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.
#5619 of 24726 designman
Jul 01, 2004 (8:58 pm)
Actually I did kinda like the RL back in 1996. I was there live at the Chicago Autoshow when the car was introduced. I've always liked Acuras more than Lexuses or Infinitis. Right now though Infiniti is the one tugging at me....that G35 Coupe in particular.
I agree totally with the latest survey. The Dependability survey is where Mercedes-Benz won't show any improvement for quite a while. This year's study is looking at 2001 models so I expected for Mercedes to do worse because of the S-Class and C-Class of those years. Mercedes won't improve in the Dependability study until at least 2007-8 when the 2004-2005 models will be examined. They might do better in 2006 when the 2003 models are looked at but I wouldn't bet on it.
I no longer find your argument credible. Statements like this:
"hat is a great MB marketting line. How many S-class vehicles was the S320 owner buying any way? Once the S320 was brought home and sitting in the garage, what other engine option did he have? I suppose every aspiring schmuck should be an A-class or C-class because with MB, you have the option of buying an S600 or even Maybach! What a joke"
...throw common sense out the window. I think you know what I meant by what I said earlier. The person who didn't want a S320 had the option of buying a S420, S500 or S600. I can't believe what you just stated. By this samd ridiculous logic, tell me what engine option did an RL buyer have in 1996 or now? Nothing. Zip. Same old 225hp V6 is the sole RL engine choice. RL buyers had no choice. Period.
FYI, the S320 made up to 40 percent (during some years not over the entire model run) of S-Class sales in this country. The S280 was not sold here.
"Thank you for agreeing with me. The RL, while not obsolete when introduced in 1996, is quite obsolete today, just like the 3.2 MB engine, not necessarily obsolete in the mid-90's, but quite obsolete today.
Please tell me how in the real world driving is the E320's engine obsolete. Forget the technical aspects (which most buyers don't know squat about) and tell me why the E320's engine is so out of date. Due tell. Please site credible reviews in which such is stated, not your biased reports.
"here are two ways of segmenting market: by size and general vehicle characteristics/utility purpose, and by price alone. E320 is in the same segment as ES330 and TL in terms of vehicle utility purpose and amenity, namely, mid-size sedan with luxury interior appointment. The price difference just goes to show how non-competitive MB has become even as it cheapens the interior material."
I'm sorry but I find this to be a totally foolish statement. I wouldn't care what size the car is with a price difference that is in play between the E320 and ES330, they are not direct compeititors. The ES330 is cheaper because unlike Mercedes, the Lexus is at heart a heavily modified Camry underneath and that allows Toyota to spread the cost out more, and it is fwd, a much cheaper more pesdestrian layout. To ignore such fundamental differences shows where the logic is coming from.
Don't know about the 7, but the S is still more expensive than the average LS, discount or not. Everyone isn't going to get the deal folks (i.e. informed buyers) get on Edmunds.
#5620 of 24726 Re: designman [merc1 #5619]
Jul 01, 2004 (9:56 pm)
The person who didn't want a S320 had the option of buying a S420, S500 or S600. I can't believe what you just stated. By this samd ridiculous logic, tell me what engine option did an RL buyer have in 1996 or now? Nothing. Zip. Same old 225hp V6 is the sole RL engine choice. RL buyers had no choice. Period.
The price difference between S320 and S600 is more than double the difference between ES330 and E320. By your own logic, the "choice" is simply not there for the particular buyer who ends up buying S320. RL was a very good value proposition for the would-be buyer of S280 and S320. RL didn't have to compete with the S600 (or any other V8 S class); as by extension of your own logic, S320 and S600 were not even in the same market segment with each other anyway.
Please tell me how in the real world driving is the E320's engine obsolete. Forget the technical aspects (which most buyers don't know squat about) and tell me why the E320's engine is so out of date
The engine is underpowered for its displacement; loud and lacking in smoothness compared to its primary competitors: Lexus/Toyota 3.0/3.3, Acura/Honda 3.0/3.2 and BMW 3.0. Take a test drive of the vehicles in question and you will notice that right away. That's why MB is updating the engine.
The ES330 is cheaper because unlike Mercedes, the Lexus is at heart a heavily modified Camry underneath and that allows Toyota to spread the cost out more
What you are neglecting is that the E class _is_ Mercedes' Camry. There are plenty E class taxicabs in Europe that have interiors that are positively plebian compared to fully loaded Camries.
and it is fwd, a much cheaper more pesdestrian layout. To ignore such fundamental differences shows where the logic is coming from.
Like you said earlier in the post, "forget the technical aspects (which most buyers don't know squat about)." Most buyers just want a mid-sized sedan with luxury interior appointment. ES330 delivers that in spades. As for driving dynamics, do we need to recall that MB used to pride itself in driver isolation? It's only after Lexus out-Mercedes'ed Mercedes that MB suddenly decided to talk about driving fun among its sedan offerings.
Jul 01, 2004 (10:22 pm)
In your opinion, if the ES and E are competitors based on size and "being luxury cars", then why does the GS300\430 need to exist at all? Its the same size as the ES. As a matter of fact, the rear passenger compartment of the GS is smaller than the ES, and yet despite the GS being significantly less lavishly appointed than the ES, a GS300 starts at $40K, and the 430 will cost you over $50. (Before being discounted because of its imminet replacement). According to your logic, why does the GS cost so much more? Could it be that it costs more to produce a RWD sport\touring sedan?
#5622 of 24726 brightness04
Jul 01, 2004 (10:30 pm)
The S280 wasn't sold here. Period. Your paragraph on this makes no sense at all.
The RL has flopped in the marketplace so I'm done with it. Keep thinking it was compeitive with an S-Class or anthing else for that matter. The car has been a complete dud.
"The engine is underpowered for its displacement; loud and lacking in smoothness compared to its primary competitors: Lexus/Toyota 3.0/3.3, Acura/Honda 3.0/3.2 and BMW 3.0. Take a test drive of the vehicles in question and you will notice that right away. That's why MB is updating the engine.
Like I said before, please show another source to back up this claim for your opion doesn't jive with me or the luxury car market, which the E320 along with the E-Class leads in sales. Underpowered? Reviews please.
"What you are neglecting is that the E class _is_ Mercedes' Camry. There are plenty E class taxicabs in Europe that have interiors that are positively plebian compared to fully loaded Camries.
And this has what to do with the US market E-Class? Not a darn thing. Those taxis are not fwd and they have the same saftey equimpent as any other E-Class, leather and what not does not define a Benz.
" As for driving dynamics, do we need to recall that MB used to pride itself in driver
isolation? It's only after Lexus out-Mercedes'ed Mercedes that MB suddenly decided to talk about driving fun among its sedan offerings.
This is what is called an excuse for the ES330 not offering any "driving dynamics". A Mercedes was always a road-worthy car. Lexus is the one chasing BMW in two segments only to come up short. One drive in the brand new E-Class will show you that they were not trying to create a 5-Series like Lexus can't seem to do with their GS. They had since 1997 to do so, but haven't. Poof there goes that theory.
Mercedes was and still is about luxury first, then sport. BMW is the opposite. Both have moved in closer proximity to each other, but the basic and traditional rule is still in place.
As far as isolation goes, Mercedes never, ever made their way or sold themselves on "isolation". Never. It was about technical innovation, quality, durability and safety and then performance. Mercedes talks about high-speed stability and control and all in the same sentence as isolation. That would be stupid. Traditionally isolation was focus of Cadillac, Lincoln and now Lexus. Now Lexus and Lincoln are the only ones that even mention such things, everyone else has move on to more exciting things.
#5623 of 24726 lexusguy
Jul 01, 2004 (10:33 pm)
Darnnit! That was my next point. I just have to repeat it....lol!!!!!!
Hey brightness what is the point of the GS then if the ES is such the mid-size luxury sedan????
Excuse to follow.
#5624 of 24726 Anatomy of a Bargain
Jul 02, 2004 (5:45 am)
"Most buyers just want a mid-sized sedan with luxury interior appointment. ES330 delivers that in spades."
I'm not sure about those spades. A colleague of mine recently got an ES. Looks and feels very Toyota to me, not even close to suggesting the genes of the LS. It doesn't seem to have the brand carryover that the Germans have in their lower end cars. Of course, I wished him luck and told him what a great car it was. His response? Ah-h-h it's a friggin' Toyota. Didn't feel like asking him why he spent the extra money. One thing about Lexus though. The service/reliability seems to be raising the bar with the other marques. I don't see how it can't. No doubt, the Japanese figure large in keeping the Germans in line. Who would have known what the Japanese would turn into after WWII. I remember distinctly the days when "Made in Japan" was synonymous with rank cheap. Man has this changed.
"The RL has flopped in the marketplace so I'm done with it. Keep thinking it was compeitive with an S-Class or anthing else for that matter. The car has been a complete dud."
I feel funny about harping on the RL, but I'll do it anyway. I think it flopped because too many people thought the price was too good to be true for the lux segment. I fail to see how the TL was so popular but the RL with so much more big-cruiser comfort wasn't, especially at a price difference which isn't nearly as extreme as jumping classes with the other marques. On HP it competes with the 5 and it has a pretty flat torque curve which means an ample supply on the low end. True, it could never compete with the 5 on handling, or the E or S with image. As far as the 4-speed AT, I'd like to know which buyers in the lux segment know the difference. That transmission just doesn't come into play for lux use, it's strictly a paper comparison. Bottom line: it just fell into a market-perception rut from which it couldn't escape… "Gee, nobody's buying it, must be something wrong, I'm not taking that chance."
Now I have a confession. When I bought my 530, I lobbied heavily for the TL. My wife liked it also except for the size, so I then pushed the RL and I thought I had a sale. We both like Acuras and the discounts/bargaining opportunities were unbeatable. She drove just about everything out there and the decision looked close. Then she points out, we just have BMW left to test. I was trying to avoid this but couldn't since she is an avid CR reader. Just before she started up the 530 I told her, we might as well write the check now, this is the one you will love, this is the ride with which there is no equal, this is the one that will make you forget about our Volvos forever. Why the confession? It's quite simple. TL or RL would have meant extra cash for the self-indulged designman sports car fund. I had designs on a 911… settled on the Boxster S. Of course I wasn't sneaky about it… would have been too ridden with guilt. But her terse pragmatic response to my reasoning was… take a hike. Thus, RL never had a chance. But to this armchair critic it is probably the best lux bargain around. Too bad not too many know it. Funny thing about real bargains though, the reason they usually ARE bargains is because only a few know it.
Jul 02, 2004 (6:27 am)
I could be way off base here ...But:
I caught something on radio about Lexus 04 sales doubling 03 sales.
That doesn't seem possible for the whole line may be possible for the LS only.
I only caught the tail end of the comment...Did anyone else see anything?
#5626 of 24726 Re: Lexus sales doubling? [michael_mattox #5625]
Jul 02, 2004 (11:25 am)
What they said is that they hope to triple their sales in Europe over the next six years. Not that meaningful since they are doing rather dreadfully in Europe now.
Jul 02, 2004 (5:13 pm)
Just read that Harley Davidson has yet yet another record quarter. They forecast to ship over 400,000 bikes by 2007. Note: that is bikes that accelerate poorly, perform slowly and handle terribly compared with motorcycles that are a fraction of the price. And Harleys command a premium. 2 thoughts on that: (1) motor vehicle purchases will always be highly irrational, no matter how much we try to rationalize them (2) why can't cadillac or other US brands try to go for the nostalgia and freedom effect that Harley has so effectively and hyper-successfully pioneered?
#5628 of 24726 Re: [pablo_l #5627]
Jul 02, 2004 (5:24 pm)
I wonder what the automobile "enthusiast" view of Harley is?