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Lexus compared to European car

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  • 3 months later...

I do not have much experience with a BMW, but I do have quite an experience with Audi and Mercedes namely a 2012 Audi A7 and a 2014 Mercedes Benz C300...

My Lexus is a 1992 LS400

Here are my thoughts....

Speed: (0-60 MPH & 60-100 MPH) *100 MPH is used as 2 lane highway "passing speeds" when traffic is moving an average of 60-70 MPH

Audi A7 - This is the clear winner, absolutely fantastic performance in terms of acceleration and power, a very sporty luxury sedan, this was an extremely fun driving machine to say the least.

Mercedes C300 - On par with my 1992 LS400 in terms of acceleration in 0-60, they are within 1/10 of a second of each other, but the 60-100 is dismal after 80 MPH, it just seems to lack the power to hit 100 MPH where the rest of the time it does very well, this left me underwhelmed.

Lexus LS400 - For an old barge of a car, this thing has some power behind it that most people are just not aware of, I was impressed on my first test drive of this old car. 0-60 times on par with a modern Mercedes C300 pleases me well, and the 60-100 times are as quick as the Audi A7, turn off O/D and kick on ECT to PWR and this thing is a highway rocket (even with O/D on and ECT to PWR it performs very well on the highway). I have nothing but love and respect for the LS400, absolutely fantastic all around if not a bit old.

Ride comfort:

Audi A7 - This car lost, its sporty but harsh for a luxury sedan, it rides like a new Civic in terms of suspension dampening but it's still a FUN car to drive but it comes in last place here.

Mercedes C300 - Silky smooth, absolutely fantastic on the highway, the ride quality is just phenomenal in this car, I love driving the C300 on road trips, it may not be as fun as the Audi but it's just a pleasure to drive.

Lexus LS400 - A little more "bouncy" than the Mercedes C300 but every bit as much of a pleasure, if I could tighten up the suspension a bit it would beat the Mercedes which is almost 1/4 century newer.



Audi A7 - As the "fun" car, this car just takes corners like a champ, it's the clear winner of the 3, just a fun car to drive.

Mercedes C300 - This car comes in 2nd place, its responsive and handling is not an issue at all, it's nice and tight on corners with little body roll, I love driving this car.

Lexus LS400 - DEAD LAST, there is a decent bit of body roll here and you can feel it, it drives like a barge with a 200,000 HP turbine engine attached to it. I have some suspension upgrades planned for it to alleviate this well documented "feature". It's not like an mid 1990's SUV kind of body roll but it's just not what you would expect in a modern luxury car, but that is being a bit judgemental on such an old car.



Audi A7 - Surprisingly well built, but maintenance costs are ungodly expensive to say the least, plus if it does have a malfunction it's either the dealership or a specialist mechanic that can work on Audi's and the parts are freaking expensive, never really had an issue with the car while we owned it, but that could just be luck I suppose. The routine oil change that my father had done by the dealership was $350 (USD), yeah that's no exaggeration, it was that expensive just for an oil change and general inspection.

Mercedes C300 - When it works it works well, this is pretty much the modern Mercedes motto, my father has had this car serviced 3 times in 2 years costing a total of 5K (USD), definately at the bottom of the list.

Lexus LS400 - 1/4 of a century old, that's 25 freaking years, and I can still do the "water glass" test and pass with flying colors. The engineering in this car borders on the obsessive compulsive, its damn near perfection in many cases. I am dealing with some electrical issues, but living on the gulf coast of Florida and the car being 25 years old, this should come as no surprise. As for the powertrain, it's in FLAWLESS condition, runs just like it came off the dealership lot. This car wins 1st place by such a large margin its in its own universe, the legend that precedes these LS400's is not hype or BS, there is some serious truth to it!



Audi A7 - This was surprisingly more bare bones than I had expected it to be, and it left me a little unimpressed truth be told. Its not bad but for a luxury sedan that is quite modern, if I had paid full sticker price I would have been upset by what the competition offers.

Mercedes C300 - It's not an S class it is a base C300, and it's got some nice options in it for sure, not sure if it's worth the 65K new sticker price, but it's not bad and it is better than the Audi.

Lexus LS400 - I know, I know it's a 1992, so to be fair I will rate it based on era... The LS400 wins hands freaking down... even by modern standards on average consumer cars this car is freaking LOADED. 5 disk CD changer, Nakamichi premium audio (2x front component speakers, 2x coaxial rear speakers, and an 8 inch subwoofer) all stock! Power seats that includes adjustable lumbar support, power headrest, power tilt and slide. DIGITAL A/C controls! Not to mention that "blackout" instrument cluster is still pretty freaking cool. Yeah the tech in this car is just nuts, absolutely freaking nuts, its so easy to see why Mercedes, BMW, and Audi lost their minds when these cars hit the American markets, probably the most important luxury sedan of the last 50 years. Keep in mind I have upgraded the lighting to professional LED (with CAN-BUS), the audio is now a JBL GTO series (with the stock covers), and I am using a Kenwood eXcelon DDX594 touchscreen multimedia receiver. Yeah this car right now has everything people today even want, aside from the fuel costs and fuel mileage (it's an early 90's V8 engine).


So what are my 2 favorite things about a Lexus over a Mercedes or Audi?

Reliability & Technology, followed closely by performance

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  • 2 years later...

I have always wanted a BMW, but the reality is that they need more TLC than any car on the road.  Get to know your mechanic.  Plan to spend a lot. That has always stopped me.  German cars are complicated.  The parts cost a lot.  You need a guy named Heinz to work on it.  My Dad has owned a lot of collectable Mercedes over the years.  He has made money on them but the cost of ownership is high. 

Some Lexus cars are solid and quiet, but lack road feel.  They are not sporty enough for some people.  The 430 sc probably failed to sell because of the suspension more than anything else.   I figured out a way around that problem with some Megan Racing coilovers.  Now the V-8, 6 speed convertible has come to life with great brakes and interesting looks.  I like how dependable and easy to maintain Lexus cars are. 

I almost bought a C5 Corvette which is a lot of car for the money.   They are low, loud and fast.  They do not make a great daily driver for most people.  You have to be "up for driving one."

I bought a Japanese Corvette instead.  True motoring enthusiasts might prefer European cars.  That is fine.  I reallly like the 430 sc.

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