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 (10:53 pm)
It still doesn't make a difference if the LS430's "Euro" option doesn't cost anything because the S430 or S500 is still going to cost more anyway, so whats the difference? You're not comparing cars of equal specification. Thats like me saying the E500 Sport outhandles the regular LS430, that simply isn't a fair comparision.
I really think you're making to broad of a statement when it comes to the press. They do care about price. Haven't you noticed where a Mercedes gets knocked for costing too much more than it's competion. If not check out the comparo in Road and Track (I think two months ago) in which the SL500 came in forth, behind a Cadillac, Jaguar and a Porsche...due to price. Clearly the car would have ranked much higher if weren't for it's 98K price, the number tally confirms this, as the only place the SL really got dinged was in the value equation. They even stated that the SL500 was probably the best all-arounder and best car for everyday, in the test. You seem to equate a comparison test with only being a track meet, and that simply isn't so. How can they talk about reliability when they only have the cars for a few days, or a week? In order for them to include that into their deliberations they'd have to keep all 5 cars for a months and months. Not feasible. Their tests are to gauge a cars abilities, and yes they do drive the cars out in the real world. It just appears by the posts in this thread that when they slam an Audi A8 they're so right, but when a Lexus gets knocked for not being anything special to drive they don't know what they're talking about, or at least they aren't being through enough. Thats a double standard. The best example of this is the SC430 vs the segment.
Yes I'll wager about the 7-Series, because I'll be shocked if such a overcomplicated car wins any of the inevitable comparisions between the new LS, S, A8, and XJ. We should start seeing these next month, I'd say. Seriously, I'd be shocked if it does win, the car is a ergonomic mess. If they put it over simply because it handles better your point will be made, at least with that publication.
Also, check out some of the British mags take on the 7-Series. (I don't know if anyone here reads magazines like CAR, Topcar or EVO, but I think anyone that doesn't is missing the best automotive writing to be read today.) Anyway, I don't think I've seen the 7-Series win yet in one of their tests, its either the S-Class, XJ or A8 that come out on top, most of the time. Now I already see the A8 loosing over here, at least in a C&D comparo since they've pretty much said that they don't care much for the car because of it's ride. MT has a comparo of the XJ8 and the A8L in their Nov issue, btw.
I disagree with you on the demographic between the S and LS. They are not the same. Their has to be a difference between the average LS (55-60K) sold and the average S-Class (73-85K) sold. There is no way this is the same exact group of people. A lot of people that like the LS430 are stepping up from GS and RX models and the S-Class is hardly ever mentioned due to it's starting price. I realize you can "take" a loaded S500 later this morning if you choose, but from what I've seen that isn't the case with *most* LS430 buyers.
No I didn't get to attend the AMG event, it was sold out. There is always next year huh?
You're talking about a car that isn't sold here for one, the S280. Next up, who is doing all the comparing between the LS430 and the S500, Lexus is. Lexus is the one billing the LS430 as the S-Class competitor so the imaginary comparison with a S280 is really pointless.
It's not Mercedes' fault that Lexus tries to cover two different segments with the LS430, which by the way is a wise strategy in most respects. None of the full size luxury cars are the same in price as the LS430, not the A8, 7 or S. Only the base XJ8 is in the same ballpark.
My point about the Automobile Magazine award is that the price cutoff it way too low because you can't get a S-Class, 7-Series or LS430 for anywhere near 40K.
"There are probably some MB fans who are thinking, "if they didn't pick the S, Automobile
Magazine's criteria must be flawed"
Not hardly, I'd suggest you read back to their 2000 issue in which they picked the S-Class for that very same award. Didn't say their criteria is wrong, just that the price cutoff is misleading.
Now I've said a lot of things, but I don't recall ever saying that the LS is no competition for the S-Class, that must be an actual owner saying that. Lets just say that if you think the LS' design is "original" I'll just cut this short by saying that I completely disagree with that. I don't see anyone complaining about the LS430 having an "overly smooth" ride. What I do see people complaining about is the control of the body and the handles that results from that compared to a German car. Who is going to complain about a smooth ride if the handling is up to snuff, that doesn't make sense. You're saying that suspension feel doesn't matter? You're kidding right? That is what makes a car "drive" the way it does. German cars have this in spades, hence their following. Nobody is saying that any of these cars have "Indycar" handling. You're blowing it out of proportion. If feel didn't matter then Lexus owners wouldn't harp about how smoothly their cars ride. In all these cars, from Audi to Mercedes to Cadillac and Infinfi, "feel" is what people look for in their first test drive. The ideal ride/handling mix is what will be debated forever, I personally just like Mercedes' take on the question. Just like Jaguar, Audi, BMW and Cadillac have their own definition of this.
Styling and design are personal things and it's easy for a Lexus owner to dismiss these as a grip because that is what the car is least good at. Just like MB fans don't see surveys as being the bible.
I'm not sure what the ratio is between the S430 and the S500, since 2002. Now before that, especially upon it's debut in spring of 1999, they sold almost equally. I do know that the previous S500 outsold the S420 by a pretty good margin from 1992-1999.
#2984 of 24723 merc1
Oct 06, 2003 (9:04 am)
You wrote: "Styling and design are personal things and it's easy for a Lexus owner to dismiss these as a grip because that is what the car is least good at. Just like MB fans don't see surveys as being the bible"
I disagree !
One (looks and styling) is subjective (personal opinion); the other (surveys) is objective (many opinions)
Think about how developed countries conduct business, politics, policies, etc. Many decisions are based on formal and informal surveys. For example, there is incontrovertible evidence that smoking leads to lung cancer ! How do we know ? Bcos a vast amount of data and records (statistical surveys) exist that show a correlation of long years of smoking to emphysema (?) and other lung diseases. That you and other Merc fans choose not to accept surveys that cast your brand in a weak position is only ignoring the obvious. OTOH, DCX is quite concerned about its current lack-lustre reliability issues with 300+ repairs per 100 cars over 3 years (2000-date). That ain't something to be proud of especially if you are behind the likes of Ford in this area. Yikes!
Oct 06, 2003 (9:11 am)
I wasn't accusing you of saying a LS was no match for the S class. That accusation was meant for someone else. I haven't said anywhere that the LS design is original. However, I did say the newest Lexus designs seem to be. I'm using examples of the RX330, ES, and GX. The pictures of the new GS seem to corroborate my point.
"What I do see people complaining about is the control of the body and the handles that results from that compared to a German car. Who is going to complain about a smooth ride if the handling is up to snuff, that doesn't make sense. You're saying that suspension feel doesn't matter? You're kidding right? That is what makes a car "drive" the way it does. German cars have this in spades, hence their following."
Question is, do LS owners complain about this? Using your argument, it can be said that the LS followers in fact DO like their smooth rides. I think it's the German followers who have a problem with it, not the LS owners.
I'm not a suspension expert, but I'm going to guess that you probably sacrifice the smoothness of a ride when you go for sharper handling. (Correct me if I'm wrong) You make it sound like the LS handles like the 747 while the German cars handle like a F-22. Having driven both cars, the difference is perceptive, but not especially drastic. I really think this whole Handling issue is greatly blown out of proportion. I've said this repeatedly, those seeking a superb performance car would probably opt for a M5 or XJR. Also, unless you plan on racing these cars, it's just a pointless argument.
As for Demographics..The avg price of a LS isn't 55-60K. Even the typical base model is $58K. The common midrange one will cost around $65-67K. (I'm sure these prices have changed somewhat since I bought mine in '02). At $67K it's not that big of a step to an S430. Those paying $73K probably can step up to the base S500. That's all that I was trying to accomplish.
I preach about JDP and CU assessment b/c they consider the practical aspects of owing the car. I've always found that the testing criteria of Car and Driver and others to be unrealistic. Like I'm really going to take corners at 100+ MPH..
Does anyone know what percentage of these cars are leased and financed?
#2986 of 24723 more on hybrids
Oct 06, 2003 (9:44 am)
Lexus is going to be first to market among luxury companies, and here is a bit about the performance benefits: "...several Formula One teams had started to build cars around the hybrid approach. Before the cars could ever reach the track, though, FIA, the Formula One governing body banned this solution...the teams with hybrid engines would have had acceleration capabilities that would have put hybrid cars way out in front." The quote is from http://en.lexus-hybrid.com/home.html
#2987 of 24723 Consumer Report's Luxury Sedan Test
Oct 06, 2003 (10:07 am)
The latest issue of Consumer Reports(Nov. 03) has a comparison of 5 luxury sedans(Audi A8L,BMW 745Li,Jaguar XJ8,Lexus430 and Mercedes S430). Although I don't consider CR's auto reviews too relevant for auto enthusiasts I do read some of them out of interest and like to see their ratings on reliabilty.
They rate the Lexus # 1 with the Mercedes a close 2nd. BMW is last. What is more interesting is their comments on the highs and lows of each.
The Lexus gets high marks for "ride,quietness,powertrain refinement,fit and finish,reliability,turning circle and ergonomics" and lows in "agility" with a comment that "body lean in corners is pronounced,steering lacks feedback and while the car was secure in our emergency-handling tests it didn't shine." I would say that these are the negatives I have found when test driving the car in the past. If the Euro tuned suspension makes as large a difference as posters on this board have indicated I will try one with an open mind.
The Mercedes highs were "ride,handling,quietness,rear seat" and lows were "reliability and cup holders". CR would not recommend the Mercedes because the predicted reliabilty was poor (solid black circle). I think this last issue is crucial for Mercedes to address and will be the determining point for me for future Mercedes purchases.
Oct 06, 2003 (5:47 pm)
I would not take those Carpoint statistics as facts. Interesting, but in such things one always has to wonder how statistically significant the group in question is. And when the differences are in the 10% range, my assumptions is that there's hardly any relevant differences all in all.
Someone asked about finance vs cash - I think here in Silicon Valley I am the last of the dying breed of people who buy cars cash. I only know *one* other friend who did - he got a BMW 330Ci, even though he could easily wing a new Bentley Continental. Moderation seems to be "in" for cash buyers these days.
Since we are trying to categorize, me and my friends are very much into watches, and one is a very successful Jaguar sales associate, whi has the following theory: for te most part, Lexus owners don't give a hoot about good watches, MB owners are brand conscious but have a high percentage of quartz owners, and Jag owners tend to be mechanical watch people. True watch afficionados tend to also be collectible car fans. Just advanced the theory for what it's worth and as an entertaining side note. Note: I do collect mechanical watches. Buying a good watch every 1-2 years is one of my old traditions.
#2989 of 24723 demographics
Oct 06, 2003 (7:10 pm)
I think that the demographic differences between MB and Lexus buyers are substantial. I also beleive that Lexus styling is deliberately conservative because they are essentially going after the Cadillac crowd. This does not bode well for the future of Lexus. Seeing these 80 year old guys puffing on cigars driving their Lexus--how many more years have they got? Will they still be driving in a few years to purchase another one? Cadillac was worried enough about the demographics of their buyers to do something about it. Will Lexus follow suit before it's too late?
With few exceptions, and contrary to what the Lexus enthusiasts seem to think is fair and proper, MB cars are sold out. You can't get an SL, CL class without an 18 month wait or sold used above MSRP. Look at the E class board where the '04s are sold out through March of next year before they have even hit dealer showrooms. The S class will not sell as briskly but still does well considering that it is in its last year of this production cycle with a new model coming out in '05.
Lexus should be so fortunate as to have these "problems."
Oct 06, 2003 (9:32 pm)
Oh, ok I didn't think I said THAT about the LS430...lol. I generally despise SUV/Trucks so I don't have much of an opinion on them. I personally wouldn't even mention the ES, as it's one of the most "what the hell" cars on the road, imo. We'll have to see what the next GS actually looks like.
Now with these surveys. There is a reason why European car owners/fans don't see them as the bible. Right here on Edmunds I can read about Acura TLs having one transmission problem after another. Also on here I can find more than a few people complaining about the ES300's transmission. What I really want somone to answer is how BMW managed to place 5th(?) in one these surveys, when the 7-Series by all accounts was the most bug ridden car of the year. None of this is reflected in these precious surveys. Why is that? But yet I can read on how Mercedes' have brake dust problems, how Minis have a bad ride and how a Hummer has bad gas mileage. My point is that these surveys are not conclusive to a point to assume that Mercedes' are breaking down at the side of the road. There is a lot of detail missing, especially with JDP data. There is no way I'm going to blindly accept these as gospel ever, because they simply don't tell the whole story. Yes, a Lexus is more reliable than a BMW or Mercedes, but how much so is the questionable part.
You're still missing the point about the handling of these two cars. Nobody is trying to make it seem like what you're saying when comparing a 747 to a F-22. Where has anyone said that the difference is that drastic? I don't know how else to explain to you. If you can find me one road test comparison of luxury sedans in a U.S. magazine that actually said one car was better than another simply because it could take a curve at a 100 mph better than the next car, I'll eat that issue. That simply is an exagerration of whats been said here.
Demographics. Ok so the average LS430 leaves out the door for 58K or even 68K, thats still about a 15K difference between it and a S500, there is no way everyone going for the Lexus can afford the S500. My point is here is that there is a different demographic for the S and LS, they aren't nearly the same, the only place where they would be is in the case of the S430.
They actually knocked the S430 for it's predicted reliability, of which they don't know squat about yet due to the car being facelifted for 03', and for it's cupholders. How ridiculous.
Can any Lexus fan tell me why I'm reading in here that an Acura is a "upscale Honda" and a Lexus isn't an upscale Toyota?
Oct 06, 2003 (9:35 pm)
There were about 35 SL's here in NJ listed for sale at ray catena each of the past two sundays. I don't know of any business that advertises anything that has already been sold. These waits are always badly overstated and disappear long beforehand.
I saw that demo on Lexus in microsoft car point and found out that it is from a census they take. I've bought Lexus vehicles since 95 and now that I think about it I've never been asked nor have i ever provided them my age. They did ask for a bracket of what age group I'm in though - if that counts.
I looked at some of the reviews at carpoint and the inconsistency is something. They say the 7 loses value quickly and the S and LS don't but then they rate the 7 as a higher percentage (70-60 if I remember right in the scoring to the other two). They praise the LS' interior quiet and jump on MB a bit for not being as quiet then score them the same way. I don't think there is any bias there (the scoring was unfair to all three cars in different instances), just a general inconsistency (the two I gave are just references - there are plenty more amongst the three cars) and when i see that I don't take the data seriously as no one is checking what is printed. I mean if I catch such mistakes with a 5 minute (if that) review than its obvious no one is edit checking them for a living.
So let's see - now we are up to 80 yrears old. Within a day or two we should crack the century mark. Your predjudice against Lexus is beyond reproach and I will no longer respond to it.
Oct 06, 2003 (9:48 pm)
This must be an awfully large dealer to have 35 new SLs in stock. Thats just about unbelievable or incorrect "data" that nobody at the dealership has updated.