Lexus IS350 vs Mercedes C-Class

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neilpilot
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Re: Lexus IS350 vs Mercedes C-Class

Post by neilpilot »

tim1999 wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 7:09 pm
neilpilot wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 2:57 pm The "B" service is the "A" service PLUS engine air & cabin filters. Once again no special tools or talent is required. I completed the "B" service on my 2016 GLC300 in May. I used OEM filters and Mobil 1 Euro formula synthetic oil, and my total cost was under $100. The first time I did the "B" service it took me about 2-3 hours since it was my first on the GLC, but this time it was done in about 1-1/2 hours. I work slowly, but still probably spend less time completing the maintenance than if I waited at the dealer.
Many MB models require a brake fluid change at every B service interval which drives up the price as well. Plenty of other makes of cars out there that have much longer intervals (Lexus included).
The more precise way to determine when to change brake fluid is by measuring moisture content. A change every 2 years is certainly safe but typically excessive. This isn't brand specific - I also plan to test my other car, which is now just 14 months old.

When I owned the C240 I changed brake fluid approximately every 3 years, not necessarily during B service. I just about never use a dealers for service beyond recalls and warranty repairs. They will often recommend various additional services, some questionable (i.e. gasoline additives) since it's good for their business.

Since we replaced the C240 with the GLC300, I've started to test the moisture content of all my auto's brake fluids annually with a target of changing fluid if/when the water content is >=3%. I ended up changing the fluid at year 5 on the GLC300, even though it still wasn't quite up to 3%.

This is similar to the tester I use: https://www.amazon.com/Diagnostic-Hydra ... s9dHJ1ZQ==

Some say you can use a VOM to test fluid, but I haven't tried that method. https://autoedu.info/en/auto-mechanic/b ... e-fluid-1/
UALflyer
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Re: Lexus IS350 vs Mercedes C-Class

Post by UALflyer »

atdharris wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 2:32 pm
tim1999 wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 1:45 pm
Stinky wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 12:25 pm
atdharris wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 9:47 am I love my C-Class, but it is expensive as hell to maintain…..

The scheduled service maintenance costs alone, when nothing is wrong, are usually $1000 a trip.
This alone is a deal killer for me.
Yeah, and even if you take it to an independent M-B shop in my MCOL area, you are still looking at around $250 for the "A" service (every year or 10k) and $500 for the "B" service (every 2 years or 20k) on a 4-cyl M-B. Once you get into the 50-60k mile range, you are due for a spark plug change and transmission fluid change, together which will run you over $1,000 even at the indie shop, in addition to the A or B service due then.

The IS350 (V6) has a very reliable and proven powertrain with very low service costs if you stay away from the dealer. It will get worse fuel economy than a MB C300, but I prefer the V6 and wouldn't mind paying the extra fuel cost myself.
Yup. The "A" service usually runs me ~$800 at minimum and the B service is always over $1000. I take my car to the dealership for service. We have one independent MB shop in my area, but with all the electronics on my car, I am not comfortable taking it there. It looks like they service a lot of older models.
It sounds like the crazy MB service pricing that people are talking about has very little to do with the brand, but everything to do with the fact that there's very little competition in your particular area. Sure, if you only have one (!!!) independent MB shop in an area, prices are going to be crazy high.

We've got a fair number of MB dealers in the area, and dozens and dozens of excellent MB independents. Hence, with a coupon, service A is $165 at an MB dealer or $130 - $150 at an independent. With a coupon, service B is $275 - $300 at an MB dealer, or about the same price at an independent (at the indy's, the price typically includes a brake fluid drain and fill).

Transmission fluid flush is $299 at an MB dealer.
The "A" service usually runs me ~$800 at minimum
From your description, it sounds like you're going in for service A, but end up paying for additional things. The exact same thing can happen at any dealer, where you go in for an oil change, but come out with pages and pages of additional "services."

So, even in your area without any competition, service A does not run $800.
Last edited by UALflyer on Wed Jun 22, 2022 8:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Kagord
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Re: Lexus IS350 vs Mercedes C-Class

Post by Kagord »

Why not lease the Mercedes just to get it out of your system, then buy a Lexus the next round? Best of both worlds.
UALflyer
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Re: Lexus IS350 vs Mercedes C-Class

Post by UALflyer »

tim1999 wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 7:09 pm
neilpilot wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 2:57 pm The "B" service is the "A" service PLUS engine air & cabin filters. Once again no special tools or talent is required. I completed the "B" service on my 2016 GLC300 in May. I used OEM filters and Mobil 1 Euro formula synthetic oil, and my total cost was under $100. The first time I did the "B" service it took me about 2-3 hours since it was my first on the GLC, but this time it was done in about 1-1/2 hours. I work slowly, but still probably spend less time completing the maintenance than if I waited at the dealer.
Many MB models require a brake fluid change at every B service interval which drives up the price as well. Plenty of other makes of cars out there that have much longer intervals (Lexus included).
The issue with your brake fluid is exactly the same with every make and model. Namely, brake fluid is hygroscopic, which means that it absorbs moisture. Some manufacturers take a more proactive approach to brake fluid replacements than other ones, but in general, replacing your brake fluid is a good idea regardless of the make and model that you own.

In other words, brake fluid doesn't work any differently in MB than it does in other vehicles and doesn't absorb any more or any less moisture. Mercedes has just always been pretty proactive with this issue and generally recommends replacing it every 2 years/24K miles, while some other manufacturers mention longer replacements or don't even publish specific replacement intervals.
Normchad
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Re: Lexus IS350 vs Mercedes C-Class

Post by Normchad »

Kagord wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 8:09 pm Why not lease the Mercedes just to get it out of your system, then buy a Lexus the next round? Best of both worlds.
That’s a really great idea.
Topic Author
bob1234
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Re: Lexus IS350 vs Mercedes C-Class

Post by bob1234 »

Thanks everyone for the responses. I wasn't expecting so many!

Has anyone test driven or own the new C-Class? It isn't currently available to test drive at my local dealership. I have test driven the 3 series, A4, previous generation C-Class and IS350 AWD (only AWD is available in my area) and wondering how it compares to those.

I like the IS350 in terms of steering, braking, and comfort, but the acceleration didn't feel as smooth (hesitation during shifting) as the 3 series. Wondering if this improves as the engine warms up or over time. I don't drive particularly aggressive, but like a smooth acceleration. I liked the way the 3 series drove, but overall impressions (styling, features, etc.) wasn't substantially better than the IS350 to justify the potential extra repair expenses. I really like the styling of the C-Class, but would be reluctant to buy without test driving.
sureshoe
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Re: Lexus IS350 vs Mercedes C-Class

Post by sureshoe »

JackoC wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 3:52 pm
sureshoe wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 10:48 am
jfmiii wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 9:03 am Mercedes.

I personally think the reliability issues on German cars is way overblown. I think MB/Audi/BMW have made huge strides in reliability over the last decade. My wife has owned a GLC since new in 2018. It now has 50k miles and has needed only routine fluid changes and 1 set of new tires. It still has the original brakes. No other issues to speak of. I owned an Audi A4 in the early 2000s. Great car but lot of issues unrelated to the drivetrain; window regulators, sunroof motors, etc. It kept me away from Audi but I've heard they are miles ahead of were they were 20 years ago. Owned a BMW M3 in the mid-2000s that was under warranty. Owned the car for 5 years and had one issue that was covered under warranty that wouldve been $3k if the repair needed to be done out of warranty. Also owned a C300 from about 2012-2018. It needed nothing other than routine maintenance.
I feel like this is a bad comparison. I know on paper they are both "luxury cars", but I feel there is a cachet to Mercedes that Lexus doesn't have.

To me, you buy a Mercedes if you want people see you have a luxury car. You buy a Lexus if you want a driver.
I guess almost few would *say* 'I'm buying this car so people can see I have a luxury car' yet a lot of people here are sure other people are doing that. Probably some are, I'm just less sure than some what other people are 'really' thinking.
Impressions are impressions I guess.

I think for no reason other than Lexus (I assume) sells more cars than Mercedes. I googled out of curiosity, but didn't get a quick answer, and didn't care enough to do a second search :)
Lexi tend to be more boring also (though Merc's are also generally boring IMO) and often have, to my eye, whacky styling in recent years.
This isn't meant to be argumentative, but I really don't know what makes a car "exciting". And that's a common thing I hear - people like Audis/etc. I dunno, maybe I'm just boring, but I don't drive day-to-day for "excitement", I want a comfortable car.
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Lexus IS350 vs Mercedes C-Class

Post by TomatoTomahto »

MGBMartin wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 6:59 am
jharkin wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 6:40 am The Lexus will go 10 years with nothing but tires, brake pads and fluid changes.

The Mercedes.... well.... I am sure they are a lot more reliable than they used to be but something expensive is likely to come up at some point. German cars are especially known for electrical problems (coil packs, injectors, etc) and the cooling systems having issues as they age.
Tell me about it.
Just got my E350 back after being in the shop for 3 months, $2500 to replace 2 ECU’s that somehow fried themselves.
Same car, $3000 for a fuel pump a while back; whole tank has to be replaced.
Same model, different car $3000 when transmission went out.
Years ago, I had a Mercedes that I loved. When I got the bill for the AC octopus hose, I told service that I thought hose was a noun, not a verb. 😁

Still, it drove as well as the day I got it.
I get the FI part but not the RE part of FIRE.
JackoC
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Re: Lexus IS350 vs Mercedes C-Class

Post by JackoC »

sureshoe wrote: Thu Jun 23, 2022 7:21 am
JackoC wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 3:52 pm
Lexi tend to be more boring also (though Merc's are also generally boring IMO) and often have, to my eye, whacky styling in recent years.
This isn't meant to be argumentative, but I really don't know what makes a car "exciting". And that's a common thing I hear - people like Audis/etc. I dunno, maybe I'm just boring, but I don't drive day-to-day for "excitement", I want a comfortable car.
If one thing more than others I would say balance in tight curves, turns in readily then over/understeer is under your control via throttle. And some like minimal (noticeable) input from the car's stability systems but I like the feel that the car has things under control, I don't have to feel like I'm the super driver successfully wrestling a beast that wants to kill me. I basically only ever use full throttle on public roads in two lane road passing, to spend as little time as possible in the oncoming traffic lane, faster is better in that situation. Smooth on bad pavement is also good, but I don't care that much if one car is a little cushier on good pavement than another. Again for our more expensive car the main mission is multi-k mile road trips on small roads as much as possible. It's not commuting (I never commuted by car, always public transport when I was working) and just going to the store our old Lexus GX is fine: in that kind of use I agree 'a car's a car' to a greater extent.

Among relevant cars I've had in relatively recent times the Mercedes E was comfortable but besides having multiple minor but annoying problems (electrical/electronic) fell short on cornering and wasn't that fast. The Lexus GX470 doesn't actually handle that badly IMO relative to expectation for a big truck-based SUV and isn't really slow but still basically not the car for that kind of driving. The BMW 328i was far superior to the E in handling, faster (I did have it tuned to higher hp than stock) and almost as comfortable. BMW M2 justified to me its reputation as one the best handling cars around on winding mountain roads, but by no means cushy, a bit trying sometimes on prolonged stretches of bad pavement. More expensive performance cars now have variable suspensions for more versatility, the M2 old school steel spring/fixed dampers and the fixed setting is not cushy. I replaced it recently with Porsche Macan S, the idea being to give up minimally on the handling/2 lane passing side (Macan often called the best handling SUV) but gain quiet/comfortable depending on the settings of adaptive air suspension, more room for our stuff on long trips, more scope to take gravel and dirt roads. No long trips yet but very smooth on bad pavement (of which there's loads here in NY area) in 'normal' mode.

I guess IS350 especially without FSport Dynamic Handling Package (not on any 350 in stock when I looked) would be 'OK' for our road trips but on the boring side, and again we decided a bit bigger higher ground clearance vehicle was better too. But if forced to choose IS350 or current Mercedes C I'd go Lexus.
atdharris
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Re: Lexus IS350 vs Mercedes C-Class

Post by atdharris »

MMiroir wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 5:19 pm
atdharris wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 3:18 pm
neilpilot wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 2:57 pm
atdharris wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 2:32 pm
Yup. The "A" service usually runs me ~$800 at minimum and the B service is always over $1000. I take my car to the dealership for service. We have one independent MB shop in my area, but with all the electronics on my car, I am not comfortable taking it there. It looks like they service a lot of older models.
I'm constantly amazed what dealers and many indy shops charge for MB A & B service. The only real maintenance performed for the "A" service is an oil & oil filter change, and a reset of the maintenance counter. Everything else is a simple inspection (i.e. are other fluid levels OK, are the tires at the proper pressure, etc.). No special tools are required but I use an oil extractor I've had for a decade, so I don't even have to get under the car. I spend under $40 for parts to complete the "A" service that others here pay the dealer $800 (!) to complete.

The "B" service is the "A" service PLUS engine air & cabin filters. Once again no special tools or talent is required. I completed the "B" service on my 2016 GLC300 in May. I used OEM filters and Mobil 1 Euro formula synthetic oil, and my total cost was under $100. The first time I did the "B" service it took me about 2-3 hours since it was my first on the GLC, but this time it was done in about 1-1/2 hours. I work slowly, but still probably spend less time completing the maintenance than if I waited at the dealer.
My issue is that I have no skills at servicing cars whatsoever, so I blindly take it to the dealer for service, where they always find something else wrong with the car on top of the general service. I looked it up and I spent $6,726.19 on service and repairs in 2021 alone. And this car isn't that old. It's a 2016 c-class with 65k miles on it.

As much as I love the car, there are days I wonder if I should sell it and buy something like a Lexis. But with the price of used cars now, I probably can't do that.
You are being taken advantage of by the dealership.
Sometimes I get that feeling, but they are basically the only game in town that services German luxury cars. There are some independent body shops, but as I said earlier, I am not sure I trust them to work on the car.
DS03
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Re: Lexus IS350 vs Mercedes C-Class

Post by DS03 »

bob1234 wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 10:39 pm Thanks everyone for the responses. I wasn't expecting so many!

Has anyone test driven or own the new C-Class? It isn't currently available to test drive at my local dealership. I have test driven the 3 series, A4, previous generation C-Class and IS350 AWD (only AWD is available in my area) and wondering how it compares to those.

I like the IS350 in terms of steering, braking, and comfort, but the acceleration didn't feel as smooth (hesitation during shifting) as the 3 series. Wondering if this improves as the engine warms up or over time. I don't drive particularly aggressive, but like a smooth acceleration. I liked the way the 3 series drove, but overall impressions (styling, features, etc.) wasn't substantially better than the IS350 to justify the potential extra repair expenses. I really like the styling of the C-Class, but would be reluctant to buy without test driving.
That's the problem right now, not too many new cars available to test drive. And I agree, I would never buy a car before I had the chance to drive it.

I haven't drive the new C, but I have driven several new IS350's over the past couple of years. I really wanted to like them enough to replace my S4 but the 'it' just wasn't there and it gave up gas mileage, inside roominess & cargo space as well.
Topic Author
bob1234
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Re: Lexus IS350 vs Mercedes C-Class

Post by bob1234 »

I'm reconsidering the Audi A4, given that the availability for the IS350 is really low and they are pretty much only coming fully loaded with extra dealer add-ons which is driving the price up to well over the A4. I was wondering if the reliability of the A4 is pretty similar to the C-Class, or if it may be better (or at least have cheaper parts) due to being owned by VW.
Kenny911
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Re: Lexus IS350 vs Mercedes C-Class

Post by Kenny911 »

atdharris wrote: Thu Jun 23, 2022 8:33 am
MMiroir wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 5:19 pm
atdharris wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 3:18 pm
neilpilot wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 2:57 pm
atdharris wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 2:32 pm
Yup. The "A" service usually runs me ~$800 at minimum and the B service is always over $1000. I take my car to the dealership for service. We have one independent MB shop in my area, but with all the electronics on my car, I am not comfortable taking it there. It looks like they service a lot of older models.
I'm constantly amazed what dealers and many indy shops charge for MB A & B service. The only real maintenance performed for the "A" service is an oil & oil filter change, and a reset of the maintenance counter. Everything else is a simple inspection (i.e. are other fluid levels OK, are the tires at the proper pressure, etc.). No special tools are required but I use an oil extractor I've had for a decade, so I don't even have to get under the car. I spend under $40 for parts to complete the "A" service that others here pay the dealer $800 (!) to complete.

The "B" service is the "A" service PLUS engine air & cabin filters. Once again no special tools or talent is required. I completed the "B" service on my 2016 GLC300 in May. I used OEM filters and Mobil 1 Euro formula synthetic oil, and my total cost was under $100. The first time I did the "B" service it took me about 2-3 hours since it was my first on the GLC, but this time it was done in about 1-1/2 hours. I work slowly, but still probably spend less time completing the maintenance than if I waited at the dealer.
My issue is that I have no skills at servicing cars whatsoever, so I blindly take it to the dealer for service, where they always find something else wrong with the car on top of the general service. I looked it up and I spent $6,726.19 on service and repairs in 2021 alone. And this car isn't that old. It's a 2016 c-class with 65k miles on it.

As much as I love the car, there are days I wonder if I should sell it and buy something like a Lexis. But with the price of used cars now, I probably can't do that.
You are being taken advantage of by the dealership.
Sometimes I get that feeling, but they are basically the only game in town that services German luxury cars. There are some independent body shops, but as I said earlier, I am not sure I trust them to work on the car.
I got a used bmw years ago because I needed to get it out my system. I took it to the independent mechanic but they weren’t cheap either. After realizing what a money pit this car was after 5 years of ownership and 25k miles driven, I traded it in for a new Toyota and never looked back. I don’t ever want to get involved with German cars ever again. I prefer boring, reliable, and economic over service engine soon light costing a ransom or the hassle of constantly dropping off my car to the independent mechanic. Get a Lexus if you want luxury
tortoise84
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Re: Lexus IS350 vs Mercedes C-Class

Post by tortoise84 »

bob1234 wrote: Sun Jul 03, 2022 3:07 am I'm reconsidering the Audi A4, given that the availability for the IS350 is really low and they are pretty much only coming fully loaded with extra dealer add-ons which is driving the price up to well over the A4. I was wondering if the reliability of the A4 is pretty similar to the C-Class, or if it may be better (or at least have cheaper parts) due to being owned by VW.
I have a 2012 Audi A6 that I bought brand new and it now has 92k miles on it. It still looks and drives like when it was new, 10 years ago. Everything feels solid with no creaks or rattles, and durable with no signs of wear. Friends who ride in it for the first time often think it's a brand new car. The 2.0L turbocharged engine runs smooth, and doesn't burn any oil, even with 10k mile oil change intervals. Even the CVT which generally has a bad reputation, but mine has been trouble free and I love how smooth it is.

I had the AudiCare prepaid maintenance until 85k miles, but after that I started doing the maintenance myself, which is a huge money-saver especially with these luxury brands. I bought a QuickJack, Milwaukee impact wrench and the VCDS cable and software to connect to the car. I used the software to allow Video In Motion to mirror my phone to the nav screen to bring the in-car entertainment system up to modern standards.

The only problem I had was the A/C refrigerant had to be refilled twice. The first time was under warranty, and the second time I just bought some manifold gauges and a vacuum pump and did it myself. I still love the car and will drive it until the wheels fall off, then try to fix it and drive it some more.

Coincidentally, I had a 2009 Lexus IS 250 that I traded in for the Audi after 3 years because I didn't like it. The naturally aspirated direct injection engine had problems with carbon build up and would misfire occasionally. The suspension and low profile tires were a bit too stiff, but also the front suspension bushings were too soft causing toe-in under braking and excessive inside edge wear of the front tires in less than 10k miles. I couldn't find a comfortable driving position causing leg and back pain after long drives. And the back seat was very cramped.
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