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.
#5562 of 24726 brightness04
Jun 29, 2004 (12:04 am)
Again, interesting points:
"But even the 3.0 in the last iteration was DOHC VVTi as well; that had been around since the late 90's. MB is a generation or two behind the curve, which was exactly my main point."
They had just retired their DOHC-VVT engines in 1997. It isn't like they hadn't done it before or couldn't they just changed directions, unlike what you're trying to imply here. They'd already been there and done that. Behind the curve isn't right, try they had already gone through it.
"Not compared to the Toyota V6 offerings costing little more than half as much."
Totally disagree, so we'll have to agree to disagree on that one.
"Only in the sense that it was adequate to get the not-so-auto-literate buy into "cheap" MB offerings with behind-the-curve engineering and sub-par quality control . . .; i.e. getting a snow job done. Needless to say, a large number of disgruntled ex-MB owners was created within a few years."
These ex-MB owners were disgruntled over these engines? You'll surely have to prove that one. Mercedes has its problems but engines isn't one of them. Like I said before I think you're too caught up on stats in this instance because these engines got the job done and the industry (the same one that pats Lexus on the back for quality) ranked these engines as being some of the best around, at the time of introduction.
"Nobody pays 45k for an RL (not yet anyway). Those cars are heavily discounted precisely because they are fundamentally derived from the Accord, FWD and all. People buy RL's for reliability and good value; for that, the 3.5 SOHC derived from the Accord 3.0 SOHC does just fine."
Now you hadn't made a single "excuse" up until now, you'd been as straight forward and factual as can be, but here you let me down. It doesn't make a difference what the car actually sells for (it still lists for luxury car money at 45K) and I think everyone buys a car (especially a luxury car!) expecting a certain level of reliability and saying that RL buyers are different is just absurd. People buy E320s, 530is and every other mid-level luxury car for the same or similar reasons. If the RL's engine does the job for the few people that seek it out every year, then the E320's (which outsells the RL by like 5 to 1) SOHC engine surely serves it's owners equally as well. The ironic thing is that they come withing spitting distance of each other in power 221hp compared to 225hp, yet the Acura gets an excuse for its output and the E320 gets ripped. Come on now. Clear and present double-standard going on there. They're both luxury cars competing for the same buyers. The RL should be excused because it is fwd? I think not! The RL is poorest "value" on the market. There is absolutely no reason to buy it over Acura's own (270hp from a SOHC engine I might add) TL. No reason at all. You get nothing for what ever premium is actually being paid (over the TL) by RL buyers, the few of them that exists. I think you'd have to be totally clueless to walk into an Acura showroom and purchase an RL over the TL this year or even last year's TL-S, which was a better car. The RL still has a 4-speed automatic for gawd sake!
I already conceded that you were right about the cost reasons regarding MB's engine design switch in 1997.
Ok so if Wards isn't a good source for engines, who is? They have put certain Lexus engines on that list too in the past. Where they wrong then too?
#5563 of 24726 Re: brightness04 [merc1 #5562]
Jun 29, 2004 (12:19 am)
My point was that having a spot on the Ward's top 10 list alone is no reason for boast; every major manufacturer, including lowly Chevy, has a spot on that list. Ward's has a way of making all the major players content Does making the list make it a _bad_ engine? of course not. It's like calling any engine made by the big-three/four "world class"; of course, it's world-class; the four combined account for half the world's total output to begin with. Trade journals know where they bread get buttered.
Much of your diatribe can be applied to E320 when compared to its competition (or even Camry XLE and Accord EX for that matter). RL has somewhat more supple interior material than TL (and of course bigger and more substantial car), but is that worth the extra dough and lack in performance? probably not, nor does the E320 compared to ES330 and TL, or even the lowly Camry XLE / Accord EX. RL's are literally two generations out of date (not having been revamped for a long time), whereas E320 acts like one.
#5564 of 24726 brightness04
Jun 29, 2004 (12:36 am)
Mentioning that Mercedes had a spot on Ward's top 10 was no boast, just a fact. I can understand if you don't agree with their lists. I just disagree with you on that.
"Much of your diatribe can be applied to E320 when compared to its competition (or even Camry XLE and Accord EX for that matter).
No it can't because the E320's acceleration isn't behind the class like the RL's is. Look up the stats on the cars. If the E320 is behind the class then the GS300 and IS300 are also behind their competitors too when it comes to engine output.
"RL has somewhat more supple interior material than TL (and of course bigger and more substantial car), but is that worth the extra dough and lack in performance? probably not, nor does the E320 compared to ES330 and TL, or even the lowly Camry XLE / Accord EX. RL's are literally two generations out of date (not having been revamped for a long time), whereas E320 acts like one."
Sorry, but that is a big fact excuse and absolutely no justification for buying an RL and paying however many thousands more it costs over a TL. The RL may be bigger but it surely isn't more substantial, as it failed a crash test a few years back, which I'm sure the brand new TL wouldn't. You're making excuses for the RL, plain and simple.
The E320 is a totally different driving experience from the ES330. The ES is a nice and isolated Japanese Buick. It is equally absurd to even suggest that a E320 isn't up to the level or an Accord EX or Camry based on engine specifications or output. There is so much more to any car and the E320 than just engine output/specs. The Acura TL is a fine car and I have no problem with it other than styling, but it isn't an E-Class either. FWD and torque steer do not a E-Class beater make. If the E320 is not worth the money over those cars, then surely the GS300 isn't either.
#5565 of 24726 Re: brightness04 [merc1 #5564]
Jun 29, 2004 (1:03 am)
People buy RL's because they are hoodwinked into thinking they are buying a topdog of a luxury brand; perhaps an S/7 for half the price; that's what they think, and vehicle lengths are about right; RL is about the length of short-wheel-based 7 and S, whereas the E is in the same class as TL, which the E320 trails badly in performance.
RL is 400lbs heavier than TL, how is that not "more substantial"? Remember, there was a time when MB's were sold on being "heavy and substantial"? (and poor crash results as we later found out despite their heavy weight). Some people still buy that, and find RL a half-priced S/7, certainly not performance-oriented drivers, but they do exist, in many retirement communities RL does have better interior material than TL; that's another one of those items MB owners used to brag about until the bean counters got to the recent offerings.
There was a time RL was semi-competitive with S and 7, back two generations ago when RL was designed and introduced, when there were such animals as 735i and S320 (and outside the US, even more perplexing 728i and S280, the latter in which Princess Di died btw; what kind of moribound slow boat was that anyway) Apparently there once upon a time was a market for those slow boats.
A base E320 is actually not quite up to the engineering or quality standards of an Accord EX V6 or Camry XLE V6, and I'm not talking about merely engine, even thought it's a big part of it. Check the panel gaps yourself. Check the reliability record yourself. So what makes the E320 superior if the engine is subpar, the workmanship is subpar, and the reliability record is subpar? Electronic gadgetry count? In a fully loaded E320, at twice the price of a fully loaded Camry/Accord, the interior material (the choice of leather for example) is indeed superior to the latter two (just like RL interior material is better than that of TL; apparently that's of no great concern to you
If the E320 is not worth the money over those cars, then surely the GS300 isn't either.
GS300 sales are indeed miniscule compared to ES330 and TL. GS300, RL and E320 are all out of date; the problem for MB is that, while GS300 and RL are marginal products for their respective manufacturers and placed on the back burner for updates, the E320 is supposed to be _the_ mainstay of MB sales.
Jun 29, 2004 (1:51 am)
I can't imagine that anyone thinks they are getting a S-Class or 7-Series level car when buying an RL. Some buyers are clueless about cars, but I don't think any are that clueless. BTW, we don't get SWB S-Classes here and the RL and 745i, give me a break.
"RL is 400lbs heavier than TL, how is that not "more substantial"? Remember, there was a time when MB's were sold on being "heavy and substantial"? (and poor crash results as we later found out despite their heavy weight). Some people still buy that, and find RL a half-priced S/7, certainly not performance-oriented drivers, but they do exist, in many retirement communities RL does have better interior material than TL; that's another one of those items MB owners used to brag about until the bean counters got to the recent offerings."
Two things wrong here. The RL being 400lbs heavier than the TL helps it what way? None. It isn't any safer, hell it isn't even as safe as the TL. Does this help fuel economy? Heck no. Weight doesn't automatically equal greater safety, other wise so many SUVs wouldn't be do so poorly in crash tests. Ford Crown Vics are heavy as hell too, but you'd better not hit one in the arse, boom...gasoline and fire everywhere. Good design is what makes a car safe not weight. Anyway, that the RL weighs more than the TL and has much less hp is bass ackwards and is not grounds for a boast. Secondly, a Benz being heavy was not intentional, but a byproduct of the way the used to build them. The RL having better materials is not worth paying what 10-12K (list price) over the TL. I'm dismissing any and all arguments about the current RL. You may re-submit your case when the 2005 model arrives, until then the current 1996-2004 RL is a dead issue (and duck) with me and the market obviously.
The RL was never competitive with any S-Class or 7-Series, I wouldn't care if the S-Class and 7-Series had 4-cylinder engines!
"A base E320 is actually not quite up to the engineering or quality standards of an Accord EX V6 or Camry XLE V6, and I'm not talking about merely engine, even thought it's a big part of it. Check the panel gaps yourself. Check the reliability record yourself. So what makes the E320 superior if the engine is subpar, the workmanship is subpar, and the reliability record is subpar? Electronic gadgetry count? In a fully loaded E320, at twice the price of a fully loaded Camry/Accord, the interior material (the choice of leather for example) is indeed superior to the latter two (just like RL interior material is better than that of TL; apparently that's of no great concern to you
Heck no it isn't and the difference isn't worth the price over the TL! They should have given the RL a modern transmission first.
This is a classic case of judging a car by your own criteria. Which is fine, but it surely isn't the only thing I and obviously a many others judge a car buy. The E320 will get an engine upgrade for 2006, it will become the E350 gaining the SLK350's 268hp 3.5 DOHC V6. The reliability angle has been long worn out here. Nothing more to say about that other than the surveys show the E320 to be less reliable than the cars you mention. The side of freeway stuff is bs in my book because I've seen cars from any every brand on the side of the road and I just like you had no real idea of why they were there unless the hood was up and the car was smoking etc.
For me the ES330 could have the best quality in the world and it wouldn't mean squat when I have to look at and/or drive it. The car is a better Buick than the real Buicks. Sorry the comparison with the E320 is far to surreal to me, as is the Honda Accord and Camry, two of the blandest, most boring cars on the road today. Neither of them match the E320 in safety engineering either. The Honda might have tighter panel gaps, but that metal is like tapping on a tin can compared to the E320 or any other Benz.
The E320 isn't supposed to be the mainstay of MB sales, it is the mainstay of MB sales because it (despite your low opinion of it) offers a great driving experience, styling, features and comfort for the class it competes. The Camry and Accord, ES330 comparison is totally ridiculous.
I like how you try to cover the GS300 with an excuse about it not being the mainstay of Lexus sales. Do you think Lexus intended that? Do you not think they wanted to sell as many of those a Mercedes does E320s? Just because doesn't sell doesn't excuse it from the same knocks you've given the E320. Now I know the GS300 doesn't sell now because it is simply old and due for a redesign, but you didn't exactly state that. You tried to cover it by saying it wasn't a priority of Lexus. That is ridiculous. That is the same thing (nonesense) theory I was given about the Phaeton on the VW Phaeton board, that it wasn't a priority, absolutely absurd. Every luxury car maker wants to move their sedans in good numbers, and Lexus is no different. If the car is no priority why are they redesigning it?
Jun 29, 2004 (2:57 am)
I am, for the most part, on Merc's side on this issue. I dont see anything wrong with M-B's SOHC designs (now if they were push-rods, then I would have an issue, and there would be saugatak as well, saying the LS1\6 and Hemi are the worlds best engines). The RL stinks. It has always stunk. I know Legend people that were SORELY disappointed with Acura for that sorry half-assed effort at an LS400. Acura messed up, they underestimated the competition, and they paid for it with pitiful sales. The appear to want to change that with the new car and make something that actually DOES compete with the E, and we'll have to wait and see how that pans out.
Jun 29, 2004 (3:35 am)
I don't see the point of using the old RL in ANY comparos. This is a car that hasn't been updated in 9 years and is the acknowledged dog of its class by everyone.
My point was that having a spot on the Ward's top 10 list alone is no reason for boast; every major manufacturer, including lowly Chevy, has a spot on that list. Ward's has a way of making all the major players content Does making the list make it a _bad_ engine?
Now you're bashing GM's inline 6 4.2L engine?
Have you ever driven a Trailblazer or Envoy and tried out that engine? It is incredibly smooth and powerful. It's just a shame that such a great engine is mated to a decent looking but shoddily built car like the Trailbalzer or Envoy. The 4.2L straight 6 completely deserves its spot on Ward's Top 10. This is a 6 cylinder engine that slaughters a lot of V8s.
Check out the torque curve on GM's 4.2L straight 6.
That is one of the flattest torque curves I've ever seen. Plus it looks like that engine is hitting around 235 ft-lb (or 87% of peak) at just 950 rpm! When GM dyno tested this engine, they had some running smoothly on dyno for over 300,000 miles and still going strong. They eventually took it off dyno b/c they needed the dyno to test other engines.
Ward's opinion is that every well made straight 6 belongs in Ward's Top 10 and I fully agree with them.
You make a lot of good points, but bashing Ward's is not one of them. Maybe engines ranked #7 through 10 could switch places with engines ranked #11 through 13, but every engine in Ward's Top 10 is a fine and worthy engine.
Jun 29, 2004 (3:42 am)
now if they were push-rods, then I would have an issue, and there would be saugatak as well, saying the LS1\6 and Hemi are the worlds best engines
Well, unless you're in a Porsche or a Ferrarri or are driving a turbo-boosted car, the SOHC or DOHC v8 powered luxury car you're driving would get flat out spanked by the Corvette (and probably the Dodge Magnum/Chrysler 300C).
It's hard to argue with #s like 400HP and 400ft-lb.
Jun 29, 2004 (4:54 am)
Saugatak, RL isn't exactly a dog. We (myself included) tend to get a little performance-drunk around here. Let's not forget about price, the roomy and nicely finished interior, the straightforward no-nonsense exterior, PLUS Acura quality. For utilitarian sedan lovers who don't need to debate performance on Edmunds, the current boring RL is a bargain. In the HP wars it's easy to knock, but for those who know that luxury sedans don't compete with sport sedans and roadsters, the RL adds up just fine in the big picture. It takes a lot of abuse among the cognoscenti but I'd take one and exploit the price hits.
Nothing like a piano to add cheer, music culture, decoration to a home. So from this perspective you can't go wrong with ANY piano. But a Steinway is in a different league and that Fazioli comparison that Shiftright was talking about in the other thread is less than accurate and overly spectacular. In order to keep this as brief as possible, my point is that a Steinway grand not only is the crème de la crème among music professionals and amateurs, it is a proven investment for anyone. I paid $11K for mine in '85. I can now sell it for around $30K overnight. My sister paid $35K for hers about eight years ago, and it commands close to $60K today, that's what, roughly 5%-6% per year and I think they say it's reasonable to expect 4%. Talk about getting some real use out of your money. I know not everyone is ready to drop 30 grand on a piano but both of us have actively played since we were 7 and music comes with our family traditions so it was a no-brainer for us. I think you said you work in NY. If you haven't done so, I suggest taking your family to the Steinway showroom on 57th street off 6th. Not only is it impressive in itself, but listen to the musicians who come in to try them out. Then pick their brains about the piano. Even if you don't wind up with one, I think you will find it to be a most pleasant experience. BTW , the standard ebony (black) is by far the most desirable and sellable, plus it works with any décor from traditional to modern. I don't know, maybe you already know about these things… sorry if it sounds didactic.
How's this… a Steinway in the LR to complement an MB in the driveway… uh oh, here we go again.
Jun 29, 2004 (5:32 am)
Well if you take price hits into account then the RL is fine, but we're talking high end luxury marques here, and the RL is not a high end luxury marque.
By "dog" I dissed the RL more than it deserved. I guess I should have said that the RL is underwhelming vis a vis the competition in its alleged bracket, but does OK when compared to the competition in its "real" bracket.