Lotus section. How’s it going? Let’s hear about it!

By the way, I play piano and have a Steinway baby grand which is probably my favorite material possession. I would give up my cars before I gave up the piano. Are there any others around there who play musical instruments?

One more thing… Dewey, congrats on ordering the 335i sedan. What with your 530xi wagon this makes you a serious BMW head, no offense to the other rabid BMW fans and owners.

Anyway, yap away, digress away…


PS - Host, would you kindly put this thread with all of the luxury brands including Porsche etc. Thanks.


  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Hey, nice digs here. This looks like a great place for the nineteeth hole! ;)
  • Designman, nice idea. I had an idea over the weekend (the Contrarian's Corner) that may be in sync with this so let me ask the other people in the lounge about it.

    Contrarian's Corner. The idea is to name a car that everyone agrees is THE killer in that category and then name a car that will do 90% of what the named car will do but because of various marketing issues, can be picked up used dirt cheap. So, let me start the ball rolling:

    1) Small Sports Sedan: Mainstream Choice: BMW 3 Series,
    Contrarian's Choice, Saab 9-3 Vector, especially used

    2) High End GT Cruiser (two seats) Porsche 911; Contrarian's Choice, Jag XK8

    Well you get the idea. Any other nominations?
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    This doesn't exactly fit your parameter but the first thing that comes to mind is The Boxster vs S2000.

    Blckislandguy... how are things out on Block Island these days. Has it become overdeveloped? I haven't been there in years, say 15 or so. Everytime I go to Montauk I want to take the ferry out there for a day trip but never get around to it. When I think of idyllic summer escapes, it is always the first to come to mind.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Thanks Pat. Do you play golf?
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    I play a golfer on TV. ;)

    No, I do not play golf, but I really enjoy watching it. I'm too much of a klutz to do much with it, but I wish that were not the case. I have no hope of ever being that precise.
  • Yeh, the S2000 is the Boxter without the attitude and invoice.

    Block is OK and its not overdeveloped because of restrictive lot sizes (2 acre min), an agressive program to purchase land to save it for green space (in fact, at the closing of every real estate transaction the buyer has to kick in 2.5% to fund the program), and that there isn't a buildable lot available for under 1 mil. Nothing. The population in January gets down to 600 souls. You can see many Series 1 and 2 Land Rovers (one guy has 4), lots of mid 80's big Jeep Grand Cherokee Wagoneers with the old 360 Packard V8 that gets 9 miles per gallion of $4.39 Block Island high test (only one dealer), many newer Japanese pick ups, one MiniCooper (probably the best car to have) and absolutely no high end stuff. Everyone leaves their good car on the mainland and keeps an "Island car" with a good set of jumper cables. (I go one further and put a new Optima battery in every couple of years.) If you come bring your bike and give me a heads up!
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    I want to get back out to Montauk before the sun disappears but am tied up with work. I could pick your brains forever about Block but maybe you could give me a brief comment about what real estate is like out there? We’re interested in a summer home and love the east end of LI but the prices are incredible. Block might be a bit of a trek for a purchase.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    The US Ryder Cup team needs 14.5 points by the end of the weekend to win back the trophy, hasn't led after the opening morning matches since 1991, and find themselves in a familiar place down 2.5 to 1.5 after the opening matches. Up until this tournament Tiger Woods has a losing record in all of his Ryder Cup play.

    What’s with these US teams? And why does Monty excel in Ryder Cup but can’t win a major?
  • OK, here's the short course. There is nothing on BI now for under 1.5 mil that you could spend the night in without getting rained on. A buildable lot (albeit all lots are at least two acres and EVERY lot on BI has an ocean view) is 1 mil min. Unlike say Cape Cod, Myrtle Beach, the Berkshires, etc. I just don't see these prices coming down because there is very little land left to build on and BI is still very desireable to many because it is laid back without Nantucket pretensions or the gold chains of the Jersey Shore.

    Where are the second home buys going to be in the NY Metro area? For openers, the New York State side of the Berkshires looks cheap. It is much less money than the Mass side, still quite rural, etc. A real sleeper area is the South County of RI. Only 2 hours plus from the GW Bridge, Westerly and surrounding beach areas are nice and still affordable. If I had the flex hours of a professor, consultant, etc. and absolutely wanted to be directly on the ocean I'd go to Maine where ocean front homes are still "only" 1 mil once you get up north of Pemaquid. To give you an idea how charming Maine is, the entrance sign to the Maine Turnpike as you leave NH reads: "Maine: the way life should be". Mo one thinks its corny. Everyone believes it. In fact, several BI people have cashed out and moved there.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Thanks for the primer and sorry for the late response as I thought this thread went dormant. Yes Maine is appealing but travel is just too much. We almost bought a place on the water in Sag Harbor many years ago but dawdled and dropped the ball. But that’s the past, I’ll see where this goes.
  • bhill2bhill2 Posts: 1,818
    I want to kick the discussion back to Contrarian's Corner (defined in post #3), because I would comment on the Contrarian's alternative to the Porsche 911 being the Jag XK8. I would nominate instead the Corvette as an alternative to the Porsche. I have never owned a Porsche 911 but have driven one. I own both an XK8 and a Corvette. Of the 2, I would put the Vette closer to the Porsche. As a practicing Contrarian, I would nominate the XK8 (or even better, the new XK [do I hear XKR?]) as the Contrarian alternative to the SL Mercedes.

    2009 BMW 335i, 2003 Corvette cnv. (RIP 2001 Jaguar XK8 cnv and 1985 MB 380SE [the best of the lot])

  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I would agree. The XK8/R, SL550/55/65/600, 650i/M6, and AMV8 are not sports cars. Heck, Mercedes and Jaguar don't even let you row your own gears. They are all 3,500 lb to 2+ ton GT cars.

    The 911 and Corvette are sports cars. Very different ones perhaps, but at least in the same category.

    I don't think calling a spade a spade is Contrarian. Anyone who would cross shop an XK8/R with a 911 has likely forgotten their daily dose of Prozac. ;)
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    "However, I always pay keen attention for instance when Lexusguy talks about audio equipment, or when Ljflx carries on about marketing or when Shipo talked about flying in the past. Shipo is quite the raconteur."

    Thanks D-man. You know what Ralph say on our favorite show:

    "Wait to you see what this furniture looks like on Park Ave." We've arrived on Park.
  • Hello everyone, I just had a bad 2-week experience with the BMW Concord dealership. I live in southwest Utah and was earnestly trying to retrieve as much information on a pre-owned vehicle using the dealership's eBiz page and web site. I was denied the vehicle's VIN and original delivery date over the Internet. I was told I'd have to stop by the dealership for the information. After being strung along for 2 weeks, the vehicle sold. Oh well, wasn't meant to be. However, I seriously question the sales ethics of the BMW Concord dealership. By the way, I was also denied the name and contact information for the owner. So, I'm sharing my experience with other BMW enthusiasts. For what it's worth....
  • There is the significant possibility that the car didn't exist. But if the car did exist, I think that they were in their rights to try to get you into their dealership before they gave out certain info. After all, they are trying to sell cars, not be a research facility. Moreover, for a non-customer or even in most cases a customer to demand the dealership owner's personal contact info is way over the top. I'm not surprised you were rebuffed. What were you going to do, call this guy at home and harrangue him? Park in front of his house and grab him when he came home from work?

    Having said this, I had a similar experience with the Nasua, NH BMW dealer. They had listed a car on the official BMWUSA site for CPO cars that they hadn't even taken in trade yet. In other words, it wasn't their's to sell. I made an appointment, drove 2 hours to see it, and then after a lot of fumbling around I learned that the car wasn't even on their lot or even their's.

    As a rational guy, what did I do? Get mad? Sue them? Write a nasty letter of complaint to their co-conspirator, BMW NA? No. I drove one exit South on Rt 3 and a bought a new Cayenne which I love from a great dealer.

    BMW dealers have a lot of sales momentum now and they know it. (In any BMW dealership on a Saturday afternoon the yuppies in their mid 30's flood in with their eyes watering and their mouths drooling.) As a result, IMHO their CSI is going down. Oh, well. This too will change.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    I’ve heard conflicting stories about BMW dealerships, same with Porsche. My experience has been nothing but positive with the business end of BMW. Also, several of the dealers in my area have expanded with very impressive service departments.

    I made an appointment, drove 2 hours to see it, and then after a lot of fumbling around I learned that the car wasn't even on their lot or even their's.

    Yeah I’d be pretty annoyed.
  • Designman, sure one can hear stories about any brand. There are probably a few rotten Starbucks outlets, too. The difference is that Porsche is family owned and really does a good job of communicating with their customers and enforcing high dealer standards. After every single service (and there have been very few), I've been surveyed not by the dealer or local company working for the dealer but by Porsche.

    I don't think that Bimmer shares Porsche's passion in this. Rather Bimmer knows it is the hot brand right now. It has lots of people who want to buy their cars. At the same time it has lots of problems with their cars , e.g., using plastic water pump impellers has got to be something even a Korean manufacturer wouldn't try to pull, which it hasn't fully addressed.

    Just think about my experience: the Nashua BMW store had no compunction whatsoever about putting a car they didn't own, nor even have on their lot on the official BMW NA web site as a CPO and then made an appointment with me to see it! When I brought this to the attention of one of the dealer principal's sons, all I got was a shuck and jive about how cars come and go. He wasn't at all concerned that about anyone contacting Bimmer to complain about the fraudulent use of their web site.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    I'm glad you're happy with your dealer. I had a few incidents with my Porsche dealer that I didn't care for even though they responded favorably when I pressed them. It's not so much the management which is very accommodating, rather, the service results themselves.

    For instance, they overfilled my oil by over a quart and a half. They had no problem draining it to dead-nuts center per my request, but an overfill that pushes the electronic oil gauge over the max makes me wonder especially in light of RMS issue with water-cooled Porsches. On top of that a techie in the shop tried to tell me this is normal. In case you are wondering how I know it was OVER the max, my car also has a dipstick and my eyes lit up when I checked it against the electronic.

    I’ve also had several other issues with them that were a result of carelessness. It’s nice to have the management apologize and do things like put me in an upgraded loaner etc. but this still does not inspire my confidence in the people who wield the wrenches.

    BTW, that apparently cavalier and unprofessional BMW dealer you had an experience with would never get my business either. Yes, the brand is one thing, the owner is quite another.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I don't get it. The HELM board is closed down because it isn't focused enough, but we have a "luxury lounge" board and a "Taste of Lexus" things that have could be covered in the HELM board?

    Pat what is going on here? We're closing a years-old board that covered everything about luxury marques for 2 or more new boards that will no doubt get far less traffic (no offense dman, I see you started this thread).

  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    The discussion was too large (over 20,000 posts) and too separated from its declared topic. As I said there, feel free to create a discussion of any subject of interest. As long as the topic remains the main subject within the discussion - which has not been true of the High End Luxury Marques discussion for a long time (your much-appreciated efforts towards that end notwithstanding) - it's viable.

    Regarding the "Taste of Lexus" discussion, there is only one Lexus that belongs in a High End discussion. The TOL events cover, and therefore elicit posts about, very many vehicles that do not.
  • garyh1garyh1 Posts: 386
    I'm with you, Merc. This action really takes the cake in corporate self-destruction. The reasoning totally escapes me. What had been created was a forum to discuss the comparative virtues of high end sedans, and as far as I can tell, it was the most prolific of all Edmunds forums. So sure, close it down since it was "too large" (meaning too much use?) and "too off topic" (whatever that means). I guess the Luxury Performance Sedans (LPS) board should be the next to go - too large, too broad a topic, too popular....

    So now, without the HELM forum, Edmunds will suddenly become a much more successful site?

    OK, so perhaps this can be a place to discuss "luxury" cars and their manufacturers - that's what I personally am interested in, that's the only thing that brought me to Edmunds' forums. Or perhaps this will this also be declared "off-topic".
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    merc - I'll watch for your posts, and if this is the new meeting place, then fine. Otherwise, perhaps we can start a new forum where we can legitimately discuss the types of things we have been doing all along.

  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    High End Luxury Vehicles

    ...hopefully focused enough for Edmunds' management.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Syswei, thank you very much for taking me up on my suggestion to create a new place where we could truly have a conversation about high end vehicles. I hope to see everyone there shortly.

    Merc, gary, tag - everyone else interested - I'm sorry we had to do what we had to do. A discussion that large - and yes, that unfocused - is pretty overwhelming for someone looking to join a conversation about, say, an A8 or an S-Class. It's actually pretty much off-putting, when you get down to it.

    And then there's the thing about "marques". What is a "marque"? Heck, we didn't even know. How could someone looking around for a new, fun place to hang out know what we meant by that?

    Syswei has given us the perfect solution, in my opinion. Read his opening post and let's go from there. If you have other subjects you'd like to discuss, please, please create a new discussion! I'll help you if you need help with it.

    Nobody's saying you can't talk about what you want to talk about - not at all. Let me know how I can help. I'll be glad to.
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
    This Saturday, AutoScoop will be talking about cell phones while driving. As you may know, we have a busy discussion on this "Should Cell Phone Users be Singled Out"

    Tune-in to your local station - or go to the AutoScoop site or listen live on the web

    The show is from 8am-1pm EST. Call-in toll-free at 1-877-444-1994 to sound-off about this issue on the radio. Be sure and mention your Forums username!

    Edmunds Manager UGC Click on my screen name to send a personal message. Need help navigating? Check out Getting Started in Edmunds Forums.
    Need help picking out a make/model, finding inventory, or advice on pricing? Talk to an Edmunds Car Shopping Advisor

  • OK, here is my first question! How come the "Luxury Lounge
    (cars) is always done is bland colors?? ie: When you buy a ANY car today the interior (and most of the time) the exterior looks like a "Luxury Lounge" for "The almost dead"?

    I haven't seen a 2007 car that has a good looking color scheme yet. 98% of all new car interiors are egg shell, gray, black tan, etc. NO red, blue, yellow Green.

    I used to drive Cadillac's back in the 70's and 80's. I could get any color of leather I wanted. They were very nice. Not just all Bland!

    I have not bought a new car in years and I'm not going to until I can get an interior that doens't scream (undertaker) evertime you get in!

    What's the problem? The only Lexus with any color is the 430 with the camel interior.

    No colors, no sale!

  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Well Tagman answered your question quite well in the other thread but are you going to let the general lack of colors preclude buying a new car? I happen to agree with you but we are stuck with the situation. You can always buy a Porsche because they will make any color which includes matching any sample you provide. It will cost you dearly though.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 4,142
    I'll certainly throw in with you on this one, though my beef is with external colours, not interior -- I'm dull as dirt that way: I'll always go for a black interior, or whatever comes closest.

    Here in Phoenix a huge percentage of the cars are (in order) white, silver, gold (or variant), black, then (finally) something I would consider driving.

    Some lux brands offer a real red and (of course) they all offer black, but generally the choices leave me cold. I've been forced to first pick the vehicle I like, then pick the colour I dislike the least for the last two cars. The next one will probably be red, which (as this is written) is still available for the three I'm most seriously considering.

    Botttom line -- medium-high-dollar people (the $100K+ people get exactly what they want & aren't part of this discussion) are pretty conservative & the car colours follow. Many appear to hold their fingers to the wind to determine what's "in," then acquire accordingly.

    Sounds like you & I aren't in that group.
  • atlas7atlas7 Posts: 126
    LEXUS has a deep blue, not navy...don't know what the color is called on the LS460, but it's a little classy and edgy. As far as everyone getting silver, black, these colors have shown to have the highest resale value and I am sure people take that into consideration. Clearly the resale market for an "off color" car does not have the broad appeal that black and silver have..
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