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.
#8334 of 24726 Re: More of the same... [sv7887]
Mar 08, 2005 (12:26 am)
"Unbalanced Whale?" This is utter nonsense. They even admitted the car wasn't equipped with the 18" tires and Euro Sport Suspension and admitted it was not a fair test. You're taking everything out of context.
Don't try to twist the facts. C&D never said that the test was unfair. Why would C&D put together an article and then discredit themselves by saying it was an unfair test? Give me a break. The only thing C&D said was that the LS wasn’t equipped with sport suspension… and they only mentioned it in order to cover their ass and qualify the fact that they mistakenly awarded first place to the car with lateral grip worse than most trucks. Even though the LS was not tested with the Euro Sport suspension, it shouldn’t matter by your logic anyway. After all, it wasn't fair for me to compare the more powerful S500 to the LS430 so why should it be fair for anyone else to compare the optioned out LS430 with Euro-Sport vs. a base S430? Talk about a double standard. Even if the LS430 was equipped with these options, it still wouldn't be a BMW... or even an S for that matter, especially given the Lexus interpretation of "sport" that translates to "slightly more consistency than Jell-O with a hair less body roll than a boat". On another note, it is both humorous and telling that Lexus advertises its cars with so much European flair in an effort to disguise its roots. The stodgy narrator on their commercials has an uppity European accent and now they try to market "Euro sport" suspension... why not "Japanese Sport" suspension? Sounds like Lexus is trying to be something it isn't.
Most every comparo I read says the car was competent but not very exciting. We've already had someone post the braking distance and the LS won by a foot. (hardly a win). And what exactly are the significance of skipad numbers? I take it we all race our cars somewhere on a track..Get real. Even the 0-60 numbers are pointless. Most of us just drive around town or to work with these cars. What's your point about a S500/600/55? It's not even a fair comparo to begin with. I would hope a 5.0L V8 or V-12 would run faster. You can only compare the S430 to the LS and not the S500.
You're glossing over the details. Not only is the LS "not very exciting" in every comparo imaginable, but it's also the worst overall performer… every time. Wake me up when Lexus engineers a car that doesn't perform and handle like a bus. I don't have my Consumer Report library in front of me at the moment, but it would be interesting to see how the LS scored against the S430 in other performance aspects.
For 13K less, the LS430 has more standard features than the S430. I shopped for both and I know what I'm talking about. They wanted 73K for a S430 4 Matic with Nav and a few other things. My 62K LS430 has way more features than the S430, and there is not a huge difference in performance. The LS is more spirited and comfortable, whilst the S is a bit harsher in ride but better at high speeds.
For 13K less, you may get a better ratio of standard features, but once you add options to an S-Class you get more features overall. Besides, Lexus makes you pay for things like navigation and pre-safe, both of which Mercedes includes as standard. Anyway, something about your statement makes me skeptical. You say that you were looking at an "S430 for $73k" with "4-Matic, Nav and a few other things." Well that's very interesting considering that Navigation has been standard since the 2000 model year (optional with Lexus) and 4-matic is currently a no cost option (not available with Lexus).
The frame construction is probably the biggest factor in the equation here. Electronics as you've mentioned aren't going to make a huge difference. I've mentioned the Airbus vs Boeing Argument. And you've failed to realize no sane CEO of any airline would fly a plane that was not as safe as a competitor. No competent industry insider would dare imply an Airbus is unsafe since it has fewer safety features than a 747.
What are you talking about? If, as you say, an Airbus has fewer safety features than a 747, it is by default less safe... Hands down. More safety features = greater safety. CEOs pull this kind of crap all the time right under people's noses. The same is true in the auto-industry. The CEO of Lexus figures he can get away with skimping on safety features and waiting many years before adopting innovations pioneered by others because he knows that most people are ignorant sheep who can't tell the difference. Those loyal to the Lexus cult are eager to drink their special punch because they figure that Lexus can do no wrong, without even checking things out for themselves. For example, I think it was michael_mattox that didn't know that his LS didn't have rear side airbags... he just assumed it did. Assuming that a company “wouldn’t risk building an unsafe car” is completely absurd. Companies do it all the time… just look several GM and older Fords.
It's like putting PreSafe in a Kia..You think all those electronics are going help if the Frame isn't built well? I'm sure MB has a great frame construction, but so does Lexus. I've taken a real world crash in my LS400 and it barely moved despite being hit at 35MPH from the side. Granted there was 7K worth of damage to it, but it kept everyone in the car safe
Yes, frame strength is one aspect that contributes to overall safety. But I’m not sure why you assume that Lexus has equally good frame construction. Personal anecdotes are nice but aren’t exactly the best indicator of vehicle safety. I’m sure that more than one person has wrapped their Cavalier around a tree and lived to tell about it, but I think that both of us can agree that the Cavalier is probably one of the least safe cars on the road. Just because you got lucky one time doesn’t mean anything. Now, I’m not saying that the LS is unsafe per say, but I am saying that you can buy safer.
#8335 of 24726 Re: More of the same... [michael_mattox]
Mar 08, 2005 (12:34 am)
Your Logic would make Chrysler and Mercedes the same company...Heck Chrysler is carrying Mercedes.
There is a HUGE difference between the Toyota/Lexus connection and the Mercedes/Chrysler connection. Mercedes and Chrysler were independent companies long before 1998 when Daimler-Benz purchased Chrysler group. Despite financial links, Mercedes maintains its independence as a separate entity from its corporate siblings. On the other-hand we have Toyota/Lexus. This isn’t a matter of one company owning another company or one company merging with another company… Lexus quite literally IS Toyota in every sense. In Japan you won’t find a domestic Lexus LS430 on the road but you will see plenty of Toyota Celisors. “Lexus” was just re-badge stunt pulled here in the U.S. to lure unwitting American’s into paying $60k for a Toyota. So yes, Lexus and Toyota are the same company… its been that way from the beginning.
All the Technology in the World is valueless if it doesn't work properly ..As I recall someone has already posted a list of often purchased parts that could effect the safety of the car.
There was so much wrong with that link I’m not sure where to begin. He tried to pull a fast one on all of us by posting some sort of amateur “e-bay seller site” and then telling us that it was definitive proof of Mercedes reliability issues. Furthermore, he claimed that he “didn’t see Lexus” on this oh-so-professional and accurate website… which would make sense considering it was a European site and Lexus doesn’t even appear on the radar in Europe. I countered by listing a news release that told of a recent recall of 150k Camry’s due to defective side airbags. Furthermore, I linked to an insurance page that listed several “safety problems” with Lexus vehicles. The point is, if you’re going to provide “proof” of Mercedes reliability issues, at least provide some credible proof. Also, if you’re going to preach about the reliability, don’t pretend that Lexus is invincible.
Rear seat airbags are of little value the Curtins that protect your head and the seatbelts are the essentual safety features...So Called safety features with little more value then bragging effect is worth how much?
Wrong. I am simply floored by this comment. I understand that you may want to mitigate Lexus’ disregard for safety by belittling the importance of side airbags, but you simply cannot. Side airbags are vital in any type of side impact. Side head airbags (pioneered by BMW) ONLY protect the head. Side airbags provide protection for the torso and pelvis that a seatbelt alone cannot. The presence of a side airbag can mean the difference between life and death. Just look at some of the side impact tests on the IIHS website and notice how cars without side airbags score extremely poorly and those same cars with side airbags score markedly better. Saying that side airbags are unimportant is just as ridiculous as saying front airbags and seatbelts are frivolous features.
They once did have a great reputation for safety and innovation...If I were buying a 60s or 70s or even 80s car it would be a Mercedes..Times change many cars now have learned from Mercedes and even helped move many of Mercedes safety innovations into the 21st. Century, The result is many cars now rival Mercedes in the area of safety.
The problem with this statement is that Mercedes STILL DOES have a great reputation for safety and innovation. You speak in the past tense, that they “did” have a great reputation, even though Mercedes has been churning out safety innovations throughout the 90s and into the present. Please, explain to me how others have “helped move many innovations into the 21st century.” Last I checked, Mercedes was the one of the only ones pioneering these advances and furthermore had all the latest and greatest features years before Lexus. Only Volvo and BMW come close to matching the sheer number of Mercedes safety innovations. Lexus has contributed absolutely nothing and continues to leach off the R&D of others to this day.
You constantly talk about cost cutting in the Lexus...That is true but far from the Negative you seem to want to project it to be.
It seems pretty negative to me that Lexus decided to skimp and save $100 on their flagship sedan by not including rear side airbags. It seems pretty negative to me that Lexus decides to nickel and dime its customers for optional safety features like pre-safe. It seems pretty negative that Lexus waits upwards of 4 years before adopting critical safety features on its models like ESC and head airbags, and even then makes some of these features optional / half-assed on lower priced models. Correct me if I’m wrong, but these are just a few of the many instances of Lexus cost cutting that seem pretty negative…
The cost saving results partially from Lexus perfected heavy use of robots to build cars...the resulting percision is one of the primary reasons for the Lexus Reliability EDGE....
Again, I already acknowledge that Lexus is more reliable. In fact, reliability is the only redeeming value of Toyota. Hopefully Toyota will force MB to make its cars more reliable, and then people won't have any reason to preach about the virtues of Lexus. However, for me reliability takes a back seat on my priority list when I shop for a car.
#8336 of 24726 Re: take off the German blinders II [syswei]
Mar 08, 2005 (12:50 am)
Tiag, you wrote “sorry but 0-60 times aren't the only measure of performance”. Well, the existence of rear side door airbags or anti-rollover bars isn’t the only measure of safety.
You're right, but they certainly carry a lot of weight when measuring safety. And please don't be mistaken, these feature absences are only two of many among the various Lexus vehicles where corner cutting has reared its head.
What you haven’t shown is how the absence of those safety features outweighs the less reliable brakes of the S. Last I checked, brakes are a safety item, no? CR’s reliability data for the S’s brakes, 2000 to 2003 model year cars (-2=poor to +2=excellent) (sample size inadequate to generate ratings for other years:
Well first of all CR is a fraud. Second of all, "reliability issues" with brakes has a wide array of meanings. You make it sound like the brakes on the S-class will just stop working without warning. I assure you that this isn't the case or else there would be a massive NHTSA recall coupled with high profile lawsuits. The issue with S-Class brakes isn't with the brakes failing to work. I would guess that the issues reported to crackpot CR probably read along the lines of "pre-mature wear" due to soft high-friction pads, or the failure of a brake assist computer on startup diagnostic.
Now maybe more reliable brakes are more important than ‘missing’ safety features, and maybe they’re not. I can’t prove it either way, and neither can you. So why don’t you just admit that there is no conclusive objective evidence that the S is safer overall than the LS, and give the whole safety issue a rest?
Please, if you have any data that suggests that MB brakes on the S-class simply fail without warning, I'm all ears. Otherwise, I wouldn't be concerned about false pad wear alarms. I would however, be concerned by the multitude of Lexus safety corner cutting found throughout their model line.
#8337 of 24726 Re: overboard [ctsang]
Mar 08, 2005 (1:08 am)
I did go way way overboard. I just can't stand that denaliipna and merc1 kept saying MB's style (which is so subjective) is better than Lexus.
So you can't stand that denaliipna and merc1 are correct? Yes this is a subjective area, but in my opinion MB styling is much better than Lexus. Lexus has no design identity of its own. All Lexus does is mix and match design elements from other brands to form a bland mutt of a car. For years Lexus has been ripping off Mercedes, but I think the most blatant imitation has to be the current LS, which was heavily influenced by the S. The few times that Lexus has ventued off on its own without holding Mercedes' hand has been disasterous. The ES looks like utter trash and the SC430 is quite possibly the ugliest car on the road.
Let those people buy those European junk cars. They will learn except for those fanatics. I and all the friends and relatives did learn from mistakes. Does MB know that if Lexus didn't exist, they would sell a lot more cars? Again look at electronics. I used to own German TVs, but now I only buy Japanese.
No, you don't sound like a Lexus fanatic at all. Not one bit. In fact, it sounds like you have done plenty of research and applied much logic to support your "European junk" claim. :sarcasm: As far as your TV analogy is concerned...Apples and Oranges. Did you know that MB outsells Lexus around the globe and in America MB sells more cars than Lexus? The RX SUV (aka raised Camry) is the only reason why Lexus total sales in the U.S. are higher than MB. All that will change shortly with the new M-class
Even if MB were the same price as Lexus, I think Lexus still beats MB in safety, value and reliability (all objective criteria).
Reliability and value maybe. But definitely not safety. Please, I am interested in your logic as to why Lexus is safer than MB. Is it because Lexus never innovates in safety? Is it because Lexus is slow to adopt safety features? Is it because Lexus doesn't offer as many safety features as MB? That is a very interesting perspective indeed... :/ Especially considering that MB spanks Lexus in all three areas: Innovation/Introduction/Features
#8338 of 24726 tiag_m5
Mar 08, 2005 (1:56 am)
Yeah I too couldn't believe that about the side airbags being basically called a gimmick or just for bragging rights, yet Lexus will no doubt have them on the next LS. Imagine if a Mercedes didn't have a safety feature like that when every other car in the segment had it. Then you'd see a complete about-face on the subject.
Its the same thing about roll-over protection the SC430, all you'll get is that it has a better sound/Nav system. I couldn't believe that from what is supposed to be a logical thinking group of buyers of a 60K+ convertible!
When you read things like that you realize that all logic has gone out the window in order to detract attention from such obvious and glaring shortcomings.
#8339 of 24726 Re: tiag_m5 [merc1]
Mar 08, 2005 (2:14 am)
When you read things like that you realize that all logic has gone out the window in order to detract attention from such obvious and glaring shortcomings.
Exactly. I couldn't have said it any better.
#8340 of 24726 Side Airbags
Mar 08, 2005 (3:50 am)
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety would probably disagree with you. You seem to ignore that frame construction is the Number ONE factor whether it be an airplane or car.
It's funny, the New Beetle had all the side impact airbags yet it still did poorly. The Corolla did better (but still not great) with the airbags. Here's a telling quote:
"Four of the vehicles tested -- the Elantra, New Beetle, Forenza and Spectra -- have standard, head-protecting side air bags. But the institute's chief operating officer, Adrian Lund, said the cars had poor structure that failed to prevent injuries to the torso and pelvis."
Notice he's saying the same thing I am: Structure is key. Had any of you had an engineering background like I do, you might understand that. An Airbag isn't going to compensate for a lacking structure.
You've already read in prior posts that the LS430 structure is studied at various engineering schools. The LS430 scores equally well in every objective measure out there. You offer opinions, yet I have facts to back up what I say. Not that I wouldn't mind the extra airbag, but it's not going to make a major difference as shown in the results I've posted above.
You're still taking that comparo out of context. Go back and read the article. They did say it wasn't a fair comparison, and likened the LS430 to wearing slippery ballerina shoes if I remember the quote correctly. And No, the Lexus never scores dead last in anything. It's usually in the higher end of straight line acceleration and middle of the pack in other performance realms. You can bluster all you want but even the Autorags give Lexus it's due.
I've driven a S430 and no, the difference was not huge. The S430 was stripped of options for $78K (List price). The Navigation system wasn't close to that of the LS430. Lexus has been using a DVD based system since 2001, MB 2004. As far as electronics go, Lexus is much better no contest. The Benz looks better and feels marginally better on the highway at 90 MPH. The Lexus has better resale value and reliability. So why would I pay $13K more?
If you're going to consider Objectives, the Lexus wins every time. There is no refuting that one. You keep harping on about Innovation...My answer: We don't care who built it first. So as long as it works. Basically you're making the snob appeal argument, that's what it all boils down to. Sorry, I don't buy my car as status symbol to brag about. I think that perfectly illustrates the difference between Lexus owners and Mercedes owners. It's the same reason I wear a Seiko instead of a Rolex. Reliabilty is better and it does the same exact thing...So why spend $10K for show?
Mar 08, 2005 (4:23 am)
There is only one thing wrong with your airbag rebuttal, you're using much smaller and far less well built cars in your example. Those cars have absolutely nothing to do with the cars mentioned on this board. They're not nearly as big or well built. Now earlier when tiag_m5 showed you results about various Toyotas you said they were invalid because they weren't Lexuses, so you can't point to an Elantra to make a point here either.
I don't think anyone said that an airbag would compensate for a lacking structure or that any car here had a poor structure. The point of paying more for a luxury car is to have all the latest safety features, especially compared to cheaper cars in this case that have those rear side airbags. Same thing about paying more money should get you a more reliable vehicle. You can't seperate the two because Lexus isn't a safety leader. The issue isn't even that MB or whoever had rear side airbags first, the issue is that Lexus still doesn't have them on what is supposed to be their top-of-the-line sedan.
I think tiag_m5 brought the airbags up at this point just to illustrate how things are glossed over and deemed unimportant by the Lexi who simply can't admit that even their LS doesn't have every base possible covered. Reading this board you'd think Lexus has thought of everything. To say that side airbags are in place for bragging rights is the most ridiculous thing I've read in the last few weeks.
Is roll-over protection on a convertible no big deal either?
#8342 of 24726 Side Impact Airbags
Mar 08, 2005 (4:39 am)
You do have a point there. tiag_M5 has repeatedly said the LS 430 is UNSAFE because of the exclusion of a single airbag. No question all high end marques will fare better, but this goes to show the difference that an airbag will make using a common benchmark. You will agree all cars in the compact class have similar build quality? If so, then you will agree the marginal effects of such side airbags will also be accurately shown. The VW Beetle is a superbly engineered car, but the side impact airbags didn't make a difference. In the Corolla case, it made only a marginal difference. The key here is the structure is the No 1 line of defense in a crash. It goes to show that a single airbag does not make one car safer than the other.
No doubt Lexus is slower to adopt these measures, but I take issue with calling these cars unsafe because of the exclusion of a SINGLE device. ALL of these arguments can be used to call the Jaguar unsafe too. Will you accuse Jaguar of cutting corners as well? We all now know the Frame of the LS is used in classrooms for its design. The crash tests have shown that the LS has performed equally well.
In my comment to snobbery I was referring to the "being first in innovation, Prestige, history" and other arguments used to put down Lexus. I was not referring to the side airbag.
The only criticism which I think is valid is styling. Lexus doesn't market to the BMW crowd with the LS, so being #1 in the skidpad, Horsepower, and 0-60 aren't going to be expected. In the fifteen years of reading Lexus test drives the car performs somewhere in the middle. What Lexus' focus is Customer Service, Reliability, cutting edge electronics and cloud like ride. Despite this, the LS always places highly on Auto Rags reviews..
Don't get me wrong, Mercedes is a great car. Once they get their quality issues sorted I'd probably buy one. What I don't get is all this hype about their styling..Jaguar still wins that one hands down..BMW's look terrible these days and Audi is okay. Lexus needs alot of work in this regard, as I don't like their styling direction at all. But then again, I can't even remember the last good looking Japanese car I saw recently..(Mazda RX-8?) Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and hardly a reason to slam a marque as being inferior.
Mar 08, 2005 (5:03 am)
"You do have a point there. tiag_M5 has repeatedly said the LS 430 is UNSAFE because of the exclusion of a single airbag. No question all high end marques will fare better, but this goes to show the difference that an airbag will make using a common benchmark. You will agree all cars in the compact class have similar build quality?"
Well you and Tiag_M5 will have to debate the first part of that, I didn't claim that. My only point was that it seems that anything Lexus isn't leading in is deemed unimportant or irrelevant. A luxury car should have all the latest safety features along with all that other stuff you prize, is my point. Most cars in this segment probably do have a similar build in their structure, but there is no way for any of us here to know that. Just in my limited experience and looking at the specs I think the 5000lb VW Phaeton would be safer than any car here, but that is just my personal belief. It seems to be a veritable tank to me.
" If so, then you will agree the marginal effects of such side airbags will also be accurately shown. The VW Beetle is a superbly engineered car, but the side impact airbags didn't make a difference. In the Corolla case, it made only a marginal difference. The key here is the structure is the No 1 line of defense in a crash. It goes to show that a single airbag does not make one car safer than the other."
I don't really think this is a good example because the VW is a two door car and the Toyota is a regular 4 door, seems to me the Beetle is more at risk in a side impact compared a sedan.
Styling - you are correct way too personal to really debate, but we do. I too think Jaguars are beautiful cars, especially the XJ and XK, but I think Mercedes and Audis are more up to date in styling, while still being true to their heritage. Unlike Jaguar which seems trapped by theirs.