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  #1  
Old 06-13-2005, 09:21 PM
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Mercedes or BMW or Jaguar or Lexus

Hey everyone,

A lot of you know that I've been looking to buy a car as a daily driver and have seeked your wisdom and advice in helping make up my mind. I haven't bought anything yet for 2 reasons.
First, I want to buy a car with service history and that looks like it was well maintained. Most of the cars I've gone to look at are either private owners who want to sell their car, because they can't afford to fix it or dealers who got it on trade and know nothing about the car and also the dealer prices are not buyer friendly.
The second reason why I haven't bought a car is that I haven't decided what car I really want. I have a lot of cars in mind and it's tough picking just one when you don't know all the cars very well.

Today, I addressed that isue. I went and test drove 3 cars one after the other.

1. 2000 BMW 740iL - 60,000 miles Sahara Beige/Beige
2. 1994 Mercedes S500 - 49,000 miles Black/Balck
3. 2001 Jaguar XJ8 - 30,000 miles Black/Black

Here's the verdict. The BMW drives like a dream. It's fun, alive, spacious, quiet, powerful and you feel like you're driving a much smaller car, bacause of its agility. Handling is superb! Visibility is great. I love this car! The rear legroom is incredible. I love the design of the interior and exterior of this car. I could easily buy a car like this in a heartbeat. The 4.4L V8 is just enough power for me for a daily driver. The 750iL with its V12 would get me in a lot of trouble. You don't feel the speed in this car. The heated steering whel is a welcome feature for our colder climate.

The W140 S500....where do I start. The car I was looking was in outstanding condition. It's a 1 owner car that has all service records. I didn't read them since my intention was to drive the car only. Also the asking price was double the market value. The car is huge! I tried the vacuum assist on all doors and trunk and they work fine. I tried reverse to use the rear antennas. That's a nice feature. The interior was spotless and the rear adjustable seat and power headrests are great. I tried all the power options to see if they worked including the windows, rear shade, heated seats, mirrors, climate control, etc... everything worked. The double paned glass gives you a real sense of security. I really like the richness of the materials in this car. On the road the car reminded me of the 80s cars only more powerful and heavier. The car didn't seem to have the finesse or smoothness for the lack of a better word, of a W220. I felt like the engine in this car had to work hard to pull this beast! When driving an R129 SL500 you can see how much of a difference the weight of the W140 punishes the motor. Nevertheless, the car was quite impressive. The ride is superb, other than the fact that the rear shock bushing ,or something like that, was making a squeaking noise the whole time. The presence of the car in traffic is intimidating. You feel like a King in this car. I could easily buy the first W140 I see for sale, because of my passion for quality materials and large cars. I need to be careful and wise if I decide to buy one of these mammoths.

Last but not least, the Jaguar XJ8. The didn't have a VDP (VDP = Vanden Plas which is the long wheelbase and fully loaded model), so I took a short wheelbase car out for a drive. The car has a small trunk, small quarters, cramped interior, low seats, low roof and is hard to get into. Once inside, the leather and wood surround you with a warmth and the 290hp engine pulls like a locomotive. Well, at leats it feels that way. Looking over the sculptured hood is wondeful. The car is quiet and much more refined than the previous Jags I've owned which were XJ6s. The car definitely has the look of class. This car is nice, but in the end, I find it too tight and less engineered than the BMW and Mercedes. So the Jag is out of the question for sure. I still love the car though.

I have already driven the Lexus LS400 and have to say that it gives me the feeling that it will be the one that breaks down the least and will be the cheapest to maintain from the bunch. It's a dull car, but I'd buy a mint condition one if I find one. That is the single most important factor for me. I want to buy a car that is as close to perfect as possible and so I will wait as long as I can to ensure I buy the best car I can find. My daily driver is supposed to be a reliable car first, but my lust for the big luxury cars is blinding me.




For those of you who have not seen the other threads:

Which Car Would You buy? 56k Warning

Can a Jag replace a Benz?
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  #2  
Old 06-14-2005, 03:34 AM
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Hmmm...I think I've talked to you in one of your prior threads, just I'll interject my .02 here anyway. The E38 740iL is by far the best car in that class imho. No disrespect to the W140, they are awesome cars in their own right. I just feel that the E38 combines the best attributes of the W140 (presence, build quality/materials, stability, ect) into a more fun-to-drive and agile package. My dad and I test-drove every car on your list when we were looking for cars years ago, and the E38 was the one we kept coming back to. We have had both a 740i and a 740iL, they are both incredible cars. The 2000 model is appealing b/c it has some features which were either unavailable or options in previous years, such as xenons (standard in '99, n/a on the 740 before that, standard on the 750 since '93- industry first in the USA) and Navigation (became standard in '00, was optional from '97-'99). You will love this car. BUT...the 7-series are expensive to maintain. We were paying on average $4-5K/ year out-of-warranty. We eventually got a W210 E430 to replace the 740iL. While it is nowhere near the E38 in terms of driving experience, it has proved to be much more reliable, easier to maintain, and efficient for everyday use. The E38 was the last of the really driver-oriented big Bimmers. With the E65 successor, BMW seemed to veer off into a computer/electronic-controled frenzy and lost some of the 'soul' that BMWs have in regard to the driving experience.

Whatever you buy, best of luck.
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  #3  
Old 06-14-2005, 04:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nabeel
You will love this car. BUT...the 7-series are expensive to maintain. We were paying on average $4-5K/ year out-of-warranty.
That's sounds like a lot of money for annual repairs. Is that just wear and tear items and regular servicing or problems?
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Old 06-14-2005, 09:20 AM
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That question should go to the OPEN discussion forum!!
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  #5  
Old 06-14-2005, 01:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M.B.DOC
That question should go to the OPEN discussion forum!!
Sorry . I'm so used to spending so much time here. If this thread is a problem being here, would you please move it to the appropriate place and accept my apology.

Thank You.
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  #6  
Old 06-14-2005, 09:34 PM
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Exclamation

Sir,

I'm not sure if the Jaguars still use Lucis wiring harnesses, but if they do, then DO NOT buy a Jaguar.

I once owned an MG, which also has Lucis wiring, and it was totaly rebuilt, frame-off, after I bought it. My mechanic had a sign in his shop that read, "The reason the British drink warm beer, is that they have Lucis refrigerators." And That is exactly the reason that I now have a Mercedes. My "new" car is 23 years old with over 300k miles on it, and it has never broken down, or let me down. Stick with good old german engineering and you will be very happy. As a side note, I would stay away from Bavarian cars, the Bavarians make great beer , but that doesn't necessarily mean that they can make good cars... infact I would say, due to their great beer, that the reverse holds true.

Anyway, good luck.
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Old 06-14-2005, 10:18 PM
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I'd go with the BMW as well, or perhaps the Lexus. The BMW for the well engineered and sport oriented design philosophy vs the Lexus for an extremely well designed 'appliance' that simply works and works fantastically. Honestly, I've never been impressed with what I see of the 500+ range Mercedes cars in respect to their price - it seems like you get a lot more with several other brands, and honestly (I'll probably get assaulted for this one ) better reliability elsewhere as well. The Jag's a nice car, especially if we're talking about one of the newer aluminum models (I don't remember when the switch ocurred). However, historical reliability (although they have apparently improved dramatically over the years since Ford got involved) and the short passenger compartment would probably steer me away.

Who am I kidding? I drive an 18 year old Mercedes with 183k, an 11 year old Ford with 157k, and a 23 year old motorcycle. I'll never justify owning any of these (at least not until they're 20 years old).
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Old 06-14-2005, 10:52 PM
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The W140 was and still is the best four-door luxury sedan ever made, PERIOD! No B.M.W., no Jaguar, no Lexus, nothing will ever approach its grandness and over-engineered attributes.

If you are over conern about running and maintenance costs (which seems you definitely are) just buy the Lexus and forget about everything else. It is that easy!
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Old 06-14-2005, 11:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lino
That's sounds like a lot of money for annual repairs. Is that just wear and tear items and regular servicing or problems?

That included maintenance. Still a lot of money. I would expect a W140 to require similar (or even more expensive) upkeep as the years roll on. Have you considered an E39 5-series? They have much of the same good attributes of the 7, but in a smaller size. The 528i especially should be more reliable than a 540 or 7-series because of its more simple design. I found these cars to almost rival their bigger brother 7-series in quality of materials and fit and finish, while being more fun to drive.
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Old 06-15-2005, 10:37 AM
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I had a 140, I loved that car, it was heavy, and it was quiet. I will never forget when a lady pulled in front of me and I thought I was going to hit her, that S class just zipped right around her, I was truly amazed to see this big of a car do exactly what I told it to do. It is a wonderful car with first class materials and will look new for a long time. Currently I have an SL320, and a 2000 BMW 528i. The 5 series is a geat car, has 42k on it now. The 6 cylinder is a little under powered, but I am used to the SL with 225hp. The 5 has 190hp, I think. There are a few buggery problems with that 5 that you will learn about, but they are so easy to work on. I love working on my SL, but the BMW is a breeze. And when I buy parts for the BMW vs. the MB, they are so much cheaper. I will never understand why a set of wheels for an SL cost $2500, and a set of wheels for a BMW, same size and type cost $500. Most information about the BMW's can be found on the web and there are so may BMW guys out there modifying their cars with everything you can imagine. I like the BMW as it handles wonderfully for a 4 door, it gets up to speed ok, and it is simple.
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Old 06-16-2005, 11:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nabeel
That included maintenance. Still a lot of money. I would expect a W140 to require similar (or even more expensive) upkeep as the years roll on. Have you considered an E39 5-series? They have much of the same good attributes of the 7, but in a smaller size. The 528i especially should be more reliable than a 540 or 7-series because of its more simple design. I found these cars to almost rival their bigger brother 7-series in quality of materials and fit and finish, while being more fun to drive.
The 7 series is a great car but very unreliable. Expect it to be in the shop often and go ahead and keep the check book out. The problem with the 7 series is there seems to be 2 of everything..all the way down to two fuel filters.

Have you tried the BMW 530? Not the fastest off the line but one of the most balanced as far as overall BMW design.
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Old 06-17-2005, 06:34 PM
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I was going to suggest a 530i, but I've yet to see them much below $20K, and I recell lino as saying $12-15K was the price range he was looking at.
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Old 06-17-2005, 07:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yumyum1667
The 7 series is a great car but very unreliable. Expect it to be in the shop often and go ahead and keep the check book out. The problem with the 7 series is there seems to be 2 of everything..all the way down to two fuel filters.
Are you speaking from your own experience? I agree if it was the old E32 750IL which has 2 of everything but I respectfully disagree if you are referring to the 2000 E38.
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Old 06-17-2005, 07:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nabeel
I was going to suggest a 530i, but I've yet to see them much below $20K, and I recell lino as saying $12-15K was the price range he was looking at.
Good luck in finding a MINT 2000 740IL for $12-$15.
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  #15  
Old 06-17-2005, 07:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newr
Good luck in finding a MINT 2000 740IL for $12-$15.
I'm looking at a 1996-1997, not a 2000.
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