: 1997 740i or 1997 S420?



I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-04-05, 01:23 AM
I have been pondering what car to buy in the next few year for quite a while.
Right now, I am kind of thinking of getting a mid '90s BMW 740i/ 740iL or getting a M-B S420/ S500. I prefer the looks of the S Class, and the interior of the S Class, and I always preferred M-B over BMW. But I suppose the BMW handles better and is more sporty. What do you guys think?

Playdrv4me
11-04-05, 04:59 AM
Everyone here knows how much I love BMWs, however the fact of the matter is that as they get older, part for part and year for year, the Mercedes product will almost always outlast the BMW product. Mercedes builds their vehicles with the intent of rock solid reliability and long term ownership (or they used to before the most recent models/reliability issues).

Obviously between almost any BMW and Mercedes however there is always going to be a tradeoff for agility and performance. In my mind the big BMW sedans just tend to outperform their Mercedes counterparts when it comes to driving feel and contact with the road.

No matter what, any of these cars without proper prior maintenance is going to be an absolute headache, but it really comes down to what you want out of the car.

Jesda
11-04-05, 05:43 AM
Older MB is truly world class. I pick the S. Expect to be severely raped on parts. You can borrow the bottle of anal lube I use when I go to the Infiniti dealer.

mccombie_5
11-04-05, 08:56 AM
S S S

My wife had a 1996 750IL and i loved it. It wasnt a scratch on my 94 320SEL though.

I recently bought the 98 S600 as you know, and id still take the S over the Beemer.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-04-05, 12:09 PM
Older MB is truly world class. I pick the S. Expect to be severely raped on parts. You can borrow the bottle of anal lube I use when I go to the Infiniti dealer.


HAHAHAHA!! I dont know if I would like to share, I would have to go buy some Vaseline at Walgreens before I went to the parts department, because, god knows you can't take it dry!

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-04-05, 12:10 PM
S S S

My wife had a 1996 750IL and i loved it. It wasnt a scratch on my 94 320SEL though.

I recently bought the 98 S600 as you know, and id still take the S over the Beemer.


mccombie, I knew you would help me with this one!

SpeedyArizona
11-04-05, 12:29 PM
As a BMW owner, I'd pick the Bimmer over the 'Benz.

It depends on your style:

If you want the more performance-oriented vehicle, get the Bimmer.
If you want the sporty vehicle, get the Bimmer.
If you want a car that hugs the road, get the Bimmer.
If you want the best interior (in my opinion), get the Bimmer

If you want the larger car, get the Mercedes.

You better figure in the cost of maintaining each one though, the M-B would shock you!

mccombie_5
11-04-05, 12:47 PM
mccombie, I knew you would help me with this one!

If you want a quality, old school, luxobarge, the Mercedes is the best at it, also, the S is smoother, having ran both of them, the S isnt that much more than the BMW, if any at all. The S is better built (even my 98 S is better than the 96 7)

You will look classy and sophisticated in the Mercedes, these cars were the best.

Also, the S500 cost considerably more than the 750i in 1995, so even though it is about the same price now, you are getting $15k more car :sneaky: ( i think anyway my memory is rough, if i am wrong please correct me)

If you buy a Mercedes, you will look like a classy, corporate high flyer, with great taste, if you buy a BMW you will look like a BMW driver :sneaky: :0

Playdrv4me
11-04-05, 12:54 PM
You better figure in the cost of maintaining each one though, the M-B would shock you!

I agree, however this is one thing youre really going to have to consider regardless of which one you purchase. These are simply not cheap cars to maintain even when purchased in the best of low mileage condition. If you dont plan to do the work yourself (which on these cars is not always feasible) its imperative to find a good local Euro mechanic who knows the ins and outs of the vehicle and has a source of either good used parts, or less expensive than the dealer new ones. Almost every major town Ive ever lived in has had one of these outfits specifically for euro makes for this reason.

mccombie_5
11-04-05, 12:57 PM
Ian, I completely agree, if i had bought any other S600, i would be finduing an indipendant mechanic to do the work. AS it stands my S has a main dealer service history, and i want to coninue this.

90Brougham350
11-04-05, 02:58 PM
If you buy a Mercedes, you will look like a classy, corporate high flyer, with great taste, if you buy a BMW you will look like a BMW driver :sneaky: :0

True, but if you buy the BMW, you're getting the ultimate driving machine. Let's face it, BMW's are fun! Which engine does the 740 you're thinking of have? I'd go with the BMW.

Caddy Man
11-04-05, 03:01 PM
Id pick the s class, its always been the leader of the big sedans.

Elvis
11-04-05, 03:22 PM
I like the looks of the BMW better than the Mercedes, but I can say from experience that BMW rapes you worse than Mercedes does.

Go with the S.

mccombie_5
11-04-05, 03:29 PM
True, but if you buy the BMW, you're getting the ultimate driving machine. Let's face it, BMW's are fun! Which engine does the 740 you're thinking of have? I'd go with the BMW.

740 = 4.0 V8

My wife had the 750iL in 1996, and to be honest, it wasnt THAT good to drive. It felt faster, but that was it.

I prefer the Mercedes, and my wife does too. Thats got to be good from an ex owner?

The BEnzesarent exactly boats either, they are very agile consdering their 2 tonne + weight, the BMW isnt far behind, but the S IMO is better. It was definately better built.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-04-05, 05:42 PM
so in comparison to Cadillacs, how steep is repair and maintenace costs for a
M-B/BMW

mccombie_5
11-04-05, 06:24 PM
so in comparison to Cadillacs, how steep is repair and maintenace costs for a
M-B/BMW

I can help a little here, but not much, because Cadillacs cost me a fortune here too, there is a limited dealer network and the ones i have arent cheap.

It is expensive to keep the BMW

It is about the same for the Mercedes

A Cadillac is about 25-40% less for me

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-04-05, 06:36 PM
alright, thanks mccombie :yup:

haute_heir
11-04-05, 08:36 PM
Older MB is truly world class. I pick the S. Expect to be severely raped on parts. You can borrow the bottle of anal lube I use when I go to the Infiniti dealer.

Haha! Yeah I agree, I wondered if I was the only Infiniti owner that thought they were raping me... Everyone else seemed more than happy to pay whatever at the service desk whenever I was there! RIP QX4

As for the BMW or the Benz... Benz hands down! Yeah I have one, but I had a 325 before, and the Mercedes is a far better built car, nicer, dealership treats you nicer, maint. is cheaper (NOT CHEAP). Plus theres a tonne more upgrading you can do to a Mercedes than a Bimmer.

Leloz
11-04-05, 10:59 PM
I have owned a 750iL, S500, and S600. I would take the w140 Mercedes hands down. Although they are less sporty than the BMW, the Mercedes wraps around you like a vault and makes you feel like a million dollars behind the wheel. Although my 1998 S600 is almost 8 years old, it still receives compliments everywhere I go ;)

mccombie_5
11-04-05, 11:03 PM
IM getting them for my S600 already Leloz!

ben72227
11-04-05, 11:45 PM
What is up with this? All these people asking what kind of German car to get on a Cadillac forum!?

For gods sake, get a '98 STS, it has a Northstar AND you can get it fixed for MUCH cheaper than the other two since its an American domestic.:sneaky:

But really, I'd get the Mercedes. BMW's are fun to drive, but they just don't hold up like the old MBs...

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-05-05, 12:22 AM
If i wanted a Northstar Caddy, I would get the Deville Concours or ETC, I've always preferred the look of those to the STS

Jesda
11-05-05, 01:12 AM
What is up with this? All these people asking what kind of German car to get on a Cadillac forum!?

LOL! I was sort of wondering the same myself.

Playdrv4me
11-05-05, 01:53 PM
I think its always been understood we are more open to a diversity of brands here than pretty much any other brand forum out there. That is part of what makes our community better. We are devoted to Cadillac, but in understanding the whole "World Class" picture, you have to take into account your best competition as well.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-05-05, 01:59 PM
What do you all think of how the '97 A8? How does it fit into this picture? For me, I like it less than the S420, but more than the 740i

mccombie_5
11-05-05, 02:07 PM
What do you all think of how the '97 A8? How does it fit into this picture? For me, I like it less than the S420, but more than the 740i

Now that is a car i do like!

It is beautiful, smooth, 4.2 V8 in some models, AWD, and many other things.

Expensive to maintain there in the States though i believe.

That is as good as the Benz. Id still say get the Benz.

Playdrv4me
11-05-05, 02:13 PM
Stay away from the flagship Audi's older than 5 years. Audis can eat you alive on maintenance and repair costs, they are NOT known for reliability.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-05-05, 02:13 PM
yeah, I have read that about the 97-00 A4. They have terrible reliability. But i wasnt sure about the A8.

Jesda
11-05-05, 02:21 PM
I'd like to have an old A8 as a garage queen. I'd drive it on Sundays and love the hell out of it. Driving more often than Sunday would be terribly expensive.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-05-05, 02:29 PM
Personally, The 97-98 A8's look a little bland for me, they look like a bigger A4, They should have been more bold and they needed more chrome. But they have GORGEOUS interiors.

Leloz
11-05-05, 03:58 PM
The interior is also bland on the 1997-2003 A8, they were behind the competition, just look at the way their Navigation was setup. The interior in my son's DTS is 100X more impressive than the second generation A8.

AznPrydeRegalRyde
11-05-05, 06:28 PM
I have been pondering what car to buy in the next few year for quite a while.
Right now, I am kind of thinking of getting a mid '90s BMW 740i/ 740iL or getting a M-B S420/ S500. I prefer the looks of the S Class, and the interior of the S Class, and I always preferred M-B over BMW. But I suppose the BMW handles better and is more sporty. What do you guys think?
These were the years that the flagship BMW's actually looked good, before they were bangled. Don't get me wrong, I like the bangled look on the 3-series. But a late 90's 7 series especialy the iL looks great.
BUT, like everyone said, for reasons allready given, get the S.

N0DIH
11-06-05, 02:18 AM
I have driven a 2000 S500 and loved it. Drove a 89 S420, and hated it, pathetic, was not much better than the 1 month ownership of the S250 I had in Germany. At least it had a stick and a 4BBL.... And the S420 interior, felt as cheap as my mother in law's 94 Toyota Corrola. Yuk. One of the worst quality feeling cars I have seen in a long time. Even Chryslers in the 90's and 80's had better feeling interiors. And I hate Chrysler interiors.

Drove the first prototype ever in the US of the VW Phaeton W12 around 2.5 to 3 years ago. Felt heavy, much more sluggish than my LT1 Cadillac. Mainly due to that junk electronic drive by wire throttle. I can only hope that VW fixed it before production. But still, spinning all 4 wheels off the line is still fun!!! But despite, it still felt heavy. The drive by wire throttle was so lame that if you floored it and let up, it might start revving when you got back to idle. BIG lag time. Car feel was very heavy due to that, and, it WAS a heavy car.

Typically BMW's outhandle MBenz. Sorta like comparing a Pontiac to a Cadillac. One is more performance oriented than the other. But that hasn't meant much in a long time too...

Drive em both, see what you want to be driving day and day out. Me? Cadillac. The standard has been set.

mccombie_5
11-06-05, 08:08 AM
NODIH,

The 2000 S500 was a good car, i owned one for a few years from new. It wasnt as god as my 1994 320SEL on build, or interior.

The Phaeton I have doesnt have the W12, its got the 3.0 TDI and it definately pakcs a punch, it isnt like lightning, but its a pretty quick, i wouldnt want to race in it, but it does the job i need it for. By the sounds of it they improved the Phaeton bedfore they started production.

Leloz
11-06-05, 08:32 AM
Drove a 89 S420, and hated it, pathetic, was not much better than the 1 month ownership of the S250 I had in Germany. At least it had a stick and a 4BBL.... And the S420 interior, felt as cheap as my mother in law's 94 Toyota Corrola. Yuk.



There is no such thing as a 1989 S420, so I doubt you even drove one. It was a 420 SEL in 1989, and the W126 models were one of the best MB sedans ever made with respect to fit and finish. To compare it to a Corolla is just absurd.

mccombie_5
11-06-05, 08:58 AM
There is no such thing as a 1989 S420, so I doubt you even drove one. It was a 420 SEL in 1989, and the W126 models were one of the best MB sedans ever made with respect to fit and finish. To compare it to a Corolla is just absurd.

THats a good point, many politicains in Eastern Europe still use those as transport :)

Jesda
11-06-05, 10:10 AM
1991 -- Top Gear drives the 4.2L S-class.
http://www.finalgear.com/downloads/topgear/1991/5/

Playdrv4me
11-06-05, 01:20 PM
There is no such thing as a 1989 S420, so I doubt you even drove one. It was a 420 SEL in 1989, and the W126 models were one of the best MB sedans ever made with respect to fit and finish. To compare it to a Corolla is just absurd.

I think alot of people refer to SEL series as "S" Class just as a general reference these days. Its a common mistake I see happen alot.

Still, Ive never met anyone who did not think the W126 interiors were of the utmost fit and finish and highest quality. Anyone who especially thinks the junk S class thats out now is BETTER than the W126 was in its time is also smoking crack. The current S Class is truly a disaster that looks pretty. The next one looks ugly, but promises much better quality and reliability.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-06-05, 01:32 PM
I Like the W126 models, I think They're built to an exceptional level. I believe back then, Mercedes manufactured it's cars by hand. They have a very clean interior design, very formal.

Heres a 1988 420SEL. I think they're really Gorgeous cars.
http://members.aol.com/jayspromos/mer5
http://members.aol.com/jayspromos/mer11


I think with that car, you would need a licence plate that says "Roman 1"

mccombie_5
11-06-05, 01:39 PM
THAT is a classy looking car. If MB made a one liek that now im sure MANY people would buy them rather than a dislexus.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-07-05, 02:30 AM
I wonder how the 95-99 Jaguar XJ's fit into this whole picture? What do you all think of those?

Here is a '96 XJ6 Vanden Plas.
http://host.jwcinc.net/801002/96jaguarxj6vdpblk/96jaguarxj6vdpblk03.jpg

Heres how it falls for me right now

#1- Mercedes Benz S420
http://i11.ebayimg.com/04/a/05/3e/fd/02_4.JPG

#2- Jaguar XJ6 Vanden Plas
http://host.jwcinc.net/801002/96jaguarxj6vdpblk/96jaguarxj6vdpblk03.jpg

#3- Audi A8
http://www.imagemotors.com/audi3/26.jpg

#4- BMW 740i
http://inc28.web.aplus.net/frg-n/465-par-740-green/DSC00001.JPG

Caddy Man
11-07-05, 03:18 AM
my mom has the 96 Jaguar Vanden Plas, and my dad has the 98 S 320, and let me just say, the Jag, as beautiful as it is, is very low and very tight to get into. Its not as open or spacious as the mercedes, and the mechanical quaility is lacking, belive me, that thing will be in the shop often. The V-6 feels underpowered. And Im not sure if it matters to you, but due to its low ride hieight, it absoultly blows in the snow.

The Mercedes on the other hand has a very commanding presence, the thing is solid and built like a tank, to this day, there is not one rattle in that car. The windows are double thick glass. The doors close with a vault like 'thud'. It drives smooth as silk and truly commands respect. Its very spacious on the inside and engineered very nicely. My dad has the 320, which is underpowered in my opinion for the size of the car, so if your looking at an S class of those years, Id really recommend to go with a 420 or a 500. Winter driving is very confident with this car.

Jesda
11-07-05, 05:38 AM
The Jag will be the cheapest to own of all the above, but not by a whole lot. The 4.0L I6 is nice and torquey, but dont expect it to scream.

I give the nod to the Audi for looks. Its what the Q45 should have become.

Leloz
11-07-05, 08:55 AM
I give the nod to the Audi for looks. Its what the Q45 should have become.

How so? The Q45 is neither AWD or aluminum bodied.

70eldo
11-07-05, 09:53 AM
If you buy a Mercedes, you will look like a classy, corporate high flyer, with great taste, if you buy a BMW you will look like a BMW driver :sneaky: :0

I totally agree here. The car has to suit your style. BMW and MB are two very different life styles. I would say a BMW reflects a more aggressive life style... even in road behaviour :devil:

Jesda
11-07-05, 10:58 AM
How so? The Q45 is neither AWD or aluminum bodied.

"for looks" and "should have become"

mccombie_5
11-07-05, 12:58 PM
I totally agree here. The car has to suit your style. BMW and MB are two very different life styles. I would say a BMW reflects a more aggressive life style... even in road behaviour :devil:

Yup, its the yuppie lifestyle.

My son, who i gave my BMW to, said that he would have rather taken something else, because as much as he likes the Beemer, its not hiss kinda car, he is young, but he really isnt an aggressive driver as such. When it come sout of the shop were trading it in for a Jaguar S-Type V8.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-07-05, 01:12 PM
my mom has the 96 Jaguar Vanden Plas, and my dad has the 98 S 320, and let me just say, the Jag, as beautiful as it is, is very low and very tight to get into. Its not as open or spacious as the mercedes, and the mechanical quaility is lacking, belive me, that thing will be in the shop often. The V-6 feels underpowered. And Im not sure if it matters to you, but due to its low ride hieight, it absoultly blows in the snow.

The Mercedes on the other hand has a very commanding presence, the thing is solid and built like a tank, to this day, there is not one rattle in that car. The windows are double thick glass. The doors close with a vault like 'thud'. It drives smooth as silk and truly commands respect. Its very spacious on the inside and engineered very nicely. My dad has the 320, which is underpowered in my opinion for the size of the car, so if your looking at an S class of those years, Id really recommend to go with a 420 or a 500. Winter driving is very confident with this car.

Interesting...If the S Class feels more airy than thats better for me, and if it feels bigger thats good too. It doesnt really bother me that its low and tight to get into because I'm only 5'6" and 135 lbs. So small spaces dont hurt me really, I just like to feel like im in a great big car when in fact im in a great big car.

After reading this, I would have to go with the S Class