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.
#2379 of 24726 just my opinion...
Jul 08, 2003 (1:56 pm)
I'm curious to know what you didn't like about the Audi and what you did like about the 7-Series. They also had the uber-VW there too??”
I was hoping that Audi would “drastically redesign” the flagship A8L. The front looks essentially the same (has the same general shape; same with the grille), the side looks… well not that exciting. As for the rear, I don’t know what to say. It just doesn’t look the same to me as when the 2000 S-Class came out and when the controversial 7-series came out in 2002.
Now… as for the 745Li…
I just think that overall, it has the best design. Outside- the front truly does look like an eagle, with the “eyebrows” in the headlamps. The wide kidney grille looks majestic. But for me, and most beautiful aspect of the vehicle is the side-profile view. The shape, and lines, and chrome trim (I particularly enjoy viewing the rear doors on the Li model, with that opera window…). Now, I must confess that the rear of the 7 is indeed strange, but sometimes, we have to accept different ideas, whether for the good or the bad.
Another part of the car that I love is the interior and performance. The inside looks like the interior of an airplane- the ways things are laid out… the only negative issue I have with the interior design is the position of the iDrive display, as I believe it reduces visibility. Ah yes… iDrive, another issue. I must say that even this system is more complicated than my MB S430’s COMMAND system. But, as we have already seen, Audi’s MMI technology (incorporated in the new A8L) is basically based on it (I don’t buy it when people deny that). Hey, this isn’t the first time a new idea was widely rejected- I remember clearly when Acura (I believe) introduced the moon-roof, a feature that the Germans didn’t seem to understand nor appreciate. Nowadays, almost every car, from Honda to Maybach, offers or features a moonroof. Now, enough of moonroof.
Now I am certainly not saying that MB builds bad cars like the S-Class. Of course, you really can’t get any better than a S (not counting Maybach, Rolls Royce, Bently…). A Mercedes will always be a Mercedes, and I really believe that is why Mercedes has such a high repeat-customer rate. Mercedes will always be first, and BMW, Audi, and Lexus will never pass MB.
As for the VW Phaeton, it will not be at the motortrend event; only the S500, 745Li, and A8L.
By the way, I went to my local VW dealership to view the new SUV, the Toureg, as well as any info regarding the phaeton. Apparently, he was new and had no idea about the Phaeton (but did know a lot about the Toureg). The Toureg was really beautiful, with striking resemblance to the Porsche Cayenne.
In my opinion, I don’t know who on earth would buy a VW at that high of a price. I may as well get a MB, BMW, Lexus, Infiniti, or Audi. The rear looks absolutely hideous in my opinion. I just don’t understand how are they going to sell this product?
My best friend just got a 2003 SL55 AMG and a 2003 S500 4Matic together! He loves them, and is currently at a MB-hosted private Golf-event for patrons who purchase 2-or-more MB’s at one time. He called during the party and said that there was an Iranian doctor who bought 8 MB’s all at once! (gee, even in this economy!)
merc1- now I would like to know your opinion on the new Audi A8L (you say very close to the S-Class), and why you included the Jag and the Infiniti Q45 (i really don't understand the design team of the XJ, and i figure at the same price, you can get a much better car; LS430)
P.S.- you guys should check out this article on cnn.com/money about reliability (yes, the Japanese are still the best when it comes to reliability, I guess:
Jul 08, 2003 (5:36 pm)
Car and Driver did not speak all that highly of the new A8. In fact much of their story was negative. While they were at it they trashed the styling of the old A8 (as an appliance on wheels; by the way I thought the old car was a good lookin car so I'm not on the same page as these guys) and made sure everyone knew about Audi's moribund sales of the A8. They said the looks were improved over the old design but never said they were good - unless I missed it.
Personally - the A8's new style has grown on me though I'm not crazy about its' rear. But from the side and front it's a great looking car.
Now you know how I feel about these mags but I do take the individual car write-ups much more seriously. The only disconcerting thing I took from the story was that the car had a rough harsh ride - something no high end lux family car should have.
As for looks - they also reported on the BMW 5 series and thought the new design was somewhere between bold and beautiful. Amazing. I'm not even in the same chapter as these people - let alone on the same page. Bangle is a one man wrecking crew. I hope he doesn't wreck the 330CCI. That's the one BMW I really like and would consider buying - rather seriously.
Lastly - it was clear they were looking for negatives on the A8 and only positives on the 5 series. These guys are quite biased in my opinion.
#2382 of 24726 airmatic
Jul 08, 2003 (9:22 pm)
Thanks for the evaluation and info.
Well as you know I'm blinded by the star, but I really love Audis too. I haven't been inside the A8 yet, just took a look at one on the dealer's lot on a Sunday. I'm drawn to if first by it's styling inside and out, then by it's engineering. I do find it to be disappointing that it isn't any lighter than any of the other cars in the class anymore. The S500 4Matic is actually a few pounds lighter and really shows up Audi's claimed advantage by using the expensive stuff. I'll have more on the A8 when I actually get to sit in one, or drive it if I'm lucky.
You have a friend that just bought a SL55 and S500 at the same time! Gee whiz. You guys just don't know how blessed you are to be able to do something like that, my other friend on this board has 3 Lexues, count them three. I can only imagine. A private party for people who buy 2 or more MB's at once huh...sounds very nice.
The VW SUV, truth be told totally shames the ML, of which I never, ever liked. I'll be so glad when it's replaced. I can see paying that much for the VW because it shares it's very being and most of it's engineering with a Porsche, a company that could be said to have even loftier engineering standards than VW. I think it will be a hit.
Hey, I was just talking about you! Anyway, I think they stated that the A8 they had was suffering from some type of glitch, concerning it's ride/suspension. I hope that was the case. I can't imagine such an awesome car being let down by a bad/nervous ride, as they indicated. The A8 just had it's best month ever in the U.S. for June, with 443 units sold.
Now it's no secret that Car and Driver is biased when it comes to BMW, and Honda. I can point out numerous examples, so I just tend to take their writeups of certain cars with a grain of salt.
Now for the 300K question...what did you think of their writeup on the Maybach? Also checkout Automobiles writeup on the "Bach" this month also, both magazines are saying the same thing....this is the best riding car in the world and probably the best car in the world period. They both mention my sole problem with the Maybach, it's styling. I too wish it were a little more seperated from the S-Class on the inside also. There were 13 Maybachs sold in June in the U.S. and Rolls has had to up production to 3 cars a week, so I guess somebody still has some money.
BMW's new styling direction hasn't failed them so far, with the new 7 selling far better than the old car ever did. The 5 doesn't look quite as bad so we'll just have to see. The new styling theme does work on the little Z4 roadster though, it's quite handsome. So maybe they're on to something???
Jul 09, 2003 (8:40 am)
Why don't u like the Q45 that much? Do u like the exterior styling? the interior styling? I like both. But the XJ Type has it beat for 2004 with its beyond beautiful interior.
Jul 09, 2003 (10:08 am)
The styling on the Maybach doesn't look as nice to me as before. It's definitely its weak point. Disreguarding that it sounds like its the best car in the world. Until Lexus builds one. Ah - I'm just kidding my friend.
By the way - whether you like it or not - the SC430 is a great car, fun to drive and very high end luxury. I just drove it again a week ago. I don't know what the heck I'm doing in 2004 when my leases are up. I'd like to try that Audi A8 but have no faith in its' reliability and if it doesn't ride smooth (the old one lacks the quality ride of an S or LS) it definitely has no chance. But I'll test drive it. I've got to have two AWD's and my wife is in love with RX but I must have 3 rows of seats. The new GX is nice but its not in the same league as the LX and I like the latters looks much more. But she hates driving such a large SUV. I started to think RX, A8 (but believe me it's nearly impossible for me to walk from the LS and the only other car that really grabs me is the S-500) and SC430. I wish they'd put AWD on the LS. Odds on favorites right now are RX, LX and LS (outside shot for SC - but it's not all that practical) - but I've got plenty of time to figure it out.
By the way its not unusual to see all Lexus or all MB's in a family's garage. The loyalty to both brands is very high.
Anyway I'm off on a much needed vacation - see you in a few weeks.
#2385 of 24726 A8L, 745, MB S, etc
Jul 09, 2003 (5:12 pm)
Just completed a long weekend of test driving the set and wondered if any of you may have noticed the same things.
The 745 - great ride, fun to drive, not a bangle fan (like hiding a great car in a very odd suit), thank goodness for voice commands (although it seems like great training to talk to yourself)
The A8L - much easier to get the hang of the electronics than the 745, had a wobble to the ride (best described by our 5 year old as "jello on a rock" - tight feeling in the action but finished out with a rocking motion), greatest level of toys for the bucks
S430 - solid, classic, lost to the BMW in the sort of ride quality I as looking for (sometime described as athletic)
Touareg - actually very surprised by the ride and capabilities of the new VW. Why buy a cayenne other than the fun of porsche/audi dealerships?
Gotta try some others to figure out where the vehicle selection will end up.
#2386 of 24726 libertycat
Jul 09, 2003 (8:57 pm)
Well I'll tell you, the Q45 is a confused car. Is it a sports sedan or a full on luxury crusier? They marketed it as a sports sedan, of which it isn't. The only truly "sporty" sedans of that size are the S55, 745i (w/Sport package), S8 and XJR, and it doesn't come close to beating any of those cars. Now since it's priced similar to a 540i does it compete with it? Not even. To confuse matters more the M45 is here now and it's being marketed as s sports sedan. The Q45 is a left out of today's market, mainly by Infiniti's botched marketing of the car. It should have played the role as a luxury car first, sporty car second. It doesn't match the luxury of a S-Class or LS430, and isn't as sporty as say the 7-Series...so it's just like forgotten by most buyers.
The car itself is very good on the inside, but it's styling it unbalanced in my eyes. Way too much front and rear overhangs for me. The S-Class is the only car that manages to pull that off gracefully, especially in the rear.
For the first time I think I'm truly head-over-wheels for a Jaguar, this new XJ. What a car. Best of all it's very technical and functional, thus being able to truly compete with the usual German and Japanese cars by offering just more than styling/wood/leather. Job well done. Now bring back the XJ12!
No doubt about it for me, if there was no S-Class, the A8 would be next in line.
I'm curious to know if you know anyone with a Maybach yet? Yes the styling isn't the car's strongest suit, I feared that since day one.
I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on the SC430, it's just a 2-door sedan by all account, it doesn't enough driving excitement for for 2-door car posing as a GT car. I should never, ever see or hear the word Buick when talking about a GT car. If I were you I'd try at least one German car for 2004, either the A8, S500 (try a sport or 4Matic model) or SL500 and keep two Lexuses. The A8 C&D tested was suffering from a glitch, so I'd wait to see what others say before writing it off after one roadtest.
Enjoy your vacation!