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.
#20546 of 24726 Ok, I'm back with my TOL Report!
Oct 29, 2006 (11:52 am)
After a brief floor plan lesson, I'm out to test drive, not eat pastries!
There are 4 LS460/L to drive, 2 750i, and one S550 are available, so the line for the S is about 45 minutes.
After a scoot in the IS350 (no MT 250 was avilable), I drove the 750i, as the line was shortest here. Had a approx. 500 ft. straightaway for what was labeled "Acceleration Run". The straight was not flat, and the braking area was marked at about 300 ft., so I got to about 50-55MPH before braking, all too soon.
The BMW broke out fast, but midrange didn't impress, but it had plenty of power. The handling section was fairly difficult, and the car had no problem with it. Couldn't tell if the skid systems were activated.
Next was the Lexus LS460L. It didn't run as hard from the blocks, but the midrange was much better than the 7. It felt slower than the 7. But it's handling was not far behind. I disabled the skid control, and yes, I has it on Sport and Power modes. There was a large radius 180, a tight 180, and a 3-turn slalom.
Then I tested the S550, which had more heart than either vehicle! No replacement for displacement! It also seemed quite happy on the handling course. And it had acres of legroom. No real dynamic weaknesses, it's just not very appealing to me, inside or out.
Then I drove the LS460 SWB before driving the RX400h and SC. This car accelerated similar to the 750, but with the same midrange the other LS had, so it seemed faster. Not as fast as the S, but close.
My estimates are: IS350 5.2
BTW, the IS350 drove well. No demons in the steering, and strong quiet brakes!
I had no problems with the LS' footwell, brakes, or tranny. They all seemed appropriate for the mission.
This just in........For 2007......the S550's rear end ......has replaced the 750 for ugliest in HELMdom.......Lincoln Mark III-VII sues for design infringement.....more next hour....
Surprise of the day?
The SC430! It was quite the kick in the pants! I would call it "Snappy"! No squeal from the run-flats, and I was puttin' it down!
RX400h was as quiet as a dinner napkin at the start light! Very powerful.
So in closing, I didn't really learn too much, but the SC and IS drive better than I had been led to believe. The SC is powerful, and roomy (I'm well over 6'!). The IS is not roomy, but wickedly powerful, and would make any garage a better place to spend time!
You can only learn so much from a 30 second drive, but if Lexus is a very confident company, it is very easy to see why. The Germans drive great, but their designs are not cohesive or well-thought out, inside or out.
If you are looking for nits on the LS, you've got your work cut out for you. The interior, and exterior, are in another league above the Germans on hand.
Other than the torque on the S550, the LS is equal to, or superior in every way from what I could tell. And the style is clearly more advanced.
The Germans came off as well-built, but rather complicated.
The LS was more stylish and had a finely crafted way about it. Easy to use, easy to drive, easy to like. And with the windows up, you could get a good whiff of engine note in the cabin. This is a good ting!
I will now take your questions.....
Oct 29, 2006 (1:28 pm)
Great parody on the 0-60 numbers!
Why just yesterday, I do believe I did a 5.1 in my 545.
#20548 of 24726 Re: Ok, I'm back with my TOL Report! [drfill]
Oct 29, 2006 (3:24 pm)
To be respectful . . . thanks for taking the time to write all that stuff.
To be honest . . . little of it makes any sense to me.
I'll read it again later, and hopefully . . . somehow . . . just somehow . . . maybe I'll understand it all a little better.
Must be the beer I chugged in under 2.5
Oct 29, 2006 (3:44 pm)
Did you chug those beers in celebration of the Raiders victory over my beloved [but pathetic] steelers?
#20550 of 24726 Re: Ok, I'm back with my TOL Report! [drfill]
Oct 29, 2006 (4:19 pm)
That is very impressive that you took the time to write that extensive report, but my only question is how you can consider the LS styling more advanced than the S550 when the S-Class is larger and has a lower coefficient of drag? I understand if you prefer the styling because that is a very personal thing but to say it is more advanced is incorrect. Also I don't understand how you can say the German cars are not cohesive inside and out, I have always felt that way about Lexus. This is all purely opinion of course, as any design analysis is, but the curves of the exterior are mirrored on the outside in both the BMW and Mercedes-Benz while Lexus has nothing of the sort. Regardless the LS460 is a simply phenomenal vehicle for the price I agree, I would still say the Germans are superior, however.
#20551 of 24726 Re: Tagman [dhamilton]
Oct 29, 2006 (4:30 pm)
hah! Talk about pathetic. Raiders and 49ers. Our Bay Area here has TWO pathetic teams this year, even if the Raiders got lucky today. BTW, I like the steelers. Always have.
Oct 29, 2006 (4:48 pm)
in Sacramento, and went to high school in Stockton. I grew up loving the Steelers, and hating the 49'ers. I've always had a soft spot for the Warriors for some reason.
IMO the LS styling is advanced a hair past the ES and just about everything else in the line. I don't think the S class is a stunner, but at least it separates itself from Mercedes 40k models. The LS doesn't even separate itself from Toyota very much. This is something that people harp on the RL about, and to give the LS a free pass on styling is hilarious.
Also, while I think ergonomically the LS was more intuitive, the S was far more clean looking and modern to my eye on the inside. The COMMAND thingy is a bit daunting for me, but I can't say it completely sucks without having time to mess with it, which I didn't.
#20553 of 24726 According to information, provided by Lexus,
Oct 29, 2006 (4:52 pm)
The LS and S550 had drag coefficients of .26. The BMW was .29.
You seem to put quite a bit of value of the drag, as a sign of advanced aerodynamics/design. This is interesting, given the Lexus has had a drag coefficient as low as .25 since 1995, and Mercedes has been playing catch-up.
Mind you, the Prius has a .25 co., and is also regarded as maybe the most advanced vehicle on the road.
Lexus will recite many instances where they use arrowheads, single-piece stampings, and degrees of light reflectivity to design their door handles, headlight, greenhouse surrounds, etc.
The Mercedes has shades of brilliance, but, expecially outside, the design just gets lost, as if another designer took over and changed the plan midstream.
BMW's seat controls is just an example of them trying to be contrary to the market's offerings, and sacrificing ease of use to be different.
Where I expect to see a stereo, I see a chest of drawers?
I consider good design to be a consistent, logical progression, that doesn't deviate for the sake of change. The Germans in attendance failed at this, the Mercedes in front to rear styling. The interior is acceptable, but not Lexus-quality.
The BMW's exterior is consistent front to rear, consistently bad! The design is heavy-handed, with thick pillars. The Frankenstein-headlights, and the Bangle-butt, with a needless chrome band that looks like a thong across it. Makes no sense. The interior is no better. The transmission stalk is blocked by the steering wheel. Was anyone asking for buttons on the rim of the steering wheel to change gears?
Lexus takes less chances, except out back, where it scores where BMW could not. And inside they just worked on better materials, tighter tolerances, and a little shinola!
It's clean and elegant, just like the outside.
The BMW is not clean or elegant. It's just a powerful car. I think there are a lot of powerful cars out there, ones that aren't so eager to upset prospective owners.
Let's see the 2008 C-Class, than we can reassess that. The C has been a S-Class knock-off for quite a while, and the E has it's own design plan.
A manufacturer may design the cars that way to ensure loyalty to the brand. If someone buys a Lexus ES, and loves it, they maybe more inclined to move up to the LS is it shares a design philosophy, just with more room, power, and features.
If you liked the ES, you'll love the LS! Same probably applies to the C/S Class.
Also keep in mind, Lexus started with the LS and ES as their foundation. They are designed to compliment each other. And all things considered, has that been good for Lexus? I think so.
Oct 29, 2006 (5:36 pm)
I don't like the ES. Their is nothing about that car I like. I don't quite understand some of your last post. You talk about good design being a consistent process, which is subjective, then how the Mercedes fails in quality which is not as subjective IMO. So, are you saying you don't like the interior design of the S, as well the quality isn't up to snuff?
I think both cars offer a very high quality interior but with a different philosophy. The LS more classic and elegant. The S, more modern, and clean. The S says drive me, The LS says, sit down in me and let Calgon take you away.
An interior taste is just that, taste. But quality isn't lacking in either car. The most important thing in my mind is, once again, the S goes Seabiscuit on the rest of the field in terms of driving dynamics.
If the C class comes out and looks to much like the S, I'll say the same thing about it. 85-100k plus should buy you a different look. Other than the grill on all Audi's, they don't look much alike to me. Also, when Chrysler starts to copy Mercedes to much let me know.
#20555 of 24726 Re: DrFill [dhamilton]
Oct 29, 2006 (5:49 pm)
The most important thing in my mind is, once again, the S goes Seabiscuit on the rest of the field in terms of driving dynamics.
dhamilton . . . you and the Doc are in total agreement that the S-Class is is better engineered when it comes to driving dynamics. The S-Class style just doesn't appeal to the Doc. Here is what the Doc said that should prove my point:
... Then I tested the S550, which had more heart than either vehicle! No replacement for displacement! It also seemed quite happy on the handling course. And it had acres of legroom. No real dynamic weaknesses, it's just not very appealing to me, inside or out.
See? He acknowledged the superior driving dynamics, which of course is due to superior Mercedes engineering.
Both of you, however, offer very different perspectives on the IS, at least as I understand your posts. You consider it a joke, and I think the Doc likes it quite a bit. I find this interesting, because we're talking about the same car here.