U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Automotive
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 09-01-2010, 08:49 AM
 
805 posts, read 1,558,213 times
Reputation: 328

Advertisements

Use is as an everyday car (not for commuting though), so basically evenings plus weekend. I live in the Washington DC area.

If you do go the old car luxury route, is it preferable to pick it up from a dealer or should one just find a good deal on craigslist from a private buyer? Do the german cars still have warranties on 2006 models?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 09-01-2010, 08:59 AM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
4,486 posts, read 14,920,188 times
Reputation: 3919
You probably won't have a warranty as the vehicle is 4 years old but sometimes if you get a CPO car (certified pre-owned), the dealership will give you a year warranty. I'd buy one from an actual dealer as most people who drive these type of automobiles trade up every couple years.

Just from doing a quick search on ebay, I found a couple you may be interested in:

Lexus : LS: eBay Motors (item 140445917000 end time Sep-03-10 15:50:33 PDT)

Mercedes-Benz : S-Class: eBay Motors (item 260654826121 end time Sep-13-10 08:52:58 PDT)

BMW : 7-Series: eBay Motors (item 370424250845 end time Sep-14-10 12:13:06 PDT)
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-01-2010, 09:32 AM
 
Location: Central Texas
13,720 posts, read 24,613,257 times
Reputation: 9173
Quote:
Originally Posted by superseiyan View Post
Intriguing. Mind going further into your approach to this (premium, reputability, etc) whenever you get a chance?

Are Japanese luxury cars as sturdy, and durable as their german counterparts?
I can only offer an opinion of course.

I respect Merc63's opinion on the maintainability of high end German cars. But he does his own work and is far more capable than most. I know too many people who have huge maintenance bills to show for their out of warranty BMWs, Mercedes, Saabs, Porsches, and Audis. I know other people who seem quite content with their out of warranty Lexus, Acuras, and Infinitis. The service on the Japanese cars is not cheaper, but required less often.

I think the relatively poor resale value of many German cars is market proof of some of this. Look at a used Acura and its value is proportionally higher than a BMW of the same age and mileage.

I have no problem buying quality used vehicles. I am not as afraid of mileage as my wife is. My mother used to trade in her cars after 50K miles. But she continues to happily drive her 7 year old Lexus RX300 which runs like an electronic Swiss watch. So I would seek out brands with a good reputation for long term reliablity and reasonable maintenance costs. I believe Consumer Reports is the most credible source of this information. I do not trust J.D. Powers at all.

CR rates the reliabilty of the 2007 M35 as above average. Its one trouble spot is "audio" which includes the NAV system. We also considered the Lexus GS350 but the same year model had just average reliability with more trouble areas. We also liked the M35 more - but that is subjective.

The 2010 Ford Fusion Sport is a good comparison. It is actually a very good car. It is quick, has a 6 speed auto, handles very well, and very roomy. The interior is about as well finished as any Honda or Toyota. But the M35 was unmistakably "nicer" - the leather is better, it has cooled seats, etc. We paid a bit more for the M35, but not a lot more.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-01-2010, 12:09 PM
 
Location: Pikesville, MD
5,229 posts, read 11,484,624 times
Reputation: 4846
Quote:
Originally Posted by hoffdano View Post
I can only offer an opinion of course.

I respect Merc63's opinion on the maintainability of high end German cars. But he does his own work and is far more capable than most. I know too many people who have huge maintenance bills to show for their out of warranty BMWs, Mercedes, Saabs, Porsches, and Audis. I know other people who seem quite content with their out of warranty Lexus, Acuras, and Infinitis. The service on the Japanese cars is not cheaper, but required less often.

This is why I discussed mileage. If you get one right out of warranty (usually in the 5-8 year old range) that's when all the big ticket items tend to go wrong, if they are going to. That means a 2nd owner of a car that is now 5 years old and has 50k miles on it is about to be hit with the first round of expensive major repairs. You may spend many, many thousands of dollars in the next 2-3 years. And if you can't do the work on your own (and even if you can) it can sour you on any used Luxury car. OTOH, by about 90-100k miles, all that is over with and a 3rd owner picking the car up at 100k miles with records of all the known problem areas adresed may then drive for anothr 50-80k miles (5-8 years of normal driving) pretty much trouble free, so that even if you can't do the work yourself, you most likely will only pay for wear items like brakes, tires, and fluids. Maybe an A/C recharge and over a 5 year span, a couple electrical items. TCO can be VERY low at that point.

Ironically, that's the point at which the Japanese luxury cars start taking a reliablity hit, and why I saw so many Lexus LS400s traded in on Cash for Clunkers. they simply weren't worth anything and often had large repair bills ahead of them (or necessary at the time)

There ARE always exceptions to these rules. You could have a poorly maintained/repaired German luxury car that is a CONSTANT source of trouble until it is scrapped, same for a Japanese one. Or you could have one of either that has been well treated and simply never has issues. I saw a 2000 740iL that was being sold with 350k on it last year. That car almost never saw the inside of a service bay except for routine maintenance and a bit of preventative maintenance.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-01-2010, 12:20 PM
 
805 posts, read 1,558,213 times
Reputation: 328
Quote:
Originally Posted by Merc63 View Post
This is why I discussed mileage. If you get one right out of warranty (usually in the 5-8 year old range) that's when all the big ticket items tend to go wrong, if they are going to. That means a 2nd owner of a car that is now 5 years old and has 50k miles on it is about to be hit with the first round of expensive major repairs. You may spend many, many thousands of dollars in the next 2-3 years. And if you can't do the work on your own (and even if you can) it can sour you on any used Luxury car. OTOH, by about 90-100k miles, all that is over with and a 3rd owner picking the car up at 100k miles with records of all the known problem areas adresed may then drive for anothr 50-80k miles (5-8 years of normal driving) pretty much trouble free, so that even if you can't do the work yourself, you most likely will only pay for wear items like brakes, tires, and fluids. Maybe an A/C recharge and over a 5 year span, a couple electrical items. TCO can be VERY low at that point.

Ironically, that's the point at which the Japanese luxury cars start taking a reliablity hit, and why I saw so many Lexus LS400s traded in on Cash for Clunkers. they simply weren't worth anything and often had large repair bills ahead of them (or necessary at the time)

There ARE always exceptions to these rules. You could have a poorly maintained/repaired German luxury car that is a CONSTANT source of trouble until it is scrapped, same for a Japanese one. Or you could have one of either that has been well treated and simply never has issues. I saw a 2000 740iL that was being sold with 350k on it last year. That car almost never saw the inside of a service bay except for routine maintenance and a bit of preventative maintenance.
So while its counterintuitive, if getting a luxury used, it's better to go in for a car around 6 years old at a around 100K miles? A German 100K with proper repairs drives as good as a German 50K car?

In terms of look is the construction on luxury cars superior though? (peeling paint, creaking bolts, etcs -- I'm talking strictly aesthetics here).

Very interesting thread, and as a reminder my only reference point is compact/economy cars -- accords, civics, jettas, etc, so this is all new to me! For those types of cars 5 years is , LOOKS and FEELS "old".
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-01-2010, 12:55 PM
 
Location: 'Murica
1,302 posts, read 2,344,087 times
Reputation: 803
Quote:
Originally Posted by superseiyan View Post
So while its counterintuitive, if getting a luxury used, it's better to go in for a car around 6 years old at a around 100K miles? A German 100K with proper repairs drives as good as a German 50K car?
it's all in the service records. Merc I believe got his Bimmer with full documentation of the car's service history, so he knew what kind of work the car would be needing. Keep in mind that someone had to pay get all that work done, so you just have to make sure that it's not you.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-01-2010, 01:38 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
13,720 posts, read 24,613,257 times
Reputation: 9173
Quote:
Originally Posted by superseiyan View Post
So while its counterintuitive, if getting a luxury used, it's better to go in for a car around 6 years old at a around 100K miles? A German 100K with proper repairs drives as good as a German 50K car?

In terms of look is the construction on luxury cars superior though? (peeling paint, creaking bolts, etcs -- I'm talking strictly aesthetics here).

Very interesting thread, and as a reminder my only reference point is compact/economy cars -- accords, civics, jettas, etc, so this is all new to me! For those types of cars 5 years is , LOOKS and FEELS "old".
It is a little dangerous to generalize, but based on what I have owned and what my friends' experiences have been - premium cars (I differentiate premium from luxury because cars like Town Cars are not premium) often have superior paint and fit and finish. I had a Jaguar S type and it's overall finish was very good. Some things are disappointing on these cars - like hardware of certain items (power windows for example). The paint on my NSX is incredibly thick, rich, and durable. The paint on my Ridgeline seems thin by comparison.

Some things in premium cars are despicable. Current BMW 335s have repeated failures with their high pressure fuel pumps. 1st gen Audi TTs had timing belt failures. The 7 series that Merc63 owns was known for a high radiator failure rate. My Jaguar had two thermostats fail before 50K miles. That's a $30 part.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-01-2010, 02:06 PM
 
Location: Pikesville, MD
5,229 posts, read 11,484,624 times
Reputation: 4846
Quote:
Originally Posted by superseiyan View Post
So while its counterintuitive, if getting a luxury used, it's better to go in for a car around 6 years old at a around 100K miles? A German 100K with proper repairs drives as good as a German 50K car?
That's what I've seen after personal expereince and seeing the results of hundreds of other known buyers. And yes, a german car with 100-200+k miles on it can drive as good as (and sometimes better than) one with 50k miles. In the case of BMWs, ones of that mileage are usually the slightly older ones where BMW had a much better grasp of the complex compromise of ride/handling/agility/road feel. Both my 12 year old, 180k mile 740iL and my stepson's 240k mile '02 325i ride and handle better and fel better than the brand new BMWs I've driven in the last few months.

the key is in maintenance and treatment. Sadly, a lot of second owners deferred the maintenance as they bought the cars at half price due to depreciation, and didn't want to spend teh time/money to keep up the car. But if they did, or if an original owner owned it well past the end of warranty, and you can get records of what was maintained, you can find that a 100k mile German car will cost you WAY less to own than a new economy car or a much younger luxury car that has only had oil changes and is ready for the supension to fall off or the cooling system to take a major dump.


Quote:
In terms of look is the construction on luxury cars superior though? (peeling paint, creaking bolts, etcs -- I'm talking strictly aesthetics here).
Again, it depends on how they've been treated. Nothing sadder than a neglected, abused old luxury car. OTOH, if they haven't been neglected, they are still luxury cars with a build quality and feel like no economy car. BMWs and Mercedes that are 10, 20, even 40 years old can feel better and more solid than even a new "premium" midsize or compact like a high trim level accord or Camry. And definitely better than a Civic or Corolla or Hyundai.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinsanity View Post
it's all in the service records. Merc I believe got his Bimmer with full documentation of the car's service history, so he knew what kind of work the car would be needing. Keep in mind that someone had to pay get all that work done, so you just have to make sure that it's not you.
Actualy, no, I didn't. I got mine from a wholesaler on ebay sight unseen with nothing but the carfax/autocheck records.

I did, however have a list of things to look for in the E38 from a great website, and made an assumption on what might be ready to go wrong and replaced those items as a precaution.

But yes, the basic idea is to either know what the problem areas are going in so you can tell if they've been done or if the costs to pre-emptively get them done are worth it on top of the buy-in, or get a set of service records that show what's been done so you can tell exactly what areas may need to be adressed or what will not be a problem. Each make and model has it's own areas, and there are websites dedicated to those models where you can learn that info before checking a particular car out.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-01-2010, 02:50 PM
 
14,777 posts, read 34,498,385 times
Reputation: 14278
Quote:
Originally Posted by Merc63 View Post
the key is in maintenance and treatment. Sadly, a lot of second owners deferred the maintenance as they bought the cars at half price due to depreciation, and didn't want to spend teh time/money to keep up the car. But if they did, or if an original owner owned it well past the end of warranty, and you can get records of what was maintained, you can find that a 100k mile German car will cost you WAY less to own than a new economy car or a much younger luxury car that has only had oil changes and is ready for the supension to fall off or the cooling system to take a major dump.
You bring up an excellent point regarding the "sweet spot" for looking at used luxury cars, particularly the Euro ones. When looking at the older, higher mileage cars, you really want to find the one owner cars. These are generally maintained far better and were owned by an enthusiast for that brand.

When you start looking at 100k mile used luxury cars that have had 2 previous owners, it is generally a car that was originally leased and then bought by someone looking for cheap luxury. They tend to drive the cars until the major services or problems start to creep up and then they dump them.

I personally think the sweet spot is the 3 year old range where you can get the big discount, but you need to be prepared to handle the maintenance items when you hit the 75k - 100k mile range. If you do everything right, the car can last you a long time past that point. After that it's the 100k+ mile one owner cars that are generally the best.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-01-2010, 02:58 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
13,388 posts, read 42,713,043 times
Reputation: 11470
Am I the only one picking up on "DC area"? This has to be the most car-hostile city in the US, unless you live way outside the Beltway, or have metric tons of money to waste on a decent garage in town, it's going to be tough going to keep a really nice car in that environment. Not sure where you can go for a pleasure drive either, unless you enjoy sitting in traffic.

On top of that IIRC you'll get gouged good on your annual registration.

I don't even like to drive a *rental* car in DC.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Automotive
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top