Last post on Nov 25, 2013 at 11:27 AM
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
Nov 28, 2006 (1:54 pm)
The Volvo S80 is Volvo's LPS entry as far as I can tell. It may not rise to the L or the P of the LPS sedans chewed about on this forum. At worst it is a "near"-LPS car.
The newest version with a V8, AWD and most of the features and creature comforts afforded LPS owners probably is a "contender."
But, despite its V8, et al, it probably would not be included in many Car & Driver, Motor Trend, Road & Track, Automobile comparo's.
And it certainly would not be included in the Audi, BMW, Mercedes flagship comparisons (such as the one in the new C&D where the Mercedes was #1, Audi #2 (one point shy) and three other imports bringing up the bottom -- with the new Large Lexus solidly in 5th place (out of 5).
I would probably be happy to take an S80 for a test drive and who knows, I may be so impressed (if it is priced "right") that I might even consider one -- somehow, I doubt it (yea, that is a pre-conception.)
There is no Volvo I know of that would "legitimately" be compared by a shopper looking at a A8L or BMW 7 by any stretch of the imagination.
The Phaeton may it R.I.P., probably was a "legitimate" lux, flagship car -- apparently coming from VW was one of its worst sins, tho.
Now if we're going to get nuts here, I looked at the new C&D with its "10 Best" cars and saw (again) the Chrysler 300 listed as "the best sedan money can buy" (or something almost as powerful.) And, when I first saw the 300C tested on the Speed Channel, it was compared (by the host) favorably to both the BMW 7 and Audi A8 cars -- in terms of its size and driving dynamics.
At the time, I thought that was over the top -- come to think of it, I still do. Does the 300C merit an honorable mention or even "wannabe" mention in the annals of LPS-dom? Most of us would say, "probably not," would be my guess.
This "Premium" Saloon Class (LPS as we are wont to call it) is tough to break into. It seems to me that Audi, Saab and Volvo (and maybe Acura) tried to break in for several years. The 2005 models seemed to have accomplished that for Acura and Audi. Volvo is debatable and Saab, well, you know.
Nov 28, 2006 (1:59 pm)
cstiles, I think that's a great observation. What it kicks off in my thinking are two things.
One, when I read a book or an article about "classic cars," a vicarious pleasure is the diversity of auto-desire. Consumers seemed to revel in the many different styles, models, experiments in automotive design and engineering. By comparison, we appear to have entered a chapter in automotive history in the U.S. where multiple forces conspire to make the image of "desirable car" homogeneous in the minds of a majority of consumers.
Two, when BMW introduced the 2002 forerunner of the 3-series in the 1960s, Car and Driver, in particular, really got it. By "it" I mean the excitement of the appearance of a new category of car, not nearly as fast in a straight line as the muscle cars that were generating much of the excitement in those days, but able to provide a type of driving pleasure to a married couple with kids, previously not seen in a sedan. It didn't matter that it wasn't going to go from zero to 60 as fast as a Dodge Hemi or a GTO. There were multiple ways for a car to be great.
Too much now of tsk, tsk, what a shame for all the German cars that, for example, the Infiniti cars accelerate faster; "game over" as one, to me, silly auto-mag article tried to collapse the whole car experience. And, similarly, for most of us here, how much does it matter which $75-$90K car accelerates fastest? Is there even any relationship between some group of editors assessment of the S6 versus the M5 versus the MB E63 and the pleasure any one of us might be deriving (and talking about on this forum) from driving one of the "regular" versions of those cars in our everyday lives?
#8761 of 10348 Re: S80 [markcincinnati]
Nov 28, 2006 (7:14 pm)
Well, for a car that no one on this list has even seen, much less driven, those are pretty strong words. I would guess that three years ago much the same could have been said about the upcoming Infiniti M and there is pretty strong evidence that the M is more than a "contender."
How about waiting until the car has been driven by real people for a few months and see whether the car mags are actually going to include it in a comparo with any of the favorites in this neighborhood?
On paper it is certainly a contender. By price it is a contender. Will it drive like one? We'll see soon enough.
#8763 of 10348 Re: . [lexusguy]
Nov 28, 2006 (7:48 pm)
When you consider that 75~80% of LPS cars are leased, longevity may be a moot point. However, reliability is obviously important for 2nd and 3rd owners of certified, pre-owned LPS's.
It's interesting to see the Germans offering V8 and V10 motors with forced induction. That's the only way they can up the horsepower to be king of the 0-60 and 1/4 mile mountain. But turbo's are prone to create longer term reliability issues. So far, the Japanese have eschewed turbocharging (not counting the Acura 4-pot engine).
Volvo may aspire to swim in the LPS ocean, but they have to reinvent their image in the minds of consumers. If anything can scrub away images of IKEA, Birkenstocks, and lutefisk, I suppose it just might be that sweet Yamaha V8!
I'm amazed that Saab manages to stay in business. They must sell a lot of cars on the East coast. In most other locales, you're more apt to see a Saab engine on a commuter plane, instead of on the interstate.
Speaking of changing the image of Volvo, I saw a great bumper sticker in Seattle last weekend. It was on the back of a Volvo V70 and it said "Cheney Satan 2008." Couldn't stop laughing....
#8764 of 10348 Re: . [domenickamarc]
Nov 28, 2006 (8:14 pm)
Great points. I'm convinced that the car mags tacitly coexist by disagreeing just for the sake of disagreeing (or to sell more magazines and appease advertisers, of course).
In 1991 the Motor Trend car of the year was the Chevy Caprice Classic. They may be in denial over that today.
Nov 28, 2006 (8:53 pm)
"Anybody out there that has driven an individual Audi for 100,000 relatively care-free miles?"
Our family drove a VW Jetta for 130,000 relatively care free miles. Is there a specific reason, other than one forum participant's Audi having worn out at 100,000 miles, to assume that an Audi wouldn't last as long as a VW?
I think it's a stretch to claim an experience with one car is a good predictor of what the majority of owners will experience. It might or might not be.
I cannot find any database of repair frequency and cost for cars post-80K. In the absence of such data, all we have is anecdote and the myth of Japanese cars run forever with little or no repair costs. I find, in conversation, as many believers in the myth than German engines and drivetrains run forever.
#8766 of 10348 Re: . [lexusguy]
Nov 28, 2006 (9:14 pm)
I don't think German luxury cars are built to last longer than 100K miles without major life support.
Totally disagree with that because I've seen otherwise. True a German car may need more maint to get that point, but "major life support" that is stretching it to put it mildly.
The thing is Japanese cars is that they will last that long as far as their guts and hardpoints, but their interiors and bodies usually look awful and the leather has begun to crack in so many places you can't begin to keep track of it anymore.
#8767 of 10348 Thanks guys.....
Nov 29, 2006 (3:16 am)
I appreciate the responses and opinions. So based on size it's not a competitor. The LS 460 L (long-wheel base) is as big as a S-class or A8 I agree. I thought/assumed the LS and S80 were close enough in size to be compared or cross shopped by your avg. consumer. The mid-size luxury market sounds about right to me. I guess I always looked at a Cadillac STS, Volvo S80, Lexus LS, as a large car. I looked at a BMW 3, Infiniti G, Acura TL, more as mid-size. I personally think the S-Class belongs in a new category called Xtra-large Luxury car. The Maybach, would fit in the XXX-Large Luxury car segment.
Well again thanks for y'alls time....
#8768 of 10348 Doesn't prove anything. . .
Nov 29, 2006 (8:01 am)
. . .one of the service writers at my Audi dealer has an Audi 4000CS quattro -- from the 80's as I recall.
He told me his first "repair" came at 175,000 miles.
I assume this was to distinguish the word from "maintenance." I also maintain that these German cars are breathtaking expensive to "maintain" without the protection of some kind of factory warranty, regardless if it is the 50,000 B2B or the 100,000 mile CPO offering.
Yet, the technicians (who can afford them) seem to be German car fans for the most part and their older models seem to soldier on quite nicely and going over 100,000 miles without "repair" would seem to be more the norm rather than the exception.
I would say this rings true at my wife's BMW dealership too -- lots of folks have "vintage" Bimmers with tons of miles on them.
Maybe when you work at the dealership you can "over maintain" your German car on the cheap -- maybe that accounts for this.
On the other hand, with such a small population sample, these remarks hardly prove anything.
A former employee had a 1980 something diesel MB -- the thing was a dog, loud, smelly and not really much fun to ride in. It was, however, not rusted out, the mechanical and electrical stuff all appeared to work and even the horridly rough shifting autotrans did what it had always done so said my employee. I think that one had over 200,000 miles on it; and, she claimed it had had very few "repairs."
Perhaps when we replace our timing belts or clutches or water pumps or whatever maintenance items as we go along, we may tend to think this is indicative of a reliability problem -- when it might just be high mileage maintenance requirements instead.
If, a big "if" I were to keep my A6 beyond 50,000 miles and if at, say, 60,000 miles I need new brakes, rotors and all the stuff associated with a full-on brake job and it costs a breathtaking amount does that mean the car was or is unreliable. I really don't know what to expect.
My friends Bimmer needed new front brake "everythings" at 58K miles at about a $900 bill. His wife's Olds Bravada needed new REAR brakes at 118,000 miles at a fraction of the cost -- but the new brake job (rears) on it were NOT done at the dealer. I forgot to ask him when the fronts went out, but clearly they went out before the rears.
Another friend kept a Lexus LS400 for 200,000 miles, and it needed few actual "repairs." But it needed at least one paint job (entire car) and the interior (leather) looked worn when it had under 100,000 miles on it.
Doesn't prove anything. . .