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.
Feb 15, 2005 (12:01 am)
"Can you provide your views of the Chicago auto show ? I am sure you'll have a lot of interesting viewpoints at what's going on in the auto world. Looking forward to reading your report.
In the middle of all of this I've almost forgotten what I saw there!!!!
Well I must preface this with the fact that Chicago isn't what Detroit is in presentation or brands represented. Chicago is however a much larger show, physically.
This year Chrysler and Dodge had an indoor driving track. The Chicago Sun-Times had everyone hyped up because they reported that people would be able to drive the cars themselves, but nope. DCX officials drove the cars while people simply rode in them.
Naturally the only Chyrsler I wanted to ride was the 300C. I must say it is about the best American sedan I've ever been in. Solid build, quiet and a nice quality to the interior. I didn't think you'd be able to see out of the car, but visibility is pretty good, if not great. Add the 300C and especially the 425hp SRT-8 version to my likeables list.
Bentley had the Arnage Drophead Coupe (a convertible) there also. Picure the old Bentley Azure convertible with the 2005 Arnage front end and you'll get the picture.
For some reason I got the same invite from Maserati like I did last year. This year though I got to see Mario Andretti! I mean how cool is that. He was looking at a Quattroporte. I didn't want to be rude and gawk for a picture so I didn't say anything to him, I should have though. The Maseratis were also always stunning.
Mercedes, Lexus, BMW and Jaguar pretty much all had the same cars that they had in Detroit. Production and concepts.
Mercedes did however this time have a CLS that you could actually sit in. For this car to be based on the E-Class it is really low the ground and has the typical drop into type seating position, real coupe like for real. Love the CLS, I know a complete about face from when I saw the concept in 2003. Oh well. The S-Class' last hurrah model - the S65 AMG was there also. It will have a brief run from March to Jan 06' until the new S-Class arrives.
Lexus finally has GS cars that you could get in. This is a large car from the outside, but not that big inside, at least relative to its exterior size. All of their concepts were there too.
International, the truck maker has a new line of trucks for the private businessman. When I tell you that these things are ridiculous I mean ridiculous. They make Hummers look like regular trucks. I couldn't believe the prices, like 90K to 190K. They look like minature semis or something.
Disappointments: Infiniti M34/45. I was truly hurt by this. I still like the car, but after sitting it in for a while (less crowds than Detroit) I'm not all hyped about it anymore. That center console is just too in your face with large ugly buttons for me. There seems to be too much going on, wood, aluminum and leather all jocking for attention. This car along with the new GS seem to scream more expensive Nissan Maxima styling which is unfortunate because the GS had the look first, before the 2004 Maxima came out with the 1998-2005 GS' look.
Thats about all I can think of right now...I'll post more when it comes to me.......
#7525 of 24723 Auto Show...
Feb 15, 2005 (2:04 am)
I know this isn't exactly a Lux nameplate, but did you get to see the Buick Lucerne? I've seen a few pictures from the show and it looks like an interesting car..The back of the rear looks like a Phaeton, and I'm not sure where the front came from..It seems GM is getting better at building nicer interiors. Not quite Lexus standards yet, but not bad at all. It has an optional FWD Northstar 4.6L V-8..I wonder how the torque steer is on that. Any comments on the GM Offerings?
As usual we have the typical Lexus vs Germany debate going on here..I think it's unfair to label Lexus as "inferior" (You haven't said this recently, but others have) for simple prestige reasons..At least for me, it's not one of the criteria in my purchase.
For it's age, Lexus has done plenty to earn it's good reputation..After all the division is only 15 yrs old. You expect a young car company to have some growing pains in terms of a design theme.
I'm not an MB basher at all. I just think their offerings in the 1980's were much better in design and quality than what they have today. If they were to put out a retro-(Not sure the right word) Wl26 I'd be willing to pay the MB premium for it. That was one of the reasons I didn't get the S430..It didn't exude the same feel the 420SE did when I drove it all those years ago. The new car seemed to be a diluted version of the great eighties cars. Maybe the new S-Class will feel more like those "Classic" Benzes..
Feb 15, 2005 (2:31 am)
The Buick Lucerne - I'm still trying to pronounce the name correctly. I really didn't look at any of the GM cars this time around, since in Detroit GM has like more floor space than anyone else. I do agree about the styling as the rear looks much better than the front.
I do remember seeing this car for a brief moment and only from a distance it kinda looked unbalanced in its styling to me. Didn't go near it to see the interior. It sort of looks like an ES330 from the side.
Those classic Mercedes' were overbuilt and nobody can physically build a car like that anymore, especially in interior fittings and the way the switches and controls operated - too costly to do now. The Maybach is about as close as you'll get to that now and even it doesn't click and thack like the old W126 S-Class and W124 E-Class from the 80's. Stlyewise of course I think Mercedes' have never looked better. As far as "feel" is concerned if a basic Mercedes doesn't give you that feeling of sitting in the middle of road, locked in place like the older models did (they weren't too agile either) then try an AMG model like the CLS55 or E55. They had to lighten up on the controls to give them more agile handling since BMW made a point of it. You seem to want the old "bank vault" Mercedes in both styling and dynamics.....
#7527 of 24723 1980's MB
Feb 15, 2005 (5:56 am)
You pretty much hit right on..I really liked the older Benzes. You still see shining examples of those cars everywhere. It's what got me interested in Luxury cars to begin with..(I was a former Buick Park Ave driver!!) I remember driving a friend's 420 SE..It drove like a tank and felt like it was built to last forever. Absolutely solid car. And for the price you got something that really looked grand..The car STILL looks great today.
By the time 1992 rolled around I wasn't too impressed with the successor to the W126..So there was the Lexus LS400..It had a nice flair to it and sitting in it invoked the same feel I had sitting in the 420 SE..(No surprise considering the LS was based off of it!) Thirteen years later, it still looks and drives like new..It's been the best car I've owned..I feel that even the new LS430 doesn't have quite the solid feel of the original. Even the Lexus Service dept told me "They don't build them like they used to...Hold on to that car!" I guess times are changing..I understand the need to make a profit, but I miss the older cars that would last 20 yrs no problem..With all the electronic gimmicks in all of these cars, I wonder how trouble free they'll be in 13 years..
#7528 of 24723 Press the eight
Feb 15, 2005 (6:08 am)
That Lucerne is as vanilla as it gets, but is minimal and extremely well executed nonetheless. There isn't one detail that is mis-proportioned. Giugiaro influence. I wish something like that would come out of BMW instead of those harlequin designs.
Yeah Merc, both the Maxima and GS have that slovenly fatso look about them. I hope I'm wrong but I'd bet the next LS has the same countenance. Camp Lexus tends to think it will be the next coming of Marilyn Monroe. I guess it doesn't matter though—Toyota is well-capitalized.
With all of this talk about sales etc., a lot of you guys keep forgetting why people buy German cars. I'm not going to utter the reasons again. But do you think for one minute that they don't consider reliability? Many of them do, it's just that they go with the risk. Some people would never buy stocks or lay a dime on a crap table. It's no different. If you get burned, you shrug your shoulders, walk away, and get the same night's sleep as if nothing ever happened. And if you can't then it's not for you. Reminder—reliability issues are nothing new with German cars.
#7529 of 24723 Re: [denaliinpa]
Feb 15, 2005 (9:40 am)
"the S class is still the worlds luxury king and i really don't see that changing anytime soon."
Haha, there's still RR's & Bentley's . . .
Which car is the king of luxury cars is purely in the minds of each individual who makes the purchase. The fact that they sell more S class in the world than any other cars in it's class have as little relevence to it's status as the King of luxury as the case of Toyota blowing away everybody else in net profits have in relevence as the King of all cars.
Don't tell me that a person that choose to buy a top of the line Jaguar XJ (which isn't a big seller anywhere with the possible exception of UK)over everything else in it's class & just spend $100K+ for it don't feel like they have picked the best & most desirable car in the world.
Please drop this idea of MB, or any other brand as the most deirable, or being the King of anything.
#7530 of 24723 Re: Oac [merc1]
Feb 15, 2005 (10:05 am)
Time to move on Merc1.
#7531 of 24723 Re: Oac [merc1]
Feb 15, 2005 (10:09 am)
Thanks for the report. It looks kinda scanty... or is it that I don't have my reading glasses on ?
How 'bout Jaguar, Phaeton, Acura, Ferrari, AM, etc... And your favorite, Maserati Q... Maybe more details on these cars later as they come to you ???
Feb 15, 2005 (10:57 am)
Very well said. Even in the DaimlerChrysler empire itself, S class has to bow to the Maybach. As for unit sales, I'm sure all the A-class and C class sales make the S owners feel very special; similarly, the gaggles of S320's sold as glorified taxis in the third world countries must make the S500 and S600 owners feel proud.
#7533 of 24723 denaliipa and merc1
Feb 15, 2005 (12:36 pm)
MB needs people like you to keep the company aflow. So keep buying them. Real rich people don't need to drive MB to show off.