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BMW vs. Lexus vs. Mercedes maintenance costs

Discussion in 'Fine Living, Home, Design & Auto' started by dah328, Oct 20, 2010.

  1. dah328

    dah328 Senior member

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    A friend is considering a 3-5 year-old car and was wondering about the relative maintenance costs of BMW (3-series or possibly a 525i), Lexus (IS or possibly ES), and MB (C-class sedan). I'm pretty familiar with BMW, but I have no point of reference with the others. I know BMW's new car warranty covers all maintenance costs, but I don't think their CPO warranty does that nor am I aware of either Lexus or MB offering that.
     
  2. Slickman

    Slickman Senior member

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    I think Bimmer's CPO 100k warranty does, just tell them to check with the dealer, all 3 are completely different cars, but I'd pick the 3, its quick, handles great, and is relatively problem free.
     
  3. dah328

    dah328 Senior member

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  4. yjeezle

    yjeezle Senior member

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    with the BMW CPO and 328i it'll beat the maintenence cost of either the lexus or the benz. will last you until 100k miles.
     
  5. Recoil

    Recoil Senior member

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    BMWs are much less temperamental (in general, I need this caveat so Benz lovers don't jump all over me) then Benzs. Lexus is pretty reliable though, a lot of cheaper Toyota parts can be used in place of "Lexus" parts.
     
  6. akatsuki

    akatsuki Senior member

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    BMWs are great until they are out of warranty.

    Mercs just turned the corner and have finally gotten their act together on quality with the new C and E (so 200:cool:.

    Lexus's are Toyotas and generally invincible.

    Audi, well, you will certainly get to find out how good the dealer loaner program is.
     
  7. EMY

    EMY Senior member

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    i do not own a bmw so i cannot say for certain, but i've read on forums that BMW's schedule maintenance (aka oil change) is every 15k miles. That's just enough for the car to last through warranty and the car is no longer BMW's problem. there are some cars with heavy sludge and wear with only 40k normal driving miles.

    i have a high mileage mercedes and there have been no major problems. i'm car savvy though, so i perform my own maintenance and fix my own problems.
     
  8. vitaminc

    vitaminc Senior member

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    BMWs are great until they are out of warranty.

    Mercs just turned the corner and have finally gotten their act together on quality with the new C and E (so 200:cool:.

    Lexus's are Toyotas and generally invincible.

    Audi, well, you will certainly get to find out how good the dealer loaner program is.


    lol so true.
     
  9. hangten

    hangten Senior member

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    Lexus has a better CPO program.
    Lexus does not have the deductible that BMW CPO has. Lexus CPO is 3 years versus BMW's 2 years. If your certified Lexus breaks down anywhere, Lexus will pick up your hotel and meals for up to 3 nights.

    That all said..... I bought the BMW in the end.
     
  10. oldseed

    oldseed Senior member

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    kinda depends on how much you drive. i drive about 20k miles a year and it costs about $1000 a year to fix up whatever is breaking down on my bimmer. i'm at about 90k miles now. This is WITH CPO.

    if you don't drive that much then the little things won't bug you. that in mind, i keep my bimmer in tippy toppy shape and take it in when i detect something's off.

    if you want reliability get yourself a toyota/honda/hyundai. the real price of a bimmer/luxury car is not the price you pay up front, it's all in the maintenance.

    seed
     
  11. bcate3

    bcate3 Senior member

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    i do not own a bmw so i cannot say for certain, but i've read on forums that BMW's schedule maintenance (aka oil change) is every 15k miles. That's just enough for the car to last through warranty and the car is no longer BMW's problem. there are some cars with heavy sludge and wear with only 40k normal driving miles.

    i have a high mileage mercedes and there have been no major problems. i'm car savvy though, so i perform my own maintenance and fix my own problems.


    I don't trust the manufacturer's schedule either, but have heard different opinions about how to approach regular maintenance. DO you change oil every 3-6 months for example regardless of miles?
     
  12. EMY

    EMY Senior member

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    I don't trust the manufacturer's schedule either, but have heard different opinions about how to approach regular maintenance. DO you change oil every 3-6 months for example regardless of miles?

    I haven't really thought about that since I am usually due for an oil change by that time. If I had a car that was not used much, I still think I will change it by mileage unless it was years since the last change.
     
  13. CouttsClient

    CouttsClient Senior member

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    BMWs are great until they are out of warranty.

    Mercs just turned the corner and have finally gotten their act together on quality with the new C and E (so 200:cool:.

    Lexus's are Toyotas and generally invincible.

    Audi, well, you will certainly get to find out how good the dealer loaner program is.


    [​IMG] This has been my experience with Audi
     
  14. dah328

    dah328 Senior member

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    i do not own a bmw so i cannot say for certain, but i've read on forums that BMW's schedule maintenance (aka oil change) is every 15k miles. That's just enough for the car to last through warranty and the car is no longer BMW's problem. there are some cars with heavy sludge and wear with only 40k normal driving miles.

    i have a high mileage mercedes and there have been no major problems. i'm car savvy though, so i perform my own maintenance and fix my own problems.

    You're not going to build up heavy sludge and wear with 15k-mile oil change intervals when you're using synthetic oils. Granted, I change more often than that even with synthetic oils, but 40k miles of normal driving with 15k intervals won't ruin the car. Now their "lifetime" transmission and differential fluids, on the other hand, are silly.
     
  15. EMY

    EMY Senior member

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    You're not going to build up heavy sludge and wear with 15k-mile oil change intervals when you're using synthetic oils. Granted, I change more often than that even with synthetic oils, but 40k miles of normal driving with 15k intervals won't ruin the car. Now their "lifetime" transmission and differential fluids, on the other hand, are silly.

    Yeah, it's unlikely, but that was posted on the forum (either bimmerfest or m3post). Someone bought a used car with 40k miles with regular schedule maintenance and it had developed heavy sludge with metal filings in the filter. Either way, most people would agree that 15k miles between intervals is pushing it.

    I agree on the transmission fluid. By "lifetime", they mean lifetime of the warranty. hahaha I would probably change that immediately if I were buying a used car, regardless of whether it is CPO or not.
     
  16. Rye GB

    Rye GB Senior member

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    Aside from tires, brake pads and scheduled maintenance I've only spent $500 in repairs on my 2001 Lexus IS 300 from new.
     
  17. impolyt_one

    impolyt_one Senior member

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    kinda depends on how much you drive. i drive about 20k miles a year and it costs about $1000 a year to fix up whatever is breaking down on my bimmer. i'm at about 90k miles now. This is WITH CPO. if you don't drive that much then the little things won't bug you. that in mind, i keep my bimmer in tippy toppy shape and take it in when i detect something's off. if you want reliability get yourself a toyota/honda/hyundai. the real price of a bimmer/luxury car is not the price you pay up front, it's all in the maintenance. seed
    A nickel a mile up to and over 90K on the clock is very good, all things considered. A Honda from the good old days might've cost like a cent a mile or even less, but on the extreme end, something like an early Lamborghini Gallardo (the $80K ones on ebay) are like $5/mile or way more in maintenance... so at a nickel/mile in a BMW, you're in a good car at a way low cost.
     
  18. sushi7474

    sushi7474 Well-Known Member

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    Europe
    I own a Mercedes C-class - C 220 CDI (this is the current W204 model, now 3 years old), and the only thing it requires, is a regular yearly service maintenance - approximately 400 EUR/ year (with branded service, 1/3 if you go with non-branded one).

    The car is absolutely reliable and considered "bulletproof " - even within the MB service staff (my motorbike-buddy is a senior technician at the MB dealership, so I receive almost first-hand experience).

    HTH
    R.
     
  19. mrhills0146

    mrhills0146 Well-Known Member

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    A friend is considering a 3-5 year-old car and was wondering about the relative maintenance costs of BMW (3-series or possibly a 525i), Lexus (IS or possibly ES), and MB (C-class sedan). I'm pretty familiar with BMW, but I have no point of reference with the others. I know BMW's new car warranty covers all maintenance costs, but I don't think their CPO warranty does that nor am I aware of either Lexus or MB offering that.

    Depends on what your friend wants in a car. Covered maintenance is a sham - you pay for it one way or another, so tell your friend to get the car that he or she wants, then find a good independent mechanic and never darken the door of the dealer unless for warranty work.

    The Lexus will likely be the least costly to operate. The IS is fun-to-drive (for a Lexus...) The ES is by and large dead-nuts reliable, but it's as exciting as your Frigidaire. Great transportation, but that car is the closest thing to a Japanese Buick this side of a Toyota Avalon. If your friend wants reliable transportation and low cost of ownership without much excitement, Lexus is the way to go.

    I am a long-time owner of many Mercedes autos. Personally, I'd stay away from the 2001-07 C-class. Not a fan of that car - many of the early ones ('01 and '02 in particular) are plagued with electrical issues and sloppy build quality. The '06s and particularly '07s seem to be pretty reliable, but the styling is very unremarkable and the interior is downright cheap-looking and feeling. I would take a long, hard look at an '08 or '09 C-class though. The redesigned model seems to be back to looking and feeling more like a Mercedes should.

    A 3er BMW or even some 5ers are great fun to drive, but they will cost more to operate than the Lexus. Window regulators are a common failure. They CAN be DIYed if you are pretty handy and don't mind the pain-in-the-ass factor, but it is a Titanic pain in the ass. BMWs are VERY sensitive to wear in front suspension components (bushings and such) and the car will feel progressively "sloppy" as those components wear. Certain model years (I forget which) of 3er have rear subframe mounts prone to failure. All BMWs typically have sub-par climate control - one thing about American cars is they have A/C that will freeze your ass out of the car. Not so with the Germans.

    Good luck!

    -Matt in Atlanta
     
  20. uhurit

    uhurit Senior member

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    ^^^ This man is telling the truth...listen to him!
     

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