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.
#1756 of 24726 Mercedes Quality
Oct 08, 2002 (1:42 pm)
cul8ter - I agree with you that the failure of any component on a car such as a Mercedes is unthinkable, it is not the sign of weakness or deterioration on Mercedes' part. While many of believe Mercedes to be subpar on reliability scores, I still believe they still are the tops in durability. I have enough friends and acquantances that service the luxury marks to generalize the longevity of Lexus, Mercedes, and BMW. These mechanics believe that an E class will outlive any GS or LS Lexus and even the 5 series BMW. Go to Europe, you'll see Mercedes being the main brand utilized by taxi drivers and services. This is due to the fact that those E classes will go 200 to 300 miles w/o major failures (such as those of major driveline components or structural deterioration). These taxis are then resold to private owners who cannot afford a newer luxury make. While Lexus is tops in reliability, it's long-term durability is not as trusted as Mercedes. For example, I have seen a lot more tired 90-93 LS' than same period S Classes. In addition, the plastics of the Lexus, which I can vouch for as my extended father figure has had two, do not hold up as well as those of a Mercedes (of which, we've had three). They are much softer I agree, but they are not as durable. The leather fits along the same lines, much softer in a Lexus, but find any 4 year or older Lexus with average miles, and you'll see much more wear and tear than in a Benz.
While many of you have also discussed the group that has switched from Mercedes and to a lesser degree BMW to Lexus, I know many who have switched from Lexus to Mercedes b/c there is a perceived difference in qualities such as solidity and perceived safety. A friend of mine who has a 2001 LS430 didn't realize how unsatisfied he would be with his car is now trying to sell it. He also has a 92 SL that he's trying to sell as well since he can't fit in it anymore. But he will agree that there is this sense of solidity that you can't quantify in a Benz.
Reliability is difficult to gauge as the typical Mercedes driver will more angry at any mechanical or electrical issue than that of a Lexus driver. I myself know of hoards of Mercedes drivers who have had no issue on their late model Mercedes. Mercedes, while rated less in reliablity than Lexus, is similar or better than BMW and Audi.
In the end, I do believe Mercedes must continue improving it's perceived and actual quality which I think will be marked by the year 2003 as the new E and CLK class have been rated ahead of their competitors in European publications. They both have been heralded as a return to traditional Mercedes values of quality. The S class receives a much needed interior revamp, the SL is just wonderful, and the M class has one less year of life.
Oct 08, 2002 (2:13 pm)
You are lucky that you are one of the few that has a very reliable 190E.
However, I don't feel they are true luxury since they break down all the time. And to make matters worse, I see more '86-'92 E class than '84-'93 190 Es. How is that?
Simply put, the 190 is pure garbage and if you look at most of them that are around today, they look like crap as well. And I am surprised that they have not aged well like the 300E compared next to them. Those 190s creak and rattles over minor potholes and bumps now. Poor condition automobiles at best.
Oct 08, 2002 (2:48 pm)
Actually the 190E from 1989-1993 was one of the most reliable Mercedes' ever. The 2.6 engine is a shorter stroke version of the 3.0 and is in fact as reliable... the 2.6 was more widely produced worldwide as the 300E 2.6 or 260E was more popular in most countries. My car is basically just like a smaller version of a 300E, I don't see how they are garbage at all. The 300E has aged better, but then again, they started out with richer owners and people are more willing to put money into a more expensive car to begin with than a compact.
Oct 08, 2002 (2:48 pm)
By the way, Jaguars broke down all the time and lots of Bentleys do too but they're quite the epitome of luxury.
#1760 of 24726 cul8ter
Oct 08, 2002 (2:55 pm)
I'm glad you know me so well. You're right I don't own a Mercedes, neither do I know of anyone that has owned one. Nope. I'm going completely by what I've read and seen on TV. Makes sense.
I have stated a many times that Mercedes-Benz needs to get reliability under control especially since they're taking technology further and further with each re-design. Agreed.
What gets me about certain people in here is that they'll tell you that a Benz is made of Kia grade plastic and a sound system so bad that you can't hear it. Every Mercedes is this cheaply built, poor handling, terribly unreliable side-of-the-road car.
Lexus on the other hand has never ever had a problem, no recalls nothing. Perfect in just about every way. Good-looking, welded correctly from the factory, outhandles BMWs etc, etc.
Pluskin, handling like a BMW was never part of the design brief for any Mercedes except the C-Class. Where is it written that a Mercedes has to out-handle a BMW? BMW for all their "handling" doesn't move nearly as many cars as Mercedes does over 50K. Handling plays second fiddle to cracked engine blocks and failed SMG transmissions. Don't get me wrong, I love BMWs, but this "handling" thing is getting a little absurd now. Nowhere other than at the C-Class level has Mercedes ever said anything about BMW and trying match their handling.
As far as safety is concerned I think you need to see the photo about 10 or posts back. I seriously doubt any other car would have held up as good as that S430 did. Only Volvo comes to mind.
"World class car engineering should include the engineering that goes into making all customers happy...not just the engineering that goes to making engineers and car enthusiasts happy.
Nearly impossible. You can't make everyone happy. A Mercedes never was and never will be as "plush" as certain cars it's not the MB way. If you want gushy-plush, Cadillac and Lexus will gladly sell you a car. If Mercedes went that route their traditional customers would be gone.
Oct 08, 2002 (3:26 pm)
So youre saying that if Mercedes started using high grade plastics and had the latest in nav system technology and had the greatest of stereos available in any car, then all the traditional Benz buyers would be pissed off and wouldnt buy a Benz anymore?
Last time I checked, Benz was in the business to sell cars. Lexus sells more cars than Benz. Do you think that Mercedes doesnt really care enough to try to cater to the tastes of the new modern Lux buyer???
#1762 of 24726 pluskin
Oct 08, 2002 (3:27 pm)
Are Mercedes clearly better engineered than other luxury makes?
Do they handle better than BMW's?
Have better reliability than Lexus's?
Better craftsmanship than Audi's?
Safer than Volvo's?
To answer your first question, Yes in most ways they are. Though it's lost on the uninformed or the type that can't get past the window sticker or that all important 10 minute test drive.
Do they out-handle BMWs? No, never were intened to. Better reliability than Lexus. No. No argument there. Safer than Volvo's thats a good debate since Volvo is the only other company that can hold a candle to Mercedes' experience with safety engineering. Better craftsmanship than Audi. Not quite. Does a Benz suffer the problems that Audis have? Nope. Side note: I love Audi too, but they don't build a car even cable of standing next too a Benz over the long haul, once all the wood and leather treatments get old.
What I'd like to know is what car does all of these things in one singular package. Outhandles a BMW, more reliable than a Lexus, better made than a Audi, safer than a Volvo. What car does all of this? Please tell me because I want one.
Does ABC and SBC add anything to the driving experience? Every driven an Mercedes with these features? How do the SL55 and SL500 overcome their heavy weight to post excellent handling numbers? Ever read any posts here from S and CL owners with ABC on their cars?
"This vaunted engineering prowess is mostly a thing of the past."
Oh really, I'd like to know what other company is pushing technology like Mercedes.
Oct 08, 2002 (3:28 pm)
Worldwide, Mercedes sells way more cars than Lexus.
#1764 of 24726 cult8ter
Oct 08, 2002 (5:51 pm)
Your the one person that can cut through all the hearsay on this board. You own top of the line MB and Lexus - so how do they rate in terms of satisfaction, dealer service etc. I was nip and tuck with the S-500 but went LS430 because I felt it was the better car for me and fully expected the perfect reliability I've had with Lexus for 8 years now. In fairness to the S though it was based on a few test drives but I had way too mamy doubts about MB reliability and dealer service as well.
I also have the LX470 and find it a great SUV. Incredible ride for such a big vehicle. How does the H1 rate against it or vice versa?
Oct 08, 2002 (10:06 pm)
Before I go into my thoughts on each of my cars, I'd like to comment on how this message board is a perfect example of how statistics are only as objective as the opinions that back them. I recognize that 100 S500's lined up side-by-side will not have the same reliability or quality problems that I have had with mine. I also recognize that if 100 S430's were driven through a wall and off a building, neither the driver nor the car would survive in every instance.
All of my cars are pretty good cars. I have a high level of satisfaction with all of them but for different reasons.
The H1 is worthless as far as every day transportation goes, but I didn't buy it to be comfortable getting from point A to point B. It has a very strong presence and gets more attention than you could ever imagine. When I want attention, that's what I drive. I used a Bentley for this purpose in the past, but Bentley's don't get as much attention as the use to.
If more than 5 people need to go with me somewhere and it doesn't make since to take a limo to the destination, I take the LX470. I don't care much for the way it looks from the outside, but everything else is excellent. When I need space and comfort, I drive the LX.
The S80 was purchased strictly because it is very safe and I insisted that my child have one of the safest cars available. It blends in well with other cars and doesn't draw too much attention to my child.
In all the ways that matter to me, the LS430 and the S500 are exactly the same. If I'm going to a place where S500's are more prominent, I drive the LS430. If I'm going to a place where LS430's are more prominent, I drive the S500. The differences in the cars make excellent topics for conversations. I like these two because both are very comfortable when I have to drive somewhere that's more than 30 minutes away. My dealership experiences are probably different from most peoples because I am treated very, very well at all of the dealerships that I actually visit. Most of the time I have someone else take the car in for me though. So, from my perspective there's very little difference. I do notice that other customers who are at the Mercedes dealership while I'm there are not treated nearly as well as I'm treated, but the other customers at the Lexus dealership are treated about the same as I am.
Ultimately, when you have every car you want at the same time, the differences between them aren't as significant as they seem when you don't have them all. If I had to make a choice between cars, I think the differences would be magnified.