Last post on Jun 28, 2011 at 8:52 AM
You are in the Mercedes Benz S-Class Sedan
What is this discussion about?
Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Car Leasing, Sedan
#925 of 2088 LS430 or S CLASS
Aug 14, 2001 (10:03 pm)
I want to get a new luxury car and have already narrowed it down to a ultra luxury LS430 or a mercedes S430/500. I love the LS430's interior and features that I want like park assist, laser cruise control, the mark levinson audio system, and the DVD NAV is great. My huge problem is the exterior. It looks just like a Toyoata Avalon and looks like in an old S class from the side a little. I don't know if that look can grow on me. I was offerd 65k at a local auto show for an ultra in March but I didn't know how rare that opportunity was because I wasn't in the market. I called back up today and they offered me 68k. The S class has an awesome sleek design that I love. In fact if I had to say one bad thing about the design it would be that it looks too much like a c class, but you can tell the s class is much bigger though. I wasn't so sure about the command system but my co-worker has one and says it isn't that bad after you learn it. My problem with the s class though is the plastic used in the interior and the price. By the time I get the 6 disc cd changer, the phone, distronic, parktronic, and ventalaited front seats I am looking at 80 grand and one local dealer is pretty set on or about the msrp price? I have a 98 ls 400 and I love it and I want to keep this next car till or about 2010. I know the lexus will last and I do know that the benz can be very expensive to repair but to me there just doesn't seem to be a clear cut winner. Any opinions and advice will be appreciated
#926 of 2088 LS430 or S class
Aug 15, 2001 (5:31 am)
I was facing the same situation last October. I was on the list for one of the 1st LS 430 Ultra's: however when they started coming in I hated the way they looked and the driving position and feel was not even close to the Mercedes S 430. The interior of the Ultra is more luxurios but I felt the whole car was more suited for women. The Levison sound system was not that great compared to the Bose on Mercedes. Also, I didn't like the touch screen in Lexus and found the Mercedes controls for radio/nav/a/c easy to learn after a few test drives. I ended up getting the Mercedes S 430 with no optional equipment except CD. I love this car. It has had a few minor problems but the Lexus has also. I previously had a 98 GS 300 and have decided to never buy the 1st year of a new model ever again. I guess I couldn't stomach spending almost 70 grand for a car that didn't excite me that much. If you can afford close to 70 grand for a thinly disguised Toyota; than one can surely afford 75-80 for the real thing. The way car are so complicated today with computers and gadgets; I wouldn't keep any of these type expensive cars past the warranty.
Aug 15, 2001 (8:08 am)
Your message was OK until you said "If you can afford close to 70 grand for a thinly disguised Toyota; than one can surely afford 75-80 for the real thing."
That was a crock. The LS430 may be made by the same company that makes a Camry and Tercel and Avalon (all front wheel drive 4 and 6 cylinder cars), but they're so far apart from the LS that you can hardly say it's a thinly disguised Toyota. Also saying it's more suited for women is rather sexist. What makes you say that?
The LS430 and MB S430 and S500 are all terrific cars. The S430 and S500 are overpriced by about $10K, but still terrific.
As far as looks, I think the S430 with 16" wheels (I think that's the basic size) looks lame, just as the LS430 does. I saw a silver S600 with 19 or 20" Lorinser wheels that looked unbelievable the other day. I also saw a silver LS430 with 17" factory chrome wheels (and I'm not into chrome wheels) that also looked great. But I agree the LS430 with 16s looks unbalanced and pretty fugly. But color and wheels can make a big difference.
Aug 15, 2001 (9:25 am)
"The S430 and S500 are overpriced by about $10K, but still terrific."
That's interesting because for the past few years, MB has halved the dealer profit margin for all of their vehicles. They make a lot less than they used to. It has been said that Lexus could cut their profit margins as much as MB has, but there is still enough markup for them to easily make significantly more than the MB dealer would.
The S-classes has always been around that price level. I suppose that is what makes it a rather exclusive model, along with the SL and CL-class.
The 16" wheels for the S-class aren't too bad, IMHO, but the sport wheels are great! The tradeoff is that like other cars, the larger wheels = lower sidewall, and hence a higher chance that the wheels will get damaged by debris, potholes or curbs. The lower sidewall also results in a firmer ride due to cushioning from tire, as well as higher unsprung weight. It's also quite difficult to find winter tires for 17" wheels, unless you buy another set of 4 dedicated wheels for winter tires only.
There is also another explanation as to why MBzs (and BMW or Volvo) are more expensive:
Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
Aug 16, 2001 (5:07 am)
The 17 in, wheels in the S600 look terrific
Aug 16, 2001 (5:27 am)
Having test drove both these cars on the same day. I would have to say the S500.
--I -- M -- O
The S interior was very expansive and luxurious. Very open and cockpit like (a bit more swooshy than the previous models. Handled extremely well. ABC extremely helpful, kept the S flat on the road. Handled like I expected it to. My father drove it too...and he had one comment, its SLOW... (keep im mind our other cars are CLK55 and E55, however I dont live with him any more
The car had a certain firmness that you just knew that the car was dead on the road. Although I love how our 560SEL did feel.
The LS very nice inside and out. We drove the fully loaded one with ML sound system, however we did not have a cd . EXTREMELY quiet but still on the light side of steering and just didnt handle. I do not like this lack of road feel -- but thats me. My father, while retired, does like to take the turns and the Lexus did not fit him. The Lexus is one hell of a cruising car. One can sleep extremely well in the back. The leather didnt impress me (This did not have the Ultra). We had a 90 LS400 and the leather was stiched up better, maybe the Ultra would fix this gripe. But the interior was generally boring. I"m not too sure how the leater would wear as well. I do know that we didnt have one single problem with that car OR more importantly THE SERVICE DEPARTMENT.
To go off in a tangent, the Q45 is kinda wierd looking, with a face reminicent of the J30 with the round front. Interior is nice, I just dont like the cliff look.
The new 7 Series is a bit too comtemporary for me, reminds me of the concorde... but done well. I guess intime I'll learn to like it. .
As for price.... the LS is a lot of car for the money and it does represent good value. The MB/BMW you are getting pretty much what you pay for, not to mention the safty of the passengers and they had the autobahn in mind when they were designed and they show in the performance. Dont Forget that the MB also has free maintainence for 4 years, while lexus does not. One overpriced car I feel is the A8...
#931 of 2088 96 s320 a Buy??
Aug 16, 2001 (3:56 pm)
I'm not in the market for a new one of these but the other day I saw a 1996 s320 w/89000 miles. Any recommendations re: the longevity left on this vehicle? We put only 9k a year on cars. It looked like a nice car and is priced at 23.5K very reasonable. I currently have a '98 s70 volvo and this wold be quite a nice upgrade I would think. The volvo has lots of problems (under warranty). It has cost me around $1,000 a year to maintain...so far, so I figure why not maintain this beauty. I'm working on convincing the wife at this point but would appreciate any input on the car......good or bad.
Aug 17, 2001 (4:41 pm)
If you are sensitive to $1000 / yr maintainace costs, then I would do my homework prior to purchasing a used S class. If something goes wrong, a $1000 could be a drop in the proverbial bucket. I was told of an S-class which required $11K worth of warrenty maintainance work. I would highly recommend that you consider a Starmarked car. Bear in mind that I think they are one of the finest cars ever made, just complicated and expensive to repair.
Aug 17, 2001 (7:51 pm)
As mbnut1 says, high end cars (MB, Audi, BMW, and Lexus) service is EXPENSIVE. Granted 9K mi. a year isn't much, so your costs may be low (2 or 3 oil changes, and one big service every 2-3 years), but if something goes wrong and you don't have warranty - it gets expensive in a hurry. Suggest you have the car microscopically checked out.
The older S class is a tank, but even tanks need maintanence.
Aug 18, 2001 (6:07 am)
Thanks. The car was dealer serviced but I will have it checked. I guess my beef is that my current car has already needed breaks twice, rotors once (28K!!!) and other incidentals not covered by the warranty. Also, there has been a ton of warranty work done on-top of the required maintenance. I'd rather maintain a Benz than a Volvo. At this point a '96 Benz is probably more reliable than the 98 s70. Thanks again