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High End Luxury Cars



  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well the guy that designed every Mercedes from the 1970s until 1999 retired in 1999, Bruno Sacco. Mercedes' styling while still very attractive hasn't been the same since he left. The new SL, CLK and even the E-Class all lost a little something compared to his designs. His last designs were the S-Class and CL, both lookers, especially the CL! I think he did a masterful job during his tenure, but he really deserves credit for bringing Mercedes into the now going from the slab-sided W140 S-Class to the current one and at the same time keeping all the traditional Mercedes styling points.

    "A Mercedes should always look like a Mercedes and symbolize all the values of a true Mercedes, convey innovation and respect tradition."

    (Bruno Sacco design chief 1974 - 1999)

    A really good writeup on Bruno -

    I saw so many W124 E's today, I still want one. So timeless. The W123 was just a few years before I started paying attention to Mercedes.

  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The CL is a gorgeous coupe. It is just a classic design, even though it was released in '00, it still grabs attention today, thats the sign of a great design. Thats the opposite of the 6, which looks ugly now, and will only get worse. I saw a 645 parked next to a CL500 at the air port once, I bet the guy with the bimmer was kicking himself when he got back to his car.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081


    That "Pewter" color on the S-Class (S55 in this example):


  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    I see only token treatments of the Mercedes continuum in the current models. The previous generations really got lost. You know, we are so early in history with regard to the automobile. I think up to this point it was easier to design and stay fresh. We are getting into a period where it's becoming a grind. It's not easy to have a heritage yet bring a car forward. I'd give anything to get a glimpse of what cars will look like in 100, 200 years.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well with so many regulations and moden car requirements styling will ultimately suffer the most. Europe has taken the biggest step in the direction of ruining styling so far and it comes for 2005. To pass pedestrian safety standards all cars must have so much space between the hood and the top of the engine. Messy. The 2006 S-Class is rumored to have its hood mounted on struts that will raise it a few inches upon hitting a pedestrian!

    So far Mercedes, imo has been a leader in continuing their orginal styling theme through the years. Along with Porsche, Ferrari, Aston-Martin, BMW, Volvo, Saab, Jaguar and a few other European makers. With most of these cars (new BMWs excluded) you know what they are instantly. The new Bimmers look like orphans compared to their previous generations.

    I think 100 years from now cars will be identified with just their badges, they'll all look the same.

  • jstylejstyle Posts: 129
    Here are the latest photos. Anyone think the lines are like the Maybach and an Acura TL combined and the interior very much going towards the BMW 7. Anyone else think this is a mistake?? Yikes, MB will loose a lot of prestige if they fail to make a compelling S Class. 8&n=158
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Actually, I really dont think the S has aged as well as the CL. When I see a $110,000+ S600, I just yawn at it. Perhaps I've seen too many.

    For some reason, Audi and MB seem to think the new 5 and 7 have the best interiors ever put in a car. The must, if they are going to rip them off THAT badly. I come on, the A6 was bad enough, but at least it looks midly different from the 545i. That looks like literally a direct copy of the 7.
  • I don't think that can possible be the new S Class...Merc would personally blow up the plant before he would allow them to build something that ugly...and what is with that big bulgy thing in the middle of the interior..The interior is even more ugly then the exterior...

    No way this is an S Class.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Mercedes built the ML320. That was an ugly car with CRAP on the inside. They've done it before. Not that I'm upset or anything, the uglier and cheesier inside M-Bs get, the stronger Lexus gets :)
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    Maybe this post belongs in the 'Styling Cues' forum, but it seems like to me that the current Accord Coupe is very similar to the timeless styling of the CL shown in post #5421.

    Go to the Honda web site at : cord+Coupe

    Look at the photo three down in the right hand column. Even the color is close.

    Maybe Herr Sacco is doing some freelancing since leaving MB.
  • jstylejstyle Posts: 129
    Yes perhaps the artistic rendition is wrong but all the reports are the interior photos are accurate and they will build a Nokia designed iDrive like system. I think the shot of the covered car is probably right on. It will have a smaller Maybach "look" to it
  • I think the Mayback is a lot prittier inside and out.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    These are some fugly pics..... If these pictures TRULY represent the best of what MB has to offer in competition against the likes of the 2006 LS, then I must say, MB is definitely on the WRONG course. I'll remain skeptical for now since these are spy pics and *may not* turn out to be the final versions.

    Compare the S-class spy pics here: 8&n=158

    versus Lexus' LFS concepts here: tml

    And you see the difference !!!
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    The sign in the back on the car connection photo - which looks like an A&P but probably isn't - has a name just to its left and the last 4 letters match the name of the designer who's mission seems to be the destruction of BMW. Very interesting co-incidence. If that is the next S-class than that is one dis-appointing interior. I normally wouldn't take the autospies pix all that seriously but they match reasonably well to the actual photograph.

    OAC - I was out to a big local charity event this weekend and talked cars with a bunch of people. There were a few people in the crowd who are senior managers or GM's of local car dealerships including Caddy, Ford and Acura. I was really surprised at the tone about MB. They have fallen a lot further than I realized within the car dealer trade. No one wants used MB's and there is a lot more desperation at Benz than I think most of us realize based on the people I talked to. The consensus from my discussions was that Lexus is now viewed as the car to beat and the car that runs forever and the envy of the industry. I'm not talking enthusiasts here - I'm talking build quality, reliability, resale value and the integrity the brand now has to people. When they add in some more spice in the next few years they will take the torch from MB here in the US in the media's eyes as well. BMW is the most exciting car, still built wth excellent quality and great engines but overly engineered electronically (and its hurting them) and MB is living off a name and a quality past. The people I talked to said the 7-series is a bust (and its sales are heavily subsidized) but the 5-series is pretty much accepted - its just not a run away success. Audi has yet to recover from the old acceleration problems and may never do so and VW is hopelessly lost. Caddy intends to model itself on BMW excitement and Lexus excellence. Good luck with that one but nevertheless there is a lot of excitement at Caddilac these days. Lastly Acura is in the position to do what Caddilac wishes to do but they'll never get there without a big engine. The Acura guy was besides himself that they still lack a V8 and dealerships across the US have petitioned Honda to do something about this. Lastly they are all upset about the NSX as well despite its low sales volume as it could have and should have been a halo car matched with a true V8 flagship sedan to compete with Lexus, Infiniti and the Germans. They need the V8 to portray themselves as heavyweights.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I guess all this gloom and doom is expected on this board, even before the S-Class is officially shown. The car has a terrible interior and exterior, though it is all mucked up for development work. Yep I too can see what the final car will look like through that mess.


    Yep, you may have seen too many, but then again the S600 (except for the wheels) looks just like the S430.


    Yikes a bunch of dealership people from Acura and Ford say that MB is finished, they of course know what they're talking about wouldn't be biased at all. Acura especially. Mercedes is finished in their eyes yet Acura still doesn't measure up past one car. Makes sense to me.

    The group you spoke with should be disqualified immediately from talking about cars if they're still thinking about Audi's unfounded unintended acceleration episode back in what..the 1980s. Dude they're clueless. Audi was found to be not at fault! You're saying this groups sees Lexus as the standard in quality and reliability. Gasp! Nobody disputed that and its been harped on every spring for the last 10 years when the surveys are released. You're right this group aren't enthusiasts, but I'm glad you recognize this. They think Mercedes is living off their past yet their stuck in the past when thinking about Audi. The 7-Series has excellent quality? Yet this is the car that this crowd's bible (Consumer Reports) said was more troublesome than a 1996 LS400 is today in 2004! What a knowledgeable bunch.

  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    Those pics are terrible. Look at these, and they usually get them right: p;pos=1

    The new S class looks very good to me, easily the best looking car in its class (again).

  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    It certainly is a good time to be the "lexusguy". Personally I couldnt be happier to see Lexus finally shrug off the "lets make it look like a '9x S420" approach and let their OWN designers show what they can really do. LF-S and LF-C, gorgeous. The LF-X is nice, but it seems like there are A LOT of FX45 cues in it.
  • scott1scott1 Posts: 50
    I think I've narrowed my choices down to these two. Both would sticker at about 58,000 or so as I would want them configured.

      I like the exterior of the Mercedes better then the Lexus, but the lexus has the edge in interior design . The Mercedes has awd, which will come in handy in the wisconsin winters. I've test driven them both, and found both to be very capable and comfortable...although the Lexus gets my nod for quietness and ride quality.

      I keep going back and forth between these two..I could see myself owning either one, for different reasons. The big weight on the Lexus side of the scale is reliability and durabilty.

      Anyone else have any thoughts comparing these two?
  • aggie76aggie76 Posts: 266
    I did this comparison and for the room and reliability decided to go with the LS430 just a month ago. I still like the styling on the E but couldn't get over the reliability concerns and living over an hour from the closest Mercedes dealer I did not want to get to know the service folks and spend time over there. Having experienced Lexus service and quality with my '98 GS I just could not find a reason to switch from it.

    I have not been disappointed at all with my LS. Just did a short road trip to Madison and it was wonderful. I will put winter tires on mine this fall, like I have with my other RWD cars, and don't expect any concerns with mobility this winter.
  • jstylejstyle Posts: 129
    The front would be nice if that is a true rendition but it is an artist's wish. The actual spy photos show an awful interior and an exterior rear and profile that mimicks the Maybach. MB's stylists are making generic looking cars lately. ie, the 2006 ML looks like a Acura MDX, the CLK is a Honda Accord Coupe. The only good looking MB is an E-Class model and the AMG version of the CL. Otherwise all style is gone from Mercedes.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,690
    What's your opinion of the SL?

    merc1 - If you read again you'll see that I posted they thought the 7-series was a bust but that BMW's - in general- were still well made cars. I didn't say that MB was dead or headed for disaster. Falling from the number 1 spot doesn't mean you are going out of business. I was just surprised that the "Trade" opinion of MB is a lot worse than I thought it would be and pretty much in-line with Consumer Reports indexes.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    I found this link posted by usbseawolf2000 on another Edmunds board. Though it is about a comparison of the Prius and Jetta diesel, it is interesting reading and a taste of what's to come at the high end: 48278220.xml?banew
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    Beauty is mostly gone from car design, period. And big conservative sedans have seldom been the car designs to set the imagination flying anyhow. We'll have to wait and see how the new S really looks, until then we're both only speculating, but I certainly do not expect the new S to be the worst looking car in its class, nor do I think Lexus will go as stylish as people here wish for with their most critcal models: they'll probably go for innovative designs with niche models, but the LS will stay a good ole brick design.

    I am not a big fan of several of Mercsa new designs: the Maybach is a disaster, a vulgar car design. The new SLK looks slightly Pontiac Aztec-ish. The rest of the line-up, howver, while not imaginative is not a bad looking set of cars, arguably in average Mercedes might stil have the better designs out there now that Jaguar has fattened the XJ and Audi has felt compelled to put that horrible new grill into their cars.

    As for Lexus, I would not get too excited because they get two showcars out. The SC430 has not aged well at all, it looks very 3 years ago. They will not dare to make the same mistake with their most important cars.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I dont like the E. (And Im not just saying this as an LS owner). Those pointless brakes are a definite sore point with me, its been proven that they do NOT outperform standard mechanical brakes, and something like my car's ability to stop is not something Im going to trust to german electronics. Plus, $58K for a 215hp V6? Are you kidding me? M-Bs prices are out of control. If you feel you need AWD, wait for the new RL, M35 AWD, and GS300 AWD. All three will outperform and outfeature the E, and undercut it by at least $10 grand.
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hi All,
     I'm not impressed with the new S class. It looks as generic as ever. I'm quite disappointed considering how good the CL and SL look. I think the current gen S Class is much better than the new design. But I'll withold judgement until I see what the new LS430 looks like. If it looks like the current gen S Class, I'll never buy another Lexus again reliabilty be damned.

     I really don't think anyone is building a nice looking Lux car these days. What do you all think?

  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    “Beauty is mostly gone from car design, period.”

    Yes sir. However, the sports car is the last bastion of hope, for no other reason than they have to be made lean, unlike every other class which can be Rubenesque. 350Z, Boxster, 911, S2000, Vette, NSX, T-Bird, MR2, Miata… these are all beautiful or at least decent looking cars. Of course BMW and MB are doing their best to screw that up too.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    …big Sedans down 3-0, three men on, Lexus LS up at the plate. You Lexus apostles better be right about the next one. If it’s a dog I’ll never talk to you again. ;-)
  • topspin628topspin628 Posts: 373
    I am currently considering both of these cars.
    After extensive test drives in each I have come to the following conclusions:

    Ride- MB gets nod- it is the best riding car I've ever been in. Lexus is super smooth but not quite as tight as I'm used to.

    Seats- I give edge to MB. The European seats which are a bit more firm are more to my taste.

    Handling- MB

    Value- Lexus- many more goodies included for less $

    Styling- I prefer the classic Benz.

    Reliability- I am sure Lexus will win out.

    But a key component may be the option to get all wheel drive on the Benz. I live in the NE and it would be very helpful here.

    The price difference is about 10K as MB is aggressively moving out S Class with a 3K factory kicker to the dealer. I don't particularly care which company wins or loses in the volume game so I don't get caught up in some of the posts I see here where it reminds me of debating which baseball team is better. I only care about which is good for me and which car I will be happy with because either way it's a lot of $.

    I know that MB has taken a hit in the quality rankings but I also know many people who love their MB's. I can handle a few extra trips to the service department but I did own an ML that stranded me once. That was unacceptable.

    Any objective data would be helpful.
  • stevesteinstevestein Posts: 263
    you can get from this site by comparing specifications. These boards give subjective data such as "I prefer the classic styling" or "more firm (seats) are more to my taste".
    The LS vs S discussion tends to dominate this board, with passionate membership on both sides. Two great cars, built to favor different aspects. The "better" car is the one that fits you best. It seems from your prior post that you would be happier with a MB. I had to make the same choice, and although I had two MB's previously I took the LS. Unless something drastic happens I can't see ever going back, but that's because Lexus' target is a bullseye to my personal preferences. Others wouldn't be caught dead in what they see as a boring design that isolates the driver from the road.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Sounds like the S 4-matic is for you. Since you really like it better you could be having too many second thoughts if you go with the LS. I always say you don't want to buy a car only to keep ogling the one you didn't get. And if service headaches wear you out, well, you're not stuck with it forever. Also, AWD is an enormous plus, especially if you depend on the car in the winter. Finally, don't forget, the Lexus service experience is considered by far the best.
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