Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
Bryan asks: I enjoy your site and currently have a 2016 Navigator L with 108,000. I have it certified to 2027 and 140,000. The amount of maintenance that this car has required has been extraordinary and similar to what you would expect from a Range Rover of similar vintage. Fortunately, most of my expenses have been covered by the certification with a $100 deductible. I’ve probably had $10,000 worth of work since extending the certification several years ago and it only cost me about $3,000. So well worth it. I even had the cam phasers expire and that is basically a top end rebuild that cost me $100. So I’m a Realtor and I’ll hit the 140,000 well before 2027 since I drive a lot into East Texas to show property. I’m debating to extend the certification yet again, at a likely similar expense for a shorter term, or purchase something older and reliable. I don’t want a modern car. They are too expensive, too many gizmos and gadgets that I either don’t want or I find frustrating for daily use, plus I don’t like all the spying they are doing. So I’m thinking of a W124 or W126 or W140 or a low mileage Lexus LS of some vintage. I loved my old E39 528 with the comfort seats and the manual and the 540 rims, however, I had to sell it after the insurance company totaled it from a bent strut from hitting a curb. I would buy another but I’m too well aware of the constant maintenance of those E39’s and the every increasing expense. I’m feeling that I would bond with the Merc’s like I did with my E39 where as the Lexus would be very boring but reliable and comfortable. I was wondering your thoughts on the matter.
My reply: If you decide to keep the Navigator, I think buying the extended (again) warranty coverage is essential. You have seen how much it would have cost to repair what’s already gone wrong with it. Imagine what is likely to go wrong going forward – as it ages. Your 2016 Nav is already nearly eight years old; that is ancient – for a a car made since the widespread adoption of electronic controls for essentially everything that functions and for very elaborate mechanical things, such as engines with multiple turbos, direct injection, cylinder deactivation and so on.
Extending the warranty will at least help defray some of those costs – but not for free, as you already know.
I amen your thoughts re an older Lexus. The RX 350 (with the V6) is a brilliant and extremely reliable vehicle. Another fine choice that’s closer to your current Nav is an older LX460 or LandCruiser. Either would be a great choice. They’re not boring, either!
I like the Mercs as well – but look out (OJ voice) as far as what it will likely cost to maintain and repair one, unless you go really old and get a 300D or similar.
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