I'm considering replacing my 99 S Class S420 and looking at "upgrading" to a
2001-2003 S Class, or a 2003 E Class or some year or another 545 BMW.
The 99 is very weak on brakes, and slow and ponderous because of its weight.
The newer S Class is 700 lbs lighter with the same engine in the 430 (or
better in the 500). I can get by with the space in the 5 series BMW or E
Class Mercedes (2003 models in both, not the new Bangle disaster), but I
have a feeling my 99 is better engineered and may be more reliable and
cheaper to keep than the others.
You might want to consider Quality Ratings before you make your choice.
There are several sources: J.D. Powers, Edmunds, Consumers Reports,
Car and Driver, Road and Track and many others. In recent years MB
quality has fallen far below BMW and Lexus in the opinion of most
sources. I have a 2001 MB E-430 and face the same decision soon.
Unless MB quality improves drastically, I will look at the Lexus LS-430.
The newer generation of "Bangledized" BMWs are very unattractive, in
my opinion, although the quality is still excellent. I also have a 2003
530i BMW that I think is a better quality car than the MB, and is
certainly more fun to drive. In the end, you need to buy what appeals
to you and will give you the best service and quality.
Larry Wallerstein wrote:
BMW has always been a very sporty driver car... quick steering... very
responsive engine... good sporty suspension... The only thing I don't like
about BMW is rapid depreciation... it is a nightmare after 2 or 3 years.
Even for used car buyer... soon after they buy it, it depreciate much
faster. Maybe this is a case because of current market condition... but BMW
seems to depreciate quite more than MB...
MB is more refined driving... that is until you aggressively drive the
car... they it become pretty sporty. Tire size is a bit small on older
cars... This is what I always hated on MB... they put too small of a tire on
it... so the steering response is subdued. MB is a much smoother riding
car... yet firm. It is because of different type of suspension than BMW
which I like MB type better. Brake is never a weak factor on MB... at least
with aftermarket pads... which I always use.
I better stop rambling on... anyway, that is my opinion.
In my experience I haven't found that to be true. And ALG, Edmunds and Kelly
Blue Book all report that the 5 series holds, on average, 68 % of it's MSRP
*after* 36 months (their projections are the same for the new model as
well). The E-Class did not retain that same percentage level of value. I
think that is probably the result of there being so many E-Classes on the
In any case, in this size segment, believe it or not, the GS 300 has the
best comparative resale value after both 3 years and 5 years. That surprised
me. It's not a very popular new car here in Denver so I didn't think it
would be popular enough as a used vehicle to demand such a high resale
Over the past 20 years I've owned eight MB's including two S-class
(80 and 84 300SD). I've presently got three E-series and an SL.
I think the E-series is generally more reliable and less costly longterm.
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