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.
#8374 of 24723 Re: Side Airbags [sv7887]
Mar 08, 2005 (6:45 pm)
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.
Wrong. That article mentions that a good structure is necessary in addition to side airbags. A good structure alone simply isn't enough. Besides, why does it matter? You talk as if Lexus has a better structure than Mercedes when there is plenty of evidence that points to the opposite.
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.
A strong structure isn't going to compensate for lacking an airbag either. Assuming that Lexus has a strong frame will never compensate for the fact that they penny pinch on vital safety features like side airbags. Again, I would argue that MB, BMW and others have some of the strongest structures available. For example, if you look at the IIHS crash test details for large luxury cars and luxury SUVs you'll notice that BMW and Mercedes usually have the lowest crush levels of all comparable cars tested. With the BMW X5 "Measured intrusion into the compartment was less than in any other vehicle we have tested." How's that for structure for you. On the other hand, Lexus is still having problems with a weak structure/safety cage on the RX330.
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.
What are you talking about? The LS430 has been tested in ONE objective test for a frontal impact at 40mph. As I have already explained, crash tests are nice but they don't reveal the whole picture. There are an infinite number of real world crashes that Lexus is never held accountable for. You have no idea how the LS430 would perform at a higher impact speed, a different offset width, a different angle, roll over, etc. The comment about engineering schools is nonsense to say the least...
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.
But you haven't provided any facts. All you've done is tried to mitigate Lexus' disregard for safety. Contrary to what you said, that link above shows a MAJOR difference in crash performance. Of the cars with "good structures" like the Corolla, just look at what a difference equipping optional side airbags made in its performance. Before the side airbags the driver of the Corolla would have sustained life threatening injuries. With the side airbags, the driver would have walked away. Now imagine this impressive difference applied to back seat occupants of your LS430 and you'll understand.
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.
Everything you just said is blatantly inaccurate. Nothing I said was out of context. Again, read the article, Car and Driver NEVER said the test was unfair. Why would they discredit their own review? That doesn't even make sense. Second of all, YES the LS430 DID score dead last for overall performance. It only scored well from 0-60, but in every other aspect, the LS430 score well behind the rest. Give me a break, the LS has lateral grip worse than most pickup trucks. 18 inch tires aren't going to magically whisk the LS from worst to best in class... It simply isn't possible. You didn't even answer my question... why can't I compare an S500 with an LS430 but you can compare a Euro-Sport LS with an S430?
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.
The difference is huge though. I won't argue with you that the S is more expensive because it obviously is. All I'm saying is that you get that much more out of the extra cost. Also, you're wrong about the Navigation system. DVD navigation has been standard on the S class since 2003 and navigation is still optional on the LS. Not to mention that the S430 is more athletic than the LS by ten fold. How are electronics no contest in Lexus' favor? Mercedes offers all of Lexus' features and then some. And as long as you brought up resale value, I would like to point out that BMW has the highest luxury residual value.
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.
The only reason I mention innovation is because it represents the priorities of the company. With Lexus, the priority is reliability. With Mercedes, the priority is obviously safety as can be seen by their dominance in this area. And it isn't even just innovation... you refuse to accept that Lexus has fewer safety features and is slow to market with new innovations. No one is making a snob appeal argument... I simply pointed out the facts and you refuse to accept them as valid for some reason.
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.
Wow, that was a pompous and snobish statement if there ever was one.
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?
Apples and oranges.
#8375 of 24723 Re: Side Airbags [sv7887]
Mar 08, 2005 (6:49 pm)
If you're going to consider Objectives, the Lexus wins every time. There is no refuting that one.
Really? Objectively speaking, here is what we know about both companies:
1. Lexus doesn't introduce safety innovations.
2. Lexus is slow to market with new innovations.
3. Lexus has fewer safety features than MB.
4. Mercedes paves the way in automotive safety alongside Volvo and a few others.
5. Mercedes is usually first to debut new features years ahead of Lexus.
6. Mercedes has many more safety features than Lexus across the entire model line.
So given all of these objective facts, please tell me again, why do you think Lexus is safer than Mercedes? Clearly what we know suggests the complete opposite.
I eagerly await your response.…
#8376 of 24723 Re: More of the same... [tiag_m5]
Mar 08, 2005 (6:57 pm)
"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)."
Tiag_m5: I am reading this a tad late so maybe Tony (SV) has already responded to you on this, but I am quite mystified by the above quote of your words.
Lets take the first one:
Nav on MBs is a standard feature since 2000: So DCX finds Nav to be that important to make it standard on its S-class ? Hmmmm.... interesting... But MB fans hate Nav don't they ? How did MB stoop to that basal level installing Nav in their fancy S-class since MB fans here on Edmunds don't care for it? Maybe the MB fans here are just not representative of MB owner demographics, eh ? Ahhh... I get it.
Second point, about Lexus making buyers pay for features standard on MB: That's hilarious ! So PCS and Nav are standard on the S-class, right ? But were they free ? Did the $11K+ higher price of the base S430 ($73K) over the LS430 ($62K) have anything to do with these so-called *standard* features ? Hmmmm... Load up an S430 and an LS430 and what do you get price-wise ? You still get a $10K+ premium over the LS. And for what does this premium get you ? Fancy style, knee airbags, turn signals on mirrors, 7-speed tranny on a weak engine, and a boat load of quality and reliability headaches. Did I mention MBs customer service ? Nope. Cos its not worth mentioning, of course. So much for owning a luxury car if you get treated like you own a $20K Chrysler product....
#8377 of 24723 Re: More of the same... [michael_mattox]
Mar 08, 2005 (7:30 pm)
Chrysler and Mercedes...Toyota and Lexus...Very similar...In both cases Parent and child are very similar to each other...Chrysler and Mercedes are both unreliable and have difficulity making a profit.......Lexus and Toyota both make the best most reliable cars in the world and are both Blazingly profitable The most Profitable in the World.
No sorry, the Toyota/Lexus link is entirely different than the Mercedes/Chrysler link. Did you even read my post? Lexus is literally Toyota. They are the same company run by the same people who design the same cars. In Japan, there is no Lexus. Lexus is simply an American market rebadge attempt to trick the elderly into buying $65k Toyotas... and it worked. Let me reiterate: Lexus is not a separate entity from Toyota and it never has been.
Mercedes OWNS Chrysler and the board of directors are made up of Daimler-Benz executives. Mercedes designs and builds its own cars without Chrysler’s interference. Mercedes may influence Chrysler but the opposite is simply not true. When was the last time Dodge designed a Mercedes? Yeah that's what I thought. When was the last time Toyota designed a Lexus? How about, EVERY TIME.
The fast one was you trying to run links of 1990 cars and pickups by us including a chevy and not a single Lexus and claim they had anything to do with lexus...HUGE SIGN OF DESPERATION ON YOUR PART TO PROVE THE UNPROVABLE.
Wrong. I included a Toyota that shared its platform with Chevrolet... still a Toyota. See for yourself. The only reason I listed those Toyotas in the first place was because I WAS ASKED TO DO SO. But then again, if Toyota can't even get its crash tests right, it sure doesn't bode well for its "Lexus" badged vehicles does it?
A reputation for safety gets tarnished quickly when the cars reputation for reliability goes down the tube...Others Specifically LEXUS/Toyota have safety features that you can be sure will work when you need them.
Mercedes reputation for safety is shinning brighter than ever. Not only have they innovated and introduced more safety features than any other brand, but also offer the most available safety features. Mercedes' recent bout of reliability problems is unfortunate, but certainly not relative to anything else. These "reliability problems" are nothing more than electrical quirks and other minor things anyway. Engines, transmissions, and other items of importance have proven to be rock solid. Just looked at beloved CR to see for you.
The ESC in LEXUS works...It is one of the highly replaced parts on the Mercedes...What does that say?
I never said that it didn't work. I just said that it took 4 years for Lexus to first adopt ESC on some of its models when Mercedes was already making it standard equipment across the model line. So much for Lexus R&D I guess...
I have already addressed the second part of your comment, at least twice, maybe three times. That link with the "most replaced parts" list was laughable at best. No one would ever allow me to post some amateur e-bay seller site as evidence of a Lexus problem, but as soon as a fellow Lexus cultist does so, it's preached as the word of God. Give me a break. If you can direct me to a credible site run by professionals in the auto industry that says the Mercedes ESC system fails, please do so. Until then, don't back up ridiculous information with even more ridiculous sources. What about the news link I provided regarding the recall of 150,000 Camry's because of faulty side airbags? Guess you just conveniently forgot about that. Looks like Toyota needs to do some more homework.
Your wrong...Lexus puts all safety features in their cars that 1) work and 2) make sense and provide function...
1). Mercedes safety features work just fine. Not to mention Mercedes has more of them.
2). Oh, so I guess rear side airbags don't provide sense and function? Roll over protection bars on convertibles don't provide sense and function? Seat belt ETDs and load limiters don't provide sense and function? Crash sensors that disconnect fuel and batter don't provide sense and function? I could go on and on...
In typical Lexus loyalist fashion, you deem all things non-Lexus are as frivolous when clearly they are not.
That is why they often will take a German engineered feature and have to work on it for a couple of years..So when it goes in their car it doesn't become something may not work when needed, something that often needs replacing because of mal-function.
Sorry, but that excuse simply doesn't fly. All of the safety systems introduced by the Germans have worked flawlessly from day one. The fact of the matter is, Lexus is late to market with safety items because of cheapness and an inability to innovate. If Toyota thinks it might lose sales to Mercedes because it doesn't have a safety system, it may or may not incorporate it... eventually. You can't excuse Lexus for being 4 years late to the front passenger airbag party, 4 years late for ESC, 2 years late for side head airbags, 16 years late for roll-over protection, 3 years late for dual threshold airbags, etc... The list just gets longer and longer. Don't make lame excuses for Lexus; just admit that they fall behind the curve for safety.
The manufacture of the Lexus provides some cost savings but the Reliability and absentance of Warrenty repairs (because nothing breaks down) provide Huge savings...I know Caddy Budgeted $10,000 into the price of my old Allante for warrenty repairs...God only knows what Mercedes needs to budget for Warrenty...It has to be a very Big number.
First of all, the economics of car manufacturing and sales has nothing to do with the quality of the vehicle. Lexus costs less than Mercedes for several reasons, and maintenance cost is a small part of the picture. Fewer features, waiting years to implement features, less research and development, lower labor costs, larger economic base (Toyota), less prestige... all of these things are reasons why Lexus costs less than Mercedes. Mercedes has always been expensive brand so increased "maintenance" doesn't fully account for this. Prior to the late 1990s MB vehicles were considered among the most reliable on the road, and prices were still high.
#8378 of 24723 Re: take off the German blinders II [hpowders]
Mar 08, 2005 (7:43 pm)
"Well first of all CR is a fraud."
Wow! This is huge news. A scandal of mega-proportions!
Okay, so maybe my comment was a bit exaggerated. But still, I'm not fully convinced that CR is the most accurate guide for reliability. I quickly thumbed through my edition of the annual auto report last week and noticed several odd things that didn't seem quite right. For example, I seem to remember that the BMW X5 had an X for "unreliable" underneath it. Yet if you look at the reliability ratings over the past 3 years for different aspects of the car, most of them range from above average to excellent. There may have been one or two "average" ratings for electrical or power accessories in recent years, but nothing that should drag the reliability rating of the whole car into the can as CR wants everyone to believe. The whole rating system just seems inaccurate and misleading.
#8379 of 24723 Re: Side Impact Airbags [sv7887]
Mar 08, 2005 (8:21 pm)
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.
I never said the LS430 was unsafe, I just said it was LESS safe than an S class.
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.
A marginal difference? Going from “rib fractures and/or internal organ injuries” to a good rating is a marginal difference? Sounds like a pretty large difference to me.
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?
But we aren’t just talking about the exclusion of a single device; we’re talking about the exclusion of many devices across the Lexus model line. Not to mention that Lexus took/takes its sweet time in adopting the features that it does/will have to boot. If Lexus feels the need to penny pinch on its flagship LS430 by not including inexpensive side airbags, what does this say about the company in general? To me it speaks volumes about the Toyota/Lexus non-dedication to safety. Also, I would whole heartedly agree with you about Jaguar… I would never vouch for them.
We all now know the Frame of the LS is used in classrooms for its design.
I’m not sure I believe that. There isn’t anything extraordinary about the LS frame.
The crash tests have shown that the LS has performed equally well
Yes, it did well in ONE test, a test which hasn’t even been carried out with the S or 7. Crash tests are great and all, but with Lexus you have no reason to believe that the LS would perform as well at a different speed, angle, collision type, etc. With Mercedes, you have every reason to believe that the S will hold up in the real world because its part and parcel of what Mercedes is all about… not so with Lexus.
Now my car took a 30'ish MPH impact from a Honda Civic (of all things). The wheel and suspension took most of the hit. Amazingly the wheel was still straight when they tested it. However everything attached to that wheel had to be replaced. I still don't know where $7000 in damage came from. The engine mounts and coolant container also had to be done. All mechanical work was done by the Lexus dealer using OEM parts.
I highly doubt that the impact you experienced was even close to 30mph… maybe 15 mph or less. If it was 30, I am amazed and would suspect that the difference in weight between the LS and the civic accounts for the relatively small amount of damage. When you’re in an accident it seems more severe than it really is. When I was broadsided by a drunk in my ’98 528i it seemed to me that the driver must have been going at least 70 judging by how far I was pushed across the intersection and how hard my car smashed into the adjacent traffic signal pole. Turns out he hit me between 45 and 50mph according to police reports. Lucky for me, 1998 was the first year that BMW included side head protection airbags as standard equipment on the 5 series. This feature coupled with BMWs interlocking door anchor system, sturdy frame, and side torso airbag probably saved me from serious injury or death.
This car doesn't have any side impact airbags, pre-collision, or any other electronic measures, but makes up for it in frame construction. I don't think this is an "unsafe" car..I'd take a hit any day in this car.
No degree of frame construction will mitigate the importance of airbags and the like. Obviously frame strength is important, but I would argue that other safety features are equally important. They go hand in hand. You can’t have one without the other if you want the ultimate in safety.
While many will disagree I think the old cars were sturdier than the new ones. My friend had a nasty accident in his 1988 MB 300SE and walked away. The car was in the shop for three weeks and was seriously damaged. Like mine, he doesn't have any of this new age stuff. But he wouldn't hesitate to hop back into his trusty 300SE and drive it around. (Mind you he has a '02 S430 but drives his 300SE more..)
The notion that older cars are sturdier or that new cars are “plastic” is just a myth. No doubt the MB 300SE was one of the safest cars on the road for its day, but newer MB cars have progressed far beyond what was offered in the 80s in both active and passive safety.
For those of you that are interested, here is a link that shows some of the many crash tests than Mercedes performs internally in addition to their real world accident investigation team:
This guy's webpage actually has a lot of information about Mercedes safety:
Mar 08, 2005 (8:29 pm)
From my perspective, I believe that CR is spot on in it's reliability ratings. When I ask people about the cars they own and when I factor in my own experience it seems to back up what CR claims.
For example, I know two people who have the BMW 7 series and both had horror stories with it. I also have asked several owners of MB S Class and have found very mixed results. Some have many problems and others had none. The "many problem" group would be enough to rank it as unreliable. I also asked a technician at the local MB dealer what was the deal with the S Class when I was considering buying one. He told me that most are fine now but if you get a bad one, it's real bad. I own a BMW X5 which we love but has had a few issues and likewise with an MB ML320 we had which was marked as unreliable and also was in the shop more times than we would like to remember. When both of those cars are performing well they are great. That's why customer satisfaction and reliability ratings are sometimes at odds. People can really love some cars that need a lot of "fixing".
All of this it not very scientific on my part but it's amazing what you can find out by talking to people. And what I've found is that CR seems to be quite accurate both from my personal experience and from just "talking" to folks.
#8381 of 24723 Re: Wow, a Lexus love fest from German fans [hpowders]
Mar 08, 2005 (8:30 pm)
You know Gates just dotes on his kids...you can bet he did the research and the LS was the safest car he could find. He wouldn't want his kids in the Second safest.
#8383 of 24723 Re: take off the German blinders II [tiag_m5]
Mar 08, 2005 (8:34 pm)
I agree that CU can probably do a better job on reliability.
I notice that the reliability rating for the 2005 BMW 5 series in its auto issue is the worst they give out-a black circle(bottom of page 42). Yet if you go to the back of the issue where all the cars are rated for reliability scores listing 14 trouble spots from engine down to body hardware(page 83) for the years 2002, 2003 and 2004, there isn't one black circle or half a black circle for the 5 series.
For 2004, the 5 series was given 13 red circles or half-circles(their highest reliability ratings) out of 14 categories! No black circles. One average reliability grade for power equipment. These marks indicate a very reliable vehicle! How then can CU forecast a much poorer than average reliability rating for 2005 based on their data as they do on the bottom of page 42? Very confusing and disturbing.
I will try to write them on their website to see what gives.