NemesisUK

What Makes a Premium Car these days?

Recommended Posts

28 minutes ago, Ben01 said:

Even if we talk on various gadgets (like Linus above) - I prefer full loaded car of course, but to the level trusted manufacturer feels complete and OK in the price tag. Not to the level of porsche, BMW or similar, "everything, and more everything, and 1000 elephants with this" - 100 options and in theory you could put them all into one car, but it cost you kazylion coins, and result car, after half a year delivery, is not reliable at all and is mostly annoying, even if twice loaded than average lexus.

German options list is thing of the legends and not in a good way - I think I mentioned that E9x M3 had optional dimming and folding mirrors and for me that is unimaginable to buy modern premium performance car for £60k and have 80's style knob on rear view mirror and getting out and manually folding mirrors with hand. That is bad and stupid - certainly there are things which are universal accepted as norm and therefore they should be standard - period.

In some way I like Lexus simplistic trim levels - my point was that there should be balance e.g. RC has like 9 exterior colours and 4 interior, but Dark rose is not available on most Premium trim (Premier) for no reason what so ever, and that is not illusion of choice, they are identical seats in identical car but Lexus would not let you have Premier with Rose seats, equally they won't let you have ACC/PCS (until 2018) in F-sport - so if you want car with red seats and dynamic cruise you are basically stuffed. The options I am talking about which I believe should be offered would be:

  • "Digital Pack" - (I think that is the way Lexus call in US) which would include things like wi-fi hot spot, phone integration, wireless charging and maybe F-Sport instrument cluster
  • "Convenience Pack" - say soft closing doors, gesture opening boot, 360 camera, ACC/PCS and HUD
  • "Protection Pack" - is self explanatory and already exists

As you see that is not 100 options, that is 2-3 self explanatory packs and maybe 10-15 individual features which are common place nowadays * items in the red does not exist for RC, but otherwise are present in other Lexus models so why restrict it? Again I understand that if you want to add something completely different in single model it requires a lot of testing and cost a lot just to sell for 2 customers, but Lexus have all these components on the shelf, already working on certain models so why not to all customer to spend few more kazylion coins.

On top of that restriction of certain colour seats, or wooden inserts in doors or certain style of the wheels is just unnecessary - maybe certain people like or dislike specific thing e.g. some might hate or lower back or red interior, some might hate wood or CF, some might not like Premier style or F-Sport style wheels ans these are just so simple things to change around.. even if that is dealer who has to do final customisation on things like swapping wheels. Certainly this level of customisation is the least I would expect from "luxury" car.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The topic is about premium cars not premium brands. The s class Merc is clearly premium whereas I doubt the same could be said about the a class. Same with Lexus. The LS is in a different class to the CT. It's all about quality of materials and components, not about looks or speed. The term I find most interesting in car magazine reviews is 'perceived' quality when talking about VW's, Audi's and BMW's etc. Perceived being the key word. Real quality is that which feels quality but also lasts because it is actually of a quality which lasts. I bought a cat basket which seemed really good on first inspection but broke after a couple of uses. Certainly not premium. I replaced it with one that was slightly more expensive, looks crap but works perfectly and has never let me down in over 10 years of service. That's premium and I think the same applies to all products including cars!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Ala Larj said:

The topic is about premium cars not premium brands.

Not really. It was mentioned "marque" in first post, for a reason I think. And I may suggest please don't project your own view on whole population - commonly reliability it is not synonym for quality. And somehow all appreciated premium cars have significant "performance factor" too, not only good materials and feeling of "solid quality".

Linus, I think the possible answer on Lexus options (and lack of them) is twofold:

Primo, toyota/lexus has very VERY efficient manufacturing and quality assurance system. From our point of view there are a stupid restrictions or lack of options, and "they have it on the shelf". But in their practice of JIT and Toyota system, it is possible there is not any "shelfs", and logistics and processes make some combinations production nightmare or costly as hell, compare with others, well prepared and validated. It's echoing old Ford's approach with model T - "you could order any colour so long as it is black" (because black has dried fastest on the manufacturing line). I am not say it is sure in the case, but I am pretty sure it is possible.

Secundo, and wider comment I tried to avoid before, as it is out of the topic - there is fundamental cultural difference between Japanese core understanding of engineering and craftmanship, and European or American understanding. We are rised with strongest individualism ever, unusual in the history in fact. Japanese people still have strong traditional anti-individual sentiments and culture. So, translation this into engineering and whole craftmanship is: Japanese pay for very best and professional services, items, etc. with full trust to manufacturers, masters of craft, construction people, engineering, etc. For example, in Japan, if you hire the recognised craft master to build you proper traditional Japanese house, or even part of it, or room, it is UNTHINKABLE you, the customer, interfere with HIS design and craft, even discuss it, what do you like or not. HE have the knowledge, the experience, the skills, to judge, design, craft the perfect result with the given resources. And if you don't like the result, rather you are unrefined peasant, than the master made an error. And this attitude still echoing in Japanese engineering, Lexus too - like, there is a few options in lexuses, or near no options for new LS500, probably because in Japanese mind the best designers and craftmen did everything possible to bring the best results, and a customer task is to pay and enjoy it, not redesign it.

For western people it is often difficult to accept this attitude, in many scopes and areas, not only engineering nor cars. We redesign at will not only our cars or houses, but our families, lifes, religions, ideologies, everything. They not (yet). BTW like all this fashionable "omotenashi" now (mentioned with LS500 too) - in the core it is strong belief the host knows much better what is proper, polite and good for the customer, than common customer, especially gaijin. So "shut up and enjoy".

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The question is simple: a premium brand makes car that makes , when your neighbour sees you own a new one, "Hey, that guy has more money than  he needs/deserves"  . So to be a brand premium , people have to think it is expensive, compared to alternative cars not premium. For instance, VW or SEAT are not premium because a premium buyer will choose Audi. About our favourite brand Lexus, yes it is premium, but only for people that know it is the luxury choice for Toyota people, and not all car drivers know it, so Lexus risk to be not recognized as a premium car, but only a "nice" car . And I love understatement, as typical premium car driver likes to scream to all world " I am a premium car driver, I have money you don't" even if often it is not true, premium car driver don't own actually their car. Of course to be premium a car has to be better in some way to other models, but if the brand is not premium the trick does not work, nobody will envy you if you buy the best flagship car with all bells and whistles made by Skoda (just to say one).

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, Zotto said:

when your neighbour sees you own a new one , "Hey, that guy has more money than  he needs/deserves"

Yeah, it is about brand recognition, and discussed above, but BTW it is funny point: in the beginning of, like in the beginning of Lexus in the end of '80 they could not and did not play this card. Becouse in 1990 neighbours were "WTF Billy Bob, did you just buy the crappy Japanese copy of merc?? is this LS state "Lowcost S-class"??". But next LS owner laugh on them "my lovely rednecks, yes, it is Japanese competition of this merc or that jag, but with 5x better quality and lower price, so you f off, I drive". And no doubts LS400 and Lexus was postitioned in 1990 as premium car and brand, so "neighbour factor" and brand recognition are important, but not full definition.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Zotto said:

typical premium car driver likes to scream to all world " I am a premium car driver, I have money you don't" even if often it is not true, premium car driver don't own actually their car.  nobody will envy you if you buy the best flagship car with all bells and whistles made by Skoda (just to say one).

And the truthful thing is, its all a Facad majority put on to impress others they don't know or their neighbours. majority will forego things like personal savings, pensions etc.. to be seen in a 'Premium' car by others..  only a small percentage of these will be in the position to keep up payments/run the car if the unfortunate thing happens in terms of job loss/redundancy. 

I hate handing over my hard earned cash to someone else (car dealer) at the end of each month or be in Debt and prefer to invest mine in my two online businesses but that's me.. Yes as humans we all do like the finer things in life but i could care less and actually do not want the envy of others based on the car i drive.    

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Ben01 said:

 And I may suggest please don't project your own view on whole population - commonly reliability it is not synonym for quality.

How am I supposed to share my opinion without projecting it? 

It is an opinion and my opinion. I'm not expecting everyone, or indeed anyone, to agree with me!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, Ala Larj said:

How am I supposed to share my opinion without projecting it? 

It is an opinion and my opinion. I'm not expecting everyone, or indeed anyone, to agree with me!

If reliability is not quality than all my alfas that broke down must have been top quality

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But guys, the most reliable caterpillar or tractor in the world is not exactly best quality vehicle or premium one, even with Lamborghini badge 😁 And I don't believe even you focus on reliability as most or only important factor for quality or premium definition. Logically, yes, any and every lack of reliability negate quality, but reliability alone does not define quality.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, Ben01 said:

 but reliability alone does not define quality.

mmmh might have to disagree on this one.. last i checked in order to produce a reliable product, a quality part/material had to be used to produce it...  e.g. Genuine Leather lasts longer than PU Leather. the PU Leather may have flashy bits on it but does that make it quality over Genuine Leather because its fashy?

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So why not upgrade to humongously expensive designers stainless steel seats, over premium Genuine Leather or similar? Maybe "comfort", "ergonomy", "feeling", even "smell" etc. are important too, not only "reliability"?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Ala Larj said:

How am I supposed to share my opinion without projecting it?

Do you really try to share opinion "we shall redefine quality in dictionaries"? or you don't get difference between "neccesary and sufficient" and "neccesary and non-sufficient" condition (here: reliability as condition for quality)?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
58 minutes ago, Ben01 said:

And I don't believe even you focus on reliability as most or only important factor for quality or premium definition. 

If you had read a previous post of mine you would have read "Premium to me is about quality of materials/components and build quality". Not once have I suggested that reliability is most or only important factor!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

An interesting thought on how to define 'luxury'

"Is it that there is no reasonably priced alternative available? You can buy a Seiko watch for £25,000 but also one for £250. You can have a Hublot watch for £25,000 but not £250. Does that make one a luxury brand and not the other?

Similarly, you can spend £200,000 on a new Mercedes and also £30,000, but there’s no new Bentley for the latter price. I’d dare say most people have no idea which £25,000 watch or £200,000 car is the better built or which involves more craftsmanship, but they will know which feels like luxury and which does not."

https://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/industry/what-differentiates-luxury-car-one-merely-premium

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Ben01 said:

Do you really try to share opinion "we shall redefine quality in dictionaries"? or you don't get difference between "neccesary and sufficient" and "neccesary and non-sufficient" condition (here: reliability as condition for quality)?

I wish you stop projecting your opinion!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Ala Larj said:

I wish you stop projecting your opinion!

Eristic "tricks don't work on me. Only money." 😝

8 minutes ago, Ala Larj said:

If you had read a previous post of mine you would have read "Premium to me is about quality of materials/components and build quality". Not once have I suggested that reliability is most or only important factor!

Yes, but I think you focus on "everlasting" or "reliability" of this "materials/component" a little too much. In the car with a few year warranty and premium aspirations there is much more factors and dimensions to discuss than above. But enough on this, I think.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Ben01 said:

Eristic

I had to look that up ... 

  • Like 1
  • Haha 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Premium - in another time not having a transverse mounted 4 clyinder engine but a north south mounted 6, 8, 10 or 12 cylinder engine would be reason enough to say you have a premium product.

 

That theory is still almost true but it’s getting tested by the Volvo range and Lexus ES when it comes and certain 4 clyinder engined cars. I’d argue in the Volvo range the s60 up is a premium car but that’s not down to the mass market style power train but due to the seats (premium cars have seats that adjust in six plus ways) refinement (premium cars tend to have better sound deadening) etc

 

A premium car cannot have any paint inside the cabin visible. Check the door frames of your car sat inside. If you can see paint on the door metal frame inside you’re more than likely not in a premium car. It’s a remarkably effective test unless you’re in something that’s very biased towards light weight and high performance.

 

The obvious ones are big expensive cars like 5/7 series cars and fast expensive cars like Porsche’s and Maserati which are obviously premium as they are expensive and have brand value - but they also do what they are meant to do extremely well.

 

Mass market makers like Ford don’t do premium cars but you could argue the Mustang is due to its engine, performance and size. I’d argue Hyundai/Kia don’t make premium cars but then there is the Stinger which is due to size, north south engine and upmarket cabin/styling is a premium product.

 

My expectation is a premium car should last longer, be more comfortable and refined and/or perform better than a mass market car. Eg a BMW 1 series to have a longer service life than a Ford Focus, be nicer to drive, break down less, be quieter and have less NVH.

 

 

Sent from my Iphone using Tapatalk

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe Premium has a different meaning to different people.

Some recognize quality products and will always look for it. Top class Havanaś, handmade leather suitcases, bespoke suits, handcrafted watches, shoes, etc etc. Only the best is good enough and i think this will be valid for all wallets, its a way of thinking.

Some will buy a premium brand as they do not want to be associated with a loser brand ( i will NEVER buy a mondeo!!). Just stick a BMW logo on a mediocre FWD minivan with bland styling and it will sell like crazy. ( and nobody wants a mondeo..).   

And some just follow marketing slogans telling them the new Kia is a premium experience.

All is relative, we on this forum know a thing or 2 about cars and are interested in them, thats why we are here boring each other with our opinions. I am fully convinced that the vast majority of car buyers is like my entire family, they have no clue whatsoever. Some dont know the difference between diesel or petrol and nobody knows anything about FWD or RWD, let alone disc or drum and so an and so on. 

What they DO know is that BMW is premium and Skoda not. They know this without any background knowledge at all. SO here we are. perception perception. Years of marketing, years of bringing thesame message across do create a brand. BMW-Sporty. Volvo-safe. Merc-luxury.  Rolex - Louis Vuitton - Brioni - please can i hand you my money.

Car manufacturers of course try to exploit this by trying to achieve the highest price possible, just look at the new Jaguar E-pace which seems ridiculously overpriced.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, dutchie01 said:

Seen the development of the koreans? where will they be in 5 years time? Where is Skoda going? in some markets they are now seen as more premium as VW! Seen the developments at Volvo? Every new car is a hit and btw i do think Volvo could be a real threath to Lexus in Europa as they could appeal to thesame clientele.. 

Koreans? Did you see a report from J.D Power (not sure if it was America only though) it says Hyundai, Kia and Genesis are top three most reliable cars! Design is up there now, interior quality is not Lexus but it is competing with Lexus now easily!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Vlady said:

Koreans? Did you see a report from J.D Power (not sure if it was America only though) it says Hyundai, Kia and Genesis are top three most reliable cars! Design is up there now, interior quality is not Lexus but it is competing with Lexus now easily!

exactly what i meant. Every new model coming out is a big jump forward and it is no longer the small cars only. Just look at www.genesis.com and you will see a new Lexus in the making..

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Koreans? Did you see a report from J.D Power (not sure if it was America only though) it says Hyundai, Kia and Genesis are top three most reliable cars! Design is up there now, interior quality is not Lexus but it is competing with Lexus now easily!


But Genesis compete with the German 3 on price, segment positioning etc.

I’d expect the Genesis product to be comparable and better than the main stream Hyundai stuff, particularly in mechanical make up, materials used to build the car and driving performance and refinement.

I’d be happy to have one. A G90 - yes please.




Sent from my Iphone using Tapatalk
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

so vlady, here is the million dollar question.

would you prefer a genesis above a comparable sized lexus?

Or do you rate them as similar or inferior?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, st4 said:

 


But Genesis compete with the German 3 on price, segment positioning etc.

I’d expect the Genesis product to be comparable and better than the main stream Hyundai stuff, particularly in mechanical make up, materials used to build the car and driving performance and refinement.

I’d be happy to have one. A G90 - yes please.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

I was in South Korea recently and have been driven in Genesis, I was quite impressed by how good it sounded, drove and looked, probably interior quality is not the best (still good though) but very decent car indeed!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I was in South Korea recently and have been driven in Genesis, I was quite impressed by how good it sounded, drove and looked, probably interior quality is not the best (still good though) but very decent car indeed!


Kia Stinger 3.3 is on my radar after the GS. I could take an IS300h but would rather have an IS200t (for the performance) but fear it might be a whisker too small a car - the GS is more than big enough but the Stinger bridges the size gap perfectly and keeps me in a six. Because of its positioning in the range I’d expect it to have premium car NVH etc and be a good credible alternative


Sent from my Iphone using Tapatalk
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Club Hybrid Poll

  • 57 Hybrid Reliability

    1. 1. If you were to consider buying a Hybrid model over 5 years old, would you be worried about the reliability of the Hybrid system?


      • Not really as Hybrid systems are always reliable
      • Not if it had a Manufacturers Warranty on the Hybrid system
      • I would not buy a Hybrid model over 5 years old