Last post on Jan 28, 2013 at 6:55 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.
#3476 of 24723 What should I buy?
Nov 10, 2003 (5:23 pm)
I ride a Honda CB100 and have never owned a car in my life, so I really need some help. My wife wants a nice big Sedan, and I don't want to spend more then $20,000. Should I get an early 1990s MB S class or BMW 7 series, or a more recent Lexus, Infiniti?
Are there any particular years when the MB S class was really fine, like wine? Or the Lexus Es? Any models or years to stay away from?
I'm really starting from scratch here, so I'd appreciate all reasonable advice. Thanks in advance.
#3477 of 24723 What should I buy? by miroslav1
Nov 10, 2003 (6:06 pm)
Opinions are like "you know whats" ...and you are bound to get a wide range of ideas around here.
Are you sure that you want to ask us? There are a few folks that will tell you any MB is the best bet. Of course, there are others who will tell you that the reliability of a Lexus is the way to go. Then, somebody will tell you that the ultimate driving machine is a BMW. etc, etc.
For starters, you need to decide whether there is a characteristic or look that you want in your car...Or, is there a ride, comfort, and convenience issue that makes you happy. OR, are you wanting reliable, low maintenance operation?
You need to decide what is the most important thing to you, but you also need to shop hard and look at a bunch of cars if you are buying used.
I am not even going to offer a strong opinion because there will be ten other viewpoints that disagree. However, my general thoughts, based on budget and practicality are that a used car under 20k may be a best bet with a Lexus or an Infiniti.
For best used value with high content you can take a look at Infiniti. The Q45's have had poor resale as new cars, but they are a good buy if you are picking up a used one cheap.
#3478 of 24723 miroslav1
Nov 10, 2003 (8:57 pm)
I'll second everything that DonnFenn said and ask you what are you looking for in terms of ride. Do you want a sport handling car or a softer luxury ride? Do you want a more recent model say a mid 90's sedan or one that is 10 years old? In the latter grouping all the cars will be around the same price point assuming they have similar high miles on them. Lexus and Infiniti (don't rule out the Acura Legend or RL either) will offer you the best chance for a more reliable car but there are no guarantees that you will get a trouble free car and repair bills are not cheap in this league. If you go the real high end route I would stay away from anything with an air suspension. Since the Infiniti Q doesn't hold its value well anyone who buys a pre-owned one is getting a great car at a low price and can buy a later year model. The Q45 has poor resale value because of its lack of popularity and not because it lacks abilility or luxury. It's a lot of car for the money and an excellent car if you seeking the best bang for the buck. For what its worth I had a family member and friend buy out two cars at the end of my lease terms. The first was a 93 Acura Legend and the second was a 95 LS400. Both cars are still around today and both have surpassed the 200k mark in miles. Lastly I'd get my hands on the Consumer Reports buyers guide. The 2004 edition just came out and it has a large section that tells you what the problem cars have been and what areas of each car have been problem prone over the years. It will also point out what model years are better than others within the same brand.
Merc1 - Agree completely with you on your Lexus comment re sporting things up. Regardless of low volume car comments made earlier, if you really want to play in the rareified air long-term than putting out AMG's and M-class models as well as V-10's/12's is a cost of doing business. If they lose money it becomes an extension of a marketing expense and if they make money then all the better. I think Lexus will enter that space after 2005 as they redo their body styles.
Nov 10, 2003 (10:40 pm)
Your second paragraph of post #3475 raises some interesting points. Yes Mercedes has more models than ever before, but that isn't the main reason for their quality decline, cost cutting is. Some of which may or may not be linked to having to absorb losses at Chrysler. This sheer depth of models means there is always something new to try, so a many a MB buyer (not all) will stay with MB until they sort out their issues. This has been witnessed right here on this very board. A LS430 or SC430 buyer doesn't have any other choice after that but to get another LS or SC, which I'm sure is fine for many, not saying it isn't...just trying to make the point about product...not desirability.
Toyota's Lexus on the other hand has been very conservative with their lineup when it comes to additions. They only new segment they've entered is the sport sedan segment with the IS300, and it hasn't been a success. Lexus' best products are the LS, ES, their SUVs and the SC430. The difference between Lexus and Mercedes is that Lexus' sales dominance is based on somewhere around 50 percent of those sales being based on SUVs. Mercedes' sales aren't dependent on any one model as they all are top sellers in their respective segments. If Mercedes is spread too thin, Lexus is just the opposite....no variety. I wouldn't want to be that dependent on one particular segment (SUV) of the market.
Mercedes is only doing what they've always done, many versions of the same car. BMW and Audi do the same thing, they just don't have as many models (like the CLK, CL, SL) to do it with. You should see all the C, E and S-Class variants that we don't get here. Euro makers have always done this, it's nothing new. For years Mercedes' most loyal customers asked for more variants, and just looking the sales numbers it was justified. Look for BMW (6-Series, X3, 1-Series, possible X7) to do the same thing in just about a year or so.
" How many muscle cars does the market need ?"
None. It's not about "need" its about want, lust, desire, but definitely not need. Everyone has a tuner product nowadays, its all the rage, similar to the SUV thing. Even Volvo has a 300hp S60R, with an adjustable suspension that has one mode only suitable for the track. This is from Volvo!
You see my point..yikes! I'd like to see what the mighty Toyota/Lexus could do if allowed to let their hair down with a hi-po variant of the next GS.
#3480 of 24723 fast cars
Nov 11, 2003 (4:16 am)
Back in the '60s it was said that "musclecars were never more than 5% of the total market.
I would be curious what it is now.
Especially in light of the fact that many sedans are quicker than 90-95% of the musclecars of the '60s.
Nov 11, 2003 (9:45 am)
The best big used luxury sedan you can buy for 20,000 or less is a low milage Lexus LS400...
They are Very dependable...The most dependable car you can buy.
#3482 of 24723 merc1
Nov 11, 2003 (10:10 am)
You stated: "This sheer depth of models means there is always something new to try, so a many a MB buyer (not all) will stay with MB until they sort out their issues. This has been witnessed right here on this very board. A LS430 or SC430 buyer doesn't have any other choice after that but to get another LS or SC,..."
Great point. Your whole post makes a lotta sense to me now. Indeed, I think I agree with you 100% in everything you said. Wow !!! That is a first, hopefully of many more to come, lol !
Lexus truly needs to liven things up. Hope someone up there at Torrance, California, is listening.
Nov 11, 2003 (10:54 am)
I also agree. But remember that Lexus has said, quite often, they don't intend to be all things to all people. MB tries very hard to do that, thus you have cars as low as $26k starting points these days and an A-class model which will be lower still. Part of the reason for that is clearly due to the way the European market evolved over time as merc1 stated. Secondly merc1 is talking from the enthusiasts standpoint and he's 100% right from that view. But last week Toyota announced record profits of $5bln in a six month period during a period where the Yen strengthened. An exceptionally strong performance to say the least given the currency rates worked against them. So they obviously have done things very well. They will spice things up but it will be a mild flavor. Right now its obvious from the Tokyo show their next big startegy is hybrids, sportier designs and AWD on most models. They'll play to the hard core enthusiasts a bit but they are clearly looking to blow the cover off the ball with their hybrid technology.
#3484 of 24723 MB failing again, in residual
Nov 11, 2003 (1:00 pm)
MB falling behind BMW, Lexus & Acura in residual race, with Infiniti closing in fast. Caddy is improving, but still way behind the pack! Article doesn't say, but probably Audi doesn't do too well either. Full article
http://www.autoweek.com/cat_content.mv?port_code=autoweek&cat- - _code=carnews&loc_code=index&content_code=01697582
MB purportedly is unconcerned, saying many of its products are nearing end of cycle. Funny, they never needed that excuse in the past, when they were always the top guy! It's time for them to make real adjustments, not excuses!
#3485 of 24723 reliability
Nov 11, 2003 (1:58 pm)
There is no question that reliability experiences of buyers and media articles about it are hurting MB. But the new E should have helped offset a lot of the product aging they discuss in the article since its MB's biggest seller. I know at least 10 MB buyers, some who wouldn't have looked at another car in the past, who have moved to BMW and Lexus. They won't go back until MB addresses and fixes the reliability issues it has. It's inevitable that perception will catch up to reality at some point and it is probably starting to happen.
By the way I respect and greatly admire the incredible depth of MB vehicles available. Having so many variants of cars is no easy task and is the mark of a great company. It is also a reason why MB prices are higher than everyone else as the less syndicated products you have the higher your unit cost overall is to manufacture. So that cost gets averaged in to all cars produced and the person shopping your basic MB pays more for both the product diversity and the brand image. But when the residuals start to fall from historical levels those higher new prices will not be supportable long-term.