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.
#7710 of 24723 brightness04
Feb 17, 2005 (11:20 pm)
The A-Class is a Mercedes-Benz, not a cheaper brand car like most Acuras that have been re-badged from something else to sell under a luxury brand. I think you're getting me mixed up with others here, I didn't say Mercedes and especially Audi were exclusively high end luxury. My point with Mercedes is that are luxury car maker that recently (1997) started making cheaper cars like the A-Class. Mercedes has had an entry level sedan since the 190 of 1983, and it had a 2.6L six cylinder version also.
True "high-end" is Maybach, Bentley, Rolls-Royce etc. Mercedes certainly competes on a much larger scale than Lexus does, unless you want to count all those Toyotas too. From 90hp to 617hp from 22K to 450K Lexus doesn't even come close and if they they're going to take Europe with broadening their product range they are mistaken. Europe is about diesels and hatches for everyone that competes there and MB, BMW, and Audi are only giving what the market requires in the same manner in which Lexus has become the SUV king here with dud cars like the GS and IS.
That said Mercedes is higher end than Lexus which doesn't even compete in all the markets Mercedes does, nor do they have the product range or variety. Lexus was thought up in a Toyota board meeting in 1987 and thus is a synthetic brand to people who care about such things. If you don't (obviously) fine but if you're going to measure brands by things like sales, prestige and what not Lexus isn't even close to Mercedes-Benz, especially on a worldwide scale. You keep pointing out the Mercedes is selling most A-Classes in Europe, then the link you gave said Germany only. Then you say that Lexus sold 20K cars in all of Europe, yet they're supposed to be of higher stature because all those 20K units were luxury cars when Mercedes sold 90K S-Classes worldwide last year and lord knows how many E-Classes, and you know full well that even if you took away the taxi versions you'd get more than 20K units which is what the entire Lexus brand sold in Europe. Lexus is a baby in Europe next to MB, BMW and even Audi which sold more A6s than Lexus did their whole line.
#7711 of 24723 Re: Oac [merc1]
Feb 17, 2005 (11:28 pm)
Well, I am glad you put the caveat, imo, in your post. You'll have to take the car out for a spin to make any judgement. Exterior looks are subjective. There are so many minutia details about the car that Lexus absolutely nailed. Go take a *closer* look at a Lex dealership. I certainly plan a test drive soon as my number gets called at my local Lex dealership....
Feb 17, 2005 (11:33 pm)
Well I don't really have to drive it to tell that it is really unattractive. The details to me are exactly whats wrong with it. I've seen the car up close about 5 times now. I saw it in Detroit last year, probably before anyone else on this board. Sorry, but there would be no point in me driving it, its too ugly. I like the Infiniti M45 much better, though interior wise it is behind the Lexus. They missed the interior on the M35/M45, again imo.
#7713 of 24723 Re: brightness04 [merc1]
Feb 17, 2005 (11:36 pm)
The A-class is indeed a Mercedes, like other MB models, engineered on a shoe string budget compared to what Honda put into the Civic platform. That's why Civics and RSX are good reliable cars that do what they are supposed to do, whereas A-class and C-class owners (and E, S, too) find their under-engineered cars full of bugs.
Lexus doesn't care to compete at 90hp or 22k. It's mission is to be a true high-end luxury brand, one solid step at a time, from 250hp at $35k onward. That's why MB, BMW and Audi will be left for Toyota brand to clean up after Lexus brand passes through on its way to compete with RR and company. SUV's little more than large hatchbacks. When Lexus figures out how to make big hatches consume gas like little hatches (time is nigh with hybrid technology) and decides to expand sales by conquering Europe, there will be little to stop it. SUVs are already gaining popularity in Europe, especially the RX from Lexus and Rav4 from Toyota, with CRV from Honda and light MPV from Mazda also gaining fast.
#7714 of 24723 Re: brightness04 [merc1]
Feb 17, 2005 (11:39 pm)
Let's go back to our basic definition of what a luxury car is ? What price-point is a high-end lux car ? Who sells the *most* lux cars ? And who then should be crowned the undisputed lux car brand ?
Let me start.
I believe a *high-end lux* car/truck is one with features and contents not found in pedestrian/mass-produced cars/trucks. Features like high-end audio (ML, Bose, etc), voice-activated Nav, radar/laser-CC, drive-by-wire, brake-by-wire, bluetooth, parking-assist, rear-camera, 5-/6-/7-speed tranny, cooled/heated seats, V8-powered or higher (no wimpy v6s, pls), state-of-the-art in safety gadgets, unparalleled quality and refinement, low NVH, good handling and performance, highly reliable, and best-in-class customer service.
To have all of these, the car/truck needs to sticker north of $50K.
Which company sells the most cars/trucks north of $50K here in the US ?
#7715 of 24723 Re: brightness04 [merc1]
Feb 17, 2005 (11:40 pm)
Lexus is a baby in Europe next to MB, BMW and even Audi which sold more A6s than Lexus did their whole line.
No kidding. Lexus is only beginning to set up its dealership network in much of Europe. Not a single high volume Lexus on the market was engineered for the European market, yet. Look to North America, and see for yourself what happens to the old guards when this baby grows up.
#7716 of 24723 Thinking out loud
Feb 17, 2005 (11:47 pm)
In the cars we debate here on this forum, I want to see rationales for buying any of these cars
Need performance ? Buy a 7-series
Need handling ? Buy a 7-series
Need luxury amenities ? Buy an LS or an S
Need quiet ride ? Buy an LS or an S
Need most reliable ? Buy an LS
Need ego-massage ? Buy an S-class
Need to show-off ? Buy a 7-series or S-class
Need to prove a point ? Buy an S-class
Need best customer service ? Buy an LS
Need a drag racer ? Buy none of these cars
By my unscientific survey here, the 7-series garners 3 points, S-class has 4 points, and the LS has 4-points. Maybe a honorary mention for the A8 ! See, even this unscientific survey correlates (somewhat) with the sales volume in the US (LS > S > 7 > A8)
Need a high-end luxury car ? Buy a Bentley, or a RR. Nothing else beats these two for sheer high-end luxury....
So why debate these lower-lux class cars ? Especially seeing that they do not provide all things to all buyers....
#7717 of 24723 Re: Oac [merc1]
Feb 18, 2005 (12:07 am)
OK, so you won't drive it. But here is what Car Connection had to say about a recent test drive of the GS430:
On paper, the GS430 certainly seems to deliver. Thump the throttle, and you watch the speedo needle sweep past 60 in an impressive 5.7 seconds. Top speed is a solid 149 mph.
Specs can be misleading, of course, but not in this case, as we pleasantly discovered during a day's driving up and into the San Gabriel Mountains. The new GS is not only fast, but uncannily responsive. Steering is precise and quick, a subtle yet effective speed-sensitive system constantly adjusting the steering ratio.
The narrow and windy mountain passes constantly toss new challenges at you, and its easy to get in over your head. Yet the GS seemed to almost anticipate the road's contour, correcting driver errors so quickly as to be almost imperceptible. It's the sort of a car that can make even an average driver feel ready for track time...
That said, the biggest challenge with the new GS430 is simply finding something to criticize. The 300-horsepower, 4.3-liter V-8 is everything you expect, and the new 6-speed automatic is responsive enough to mute our request for a Lexus stick shift.
For those who don't need quite that much power, there's also an all-new, 245-hp, 3.0-liter V-6 in the GS300. It's still quick, turning 0-60 times of 6.8 seconds. Better yet, the six can be paired with an optional all-wheel-drive package, priced at a reasonable $1950, a figure that includes standard Run-Flat tires.
The GS430 sedan is fast, fun and as lavish as anything we would have hoped for. There are plenty of advanced electronic systems onboard, but unlike so many Japanese high-tech cars of the past, the technology remains largely out of sight until it's needed, and then comes into play quite unobtrusively...
Wanna read more ? Here is the link:
Think they are snorting something ???
#7718 of 24723 Re: brightness04 [brightness04]
Feb 18, 2005 (12:48 am)
Let us end the brand debate here, or at least I'm going to because most of that is speculation and dreaming, especially the part about Lexus passing all the rest to compete with RR and company. Far to surreal for me to spend anymore time on that sir.
And this: "I said A8 using aluminum only served to make the vehicle itself less safe than it could have been with steel."
I'm still waiting to see some proof, you know like crash test scores, not theories about aluminum cans. I don't see what is so hard to understand about this, proof of the A8 being less safe than the LS430 is what is needed here, otherwise........
#7719 of 24723 Jumping in the debate
Feb 18, 2005 (1:05 am)
Wow! You guys take this stuff too seriously. They are just cars for crying out loud! Perhaps people see their cars as extensions of themselves and when their cars get attacked, they take it too personally.
In any event, I have a '98 E320 and recently purchased a '05 LS430. I also had a '01 ML320 and traded-in for a new '03 Sequoia. In my opinion, MB and Lexus are both very fine cars; one brand is not absolutely better than the other. I love my E. It is beautiful to look at, solid and realitively reliable throughout the years. Unfortunately, the new E are simply too small for me to consider. The ML was a fine truck (with very poor ride though), but again, it was too small for my needs and I had to trade up.
Based on my "limited" MB experience, both my E and ML were pretty reliable without any major issues. With respect to the LS430, it simply rides a dream. It feels solid and yet has the soft Japanese touch and luxury. It definitely feels different than MB, but I don't believe it is inferior in any way.
The other models S, 7 and A8 are all fine automobiles in their own right. However, the bottom line for me is that for $60Kish, LS430 is a bargain and made most sense - price, size, quality, luxury & reliability. If new E were about the same size, I would have bought the E. If the S were little cheaper and more reliable, I would have bought the S. For the same money, I would take the S over A8L any day (personally, I don't consider Audi and MB to be in the same class). The 7 is simply too ugly for me to even consider.
By the way, the recent Luxury SUV movement was likely started by Lincoln Navigator back in the mid 90's.
These are my 2 cents. Love what you drive and why care about what others think?