Last post on Jun 18, 2013 at 7:02 AM
You are in the Sedans
What is this discussion about?
BMW 3 Series, Infiniti G37, Acura TL, Lexus IS 350, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Cadillac CTS, Volvo S60, Audi A4, Acura TSX, Car Comparisons, Sedan
Jan 09, 2008 (4:54 pm)
Back when the Lexus LS400 and Infiniti Q45 first came out, I was working for a Fortune 500 company and every other VP and SVP started looking at them. Some of it was the better price/value they offered, but at least as much of it was the fear of expensive repairs and maintenace headaches. Lexus gave very good luxury- albeit in a boring to drive chassis - with Toyota like dependability.
By the way, I always enjoy looking back in my old Kelly Blue Book as to what those cars actually cost at the time. The Lexus and Infiniti came out in 1990, but giving them a year to "establish" themselves, here are the comparisons from the 1991 model year:
Lexus LS 400: $41,650 / 110" wheelbase
Infiniti Q45: $40,385 / 113" wheelbase
Mercedes E300: $47,550 / 110" wheelbase
Mercedes S420: $64,800 / 121" wheelbase
Mercedes S560: $76,750 / 121" wheelbase
BMW 535i: $43,600 / 108" wheelbase
BMW 735i: $56,500 / 116" wheelbase
So the Lexus and the Infiniti were sized between the 5/E and 7/S classes, but priced below the 5/E.
What is really interesting is how little Mercedes and BMW prices have increased since 1991. Their "fat days" came to an end after Lexus, Infiniti and Acura came to the US - and today BMW's and Mercedes are certainly not exclusively the territory of VP's and above on the corporate ladder. Heck 16 years ago a 1992 Mercedes SL500 roadster had an MSRP of $100k. More than a 2008 Porsche 911S Cabriolet! And more than a 2008 SL550!
#10627 of 16251 Re: LS400 / Q45 [habitat1]
Jan 09, 2008 (5:27 pm)
It's not just the luxury cars. The MSRP's of the 1991 Nissan 300ZX Turbo, Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4, and BMW M3 were all in the mid to upper $30K's.
Considering that today, $35K buys a 300hp Subaru STi or BMW 135i, you can see just how exotically priced those early-90's halo cars truly were.
On the other hand, I guess one has to consider the cost of the technology back then to mass produce a car that basically, in 1991, had the same performance specs as the current crop of hot GT cars. For instance, put the 300ZX TT and 135i side by side and, by today's standards, the Nissan still holds up (in both performance and styling). Pretty impressive actually...
#10628 of 16251 Re: LS400 / Q45 [habitat1]
Jan 09, 2008 (5:38 pm)
So maybe you German fanboys ought to thank the Japanese to keep MB and BMW honest by not bashing on it too much.
#10629 of 16251 Re: LS400 / Q45 [louiswei]
Jan 10, 2008 (5:04 am)
OK...thank you very much Japan. Now the US can have a go at the Germans
#10630 of 16251 Re: LS400 / Q45 [habitat1]
Jan 10, 2008 (5:53 am)
In relative Dollar Value terms, the 1991 S560 would cost $113,603 today. The '08 S550 is $86,700 base but the S600 is $144,200 and S63/65 are $127,000 and $194,000, respectively.
I wouldn't be concerned that Merc profits are hurting that much from Lexus or Infinity.
#10631 of 16251 Re: LS400 / Q45 [circlew]
Jan 10, 2008 (11:56 am)
In relative Dollar Value terms, the 1991 S560 would cost $113,603 today. The '08 S550 is $86,700 base but the S600 is $144,200
I think you are a little light on your "relative value" calculation. Your figure represents a 48% increase over 17 years (2.33% annual compounded). CPI datea shows about a 57.1% increase over the past 17 years. CPI
On that basis, the 1991 S560 would now cost about $120,600.
A 1992 600SEL had an MSRP of $132,650, or the equivalent of $196,400 today. And that 1992 600SEL is less powerful than the base 2008 S550. The AMG's are in a completely different league.
I don't particularly buy the CPI, however. In 1991 a year's tuition at my alma mater was $13,100. In 2008, it is $35,500, a 170% increase. Even with the current housing market funk, my house is worth at least 3 times more (200% increase) today than it was worth in 1991.
#10632 of 16251 Re: LS400 / Q45 [habitat1]
Jan 10, 2008 (1:28 pm)
OK, I'm with you. Agreed CPI is not everyones basket of goods over the years. Look at computers. The price index is inverted between the late '80's and now. And the power difference is thousands of percent over the early models.
At the end of the day, the competition proves useful. Back pre-1990, Caddy and Lincoln were not considered competition, IMO.
So, thanks, again, Japan. Hopefully the Koreans can add some more muscle as we move along. Watch out Japan.
Jan 17, 2008 (6:58 am)
Hopefully the 35 MPG standard gets the engineers using better materials/designs. Even at the high end, plans are being drawn....
Mr. Di Montezemolo also talked about the increasing need for improved fuel economy — even at a company like Ferrari. He said his company aims to reduce fuel consumption by 30 to 40 percent between now and 2013. He said while technologies like Bio Fuel will help boost fuel economy, the biggest improvements will come from lightweight technology like carbon fiber and aluminum.
Mar 04, 2008 (10:22 pm)
i am pretty much down to Audi A3 or IS 250 when looking for a smaller luxury car. Both have excellent mileage and that was one of the main factor giving the gas prices these days.
Thinking of 2006 Audi A3 or 2005 IS250. Liked the interior of IS250, but it is still pricey. Not sure which one to choose.
i am trying to compare the common issues, maintenance costs and dealer/mfg customer service levels..
Any help? THANKS
#10635 of 16251 Re: Audi A3 or IS 250? [activex111]
Mar 04, 2008 (10:43 pm)
Don't know if a back seat is important to you, however, while I'm only 5'8", when I got in the IS250 and set the front seat for my body, I was almost unable to get into the left rear seat. Trying the same thing in the A3 was a breeze as there is easily two to three inches more overall leg room in the Audi.