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.
#2941 of 24726 Build quality
Oct 03, 2003 (11:05 am)
My comments were about the 2003 E class. When I bought my first Benz in '94 (C class) I had test driven the LS and liked the ride of the C class better. Thought it felt more solid although it had a very conservative design before they redesigned it. This is not "bashing" Lexus in order to "elevate" MB. It is a statement that I drove both cars and was sold on the MB. Since then I have purchased a '99 SL and '00 E 320 4 matic. I completely agree with the observation that these cars do not feel as solid as (even)the '94 C class. However the 2003 E class I test drove the other day seemed to exude the solidity that MBs of old had a reputation for. Note that saying that MB has a more solid feel than a Lexus is not the same as saying that they are more reliable. On repeated occasions I have ackolwedged that Lexus is more reliable. I do think, however, that this difference in reliablity is over-rated and is complettely trumped by MBs better aesthetics, ride, safety and innovation. The E class is the appropriate comparison to the LS430. I believe that the E is a btter car overall. The S clas is in a different class (no pun intended) altogether and is so superior to anything Lexus makes that it's not a fair comparison (also different price point).
Oct 03, 2003 (11:20 am)
Yes, but, your power windows in the LS430 will probably not fail and drop into the door, and your A/C will probably work without a problem. In the S class, that's not a sure thing, trust me.
Does that make the S a bad choice, no I don't think so. Just a different priority. Depends on what you like, bulletproof, or 150MPH.
Oct 03, 2003 (11:32 am)
As I said you obviously need to feel good about your purchase. I won't even begin to knock an s-class, it's a great car reliability problems and all. Superior to an LS430 - not in my book. They are pretty much equals. The E vs LS - Everyone I know who plays in this league shops the LS vs the S for a very simple reason - size of car. I looked at the E a few years ago and dismissed it immediately because of its size. I honestly never realized how small it was. I wouldn't buy it anymore than I'd buy an ES300 because I could'nt fit my family into it comfortably.
NYbanker - agree - but I've never driven more than 110mph in my life - and when i did that speed it was in a 1995 LS400 which handled it with ease.
Oct 03, 2003 (1:05 pm)
Well, since the S430 costs 31% more than the LS430, is 9% slower 0-60, has 5% less HP and 8% less torque, it had better be "superior" in SOME ways to SOME people, else MB would sell zero units.
Hands down, MB wins in sheer prestige. Aesthetics are a personal judgement, and in my personal opinion the S does offer more attractive exterior styling (but not necessarily interior).
As far as "ride" and handling, I will agree that the LS is more oriented toward luxury. But Lexus isn't the slouch you seem to think. Here's a quote from the only available review of the 2004 LS: "...lead some to believe that the LS 430 doesn't handle well when compared with such European benchmarks as the BMW 7 Series or Mercedes-Benz S-Class, but we haven't found that to be the case. The LS 430 can, in fact, be driven hard, whereupon it reveals lots of grip and very good handling." (The full review is at http://www.nctd.com/review-intro.cfm?ReviewID=1432 and the writer, btw, "won the California Rally Series championship in 1993 and was named Rookie of the Year. He went on to win the SCCA Southern Pacific Division Pro Rally championship in 1994" so one might think he knows a bit about cars.)
Yes the S might be better in some things but not all, else why would the LS win plaudits like Automobile Magazine's "best luxury car over $40k" (Feb 2002): "Quite simply, the LS 430 nails the luxury-sedan formula in all the key areas."
For you to state that the S is "so superior to anything Lexus makes that it's not a fair comparison" is your OPINION based on what you find important. It is not an objective statement.
Oct 03, 2003 (1:21 pm)
"I do think, however, that this difference in reliablity is over-rated..."
Hmmm. I would guess that the 2,000 E-Class owners who had to have their cars bought back by Mercedes because of problems would disagree. In fact, these problems have caused Mercedes to publically announce they are scaling back on some innovations.
#2947 of 24726 Mercedes S versus Lexus 430
Oct 03, 2003 (2:07 pm)
Ever since Lexus came out with their LS400 I have been test driving them before getting a new Mercedes S500. As the problems have increase with the Mercedes and as content has decreased as well as dealer service I have made every attempt to consider a new Lexus. Nevertheless I have yet to be satisfied with the Ls400/430 when compared to the comparable S500. I haven't given up yet and am still hoping for a V-12 and a truely sports tuned Lexus.I have noticed that my local Mercedes dealer is becoming a little more service oriented. Here is a recent article addressing the Lexus driving experience.http://www.autocarmagazine.com/FirstDrive_Summary.asp?- RT_ID=204169
Oct 03, 2003 (2:31 pm)
"I have yet to be satisfied with the Ls400/430 when compared to the comparable S500"
To each his own as far as what constitutes a satisfying driving experience, and as I've said the LS does tilt more toward luxury.
But your use of the word "comparable" is interesting because there is no comparability when it comes to price: the base S500 goes for 46% more than the base LS430 (2003 MSRPs). If MB sold the S280 in the US, it would list for about the same $55k as the LS430 (based on UK prices of 50,757 euros for the S430, 38,187 for the S280, and US price of $73,320 for the S430).
An S280 would be priced like a LS430...Just how fun would the S280 be to drive???
S280 0-62.5 in 9.7 sec (2003)
LS430 0-60 in 6.3 sec (2003), 5.9 sec (2004)
#2950 of 24726 LS vs S Class comparison
Oct 03, 2003 (2:58 pm)
It is my opinion that the S class is probably superior to the LS 400 dynamically.
I think at 9/10s or 10/10s the S class will show it's heels to a Lexus.
98% of you will never drive that way.
I have a particular road that I drive in NC that
tells the tale of how well a car's suspension is sorted out.
A hard left sweeper at the bottom of a hill.
It pushes the supension down as hard as it ever will go.
In my Camaro the back tires rub the inner fenders.
In my Intrigue the inside wheel would squeal.
In the Impala I can get all four ties squealing.
I have driven 2 LS 400s on it and they understeer and feel a tad flabby.
The S class I drove was remarkably composed and level without any bump stop or jounce problems.
Which car would I buy?
The Lexus, because it will provide me with years of reliability.
Maybe the '04 Sport package will make it a contender.