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MUDGUTZ

Original Poster:

55 posts

35 months

[news] 
Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
I'm posting this here as well as the RR / Bentley sub-forum as hopefully the topic will reach a greater number of folk and I'll get some good info.

...Looking for some opinions and info: I am considering replacing my 97 LS 400 with a 1990s Bentley or an LS 430.

For my proposed budget of around £10,000 for a Bentley or £6,000 for an LS 430, I think I can get what I want and I'll be in no rush either, so can look around and find the right car. The questions are over Safety and MPG.

Safety: I can't find much info on the Bentley, but would guess the size, mass and build would make it a safe place to be in the event of a collision but what is there in the way of airbags and other items the Lexus would have: Stability / traction controls? (my current car doesn't have these).

MPG: I'm getting 28 MPG from my Lexus and would guess this would be worse with a Bentley but how much so? most of my miles are motorway.

As far as servicing costs go, I can accept these would be higher.

I can guess at the MPG but would be interested in real life experiences but the safety aspect interests me more.

All information gratefully recieved.

300bhp/ton

29,629 posts

78 months

[news] 
Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
MUDGUTZ said:
I'm posting this here as well as the RR / Bentley sub-forum as hopefully the topic will reach a greater number of folk and I'll get some good info.

...Looking for some opinions and info: I am considering replacing my 97 LS 400 with a 1990s Bentley or an LS 430.

For my proposed budget of around £10,000 for a Bentley or £6,000 for an LS 430, I think I can get what I want and I'll be in no rush either, so can look around and find the right car. The questions are over Safety and MPG.

Safety: I can't find much info on the Bentley, but would guess the size, mass and build would make it a safe place to be in the event of a collision but what is there in the way of airbags and other items the Lexus would have: Stability / traction controls? (my current car doesn't have these).

MPG: I'm getting 28 MPG from my Lexus and would guess this would be worse with a Bentley but how much so? most of my miles are motorway.

As far as servicing costs go, I can accept these would be higher.

I can guess at the MPG but would be interested in real life experiences but the safety aspect interests me more.

All information gratefully recieved.
28mpg average from an LS400 eek presume you must spend 95% of your time at 50-55mph on the motorway. Can't see that being accurate otherwise.

The Bentley is bigger, heavier, less sleek, older gearbox design and has an engine that hails from the 60's. Economy isn't going to be it's strong point. I don't have any exact figures, but I've had a couple of friends who've run Bentleys (Conti T, Conti R, Conti RT, Arnarge).

I'd have thought 15-20mpg is a more realistic figure to look at.

As for safety, well it's a big car. But that's about it, I doubt you'll find any encap ratings for such a vehicle or anything even close. But if this is a real concern then looking at any older car is probably not the answer.


As for servicing, well this has two options. Stick to Approved Bentley dealers or specialists and you'll pay a massive massive premium on labour and parts. But it'll retain the stamps.

Or use a bit more common sense and realise that while sumptuous, they really aren't overly complex in most area's and the engine, gearbox and such are all common parts found in 1000's of other vehicles. I suspect quite a few parts can be interchanged. Use this to your advantage. All you have to do is weigh up how important a Bentley stamp is in a £10k vehicles service book.

For example, I bet if you needed a new exhaust Bentley would likely charge you an eye watering four figure price for one (and probably mild steel too). Yet a custom exhaust shop could probably fix or make an entire new exhaust up in stainless steel for likely less than half the cost.

EDIT: I'm wrong about the engine. But the gearboxes are GM truck units.

Edited by 300bhp/ton on Wednesday 3rd October 10:18

v8will

2,838 posts

84 months

[news] 
Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
I had a LS400 and looked at a 1990 (IIRC) Turbo R.

The Bentley is massive, my LS literally looked like a toy beside it. Everything seems to be on an industrial scale and the owner did comment that it was like working on a small lorry! He reckoned on sub 15MPG but also mentioned that having a decent contingency/maintenance budget was a bigger concern, a primary reason why I didn't bite.

Fit and finish wasn't what I expected, certainly very good but felt very hand made in some regards.

This being PH, I'd say why not!

edit, my LS never did much better than 20mpg, mixed 'sensible' driving.

confused_buyer

2,807 posts

69 months

[news] 
Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
You should be able to better whatever you are getting out of a 97 LS400 mpg wise by 15% or more on a LS430 assuming it is the late 2003-on 6-speed one.

MUDGUTZ

Original Poster:

55 posts

35 months

[news] 
Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
Thanks for the input guys.

300bhp/ton said:
28mpg average from an LS400 eek presume you must spend 95% of your time at 50-55mph on the motorway. Can't see that being accurate otherwise.
I really do get an average of 28 mpg. This is from the method of comparing miles done to litres used from full to full, It's nearly always 28 mpg. 90% of my driving is a 45 mile commute from Northampton to Luton and 90% of that is motorway / dual carriageway. On the part of the motorway where there are no road works I drive "normal motorway speeds" in lane 3, the rest of the journey is around 55 mph. The fuel economy really suffers if I use the car around town. Probably 23 MPG if I have been commuting and doind a lot of town journeys.

I don't expect to crash but when I look at the newer LS, they do seem to have a lot in the way of passenger protection, it's not me I worry about but some clown driving into me from the side, etc.

Regarding the servicing, I would probably be buying to keep for quite a few years, so the SH would be an issue for me when I buy but not too much from then onwards, I would tackle very routine stuff myself and have an Bentley indy to do the rest. Good point about the exhaust also.

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300bhp/ton

29,629 posts

78 months

[news] 
Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
I guess with running something like a Bentley you'd want to avoid the premium car tax. It's very easy to take a £20 part and as soon as someone says Bentley or Rolls Royce you can then charge £200 for it. What you want to do if find where the part is from originally. Same with labour costs. I have no idea what a Bentley indi would charge, but I'd guess £150-170/hr isn't out of the question. Yet if all that is needed is an oil and filter change, then you might as well buy the oil yourself and pay a local mechanic £25-40 to do an oil change.

richardxjr

4,218 posts

98 months

[news] 
Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
You really need to drive an example of both, to see if either improve on the ride quality (if, like me, that is important to you) of what you've got.
I bet neither do.

The Mk4 is very fuel efficient for what it is. The Bentley isn't.

2 or 3k a year, weekend car, then yes to the Bentley, otherwise I personally wouldn't.

400 vs 430 is a personal choice though. You need to drive them.


g3org3y

9,579 posts

79 months

[news] 
Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
Lexus if you want the car to work and get places.

Bentley if you want to experience 'character' by the side of the road.

300bhp/ton

29,629 posts

78 months

[news] 
Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
g3org3y said:
Lexus if you want the car to work and get places.

Bentley if you want to experience 'character' by the side of the road.
I've just been reading up on the Turbo R, some good articles. All seem to give a 4 or 5 star rating (out of 5) for reliability. The ones I have known people own weren't problematic either. So I'm curious is your comment based on anything factual? If so I'd love to know. Cheers smile

longblackcoat

2,832 posts

71 months

[news] 
Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
A 45 mile daily commute in a Bentley? Madness.

MPG will be in the teens, probably no better than 16 or so. Servicing is more frequent, and will be a lot more expensive - the Lexus is abnormal in this regard. Plus, and I know I'll get flack for this, the Bentleys I've driven have not been a lot of fun to drive. Impressive, certainly, but to actually drive (rather than be driven) I'd choose almost something else, though not a Lexus.

A really top-spec but depreciated A8, perhaps, or a Phaeton (criminally underrated)?

Ten Four

178 posts

39 months

[news] 
Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
Bentley would net between 14-16ish MPG on a run. (Dad had a 88 Mulsanne injected).
You don't want to know the town figures.

I'd keep the existing LS400 imho... and put the money elsewhere.

St John Smythe

4,698 posts

105 months

[news] 
Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
g3org3y said:
Lexus if you want the car to work and get places.

Bentley if you want to experience 'character' by the side of the road.
Life's too short. Lexus is dull. Bentley all day long for me smile

The Crack Fox

10,141 posts

80 months

[news] 
Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
Where's Garlick then ?

infradig

976 posts

95 months

[news] 
Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
Buy a Bentley and keep your LS400 for commuting. The savings in fuel alone would cover the expense of running an extra car. My other consideration would be all that salt being sprayed on the bodywork for two hours every week day. Unless you jet wash it every night you'll be doing bodywork every spring..

You are very lucky in having an excellent specialist nearby,namely Hillier Hill in Olney. The quality of their work is excellent and you'll find them friendly and willing to give advice.

Even a £500 G reg LS400 is probably going to drive and ride better than the best Turbo R and as for safety features just have faith that anything under 38tonnes will just bounce off!

If you want a Bentley you'll buy one, comparing it as a practical daily transport solution is not the best way to justify it however. Letting mine go was probably the only car disposal decision I've regretted and I know that I will get another in the next 11 years ( before I'm 60!) ,hopefully a Continental R.

k-ink

6,221 posts

67 months

[news] 
Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
The Lexus will likely not cost you a penny in anything going wrong. The Bentley has the potential to cost the purchase price again just in keeping it operational. I cannot fathom how you would compare the two. Each will have totally different running costs.

300bhp/ton

29,629 posts

78 months

[news] 
Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
k-ink said:
The Lexus will likely not cost you a penny in anything going wrong. The Bentley has the potential to cost the purchase price again just in keeping it operational. I cannot fathom how you would compare the two. Each will have totally different running costs.
Are you sure on that? Didn't Garlick pay a Princes ransom on parts for his LS400. And what exactly on the Bentley is likely to cause such grief?

londonbabe

795 posts

80 months

[news] 
Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
When you are old, do you want to tell your grandchildren you used to own a Lexus or a Bentley?
A lot of people have owned Lexuses (Lexi?) - usually minicab drivers - but most people will die never having driven a Bentley.

MUDGUTZ

Original Poster:

55 posts

35 months

[news] 
Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
Thanks Gents.

I currently do 15,000 miles per year. That costs me £300 per month in petrol. If I bought a Bentley and managed 16 MPG I would be paying £500 per month.

Allow an extra few thousand for maintenance per year, maybe another £200 per month on top. So before anything else: £4800 a year extra. Thats a good holiday or a cheap Boxter, a fantastic Hi-Fi...

All this I know and can just about accept but the Bentley would have to be a superior ride, which I have doubts about although the overall package would be nice to have. I couldn't accept having another car, the only thing that gets me to work some days is a serene commute in the Lexus. So putting the running costs aside for a moment, I have to know that a Bentley would be safer. The stability and traction control aspects don't really worry me, whilst I would be aiming to 'make good progress', I don't feel the need to drive like a loon. As far as I can see, driver and possibly passenger airbags are the only things fitted.

279

1,695 posts

77 months

[news] 
Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
I don't recall seeing airbags on any Turbo r before the late, late cars 95+, let alone ESP, tcs or side impact airbags like you'd get in a Lexus ls430. Safety wise they boarder on "shocking" compared to something modern.

Take it from someone who has worked on them and perhaps is able to see the forest a little more for the trees, wanting to run one daily for anything other than a short commute is crazy. This nonsense about being able to fix them on a pittence because parts coming in bentley bags makes them 1000% more expensive is just that, nonsense. They aren't cheap to run, that's not saying that you can run one on the cheap, but as an only car i wouldnt.

g3org3y

9,579 posts

79 months

[news] 
Wednesday 3rd October 2012 quote quote all
MUDGUTZ said:
So putting the running costs aside for a moment, I have to know that a Bentley would be safer.
You seem to be quite keen on the whole 'safety' thing. If that's the case, I suspect a generic new 4 door eurobox would provide better passenger safety than a 90s Lexus or Bentley.

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