Volvo, BMW, Mercedes, and Lexus -- your experiences?

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by T.T. Lee, Aug 19, 2003.

  1. T.T. Lee

    T.T. Lee Guest

    I wonder if anyone here could please comment on your OWN experiences
    and knowledge with all these cars and your general impression about
    them, their differences in terms of the design philosophy, and their
    build quality + reliability? Thanks!!
    T.T. Lee, Aug 19, 2003
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  2. T.T. Lee

    Stuart Gray Guest

    Well.... I learnt to drive in a Merc, my Dads. I drive two Volvos and a BMW.
    My neighbour drives a Lexus. Best car out of the lot? The Lexus.
    I've had a whole lot more experience with all cars mentioned but I'm not
    going to type an epic. In short, I like the cars in this order for sheer
    drivability, and realiability, excluding home fixing. Lexus, Mercedes, BMW,
    Volvo. If I had to service one and own it to death, it would be, Mercedes,
    Volvo, BMW, Lexus.

    Stuart Gray, Aug 19, 2003
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  3. T.T. Lee

    Aleric Guest

    I like my BMW 3 series the best as far as a car that is *fun* to drive.
    Handles well with all the power you need. Cost for parts is surprisingly
    reasonable Lots of aftermarket stuff, numerous retailers, owner's clubs,
    on-line forums, knowledge base, etc.

    My Volvo is my daily driver. It fills that role very nicely. Reliable and
    solid, if a bit stodgy..

    Our Mercedes M-class is a decent SUV, nice and luxurius, etc. but I
    question the quality. We've had some problems. I think the marque has
    gone down hill in recent years (based on our experience with this one
    model). I haven't owned one of their sedans, so I can't comment on them.
    I doubt I'd ever buy one. Very expensive to service.

    I have yet to drive a Lexus, Acura, or Infinity (love to try the G35!), but
    one of those may be our purchase. I'm also waiting for Alfa to reappear in
    the US
    market, maybe 2005 or 2006 from what I've read.


    Volvo '940 944t
    BMW 325iC cabrio
    MB ML320
    Aleric, Aug 19, 2003
  4. Tough call lately.

    The 1996(iirc) and before Mercedes(previous generation) were the last
    of the old tanks that they built. Much better than the new stuff.
    They will last twenty years easily. The new cars - the E class has
    so much plastic in it now that it might as well be a Volvo.(no knock
    on Volvo, but a $50K Mercedes should be better made than a $35K
    Volvo). The C class - Get an Audi instead.

    BMW - nice cars, but quality is slipping lately as well.

    Lexus - nice, but they don't have much of a soul. Like a really
    fine watch with a plain face.

    My recommendation? Late 90s Mercedes or Volvo - before the new
    models came out.
    Joseph Oberlander, Aug 19, 2003

  5. The new cars are tanks, they have plastic in them to keep weight down.
    They are very solid, but have a different type of robustness than the
    weighted feeling robustness of the earlier models.

    My problem with today's Volvos, Mercedes, and BMWs are their software.
    That's where their reliability is down.

    Benjamin Smith, Aug 20, 2003
  6. T.T. Lee

    Larry Jandro Guest

    I agree. My 2001 530 hasn't got the build quality that my 95 and 98
    540's had.
    Larry Jandro, Aug 20, 2003
  7. Software?

    Heh. That's why I love my 240 :) So many fewer parts to blow up
    or go wrong.
    Joseph Oberlander, Aug 20, 2003
  8. T.T. Lee

    T.T. Lee Guest

    I have yet to drive a Lexus, Acura, or Infinity (love to try the G35!), but
    This reminds me, could anyone please comment on Infinity versus Volvo?? Many thanks!
    T.T. Lee, Aug 20, 2003
  9. Both overpriced for what you get.

    It's rough. There are no real luxury cars out there anymore as
    they've all been bought out by GM, Chrysler, and Ford. Even Bentley
    is no longer British owned.

    Of the three you mentioned:
    Lexus and Acura both are bad. Not from an engineeering standpoint, but
    from how they are priced. Consider that they purposely make their Honda
    and Toyota lines only so good anymore - and then there's a jump in
    price to their "real" lines. I dislike this myself.

    Infinty is a bit less so. The Mitsubishi upper end cars overlap
    quite a bit and are still made well enough.

    It's kind of like GM and Cadillac - they save their best toys and
    innovations and engineering for their most expensive line. 10K
    more money just to get a proper V-8 engine? I'll pass.

    What you really want is a good car that has a full line behind
    it, like Audi, BMW, or Saab. There are no budget versions because
    they don't split their technology and research into two directions.

    This means for instance, you can get a nice BMW 5 series that has
    most of the goodies of a 7 series without spending tons of money.

    Mercedes - E class is nice. C is a serious step down.

    Of all of the new cars out there, the A6 impressed me the most.
    Good seats, good interior, well made, nice handling, and not
    too overly expensive. Better fit and finish than a E class
    or Volvo, too. Saab was also nice. They are still based upon
    Swedish designs despite being owned by GM, so buy one now before
    they get turned into re-badged econoboxes.
    Joseph Oberlander, Aug 21, 2003
  10. I think the Saab 9-3 is based on a GM car. I've read a few articles that
    GM has laid off most of Saabs engineers and designers and that the new
    Saabs will be mostly GM. Sad.

    Audi's are well finished, well built cars but they are upscale
    Volkswagens, in a sense.

    Benjamin Smith, Aug 21, 2003
  11. T.T. Lee

    Aleric Guest

    "> I think the Saab 9-3 is based on a GM car. I've read a few articles that
    I think that will be a plus actually, at least if GM has any say about
    styling. Saab styling has to be among the worst. They've come out with
    some the ugliest cars ever made, as far as I'm concerned.
    Aleric, Aug 22, 2003
  12. T.T. Lee

    Sam Guest

    By far, the biggest problem with Volvo is not the car itself, but the
    dealer who is selling it to you.

    Btw, the Lexus ES300 is a Toyota Camry.
    Sam, Aug 26, 2003
  13. T.T. Lee

    Aleric Guest

    I have to agree with that. I'm so fortunate to have a Volvo dealer a
    few blocks from my house. They couldn't even provide me with a duplicate key
    for my car. They said, "we don't do keys". I was looking for a nice "Volvo"
    key with the plastic handle for my wife.. Guess that was too much to ask..
    However, I do use them for a free car wash when I need one, but that's about

    You mean it's not even an Avalon?? I suppose it could be worse.
    Camry's are good cars though, as evidenced by the fact they are most sought
    after car for
    car thieves in the US. There must be something appealing about them.


    '95 Volvo 944t
    '92 BMW 325iC
    '00 MB ML320
    Aleric, Aug 26, 2003
  14. The Top 10 Most Stolen Cars are not the most popular cars but the
    easiest to compromise.
    Richard Potato, Aug 26, 2003
  15. Actually it is an Avalon. Of course, there's little difference other than
    a few inches of interior space and the trim/amenities between a ES300, the
    Avalon, and Camry V6.
    Joseph Oberlander, Aug 26, 2003
  16. T.T. Lee

    Aleric Guest

    Yes, I realize that ease of theft has a lot to do with it, but it's not
    the whole story. If you look at the top 10 list, they include some very
    popular makes/models (Hondas, etc.) Thieves also look for value and
    something they can easily turn around. Also, the sheer numbers of some of
    these cars (= availability) also has to be considered in the equation. I
    heard that the Cadillac Escalade is also a target among thieves these days,
    and that vehicle has a very advanced theft protection system!
    Aleric, Aug 26, 2003
  17. Nonsense. All Lexus are made by Toyota. Drive a Camry and then drive an
    ES300. Camry is now a bloated, soft, family car, that's well built and
    huge inside. The Lexus is a very luxurious car with far more sound
    deadening, refinement with an interior with luxury and quality that no
    Volvo can match.

    Benjamin Smith, Aug 27, 2003

  18. Refinement, suspension tuning.

    Also, trim and amenities are important. I think the latest ES300 is a
    fairly distinctive looking car and one of the quietest, smoothest, most
    luxurious (beautiful cherry wood trim) and refined cars I've ever been
    driven in (though seems less robust than some European cars). The Camry
    and Avalon *feel* like very nice family cars in comparison.

    Benjamin Smith, Aug 27, 2003
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