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Old 07-26-2013, 07:48 AM
 
5,666 posts, read 4,359,734 times
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My wife has had enough of her Continental GT.

She likes the car but has decided that a 4 door is what she needs. It's mostly a work related change. The 2 doors on the GT were fine when she was dealing with mostly European clients that would arrive at the airport by themselves but now she's getting more from further afield that are bringing assistants and once a translator too. They'll normally stay in the area for a few days and she'll act as a tour guide for at least one of the days, sometimes more.

Her first choice for a replacement is a Bentley Arnage. She's quite struck with them, she does like Bentleys.

The others she's interested in are:

Audi A8 (fairly)
Maserati Quattroporte (vaguely)
Mercedes S63 (reasonably)
Rolls Royce Silver Seraph (reasonably)

It's model versions from around 2000-2012 (maybe earlier if it's a bit 'special'). She doesn't want new, she's interested in quality rather than age and she's looking to spend 30,000 - 50,000 ($47,000 - $77,000).

Does anyone have any firsthand experiences with any of these? We've looked at forums but as you'll probably be aware they're mostly full of lovers and haters with not that much unbiased comment. Oh, don't suggest any BMW's as she only likes old ones (80s early 90s) or Jags (same) or Lexus (she can't stand them).
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Old 07-26-2013, 08:00 AM
 
Location: Prosper
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I have two friends that have/had Maseratis. When I was thinking about getting one, they both told me to forget it. Reliability is terrible apparently, and they've had multiple problems and wish they'd never bought the car. I trust their opinion as they are long time car guys with tastes similar to mine.

Out of the options you list, I think the S63 is probably what she'll like most if she was happy with the Bentley, and should be the easiest to get serviced on that list. The S series value drops very quickly, so I wouldn't buy one that is less than 3 years old, too much of a depreciation hit.
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Old 07-28-2013, 10:02 AM
 
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I've owned a lovely low mileage 2000 RR Seraph for a year (cost me 50K) and I'm delighted with it. Beautiful traditional lines, great to drive and special to onlookers and occupants alike. Fast enough, reasonable on fuel and will hold its value over the next few years and increase further down the line. There's no comparison in my view and I've owned plenty of 'top' vehicles. Just tell her to go for a 2000-2002 if she can (some slight but useful mods) and the usual re full history and one that's been looked after. Keith
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Old 07-28-2013, 03:17 PM
 
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I am assuming, she will have clients of various ages? Don't go for anything that is low seating. Their knees will not like low seating cars.
RR or Bentley is likely to be reasonable, but I'd rather recommend a higher seating SUV, like LandRover.
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Old 07-28-2013, 10:01 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
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The Silver Seraph is a wonderful vehicle, though she may prefer the more athletic variant with the Arnage. The Seraph is supremely smooth, and with the BMW 12-cylinder is a departure from the 6.75 liter engine. Also, since the Arnage was produced for more years, as BMW launched the Phantom, she can find a newer model, 2005-2008, around the upper end of her preferred range. The Mercedes is also a good choice, but not as unique, same problem with the Audi. The Maserati has a great look, but reliability is not on par with the other choices on your list.

I would look for an Arnage nearer the end of its production life, as the car was refined, and well built during that era. The Seraph is a great vehicle, and the one with which I have the most experience, but aside from its presence as a modern classic Rolls, it's not as much a driver's car as the Arnage. Since she is moving from a Continental coupe, the Arnage would be less of a departure than an Audi or Mercedes.
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Old 07-29-2013, 12:30 AM
 
Location: The Old Dominion
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BMW Guy's advice is sound. The last Arnages were relatively reliable, but only in the context of this group of cars. The Mercedes & Audi are both better designed and better-built than your other options, though perhaps lacking the 'sense of occasion' that the high-end marques offer. Seraphs and Arnages both present substantial hydraulic-system challenges & expenses, with their electrical systems not far behind. Add to this the fact that the newest Seraphs are more than a decade old now I'd really cross those off my list. As mentioned above, Maserati has struggled mightily with an extremely poor reliability record.

If you do get an Arnage, be sure and find one with the optional additional veneers in the door panels. Heightens the cabin's 'sense of occasion' considerably. I'd also get these wheels if you can. Sadly there's nothing to be done about the primitive navigation system--a real step down from what your wife is used to in the Continental GT (which itself is hardly state-of-the-art). And all round, the car is a bit of a sledgehammer to drive in comparison with the Continental not to mention the German alternatives which are lighter on their feet.

Not exactly what you asked for, but if I were being ruled by my brain instead of my heart (or some other body part) I'd probably get the latest-model, lowest-mileage S550 I could. I don't see the virtue or need in the S63's much greater fuel consumption and servicing costs. Either one is a great car though, and does everything well, but for the same outlay you can get a newer S550. The A7 isn't far behind in quality and appeal but I personally dislike its grille treatment; despite that it also seems slightly anonymous.

None of these are simple cars so I'd definitely err in favor of newer examples with fewer miles. They're not cheap or trouble-free to own. BTW, I love that your wife has such strong opinions about cars. Would give us lots to talk about
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Old 07-31-2013, 07:26 AM
 
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My wife has chosen....

She's just bought this: Bentley Arnage 'T' Mulliner Lvl 2

She took it out for about 2hours without a salesman and she says she loved it. She's driven 5/6 in the last week or so and this had the best "feel". She didn't seriously look at the Audi's and Maserati's in the end, she drove a couple of examples of both but was pretty "underwhelmed". The Merc' she quite liked when she drove it but the only part that made an impression was the engine, overall she described it as "nice" which is damning praise I suppose. The Seraph made a good impression but the two she's driven were also at dealers that had Arnage's so driving them back-to-back she said that whilst the Seraph was a very good car it didn't match the Arnage. She also got a very good deal on the Conti with nearly 20G coming her way.

So there you go, thanks all for the advice and comments, it was much appreciated.

Last edited by Baldrick; 07-31-2013 at 08:53 AM.. Reason: Accuracy.
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Old 07-31-2013, 08:48 AM
 
Location: Prosper
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Looks very nice!
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Old 07-31-2013, 09:21 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baldrick View Post
My wife has chosen....

She's just bought this: Bentley Arnage 'T' Mulliner Lvl 2

She took it out for about 2hours without a salesman and she says she loved it. She's driven 5/6 in the last week or so and this had the best "feel". She didn't seriously look at the Audi's and Maserati's in the end, she drove a couple of examples of both but was pretty "underwhelmed". The Merc' she quite liked when she drove it but the only part that made an impression was the engine, overall she described it as "nice" which is damning praise I suppose. The Seraph made a good impression but the two she's driven were also at dealers that had Arnage's so driving them back-to-back she said that whilst the Seraph was a very good car it didn't match the Arnage. She also got a very good deal on the Conti with nearly 20G coming her way.

So there you go, thanks all for the advice and comments, it was much appreciated.
Beautiful choice, your wife has great taste. I didn't see this sooner, but my one comment would be that foreign travellers coming for business (with your wife acting as a quasi-tour guide) may also be impressed with something a little more 'proper' when going to the UK. Arnage's and Seraph's scream 'Britannia' and complete the overall picture that they may have in their head. Audi's and Mercede's really are a dime a dozen, even the highend ones and most business travellers will be accustomed to them. So, touring London in an Arnage or Seraph would be something very memorable.

When the Arnage drives by you almost expect the Queen to wave...



...and for it to be followed by these guy's...



...with a tow, row, row, row, row, row, to the British Grenadiers...
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Old 07-31-2013, 09:23 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
10,830 posts, read 26,344,725 times
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That sounds like she had a win on both sides of the transaction, especially considering the very smart Arnage that she selected.
__________________
All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.
~William Shakespeare
(As You Like It Act II, Scene VII)

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