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Why does an S class intimidate so many people?

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Why does an S class intimidate so many people?

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Old 07-19-18, 03:16 PM
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jrmckinley
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Default Why does an S class intimidate so many people?

Serious question. Put aside reliability concerns, blah, blah, blah. I'm not talking about being scared to own one for those reasons- I'm talking about being scared to own an S class because you think it presents the wrong image of you.

Over the years, I've read on this forum a lot of people saying they can afford an S class but choose not to buy one due to their fear of others' impression of them (likely given their line of work). I get it - I'm in sales and occasionally have to take clients around in my car. I admit I would feel a bit strange driving them around in an S550 - but in reality, why does an LS not give me the same fear when the sticker price is in the same general ballpark? A person buying a new LS500 could likely afford a new S class. A person buying a 3-4 year old LS could definitely afford a 3-4 year old S class. A person buying a Range Rover could afford an S class. So as you look at luxury large sedans (7 series, LS, A8, S class, etc), is the S class the one that intimidates you the most to own? What is it about it that makes you feel that way?

Very interested in the psychology here.
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Old 07-19-18, 03:28 PM
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I could afford one if I wanted one bad enough...I could write a check for one today, and still be well-off. But 100K or more, IMO, is just too much to spend on a car. That kind of money will get me THREE more new Lacrosses (or at least two new Lincoln MKZs or Genesis G80s, if the Lacrosse is dropped). Not only that, but there are some things about the S-Class itself (and many Mercedes dealerships) that I simply don't care for. I will admit, however, that it is a comfort/refinement and safety-engineering masterpiece.....an industry benchmark in those departments.
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Old 07-19-18, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by jrmckinley View Post

Over the years, I've read on this forum a lot of people saying they can afford an S class but choose not to .
I have never understood why people say they can afford something but chose not too. I have always thought actions speak louder than words. We cannot afford an S-class. Being able to afford something vs buy something are two different things IMO.

Now depending on what line of work one does, I can see why it would rub someone the wrong way. High end cars (like some high end fashions) speak quite a bit.
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Old 07-19-18, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by LexsCTJill View Post


I have never understood why people say they can afford something but chose not too. I have always thought actions speak louder than words. We cannot afford an S-class. Being able to afford something vs buy something are two different things IMO.

Now depending on what line of work one does, I can see why it would rub someone the wrong way. High end cars (like some high end fashions) speak quite a bit.






Very simple, Jill. Not all of us have the same priorities in life....especially when it comes to cars. Take Enzo Ferrari, for instance. There was a man with money. Lots of money. He was the founder and chief of one of the world's most exotic sports-car manufacturers. He could, if desired, have had almost any car on the planet. Do you know what he drove around in (by choice) in his own personal life, for a daily-driver? A Fiat 128. Yes, one of the lowest of Italian econoboxes. Fiat used to make a big deal of that in their advertising (with his permission, of course). I still remember the old TV and magazine-ads showing him in his reserved parking space at Ferrari Headquarters at Modena with his little scooter, and company employees opening the car door for him, helping him step in or out.




Me....it's no secret I that like big Buicks. I'd be driving one (or something very similiar) whether I had one dollar in the bank or a million.

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Old 07-19-18, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by LexsCTJill View Post
I have never understood why people say they can afford something but chose not too. I have always thought actions speak louder than words.
Hundreds of reasons. Warren Buffett still lives in a house that many people on this forum could afford- why doesn't he live in a $100 million mansion? He could afford to, but chooses not to. Thinking actions speak louder than words helps you determine someone's level of wealth is a mistake. Lots of people you see in expensive cars and houses really shouldn't be in them. And lots of people in old F150's have tens of millions of dollars to their name. I know a handful of people in each category.

Back to the original question about S class... intrigued by the opinions of the forum.
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Old 07-19-18, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by jrmckinley View Post
Thinking actions speak louder than words helps you determine someone's level of wealth is a mistake. Lots of people you see in expensive cars and houses really shouldn't be in them. .
But they are the ones driving the expensive car.....and not telling someone how they “could” afford the car but chose “not” to.

And actions do speak louder than words. Just my opinion.

Last edited by LexsCTJill; 07-19-18 at 05:23 PM.
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Old 07-19-18, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by LexsCTJill View Post


But they are the ones driving the expensive car.....and not telling someone how they “could” afford the car but chose “not” to.

And actions do speak louder than words. Just my opinion.
Right...and in lots of cases they're the ones who have the car taken from them. Because they actually couldn't afford it. IMO you are judging a book by the cover because you're only concerned with actions and you'll be wrong exponentially more times than you're right because most people make horrendous financial decisions with material things. Again- Warren Buffett could live in the most expensive house in the world. He chooses not to (his house is valued at $700k). Using your logic, there's no explanation for that. A person in a $1 million house would appear wealthier to you than Buffett because they bought the more expensive house.

Hoping we can stay on topic with the original question.
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Old 07-19-18, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by jrmckinley View Post
Right...and in lots of cases they're the ones who have the car taken from them. Because they actually couldn't afford it. IMO you are judging a book by the cover because you're only concerned with actions and you'll be wrong exponentially more times than you're right because most people make horrendous financial decisions with material things. Again- Warren Buffett could live in the most expensive house in the world. He chooses not to (his house is valued at $700k). Using your logic, there's no explanation for that. A person in a $1 million house would appear wealthier to you than Buffett because they bought the more expensive house.

Hoping we can stay on topic with the original question.
Buffett does, in fact, have a beach house in California which is on the market for around 11m.
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Old 07-19-18, 05:59 PM
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Even though they are similar in price (somewhat, the S Class is considerably more money), the S Class has an ostentatiousness about it that the LS doesn't have, nor does a 7 Series or an A8, etc. I'm one of the people who has been concerned about the S Class giving my clients the impression that I'm overpaid or giving them the wrong impression about me, etc.

In sales, these perceptions matter. In general, people think of a "Mercedes" as being more expensive than a "Lexus"

When it comes to "affording" something, if you can buy a new LS you can buy an S Class. People aren't (or at least, shouldn't be) maxing out every dollar they can afford or can possibly spend on a car at this level.

Would I rather have an S Class than an LS? Yes...but they're a good bit more expensive (optioned similarly an S Class is about $25,000 more than an LS), lease payments are $400 more or so per month. Could I pay that? Sure. My cell phone bill is $400 a month, $400 a month is nothing. The other issue is the ostentatiousness factor.
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Old 07-19-18, 09:05 PM
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IMO the S-class kind of says "I own the company" A large, successful company. I don't work for the man, I am the man.

I can see why people who can afford one might not want to project that image. Same thing back in the day, lots of well off people could afford a Cadillac but drove an Olds 98 or Buick.

Still I don't think driving an S-class is gauche, vulgar or in bad taste. That title belongs to people rolling around in late model Bentleys or Rolls Royce. I know a Ferrari or Lambo costs about the same, but those are more enthusiast cars, they are a ton of fun to drive. Rolls or Bentley are more sort of **** you I just wasted $300,000 on this piece of junk status symbol.
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Old 07-19-18, 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted by SW17LS View Post
Even though they are similar in price (somewhat, the S Class is considerably more money), the S Class has an ostentatiousness about it that the LS doesn't have, nor does a 7 Series or an A8, etc. I'm one of the people who has been concerned about the S Class giving my clients the impression that I'm overpaid or giving them the wrong impression about me, etc.

In sales, these perceptions matter. In general, people think of a "Mercedes" as being more expensive than a "Lexus"

When it comes to "affording" something, if you can buy a new LS you can buy an S Class. People aren't (or at least, shouldn't be) maxing out every dollar they can afford or can possibly spend on a car at this level.

Would I rather have an S Class than an LS? Yes...but they're a good bit more expensive (optioned similarly an S Class is about $25,000 more than an LS), lease payments are $400 more or so per month. Could I pay that? Sure. My cell phone bill is $400 a month, $400 a month is nothing. The other issue is the ostentatiousness factor.
+1,

I met an old couple at Mercedes Bellevue last year, the gentleman was buying a AMG S63 coupe, I ask him why he choose AMG (I thought he is too old to drive this kind of car),
he told me two reasons: first of all, only S class didn't cause his back pain. , secondly, he said he always drove AMG S class since it came out.
I ask him do you want to buy this one? He said that he will put a special order, I think S class didn't intimidate them definitely.
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Old 07-19-18, 10:37 PM
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same kind of reason the LS doesn't have a 'hood status ornament'



even look at something like the toyota century which is the most prestigious toyota one can buy, as advertised as "the Century is acquired through persistent work, the kind that is done in a plain but formal suit." an S-Class is more about letting people around you know they're peasants than an LS is. that's what i think makes the phaeton so cool, it's essentially a bentley underneath only even more sophisticated, but it shares a badge with a passat. no one will know your vw has 12 cylinders and cost like $150k.
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Old 07-20-18, 01:47 AM
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who owns one?

They're mostly leased and a tax write off.

so I'm not bothered about the image it gives.
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Old 07-20-18, 05:13 AM
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remember my bro's friend's older brother gets a S550 co. car, and he calls it a piece of garbage. What could elicit such an opinion when you don't even pay for such a fine car? Being stranded multiple times, really. Nothing else, it's beautiful.

Our boss' dad got one when they first came out (this was Jan '14) and the car was doa, and it had to go back with under 100 miles.

I'm resolved to get one, not the latest but the W221. I just need to best understand what I can DIY, and sort of have some knowledge. I love the price used. Like a heater problem that is common, not a big deal, $80 with a OE part, less online.

I just saw the video of the new A8L (Doug D). It shows you how Japanese are always an entire generation behind, the LS500 can't even come close. But reliability is the price to be paid...
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Old 07-20-18, 05:49 AM
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Originally Posted by pman6 View Post
who owns one?

They're mostly leased and a tax write off.

so I'm not bothered about the image it gives.
Although we'll have to wait and see all of the details of the new American tax law, under present law, leasing is a tax write-off only if the vehicle is used for one's business, according to applicable IRS rules. That would be like Steve, for example, as an real-estate agent, using his LS to drive customers around in to look at or buy new homes.
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