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.
#2690 of 24726 why i put LS430 on list
Aug 30, 2003 (8:29 pm)
i just can't help but feel overwhelmed by the comfort, and power behind the wheel of a LS430. plus, with the combined features of the ultraluxury package, which brings the total MSRP under $68,000- it's a much better overall value than a stripped MB S430 or BMW 745i. to be honest with you; the lexus is seriously the only comfortable car i feel driving. let me explain:
the Mercedes-Benz S-Class:
a beautiful automobile, in which i like TO BE SEEN driving, NOT DRIVING. acceleration is quite bad, and transmission jerky. power is not smooth at all. the interior (of the 2000-2002 models atleast) is filled with cheap-plastic materials. reliability is another issue; i have calculated the costs of repair for my S430 and it has totaled to approx $21,038.67 (thank goodness most of it was under warrantee). i mean, an S-Class is an S-Class. it's absolutely timeless, and is basically the best sedan you can get. but i just don't feel relaxed/comfortable behind it. sometimes, i think, well, i should have waited and have purchased a S500, or even S55 AMG. but i have driven the S500, and to be honest with you, i find the LS430 to drive just a well as a S500. i would have gotten the S55 AMG, if not for my wife, who has threatened to divorce me (she was kidding though) if i purchased one more "sporty-car". so i opted for a fully-loaded S430 instead. big mistake.
The BMW 745i/Li:
to be jonest with you, i wouldn't mind at all if i had gotten the 7-series instead. but when i test drive it, i always notice that the steering is way too loose; if i turn it a little, the car turns too much. i therefore do not feel in control of the vehicle. also, with the iDrive; it's a cute concept, and i like it, but after having used the MMI on the A8L, i think it is way too complicated. i finally "mastered" it after spending the ENTIRE day at my childhood friend's house (he has a drop-dead gorgeous new 760Li). but i must admit; the handling and performance truly exceed that of both the Audi and Lexus LS430. i thought i was in my SL55 (though not as fast).
The new 2004 A8L:
it's overall, the best car (out of the Audi, BMW, and MB) that fits me well. inside, the quality if PERFECT. i mean everywhere; take a look at the hydraullic hinge supporting the front hood. or the materials used inside; the wood, materials... although most people call it "overly-conservative" or "boring design", but to be honest with you guys; it's really quite beautiful; the lines are smooth, and there are no design areas that are controversial. on the contrary, i find that the A8L has the classic lines of a traditional luxury-sedan, with a splash of modernization. perfect balance. this was one of the major reasons why i did not decide to purchase another LS from lexus; so boxy and unimginative. but, the only reason why i am rather "iffy" on buying an Audi, is that i think that the name until recently was never as "uber-sounding" as the name 'Mercedes-Benz' 'BMW' or 'Jaguar'. Then, it made me feel, "hey! if you pay ,less than $5,000 more, you can drive a Mercedes!" or "At the same time, I can drive a BMW flagship model. Why not?"
But, i guess seeing is truly beleiving. when i first saw the review edmunds.com, i though the A8L was as borring as ever, but after seeing it in person, I was truly impressed with Audi. (my daughter has a Audi TT right now and i am quite pleased in terms of fit-n-finish, performance, safety, and reliability.)
but then, after thinking it over, I can't help but say to myself: "Come on... i'm driving a Mercedes-Benz S-Class, essentially the most luxurious and sought-after luxury sedan on the road. A Mercedes will always be a Mercedes."
And you know what? Even after flipping through pages and pages of receipts from my dealership, showing problems that were fixed, issues that at first couldn't be resolved, that needed 1-3 months to be fixed, i then stare at the front of my car, then at the silver, star-
i chuckle to myself, smile, and then can't help but to take the S-Class out for a spin around town.
#2691 of 24726 i_drive
Aug 30, 2003 (11:13 pm)
If you're concerned about the reliability of MB you should not even consider an Audi. I would prefer a Lexus any day of the week even with its Amana refrigerator styling. Its not as if the styling of the big Audi is all that compelling anyway to justify the maintenance nightmares I have been reading about on this car.
The big BMW may be the 'ultimate driving machine' but its got a rear end that looks like an ethnic joke. Haven't sat in a 7 series lately but they have always made me feel clautrophobic and don't 'age' nearly as well as MBs do. Compare a 10 year old MB with a 10 year old BMW and you'll see what I mean. MB has always had the knack (as far as I'm concerned) of designing cars with lasting appeal. Even when I don't like the original design it usually 'grows' on me. ALthough the ML and SLK have been an exception to that rule.
I'll be trading in my E this fall for an S 500 4 matic. Audi, BMW and Lexus are not even on the horizon in my opinion.
#2692 of 24726 bad day today
Aug 31, 2003 (8:33 am)
this morning i took my son to his friend's house and while driving back, i got hit in the rear of the SL55 (only 3 weeks old). we pulled over immediately and inspected the damage:
1) Rear bumper dented in/out 2-3 centimeters on right/left side.
2) Paint damage/chip on trunk lid/lip
3) Trunk lid lip dented in approx. 1-1.5 centimeters
4) Undercarriage lopsided (right side collapsed, while left side still attached)
5) Cracked rear right taillight.
6) Don't think that power roof will close as the roof was open while driving, and the rear lid won't open.
7) slight ripple at the back of the trunk, and exhaust pipe damaged.
You will not believe what I was hit by:
a HUGE black Hummer H2. and what a coincidence: i happen to know his guy as he is one of the parents at my child's school.
overall, i was extremely surprised how much damage there as on the SL.
well he was extrememly apologetic about it. although the rear of my car was quite sad looking, the front of the Hummer was basically not-affected at all (you can see small scratches and paint chips here and there).
i was able to drive it to a nearby dealership and they have told me that i will have to wait approx. 1 month for new parts to come in, as well as an insurance agent to inspect the damage.
at first they offered me a C240 kompressor, but at the end, i got an ML320 loaner. a far cry from an SL, but i'm grateful that i did not sustain any injuries as we were going through stop-and-go traffic on a local street, and he accelerated and hit me at around 15-20 MPH.
my wife already told me, "hahaha. told you not to get it. serve you right."
Aug 31, 2003 (8:49 am)
MBs seem to sustain substantial damage on crash tests in minor 5 mph collisions. The engineers say that it is designed that way to absorb rather than transmit the shock to the cabin. I don't know. Good luck with your car.
Aug 31, 2003 (11:32 am)
My deepest sympathies. Glad you're all right. Shame on your wife for the comment. That's like hitting you when your down.
Aug 31, 2003 (6:23 pm)
I am sorry to hear about your accident. You are very fortunate to own such a vast array of automobiles. If you had major problems with your s430, stay away from the Audi. It is a shame the car is junk, because it is so beautiful in and out imo. When are you planning to replace your S?
And lastly, I wouldn't call the S430 slow, by any means. But if you just got out of your SL, I would imagine anything would feel slow though.
Aug 31, 2003 (6:50 pm)
i know. of all people, i happened to marry a woman who has absolutely no interest whatsoever in cars. (she always gets the new GX confused with the ML500, or the new Accord coupe with my SL. i am not joking at all). i had to fool (or trick) her into getting the Lexus on our anniversary by going to the dealership, asking to drive a demo GX, and at the end, i arranged the manager to offer my wife to bring it home for the weekend. when she bluntly said "no", he said "too bad, here's the keys. it's yours." (she was so attached to her Mercedes ML that seconds later, she was crying at the Lexus dealership, and everyone was staring at us)
is Audi really that bad? i guess seeing can be deceiving. i was truly impressed by the overall fit-in-finish of the A8L, TT, allroad...i knew that the older models of audi suffered significant reliability issues, but i thought that audi changed. my daughter's audi TT is working beautifully for her. i guess not.
i am planning on trading in the S-Class anytime now if i can get a good deal on a new good car. i used to own a '89 300E 2.6 Black Pearl metallic that was truly dear to me (actually my wife). that was my favorite MB that i ever purchased. it never failed her for the 10 year that we owned it, and boy, you should have seen her the day we traded it in for the ML320 (i thought our 14-year old family dog died).
it had 100,000 miles on it when the mileage ticker stopped working, so i estimate that it had about 115,000 miles when we sold it.
i am trying to find more pictures of the official refresh for the 2004 7-series. so far, based on what i have seen, i am not impressed. i actually think that the front headlamps do not look as dramatic as before; i liked the "eagle-like" look of the original headlamps more. the rear looks just the same. i don't know if the sources i went to were lousy, though.
my SL is in the body shop right now. i was informed that it would take a little over a month for new parts to come in. i told them to go a good job this time, as last time when my S430 was hit in the rear again, it took 2 months, and the entire lining of the trunk was loose, and a loud metal-against-metal sound could be heard in the rear seats. they have been unable to find the "noise" at the back.
I am also considering replacing the radio antannae. i don't know about other fellow 2000-2003 S-Class owners, but the FM, particularily AM reception stinks. all i really hear is static. the dealership (i have complained constantly to MB USA, and the dealership itself) apparently does not know what is wrong. they said the sameting when my gas gauge fluctuated between FULL and 1/4 within 2 minutes. they took out the entire dashboard, rear gas tank sensor, and all i know is that it still moves up and down (though not as badly), and as a result, there are more rattling noises BOTH near the instrument cluster and behind the rear headrests.
Sep 01, 2003 (9:30 am)
Ah, yes the good old 300e. I have 150 thousandish miles on mine. Such a wonderful car to drive. I can't imagine trading it in for an M though! What a difference in those two cars.
I am sure you could get a good deal on a 2003 S. But, you might want to wait for the 2004. It gets the 7 speed tranny. But if that isn't important to you, just go for the 2003. Are you considering the 430 or the 500?
Audi and VW just aren't reliable. Audi has made the A8 attractive to more customers. But, they will never keep them if they can't grasp some quality control. It is a shame, really, because they make beautiful cars. Their interiors are top notch. And I wish that were reason enough to buy a car.
And, BMW. The 2004 7, should be changed in some areas. But I am not expecting anything durastic. Hopefully they will make the rear more attractive. Chris Bangle is walking on very thin ice right now. The 5 will be the true test of his fate with BMW.
Sep 03, 2003 (7:16 am)
My dealership has a 2003 Alpina Z8 available. Has anyone had any experience with a Z8? The car is a beauty, but I am hesitant as I know that they were never very popular.