By on December 15, 2017

Image: 2017 Mercedes-Benz S550 4MATIC CoupeLast week we introduced a new series to TTAC called Buy/Drive/Burn. A rather comprehensive set of instructions (and an example) was given in order to prepare you for the upcoming entries into our new game. If you haven’t read that primer, go do so now. This week is the first real entry for Buy/Drive/Burn and, like the example post, we’re sticking with luxury.

Your three options to purchase, borrow, and set on fire are all luxury coupes costing over $100,000.

The genesis of today’s topic was Chris Tonn’s review of the new line-topping coupe from Lexus, the LC 500. While it attracted much attention from the locals at the 7-11, there are a couple other competitors in the same price bracket which might rouse your luxury desires — or perhaps send you into a rage of arson. Let’s get going.

Lexus LC 500

The first V8 coupe from Lexus since the long-departed SC400 in the early 2000s, the LC 500 is a love-or-hate proposition in the styling department. For an as-tested price of $100,720, the buyer gets an eye-catching body, a 5.0-liter V8 engine with 471 horsepower, 10-speed automatic, and rear-wheel drive. Though it’s large and in charge, and the right wheels have the power, traditional is one thing the LC isn’t. Does it go too far, to the point where you reach for your Zippo?

Mercedes-Benz S550 Coupe

Image: 2017 Mercedes-Benz S550 4MATIC Coupe

In a new offering from Mercedes-Benz, the S-Class Coupe comes back into the fold after a considerable departure. Replacing the unpopular CL, the S-Coupe trades on the more familiar and long running premium nameplate from the three-point star. Standard power is provided by a 4.7-liter biturbo V8 pumping out 449 horsepower. All-wheel drive in 4MATIC guise is standard. At nearly 16.5 feet in length, it bests the LC by a couple of inches. It’s also a pillarless coupe, which is something not many (any?) other cars can claim today. Starting price is $123,475, and having Swarovski crystals in the headlamps is an optional extra.

BMW M6

Image: 2015 BMW M6 Coupe

Easily the most sporty option of our large coupe trio, BMW’s M6 model is available as coupe, Gran Coupe, or convertible, and with an automatic or (no-cost) manual transmission. Props to BMW for bringing choices here. At a base price of $113,700, the M6 is motivated by the familiar BMW 4.4-liter V8, and has a whopping 560 horsepower surging to the rear wheels. At just 193 inches long, it’s the smallest coupe of our group, which should lend itself to the aggressive, driver’s car image BMW has traded on for so long. Worth noting, it seems the M6 coupe goes away after 2017, and for 2018 the Gran Coupe and Convertible soldier on alone.

Which of these is your keeper, which one do you just borrow, and which burns to the ground?

[Images: Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Chris Tonn/TTAC]

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57 Comments on “Buy/Drive/Burn: Three Luxury Coupes to Deplete the Wallet...”


  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Buy the Lexus. Drive the BMW. Burn the MB.

    Although I know if I had to buy either the BMW or MB I’d be better off just setting a large pile of money on fire.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus

    My brain says: buy the reliable Lexus, drive the fun BMW and burn the Mercedes by default.

    My eyes say: buy the beautiful Mercedes, drive the sporty BMW and burn the ugly Lexus.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    I’m so far off the radar from the buying demographic of these cars that my opinion is less than informative. But it’s being solicited anyway, so here goes:

    Buy the Lexus for obvious reasons related to longer term ownership. This also appears to be a legitimately interesting and well crafted vehicle, so it isn’t analogous to opting for an ES350 instead of an M3 for reliability reasons.

    Borrow the BMW. Looks to be the sportiest in M6 guise. Flog it, enjoy it, bring it back. Ugly & bland, though.

    Burn the Merc. Unfortunate, but the Lexus already has the comfortable grand tourer side covered.

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    yeesssss. Some amusement for today. Posters ignore Corey’s rules, Corey chastises.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Buy the Lexus (natural aspiration and RWD)

    Drive the S550 (would be tougher if this was the S550 Cab, which isn’t 4Matic and looks better)

    Burn the BMW (haven’t cared about the top 6-series since they dropped the V10)

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    Buy the Mercedes. If I can afford it I can afford to deal with it. And it’s beautiful and is all the performance I could really need.
    Drive the Lexus, I’ve heard it drives really well and is pretty fun, but I don’t want to own something so ugly.
    Burn the BMW for the sin of being old and outdated.

  • avatar
    Caboose

    Buy the Lexus.
    Drive the Mercedes (I am loving their interior styling lately).
    Burn the BMW… if it doesn’t burn itself. Wasn’t there a recall for fire risk on a bunch of Bimmers earlier this year?

  • avatar
    tonyola

    Buy the Lexus.
    Drive the Mercedes (I know the BMW might be the better driver but the Mercedes looks great. Besides, where can you legally use all the performance?)
    Burn the BMW.

  • avatar
    rpn453

    Buy the BMW with a manual.
    Drive the Mercedes occasionally in winter.
    Burn the Lexus.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    This one is too easy

    Buy Lexus – unique, inexpensive and reliable
    Drive BMW – all that power to manual? wow!
    Burn MB – what is it, a joke? Camaro has more power

  • avatar
    IBx1

    Easy, just follow the order presented.

    Buy the Lexus since it’ll last more than 2 years
    Drive the MB because it’s gorgeous
    Burn the BMW because it’s boring and not a V10 manual

  • avatar
    cbrworm

    I’m torn, as all three are appealing for different reasons.

    I think I:

    Buy the Lexus – N/A RWD V8, it should last forever
    Drive the Mercedes because it is awesome
    Burn the BMW because it is not quite up to par with the other two.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      I like the looks of the Lexus but yes, it will be the odds on favorite durability wise. The Mercedes is sweet but I wouldn’t want to risk the repair bills and probably depreciation. The BMW is ugly and as you said, is sub-par in this trio.

  • avatar
    saturnotaku

    Buy the Merc (I’m an S-Class fanboy, maintenance and reliability be damned)
    Drive the Lexus
    Burn the BMW

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    Buy the Lexus burn the rest. Although it annoys me that Lexus makes you pay near or above $100,000 to get a V8 in a car now. Back in the day it was simply an option on the GS.

  • avatar
    GS 455

    Buy the LC 500 for my trophy wife, drive the M6 to my mistress’s house while my first wife burns the S550 out of spite.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    The M6 is now out of production. Can’t get one anymore.

    That said, if you could, my answer would be:

    Buy the Lexus. It’s f#%*ing gorgeous.
    Drive the Benz, just to experience Magic Sky Control
    Burn the BMW out of spite at the steering

    • 0 avatar

      There are 2017 M6 Coupes, and you can still get them as new from the BMW dealer.

      https://www.bmwusa.com/inventory.html#!/detail/id/WBS6J9C52HD934760

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Who would want to spend that much on a car and have to take whatever configuration the dealer has on the lot? For my money, not available to order = no sale. Though I guess it doesn’t matter if the color is ugly since I’m setting it on fire.

        BTW, waiting for this guy (who I think is probably being forced to sell by wife and is therefore not interested in negotiating much) to get to a reasonable price, in order to replace my existing Legend with a perfect one:

        https://seattle.craigslist.org/sno/cto/d/95-acura-legend-ls-47k-miles/6424770605.html

        • 0 avatar

          Love the color, just wish the tint was a bit lighter. But that’s about as close to new as you can get.

          I might go $6500.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          Run run away as fast as you can from that car it does not have 47k miles on it. It has been rolled back. The numbers should be centered in the window. Can’t believe he is posting that picture.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Not convinced of that. The 191k car I own now definitely hasn’t been rolled back — I have complete records — and the numbers look pretty much exactly like that. And it’s hard to keep a 23-year-old ivory interior looking like that without low mileage, not to mention the air dam, which hasn’t been available new for years and never looks that good on normal Legends.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            You should be able to see the top of the 5 and 7. Just because yours is showing 191K doesn’t mean it wasn’t rolled back many years ago. Yes the interior does look nice which is a bit confusing.

            But that is just the biggest of the many red flags.

            Some others.

            The Viper Alarm and the “Pioneer” Radio that says Kenwood in the picture. The wiring is probably a real mess.

            Listing the mileage as 47000 in the side bar and body of the ad when it says 45741 in the picture.

            The call out for the replaced master cyl but saying nothing about the booster being replaced is also suspect. When those fail on that era Honda they dump fluid in the booster and it will fail.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Yes, wiring could be an issue, but it’s one I can fix. I have a complete, intact used ’95 Legend LS dash harness which I bought for a never-done auto climate control conversion for my existing car. I tend to think an owner who keeps a car looking that nice for 23 years wouldn’t do a total hack job (hopefully it has harness adapters), and the install looks good from outside, but you never know.

            The Viper keyless entry kit is a very common addition to Legends, because the factory keyless entry was a dealer-installed accessory that didn’t get installed on many cars and the remotes for it were known to be flaky. (Last gasp of old-school Honda there.) It’s not an alarm — the car has a factory alarm.

            If my car has been rolled back, then someone faked the service records too. It’s a two owner car with the first owner accounting for the vast majority of the miles and the first owner kept perfect records.

            If the brake booster seals start to fail, no issue — the part is inexpensive, easily available, and pretty easy to replace by the standards of “head in footwell” jobs.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    On another note, I am apparently famous and didn’t realize it:

    driventowrite.com/2015/10/29/saturn-5-years-dead/#more-13404

  • avatar
    Luke42

    Burn them all. The entire segment has all of the utility of an enclosed motorcycle with the pricetag of a luxury minivan — and they don’t even make it interesting by putting an EV drivetrain under the hood. It’s hard to take that seriously.

    Buy a minivan and/or an EV.

    This probably says more about where I am in my life than about the cars — bit wife and three kids are not impressed by my ability to piss away money on frivolous things. Burn the entire segment.

  • avatar
    vanpressburg

    Buy the Lexus.(reliable, great steering, quiet)
    Drive the Mercedes.(style)
    Burn the BMW.

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    i think its really the mercedes all day long

    the other two are rampantly approaching irrelevance

    however how about a SS 1LE instead? i think you could get a ZL1 1LE and still have gas money left over

  • avatar
    someoldfool

    Since no one else has mentioned it, buy the Lexus, take it to Dave Kindig and have his shop put a new front end on it. Drive the Benz, flic the bic at the BMW.

  • avatar

    For my vote:

    Buy the Mercedes. Need that style in my life.
    Drive the Lexus. Don’t want to look at it daily.
    Burn the BMW. Gives me no feels.

  • avatar
    lagunadallas

    My 2012 BMW M6 (first year of the current body style) was a lemon with electrical gremlins at 8K miles that couldn’t be fixed. If not for the possibility of getting caught — and oh, that whole insurance fraud thing — I would’ve paid good money to watch that car burn to a metal shell. So “burn, baby burn!” to the BMW, buy the Mercedes, and borrow the Lexus.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Sorry, haters…love that LC.

    Buy the Benz, drive the Lexus, burn the BMW.

  • avatar
    Blackcloud_9

    Wow, this is a tough one.
    Buy, is easy: The Mercedes 550. Easily fits my bill for an opulent cruiser.
    It is Burn and Borrow that is hard.
    I want to borrow the Lexus and burn the BMW…however…
    Borrow the Lexus because I love the aggressive styling. The best use of the “Spindle” grill so far.
    Burn the BMW just because of my general dislike for BMWs and every poser in the world seems to have one – like my neighbor.
    BUT…
    I think I would have a hard time fitting into the Lexus and the M6 form is probably one of the finer examples of BMW.

    OK
    Borrow BMW
    Burn Lexus

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    None of them. I’d be happier with a properly coupe-styled Buick than one of these.

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