Last post on Jan 28, 2013 at 5:55 PM
You are in the Sedans
What is this discussion about?
Audi A8, BMW 7 Series, Jaguar XJ-Series, Lexus LS 460, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Volkswagen Phaeton, Maserati Quattroporte, Mercedes-Benz CL-Class, Sedan
Let's try to define this forum as being limited to luxury performance vehicles where the mainstream version in a typical configuration has an MSRP of at least $60k.
A luxury vehicle with a base price of $59k qualifies because it would typically be bought with some additional equipment, bringing the MSRP over $60k.
Vehicles like the E, 5, A6, M, or GS, even if available in certain versions over $60k, don't qualify because they are cars from companies that have higher end cars in their lineups.
#14269 of 24726 Re: Plain as day [tagman]
Mar 17, 2006 (7:06 am)
I respectfully disagree with your assessment. I still own my 1992 LS400 and will not part with it period. I don't need to justify anything: My experience with Lexus Customer Service and their Service Department has been very poor. How would you like it if you've invested $200K in a certain brand and they treat you poorly when you need them? That's not called Service. They were not loyal to me, so I voted with my (more like my son's in this case) checkbook and gave Mercedes my business.
There is nothing biased about my experience. Here is the short version:
1) Son takes 1992 LS400 to dealer this summer for service since the suspension is "clunking". They call him back and claim it needs $4k worth of work. The mechanic says the Service Writer is wrong. He agrees to 2K of work to fix this problem. It isn't fixed. They claim the stabilizer bar bushings are bad, yet they'd been replaced a year earlier. He calls the Service Manager who says to the effect of "Tough *hit..We'll keep charging to fix it.." It takes a lawyer's letter, a complaint with the MA Attorney General and Better Business Bureau to get an acceptable settlement out of them.
You want to know the funniest thing? This Clunking noise was caused by missing Brake Shims!!! The dealer forgot to put them back on after they did the accident repairs!
2) I bought a CPO 1998 LS400 in 2001. This car would stall, doors wouldn't shut properly, the cluster would blink for no reason and the parking brake wouldn't hold the car on my driveway. Imagine bringing a $46K car home and having it roll off of your driveway! Is that acceptable??
Why did it take a lawsuit to make Lexus give me a 2002 LS430 at cost?? Where was Corporate then??
3) The '02 LS430 had its rain sensor replaced 3 times and the steering column had to be replaced under warranty.
4) The paint on my new 2005 LS430 scratches so easily despite being polished and waxed 4 times a year. It also rattles in the rear. The Lexus dealer pretty much told me tough luck..
Do you understand why I'm angry now?? Why should I be loyal to a car company that hasn't supported me at all? I get upset when people spew propaganda on this board claiming Lexus is the second coming of Christ himself. It's not and my experience proves that. I know what the JDP Data says, why do you think I invested over $200K in these cars in the first place? My experience is what it is.. You cannot discount it.
As for the LS460, it is a technical marvel, but certainly is not the second coming of the 1990 LS400. The '90 model was better looking, performing, and longer lasting than anything else at the time. The S550 may be eclipsed by the LS460, but we'll have to wait and see. I don't see the LS460 "blowing" anything away. Do you think MB, BMW, and Audi are resting on their laurels? It's a nice car, but not the "Great" car the 1990 LS400.
If the LS460 outsells the S550 worldwide I will admit I am wrong. But at the same time you cannot denigrate Mercedes just because they are having reliability and profitability issues. They are still considered top notch in innovative safety technology, performance, style, design, and engineering.
This isn't about my car is betters than yours. It supposed to be about factual data. I maintain my LS400 is one of the best cars Lexus has built period. I'll pit it against anything from it's era. I wouldn't invest the $$$ in it if I thought otherwise. Likewise, I think the same of the S Class. It was the trend setting car of it's era for style and technology. Reliability is an issue, but it has a grace and presence unlike any other.
I think you missed my point about the LS460..I don't like ANY new car out there period, hence my decision to pick the older S Class.
#14270 of 24726 Re: SV [drfill]
Mar 17, 2006 (7:24 am)
As for the LS400
The 1990-1994 had a flair to me. I remember a line from a Car and Driver review of the 1995 that said it lacked the flair of the less perfect model. That car was too antiseptic to me. There are some posters on here which have commented about Lexus acknowledging that the revision was too conservative. The original model was a timeless design, a la Jaguar. Look at a 1st Generation LS400 today and it still looks nice. The succesor models IMHO have not aged as well.
I passed on the 1995 and got a 1998 CPO. I had enough issues with that to trade up to a 2002 Ls430. It was a nice car, but then again did not have the bulletproof service record the 1992 LS had until recently. Also, the exterior design was quite disappointing, a creative dud. The 2005 LS430 was a big improvement, but that shape was still there. It looked bulky.
The LS460 is an interesting car no doubt. But it still doesn't have the flair of the 1990 model. The design is modest, but not very exciting. The interior is great however. The Tech gear is another plus. It just didn't do it for me.
Have a look one day at a 1990-94 model. Pay attention to the window switches, turn signal stalks, dimmer switch for the console and even the side mirrors. You'll see the plastic on those are much thicker than the newer cars. The 1992 had an off switch for the Steering Retract and Keyless entry. Everything about that car give the feeling it would last forever.
Sure my 1992 is starting to have some issues, but it still can do a 100 MPH with an eerie silence. It's hard to believe a 14 yr old car can perform so well.
As I mentioned before my son has spent a few thousand fixing every little cosmetic and mechanical item that was out of spec. For the first time in months, I drove it a few days ago. I didn't even hear the engine as I drove. The ride was silky smooth, and the paint gleamed as if it were brand new. It sure got to 85 MPH in a hurry and was pretty stable on the highway. No moving about in the crosswind like my LS430 does. (Due in part to its higher profile). The old Pioneer 7 speaker stereo sounded wonderful. Absolutely nothing is wrong with this car.
After parking it at the mall I turned around to look at it..It still the looker of the lot. People refuse to believe me when I tell them it's 14 yrs old.
Do you see what I'm talking about? When Lexus builds another like this, I'll be first in line to buy it..
The people at the Lexus dealer refer to that car as the "Golden Age" I have had many a Lexus mechanic lament to me that they don't build like that anymore.
I hope you understand now that this has nothing to do with petty my car is better than yours attitude. I think the only car I'm missing now is a 1998-2003 Jaguar XJ8!
#14271 of 24726 Re: Plain as day [sv7887]
Mar 17, 2006 (9:08 am)
Likewise, I think the same of the S Class.....but it has a grace and presence unlike any other.
Whoa, that sounds like one of MB's current commercials. I'm still in shock here SV!
#14272 of 24726 Re: SV [sv7887]
Mar 17, 2006 (9:37 am)
I'll completely disagree with you SV. The 95 car to me was a beautiful design and an improvement on the 90-94 models. I like the 90-94 but will take a 95 over a 94 any day. I've never heard this golden age moniker you describe around here. In my area the dealership treats you like royalty and Lexus HQ surprises me constantly. They recently sent me a gift of choice (not cheap) just for answering a survey on line. I again requested paint on the phone from my dealership and received it fedex the next day. When I bring my car in for service two people are waiting there to speed me out in a loaner car. It's simply top shelf treatment in a bullet proof car. IMO the build quality is still improving on standards that were already the best in the industry and I'm expecting the best build of all in the 2007 LS. Maybe the 90-94 turn signals were stronger than the current ones - I certainly don't remember - but everything else on the inside of today's car (and the 95 and 98 redesigns) are higher quality than the 90-94 models.
#14273 of 24726 All brands have bad dealers
Mar 17, 2006 (10:14 am)
I think it is safe to say that there are some bad dealers for all brands of cars. The bad Lexus experience that SV talks about is very real and unfortunate, but that is not a genuine representation of the larger population's situation, as I think ljflx would agree.
There are quite a few Mercedes dealers near me to choose from, which I guess says a lot about demographics, and sure enough, folks have their preferences and also their horror stories. But, even though one of those MB dealers is clearly nastier than the others, it does not genuinely reflect the larger population's positive ownership experiences for Mercedes vehicles.
IMO, the service treatment is important, but too often a vehicle owner ends up paying more attention to the service experience than the vehicle and driving experience . . . and that's a shame.
#14274 of 24726 Re: All brands have bad dealers [tagman]
Mar 17, 2006 (10:20 am)
Just in my neck of the woods there is an MB dealership that is equal to my Lexus dealership (based on my limited experience). Like everything in cusomer service there are stars, there is medocrity and there are failures.
#14275 of 24726 Re: SV [ljflx]
Mar 17, 2006 (10:21 am)
I think Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The person who spoke of the Golden Age is the Head Mechanic at my Lexus dealer. Other mechanics have made the same comment.
You can argue that there is nicer leather and what not in the 1995+ models and I'll have to agree with you.
Mind you the 1995 was very similar to the 1994 mechanically. It had the same 4 spd Automatic and 1uz-FE engine in it. It was just a 10 HP increase. The interior was completly different however. The exterior was a clear derivative of the original.
Next time ask your Service Writer what he/she thinks about the quality of the early ones compared to now. Did you ever see any recalls for fuel pumps and transmissions on the old one? Did you see any problems with the display cluster like they had in the 1998 model? How about the jerky accelerator? They had a single recall for the Cruise Control in the 1990 model.
The question here is absolute quality. Look at the side mirrors for example. They are much thicker on the old car. Feel the dimmer on your new car. Then go feel the dimmer on a 1990 LS. Then feel the door handle. The 1990-94 had a much thicker handle. Check the grille next, and then the window switches. Everything is thicker plastic or chrome. You'll notice the difference, but I appreciate it is hard to realize this unless both cars are sitting next to each other. My 1992 sits next to the 2005 so it's easy for me to make the comparison.
I will be the first one to say that my experience is NOT the norm. Maybe it is just the MA dealers. Of course. I've never been out of state for Lexus service. In dispute resolution with Lexus HQ I've found that they always offer the same excuses and apologies. It takes legal action to force action on their part.
Like I said, Lexus still makes a great car. This is an undisputable fact. They are technically advanced as they come, and they're starting to establish themselves as an innovator. I see only good things happening to them in the next few years.
As a long time owner I've really been let down by their customer service. I would have bought the LS460 without hesitation had I not had such a bitter experience with Lexus HQ and Dealership over the maintenance of my 92 LS. In fact, the goodwill of the 1992 experience kept me a Lexus buyer, even though I liked the S Class more.
By Probability it is unlikely the S430 will be as reliable as the LS cars. It is also true that it will not hold value as well nor will it have Bluetooth, Backup Camera, and Parking Radar. I've always maintained that Lexus appeals to the objective buyer.
What does the S430 offer then? Many Safety features standard, a timeless graceful design, Airmatic (Hope that doesn't cause more problems than it solves), 4 Matic (Big one for me), and enough toys to keep me occupied. Of course I didn't have to pay for it, so that's a plus! In addition maintenance is paid for over 3 yrs.
I fully expect this car to be more problematic. That isn't the issue. The MB dealer really treated me like royalty. That was the clincher.
This doesn't mean I'll cease being a Lexus fan. The 92 LS has created enough goodwill that I'll always defend them!
However, I won't be so quick to slam Mercedes unless this S430 falls apart of breaks down somewhere!
#14276 of 24726 Re: All brands have bad dealers [ljflx]
Mar 17, 2006 (10:26 am)
I think I just got the same S-Class advertisement you got a few days ago. A Black velvety box with 4 cards, 3 exterior shots and 1 interior shot. Nice, but I would have liked more info.
#14277 of 24726 Re: All brands have bad dealers [merc1]
Mar 17, 2006 (12:05 pm)
Yep. That's it. Mine included a test drive invitation and a special number to call. I think it was classy and the pure side view of the car looked great.
On Idol - I'm still amazed at Chicken Little's survival. Someone told me that there's a "vote for the worst" group that is probably keeping him alive each week. It's a shame that he can be so awful each week while the others can't make a mistake or they're in danger of being gone. Some of the better people, who can actually win this thing are worried each week with this crazy voting when Seacrest puts them on the bubble with his safe or danger calls. I see this coming down to Chris, Mandisa and Katherine. Mandisa's weight could be a problem but she does have a beautiful face and great charisma going for her. I think those three plus Lisa and Paris will all have future careers. Taylor's the oddball as he is a great entertainer and should get into the business in some way. I just don't see a future where we are listing to his songs on the radio. Lisa and Ace almost being eliminated was sickening and while I was not a real big fan of Melissa, I still think it's a shame she's gone as she is light years beyond Kevin Covais in talent. I have a feeling Randy is going to come down hard on him the next go round as I'm sure Simon is speaking to him and Paula behind the scenes about this contestant.
Mar 17, 2006 (1:39 pm)
It has always been my contention that the dealer is the pivotal player for service...As we have had many lexus cars over the lastfourteen years or so, I personally can say the first was the best and had the least trouble for its time,..Four years later there was good improvement, but not quite the build quality and a little more problems, then the next was a huge improvement in the driving department, but again the build quality was a bit worse....All those years the dealer has been the best I have ever experienced...Right now I have an Audi as a change is nice occasionally....The Audi for me is a wonderful change and has been trouble free so far..I further think the dealer is going to be a good dealer---I just haven`t had occasion to test them out yet, but I know they won`t be better than lexus.. I bet the Lexus will not be priced much higher than the present model LS, and will be a huge sucess....My Audi cost a bit more than eighty thousand and the Lexus is a lot less than that...Tony