Last post on Jan 07, 2012 at 7:02 AM
You are in the Sedans
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Audi A8, BMW 7 Series, Jaguar XJ-Series, Lexus LS 460, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Maserati Quattroporte, Mercedes-Benz CL-Class, Coupe, Convertible, Sedan
#1 of 20 What makes a vehicle truly high end?
Nov 06, 2006 (1:46 pm)
#2 of 20 Re: What makes a vehicle truly high end? [pat]
by Kirstie@Edmunds HOST
Nov 06, 2006 (4:48 pm)
Continuing from the previous discussion...Yeah, c'mon... when I think "high-end," I think, "kirstie_h cannot afford this vehicle." Trust me, I can afford the RAV4. I can even afford the X3.
Is it features, price, what? If either of the above-mentioned vehicles is included, I obviously don't get it. Enlighten me (and entertain me, if possible).
#3 of 20 What makes up a luxury car
Nov 06, 2006 (7:41 pm)
HMMMMM? Let me count the ways!
One, the car must be of high opulance, in that it makes the owner feel better about driving it over a car that costs $30-50k cheaper.
Altho some may typically disagree, I think having a strong pedigree infuses the luxury car to be just that much more luxurious as with past experiences comes knowledge. The two oldest marques in this class can attest to that statement.
The car must also, giving this day and age, be a technological tour de force(or headache, what have you). Offering the latest in electronic controls, fussy driver interfaces, the latest powertrain tricks, and all of the gadgets from making the car come to a complete stop on it's own to actually making the car steer into a parallel parking spot all it's own.
Exclusivity: I can't preach this enough. Most will also disagree with this, but the true luxury car doesn't sell in astronimical volume, and is very rarely discounted(end-of-cycle at the most).
Style: With all of the makers nowadays one-upping each other in the subjective style department, you have to find a signature look just to even get noticed. Even the frumpy 6/7-Series is successful due in most part to a look like none other(for good or bad). I even applaud Lexus for not stepping to far out of the LS' comfort zone and not disconnecting it's customer base by designing a model they can't relate to. The same goes for the domestics, witnessed by the new DTS that looks like the one from 7 years ago, and the Lincoln TC that's easily identified, no doubt due to a shape that's nearly a decade old.
Refinement: This is one of the hard points that separate the good, bad, and ugly. But I have to say, nowadays the cars in this upper-crust crowd are very refined, may it be domestic, European, or Japanese. But customers in this arena demand a car that is ineptly refined to the point that the car is like a moving piece of comfortable furniture.
Power: And this is another big one. Nowadays, you can't come to the party without 350hp or more. The norm is now approaching 400hp, and this even goes for the big SUV's(Caddy Escalade-403hp/GMC Denali-380hp), and it's going to get even more competitive. But hp is only half of the story. Within making choices for powertrains in a particular model, in light of the energy conservative conscious customer, you also must bring fuel effeciency. You have MB working on the S-Class specific Bluetec. BMW and Audi both will bring their respective "ultra clean" 4.0L V8 TurboDiesels to the states before each is redone, altho only available in 45 states until the next model line.
And with all that said, it also must reward the buyer by assuring that person that you just made the decision of your life. Well, it was hard for me to find such a car, until I discovered Audi's little secret, the W12. And now with MB's S600, I'm probably the happiest fella on this board, altho I don't have a Lotus or 911.
#4 of 20 Truly High End
Nov 06, 2006 (10:45 pm)
A truly high end vehicle is an over-achiever, setting or coming close to the highest standards in numerous vehicle attributes.
Some of these attributes include luxury, performance, styling, materials and workmanship, innovations, uniqueness, and presence.
In addition, the driver and/or passenger(s) of such a vehicle have a true sense of driving or riding in a special vehicle.
The attributes that are indicated each have further characteristics or ingredients for achieving excellence. For example, luxury requires the proper execution of quality materials . . . and performance requires engine, transmission, and suspension combinations to deliver a superior ride quality. Uniqueness and presence, for example, means that the vehicle projects an image of having a special nature to it and stands out above what is otherwise typical.
I do not believe there are necessarily hard-fast and specific measureable distinctions, such as minimum vehicle size or horsepower, as there are vehicles that prove themselves to be high end that do not meet what might be such expected requirements. For example, the Porsche 911 is clearly a high-end vehicle, but it is not the larger vehicle that one might visualize for a high-end vehicle. Also, the Jaguar XJ Vanden Plas, for example, does not have massive HP, yet it is clearly a high end vehicle. So, it would seem that absolute measureable criteria can not easily be applied.
A high end vehicle's styling is often inspiring, and at-a-glance will quicken the pulse, or cause admiration for its beautiful body lines . . . it can even be genuinely captivating.
It is easy enough to see that models from Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Lexus, Jaguar, Bentley, Maseratti, Lamborghini, Rolls Royce, Ferrari, and Porsche can be considered high end, as they all easily have many of the attributes to be considered as such.
Some might consider Lincoln and Cadillac as high end, but there is a subjective nature as to where one makes the distinction, as there is plenty of gray area here . . . enough gray area that some might even consider models from Acura and Infiniti as qualified to be considered high end.
IMO, when there are considerable questions about a vehicle's status as high end, then those questions themselves are a fair indication that those particular vehicles are in all likelihood not truly high end.
Generally, a true high end vehicle doesn't raise too many questions about its merits. It is just obvious enough, and that in itself is one of the identifying attributes of a true high end vehicle.
It somehow makes itself known . . . it has an aura of heightened value . . . better known as . . .mystique.
#8 of 20 High end = high end cost
Nov 15, 2006 (10:47 am)
A truly high end vehicle is one that costs more than you can afford, but lives up to it's cost by justifying it's price in all facets of itself.
#9 of 20 Re: High end = high end cost [euphonium]
Nov 15, 2006 (2:35 pm)
What features would you expect in this vehicle?
#10 of 20 Re: High end = high end cost [pat]
Nov 15, 2006 (9:26 pm)
To me "features" means gimmicks and unless the overall quality is present, gimmicks don't make quality. Navigation as an example, is just another gimmick. If you are not educated to read a map you are not educated to have a position of professionality enabling you to afford an up scale car. Park itself gimmick gets the same reaction as when the automatic transmission was first installed in sports cars. Eight speed automatic is just another gimmick.
A high end motorcar has class not a clutter of gadgets.