Last post on May 11, 2010 at 11:16 AM
You are in the Mercedes-Benz E-Class
What is this discussion about?
Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Sedan
Aug 15, 2004 (7:53 pm)
You mentioned that you didn't like the looks of the 1999-2002 E-classes...(that's just opinion). The drive train is SO much better on the newer E-class than the previous "E". We have a 1995 E320 in my family and the difference between my 2000 E compared to the older E is like night and day. My 2000 E430 performs SO much better in handling, etc. Don't get me wrong, I like the 1995 "E" convertible because it is larger than the next generation "C" convertible. I hate that Mercedes made the four seater convertible smaller than the 1993-1995 E class cabriolet.
Just my .02, Mark156
#5869 of 6720 Free Maintenance
Aug 16, 2004 (11:23 am)
Our 04 E-320 is our first car purchase that included free preventive maintenance. Other cars have included Cadillac, Buick, Chevy (Corvette), Mercury - and I maintained all of them. Filter replacement, tire rotation, fluid & belt checks, etc. are never that difficult. If you don't want to take the car to MB, an aftermarket garage can do it, but check with MB first about the warranty. As long as the car is serviced IAW the book and receipts available, GM & Ford honored the warranty. If MB won't, consider another manufacturer or pay through the nose for their service. BTW, tire rotation is best done at around 5,000 miles, especially on cars with IRS. I rotated the tires on our E at 5K. We have close to 8K now and everything is still smooth.
#5870 of 6720 Re: Lemons [barry45rpm]
Aug 17, 2004 (1:49 pm)
I think you are a bit confused about Lexus and Mercedes Benz. Yes MB has a longer history, but that does not mean that their quality is up to par with Lexus. Volkswagen and GM also have been around longer than Lexus and their quality isn't exactly #1.
I have a 2001 LS430 and a 2003 ML350. I love the LS430, and my wife loves the ML350 (her car). I have test driven the E-classes many times as well. Hands down the LS430 is the more "solid" car, with tomb-like quietness and unbeatable reliability. You probably don't believe Consumer Reports, but JD Power also rates Lexus as king of the Large and Mid-size Luxury cars with respect to quality. Just check in at some of the Lexus web-sites like clublexus and you realize that they are complaining about almost nothing as compared to Merc owners.
Agree, Mercs are very attractive, but Lexus is the quality king and reliability King. Why do you think Lexus is #1 in luxury car sales.
#5871 of 6720 Re: Lemons [diesel11] - "tomb like quietness"
Aug 18, 2004 (12:45 am)
That's an apt description.
Unfortunately, "tomb like" also describes Lexus in terms driving dynamics. At least for anyone that defines driving dynamics as something other than setting the cruise control on a straight stretch of highway.
I have been a frequent passenger passenger in various LS's as well as SC430's and GS's. Recently, I considered and test drove the GS430 as a sedan replacement. Granted, BMW and Mercedes could learn a few things from Lexus in terms of reliability. However, after riding in and test driving various Lexus models since they first arrived in the US 15 years ago, I am convinced that Lexus' "passionate pursuit" is to build the perfect Buick. The SC430 handles more like an overweight sedan than a 2+2 roadster. The GS430 handles more like a Toyota Avalon than the BMW 5 series it claims to compete with.
I also seriously considered the 2005 E320 CDI and, although I didn't buy it, it's a sad commentary that I found the most "frugal" Mercedes 30+ mpg diesel a hell of a lot more fun to drive, with crisper handling and steering, than the most "sporty" vehicles in the entire Lexus line-up.
To each there own. Maybe if I was indeed "dead", I would would want to be driven to the cemetary in a Lexus hearse. But in the meantime, "tomb like" isn't an attribute I am looking for in a premium vehicle that I want to enjoy DRIVING every day.
Aug 18, 2004 (8:14 am)
I don't disagree on most of your points. Mercedes has a distinct driving attraction over Lexus, but most Lexus drivers don't feel as though this advantage is worth the stark quality and reliability drop-off, as well as the increased cost.
Mercedes has abandoned their original goal of safety and tank-like reliability in favor of new electronic gadgets and features, which is why their reliability is so poor.
Personally, when I spend $50 K on a car I don't want it i n the shop much. Just my opinions, but don't you wonder why Lexus has over-taken Mercedes in sales so quickly?
#5873 of 6720 Re: Merc, Lexus [diesel11]
Aug 18, 2004 (3:33 pm)
This is exactly the decision I came to about 4 months ago when I bought my '04 LS430 vs. an E500. Yes, I did cross shop these two at the time even though many folks on this board think that is heresy to do so. It came down to these after looking at the entire range of vehicles in the market as 4-door sedans. I was in a '98 Lexus GS300 but wanted more room if possible and had a budget that I was working in that topped out around $65-70k range.
I really liked the way the E-class drove and felt but realized that I didn't want to deal with all the hassles that I was reading about Plus had some friends who were sick of their second class treatment at their Mercedes dealers when scheduling service, etc. I realized in evaluating everything that I would value the reliability and quality advantage more than the driving experience when the car was running 100%.
I do enjoy seeing the E-class and may one day be into a Mercedes if they can improve their product quality and reliability back to its historic levels. I had always expected myself to be owning one someday.
I enjoy my LS and don't regret for one single minute my choice and look forward to having it in my hands to drive versus becoming a frequent visitor for unscheduled service at the dealer.
Just my 2 cents worth.
#5874 of 6720 Re: Merc, Lexus [aggie76]
Aug 18, 2004 (5:46 pm)
I can certainly understand the appeal of Japanese reliability and a hassle free ownership experience. I was pretty close to dropping $60k on a Porsche Boxster S as a "fun" car a couple of years ago, but elected to go with a $32k Honda S2000 instead. My neighbors with a Boxster had just had their power roof fail for a third time in less than 18 months and had more than a few other annoyances. That prospect seemed inconsistent with the purpose of a "fun" car. However, my decison was also made a lot easier after test driving the S2000 and realizing that it didn't require any significant compromise to the Porsche in terms of performance and driving feel.
My gripe about Lexus is mostly a personal one. I realize that the majority of Lexus buyers can't tell that much of a difference between an LS and an E-class (or better yet, 5-series) in terms of how they drive. And if I couldn't I wouldn't find the LS as objectionable. I know this sounds harsh, but other than sound insulation and a fantastic looking interior, there really isn't that much of a difference in the way a $18k Toyota Camry and a $60k Lexus LS430 drive. And if you disect the real ground up engineering behind the cars, you will see that there really isn't much of a difference.
I agree that I wouldn't want to buy a $50k-$70k sedan (or $60k fun car), only to have reliability headaches. On the other hand, I don't think Mercedes E-classes or BMW 5-series are as bad as you think. Lexus has yet to dethrone the 530i as Consumer Reports highest rated car of all time.
So if minimizing maintenance is your highest priority, driving dynamics be damned, Lexus is a good choice. But I can't pay that steep of a price, any more than I would trade in my wool suits for polyester ones, just because the latter require less maintenance that the former. Lexus just doesn't feel good to me and, in spite of their ads, I have yet to locate any "passion" in the car, at least not with the engine running.
#5875 of 6720 Re: Merc, Lexus [habitat1]
Aug 19, 2004 (7:23 am)
Yikes, you are a genuine Mercedes snob!. I love the way my car drives and I think this arguement is like saying I like blonds more tha n brunettes. Just cause I like the way my LS drives does not make me stupid or a lesser driver. Yikes lol.
Lexus as a polyester suit, now that's just funny.
I am very passionate about my car, probably as much as you are. I certainly would not imply that Merc owners are not sophisticated people, because they aren't that reliable. According to CR, a 6 month old 7-series has more reliability problems than a 5 year old LS430...now that's just crazy.
I like Mercedes a lot, but do you really think that only you can determine the driving difference...essentially you are implying that most Americans are pretty unsophisticated, as Lexus is by far and away the #1 Luxury seller.
Polyester...yeesh, you need some perspective.
#5876 of 6720 Re: Merc, Lexus [habitat1]
Aug 19, 2004 (10:07 am)
I don't think we disagree at all here - to each their own desires, wants, satisfactions.
I would expect that the engineering is very similar in the Mercedes line-up from low to high end also. If not, if I was paying the price that C-Class folks do for the low end and not receiving the similar attention to engineering quality I think I'd be just a little annoyed to think that way. That Toyota has decided to provide a unique marketing solution to a market is just a creative way of distinguished its products.
#5877 of 6720 Re: Merc, Lexus [diesel11]
Aug 19, 2004 (12:00 pm)
I would NEVER suggest anyone is stupid for preferring Lexus reliability over Mercedes driving dynamics. And if my previous post sounded that way, I sincerely apologize.
Neither was my analogy to polyester to suggest that I thought Lexus was a cheap imitation. I was referring to the fact that there are a lot of products out there - polyester in clothes, vinyl siding on houses, etc.. - that are low maintenance but do not necessarily satisfy the senses. In the case of premium automobiles, I tend to be a bit more concerned about how the car "drives" than the average buyer. I don't think that makes me more sophisticated than most Americans, perhaps just more discerning of my preferences.
For every Consumer Reports or JD Powers rating placing Lexus on the top of the reliability rankings, there is a road test report placing them well below BMW in terms of handling and performance. It's up to you and me to determine our individual preferences and pick the one that best suits them.
As for your blondes vs. brunettes analogy, for me its more of a preference for an fit, athletic build over, shall we say, a "plush" body. Either way it's a preference and neither of us is stupid for our differences.
By the way, I don't own a Mercedes. Although I came pretty close to getting an E320 CDI, I opted for a 2004 Acura TL 6-speed. It gives me a reasonably sporty ride, lots of creature comforts and according to reports by Consumer Reports even higher brand reliability than Lexus (#1 and #2 out of 33 respectively).