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.
Jun 29, 2004 (8:31 pm)
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.
You'd have had your break if you had noticed the past tense in my previous post. The RL was designed for 1996 model year, and hasn't had much updating. Let's see, what MB and BMW had in 1996 for 7 series and S class base models: S320SWB for NA market, S280 for the rest of the world; 740 for the NA market, 735/728 for the rest of the world. Like I said, RL was once-upon-a-time semi-competitive with MB S and BMW 7 when it was introduced.
Every single criticism you worked up against RL applies to MB of the mid-90's too. Mainstream MB cars were always "heavy tanks"; even the S class of that era faired poorly in latter crash tests (contemporaries were not as obsessed with barrier crash tests as we are now). There is a difference between barrier crash tests vs. real life crashworhiness against another car of average weight (not the a heavy car's own weight as the barrier tests imply).
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.
By the same token, heck no, E320 isn't worth the price over the TL! They should have given the E320 a modern engine first. I like how you try to cover the out-dated engine issue with an excuse about its being upgraded for 2006. Do you realize that RL is getting an upgrade even before 2006?
Like I said, E320 is out-dated in its competitive market segment, just like RL is in its own. The big difference is that RL is a marginal part of Acura's market, whereas E320 is the mainstay of MB's sales (given that the ML320 completely lost its market segment to RX300/330).
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.
That's implied to be common knowledge, no specific mention necessary. GS300 was introduced before RX300, yet the latter got a complete redesign three years before the GS300 despite the latter's fabulous sales throughout its life cycle. That should tell you where Lexus' priority is. When Lexus put out the new SC430, it didn't even bother making an SC300 version. Lexus has the meat of the entry-mid luxury market taken care of with the ES300/330 and RX300/330. MB's offerings in that segment, the E320, E320 wagon and ML320/350 have been losing sales to Lexus in dramatic fashion. That is MB's biggest problem. It's holding tenuously onto the relative small "somewhat sporting" corner of the entry-mid luxury, with what's left over by BMW 330i/530i (and Acura TL at somewhat lower price point); it's not a big slice of the pie to begin with, especially with BMW's dominance in that corner. With GS300 redesign coming soon, MB is in even bigger trouble.
#5585 of 24726 Re: Saugatak, Lexusguy [designman #5572]
Jun 29, 2004 (8:43 pm)
there are people who swear there are $20 bottles of wine that beat the $200 per bottle varieties. I tend to be in that camp.
I'm in that camp too, and it's probably true. Wine makers bottle the same wine in different bottles and sell at vastly different prices all the time. The economy of scale and the delay in "vintage" vs. economic cycle dictates that. Car making is rapidly approaching that sort of economy of scale concern. The latest Civic redesign had more R&D funds to play with than that of the Maybach project. That's why MB is busy trying to amortize its R&D cost on Chrysler models.
Jun 29, 2004 (9:33 pm)
but hey, there are people who swear there are $20 bottles of wine that beat the $200 per bottle varieties. I tend to be in that camp.
I wouldn't know. I am proud to say that I am too cheap to spend $200 on wine when I know for a fact that vineyards have overproduced and modern farming techniques have improved quality all over.
Same thing is happening to cars BTW. The gap between the "economy" cars and the "luxury" cars is getting slimmer with each year.
#5587 of 24726 brightness04
Jun 29, 2004 (9:38 pm)
I'm through with the RL. It was never competitive with an S-Class or 7-Series on any level other than being a car with 4 wheels. Nothing will convince me otherwise and unlike the RL, the S320 made up to 40 percent of S-Class sales during 1992-1998, in other words it sold, something the RL has never done. Furthermore the S320 was but one S-Class model you still had the option of getting a S420, S500 or S600 during the W1240 S-Class' production run. With Acura you had no choice.
"Every single criticism you worked up against RL applies to MB of the mid-90's too. Mainstream MB cars were always "heavy tanks"; even the S class of that era faired poorly in latter crash tests (contemporaries were not as obsessed with barrier crash tests as we are now)."
What? You're kidding right? Absolutely not true at all. Mercedes-Benz was crash testing their cars against barriers when the others weren't doing much of anything. Who in the world do you think pioneered the whole offset crash barrier process and came up with the crumple zone concept that every single carmaker today uses??? Please show me the data in which the 1992-1999 S-Class failed any crash test. I'll be eagerly awaiting your results.
You're the only one that thinks the E320 is outdated, which I find to be ridiculous and not based on anything factual. The engine in the E320 does the job and does it well. No? See the last C&D comparo of the E320, GS300, 530i, A6 2.7t, S-Type 3.0 and M45.
"Do you realize that RL is getting an upgrade even before 2006?
Do you realize that it is about darn time? The car has been the same for 9 model years! Talk about not being competitive.
"When Lexus put out the new SC430, it didn't even bother making an SC300 version. Lexus has the meat of the entry-mid luxury market taken care of with the ES300/330 and RX300/330. MB's offerings in that segment, the E320, E320 wagon and ML320/350 have been losing sales to Lexus in dramatic fashion."
You're confused on market segments. The E320 doesn't have a chance at 48K of outselling the ES330/TL nor does it compete with it them 33K. It is beyond ridiculous to even suggest such a thing. I'll give you the the ML isn't even close to being competitive with the RX, no argument there.
The GS300 ain't gonna do squat against what will be the 260+ hp E350 by early next year.
Jun 29, 2004 (9:41 pm)
"merc1 - you should note that an S430 is no longer much more expensive than an LS430 in its popular trim - as topspin noted - and the Lexus still easily outsells it. The 7 is even closer or about the same price, less in the case of the LS430 ultra, and it is also badly outsold."
If everyone leased then you'd have a point. Secondly the S430 and S500 sell *about* equally.
The 7-Series and S-Class are still more expensive, especially when someone isn't leasing.
#5589 of 24726 Re: [lexusguy #5583]
Jun 29, 2004 (11:52 pm)
Interesting to note regarding the comparo that CR's comparo rated the MB highest, over LS, A8, Jag. They said it was the best riding car they ever tested. It outpointed the LS by small margin and that was mainly for its handling (emergency lane changes etc) where the Lexus scored only average.
Of course they don't reccomend the S at the moment due to reliability factors but do report that fit and finish is excellent and rate on a par with the Lexus.
Jun 30, 2004 (12:02 am)
The S430 mainly lost that Car and Driver comparo because of it having less power and it didn't perform as well as all of the other cars (which the S500 would have done much better at), a sluggish 5-speed transmission, which the 2004 model would have had the 7-speed transmission, and lastly that particular S430's price was something like 87K. A 2004 S500 Sport would have costs about the same, but it would have taken care of most of the other criticisms about that particular 2003 S430. Why that particular S430 had the sport package and ABC is beyond me, the price went through the roof with those two options.
I've always said that 2003+ S-Classes are much better built, but most of (probably all) of the S-Class' critics here haven't looked at an S since 2001.
#5591 of 24726 Re: [lexusguy #5583]
Jun 30, 2004 (12:16 am)
I hope that you are enjoying your watch. It is a fine brand from what I know. My point was, however, that if it is not a quartz battery operated one, then it will pale in accuracy by many times to a much, much cheaper one. So "value" is in the eye of the beholder.
As you, I would rather own the hand crated non electronic watch than the cheaper more accurate, maintanince free one. Products like these (watches, cars etc) are personal expressions. Similar, I guess to people who own exotic cars that require great care. They love them with a passion that you won't see communicated by someone who owns a Honda Accord for instance. I think that reliability for a car is a great attribute but one that is more respected and appreciated rather then arousing the passion of "sex appeal" and performance.
I think Acura with the old NSX, Honda with S2000 and Mazda with Miata have been the leaders in showing that bullet proof reliability and emotional thrills don't have to be mutually exclusive. Hopefully more will follow.
Jun 30, 2004 (4:48 am)
I wasnt as much refering to the accuracy of its time keeping (though Breitlings are EXTREMELY accurate for mechanical watches) I was more refering to that its a very low maintanence, extremely well built watch that will outlast most cheap $100 battery powered watches by 20 years.
The cars you listed are good examples, but they arent the only ones. There's also the RSX TypeR, Mazda RX-8, Subie WRX STi, Mitsu Lancer EVO, Nissan 350Z, and of course the Legendary GT-R.
#5593 of 24726 Makin' the rounds...
Jun 30, 2004 (4:50 am)
NSX and S2000 are the gems to come out of Honda/Acura. Amazing how they are at extreme ends of the price spectrum. NSX is an awesome car that beats the 911 in speed and handling but just can't compete on price. It just never figured into the Japanese "more for less" MO, hence pathetic sales. Yet the S2000 blows away the Boxster on Price. Wonder how the LS would sell if it was say 10 grand more than an S430. NSX is something like $16K more than a base 911. That's the prestige of German cars for you in a nutshell. Will be interesting to see how and if this changes.
"I'm through with the RL."
Sounds like you might have had some affection for it at one time. Care to explain? RL suffers some heavy losses on paper… a serious snubmobile around these threads. I still think it's that good cheap bottle of wine.
Breitling and Lexus? Interesting association. How's this…
Uh oh, hope this doesn't start something
Checked in with Mrs. Designman on the kitchen appliances. We have an old house and had a new kitchen put in recently but I avoid getting involved in this area like a dog avoids a bath. Yes, our Sub-Zero has the same humidity problem. We have a Bosch and although it has been working well she says Bosch is the worst manufacturer she has ever dealt with. She had some up-front contact with them. What I find to be funny is our Wolf oven that many seem to be ga ga over these days. They look like they belong in an Army mess-hall kitchen. I think the SUV mentality has come to the kitchen.
I struggle to understand the value of high-priced wine. I think I could make more sense out of a pyromaniac's pleasure in burning two hundred-dollar bills. But I used to go for decent cigars… go figure. Now it's extremely hard to find good ones. I think there may be people out there making more profit with counterfeit cigars than with drugs. And the tobacco farms are stressed with demand. I blame this all on the ingress of Cigar Aficionado magazine which created the incredible demand back in the early 90s. Before that, the pickins were incredible… when Cubans were REAL Cubans. I've heard they even sell counterfeit Cubans in Cuba these days! Seems like the demand has eased up though. I attribute this to the passing fad and men having to go home to the ladies all stanked up wearing cigar cologne—not exactly an aphrodisiac. Although when I was single I did go out with a woman who thought the smell of garlic on a man was sexy. Yeah, whip up some pesto!
Hey, a couple of weeks ago a guy in a top-down Maserati Spyder pulled up next to me in the Boxster on the highway smoking what looked like a stickball bat with a perfect half-inch ash. He just HAD to make a statement… hammered down and took off. It was good to see though. That thing has an incredible growl.
Always enjoy your posts. Man, you take no prisoners!