Last post on Jan 28, 2013 at 5:55 PM
You are in the Sedans
What is this discussion about?
Audi A8, BMW 7 Series, Jaguar XJ-Series, Lexus LS 460, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Volkswagen Phaeton, Maserati Quattroporte, Mercedes-Benz CL-Class, Sedan
Let's try to define this forum as being limited to luxury performance vehicles where the mainstream version in a typical configuration has an MSRP of at least $60k.
A luxury vehicle with a base price of $59k qualifies because it would typically be bought with some additional equipment, bringing the MSRP over $60k.
Vehicles like the E, 5, A6, M, or GS, even if available in certain versions over $60k, don't qualify because they are cars from companies that have higher end cars in their lineups.
#14216 of 24726 Re: When to buy? [merc1]
Mar 13, 2006 (6:44 am)
I bought the S430 4 Matic. I didn't like the look of the S550 at all. It just didn't do it for me. I didn't bother driving it because the shape and instrument cluster put me off. I drove the CLS too, but opted for the S Class because it had 4 Matic and Pre-Safe. CLS is a pretty car, but not practical for me.
I realize that this car will not be as reliable as my Lexus cars, but I also think it will not strand me by the side of the road either. When I first drove the S430 I couldn't tell the difference between this and my Lexus. My son told me, "You're driving it too slow!" (I was doing only 50 MPH on the highway). So I took it up to 75 MPH and the salesman activated the Sport 2 Mode on the Airmatic..Big Difference! Airmatic is a nice tool, but I hope it doesn't break anytime soon!
I also noted that Mercedes has all sorts of interesting features. They have this brand new nanotech paint that apparently is 40% more scratch resistant than other cars. It's been around since 2005. What is a dual circuit braking system? I also didn't know it has a single CD slot in the front in addition to the 6 CD changer in the back. It has a real time Tire Pressure Monitor and Oil Analysis monitor. I gave up Bluetooth, but the salesman told me Mercedes will offer an upgrade for pre 07 cars soon for about $225. I wanted the wooden steering wheel, but that was 1K extra. I passed on that one.
This car is a good product, and the dealership is even better than my Lexus one. I had a much better experience with this Mercedes dealer than I've had with the Lexus dealers here. It might just be a regional thing, but they really go out of their way to make you happy. The salesman insisted that my family relax, brought me and my wife coffee, and refused to let me test drive the S Class demo until he had it washed and vacuumed. He pulled out a S430, S350, and CLS 500 for me to drive. I'm very happy with the experience.
At the end, the GM of the dealership came out and shook my hand and said, "Congratulations, and Welcome to Mercedes Benz." No one at Lexus has ever welcomed me before. Yes, I realize this is part of what you pay for, but everything they did had a classy touch to it. I've been really ticked off with the Lexus dealer's Service Department, so I decided that it was worth it.
My son wanted to buy me the S350 for my birthday. Since I picked the S430 he insisted that he pay half. I said no, but he took my credit card away and placed the deposit on the car. How about that? I had no idea he's been cooking this plan up for over a year. I turn 61 in two weeks, so it's a birthday present from him.
My son negotiated the whole deal. He got 10K off MSRP plus full Kelley trade in value for my car ($48K) plus all scheduled maintenance paid for 39 months. The trade in was the sticking point. We couldn't hold for 49-50K because their own Lexus dealer had a similar car to mine on sale for $53K. I know their profit margin is around 7K and I know the residual of this car is falling because of the impending release of the LS460. I only paid $55K for it anyway, so a 7K hit for 15 months is fair. It did some some scratches that needed to be touched up too.
I get the car tomorrow, for the first time I'm very excited. The car is this Pewter color over Charcoal. At least to me, it looks amazing. I'd seen the same car in Dubai and few years ago and was blown away.
I'm not sure what forum I should be posting in now. Do I get to post in both Lexus and Mercedes ones?
Thanks to everyone for their comments!
#14217 of 24726 Re: When to buy? [sv7887]
Mar 13, 2006 (9:27 am)
What is a dual circuit braking system?
Most all recent vehicles of all brands at all price points have this feature.
Basically, the brake circuit is divided into two zones, so that in the event of one's failure, there is still adequate braking with the second.
Specifically, the zones are often diagonal, with the left front linked to the right rear, and then the right front linked to the left rear.
There are versions that do a three-wheel split by linking the front left with BOTH of the rears, and the front right with BOTH of the rears.
I am not certain if any of the systems use a four over four, but the answer to your question is clear enough that there is a split zone of one type or another to offer a greater degree of safety.
BTW, dual-circuit braking is not ABS, which is an additional anti-lock braking system feature that has been around in most vehicles for quite some time also.
Even the handy tire-pressure monitor and oil useage monitor features are presenting themselves in all types of cars at all price points lately.
Your new car sounds terrific, and I just know you will enjoy it for many years. You will never forget the wonderful way your son celebrated your 61st birthday!! You are very blessed!!
OH! . . . before I forget . . . Happy Birthday!
#14218 of 24726 Re: When to buy? [sv7887]
Mar 13, 2006 (9:28 am)
Congratulations!! (Where do I get a son like that ... )
You are welcome to post in both of those discussions, this one and every other one you find interesting.
#14219 of 24726 Thanks, Tagman!
Mar 13, 2006 (11:25 am)
I forgot, back in the day, my walkarounds also included a mention of the dual circuit braking, so it's not just luxury cars that have the feature!
I thought he was referring to the elctronic brake-by-wire, introduced in the E-Class when it was launched, accompanied by conventional braking systems.
Mercedes was catching some flak for the totally artificial, on/off, brake feel the electronic brakes provided, virtually preventing a dignified roll to a halt.
#14220 of 24726 Re: When to buy? [sv7887]
Mar 13, 2006 (11:28 am)
Congrats and enjoy.
#14221 of 24726 Re: When to buy? [lexusguy]
Mar 13, 2006 (2:48 pm)
SV - Glad to see someone as impulsive as me though I'm more of a sucker for early adoption of electronics. Best of luck with the S430.
#14222 of 24726 Re: When to buy? [sv7887]
Mar 13, 2006 (4:05 pm)
Congrats on the S430. I'm sure you'll enjoy it, maybe even more than your outgoing LS.
#14223 of 24726 Re: When to buy? [sv7887]
Mar 13, 2006 (9:27 pm)
Wow, I don't know what to say!
Congrats on the new S430!
I really believe that a Mercedes dealer will do whatever it takes to win over (or back) a Lexus customer, so I would have expected the experience to be what you described. Then again a proper Benz dealer should treat all their customers like that.
What did you think of the CLS500?
Pewter of Charcoal is on the best color combos on the W220 S-Class. I can't wait to read about your experiences with this car say in a month of so from now. Hopefully the car will live up to first-class sales experience.
I still can't believe it!!!
Oh, lastly you must post here and in Mercedes only forums from now on...lol! Nah, I'm sure some of the Lexus guys will be curious about your experience in leaving them.
#14224 of 24726 Re: When to buy? [sv7887]
Mar 13, 2006 (10:30 pm)
Congrats, Sam. Hope it meets all your expectations.
It wasn't clear from your post whether you purchased it outright or leased it (you mentioned something about 39 months but perhaps that was the time for the prepaid maintenance). If purchased, what is your expectation for length of time holding onto it? Will you risk holding it post-warranty expiration?
I think you may have set the record for the shortest ownership of an LS; there was, I think, one Edmunds poster who sold his LS in less than a year and bought an Infiniti M45.
#14225 of 24726 Re: When to buy? [merc1]
Mar 14, 2006 (6:11 am)
Thank you all for your messages. We bought the car outright. They threw in scheduled maintenance as part of the deal. Apparently the dealer had a special offer for this weekend only.
Actually, the quality of the sales team was demonstrated yesterday. I always think that people show their true colors when they are under fire.
The Salesman called my son and told him that the car they had found for me had 600 miles on the clock. They offered us three options: 1) They would find us a new one at the same price 2) Bring it on a flatbed truck to avoid racking up any more miles 3) Offer us some sort of extras to make up for the whole issue.
They called him as soon as they found out about the car. They had to get it from another dealership so they didn't know the specifics until yesterday. I was upset, but by the time I got to the dealership the manager came out and apologized and immediately told me they were bringing a brand new car Pewter S430 4 Matic from Virginia for me. I didn't know what to say. I was impressed because they were proactive in trying to find a solution for me. I'll be writing a letter of thanks to their owner once I take delivery of the car.
The CLS 500 was a very pretty car. It was all about style. The roof line was a little too low for my likes. It was fun to drive but didn't score well on being practical. It also lacked the ever important 4 Matic feature.
I plan to keep this car for a long time. Hopefully it will not cause me any problems. After looking at pictures of the LS460 and seeing the S550 I didn't feel like I was missing out on anything. The '06 had enough toys for me, and I hope their last year of production will be the most reliable. In addition, there are several reputable independant mechanics who fix MB cars near Boston.
My son has spent a few thousand dollars bringing up my 1992 LS400 to brand new condition. I can't believe how good it looks now. The LS400 will be my primary backup should the Mercedes go down. So I'll have the best of both worlds: The reliability of a Lexus LS and the style and driving dynamics of a Mercedes.
So why did I trade my LS430? It just didn't do it for me. It's got all sorts of really high tech gear. The NAV, Bluetooth, and Backup camera are great. But the interior console looked bulky and some of the trim looked cheap. It also lacked some of the safety features the S Class had like Pre Safe standard. The S Class just drove like a tank. My son says it's pretty manuverable with the Airmatic tuned to sport. My chief complaint about the LS cars is that they had the power to get to 100+ MPH but it didn't "sit" well on the road at that speed. The S430 seemed to be better. Also I found out that Mercedes has a module to upgrade their cars to Bluetooth for $350.
Like I said last year I wanted to buy the S430 but it was just out of my range. Since I'm "old" spending an extra 20K on a car would not have been a wise decision with retirement looming. It seems silly to be caught up over a car, but it was a lifelong ambition to own a Mercedes. I've liked them since I was a student in England during the 1960's. Everytime I wanted to buy one, something else would come up, or it simply would be too expensive.
After last year I had accepted that I probably wouldn't be able to buy one. My son completely suprised me on Saturday when he took me to the Mercedes dealer instead of Home Depot (That's where he told me we were going). I can't wait to drive it!
I'll keep posting in both forums. I'm interested to hear what people think of the LS460. I really would have bought the 460 but something was lost in the design from concept to production. It's nice, but not eye catching like the old S Class is either.