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.
#21517 of 24726 Turmoil
Nov 29, 2006 (7:41 pm)
I, too, look at AutoSpies sometimes to watch the posts. It's pretty hilarious. The people there are in constant fighting- it's like Lexus vs. Audi vs. BMW all the time!
It's much more civilized here. And I wouldn't have it any other way.
I'm assessing all the cars in the high-end class, from worst to best:
Jaguar XJ: Old-world British charm just doesn't cut it any more. This car is beautiful to some tastes, and horrifically retro to others. With an underwhelming 300hp V-8, it doesn't move you like the others, but it's not far behind with its ultra-lightweight aluminum construction.
BMW 7 Series: Made a huge splash when it came out in 2002, but I feel like its fifteen minutes of fame are over. The interior is nicer (and even more complex) than most people think, and the driving dynamics are ample, if not class-leading. The AWD A8 and powerful S-Class both have handling that's at least as good, if not better. This car just isn't a leader any more, and with a starting price of $75K, won't see too many people buying it over an S-Class.
Lexus LS460: The Lexus owners will argue, sure, and this isn't a bad place to be for the Lexus. Especially in this exquisite company. The LS460 delivers in luxury, which is obviously the strongest point in this class. But, so do all the others. And what it's lacking are curbside appeal and sporting pretensions. Even though sporty driving isn't a top priority, in the Jaguar, BMW, Audi and Mercedes, at least you know it's there when you want it. The LS has also gotten significantly pricier this year. $67K for LS460 and $77K for LS460L. Interesting that Lexus made the L version $10,000 more- that's a Porsche-like move, and not commonly seen in this class. The avg is more like a $4,000 difference. An odd extra is the self-park feature. Is it worth it? I'd sure like to try it out.
Audi A8: Yes, it's still up there. The style hasn't gotten old, the interior is still the best this side of a Bentley Conti GT, and I drove a 2007 A8 SWB the other night. Boy, was I impressed. Much faster than the 2006 version. Like a slightly less racier, much more luxurious, sedan version of my car. Which it is! If you can't swallow the S550's steep sticker, the A8 is the best combination of luxury and performance. Its key strong points include AWD, the interior, and the fact that it feels like an A4 behind the wheel. In most of the others, it really does feel like you're driving a barge. Not so with the A8.
Mercedes S-Class: Mercedes was falling behind, but the star gleams once again with the new S550. Beautiful inside and out (though the exterior doesn't cater to some tastes), excellent driving dynamics, and some exorbitant luxury features that aren't seen even in its Maybach cousin. Of course, greatness comes at a price, and the S-Class is dear. But it's hard to resist. A bonus is the massive curbside appeal that none of the others can match. It truly could be the best car in the world.
Just my analyses.
'06 Audi A3 2.0T DSG • '05 Audi S4 Cabriolet • '04 Lexus RX330
#21518 of 24726 More on Lexus brakes
Nov 29, 2006 (7:47 pm)
I just got my january car and driver in, and read the following letter in the "backfire" section.
"I don't care what kind of tires the Lexus LS 460 was wearing when you tested it. A 209 foot braking distance from 70 mph to standstill is simply unacceptable for a Lexus flagship. A few pages later in your "full size SUV comparo" the worst braking competitor-Lincoln's 6119 pound Navigator-managed to stop in an identical 209 feet. Hell, I can buy a 5629-pound Range Rover that stops in 165 feet. Relentlessly pursuing perfection? Lexus should be embarrassed."
Car and driver responds
"We tested an LS460L this month [page 102] and recorded a not-much-better 207 feet." Ed
It is laughable, and if we are going to give Lexus a brake because it was a pre-production model, then we should maybe give one to Audi since it was a no more production 06 model. The 07 has 15 more horses.
Nov 29, 2006 (7:56 pm)
with all due respect, you lost some credibility when you said the SC was fun around the autocross track. I have so many metaphors for that, my head hurts. Unfortunately, none that I can repeat here.
Anyway, Buy what you love, not what somebody else loves. As far as the Lexus being the poor man's S class, I'll say this. If your not with the one you love, love the one your with.
Nov 29, 2006 (8:05 pm)
Just commented that I was surprised at it's ability, considering the fact that the way people talk, the car should fall to pieces when pushed, which it didn't. No tire squeal, no oversteer, no hyper-roll. And I gave it as good a shove as possible while keeping it on course.
Can't make an absolute judgement from an intense 30-45 sec. ride, doh.
#21521 of 24726 Re: Dham [drfill]
Nov 29, 2006 (8:28 pm)
I always like the SC300 but the SC430 looks a little bit out of proportion to me. Anybody here actually own one? It would be kind of nice to get an assessment from someone who actually owns one.
#21522 of 24726 Re: Tag/Hemi [drfill]
Nov 29, 2006 (9:04 pm)
The L is a different idiom, and is still $15k less, in general. And it offers features not commonly available in this class
If you want a $90-100k Lexus LS, that's fine, it'll have more features than the S550, much less an A8/750.
Doc, for days now you've been mentioning all these additional features found on the LS460, that are not found on the competition. And here you go again with these quotes, up above, from your post this evening.
Other than the highly criticized and contraversial self-park thing, list all those important additional features out for us, cause I am not so sure that the list is nearly as significant as you seem to keep implying. But I'm open minded. So, bring on the list.
#21523 of 24726 Re: Turmoil [esf]
Nov 29, 2006 (9:13 pm)
I'm assessing all the cars in the high-end class, from worst to best:
Regarding the Jag's "underwhelming" 300hp. Consider this interesting comparison.... the new high-performing BMW 335 coupe weighs in at 3571 lbs. and is rated at 300 hp / 300 lbs. of torque.
The XJ Jag, on the other hand is aircraft aluminum and weighs in at only 3726 lbs. That's only the difference of one 155 lb. passenger. It's rating is 300 hp / 310 lbs. of torque.
VERY close in terms of HP / weight ratios, as the JAG comes in a little over 12 lbs per hp and the BMW comes in at just under 12 lbs. per hp.
Just a little perspective.
When I drove the new XK the other day (before I decided on the 911 CS) I was amazed at the spirited performance of what is essentially the same 300 hp engine placed in yet again another aircraft aluminum Jaguar.
Nov 29, 2006 (9:17 pm)
That would be quite a post, sir!
C&D said it best, when they gave the LS a 10 for lux features, and the S550 an 8. But the Exec Pkg., the 9" DVD Player in the headliner, and of course the Auto-Park are a nice 3-some.
Good night, Tag!
#21525 of 24726 Re: Tag [drfill]
Nov 29, 2006 (9:34 pm)
Good night, Tag!
Later, Doc. Get a good night's sleep so that tomorrow, you can list some of them for me.
The rear multimedia is not exclusive to the LS. And it's cheaper in the LS. For example, even the Jaguar has two beautiful color monitors built into the headrests, much better than the single screen in the LS's headliner, as more commonly seen in SUV's.
The auto-park? That's it??!! That's your list??
You can do better than THAT! Can't you?
#21526 of 24726 Re: And...continuing to stay on topic [blkhemi]
Nov 29, 2006 (11:23 pm)
Speaking of 17 years, that's all this company has.
Isn't that amazing? A company with only 17yrs of history is making cars that are far better engineered/manufactured than companies that have been in business for a century? The decades of wasting time and making shoddier and shoddier cars never endear the company to consumers, witness the domestics. What people pay up for is what the company has done, _lately_. Longevity of a brand hardly correlates with either price or value. Take for example, Maybach, which had been not been making cars for some 60 years since Dr. Goebbels gave that total war speech in 1943. Yet newly revived it charges three times as much as a typical S class. On the other end of the spectrum, Oldsmobile died as a brand despite longevity, after decades of making shoddy cars. Olds was the second oldest brand in the world; should be a warning to MB.
LS has not been selling on value alone for years. The reality of monthly lease cost has long preceded the convergence of MSRP's. For some of these cars, MSRP's are nearly meaningless anyway. How many original S class buyers dare/care to own the vehicle past warranty anyway? Whatever MB puts forth as the lease price is what moves the car. Just look at the R class, 2007 model is $5000+ less than 2006 model in MSRP, but magically the lease numbers work out to be $50/mo lower for 2006. So how many people in 2009 will be willing to pay $5000 more for a 2006 over a 2007 as the MB published residual implies? The MSRP's are completely detached from reality. The monthly lease price is what connects the product with consumers for the majority of MB cars.