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If it where me i would Keep the 400E or get another with fewer miles. It will still need maintenance but a economy Japanese or Korean alternatives are going to drive you crazy after a year. They just have no soul. if you enjoy driving and appreciate quality in design then they wont be for you.

Let us know what you end up doing
 

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I personally wouldn't want to deal with a 200+K w124 as my sole transportation. You really hit it on the head - it is reliable, but it is labor intensive to keep it that way. At some point, time and frustration factor in. It is very hard to put a price on that in a spreadsheet. You just have to know for yourself what is acceptable. I wouldn't deal with it as a primary driver. So I totally agree about it being a great second car. Of course, I also agree with what everybody says about whatever you replace it with not feel the same.

Maybe I missed it, but why not keep it and get a commuter car? It is paid for and probably not worth a whole lot. Keep it as your car to run errands or to break up the monotony of your other car. Also, with having a second car, you can go a bit outside your comfort zone with your daily driver and get something like a sports car, convertible, electric car, or even a motorcycle. Just another way to look at it.
 

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I am on my 7th w124 . Just got it out of my garage for spring when I was sure that roads won't be salted again. Is as beautiful as it ever been .
Saved it last year from across the country. Super happy with my decision. Rides better than my 10 years newer E500.
 

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I'm guessing that a 3 y.o. $15k Corolla with 40,000 miles would give me 100k miles over 4-5 years without much investment beyond the purchase price.
Might be true for a 1990s Corolla. Nowadays, 300K is the new 100K. A ~2014 Corolla can go to 300K miles easily without much investment into anything mechanical.
 

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When faced with something like this I usually do a spreadsheet, do 3-5 year plan cost comparisons of various options. That usually gives the objective answer.
If any spreadsheet makes Mercedes win over Toyota, your math is wrong.

There is romance and curb appeal and driving fun and all that stuff.

But unless your spreadsheet takes that into account, a Toyota (or Lexus) will win over a Mercedes all day long on any rational spreadsheet comparison.

I have a W126 and a Lexus. I have no illusions: the Lexus is a much better car by any rational determination, but the Mercedes is so much fun to drive.
 

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While Toyota is good as far as mechanical reliability, it (and sister co. Lexus) leave a wake as long as a aircraft carrier when it comes to interior longevity.

My parents have a 1990 Lexus LS400. Looks great in a Japanese Cadillac kinda way, but try sitting in it and it gives away that it is a 25+ year old car. Worn seat springs, faded/blacked LCD readouts, inop A/C, etc, etc, etc. And all of that in a car that has less than 100K on the dial.

Try sitting in a Camry or Corolla that has passed 1/4 million, and you'll feel like you're sitting on milk crates or something that had its 15 minutes of fame on "Pimp my ride"
 

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Might be true for a 1990s Corolla. Nowadays, 300K is the new 100K. A ~2014 Corolla can go to 300K miles easily without much investment into anything mechanical.
well, regular oil changes, tires every 40-60k, brakes, spark plugs n stuff a couple times, the shocks will be mush at 50k (but most corolla drivers don't care), belts, by 300k it might need a timing chain+guides (if it has a chain)

our 2004 camry (2AZ-FE 2.4L I4) burns a fair bit of oil at 200k miles, I understand it has to do with the valve guides but the repair is more than the car is worth.
 

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our 2004 camry (2AZ-FE 2.4L I4) burns a fair bit of oil at 200k miles, I understand it has to do with the valve guides but the repair is more than the car is worth.
That engine has a famous design flaw involving deformation of the head bolts. There are fix it kits available for redrilling the head bolt holes, but it's iffy. I would suspect that as a very strong possibility rather than valve guides. And any manufacturer can put out an engine with a design flaw; Toyota does it only extremely infrequently.

Get rid of that car because the head is about to come apart on you.
 

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Get rid of that car because the head is about to come apart on you.
my in-college-and-under-employed daughter is going to drive it til it drops.

I should have qualified my statement, it burns a bit of oil when its cold started after sitting for awhile, blowing a decent cloud of blue smoke. it doesn't smoke once its done doing that, and the oil level never really drops, thats why I suspected valve guides.
 

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well, regular oil changes, tires every 40-60k, brakes, spark plugs n stuff a couple times, the shocks will be mush at 50k (but most corolla drivers don't care), belts, by 300k it might need a timing chain+guides (if it has a chain)

our 2004 camry (2AZ-FE 2.4L I4) burns a fair bit of oil at 200k miles, I understand it has to do with the valve guides but the repair is more than the car is worth.
IME the days of the ultra-reliable Japanese car have gone the way of the Dodo. I've had plenty and all have been more troublesome than my E300 (mostly replacing things due to aged rubber and my pickiness) and especially more than the CLK, which has been *almost* perfect in 70k miles.

My '08 4runner has had quite a few problems in its 78k mile life: two rear differentials, A/C compressor, entire new pulley and belt tensioner system ($$$), leaky CV axles, MASSIVE and sudden water leak in the rear hatch that got everywhere, bad climate control actuators for automatic CC ($$), and of course the clockwork 4th gen 4runner front calipers going out every 50k. That generation's V6, which I have, has an epidemic of blown head gaskets in the early models (03-05) that Toyota knew about and redesigned in the '06 model, but tells owners to pound sand if they try to claim anything, and a major problem with transfer case leaks that have to be fixed from within (we're talking BIG money there). My truck is entirely stock and fastidiously maintained, used mostly as a ski rig and highway cruiser, but most of the problems listed pop up more and more frequently as these things are aging.

My parent's Tundra and 2013 Lexus both have had their fair share of big money problems (thankfully they have warranties), but the old 3.4 V6 and 22RE engines are gone, now that a lot of Japanese cars make power to compete with German and American counterparts, as well as try to luxo-line them up, one can really see the old reputation slip away, and all you're left with is a chincy econobox that'll fold up like a beer can if you hit a small bird at 60mph...oh and let's not get started on the Honda AWFUL V6 auto transmissions that are made of glass and the huge problem with the 3.7 J-Series and 2.4 I4 drinking oil at a rate that would put Audi or BMW to shame.:devil
 

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My parents have a 1990 Lexus LS400. Looks great in a Japanese Cadillac kinda way, but try sitting in it and it gives away that it is a 25+ year old car. Worn seat springs, faded/blacked LCD readouts, inop A/C, etc, etc, etc. And all of that in a car that has less than 100K on the dial.
Sounds just like every W220 I've recently sat in. And that's a car costing twice the price of the ls400.
 

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my in-college-and-under-employed daughter is going to drive it til it drops.



I should have qualified my statement, it burns a bit of oil when its cold started after sitting for awhile, blowing a decent cloud of blue smoke. it doesn't smoke once its done doing that, and the oil level never really drops, thats why I suspected valve guides.


What oil do you use?
 

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IME the days of the ultra-reliable Japanese car have gone the way of the Dodo. I've had plenty and all have been more troublesome than my E300 (mostly replacing things due to aged rubber and my pickiness) and especially more than the CLK, which has been *almost* perfect in 70k miles.

My '08 4runner has had quite a few problems in its 78k mile life: two rear differentials, A/C compressor, entire new pulley and belt tensioner system ($$$), leaky CV axles, MASSIVE and sudden water leak in the rear hatch that got everywhere, bad climate control actuators for automatic CC ($$), and of course the clockwork 4th gen 4runner front calipers going out every 50k. That generation's V6, which I have, has an epidemic of blown head gaskets in the early models (03-05) that Toyota knew about and redesigned in the '06 model, but tells owners to pound sand if they try to claim anything, and a major problem with transfer case leaks that have to be fixed from within (we're talking BIG money there). My truck is entirely stock and fastidiously maintained, used mostly as a ski rig and highway cruiser, but most of the problems listed pop up more and more frequently as these things are aging.

My parent's Tundra and 2013 Lexus both have had their fair share of big money problems (thankfully they have warranties), but the old 3.4 V6 and 22RE engines are gone, now that a lot of Japanese cars make power to compete with German and American counterparts, as well as try to luxo-line them up, one can really see the old reputation slip away, and all you're left with is a chincy econobox that'll fold up like a beer can if you hit a small bird at 60mph...oh and let's not get started on the Honda AWFUL V6 auto transmissions that are made of glass and the huge problem with the 3.7 J-Series and 2.4 I4 drinking oil at a rate that would put Audi or BMW to shame.:devil
Going a bit off topic from OP's post here.

I gotta agree with you on almost everything you said.... I rock a 3rd gen 4-runner and I'm heavily disappointed in the issues with the 4th gens before 2006 model year.

With that said, the only thing I disagree about with your statement is that there are no more 3.4's or 22RE's. It's true in the sense you can't buy a new Yota 4x4 with either of those engines; but untrue in the sense that thousands of people are not driving the 3.4 or 22RE. 3.4 is in every 3rd gen 4runner and up to 2004 tacoma's (both of which you can find hundreds on the road in really any city), and the 22RE aftermarket is very alive and well with rebuilt 22RE's from companies like LC engineering (google them if you want).
 

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Japanese or Korean alternatives are going to drive you crazy after a year. They just have no soul. if you enjoy driving and appreciate quality in design then they wont be for you.
For me the fun of Korean cars is trying to figure out which Japanese or German car each part is trying to copy. There's always an answer.

As for appreciating quality in design, Toyota is ages ahead of Mercedes. Whenever I drive my Lexus after having driven my Mercedes, I am reminded of just how far ahead of the Germans Toyota is/was.

Honda is pretty good too. Mazdas are nice for short flings. Nissans are tryhards. Mitsubishi makes/made wonderful SUVs and the rest of their lineup is/was garbage.
 

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Sounds just like every W220 I've recently sat in. And that's a car costing twice the price of the ls400.
The W220 is really the best example of MB's dark days, and should have been considered "not quite ripe yet". From air suspension, ABC (active body control), transmission issues, electronic headaches it is the one S class that will likely never become collectible.
 

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As for appreciating quality in design, Toyota is ages ahead of Mercedes. Whenever I drive my Lexus after having driven my Mercedes, I am reminded of just how far ahead of the Germans Toyota is/was.




I can't speak of modern day Lexus as i have not been near one but IMO Mercedes product quality from 1980's through late 1990's is far superior, I am not talking about engine reliability here as i agree a Toyota or Honda based engine platform will last just as long as a Mercedes but with far less maintenance needed, What i am referring too is the overall quality in terms of Interior fit and finish, Exterior paint quality, Plastics used etc and how they hold up over time and miles.

Just far to many items with hard plastics used for me even in TOTL at the time LS430, I test drove a couple of GS 3/400 & 430 models around a year ago as while i liked the overall look of the car the quality aspect was lacking, Leather seats at 90-110K looked very worn, Hard plastics in a variety of places. plenty of cracks or creaks when going over some rough surfaces etc. To be honest it was a shame as i was expecting a car that would surpass the overall quality in design of my W124's. The LS430 definitely felt more luxurious but just wasn't for me,

Each to there own, I can appreciate Lexus products from the 90's through mid 2000's for what they are but for me, I would choose a a Mercedes alternative all day long from the same era. If i was choosing a brand new product from Today and had 60K to spend, Sure i would be visiting the local Lexus dealer :)
 

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Sounds just like every W220 I've recently sat in. And that's a car costing twice the price of the ls400.
If comparing a LS400 then it should be against the W140. Same era

Agree, W220's are absolute garbage. The beginning of the Dark days for MB
 
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