Last post on May 11, 2010 at 11:16 AM
You are in the Mercedes-Benz E-Class
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Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Sedan
#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?
#5887 of 6720 Re: MB vs Lexus [habitat1]
Aug 22, 2004 (3:39 pm)
The 1999 300TD was an anomaly since it was the last year of the diesels until the new 320CDI. It kept a much higher resale value due to its low volume and high popularity with the legions of MB fans that love diesels. With the new CDI, the 300TD will converge on the gas E320's of it's respective years resale-wise.
You can't compare that to the LS400. Besides the right comp for the LS is the S class, not the E. (IMHO). If you think the LS resale % looks low, try the 1999 S on for size. The 1999 S was the last of the 'big' S class that exhibited the traditional MB styling.
Now, regarding your JDP data. The JDP web site doesn't go back to 1998 but it does cover 2000. For the JDP VDS (their vehicle dependability survey based on four to five years of ownership )
Problems reported for Lexus ( per 100 vehicles )
Problems reported for MB ( per 100 vehicles )
Note that MB improved to 296 in 2001, but was worse than the industry average of 355 in 2002, and was 318 in 2003.
Industry average ( per 100 vehicles )
Lexus continues to improve as does the industry as a whole. MB unfortunately is still osciallating around the their 2000 levels.
IMHO, your friends that are dumping their Lexus because they are 'bored' and go buy a MB indeed won't have a boring ownership experience. They'll get to know loaners and service writers and waiting rooms at their friendly MB dealership.
#5888 of 6720 Re: MB vs Lexus [footie]
Aug 23, 2004 (3:05 am)
Interesting. I ventured over to the Lexus LS board for the first time ever to see if you (and others) were as enthusiastic about promoting your beloved Lexux to each others as to readers of the E class forum.
Apparantly not. There are more complaints in the last 40+/- posts than here on the E class forum, capped off by the most recent post as of this morning:
"6252 of 6252 Re: 2004 LS Transmission Recall [milsuperdoc] by jj655 Aug 21, 2004 (6:13 pm)"
Transmission Recall is not a joke. Ironically, I was driving my 04 to the dealer for the recall and on the freeway it died on me and lost all power. This caused me to drive off the roadway and I almost crashed into the guard rail. I wish LEXUS would have taken this issue more seriously and had tow trucks sent to all owners.
For other 2004 LS430 owners.. Be careful.. this is a real recall & safety issue. I don't want to see anyone get killed or injured.
Lexus is getting a nasty letter from me. The way I found out about the recall is this forum, rather than a letter in the mail from Lexus.
Good luck to other owners.
Well, Footie??? Maybe you should respond to Jeff with all of your propaganda about Lexus superior reliability and customer service? Or you could go over to the GX470 board and explain to me, and about 100 others, why about 70% of the GX 470's made have a "vibration problem" at 60-65 mph which is readily apparant to owners and service technicians, but yet to be formally acknowledged and corrected at the manufacturing plant by Lexus? My wife and I were seriously considering a GX470 as an SUV replacement this fall, but so far, every other GX owner we've talked to has experienced the vibration and/or "transmission clunk" issue. One of my wife's friends is now submitting a lemon law claim over this annoyance for which they have been back to the dealership no less than 4 times since December.
Now I'm sure you are tempted to respond with some claim that these experiences are anecdotal and JD Powers is gospel. Don't bother. That is B.S. The J.D. Powers "scientific" methodology for gathering complaints, regardless of seriousness, and lopping them together for an overall rating is pretty damn suspect. Acura ranked #1 this year in spite of plaguing automatic transmission problems and major disgruntlement from a large number of previous TL buyers. Of course, that only counts as "one problem" to JD Powers and gets the same weight as a sunroof rattle. I still bought a 2004 TL with a MANUAL transmission, but I'm not running around telling Mercedes or Lexus owners that Acura is a better brand. I am much more inclined to put value in HOW Lexus, Nonda/Acura, MB, BMW, etc. deal with problems. And from what I can tell, neither Lexus nor Acura are at the top of their game in this department. It appears Jeff would agree with me, but why don't you try to convince HIM otherwise?
Aug 23, 2004 (8:18 am)
1st re-visit in over a year. Amazing amount of inter and intra-make bashing on a forum populated by genteel folk discussing upscale cars... Trouble in paradise or just bored? I guess being wannabe middle class has its rewards after all.
#5891 of 6720 Re: MB vs Lexus [habitat1]
Aug 23, 2004 (5:52 pm)
Right. (IMHO of course)
Given the stakes of the JDP ratings to their customers, the automobile companies, if it were suspect, the Ford, Chevy, MB legal teams would be in high gear.
Instead, not a word to the contrary.
Stats is stats, my friend. What matters is the stakes and stakeholders and this ain't Texas Holdem.
There was a wonderful BBC broadcast today about the German automobile industry having to finally deal with grossly overpaid workers and lip-service attention to 'lean manufacturing' and TPS style manufacturing methods. German autoworkers get 34 Euros/hr, while France is 21 and the UK is 18. Their productivity is in the tank, the product poorly executed.
VW, Audi, MB and BMW all face on-going market share erosion until they get turned around. They can't differentiate their cars on the basis of historical brand value when problem rates are down with Kia and Mitsubishi while equivalent or better vehicles in virtually every market segment, work better, cost less And increasingly more importantly to an aging generation of buyers, cars from Lexus, Infiniti, Acura are much more hassle free.
Sure the faithful, in love with the 'driving' experience, show up to plunk down their money for what they think is the product of old. But unfortunately, that's just what they get. Everyone else has moved on.
FYI... I am not in 'love' with Lexus. I just don't care for companies that pretend that their products are the best, when they aren't.
#5893 of 6720 Re: MB vs Lexus [footie]
Aug 24, 2004 (7:06 am)
"FYI... I am not in 'love' with Lexus. I just don't care for companies that pretend that their products are the best, when they aren't".
You referring to Mercedes or Lexus? Hooked up with Jeff yet? Seriously, your services are needed in other forums more than they are needed, or apprecaited, here:
2084 of 2090 Vibration Lemon Lawsuit by nbfc260 Aug 23, 2004 (12:36 pm)
I just recieved my ruling on the lemon lawsuit that i brought agianst Lexus for the vibration, and they ruled against me. According to Lexus they admitted that my GX470 has the vibration but ALL the GX470 have the vibration to some degree, some more than others. So since all the trucks have this problem the abritrator felt that it doesn't impair the value of the truck and it is not a safety issue. If anybody else has a lemon lawsuit I would like to hear how yours went. I guess im stuck with mine. Glad I spent $50,000 for a vibration.
That's an interesting response. Since Lexus screwed up on ALL the GX470's, no one buyer is affected more adversly than another. That's the "passionate pursuit" of something, but it sure as hell isn't quality in my book.