I agree with the toyota look of the car(but do you like the interiors of the brand new MB's)...
but you discount the reliability of the cars...obviously especially in the first 5 years of ownership...I think that is crucial for return "new car " buyers, and for resale value of the cars because I think it has a lot to do with the reputation of the brand
as for having the heads off...I would be willing to bet the MB dealers have seen a few more heads off..perhaps more than Lexus
I the the Lexus "phenomenon" has shaken up the whole luxury car mentality in regard to reliability and value for the dollar
My tech at my MB dealer has told me many horror stories of the first 3 years( 92-94) of the 140's...MB flying techs in to trouble shoot cars, instrument cluster electrical shorts,shimmying steering wheels,customers returning to have items fixed 3-4 times and very angry customers who often had paid in excess of 70K for their cars and thought they were perhaps buying the best car in the world..only to have it spend months out of the year at the dealer service bay...many say the car was rushed to market ...??
I was speaking with the sales manager of the BMW dealer in Cincinnatti(over thanksgiving dinner) and he told me the same thing about the new BMW 745I...tons of teething problems with the cars they have sold so far..many customers have had cars in 4-5 times for multiple electrical gremlins...BMW has sent out company techs to trouble shoot customers cars...I was told BMW has bought back a few cars already...again...someone paying that much probably thought they were getting the best car in the world..wonder if they still think that way...
was the car ready for market?
but ..I have never heard of Lexus having these types of issues...sure I am sure some of the cars have issues...but none of the mass shop time I have seen the other premium models endure
and you gotta think why are many people afraid of the 140 or the prior 7 series(95-01) but not afraid of owning the LS400(430) without a warranty...it is heresay or perhaps the reputation the cars have....look at the resale value of the 750IL or the S600 V-12's...its astounding how quick the values fall...and some extended warranty companies won't even touch those two models..I even heard there were probelms getting an extended warranty on a 140 5-6 years ago
..you gotta think thats due to some statistic information that was compiled by the actuarial part of these insurance companies in regard to repair cost and frequency
1992 300SD 152K