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.
#7613 of 24726 Curious Point......
Feb 16, 2005 (10:46 pm)
One thing I'm reading here that could be debated forever is who does a better job at seperating their luxury cars from their more pedestrian offerings, Toyota/Lexus or VW/Audi.
I'd say it depends on the model, and on that basis I'd say Audi/VW does a better job just by a hair. There is distinct difference in style between a VW and an Audi whereas in the case of Toyotas like the Solara (in its styling) and the Avalon (interior) they are no different from similarly priced Lexuses imo. The Solara in particular apes the styling of the supposed to be exclusive Lexus SC430, a no no for a cars of different brands. This new Avalon which has a 2006 GS buyer pausing on the Luxury Performance Sedans board, is another example. Look at its interior. In all fairness the new 2006 Passat with its 280hp VR6 engine would give a many Audi A4 buyers pause too I'd imagine. So to me overall Toyota and VW are more or less in the same boat here.
However, to suggest that BMW and Mercedes are doing the same thing as VW and Toyota simply isn't true, they're MBs and BMWs no matter where they are sold or whatever configuration they are in. Now if the A-Class, 1-Series or A3 don't meet your (mine either) definition of a luxury car so be it, but to suggest that BMW and Mercedes are no longer luxury car brands because of these products is absurd. The 1-Series and A-Class aren't coming here anyway, at least for now.
Mercedes, BMW, Audi and Lexus are all luxury brands to me. How they rank after that is open to debate.
Feb 17, 2005 (12:39 am)
Now this is what a car in the Buick Lucerne's price class should look like:
Designman I need your opinion on this one too, which I think is a stunner. The new 2006 Passat, the car VW desperately needs here right now. Strangely enough though, the Buick and VW's butts do favor.
#7615 of 24726 Re: [denaliinpa]
Feb 17, 2005 (12:45 am)
First of all anyone who is says Audi is not luxury automobile company doesn't know squat about automobiles. That is the most ignorant comment I have ever heard. Aside from many opinions posted here by Lexus fans thinking they actually know anything about other brands...like the guy asking whether Audi had heated seats. Not only do you get heated seats in an Audi, but you get a dual DVD rear entertainment center with a refrigerator on the Audi A8L to boot. Get real with some of these ridiculous comments regarding Audi! Get the facts before you spew biased BS! First of all, a "True" luxury or premier automobile maker is determined by their presence on the world stage, not their existence in one market of the world. That said, Audi, not to mention BMW and Mercedes-Benz outsell Lexus at least 4 to 1 worldwide. In Europe a Lexus is viewed as the "Schweinmobile" or the "pig car" because of its design. Europeans who buy Lexus usually cannot afford an Audi, BMW, or Mercedes-Benz. It is third choice to Europeans, if a choice at all with those sales numbers. Lexus has strived for a long time to establish itself in Europe with no success as Europeans require driving dynamics in their cars and a world heritage. The comment that Lexus will take over Europe is really out of touch. Lexus hopes to hit 40,000 units by 2010 according those great Toyota gods of yours. Lexus managed 20,000 in sales in Western Europe for 2004 vs. 560,000 for Audi alone. Yes, Audi sells less in the US, but at least they sold 80,000 units to Lexus 280,000 or so in NA, and this is a bigger market than Europe (not by much though) I will refrain from comparing an LS to A8L,7-Series, or S-Class as true auto enthusiasts know the difference easily. Also, Lexus lacks any true motor sport heritage, a very important aspect to a true marquee. I mean one could write books on Audi's motor sport prowess and heritage, yet alone to add BMW and Mercedes-Benz to the mix. Audi was winning endurance rallies in 1912 already, not to mention dominance of the current Le Mans, SCCA, DTM, and the list goes on. Lexus may be reliable (though, there has been some interesting recalls on the LS recently), it seems that is what Lexus fans can only talk about - how reliable their Lexus is. The Germans are quite reliable as well. Lexus people would like everyone to believe that the German UberKlasse (Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz) are breaking down all the time or something. That is simply Lexus BS! I have owned 8 Audis, including three A8Ls, and the only thing I ever did is change oil. I have driven your precious little LS and if anyone thinks that it compares to an A8L, then I have some nice swamp land to sell you. Lexus is defintely a great poser on the world stage. Hey, it doesn't even exist in Japan, its own hometown. What really sets the German UberKlasse apart from Lexus is the passion of its owners. We have car clubs the world over dedicated to our marquees. We run our cars on tracks. Try an Audi S4 or Audi RS6 or a BMW M3 or BMW M5 sometime if you want to know what REAL driving is about. We know our marquees were built for driving and handling. We push them like no senior citizen pushs his Lexus to the Senior Citizen Center. Our cars have to take much more abuse than any Lexus or other Japanese poser. I would love to run one of your IS things around a track, but then I am not sure it could handle it. Plus I love my Quattro! You can sell more cars in the US (only), and claim whatever you want, but you will never understand what makes a true premium luxury marquee. It is much more than just leather seats and some stupid pollen filter. That does not make a marquee. Audi, BMW, Jaguar, and Mercedes-Benz are true marquees based on the inate qualities that they possess. Someday Lexus might have that, but you have to do better on the world stage and actually try to compete head to head on the racetrack. I give credit to poor little Cadillac that tried so hard to take on the mighty Audi RS6s last year in the SCCA Championships. At least they understand what it takes to be a true marquee. So go sell more Lexus'- who honestly cares.
#7616 of 24726 That World Thing Again
Feb 17, 2005 (12:56 am)
Audi A6 is "World Car of the Year"
International panel of journalists reaches its verdict
Feb 16, 2005
source: Audi AG
A panel of judges made up of 48 renowned motoring journalists has reached its verdict: the inaugural title of "World Car of the Year" has been awarded to the Audi A6. In taking this honour, the sporty business saloon left its 35 rivals from all categories trailing in its dust. The award ceremony is to be held on the evening of 16th February as part of the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto.
The panel members represented all of the major car markets and many of the leading motoring publications from around the world. They rated the 36 candidates based both on objective criteria, such as product characteristics, and on their emotional charisma: the "wow" factor is clearly just as important an evaluation criteria as safety & environment or value for money.
The "World Car of the Year" award is just the latest in a whole string of accolades which the latest Audi A6 has already captured in its debut year in the motoring arena: other titles include the "Auto Trophy" from Auto Zeitung, "Auto1" from Auto Bild, the "Golden Steering Wheel" presented by the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag, "The Best Cars / Luxury Category" as voted by auto motor und sport readers as well as the "Yellow Angel" presented by the German motoring association ADAC, to name but just a few of the prestigious awards won in Germany alone. Such credits have justifiably earned the Audi A6 its mantle as one of the most successful instant hits of all time, with both the press and public alike.
Feb 17, 2005 (1:03 am)
That was a mouthfull, but speaking of the DTM there is one very special Mercedes-Benz that Mercedes itself doesn't want everyone to know about. It won the DTM in 2003, the CLK DTM AMG:
Unlike the Mercedes SLR McLaren which tops out at 205 mph because of friction etc. the CLK DTM AMG is electronically limited to 199 mph as to not step on the SLR's toes. There were only 100 of these made for about 260K which is also much less than the SLR, all have been spoken for and none are certified for sale in the U.S. Most magazines have called this the best Mercedes-Benz currently made, by far.
#7618 of 24726 Re: Sheep will be Sheep
Feb 17, 2005 (1:07 am)
All A8L W12s allocated to the US have been presold and now require a waiting list. So, save the BS comments about abberations. The A8L will continue to thrive. In Europe for 2004, the new A8L outsold the 7-Series. Just because American buyers don't buy it large numbers (thank goodness - wouldn't want to be like a Lexus)doesn't mean it is not a great automobile. As they say sheep wiil be sheep. So go to your local Lexus dealer.
Feb 17, 2005 (4:25 am)
It seems like you're the one who needs a "Reality Check"
"I will refrain from comparing an LS to A8L,7-Series, or S-Class as true auto enthusiasts know the difference easily. Also, Lexus lacks any true motor sport heritage, a very important aspect to a true marquee"
Hmm reeks of snobbery to me. So Car and Driver and the rest of the automotive press are all wrong?? Sorry I've driven ALL of those cars you mentioned and the only one that had a big difference was the 7 Series. Btw, the LS Ultra does have that Fridge and whatever toys your precious A8 has. I'll take my superior quality. residual, and 20K savings and laugh all the way to the bank. So far NO ONE has made an OBJECTIVE argument against Lexus..All I see here is pure arrogance with these "opinions."
"how reliable their Lexus is. The Germans are quite reliable as well. Lexus people would like everyone to believe that the German UberKlasse (Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz) are breaking down all the time or something. That is simply Lexus BS!"
Okay, so you are going to deny 10+ yrs of JD Power Statistics??? So I'm assuming you've done your own econometric regression analysis to come up with that conclusion...JAGUAR is the most reliable Euro marque at this moment...
"I have driven your precious little LS and if anyone thinks that it compares to an A8L, then I have some nice swamp land to sell you."
Wrong again, the LS beat the A8 in the last Car and Driver Comparison and was second in the Road and Track one..IF the A8 is SOOO great, why are the residuals so poor in the US? Explain to me why all of these Marques can't match Toyota's revenue? The true measure of success is the profit..I could care less about your unsubstantiated opinions. Get some facts.
"Try an Audi S4 or Audi RS6 or a BMW M3 or BMW M5 sometime if you want to know what REAL driving is about. We know our marquees were built for driving and handling. We push them like no senior citizen pushs his Lexus to the Senior Citizen Center."
So you're comparing a modified sports car to a bunch of Luxury sedans? BTW the Lexus IS has done relatively well in the performance category..It just has a lousy interior. I'm sure there are twin turbo GS400's in Japan that beg to differ as well..Is your point about driving and handling your excuse for subpar quality? Right and HOW many people push their 7 Series, S Classes on the highway?? The speed limit in the US is 55 MPH...Even in London, it's 70..Are you actually going to claim the majority of BMW, MB, and Audi owners actually race their cars on the track? You've got to be kidding me.
"In Europe a Lexus is viewed as the "Schweinmobile" or the "pig car" because of its design. Europeans who buy Lexus usually cannot afford an Audi, BMW, or Mercedes-Benz. It is third choice to Europeans, if a choice at all with those sales numbers. Lexus has strived for a long time to establish itself in Europe "
More generalizations...Last time I checked Germay wasn't Europe..In London where I have a second home, I see a fair amount of LS430's. I have yet to see an A8 there..However there are tons of S Classes around (S320 CDI's...Now why don't they bring that to the US? I'd buy it!) Lexus in Europe has largely been an afterthought..
I think the lack of success of Lexus can be attributed to the strong brand loyalty BMW and MB have in European countries. Contrary to what you say, Lexus cars in Europe are far more expensive than they are in the US...Also, the culture is different than the US in that they desire something else from the car..I find that my European collegues are far more tolerant of defects that I am..It's almost customary to spend their Saturdays with the car.
That Passat is a real nice looking car..Now who stole the design, Buick or VW? I'm guessing Buick, which is kind of sad..They used to have some nice designs back in the day..
Another Question..Why is it we don't see the S320 CDI in the US? In my frequent travels to London I see them everywhere..It's definitely a car I'd consider buying. The Diesel must give great mileage and last an eternity. I really wish MB and the rest of the marques would offer "Stripped Down" cars without all the gimmicks..It's pure opinion on my part, but I think some buyers out there feel that all these gadgets distract from the real driving experience.
Feb 17, 2005 (5:20 am)
Europeans are different than Americans. Here we need a car day in and day out. Cars are necessities. In Europe, cars are toys. If a toy is always in service, it doesn't affect your life that much. If you need a car for work, that's a different story.
#7621 of 24726 Re: denali [denaliinpa]
Feb 17, 2005 (6:04 am)
yeah....$11000.00 more for an air suspension.
That's only 15% of the total vehicle cost, much less than the price premium of some German inferior vehicles
the Phaeton is made of steel...the A8 aluminum. in my book that makes them pretty different. the W12 makes 450HP...to the 4.2's 335HP!
W12 is offered both on the Phaeton and A8. The lightest aluminum A8 still weighs more than LS, so all aluminum construction in that car gives you is much higher body shop bills, less ductile metal for the cumple zone, and more dangerous in case of fire (remember HMS Sheffield??). The W12 power-ed porcinemobiles weigh close to 5000lbs! rendering the extra HP mute and pointless.
Feb 17, 2005 (6:25 am)
Lexus managed 20,000 in sales in Western Europe for 2004 vs. 560,000 for Audi alone. Yes, Audi sells less in the US, but at least they sold 80,000 units to Lexus 280,000 or so in NA, and this is a bigger market than Europe (not by much though)
More than two thirds of that 80k and 560k were A4's and A3's, neither of which are luxury cars!. That's why Audi has real difficulty maintaining its claim to be a true high end luxury marquee.