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.
Mar 02, 2004 (7:57 am)
The main reason Lexus trails the competition in the car lineup is due to a lack of variety. The LS only comes with one engine choice. Although that will change soon. The Merc S class offers four choices from the S430 to S600 to S55 AMG. Same with the GS only two choices. BMW offers 4 powertrains from the grossly underpowered 525 to the lightning fast M5.
I think the problem with Mercedes begun when they switched from DOHC 4 valve per cylinder to SOHC 3 valve per cylinder in 1998. All the pre 1998 Mercedes were built to last forever, the same cannot be said for the current generation. It is good to know that Mercedes learned their lesson and going back to DOHC engines. My dream car is a 911 Turbo with automatic.
Mar 02, 2004 (11:34 am)
I don't understand all this Porsche talk. It's hardly a "...Luxury Marque".
Nice sports cars though.
Mar 02, 2004 (12:51 pm)
I guess we'd have to debate the word "luxury". By definition it qualifies.
In my opinion there are two types of luxury cars:
1 - couch-potato luxury
2 - sport luxury
If you want to throw it out be my guest, but as a fine upstanding citizen of Edmunds, I'm doing my part to provide a respite from that MB/Lexus topic. And besides, I think you couch potatos can use a little exercise.
All in fun
Mar 02, 2004 (4:03 pm)
No reason why we can't talk about Porsche here from this corner ...
#4314 of 24726 Couch Potato
Mar 02, 2004 (4:34 pm)
Seemed appropo to me.
BTW, I have declared a self-moratorium on Lex/MB debate. I enjoy the talk about Porsches although I don't own one nor plan to own one. Hence, you can put me in the *couch potato luxury* camp
All in fun, as well
Mar 02, 2004 (5:34 pm)
If you see 10-15 new posts in a short period you will know the cease fire has ended.
merc1 - I'm curious - have you ever had a chance to drive the new A8, the Phaeton or the 7-series? Would you ever consider a Boxster for yourself?
Mar 02, 2004 (6:10 pm)
I've always thought about the 911 because it has a classic's appeal: authenticity, proven track record, instantly recognizable etc etc
However, I found the interior *very* underwheling unless you're willing to customize the heck out of it and spend left and right for the never-ending list of options Porsche offers. I love the fact they allow you to customize your own car to the point you'll hardly ever encounter one that is the same, on the other hand the base version should have a bit more appeal.
My favorite Porsche: the 911 Targa. Nearly a convertible, good practicality. I'll go for it one day in the none too distant future - in my opinion, everybody needs to have owned a Porsche once if they claim to be car enthusiasts.
The cheap options is to go for the earlier generation 911, but that one is too coarse for me, it's like a European Corvette with way too much chest hair and not enough refinement.
Mar 02, 2004 (6:37 pm)
You will enjoy Automobile this month despite its cover which is devoted to SUV's. There is a story about the hard to get SL55 and another one about the Quattroporte with the A8L along for a bit of comparison.
After reading the latter story I can tell you I would hate the day I bought the Maserati Q if I ever were to buy one. It's really a sports car dressed up as a 4 door luxury sedan. The Audi blows it away as far as I am concerned. And you know where the Audi stands with me. The Audi also blows it away in looks - imo. This wasn't a road comparo - it was just a review of a new entrant vs an established one with luxury as the benchmark. What is funny though is that there are 100k large sedan lux cars sold each year - give or take - and these two will only represent 6% of those sales. I'm not at all sure why the A8 sells so poorly given all that Audi puts into it (engineering wise and marketing wise - I do see plenty of A8 advertisements) as well as its competitive price. It's a great car and deserves better but the Maserati Q looks like it better be kept to a low production quota. It's a name people will aspire to, and it's a sports car people will aspire to but as a lux car it will probably disappoint (except for the fact that it's a Maserati, its different and thus will get a lot of stares) - unless you really want a 4 door sports car and not a lux car.
Mar 02, 2004 (9:32 pm)
Your post # 4309 is right on the money. They built cars for the long term, and thus were appreciated for such. Now the competition has forced shorter production cycles and more people are leasing so the first impressions are more important than 10 year qualities.
Gee, that is exactly the point I was trying to make, and you understood it perfectly. The root of MB's problems is having to adjust to that. Older models also stayed in production for 10 years or more in some cases. This practice is no longer competitive, and 7 years is about the norm now. The Germans are still learning how to build a cheaper car in less time, for less time and for less money, not their specialty.
Nope, I haven't driven the A8 or Phaeton. Yes, I have driven the entire 7-Series range. I drove the 745Li and 760Li. I was able to keep the 760Li for about an hour since nobody else was in line to drive it BMW's charity event last fall. Awesome car, but too complicated to master in such a short drive. It's not even idrive that bothers me most it's the styling. I simply can't stand it. Now believe it or not, I'm starting to like the 5-Series. Gulp!
Well you know how much I like the A8, but I'm quite fond of the Quattroporte too. The biggest mistake Maserati made with the Quattroporte is not offering a conventional automatic transmission. Thus it will remain a sports car with 4 doors. I look for their connection with Audi to yield them a proper 6-speed auto in a few years. I think the car will sell well though because people looking for regular luxury cars, MB/Lexus/BMW etc, aren't going to be interested, and those who want something different with 4 doors have just found their ride.
The SL55 AMG remains my favorite car on the market period. Either that or a CL. No Boxster for me, surprisingly I've never like it much.
As usual you've received your mags before me.
Unless you know something I don't, 1998's change over to SOHC isn't even close to being one of MB's problems. The new SOHC engines are much simpler compared to the old DOHC I6 and V8s, which were great, or better depending on who you ask, but they weren't perfect either.
#4319 of 24726 My theory on the A8's failure in the USA
Mar 02, 2004 (9:34 pm)
I think the aluminum body has a LOT to do with it.
It's amazing how that bit of news got around. The "masses" seem aware of the repair hassles, and IMO that has resulted in the kiss of death for both new and used units. Here in the Bay Area you can pick up a late-model showroom A8 privately for the high-teens! Owners have told me they advertise theirs at giveaway prices and go months without a call.
It's a fantastic car by the way. If I lived in a snowy region I'd have one in a trice.
Merc: Are you going to start bashing Masers now?