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.
#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.
#3370 of 24726 bluestar1
Nov 02, 2003 (9:44 pm)
Well wether or not you consider the Phaeton a luxury car is pretty much moot, because on specification alone it is most certainly is a luxury car. I find it funny that anyone owning a Lexus would knock VW for not having the heritage and clout, as I thought that school of thought was that those things don't matter. VW is simply doing the same thing as Toyota did back in 1990, but they're doing it with their own brand. VW at least is a true original brand, unlike Lexus which was thought up during a Toyota board meeting in 1987. That said, I don't think it will work either. The car itself looks to be ok, if not segment busting. VW's real problem is at the dealership level and reliability.
You're missing the point. Point being, is that expensive cars like these are going to cost as they age, when something electrical fails. Yes, the reliablity of a Lexus is well harped upon, but if you think that none of them ever have a problem once they age, you're not dealing in reality. Have you not seen the posts on these boards concerning the replacement of gauge clusters and nav systems on older Lexuses? The bottom line is that none of these cars are for the 2nd or 3rd owner short of cash.
Yes its a confusing and as much as I love VW/Audi products, a risky strategy. VW is said to want have a model in each segment of the market. Their (not mine) logic is that people don't shop/compare Audis with VWs. Not completely true, but the degree is arguable. Yes, the Phaeton is overweight, the European press has complained about this for over a year. I see reliability and the total dealership experience (sales, service etc) being the biggest problems for the car.
The Phantom rides on metric-sys/run-flats so yes they do work out to be the largest passenger car tires on any car in the U.S. I've said all along the biggest issue with the Maybach was it's exterior and it's overally closness to a Mercedes S-Class, inside and out. Bad news is the current bodystyle is going to be around for a while (7-years).
Nov 02, 2003 (10:58 pm)
As luck will have it, our Sunday local newspaper had a review of three luxury cars - VW's Phaeton, Aston Martin's DB9, Lexus' LS430. Here are excerpts:
VW Phaeton: (reviewer - Ralph Kisiel)
On its introduction to the US market....
"Instead, VW officials here and in the US often find themselves defending their decision with dealers and the news media to build a premium sedan with a VW badge"
on European sales....
"Through July VW had sold 2,574 Phaetons. The automaker had expected annual global volume to be as high as 15,000 units"
on the success of this car....
According to Frank Maguire, VW's VP of Sales and Marketing, America, states: "The challenge is not the product .... it will stand up to anything out there. The challenge is: Will people buy a luxury Volkswagen?"
Lexus LS430: (reviewer Jerry Garrett)
"Pluses: Pleasant rumble of V8, luxurious feel, to-die-for stereo, retained value, quality.
Minuses: Very few, if the price of admission to the club doesn't scare you"
Aston Martin's DB9: (reviewer Jerry Garrett)
The article was titled: "Aston Martin crafts planet's coolest car"
"The DB9 is such a quantum leap from the DB7 that the company skipped right over the option to name it the DB8"
"It is powered by a new tweaked version of the 6.0-liter V-12, offering 450 horsepower and 420 foot-pounds of torque..... The run-up from zero to 60 mph should only take 4.7 seconds with the manual...."
All of this for $150K (coupe, 6HP26), a bargain considering the old DB7 retailed for $235K.
All in all, pretty good reviews. There was also a line-up reviews of future releases from Merc, Audi, Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Bentley, Ferrari, Jaguar, Lamborghini, Land Rover, Maserati, Maybach, Mini, Porsche, Volvo, RR, Saab and VW.
Merc's going to have even more variants in its lineup, such as CL65, SL65, and CLK55, and the stunningly beuatiful SLR. That car is gorgeous, but at sticker price north of $400K, I suppose it gotta be, lol ! I dunno if Lexus will add variations to their line-up anytime soon. They sure need more trims to make it more interesting...
Nov 02, 2003 (11:19 pm)
Sounds yummy. I have to say Aston-Martin is making some of the worlds best looking, yet distinctive cars of the modern day. The Vanquish, while I'm not in the up in the air about it anymore, remains a gorgeous car. I'm amazed and yet put off by the fact I've never seen it in any other color than that drab silver/grey. I mean even in music videos it's the same dull color. Haven't seen on the road either so it's kinda fading away with me. The DB9 has the same look, but more finely detailed from what I can see in the pics. However where the real improvement has been made is in the interior, the DB9 is stunning and appears to be of much higher quality than the DB7 and more importantly the Vanquish. I was so shocked to feel how hollow the steering wheel is on the Vanquish at this years Detroit show.
The reviewer made some mistakes though. The DB7 never stickered for 237K, thats Vanquish territory. The DB7 is a 160-170K car at best.
Add Maserati to that list of stylish makers too. The Audi dealer here also owns and Maser dealership and they had a Sypder parked among the Audis today. Man what a car, so stylish and tailored! Only 97K! It had all kinds of custom options and leather wrapped this and painted that, right down to red brake calipers and interior-color-cordinated leather-wrapped roll bars. Its the kind of car that says the hell with surveys and such. Can't wait to see the Quattroporte.
"The challenge is not the product .... it will stand up to anything out there. The challenge is: Will people buy a luxury Volkswagen?"
I think they would if VW had a reputation in place for better reliability and dealer service. Even the reliability thing hasn't slowed down the Euro brands that don't top the JDP surveys, but their dealerships are in much better shape than VWs.
Mercedes-Benz is going thick on the top end. Between the CL, SL and S-Class cars and all their AMG variants and the SLR, they'll have 10 cars with about 500hp or more! Madness. One of the things I like about Mercedes is their depth of product of which no other brand has. They compete with Bentley (Continental GT), Aston-Martin (DB9), Porsche (911), with either the SL or CL and yet they compete with all the "regular" brands below. A full service brand. This is what VW wants to do, but I must say I think Audi would do better on their high-end.
#3373 of 24726 Motor Trend
Nov 03, 2003 (2:42 am)
Just voted the VW Toureg SUV of the year over the Cadillac SRX, Lexus , etc.
#3374 of 24726 Ford engine in Aston Martin?
Nov 03, 2003 (5:44 am)
Isn't the V-12 in Aston Martin basically two Ford V6 joined at the crankshaft?