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.
Nov 01, 2003 (9:22 am)
At $69k (the estimated price C&D put on the car, which they thought might be low) the Phaeton is not worth it. Plus it is a very heavy car. I'd buy an A8L long before I'd ever consider a Phaeton. They aren't going to cut it here in my opinion and I still am missing VW's whole strategy. The US market is not big enough at this scale. You already have two exceptional softer riding cars in the S and LS and buyers are fiercely loyal to both. Then you have the more sport handlers in the 7 and the A8L (though it doesn't seem Audi is in BMW's league on performance in the big sedan from what I have read). Then of course you have Infinit and Cadillac waiting to pounce as well with far better buyer confidence and acceptance than VW. Plus they have whole lines of cars whereas the Phaeton is an oddball in VW's lineup. I hope their strategy isn't to be have a softer contra-Audi car at each level. They will get crushed.
If they want to have a chance they have to make the type of direct strike Lexus made in 1990 and then roll out more models right away. But if they do that then you have to wonder why Audi is here. I just don't get it.
Nov 01, 2003 (11:02 am)
Plus Jaguar which I left out by mistake and which also has a loyal legion of buyers.
Nov 01, 2003 (3:28 pm)
Haha!! Had I not known my wife is a tech-phobe, I would have bet big money your "Help" message was from her.
Just sold a 2002 Lexus 470. She has a BMW 330 conv. and Im buying a new 'touring' car. So the top 3 were Lexus LS430, BMW 745, Benz S430/500.
We love the exterior of the BMW and its ride, we even blindfolded ourselves to overlook the awful rear end design they came up with. It was the I-Drive, however, that was impossible to swallow. Out of the question, especially if you have ever used the systems in a Lexus. As I said, she is a tech-phobe but she took my last Lexus on a 45 minute drive and had it all figured out without lifting the manual. So I took a drive to Lexus and took a look at the LS430. I was astonished at the superb job they have done in everything, (styling still a little stodgy but a lot better than it was). AND, for 15k LESS than the
BMW. So I was about to write a check to a dealer, and my wife begged me to look at the Benz first. When I saw the S 430/500, I was immediately (and very) emotionally hooked. What a GREAT style with that rake on the front end. It is, imo, the best looking car on the market at any price. However, once I got into looking at the reliability, and in particular the nav/communcations/environmental systems, the Lexus beat it in every single area. (They tie in comfort, the Benz a little stiffer for a sportier ride) I learned my lesson from my BMW what it is like to try and navigate yourself around in the European designed nav, twirling dials and pushing it every few seconds, even for a simple task like changing form FM to AM. And, Benz is traditionally, a couple of generations behind Lexus in tehcnology. E.G., how about Bluetooth technology for Lexus. Outstanding! Anyway, we've decided to go with the Lexus, and then realized we were also saving about 20k in the process (from the Lexus price I was able to locate). I can throw a heck of a party for that much money. Last week I got the current issue of Consumer Reports...they happened to be comparing these three cars (and Audi). Their findings were almost exactly as our impressions. Hope this helps. Let me hear what you decide.
#3364 of 24726 A8L by Ksurg
Nov 01, 2003 (6:33 pm)
What a "nice" car... my father would love it. OK I officially concede that it's not fun. However, are S500's, 745i's or LS430's fun? My problem now is that I drove a RS-6. Now consider that I'm coming from a C4S as my daily driver. Though not as nimble as the Porsche, the RS-6 truly offers hair raising acceleration and handling. Though the E55 AMG is faster in a straight line,in real life driving( i.e. aggressive driving) I think the RS-6 has the advantage. As for the venerable M5...it's close and I suspect the new V-10 version may outperform. Now for the bad news. The RS-6 starts out with a premium( approx. 10K fully loaded) and has a surprisingly low residual at 3 an 4 years. What does this mean? It means it is unbelievably expensive to lease. If another sales person tells me how much more it will be worth at the end of the lease than estimated I'll scream. So my choice is to buy or pass. If I buy it will be in December, a "great" time to buy an '03 model. No RS-6's are planned for '04. If this is the case I am willing to pay invoice and not MRSP. Does anyone disagree? Maybe I'll sit my lease out and get a new M5 or dare I say DonFenn an XJR! Any opinions?
#3365 of 24726 To Niceputt from Jamie
Nov 01, 2003 (9:32 pm)
Thanks for the info - we'll have to go to Lexus! We walked out of the Mercedes dealership today (after going back and forth all week with this decision). We test drove a S500 they shipped in for us and compared to the 2001 750iL the S500 didn't feel like much of a car (not as impressive to drive). We really dislike the new BMW body design and of course that nightmare i-drive, so we thought either the S55 or S500 was the next step (the S600 seems overpriced..). For 90k (sports package) it just wasn't worth it - like you say - for 20K we can have a great party instead! Much to the frustration of the dealer (we were very clear we weren't going to buy anything until we drove it) we told them "maybe next year!" - they still called us 3x today at home hoping to close a deal. After reading your message we'll keep the BMW and look at a Lexus. We have one of the last 750s shipped into the US and is just a great riding car.
Another question - is the Lexus easier on the gas? Between a 2003 Rover and the 750 we need to buy our own gas station it seems. The kids cars even drink gas but not like ours!
Your wife sounds neat! Please keep us posted as well with any car ideas. My husband has always loved BMWs until the redesign - so we're in uncharted waters around our house...Thanks! Jamie
Nov 01, 2003 (10:34 pm)
an unsolicited advice:
Always buy what YOU like ! Having said that, I am an LS owner, and so will be biased if I were to suggest an LS over the BMW or Merc. So I won't. Rather, I'll answer your question on mpg. My '99 LS, with 75K miles, uses premium 91 octane, and does 18/20 mpg city/hiway.
Nov 02, 2003 (5:08 am)
As an M5 owner this may sound a bit biased, but I would really think twice about spending $80k on an Audi RS-6. I think your sales person claiming it will be worth significantly more than the residual at the end of the lease should be immediately jailed for fraud. Everyone I know that has spent over $45k for an Audi of any kind has taken a complete bath at trade in time. There is just no demand for a used high performance Audi compared to an AMG or M car (or Porsche).
If I were you - and I am not, since I strongly prefer a manual transmission - I would go for a new E55 over the RS-6. The new E55 is a significant advancement over the previous version, not just in horsepower, but in handling. It's still not as crisp and fun to drive as my 6-speed M5, but it's likely to be a much better investment than an $80k+ Audi come resale or trade-in time.
Consider this "friendly" advice from someone who had a 930 Turbo as a daily driver.
Nov 02, 2003 (8:24 am)
Excellent review of the Phantom on the front page of the auto section of today's NY Times. If you read it you'll enjoy it. I didn't realize that this car has 31" tires. Wow. But those tires let a lot of road noise penetrate the cabin, which is surprising. But other than that the ride is supposed to be great. One nice touch that I hadn't noticed before is that the rear seats are raised so that the rear passenger has the same view of the road as the driver. Smart.
A sidebar to the story asked different enthusiasts if they would prefer the Phantom or the Maybach. The preference was for the Rolls. But a banking exec gave the reason as the "revolutionary design combining sportiness with maturity" which - per him - fit today's banker. Interestingly enough the review contradicted him as it made it clear that the Maybach is the sportier car. A funny sidebar was asking a valet at the Peninsula hotel in Beverly Hills which one he would park in front. His answer was neither. Reason - He takes care of the guest not the car. So I guess a guy in a Honda Accord who tips bigger gets the preferred parking spot.
The reviewer's conclusion was the Maybach was the better car but the Rolls was the bigger statement of success.
The more I see of the Maybach the more I realize that it is - from an outside design standpoint - too much of an extended S-class. It should have been designed more as its own car. The Rolls is indeed a striking car - particularly from the side - and has very much its own DNA, at least in styling.
Nov 02, 2003 (6:28 pm)
Re mpg...Don't have the 2004 LS430 yet, so don't know. They are rated just one mpg more than the MBZ 430. The difference then must be even greater than the 500. However, even at my age I am learning lessons. The LX470 I just sold was rated 12 city and 16 highway and that is exactly what it would do. One day, however, I got up on the wrong side of bed and decided pump prices were too high, so on my 200 mile drive to a golf course home near Yosemite, rather than my normal 70-80, I made it a point to not exceed 55 mph, just to see what would happen to the mpg. (yep that put me in the long line of 18-wheelers). At the end of the trip there, it showed 19.9 mpg!! So at least I felt better knowing I had options available to me. BTW, I heartily the persons advice about getting what you feel best with. That issue is what nearly made me go with the MBZ, the cool styling. But it was just 'nearly'. Our plan is to keep an eye on things...in 2-3 years either Lexus is going to match MBZ sporty styling, or MBZ is going to catch up with Lexus reliability and technology. It will be a quick process to just make a change to the winner at that time. BTW #2, if Lexus uncorks it styling problems, MBZ may inherit a monster of a problem keeping its current market share.