Last post on May 01, 2013 at 3:12 PM
You are in the Sedans
What is this discussion about?
Lexus GS 430, Acura RL, BMW 5 Series, Volvo S80, Audi A6, Infiniti M35, Infiniti M45, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Cadillac STS, Sedan
#3515 of 10338 Re: Thanks for MB article post [greenbelt]
Aug 07, 2005 (7:26 am)
U.S. year-to-date sales data indicate that the market here has finally figured out that the MB isn't such a smart buy (or lease) these days.
Not really. What they suggest is that the E-Class just got a whole lot of new competition (even some internal competition in the form of the CLS) and the S-Class is in its last model year. If there was this big downturn against Mercedes in general, the M, SLK, and CLS wouldn't be selling as good as they are. They're way up over last year (M,SLK) and/or are within a few hundred units of the yearly goal (10K) in just 7 months, the CLS.
The E-Class seems to be bouncing back. I think for the E to have kept a first or second place spot in sales with a half-dozen newer cars having hit the market in a year's time is very impressive. Is some of that status? Most definitely but status alone can't alone stem the tide against so many newer cars. The next big thing is the new S-Class. If it doesn't go over well then MB does indeed have a problem because a lot is riding on it. I don't think the R-Class is going to set any sales records though. Lets see what that facelift brings the E for 2007.
#3516 of 10338 Re: So stipulated. . . [lexi300]
Aug 07, 2005 (9:24 am)
Yes, the ding repair works very well. The key is---they have to be able to get behind the body panel in order to push the dent out. This is usually not a problem with most door panels, and even fenders or quarterpanels.
I watched this guy use a special tool (a long rod with a L-shaped tip) to access my quarterpanel through the rear tail lens assembly, and literally push the dent out on my A4. You can't even tell there was ding there. Same thing with a dent I had on my fender on my Civic Si. He went through the wheel well.
Body shops have to be a bit concerned, since this takes business away from them. But anytime you don't have to repaint a body panel, all the better. And all the cheaper.
Good luck with your new GS. My wife's RL also has a Diamond Pearl (white) exterior and a parchment leather interior. A friend's wife also had a previous generation GS in this same combination. And another friend has a girlfriend who drives a GX470 with the same combo. At the risk of stereotyping, seems women prefer that color combination over men???? Sure is easier to keep clean, that's for sure.
#3517 of 10338 Re: Thanks for MB article post [merc1]
Aug 07, 2005 (12:08 pm)
I agree about Chrysler. The article mentions Chryslers turn around, but the only hot products that Chrysler has right now use M-B derived platforms and M-B transmitions. What I think that means is that they have to be given access to at least some current M-B technology. The first real synergy product was the Crossfire, which is stuck with a '97 platform, recirculating ball steering, and M-B's old 215hp 3.2L V-6. Thats just not good enough to compete with the likes of Z, GTO, Mustang GT, etc.
I'm not sure if there's much of a market for the R-class or not, but BMW seems to think so, as they are hard at work on a competitor.
#3518 of 10338 Re: So stipulated. . . [cstiles]
Aug 07, 2005 (1:19 pm)
Good to hear about ding repair. Don't know if I'll need it, but I've got it if I do. I'm usually not one to go with additional warrantees (on TVs, iPods, phones and the like), but I figured it's pretty sure I'll ding the car in the 5 years I'll have it (and the 5 years the contract is for).
No problem with stereotyping. With our politically correct culture, people fear making any comments like this. But I believe it is true: white cars with light interiors are more of a woman thing. It's not that a man can't buy them, drive them, enjoy them, and look good in them; it's just that more women buy them than one would predict by chance. I agree. My last four coupes or sedans have been white exteriors. My last two SUVs have been green.
I actually started out wanting a kind of sand color exterior with black interior, but the GS didn't come in this color combo.
I found it very interesting that the GS doesn't use the champagne color over the whole interior. It's on the seats, the carpet, and much of the trim, but the top trim under the windshield is a very dark brown or dark ash color. I like it, since it breaks things up a bit and helps alleviate sun glare. It is a bit unusual though.
#3519 of 10338 Re: So stipulated. . . [lexi300]
Aug 07, 2005 (1:29 pm)
They do that on purpose. The RX, SC, etc are the same way, even with the tan interior, the area directly under the windshield is as dark as possible. Its designed to absorb light, rather than reflect it as a light color or cheap, "sheeny" plastic would into your face.
Aug 07, 2005 (2:23 pm)
I did not expect to be in the market for a new LPS. I was driving to meet someone for dinner in my 2001 BMW 540i, a great car, when I had to lock up the brakes to avoid hitting a car that pulled out in front of me. The guy behind me in a 1990 Caravan did not have the same stopping power and totaled my car. I live in the land of Mark from Cincinnati, so if he is browsing he will know of some of the places and dealerships that I have been to.
I decided to narrow my search to AWD LPS. I live at the end of a long driveway that is tough to get in and out of in the winter even here in Cincinnati. I bought a Yukon Denali last year in order to deal with that issue and still be able to keep my beloved BMW.
In my search for a new car I have test driven:
BMW 530xi twice
Mercedes E320 4matic with a sport package
Lexus GS 300 AWD three times
Infiniti M350 AWD or whatever they call it
Audi A6 with the small engine once and with the 4.2 twice
Acura RL twice
For comparison I also drove the Audi A8, and S4.
I do not consider myself especially knowledgeable. I tend to be up to date on the latest major car magazine articles, and think they do provide a nice source of reference information that makes me a better consumer. Of course I read Edmunds.
So far these are my impressions. They are worth what you are paying for them.
BMW -- Nothing drives like the BMW. The steering gives you a feel of the road unmatched by any other car in the above grouping. That being said the price they want you to pay for that road feel is steep. I wanted and priced a manual transmission. It appears the only way to get it is to order the car. My 4 years experience with the dealership here was, in general good.
Mercedes -- It is a nice car. The E350 is probably much better. I haven't given it a lot of consideration due to quality issues. I do own a 2000 E320 4matic wagon, and can attest to the problems with the electronics in those cars. Added to that is what in my opinion is a poor dealership here in Cincinnati.
Lexus -- The GS 300AWD is a pretty darn good car. I drove it a few times to find a fatal flaw and couldn't. It is somewhat underpowered, but it still has some spunk. The steering is very much like the Mercedes, which is good if not as engaging as the BMW. The ergonomics of the drivers seat are terrific. The touch screen interface is a great help, as are the seats that blow air up your ... All in all it is a very good Mercedes replacement. I worried about the reported the computers having a heavy hand. When this car gets a bigger engine it might be something.
Infiniti -- I am not a great fan of the manager of the local dealership, who is more of a self promoter than a dealership promoter. That being said the car is an excellent car. It is a little too much boy racer for my taste, but again it is an excellent car.
Audi -- The Audis have a V-8 option, and that is a great thing. That engine makes the car a good choice. I thought the A-6 with the 3.2 was underpowered. The A-6 with the 4.2 and a 6 speed automatic is a wonderful choice. The engine winds out well. The sounds coming from the engine compartment reminds me of a formula 1 racer. The A-8 is a great car, but I am not sure if the price premium is worth it. The S-4 beat the heck out of me.
Acura -- This is a tough call. I could get one for $45K and change. The car drives well, but you know you are in a really nice Honda. The question between this and an Audi is whether you want to pay the price premium for what you get. From my standpoint the jury is still out.
I have submitted this as an aide for discussion. I would appreciate any comments on the relative strengths or weaknesses of any of the above cars. I am in no rush to buy. I still have the Denali to run around in.
#3521 of 10338 Re: New meat [larryoflebanon]
Aug 07, 2005 (4:27 pm)
Your choice of cars is a great list. None of us can tell you what to buy. We all have our biases. Keep us apprised of your thoughts and I'm sure others will share their specific opinions.
#3522 of 10338 Re: New meat [larryoflebanon]
Aug 07, 2005 (4:47 pm)
Sorry to hear about the accident. How do you feel about the elctronics in the new 5? For the record, the new 5 hasnt proven itself particularly reliable just yet. I've driven a 545i, not impressed with iDrive, or the Active steering system. (And this is not just a BMW bash, I dont like the steering in the GS430 either). I'm not sure if the 530xi offers AS or not, but if it does, dont get it.
The E350 got some fresh ponies this year like the BMW, but otherwise not much has changed. Theres not enough data on MB to know if they really have the problems under control or not, though they did reasonably well on IQS this year. The E has no bluetooth system, and to do hands-free stuff you must use the MB phone, which is lame. I'll stick with my Treo 650, thanks.
I like the GS300 a lot more than I like the 430. The GS300 doesnt have the ultra agressive VDIM stability system as in the 430, or the variable ratio (AS) steering, which makes it a much less annoying car. The electronics are also the easiest to use in the class, though I didnt really have any trouble with the Infiniti system, which I think is designed better than the RL's. Like the RL, the GS is on the small side in terms of interior volume, and the trunk design is poor. CR said the driving position was "flawed" in their report, but I was able to get comfortable. It sounds like you didnt have a problem there either. The GS300 could use more horses, unfortunately it wont get them for at least a year.
The A6 is very nice, and its interior (IMO) is much nicer than the Benz and the BMW. I also like MMI better than iDrive and COMAND. If I were gonna go German, I'd go with an A6. The lower price compared to the E and 5 also makes a V8 an option, and unlike Lexus, Infiniti, Acura, and BMW, you can get the V8 and AWD together. Reliability is again unknown at this point, but Audi has been doing much better with that than either MB or BMW lately.
The Acura (again IMO) is just an OK car. Its a good value at $45K, but I wouldn't pay any more for it than that. Acura set the MSRP a bit too high. For 2006 Acura is adding a "Technology package" that adds Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS), basically the same as MB's PreSafe and Lexus' PCS systems. The radar also allows for auto cruise controll. The car will also come with Michelin PAX Run-Flat tires. The Acura can offer you almost everything that anyone else can in terms of technology, but as you said, you're driving basically a big Honda.
The Infiniti is my favorite car in the segment. The M35 can make short work of the GS and RL in terms of acceleration thanks to short gearing, but at the same time that means higher revs (and more engine noise) at highway speeds. The Infiniti is the closest to the BMW in terms of driving dynamics, at a much better price. The interior space feels much bigger than GS or RL.
#3523 of 10338 Trailer Hitch!!!
Aug 07, 2005 (5:37 pm)
HMMMMMM...WHAT A COINCIDENCE! All our dingposts rang loud and clear in my brain earlier this afternoon as my wife and I were walking back to the RL sitting there in a nice wide spot on a new furniture store parking lot. Eagle-eye Karen spotted a scrape in the right rear quarter panel of the otherwise immaculate 8 month old celestial silver beauty. Looks like a trailer hitch and it gouged pretty deep. OK ....thats something that was not expected and quite frankly I'm done blowing steam. Life's too short and I'm not going to sweat the small stuff. I'll get it fixed and move on!
#3524 of 10338 Re: The Real Luxury Car [nvbanker]
Aug 07, 2005 (5:58 pm)
Thanks for the positive feedback. I know I'm swimming upstream here, but it's nice to find a kindred spirit.
I love to drive.
I'd rather do it in something that does it well, but I enjoy thousands of miles a year in rental appliances for business. OTOH, I've blasted through the Canadian Rockies in the middle of the night in my own very capable vehicle with the aurora on display and no traffic anywhere around, and touched the face. . . (oh wait, that's for those who fly).
In my world, the journey is the important thing. The car (or truck) is. . . the vehicle.