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.
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.
Oct 03, 2003 (3:01 pm)
It is really not fair to compare the S430 or S500 price to the $55.5k base of the LS. In truth an LS430 ultra will list at $71k and is equally equipped as an S430 that would go in the $76-77k range. What makes Lexus different is they don't shove everything down your throat and force you to buy every option the ultra has. You'll never see a $55k LS430 because Lexus, at a minimun, puts the premium package on it which gets you to $58k. From what I've been told you won't see too many cars with just the premium package this year. But you will see a good balance of cars that are priced at $61K (that modern lux package), $66k (custom lux) and $71k (ultra lux). So from a price/options choice perspective you get more choice from Lexus to hold prices down.
pathdoc - I found in 2001 that the LS430 with euro suspension easily outhandled a base S430 or S500. It still road incredibly smooth and quiet and don't ever expect Lexus to move away from there. The 2004 outfitted with that euro suspension is supposed to be the best handling car yet. Automobile mag said on one hand that the euro was better than air suspension and actually handled very well and rode better than either the air or standard suspension. On the other hand they also said the car does things so effortlessly that it reminds them of a first class hotel and makes you forget the road. That has always been the knock on the car so if you want that hard road feel you'll never get it at Lexus. That in turn means Lexus will never win one of those comparos the mags love to put on. that is money in the bank for the next 25 years or so. BMW is the place to go for that and they will win most of those comparos. Those things aren't about the cars they are about the drivers preferences. I'm a ritz carlton type hotel person when I'm not renting condos on vacation and that is exactly what I want then and the Lexus LS430 is the closest thing to the ritz on the road. The 2004, from, what I've read so far delivers what I'm looking for more than ever.
#2952 of 24726 LS430vs S500
Oct 03, 2003 (3:11 pm)
I realize that the LS430 is much less expensive than a S500. I guess my point is that if you can afford either and want the best from the point of view of handling,ride and performance I have chosen the Mercedes. The article which I listed came to the same conclusion. I am sure that if soft ride was the number one criteria lexus would probably prevail. I still have an open mind and after driving a new XJR last week may take an entirely different route next year. The new Jag. may be more of a (price) competitive vehicle. The list price is not much more than a loaded LS430.
Oct 04, 2003 (5:01 am)
In maybe 2-3 more years we'll see a hybrid LS, and that sort of powertrain should be like adding 2 more cylinders to the engine...and the engine at the time may be greater than 4.3 liters. And hybrid will give you awd, not to mention better fuel economy. So there is a very good chance that, depending on what MB comes up with, the LS will significantly out-accelerate the S500 of that timeframe...and still be priced way less. But as ljflx suggests, Lexus is still going to give you less road feel than MB.
Oct 04, 2003 (9:50 am)
I have been toying with the idea of purchasing a new S600. I am curious if anyone on this board has owned a current generation S600 and can share their impressions and real-world experiences? Although I am somewhat interested in waiting for the next generation S600 (since the new generation appears to be only 12 – 18 months away) I am considering the 2004.