Last post on Jan 28, 2013 at 6:55 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.
Jul 27, 2004 (9:37 pm)
"I'll bet most critics of an LS430 have never sat behind the wheel of one. I'll also bet that many LS430 buyers have owned MB E or S class cars before. Do I have statistics - no. Just my feeling because it's the situation with the people I know and I'd bet its representative of a large part of the buying group."
You might be right on that because most German car folk have read too much about the car being an isolation chamber and more importantly just looking at the thing is most off-putting so I doubt many would bother. However on this board, most of the negative noise about Mercedes comes not from former MB owners but survey and graph chasers and folk who couldn't "fit" into a Mercedes. Reading some of their posts its obvious they don't have a clue as to what a Mercedes was or is about today.
The same could also be said about the Lexus owners who talk down about Audi and BMWs, most of them wouldn't and haven't gone near one to even know what they're talking about. Especially the Audi detractors.
I think the friction comes in when someone on either side tries to say what defines a luxury car, while knocking a car they've never even driven, and know they don't want the other car anyway...for whatever reasons.
Yes I have driven the LS430, but it was a 2002 model. I've driven a used 2001 model also, so I haven't driven the 2004 model. The Carconnection review still hints that it is still too isolated from the road, and others have said that very same thing about the 2004 models so I have my doubts about this "far tighter" claim you're making. The same press that praises the LS' other attributes says the same thing about the 2004 model as they do the 2001 model, it doesn't have the dynamic or feel/roadholding of the German cars. The 2001-2003 models drove like a Buick to me especially when mildly pushing it. Way too much body roll. What you and other Lexi never seem to get is that nobody is saying the S500 is a "drivers car" in the purest sense, only that it is more of a drivers car than a LS430. It feels more connected to the road than the LS430. I've seen a many of post from LS owner talking about how they felt nothing when driving, meaning it was smooth, that isn't what most German car buyers look for, at least the ones that buy for technical not status. The only true "drivers car" in this segment is a 745i (short wheelbase) with the sport package or maybe the A8L, haven't driven it yet.
Yeah audibob was being ridiculous to say the least, and I'm crazy about Audi so imagine me reading stuff about Audi that even I couldn't sell here.
What I said to Lenn above applies to your post about the Allante. You never even drove the SL and because you didn't fit into it very well it was a lesser car. Wow very astute analysis. The Allante was junk plain and simple. Nobody bought them and even the normally big-mouthed Cadillac would like to forget about the car. You're a big fan of sales when it comes to Lexus but when it comes to Cadillac you don't mention sales? The car was a flop and everyone knows it. The 1990 SL only sealed the coffin the fwd, underpowered Allante already put itself in from the start. It was a second car for most so who cared about how well it was made or how reliable it was? Are you serious? That is a complete stack of bs. Fact: in the early 90's Mercedes lead your precious surveys, where was Cadillac. I see where you're coming from now. Surveys and sales to tout Lexus, but not for Cadillac. I've never seen a non-GM owner/fan come up with so many excuses for one of their worst products in history. What you say about the top alone is just far too surreal to be coming from a Lexus owner. Would you buy a SC430 if it had a manual cloth top and that only half-arsed worked? Heck no. How much more hypocritical can you be about the Allante.
I'll have to find the article. I think they stated the #1 selling configuration for the 911 was the C2 with an auto, not the C4S. The article went on to say that Porsche was semi-worried about this.
Jul 27, 2004 (10:10 pm)
MERC MERC MERC:
I did drive a couple of SLs I think one was an older model 450 and I don't recall the other a 380 or something like that...I just don't remember...I didn't fit well in either and as I said the car was uncomfortable and harsh and just not nearly as nice inside or out as the Allante...P.S. you could just plug a chip out of the Deville into the Allante (cost $200 bucks) and jump the HP from 200 to 250...I don't recall the HP in the 93 Allante but it was around 300 with the Northstar system and outperformed every SL around in those days.
The cockpit was exactly the same size as the front of the Deville..Very comfortable...The car always turned heads...I remember feeling sorry for the poor guys that were driving SLs
It took me under 30 Sec. to raise and lower the top and with the top down I still had full use of my trunk (nice design) Power opened and closed it and pulled everything down and inplace all I had to do manually was pull it back and down or up to open and close it....I would think a real car man like yourself could handle something as simple as that. It was a very nice touring car with plenty of luggage space (and you could still fit in your Golf Clubs, I did it many times.) You couldn't do that in the SL...
You will need to print your source (cut and paste) for the speculative information you have cited...the survays were positive as I recall...It is difficult to find them now so if you would care to cut and paste something in to prove your point that would be a good thing...
They sold 20,000 Allante's between 1987 and 1993 the production run for the car...The last year had the highest sales with about 6700 sold as I recall.
My convertable days are over now...I loved my Allante kept it for 10 or 11 years. I would only compare to what was available when I bought my car late in 92...I know it will still turn heads, it was a beautiful Italian design with an enduring quality.
Jul 27, 2004 (10:16 pm)
So much religion. It's an utterly futile exercise to try to argue about the notion of "best" in cars. "Drive what you love" is a great motto, and love is -in its most rewarding and best moments- utterly irrational. Some think best is the most bang for the buck, some think it's the most heritage, some think it's the car that for whatever reason just clicks with them.
From my own perspective, I must say that I think the luxury sedan scene has become sadly devoid of fundamentally different value propositions. All brands have somewhat compromised identity to appeal to that lowest common denominator that has become that sadly predictable "magic quadrant" for anyone selling anything these days. No one has the b*lls to have an edgier, riskier proposition these days.
As much as I agree that Lexus has phenomenal reliability and build quality, I've always felt they're a somewhat robotic brand in search of some individuality. Execution = phenomenal, guttural passion appeal = mediocre. Those who think cars are appliances (and that is not a negative term - high end appliances are not a fallacy, just look up Gaggenau) will look no further. I've always looked at Lexus when shopping for a car, but it never really made the list of finalists. Yet. All it takes is one truly awfully unreliable car experience to make someone go "oh, screw this" and go for a proven quantity when it comes to reliability. I know that.
Audi has the same effect on me. And it's never made the close contender list, either.
Jaguar - ah, they used to. Their product portfolio has been sanitized. The S class is a typical committee product, and yet sadly along with the XK coupe it's become their most distinct offering. The X class is a typical exercise in blatant brand equity exploitation, the XJ has sold its soul to the demons of practicality. The remnants of British eccentricity have been lobotomized out of Jaguar. Oddly enough, I find that a big loss.
Mercedes and BMW have always been de rigeur choices among the upwardly mobile, too predictable, so little appeal to me, even though I have always loved the 3 series, which I think is about the perfect car: it costs as much as I am always comfortable paying cash for a car (anything over $50k has caused me bouts with buyer's remorse), and it drives penomenally. Alas, everybody and their dog has one.
The other day, talking about cars with a British business acquanitane I always have great laughs with, he mentioned the Bristol brand. Upon checking it out, I am fascinated by the genuine eccentricity. If it cost $70k, that would be my car. Alas, eccentricity has been confined to the realm north of $100k, and below that car manufacturers are unwilling to take risks... a shame, really.
#6388 of 24723 michael_mattox
Jul 27, 2004 (10:37 pm)
Like I said you didn't even drive the R129 1990 SL that you've tried to state was inferior to the Allante! You never even drove the the 1990+ 500SL! The 380 and 450SL models were from another era and were severly dated by the time the 560SL came out in 1986 to see the platform out.
"I don't recall the HP in the 93 Allante but it was around 300 with the Northstar system and outperformed every SL around in those days. "
Do you seriously believe such things that you post? I have never read anything so incorrect and so out of touch with reality. You haven't a clue or you choose to ignore the facts because this even subjective. The 322hp 500SL outperformed the 1993 Northstar Allante. Have you not read anything? I won't mention the 389hp 600SL that would easily smoke the Allante. Read what Car and Driver said about the 500SL in that comparo in which the Allante beat a mere I6 powered 300SL. The 500SL would smoke the Allante and the V12 600SL would stomp a mutthole in the Allante.
I couldn't care less about any golf clubs while driving a underpowered fwd SL wannabe. The Allante had a powertrain of junk (a 200hp V8!) until 1993 and by then it was too late, nobody cared. Plugging a chip in a car is for the fast and furious set, not a 60K luxury convertible buyer. AMG would modify the R129 SL to do 200 mph if you wanted so whats the point.
Like I said before everything you say about the Allante's top is a grand excuse for a pitifully designed top on a 60K car. A 20K Pontiac Sunbird of the day had a power top!!!
"You will need to print your source (cut and paste) for the speculative information you have cited...the survays were positive as I recall...It is difficult to find them now so if you would care to cut and paste something in to prove your point that would be a good thing.."
So you do understand the concept of proof. Good. I have a list of your bogus claims you have yet to prove in over a year of stating them! Shall we? I'm still waiting to find out if the Allante had a "shoulder harness".
On Cadillac and Mercedes back in the day say like 1990-1993 ask any of the survey chasers here about where each brand stood. I bet you won't like where Cadillac stood relative to Mercedes, who led the things. Where do you think all this fall from grace and drop-in-quality talk came from concerning Mercedes?
"They sold 20,000 Allante's between 1987 and 1993 the production run for the car...The last year had the highest sales with about 6700 sold as I recall."
Wow! In 7 model years they sold 20K units. Whooptie-doo. The 500SL alone (not even counting the 300SL and 600SL) sold 23806 units (mbusa.com) in just six model years from 1990 to 1995 at a much higher price than Cadillac dared dreaming of charging for the junker Allante. No matter which way you try to spin it the SL, specifically the 500SL slaughtered the Allante. Some enduring quality the car was cancelled because of it.
#6389 of 24723 michael_mattox
Jul 27, 2004 (11:00 pm)
You might as well give up bud, you're not going to win this one. Those guys in their SLs were probably more amused at your Allante than feeling pity for you. The Jag XJS's 4.0L V6 of the time outpowered Cadillac's V8, and it had a proper power top, and RWD. Cadillac was not ready to play hardball in those days. They basically just wanted to be better than the joke that was\is Lincoln, and that was about it. The Allante was a half-assed effort at the big leagues, and it failed, just as the Catera did, and all of the other times Cadillac phoned it in. It appears they've learned their lesson, but it was the CTS that marked the first time Cadillac could be mentioned along side Mercedes and BMW without inducing snickering.
Jul 27, 2004 (11:06 pm)
What I truly can't understand is how one that obviously appreciates quality (a LS430 owner) could come up with so much bs to cover such an ill-conceived car like an Allante.
The industry that praised the first LS400 of the day is right but they're wrong in slamming the Allante of the same time frame to the forgetten land of GM's worst screw ups. What a double standard.
Is this your "enthusiast" side Mike? Meaning you're apt to overlook certain things for a car that you thought delivered unrivaled driving pleasure? Never thought of it like that even though some of the stuff you're coming up with for the Allante wouldn't be forgiven by anyone then or now. Hence the car's demise on the market.
#6391 of 24723 Re: ljflx [merc1]
Jul 28, 2004 (4:52 am)
"Reading some of their posts its obvious they don't have a clue as to what a Mercedes was or is about today." What a Mercedes was or is about? You act like it's a person or something..geez...it's a car. A Mercedes has always been about prestige and since it's a car, getting from Point A to B in style.
"The same could also be said about the Lexus owners who talk down about Audi and BMWs, most of them wouldn't and haven't gone near one to even know what they're talking about. Especially the Audi detractors." Honestly I don't see a whole lot of this, I don't know where you get this from. It seems more like a Lexus basher comes into play and then when the Lexus lover defends Lexus, all of a sudden he becomes a BMW, Audi, or Mercedes basher without that person even saying anything about BMW, Audi, or Mercedes.
"What you and other Lexi never seem to get is that nobody is saying the S500 is a "drivers car" in the purest sense, only that it is more of a drivers car than a LS430."
Yet, you always make it out to seem like the S-class is soo much of a better performer than the LS430.
Jul 28, 2004 (4:54 am)
I don't get the Allante thing. That thing was a joke for it's price point, and personally no competition to the MB SL.
#6393 of 24723 Re: [maxhonda99]
Jul 28, 2004 (5:18 am)
My Dad has an Allante and it is not that bad of a car. Yes, it not the best package, but a fun touring car. The top is easy to put down and the storage space inside the car and the trunk is great. My parents can take two sets of golf clubs and luggage for trips. You can not do that with the new SL or the SC. Very little problems as well.
Jul 28, 2004 (5:33 am)
I'm not saying it was a bad car. But for the money it was low quality. Back in the early 90s or something they were selling the Allante for about $50K and it had shoddy quality, a poor fitting top, and originally it was powered by that weezy pushrod 200bhp 4.9L V8.
And to compare it to a $80-$90K Mercedes SL is ridiculous. The Mercedes may not have been perfect in terms of reliability, but it was built like a rock, was as solid as a rock, had timeless looks(it still looks great today), and simply, the SL was in a totally different league. Allante vs. SL500/SL320 is a pointless comparison.