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.
#3999 of 24726 Market Outlook..........
Jan 26, 2004 (10:39 pm)
I must say I find Lexus' plans impressive on paper, but if the GS is any indication then I'm not so sure. The LF-S to GS was sort of a letdown. The LF-S is supposed to be the next IS, per autospies (I know right).
I also read where Lexus wants to sell 350K cars a year in the U.S. That would be some feat, every dealer would be able to use money to keep their fireplaces lit. Lexus has what 200 dealers, Mercedes around 300 and Cadillac has over 1200. Lexus can start printing their own money if they push 350K units out of such a small dealership body. This may be possible if the next IS has a sedan/coupe/convertible/wagon lineup like it's target 3-Series. The HPX would have to take off also. I'm not convinced the next GS will be all that more popular than the current car.
Thought I'm not so sure if the GS lineup is done just yet. They've released some detailed info on the next GS300, but I don't think the GS430 is set in stone, I can't see them NOT increasing the horsepower on the V8 GS. It could be possible that they haven't said anything yet because they don't want the current LS430 to be affected. I mean spring 2005 is quite a ways away. I also can't see them not offering awd on the V8 model, I mean Mercedes and Audi (to a lesser degree) sell a good number of awd V8 cars in snowy places where rwd is too big of a pain. Last summer when visiting Minnesota, every Mercedes I saw was a 4Matic, I mean every single one. I'm sure Florida is quite different and I've never seen a 4Matic Benz when I visit Texas so awd seems to make a difference depending on location.
Cadillac will have to put up or shut up in my book. The XLR and CTS are not the world beaters Lutz promised. The XLR while competitive, at the end of the day is still a few rungs below the SL and the CTS hasn't come close to beating the 3 or 5-Series. The V-Series cars will be good for image and those who can afford them, but what Cadillac, Acura and Infiniti for that matter needs is a attention grabbing flagship car. The new STS *so far* doesn't look like anything the E, or 5-Series should worry about. The next RL if a hybrid could be that car for Acura. The next Infiniti Q45 could be a few years off since the current model just came out for 2002.
Jan 27, 2004 (6:36 am)
I enjoyed reading these posts. I thought Merc1's comments were right on. I've owned MB, BMWs and Lexus. The S600 is not in my price range. The LS ultra is $70K and has more features than the S500 at $80K. I've warranty problems with both MB and BMW, but never with the LS. The Lexus experience is real. There is no going back.
Yes, MB has better styling, but only on the outside. Nothing beats the interior of an LS and that's what I see the most of. Also, the 04 LS has greatly improved the bland exterior problem.
LS is a poor man's MB. Yeah, I've heard that said, but not by those who have really studied the cars and owned them. I don't think anyone has ever thought I bought my LS because I could not afford the S. I've also heard MB is for those seeking image over value.
Slicer_3729: Everyone agrees, the LS easily is the winner in your first 4 categories, and the interior wins for your 5th. I equate fun to drive with smooth and quiet, so for me it wins that, too.
Jan 27, 2004 (8:29 am)
I didn't mean to imply that everyone who buys an LS430 can buy an S-600. But I'd bet a very high percentage can swing an S-430 and and many of that group could get an S-500. There are plenty of people that reach high for the cars in this grouping and the group below. It's really a function of your decisions in life. In my town I'll see S-class and LS430 cars on driveways of homes that range from $500k to $5mln. You can easily see who could afford anything they want. Personally I'd finalize a great house before picking a great car. That's why I drove an Acura Legend (an excellent car but certainly not in this league) through 1994. The S-class was within my reach in 1990/91 and I also passed on the LS400 in those years until 1995. But I knew I wanted a bigger home in a different town. Built my house in 1994. It's funny how things happen. A higher auto payment may have made me take a lower priced lot. I took the more expensive lot back in 1994 bacause I had few other financial obligations. The other lot I was considering was $50k cheaper and that's $300 a month on a mortgage. Today that $50K is worth $600K. I still remember your decision a few years ago and I commend you for it.
#4004 of 24726 jamesfletcher2
Jan 27, 2004 (11:29 am)
Thanks for the article updates. It looks like Lexus will be changing quite a bit in the coming years. The article, which I finally read, mentioned the following (some of which you touched on):
1. A super-luxury Lexus above the LS is coming. Lexus says "it's not an issue of if, but when."
2. Lexus will create a performance division similar to Mercedes/AMG and BMW/M. According to Lexus, "we have to have those image products."
3. Lexus' GM says no car "gets him more emotional than the pending redesign of the LS 430. It is more than just a redesign...it will make the same impact as the original."
Jan 27, 2004 (12:10 pm)
I read somewhere (Consumer Digest I think) that a Lexus LS 500 might be available in model yeaar 2005. The 500 will be available alongside the 430. In 2006 or 2007 a Lexus LS 600 will come to market with a 400+ Hp V12 engine. That would really shake things up
Jan 27, 2004 (5:23 pm)
Interesting comments by the Lexus GM..What's so predictable about their design change frequencies? Most European carmakers run their designs longer than Lexus. (Jaguar, MB S Class, BMW) What he's missing is lack of originality. You can debate the aesthetics all you want, but each of the Euro nameplates have their own distinctive design. Like it or not, you can't mistake a 745 for anything else. I'm glad Lexus leaning toward making a LS that rivals the original in impact..Only time will tell.
I've noticed this forum usually centers around the Lexus vs German issue. What do you all think about Jaguar? Have they finally built a worthy competitor to the Lexus, MB, and BMW? How much have they really improved on reliability?
Jan 27, 2004 (9:41 pm)
Man we've been at this for a long time, I'd forgotten that we've had the "life decisions" conversation before. Imagine me reading that after all these years!
I'm sure a high percentage of LS430 buyers can swing a S430, especially if they're leasing them. No doubt.
I've always wanted to ask what town do you live in, it sounds like quite a place the place. Probably like what Naperville IL is here.
The Acura Legend is the reason why I've always had a strong desire to own and Acura, but they just can't seem to get the styling right.
It really does depend on your circle or group, because to some a Lexus is just that a poor mans Mercedes, and to some it's a better car that doesn't get its just do. Since Lexus does make a great car all they'd have to do to erase that stigma is create their own styling and not follow Mercedes' every move. They probably will do the former, but the latter is just good business.
Ahh...Jag u wa. Yes, imo the new XJ is a full fledged member of this class. It's light and lean and is easily a styling home run. The only thing I noticed at Detriot is that it still does have anywhere near the room of say a LS430 or 745Li, so far that hasn't slowed its sales down. I'm not sure about their reliability you'll have to ask one of the survey people about that one. They only Jaguar I truly don't like is the X-Type. The XK is a modern classic. Its about the only other luxury car besides a Mercedes SL that can wear the same styling since 1997 and still look so good. Jaguar's dual-edged sword is their styling you either like it or you don't. It's either just right or way too much for some, and in the case of the old XJ it made the car very uncompetitive because it simply was too small (low roof etc) for many.