Last post on Jan 28, 2013 at 6:55 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.
Oct 05, 2003 (2:27 pm)
I don't remember talking about 6 Cylinder MB cars..What I did take issue with is comparing a LS430 to an E Class. I'll leave that argument alone for the moment.
The hyperbole on the part of the MB enthusiasts on this board is amazing. "Lexus is no comparison for the S class" Really? If the LS was SOO inferior then no one would buy one! What you MB guys keep missing is that that None of these cars are made for heavy performance driving. The average buyer of a LS is a 57 yr old Executive making $125K + a year. (Source Lexus Website) We're hardly the Indy Car Racing Group. None of these cars whether it be a LS, or S class can beat the true Performance Lux cars out there, such as the M5 or XJR.
As of yet, all this bashing about the Lexus lacking a "Solid" ride is purely Subjective. I always have pointed to Objective stats to point out that Lexus is at parity in nearly all areas.
The only thing MB loyalists can complain about is the overly Smooth ride (Is that a bad thing?) and bland design. Basically, it's Snobbery. You guys are like the Old Gentlemen's Club thumbing your nose at the younger generation.
I paid $67K for my LS430, and $51k back in 1992, for my 92 LS400..If I really wanted a S class, like any LS owner, I could afford one. Like my fellow LS owners out there, we've gladly taken the $10k + we've saved and laughed to the bank!
We've gotten a car that more reliable than anything on the road. Oh! you Benz loyalists moan, "The LS430 is SO unoriginal will get SMOKED by the S Class" The LS has a potent V-8 and drivetrain that will keep at or near parity with it's competitors. As for Originality, look at the newest Lexus designs. I'd say they are pretty original. Keep in Mind Lexus is only a 13 yr old company. You'd ought to give them credit for completely shaking up the Lux car industry. Now that Toyota has given Lexus their own identity in Japan, we ought to see them carve ought their identity in the coming years. As for now, I think I'll take my $10K and superior ownership experience thank you very much.
With Lexus you get superb customer service and one hell of a car..These performance characteristics mean nothing on the Real road. What % of MB, BMW, or Lexus owner race their cars? I'd say the majority of them are primarily commuter cars, and are seldom raced. Who wants to debate that?
Oct 05, 2003 (4:23 pm)
There are many things you said that I disagree with but let me focus on just one point you made that is easily refuted. Consider your contention that "You guys are like the Old Gentlemen's Club thumbing your nose at the younger generation."
Very interesting. Let's look at the demographics of the average LS vs S class buyer (source is MS Carpoint): The average age of an LS430 buyer is 64. The average age of an S class buyer is 58. So it seems to me that it is the older Lexus owners who are thumbing their noses at the younger MB buyers. Now I wouldn't make a big deal out of this and claim that this means anything other than refuting your contention that buying an MB as opposed to buying a Lexus is a manifestation of an older demographic.
Also you said: "I paid $67K for my LS430, and $51k back in 1992, for my 92 LS400..If I really wanted a S class, like any LS owner, I could afford one. Like my fellow LS owners out there, we've gladly taken the $10k + we've saved and laughed to the bank!"
I'm sure you could afford either one. However, once again, lets look at the demograhics here (again, MS Carpoint is the source): The average yearly income of an LS buyer is 186,000. The average yearly income of an S class buyer is 284,000. At 90 K an S class is 50% of a typical Lexus buyers yearly income. I'm sure that many people in this group have settled for the Lexus because they couldn't afford the more expensive MB. Another way to look at it is that, although if you can afford an S class you can afford an LS, the opposite is not necessarily true.
#2975 of 24723 boo20
Oct 05, 2003 (4:51 pm)
What is the average and median age of the LS and S class buyer?
#2976 of 24723 Average age
Oct 05, 2003 (5:12 pm)
bz4: unless I missed it somewhere MS Carpoint does not tabulate both of these but simply states "age". So technically I'm not sure if this is mean (as I assumed) or median age.
I should also add that Lexus' styling and marketing stategy makes more sense now that we understand the demographics of the luxury car buyer: Lexus is trying to appeal to an older, less affluent, group. Nothing wrong with that. It's just different than the average MB buyer. This appeal to an older buyer is probably why Lexus styling is so consistently more "conservative" and less exciting and innovative, if you will, than that of MB.
To elaborate on my point about income and affordability consider the following: If Lexus raised the price of the LS430 to the level of the S class would they sell more or fewer cars than they do now? What do you think? My guess is FEWER because they have now priced their "average" buyer out of the market. This makes the success of cars (which some percieve to have "lessor value") such as the S class all the more amazing.
Oct 05, 2003 (6:11 pm)
You've misinterpreted what I said. MB as a car company is the Old Gentlemen's Club. I wasn't referring to the age of the owners. Lexus as portrayed is the young upstart. I was in fact referring to the Snobbery of the MB community.
You're taking the highest price of an S500 at $90K. I don't know what % of S class sales are 90K S500's (Merc do you know?) but my point was, anyone paying 65K+ for a LS can afford an S class MB (Perhaps a S430 or lower End S500)
The LS debuted at $35K in 1990. I distinctly remember a MB VP complaining on PBS that Toyota was selling them for a $10K loss as they thought it cost $45K to build. By the time I bought mine it was $51K. (All taxes included) You'd think people might have been discouraged, as Lexus as a brand name was still very vulnerable at that point. But the rising prices didn't deter anyone.
Reason? The original LS was better than the competition in the early 1990's. People paid the price, b/c it still was a bargain relatively.
A purely speculative point on my part..
How many Lux car buyers pay cash for their cars? (Open question to the board) I can imagine many leasing, or simply financing these days. Old timers like me prefer to pay cash, but I don't think this is universally true anymore. The Lexus dealer always points out to me in negotiation that they make more money on Leases and financing, than straight out cash transactions like mine.
Essentially the post was hitting at this point. Criticisms of Feel and design are purely Subjective. 0-60 times, Indycar handling, feel of Suspension have very little relevance to Real World driving. I sincerely doubt the majority of Lux owners race their cars where these specs might make a difference. I rarely can even hit 90+ on Massachusetts roads. These statistics are essentially Marketing fodder for the Auto equivalent of Pilot's Bull Sessions.
The points of Unparalled reliablity and superior customer service ARE applicable to the Real World. I don't have time to waste waiting for a service to be completed or having to deal with irritating defects/glitches.
A real world example:
Ever since my 92 LS was damaged in the accident, my Lexus dealer has provided me with a Loaner and is taking care of everything..(Insurance providing OEM parts, Body Shop hassles, and ensuring everything is done to my satisifaction). They are even going to drop off the car at my convenience fully detailed. A major headache has been reduced to a minor annoyance. That's called service.
I'm surprised that the MB loyalists fail to see the draw of Lexus. Lexus appeals to the affluent driver seeking a No Hassle experience. For the money I've spent on 3 LS cars in 11 yrs I've got a completely hassle free experience. The US workforce boasts the highest productivity rate in the whole world, so it's no wonder many affluent buyers opt for Lexus.
I invite my Fellow LS owners to chime in on this. Do you agree with my perspective? Also, Why did you buy your LS?
#2978 of 24723 sv7887, boo20
Oct 05, 2003 (6:29 pm)
For what it's worth (not much), here's my take on the S-class vs. LS debate.
The Lexus is clearly the leader in reliability and dependability. How much that is important to you in a luxury sedan is a personal decision, but I know of many MB loyalists who are less and less enthusiased with what they perceive is the decline in the marquee over the past few years.
Unless you step up to the S55, the performance difference and driving dynamics are only slightly in favor of the S class, IMO. I agree with sv7887, neither are designed with the enthusiast in mind.
The LS430 probably isn't going to steal sales from the S-class among those who find the S the standard of projecting personal success. Take that for better or worse.
I briefly considered the S55 18 months ago, but ended up with an M5. I don't need the extra room of the S class and prefer a crisper handling car. But I never thought I'd end up with a substantially more reliable car to boot. Total number of unscheduled maintenance trips in 18 months: 1 for a check engine light that came on by mistake the 1st week I owned the car. None in 32k miles since.
So, is the S class worth the premium over the LS430? Perhaps to some. But to others, the LS430 is a heck of a good car that is unlikely to frustrate you with more trips to the dealer than you really want to make.
Oct 05, 2003 (6:55 pm)
The average age of an LS430 buyer is 64 years old?? Lexus is aiming at an older less affluent crowd?? Where do you get your information from? Perhaps from MB execs that want the rest of the world to think that. Lexus aim is dead on MB and has been for 12+ yeasr now. They are jabbing a bit at BMW with the IS and GS but that is a sideshow to the main event. Maybe on the next go round they will make the GS go after the E which is what it should have done in the first place. As for the LS430 they are targeting the exact same demograpics that MB is shopping for. Now please lets stop kidding ourselves. People making $125k can't so easily afford an LS430. The crowd buying the car is for the most part a $200-250k and up crowd - same as an S-class.
I thought I remember reading last year that the average age of all car buyers for BMW was 49, MB was 53 and Lexus was 54.
Oct 05, 2003 (7:14 pm)
Sedan sales stats for the US market as of July 2003 can be found in the URL below:
IMO, it is a waste of time trying to argue which is better. These are all fine cars. More importantly, no mind will be changed in the debate. Just enjoy your LS's and be happy.
Oct 05, 2003 (7:16 pm)
>> These are all fine cars. More importantly, no mind will be changed in the debate. <<
Oct 05, 2003 (8:12 pm)
You state "The average age of an LS430 buyer is 64 years old?? Lexus is aiming at an older less affluent crowd?? Where do you get your information from?"
Where did I get my information from? Go back and read my post #2974 where I give my source as Microsoft Carpoint not MB executives.
Also you state "People making $125k can't so easily afford an LS430. " Read that post again. I didn't say that they made 125 K. I said that they made 186 K. That would make the Lexus less than 1/3 of their yearly income. My source for this contention (once again) was MS Carpoint.