I totally disagree with your opinion that a Mercedes Benz W126 & W140 are better cars. I currently own a W126 from the mid 80's, and while the car is beautiful, it most certainly has drawbacks so strong that I am here researching which older Lexus LS model to own.
The W126 has hard seats that lack cushioning and support. The AC/Heat system is a complete joke.. it takes about 10 minutes for mine to cool or heat up, and only has 2 fan speeds of high or low.. and this is AFTER I had it repaired.
The suspension is absolutely horrible on potholes and road bumps.. the car literally shakes and rattles over even the smallest pothole.. and this is AFTER I had installed brand new Bilstein Comfort shocks and top rated Michelin tires.
The wood trim comes off very easily.. the dash cracks like mad.. and ANY repair must be done by a Mercedes mechanic who always charges 2 to 3 times the amount of money a regular mechanic would for the same amount of repair work & effort.
In other words.. THE REPAIRS WILL KILL YOU FINANCIALLY. And although I don't own a W140.. I know plenty of people who do.. and all you have to do is go to a MB forum to realize the W140 is an electronic nightmare with even higher repair costs than a W126.. and repair costs for that car are so outrageous and high that many owners just give up on it.. which is why you see so many of them for sale for small amounts of money.. they just want to get rid of the damn things.
The MB W126 & W140 are great cars when new and everything works.. but this fades fast, and doesn't make up for their incredibly high repair and maintenance costs. If Lexus can build a car with such great reliability, why can't Mercedes Benz?
I do however greatly thank you for your review of the earlier Lexus LS's.. and will pay heed to your recommendation to only buy 1994 or earlier. Unless of course I find the newer models to be better than you claimed of course. Thank you again.
It sounds like this car might have been in an accident before the reviewer bought it.
Hi. I used to own a Lexus LS 400 98; by far it's a better car. The car has more power than an S500, and a way, way smoother ride. The Lexus has the smoothest acceleration, and it's so quiet while doing it. I couldn't believe my ears; at idle I couldn't believe the engine was on. I now sadly own a 99 S500, and I'm very disappointed at the ride quality and reliability. I will say to anyone who believes the S Class W140 is better than the LS400, explain to me; the LS400 while driving over nasty road, you can hardly feel the bump or potholes. The Mercedes, you can feel everything. If you want a true luxury car, get a Lexus!!!
My family has owned BMW, Mercedes and Lincoln over the years. Although we have never owned a Lexus (we don't care for Japanese cars), I have ridden in a co-worker's Lexus, and found it to be a huge disappointment. The interior was all plastic, and after only three weeks it had already been back to the dealer's for rattles and odd noises. When I rode in it, the "check engine" light was on. Since Toyota has been in decline now for nearly a decade, I'd be hesitant to buy anything new made by them. Between the BMW, Mercedes and Lincoln, I'd choose the BMW or Mercedes for handling and snob appeal, but absolutely nothing is as luxurious and trouble-free as the Lincoln.
In May of 2000, I bought a brand new Lexus LS400 Platinum series, Gold in color, and it is by far the best luxury car I've ever had. I still have the car, and currently have 187,000 miles on it. I bought it in Texas, where I spent three years in the heat of San Antonio, and then I spent the next 4 years in the chilling cold and snow of Indianapolis.
I've spent the past four years with this car in California. The car has had regular maintenance, and the only problem I've had was I couldn't update the GPS because they switched from a CD to a DVD.
The car runs like a champ at high speed, it just keeps on climbing when you hit the accelerator. The engine is smooth and the ride is sweet. Everyone that's ever rode in the car always compliments how quiet and smooth it is. Rear seat leg room is second to none and it has a mellow high def music system.
As the car has gotten older, I've noticed that my average MPG has gone down to about 23MPG. I thinks it's probably because of the formula they use for California gasoline.