Depreciation is both a blessing and a curse, depending on which side you’re on. Those who would rather save a bundle on a luxury car will always prefer to buy used. On the other hand, there’s nothing more expensive than buying a cheap vehicle from a premium manufacturer. There isn’t a generally applicable rule since some cars are more reliable than others. In addition, it also depends on how the previous owners took care of the luxobarge.

As for these three former flagships, they’ve certainly seen better days. The folks from Carwow spent £1,400 on a 2002 BMW 735i E65, a car that originally retailed for £53,000 or 38 times more than its current value. For the three-way comparison, Mat Watson and his crew shelled out £1,800 on a 2001 Mercedes S320. That’s quite the drop compared to the car’s initial sticker price of £51,000.

The two German premium sedans went up against a 2001 Lexus LS430, which was the most expensive of the bunch. It cost £2,000 or £52,000 less than when it was new. The Japanese range topper and the 735i have been modified to run on LPG as their gasoline V8s are thirsty. The Mercedes S-Class is more economical thanks to a straight-six turbodiesel unit.

E65 Against Flagships From 20 Years Ago

In terms of power, the Lexus LS has the edge courtesy of 281 hp and 417 Nm from its naturally aspirated 4.3-liter engine. Up next is the E65 with 272 hp and 360 Nm from a 3.6-liter mill, while the Mercedes is rated at 197 hp. However, the 3.2-liter oil-burner of the three-pointed star has a more substantial 470 Nm of torque.

It comes as no surprise the 7 Series was the sportiest to drive, but it had its fair share of warning lights. Even though Toyota, and by extension, its premium division Lexus, are known for being reliability kings, the LS had quite a few problems. Electrical gremlins in luxury cars are a common issue, and these flagships are no exception.

Although the comparison concludes the E65 has the most modern cabin, the interior quality is not great. Being fullsize sedans, all three offer ample legroom for passengers relaxing in the back, plus a bigger trunk for the Lexus LS. The latter also performed better than the two in the performance tests, which some will find a bit surprising.

Overall, Carwow picked the Mercedes as the winner for its smooth and economical diesel. Mat Watson found the LS to be quite ugly while the BMW was riddled with technical problems.

Source: Carwow / YouTube