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.
Feb 23, 2005 (3:01 pm)
Well I think they should sell what is popular in whatever market they're in. Here an S-Class without leather and all the goodies simply wouldn't fly and I'm not sure I'd want one like that either to tell you the truth.
The thing I'd like to see from Mercedes and BMW, Jaguar and Audi are smaller engined versions of their flagship cars. You know like the S350, 740i (300hp V8), XJ6 and XJ8 (3.5L V8) and the smaller V8 version of the A8..I forget the displacement and hp ratings at the moment. Of course I'd love to see more diesels since BMW and Mercedes have really reached the pinnacle in Diesel engine development. The new 3.0L V6 CDI engine is awesome and BMW's new 3.0L I6 diesel kicks out 272hp and like over 350lb-ft of torque. More diesels will come after 2006, but the smaller petrol engine versions of their flagships I don't think will ever be sold here.
These smaller engine versions would be a buyers only chance to get some of the features deleted (or made optional) on a S-Class/7-Series level car, they'll never do it on the versions they import here now.
I noticed your handle, are you holding out to buy a GS450h or the updated petrol GS450?
#7912 of 24726 Re: GS450 [merc1]
Feb 23, 2005 (3:50 pm)
Even though i am a lexus fan, like Oac and lexusguy i have been disappointed with the direction lexus has taken with the new GS. It seems that they still aren't gonna challenge BMW when it comes to driving dynamics and mercedes with the horsepower war. In an ideal world i would probably want to buy the new CLS especially with the new mb v8 next year, but with the direction mercedes' reliability has been going these last few years i can't bring myself to get one. Infiniti really seems to be catching my eye but they still have to go some way before i consider them on the same level with BMW, MB, and lexus.
#7913 of 24726 Anyone driven a new E350 yet?
Feb 23, 2005 (7:58 pm)
if so, whaddya think? Even though it may not be a direct competitor to the RL, GS or M, many will compare it when looking for a new car in this price range.
Feb 23, 2005 (9:28 pm)
Interesing, so then you're kinda stuck on a decision then huh? Of course of the cars mentioned I like the CLS the most, by far.
The GS has always been a curious animal at Lexus. It was never sporty enough to challenge BMW and doesn't have the variants to challenge the E-Class. I don't think Lexus well ever change their beliefs about a car of this size to seriously challenge BMW's 5-Series. With Infiniti also playing the sport card very well with the new M35/M45 I think the GS will once again be an afterthought in the class.
Now their new IS, due to be shown any day now may be a fundamental shift in policy because they already have the ES330 for the folks who couldn't care less about actual "driving".
#7915 of 24726 Merc1
Feb 23, 2005 (9:57 pm)
"... ES330 for the folks who couldn't care less about actual "driving"."
Fortunately for Lexus, these are the real paying customers - the ones that butters Lexus' bread, so to speak. All cars cannot be the same to all people. It may surprise you Merc1, that there are far more people who love cushy, quiet, luxurious, ride than those who'd suffer through bone-jarring rides of your typical performance machines. The former overwhelmingly prefers Lexus, while the latter are dispersed among the other brands - MB, BMW, Audi, and now Infiniti.
Feb 23, 2005 (10:13 pm)
I think you took my post wrong and/or missed the point. Of course I understand that a lot like the ES type of ride, but I wouldnt' agree that they are the majority, in fact they're a dying breed as everyone is making their cars sportier and/or searching for a better ride/handling compromise with each redesign.
I have older relatives, friends, neighbors who love their ES330s, DeVilles and everything else that isn't done up in the sports sedan theme.
Your post illustrates my point perfectly though, Lexus and "sport" simply aren't used in the same sentence by most and thus their sportier cars are passed over by a huge margin, that was my point. Not whether or not cars like the ES330 have a purpose or market.
I also wouldn't consider a M35/45 or 5-Series a bone jarring ride either. We aren't talking M5s or C55 AMGs here. There are cars that combine sport and luxury with plenty of each, but cars like the ES throw handling out the window completely. The ES is alone when it comes to import luxury cars, nobody else is even playing the same game, hence its popularity. Not a bad business.
Feb 24, 2005 (12:46 am)
"What has MB done for the industry in the last 15 years?...Yes, MB has managed to do more here in 120 years than Lexus has in 15. "
You must have been living under a rock for the last 15 years. Even if we disregard countless Mercedes innovations and only include those introduced since 1989 Mercedes STILL trumps Lexus by a wide margin. Virtually every safety feature in every Lexus car was pioneered and introduced first by Mercedes, if not Volvo or BMW. In fact, Lexus has contributed NOTHING in the way of safety. The LS430 flagship sedan doesn't even offer rear side airbags!
Mercedes Safety Firsts (1989-2005):
1989: Front Passenger Airbag
1989: Automatic Roll-bar
1992: Electronic Brake Proportioning System
1995: Electronic Stability Control
1996: Brake Assist
1998: Rear Seatbelt ETDs and Load Limiters
1998: First Crash Compatible SUV
1998: Dual Stage Airbags
1999: Side Curtain Airbags
2001: First Electro-hydraulic Braking System
2002: Pre-Safe I
BMW Safety Firsts: (1989-2005)
1994: Interlocking Door Anchor System
1994: 4-Channel ABS Braking System
1994: Dual Threshold Airbag Deployment
1997: Head Protection Side Airbags
1997: Battery Safety Terminal
1998: Rear Side Airbags
1998: Emergency Telematics
2001: Driver and Passenger Knee Airbags
2002: Adaptive Brake Lights
Volvo Safety Firsts: (1989-2005)
1990: 3-Point Rear Center Seatbelt
1994: Front Side Airbags
2002: Roll Stability Control
Lexus Safety Firsts: (1989-2005)
As far as safety is concerned Lexus has contributed absolutely nothing. Not only has that, but Lexus often trails behind several years before it adopts new technology. For example, it took Lexus until 1992 to adopt the front passenger airbag, 4 years behind Mercedes. Again, it took Lexus until 1999 to adopt Electronic Stability Control, 4 years behind Mercedes. BMW introduced head protection airbags in 1997, 2 years before Lexus. Volvo introduced side airbags in 1994, 3 years before Lexus.
Even now, many Lexus vehicles lack the most basic safety features found in competing cars. For example, you won't be able to find a single Lexus model that offers rear side airbags. Mercedes provides rear side airbags as standard equipment and BMW as optional. The GS430 and IS300 don't offer rear side head protection airbags; a standard feature on all Mercedes, BMW and Volvo vehicles. The 1989 Mercedes SL was the first convertible to offer and automatic roll bar. 16 years later the 2005 Lexus SC430 doesn't offer any such system, even though the BMW 3, Audi A4 and Volvo S70 convertibles do for half the price. The LS430 and ES330 the only Lexus vehicle that offers rear seatbelt ETD and force limiters; standard features across the entire model line with Mercedes and Volvo and optional on most BMW.
Face it, Lexus has never been a leader in safety innovation nor have they shown any particular dedication to safety. Mercedes on the other hand, has been concerned with safety as its top priority since day 1.
"Do any of its RECENT innovations even begin to compare with the importance of hybrid powertrains?"
Well considering that Mercedesí pioneering ESP system alone accounts for a 56% reduction in fatal single vehicle crashes... I would say that just this single recent innovation easily trumps the importance of hybrid powertrains.
"Do you find it meaningless, in a competitive sense, that a brand has gone from nonexistent to number 1 right under MB's nose?"
Is it remarkable that Toyota managed to sell so many "Lexus" vehicles since 1989? Yes it is. But to say Lexus is "number 1" is your obviously biased opinion. By "number 1" I assume you mean number 1 in sales? If so, don't forget to account for cost. Lexus sells its cars for less money than does Mercedes, thus it is only logical that Lexus would sell more cars. Kia sells more Spectras than Lexus sells more LS430s... that doesn't make the Spectra a better car; it's simply a function of cost.
Lexus is like that fat kid in grade school who was always copying everyones homework because he was too lazy/stupid to do his own.
#7918 of 24726 Well...
Feb 24, 2005 (1:03 am)
I'm afraid I've been over this time and time again on this board, all you'll get is one of six responses:
1. These things don't matter because they aren't easily related to a JDP/CR survey.
2. They don't work as advertised, which goes back to JDP/CR and the whole reliability sermon.
3. Mercedes profits aren't what they should be.
4. You may even get a post or two saying that Lexus has the equivalent things on their cars. Not!
5. These things pale next to Mark Levinson sound systems and Nav systems. Who needs rollover protection on a SC430 when the nav/stereo are so great? This was actually suggested before.
6. Ultimate survey'd reliability is safety.
All that technical stuff is simply matterless unless JDP, CR, FT, or the WSJ gives it the ok.
Feb 24, 2005 (1:11 am)
Seriously though looking at that list it is clear to me that European car makers focus more on the mechanical nuts and bolts tech innovations and a less on the interior/convenience features while the Japanese do without certain technical innovations, but concentrate more on things people can see and use more everyday, which is really why both camps have enjoy a wide following.
Between Mercedes, Volvo, Renault, Saab, Audi and that other French company, the Europeans have always lead in safety.
Feb 24, 2005 (5:30 am)
let the Japanese finally spend some money on new technologies in the hybrid area. i won't be offended if the Germans copy it. turn about it fair play. the kicker is the Germans already make fantastic diesels that equal or surpass what is currently available in hybrid form.