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.
#16603 of 24726 Re: There are risks and there are RISKS [oac]
Jun 19, 2006 (9:40 pm)
And these are just in NA alone.... By the time you add the variants in Europe, Middle East and Asia, you'd have to multiply each model line by a factor of 2 !!! Burger King-way sure looks like it, but it ain't a way to improve brand image and marqueness, all IMO !!!
Yet it works. See this is where knowing about Mercedes comes in at. They've always had a lot of different models, more than either BMW or Audi, only recently did really expand into totally new segments. A little FYI here some of those cars are like the S-Class and CL have always been there, just before the "CL" was just the S-Class Coupe, which is really what it still is. Why would you list the SLR there? Surely a 450K, 612hp supercar isn't hurting their image and you certainly don't see one on every corner. The only new models there are the R and GL and CLS and maybe the SLK having come out in 1997. The only one there that is questionable is the R-Class, which has done a belly flop in the market. The rest have done nothing but "shore up" MB's image not hurt it. The CLS has opened up a new segment that VW, Porsche, Aston-martin and others are now trying to come up with something similar. Again that is nothing but sheer prestige for Mercedes having done that. What the CLS has done for MB is no more different than what you claim the RX did for Lexus. Since BMW has an X3 and others like Audi, Infiniti, and Acura are going to join the small-lux SUV arena should Mercedes stay out of it?
What I really want to know is how more models hurts Mercedes when Lexus is going to do the same thing? Aren't you guys always talking about all these Lexus models coming in the next few years? How is that any different?
#16604 of 24726 LS Vs. the Euro World!
Jun 19, 2006 (9:45 pm)
I am another under 45 LS owner. When I was considering purchasing my car in 04 my other choices were 530i, S4, and Cayenne S. Very wide choices, indeed. I wanted to get the best car for my wants and needs. My second choice would have been S4 with manual tranny. I am due for a new one this fall and my choices are LS460/600 or S8. So handling is important to me (but is not everything) and the LS does not fail in that department. Yes it leans too much but has excellent balance, steering and brakes for everyday driving. I Put it in second gear and step on it on the on ramps, it goes (even with 17s)! But I would not buy the LS if I lived in an area that had twisty roads, lived in Germany where I could go 120 all day, or if I wanted to use on the track. But I live in Sunny California, so the LS is good enough to exceed the speed limit every now and then.
Frankly, I would love to own a German car if their total package including the exterior, interior, handling, reliability, dealer service, and yes the big bad word VALUE exceeded Lexus's. I like the S8 because it is beautiful inside and out and will be a great performer. I am willing to live with its reliability but the dealer service and to a lesser extent the MMI are what I am afraid of. Has anyone seen the A8 Audi Exclusive interior? The wood and the leather are out of this world. Just simply Exquisite.
I do not put much thought to the Magazines because they only have the car for so long and they drive them mostly to test their performance. By the way, one of the magazines rated the AMG E63 first, S6 second and M5 last! Go figure Bimmer fans. M5 must be an inferior product! NOT.
#16605 of 24726 Re: Merc [oac]
Jun 19, 2006 (9:54 pm)
GaryH, thanks for that real-world post. Same thing I have said repeatedly here. The LS does NOT handle like a boat. Put an 18" rim on that car and see how it handles. How many auto mag comparos have ever tested the LS w/18" rims ? Almost none.... But those who have this on their LS can attest to its handling ability. This is from actual owners, you know, the one that drives this car EVERYDAY not a weekend tire-kicking episode on a 2-mile jaunt, or an auto mag report of a 15-mile test drive.
Yet we're talking about handling on a family outing and that is supposed to be a clear indication of how the car handles? Again, no one here is saying that any of these cars are sports cars only that the Lexus LS DOES NOT match the Euro competion. What was the point of Lexus staging such a rediculous event with a handling course? That is what you should be asking Lexus. On THEIR course the car was pitiful and this was low speeds. How much handling are you going to get out of a family outing. I'm starting to think that even discussing hanlding here is pointless if anyone thinks the LS430 "handles".
Talking of innovation, how many cogs does the new S550 have vs how many are going into the new LS460 ? And how efficient can your engine be ? A mere 4.6L in the LS puts down as much power as the 5.5L (almost a 1L more) in the S...
Gee now when MB came out with a 7-speed the Lexusfans dismissed it as useless overkill and said that a 6-speed was good enough, now of course the tune has changed in typical fashion. Now MB will need to come up with a 10-speed in order to become #1 again based on all these johnny-come-lately "innovations".
Should we even debate the technology in the new motors in the LS460 and S550 ??? Forgetaboutit.... How about a 40GB hard-drive in the new LS, what storage size is in the new S again ? Oh, I forgot, can the new S550 park itself as the LS460L can ? Did I see a leather-stitched dash as in the 600hL or a vinyl/wood dash in the new S550 ? How many speakers are in the new LS460L vs in the new S550 ? And accident-avoidance features in these two cars, which is more high-tech ? Both cars now wear 18" and 19" upgraded tires, so we should expect significant improvements in "performance" from both cars...
I guess now that when Lexus updates existing technology they automatically become an "innovator". This has to be the weakest list of "innovations" I've every seen. All of it is an upgrade on existing tech. The Lexus has more storage space on its hard drive compared to the S550, but the S550 has the same exact thing, but not as much space. WOW that took a lot of work on Lexus' part. Forget that the S550 has been out since Sept 2005 plenty of time for Lexus to change their specs to include more space. Now that is innovation. Uh...do I see a leather stitched dash on the S600? Yes. Now leather on the dash is an innovation. Quick someone call Bentley and tell them that they have been upstaged!
What I see in the negative posts from Euro car fans often smacks of jealousy of Lexus. The new kid on the block kicking the butt of its senior statesman, MB.
That is exactly what it is, but in the reverse. Whenever a Lexus can't be #1 in a particular area the criteria is dismissed. Lexus' whole being was based on just envy of Mercedes-Benz. Their flagship car has been up to this point the very defintion of jealousy. I mean to take a whole bodystyle and copy it says something when you do it for your "marquee" car. Lexus tags their top LS a "600" to ape from Mercedes' S600. Another clear signal as to who the target (read: who they want to be like) is. As for their fans they suffer from it too. Any mention of Lexus has to include the obligatory comment about the destruction of Mercedes-Benz. It is never BMW, Audi, Jaguar, Cadillac, Infiniti, just Mercedes and that doesn't say who is jealous of who I don't know what does.
#16606 of 24726 Re: Merc [garyh1]
Jun 19, 2006 (9:58 pm)
Sorry, merc1 and Tagman, at least shod with performance tires, the LS handles very well. Drive one with these tires (but without the "Euro suspension" which is how they are coming to the dealers these days), and I think you may change your one-note tune. But of course, even more relevant for the future will be how the LS460 handles, and NO ONE HAS DRIVEN ONE YET!
The LS430 "handles" compared to what though?
I haven't read anything about that experience that says anything about the car having any real "handling" Gary. What I read was about a nice family outing at moderate speeds. The fact of the matter is that when these cars are driven aggressively (which most people don't, never said they did), the LS can't cut it. That is all I, Tagman and Designman (and all the professionals) are saying. I've drive the LS back to back with the previous S500 on a course Lexus provided and the S500 handled much better.
#16607 of 24726 Re: There are risks and there are RISKS [oac]
Jun 19, 2006 (10:04 pm)
We will just have to agree to disagree here... Personalization is a key aspect of ultra high-end cars, the likes of RR, Bentley, Aston Martin, Ferrari, etc.. where each car is hand-built to a customer specification. That is personalization, not a boutique designed to please all... Put another way, why would anyone pony up $450K for an SLR when he shares service bays with a $30K C280 ?
Interesting so I guess the fact that every other Lexus on the road is just like every other Lexus except for colors and some options doesn't hurt their image? The majority or Lexuses on the road wear beige leather and bright-colored wood like some type of badge of honor. Mercedes has so much customization available now it isn't even funny.
That said, none of these cars will ever be on the level of Bentley, Aston-Martin or anything like that, these are mass-produced cars. Lexus doesn't even offer anything special on one car from the next, no performance version no special interiors, nothing. It is equally interesting to read all this about the SLR sharing a service bay with a C280 being some sort of problem? How many times do you think a SLR owner ever walks to the back to see the service bay? I seriously doubt any MB dealer would even require that SLR owner bring the car in as opposed to going and picking it up for them.
They'd buy a SLR because it is a amazing vehicle one in league so far above anything from Lexus so far, not because of what it has to share service bays with. I know Lexus fans get a kick out of going for service so I guess this might be an issue at Lexus dealership when they start adding 100K+ models that still have to share the service bays with the glorified Camry, the ES.
Truthfully why would it matter? This is not a VW service bay in which a "regular" car like a Jetta is sitting beside a different breed of buyer like those of the Phaeton. The services bays at a MB or Lexus dealership are supposed to be to a certain standard anyway and it isn't like there are that many SLRs to come in for this to be a problem anyway. They sell maybe 200 of them a year. That isn't going to create some type of glut of SLRs in the service bays with the "regular" Mercedes-Benzes.
#16608 of 24726 Re: What makes one car "BETTER" than another? [topspin628]
Jun 19, 2006 (10:09 pm)
Very good post. The only thing I disagree with is:
Lexus is plain and simply, the best quality you can buy as far as reliability and the way it's screwed together.
Reliability yes, but the build part no. Any Audi and several newer Mercedes are built as good or better than any Lexus as far as their physical build. Audi in particular is often called the standard in that area. The new S-Class is built much better than the W220 was, especially the 2000-2002 models.
Other than that little detail I agree with what you've said.
#16609 of 24726 Re: Many LS buyers can NOT afford or choose an S-Class [hpowders]
Jun 19, 2006 (10:14 pm)
That's where I don't get Oac's jealousy claim against the Euros:
All S-Class buyers can buy an LS, but not all LS buyers can afford an S-Class.
I think he's got this jealousy thing backward
Yes, definitely. A new Lexus can't be talked about unless Mercedes is mentioned as being the car to be destroyed. This charge about jealousy is really something.
#16610 of 24726 Re: Many LS buyers can NOT afford or choose an S-Class [tagman]
Jun 19, 2006 (10:17 pm)
Thanks for re-wording what I've been saying all along. Price matters one minute here and then the next it doesn't. Just like status, number of gears, or 0-60 times. If Lexus has the advantage then it is seen as a major selling point, but if it one of the Euros, nope.
#16611 of 24726 Re: Selection is a good thing , not bad [tagman]
Jun 19, 2006 (10:25 pm)
Yeah I didn't get that one either. Lexus has nothing on the order of "personalization" of MB,BMW or Audi yet it is brought up here concerning Lexus. The fact that Mercedes offers so many choices has been one of the reasons they've been so highly regarded all these years. What does an LS buyer do after they've had a 1/2 dozen LSs? There is no coupe or roadster at Lexus that equals the LS like there is a Mercedes. There are no performance models, no 4-seat cabriolets, sports cars? Nothing. Even Cadillac provides more choice now. Lexus is all sedans and suvs at the moment and that is the only reason why this about having too many models is a problem, because Lexus doesn't have anything to compare.
Before you arrived here Tagman there was a knock on MB/BMW/Audi/Jaguar about them making all their cars look alike. It was seen as a "problem" for the C to look like the S and the front of the SL to look like the front of the CLK, but since Lexus has now (finally) adopted the same policy by making all their cars look more or less alike, the IS and LS, but in different sizes like the C & S were, its all good now. This about the having too many models too with fall by the wayside after Lexus gets done flushing out their lineup. That about having more models is definitely just a nit-pic for the sake of doing so underlined by the fact that Lexus is going the same route really exposes that claim for what really it is.
#16612 of 24726 Re: What makes one car "BETTER" than another? [topspin628]
Jun 20, 2006 (4:13 am)
Now there’s a Lexus post I can relate to… no rose-colored glasses, no bluster, not an ounce of fat… it plays to the LS's strong points and is probably a perfect example of why many buy an LS.