O think that the older Mercedes/Lexus are better than the new ones
I agree with you about these newer cars.
I have a 1990 Lexus LS400 (first year for Lexus) and in my opinion- the 1990-1994 Lexus LS400s are better cars than the new LS430s. The 1990-94, 95-97 & 98-99 LS400s are built like tanks. I have absolutely no complaints with my 90 LS400. It has 225K and still runs like new and is still 100% squeak and rattle free. Engine is so smooth and quiet- I have to often look at the tachometer to see if the engine is still running. Very impressive.
On the Lexus forums- similar to these- many LS430 owners originally owned a LS400 and I have heard that the LS400 is a better car. Same with Mercedes. I think the newer cars (especially Japanese and German cars) do not have a quality as high as the 80s-early 90s models. I would rather have a 1981-91 Mercedes S-Class sedan, or a 92-95 S-Class Mercedes over a new S-Class, or a 1990-94 LS400 over a new LS430.
I think if you were to drive a 1990-1994 Lexus LS400- even one with high miles- you would agree that the workmanship and quality of materials on the 1st generation Lexus LS models is better than the new one. Same with the Mercedes. I have heard that on the newest S-Class Mercedes, that they switched to a lot of hard plastic panels, such as the glove box door and trim around the bottom of the seats. This was unheard of on a 1980s Mercedes- where high quality materials, with lots of padding prevail in the cars. Same with Lexus (and all other Japanese makes). Almost EVERY interior panel in the 90-94 LS400 is a high quality padded panel, with top notch fit and finish. On the new Toyotas (maybe even Lexus) they switched to a lot of hard plastic on the newest models. I have heard same is true for Mercedes.
I also agree about the ride quality you mentioned. The 1990-2000 LS400s had the smoothest ride- especially the air-ride suspension models. Still, the non-air ride models had about one of the smoothest ride of any car in the 90s. I have heard that the ride quality went down on the 01-03 LS430. For 1993- the LS400 received larger brakes and tires. Also- the 90-99 LS400s are rear wheel drive cars.
The 84 Mercedes 300SD I test drove had a extremely smooth, soft ride. I think the newer Mercedes have a firmer ride.
Despite these minor complaints, the LS430s are still fine cars, but not like they used to be.
1993 Mercedes 400SEL 4dr
2012 Honda Civic LX 4dr
1972 Chevrolet Caprice Kingswood Estate 9-passenger wagon
1973 Pontiac Grand Ville 4-dr hardtop sedan
1988 Mercedes 300SEL (was mine, now mothers)
Last edited by 86560SEL; 12-02-2003 at 01:25 AM.