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
#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).
#5879 of 6720 E-class vs. the world..
Aug 20, 2004 (8:07 am)
The last 10 or so notes comparing the LS to the E class are very interesting. However, in my case I can't even begin to attempt a direct comparison. I cannot physically fit into a Lexus or the Accura TL (2004). They just don't give me the headroom or allow ordering without a sunroof. So I'm stuck with far fewer options than most folks. Fortunately, MB makes a lot of models that have adequate headroom for me even with a sunroof. That's why I'm on my second E-class (2001 E320). I've purchased both as Starmarked cars with under 40K miles and about 2 years old. This way I get a terrific warranty and I've let the original owner put up with all of the little issues that crop up in the first two years.
This spring when looking for a replacement for my 1996 E320, I got fairly serious about a BMW 530, Maxima, a Chrysler 300, and an Avalon. Not much else was a good fit for me, literally. All would have been new, not used, except for the BMW. And all would have cost a little more than the 2001 E320 I ended up buying (except for the BMW at roughly the same price). I could have gone with the BMW for performance, Avalon for reliability, the Maxima for features, or the 300 for uniqueness and power. But I can't get past the small trunk and rear seat of the BMW, stodginess of the Avalon, the strange styling of the Maxima, and the unknown reliability/issues with the 300. As was pointed out in prior notes, each of us has priorities in what we want in an auto. Mine were performance, handling, interior space, and a luxury ride and decent trunk for long distance trips. My 2001 E-class delivers on all counts as well as having an attractive look to it.
I'm sure as I age a few more years, my need for performance/handling will swing more to quietness and reliability and I may look at Lexus/Infiniti/Accura again. In the meantime, if only Mazda made a large luxury sedan; Zoom, Zoom...!
Aug 20, 2004 (8:28 am)
I believe the reason Lexus sells so well is Price. They simply give you more than MB does for the money. The usual MB E class on a dealers lot contains nothing more than a sun roof & premium sound. No wood wheel, no xenon lights, nothing. When you buy a Benz the base price is just that BASE. Lexus includes more than MB.
The build quality in a Lexus is an included bonus right now, as MB build quality has slipped as it rushed good looking product to market. (They were never head turning beautiful cars like the W211 E class is now), and they ARE painfully aware of the slip up in quality/accessory reliability & are working on it. It has cost them, but Lexus will always be a "less expensive Mercedes", unless MB drops the ball repeatedly and stupidly. (I doubt they will because, you don't have to be a genius to see what MB & Lexus did to Cadillac).
Even the once mighty Cadillac which fell to "also ran" status, is on its way back simply by concentrating in beauty, brains & build quality, proving that you can resurect the dead.
There's also a different build philosphy at MB. The cars are designed like tanks, and as such will last 20 years if given average care. No Lexus or Caddy could do that given better than average care. That's just their design philosophy, being a car widely sold around the world in all kinds of markets... a Luxury car buyer in America doesn't care about the car past 39 months...
#5881 of 6720 Re: Ext. Warranty [microrepair]
Aug 20, 2004 (10:48 pm)
Thanks for the info, I wound up getting a 99 E320 with 66K miles from a non MB dealer. This car was originally purchased from ParkPlace Motorcars (an MB Dealer) on 59 south & Edloe, this location is now owned by Autonation and is called MB of Houston - Greenway.
I will check with them if there is a chance to extend warranty although as u said, it is unlikely. I still would like to know which independent shops right here in Houston to take it to for repairs? any thoughts are welcome..
#5882 of 6720 Why Compare Merc to a ... ?
Aug 21, 2004 (6:30 pm)
If you follow the saying that there is an ass for every driver's seat, then every driver will drive a car differently and NO matter what anyone (neighbor, wife, dealership, car magazine, tv show) says about a car, it all depends on how you, the driver, likes it - and you can like it, or not, for whatever reason that you want.
Price, performance, features, heritage, newness, and a bazillion other things... It is all personal... with 50% of the population on one side of any one topic at a time...
Get your car, be happy with it, if not, sell it and try again...
#5883 of 6720 Re: MB vs Lexus [barry45rpm]
Aug 21, 2004 (6:42 pm)
Your statement "There's also a different build philosphy at MB. The cars are designed like tanks, and as such will last 20 years if given average care. No Lexus or Caddy could do that given better than average care. That's just their design philosophy, being a car widely sold around the world in all kinds of markets... a Luxury car buyer in America doesn't care about the car past 39 months... "
You forgot to use the IMHO when drawing these conclusions instead of blasting away as if your commentary were fact.
The JDPower 5 year surveys surveys show the Lexus line has fewer problems in 3 - 4 years than a new MB in the first 90 days. And the MB problems aren't just little electrical issues. This forum is peppered with failed window risers, door jambs, etc. etc. At MB six sigma is a distant dream.
Like most MB fans here that love to pan Lexus, I think you are full of baloney about Lexus long term reliability.
The same is true for other Lexus/Acura branded cars. If well taken care of, they too go many miles. Our family has had several Acuras with 250K+ miles with just 'normal' maintenance and no warranty issues.
As my sister from Savannah says "We got the money, honey, but we ain't got the time to deal with them Mercedes".
This is why they are getting jettisoned by anyone not trying to reproduce the British car ownership experience from the 1970's.
#5884 of 6720 Re: MB vs Lexus [footie]
Aug 22, 2004 (3:57 am)
I think you forgot to say, "IMHO" as well.
I drive an 2004 Acura TL and elected to relocate my 1995 Nissan Maxima with 153,000 miles to our second home rather than sell or trade it for a nominal amount. So you will get no argument from me regarding Japanese reliability.
However, IMHO, the German makes - specifically BMW and Mercedes - are not as far behind as you imply with your quotes of JD Powers. I only have a hardcopy, no link, but in 1998, Lexus was #1 in reliability, but with MORE reported problems per 100 vehicles than Mercedes or BMW for 2003. So there has been substantial improvement, especially for BMW in the 3 series and 5 series. Again, BMW (5-series), not Lexus, Acura or Infiniti, got the highest score ever awarded by Consumer Reports.
And, since someone else quoted sales figures as an indication of initial quality, I'll throw in resale values as a truer test of long term durability. Check Edmunds used car values of a 1999 E300 Turbodiesel against anything made by Lexus, Infiniti or Acura. This is a vehicle that cost $43,000 brand new (I still have my order that I cancelled) and has a current market value in the low to mid $20's. That's as much or more than a LS400 that sold for closer to $60,000 in 1999. If you look out 6-7+ years, Mercedes are still in high demand. Lexus are not nearly so.
I love my Acura TL 6-speed, with its great interior, sporty handling and numerous features. But I came pretty close to going for the E320 CDI as a car that I could have comfortably driven for the next 10-12 years. Oddly, I know very few Lexus owners in our circles that keep their cars past 4-5 years. They are still very good cars, with a lot of life left in them, but the typical response to "why did you get a new car" is "we got bored".
So I'll end my final post on this by conceding that I probably value reliability and hassle free ownership as much as you, as evidenced by my purchase decisions over the last 10+ years. I just wish Lexus would get off it's fat duff of "relying" upon utensil like reliability (and fine Corinthian leather) as its excuse for building cars that offer absolutely nothing for even a mild driving enthusiast like me. IMHO of course.
#5885 of 6720 Re: MB vs Lexus [habitat1]
Aug 22, 2004 (6:00 am)
Since 1995 my wife and I have owned or currently own 4 Mercedes Benz autos. The first C280 was very good with only front brake pads and a fuel pump (at about 50000 mi) required. The next 2001 E320 with only one problem, temperature display requiring new instrument cluster (under warranty) traded for a 2005 E320 CDI recently (no problems yet). My wife has a 2002 C320 with about 12000 miles and no problems yet. Prior to the C320, my wife's auto was a 1996 Caddilac STL which had many, many problems, mostly electronic.
"IMHO" one can find problems with almost any new auto if they look enough!
In 1991, we drove a Lexus but my wife liked the MB more.
#5886 of 6720 MB repair and service
Aug 22, 2004 (1:33 pm)
In Falls Church Va there is a private MB service and repair shop---- Don Pool Service. The facility is well kept and sports a multitude of MB's new and old for service or repair.
I am curious, does anyone know of this facility and its reputation? Are his prices cheaper ? his work better than HBL or American Service Center in the NOVA area ? I have had excellent service from HBL at Tysons's, but when I run out of warranty, is Don Pool the place to go?