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#3316455 - 03/19/14 01:17 AM Mercedes Benz Owners
bobbob Offline


Registered: 06/07/10
Posts: 205
Loc: Az, from NJ, via NYC
I owned 2 Audis and they were good cars, I have driven some BMW's, also good. My question is about the Benz, do they drive better, perform better and are they a better
all around value than the same in their class? I am concerned about maintenance as I
am buying used. Thanks guys

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#3316472 - 03/19/14 02:00 AM Re: Mercedes Benz Owners [Re: bobbob]
Wolf359 Offline


Registered: 04/27/12
Posts: 480
Loc: MA
I think a lot of it depends on the year and the model you're interested in. During their Chrysler days they weren't that good, but got better afterwards. You should also go check out the forums that are specific to the model you're interested in, that would give you a better idea of what goes wrong. I think in general you should be prepared to pay 2x-3x what everything normally costs on a regular car for maintenance.

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#3316495 - 03/19/14 03:59 AM Re: Mercedes Benz Owners [Re: bobbob]
Silk Offline


Registered: 07/26/03
Posts: 2185
Loc: New Zealand
Older BMW's fall apart and need lots of work to keep going. Older Mercedes are rock sold and just keep going. I don't know about the modern stuff...it hasn't got to the unreliable stage yet.

I like BMW motorcycles, they are more like Mercedes than the BMW cars - solid and reliable.
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#3316551 - 03/19/14 06:49 AM Re: Mercedes Benz Owners [Re: bobbob]
Quattro Pete Offline


Registered: 10/30/02
Posts: 26509
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: bobbob
My question is about the Benz, do they drive better, perform better and are they a better
all around value than the same in their class?

Too generic of a question. You need to be comparing specific models. But if you do want to keep it so generic, then I'd say MB is about on par with Audi and BMW, at least in my experience.

Also, what does "drive better" mean to you? To some, it means "more comfortable." To others it may mean "more sporty." And MB can do both - just depends which model and which suspension option you choose.

Quote:

I am concerned about maintenance as I
am buying used. Thanks guys

Maintenance isn't too bad as long as you can DIY.

Repairs/reliability is where it can get you. Our C300 was bought used in 2010. It has not been very reliable. Quite a few big ticket items needed replacing, including transmission at 60K miles. All I can say is: thank god for extended warranty.

But, ours is the first year model - that's typically the least reliable.

It may be helpful to state which model/year you're planning to buy, and then research that specific model for any typical issues.
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#3316578 - 03/19/14 07:31 AM Re: Mercedes Benz Owners [Re: bobbob]
Astro14 Offline


Registered: 10/10/10
Posts: 4675
Loc: Virginia Beach
For a used Mercedes, you've got two viable options: known history (all the records, original, meticulous owners) or CPO. In either case, you get a car that is correctly maintained and a much better bet than one sitting used somewhere. A neglected Mercedes will be very expensive to own. A good one is a joy to own.
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#3316582 - 03/19/14 07:41 AM Re: Mercedes Benz Owners [Re: bobbob]
Trav Offline


Registered: 11/20/06
Posts: 10429
Loc: MA, Mittelfranken.de
It depends on the model.
With all these cars the higher up the food chain you go the more expensive they are to fix and anything but the most basic maintenance is beyond most DIY.
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#3316641 - 03/19/14 09:08 AM Re: Mercedes Benz Owners [Re: bobbob]
Astro14 Offline


Registered: 10/10/10
Posts: 4675
Loc: Virginia Beach
Agree with Trav...for example, a clean, low mileage W-124 is still DIY...and will run forever...get into the realm of twin-turbo V-12s, active suspension, and computers networked on a fiber optic LAN and it gets pretty hard to DIY...

Who's going to take care of this prospective car?
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#3316646 - 03/19/14 09:10 AM Re: Mercedes Benz Owners [Re: bobbob]
d00df00d Offline


Registered: 10/20/05
Posts: 9348
Loc: PA
Prior to 2012 or so:

- If you want to relax when you drive and get where you're going with minimal fatigue, but still want good performance, you probably want the Mercedes.
- If you want something sporty and involving to drive, but you don't want it to tire you out, you probably want the BMW.
- Audi falls somewhere in the middle.

From 2012 on, and with VERY few exceptions, Mercedes clearly has the best lineup overall. BMW has been getting more comfortable but less sporty/involving; meanwhile, Mercedes has just upped its game overall. Audi's main selling point is that they are less expensive.

As for "performance," none of the brands makes a poorly performing car any more, so I wouldn't worry too much about that.

If you're buying used, no matter what brand, I heartily second Astro14's comments. Look for CPO first and foremost; if you can't find that, look for very thorough original service records.
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#3316650 - 03/19/14 09:14 AM Re: Mercedes Benz Owners [Re: Silk]
Doog Offline


Registered: 10/24/11
Posts: 3559
Loc: Ohio
Originally Posted By: Silk

I like BMW motorcycles, they are more like Mercedes than the BMW cars - solid and reliable.


BMW motorcycles top the list for most mechanical problems. smirk
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#3316780 - 03/19/14 10:47 AM Re: Mercedes Benz Owners [Re: bobbob]
Mykl Offline


Registered: 02/08/13
Posts: 1377
Loc: Texas
I don't know about reliability, but I'd love to have a CXX AMG.
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#3316963 - 03/19/14 12:41 PM Re: Mercedes Benz Owners [Re: bobbob]
hattaresguy Offline


Registered: 06/01/11
Posts: 5325
Loc: CT
They are better built and age better, also simpler to fix.

However like any late model high end car regardless of manufacture be careful when they are out of warranty.

If you stick to a basic E class or C class you should be OK if you get a good example and maintain it. Start moving up the food chain and they get complicated.

A base E350 2wd would be my ideal long term ownership Mercedes, or a G wagon.


Edited by hattaresguy (03/19/14 12:43 PM)

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#3317159 - 03/19/14 04:02 PM Re: Mercedes Benz Owners [Re: bobbob]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 34224
Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By: bobbob
I owned 2 Audis and they were good cars, I have driven some BMW's, also good. My question is about the Benz, do they drive better, perform better and are they a better
all around value than the same in their class? I am concerned about maintenance as I
am buying used. Thanks guys



Other than wear and tear items, most of the car that makes up my 91 318i has been super reliable. It is consuming some oil and has a ticking lifter, but it also has 165k miles. The suspension, interior, other electronics, etc. have all been great.

Ditto for my old w123 cars, which probably are the best cars ever built. Other than some silly age related issues like vacuum couplings getting old and leaky, there really hasnt been anything.

These cars ALL even have their full original radiators and hoses.

Fixed this quote a bit but I agree:

Originally Posted By: hattaresguy
They are better built and age better, also simpler to fix.

However like any late model high end car regardless of manufacture be careful when they are out of warranty.

If you stick to a basic E class or C class you should be OK if you get a good example and maintain it. .


MB has been the epitome of engineering, but as they move their cars to lower price points or with more fancy doodads with the intent of being excessively fancy rather than excessively engineered, then you lose confidence. When you start selling cars at a lease price point to the masses, then some elements may be compromised.

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#3317260 - 03/19/14 06:01 PM Re: Mercedes Benz Owners [Re: JHZR2]
d00df00d Offline


Registered: 10/20/05
Posts: 9348
Loc: PA
I agree with hattaresguy's comments + JHZR2's proposed edit. :]
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#3317276 - 03/19/14 06:15 PM Re: Mercedes Benz Owners [Re: bobbob]
Kestas Offline



Registered: 06/04/02
Posts: 10887
Loc: The Motor City
JHZR2's comments on MB vehicles echo what the engineering community has been saying for the past 25 years.

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#3317451 - 03/19/14 08:33 PM Re: Mercedes Benz Owners [Re: JHZR2]
fdcg27 Online   content


Registered: 09/25/09
Posts: 9647
Loc: OH
Ain't nothin' more reliable than a 318i, except maybe a 123 diesel.
Mine is not as old as JHZR2's nor does it have as many miles, but in the four years and 41K I've used my 318i, it's been as reliable as a hammer.
Older Mercedes cars?
We've had a 115 gas, two 123 diesels and a four cylinder gas 201.
These cars needed nothing over the time that we had them and all were bought well used.
I'm lying, since I did replace the starter on one of the diesels.
Not hard to do and the part was not expensive.
Any Mercedes dealer can source any part for any Mercedes ever built at reasonable prices, certainly no worse than what dealer parts for an older Honda would cost.
So, it depends upon what model you're looking at.
In a BMW, the e36 or e30 is a sporty car to drive and is also reasonably comfortable.
The Mercedes 123 handles bad pavement like no other car and can be cornered quite hard with little driver effort. The 115 is the same, although I know you're not looking for anything as old as a 115 or a 123.
The 201 rides really well for such a small car and has traditional Mercedes manners, as does the 124.
Both the 201 and the larger 124 proved to be very reliable and durable cars in daily use.
In general, Mercedes cars were the best built, with the BMWs a close second, while the Audis were no more than tarted up VWs, although still decently built.
Stick to a basic model of any of the three and you'll likely enjoy many miles of happy and reliable motoring.
Buy one of any of the three with all the toys and you'll get to try to keep all of those toys working.
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#3317755 - 03/20/14 07:03 AM Re: Mercedes Benz Owners [Re: bobbob]
BMWTurboDzl Offline


Registered: 04/15/10
Posts: 1363
Loc: Atlanta,GA
Originally Posted By: bobbob
I owned 2 Audis and they were good cars, I have driven some BMW's, also good. My question is about the Benz, do they drive better, perform better and are they a better
all around value than the same in their class? I am concerned about maintenance as I
am buying used. Thanks guys


My wife currently drives a SLK, has had 2 CLK's, and another SLK before that. These were low tech cars and all were more reliable than any of my BMW's. Her last CLK ('08) had three annoying build quality issues and 1 recall for a noisy pulley. Her CLK prior to that had one recall, and her SLK ('99?) before that had numerous interior trim panel failures.

The OCI for them has never been as high as BMW. My only concern would be ATF changes. Benz has a 40k interval and it doesn't come up on the service indicator so an owner may not know about it. Something to confirm when you buy an off lease car.

Coming from a BMW I've never liked how Benz drives. Steering was always too light, vague feedback, and the sport pkg felt as if it was more about cosmetics than anything else. Their cars always felt heavy that's for sure and MPG's were always worse than my BMW.

Assuming you like them low tech then I'd say they are reliable.
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#3317805 - 03/20/14 08:07 AM Re: Mercedes Benz Owners [Re: bobbob]
Benzadmiral Offline


Registered: 10/12/05
Posts: 3762
Loc: Da Swamp
My W126 420SEL from 1986 (again, this is an older chassis) was utterly solid. Only once did it ever strand me: The coil to distributor wire cracked, at something like 150K miles. Despite the problem, the car kept trying valiantly to start. Oil changes, which I did myself, and other fluids; the door panel began to rattle at 160K and I had to source some clips to fasten everything down again; the climate control button panel and the vent flaps had to be replaced at about 165K; and I did the usual wear and tear items. It ran without issue until it was totaled while parked at 198K by a drunken, cell phone-yakking teenager.

I miss it yet, and am determined I'll have another Benz someday.
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#3317850 - 03/20/14 09:15 AM Re: Mercedes Benz Owners [Re: BMWTurboDzl]
Y_K Offline


Registered: 05/29/09
Posts: 1087
Loc: WA (USA)
BMWTurboDzl: How do you like your newer diesel? TIA
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#3317859 - 03/20/14 09:24 AM Re: Mercedes Benz Owners [Re: BMWTurboDzl]
Quattro Pete Offline


Registered: 10/30/02
Posts: 26509
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: BMWTurboDzl
Coming from a BMW I've never liked how Benz drives. Steering was always too light, vague feedback, and the sport pkg felt as if it was more about cosmetics than anything else. Their cars always felt heavy that's for sure and MPG's were always worse than my BMW.

I am actually pleasantly surprised with how nimble and responsive my wife's C300 is. It has the sport pkg. If it only had manual trans, I'd be in love with it.

As far as MPG though - yea, it's pretty bad. AWD is partly to blame in our case.
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#3317877 - 03/20/14 09:46 AM Re: Mercedes Benz Owners [Re: Y_K]
BMWTurboDzl Offline


Registered: 04/15/10
Posts: 1363
Loc: Atlanta,GA
Originally Posted By: Y_K
BMWTurboDzl: How do you like your newer diesel? TIA


I love it although it has been in the shop for almost a month over a troublesome SCR (Urea) issue. It has 60k miles on it and it puts me in my happy place (85 mph on open hwy). The thing really is solid at 90+ speeds. Smooth as butter I6. Yum.
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#3318138 - 03/20/14 03:02 PM Re: Mercedes Benz Owners [Re: bobbob]
Norm Olt Offline


Registered: 01/27/03
Posts: 1819
Loc: Pac NW
W126 S-Class cars are among the best ever, IMHO. Most (as in "most") regular maintenance and many repairs are easily accomplished by a competent owner. I don't do transmissions and prefer my brake and a/c work to be done by professionals.

Since I have three I'm probably a little biased in favor, but after the 1st or 2nd 100K miles one becomes a believer.

Having a running parts car makes it easy for us to forgo collision insurance. We NOW put twice as many miles per year on the '91 420SEL as all the other vehicles COMBINED!

Cheers!


Edited by Norm Olt (03/20/14 03:02 PM)
Edit Reason: spelin'
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#3318989 - 03/21/14 12:12 PM Re: Mercedes Benz Owners [Re: JHZR2]
hattaresguy Offline


Registered: 06/01/11
Posts: 5325
Loc: CT
Originally Posted By: JHZR2
Originally Posted By: bobbob
I owned 2 Audis and they were good cars, I have driven some BMW's, also good. My question is about the Benz, do they drive better, perform better and are they a better
all around value than the same in their class? I am concerned about maintenance as I
am buying used. Thanks guys



Other than wear and tear items, most of the car that makes up my 91 318i has been super reliable. It is consuming some oil and has a ticking lifter, but it also has 165k miles. The suspension, interior, other electronics, etc. have all been great.

Ditto for my old w123 cars, which probably are the best cars ever built. Other than some silly age related issues like vacuum couplings getting old and leaky, there really hasnt been anything.

These cars ALL even have their full original radiators and hoses.

Fixed this quote a bit but I agree:

Originally Posted By: hattaresguy
They are better built and age better, also simpler to fix.

However like any late model high end car regardless of manufacture be careful when they are out of warranty.

If you stick to a basic E class or C class you should be OK if you get a good example and maintain it. .


MB has been the epitome of engineering, but as they move their cars to lower price points or with more fancy doodads with the intent of being excessively fancy rather than excessively engineered, then you lose confidence. When you start selling cars at a lease price point to the masses, then some elements may be compromised.


Don't edit my quotes thanks, my statement is correct I'd have zero heartburn buying a 2014 Honda Accord and driving it out of warranty for years, but a CLS63 AMG? NFW

Their is a reason say a CL65 AMG deprecates like yesterdays newspaper and oh say a Ferrar 458 or 9114S does not.

In the real world if you want to own for a decade you have to pick your models, also generally these cars make the best used purchases as well. The lease price point base E350 is exactly the car to get, or a base C class. The Magic Ride equipped S550 with the bi turbo V8, night vision and all the toys would not be a friendly car to own for a decade. Same with the CL hence the price drop, when the second owner starts getting $3k-$6k repair bills from the dealer they dump it. Oh and you pretty much have to use the dealer or a high end MB shop because they have the diagnostic computer systems!

Your talking about stuff that happened 30 years ago, I'm dealing with 2010+ models since I assume that OP wants something made this century. But I could be wrong.

If the OP is interested in classic MB's those models have their warts as well.



Edited by hattaresguy (03/21/14 12:20 PM)

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#3319008 - 03/21/14 12:45 PM Re: Mercedes Benz Owners [Re: hattaresguy]
Quattro Pete Offline


Registered: 10/30/02
Posts: 26509
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: hattaresguy
If the OP is interested in classic MB's those models have their warts as well.


The OP has been MIA. It'd be nice if he'd return and provide some more detail in terms of which years/models specifically he's interested in to help make the most out of this so far rather generic discussion.
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#3319035 - 03/21/14 01:20 PM Re: Mercedes Benz Owners [Re: bobbob]
SteveSRT8 Offline


Registered: 10/10/08
Posts: 15426
Loc: Sunny Florida
While even I must admit the older Mercs were tight cars, their newer models are far from the epitome of automotive perfection or reliability. I think it was Car and Driver that said the new S class had over 100 servo motors in it?

Reliable? Doesn't sound too good for the long haul to me.

I have owned 3 Mercs and found them to be distinctly below my personal standard of reliability. JMO of course, and any analysis of reliability must be evaluated against total production numbers as well...


Edited by SteveSRT8 (03/21/14 01:20 PM)
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#3319252 - 03/21/14 06:15 PM Re: Mercedes Benz Owners [Re: bobbob]
Y_K Offline


Registered: 05/29/09
Posts: 1087
Loc: WA (USA)
C-Class is for wannabees - a German saying. Cheaper than dirt on manheim.com auction lots. There is another German saying about Audi, but it is outside the scope. Tigers were fantastic tanks when new, but the same malaise: over-engineering lead to excessive downtime multiplied by the need for the properly trained skilled mechanics. if you go that route, use the proper fluids. Don't look at cost, look at performance.
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#3319360 - 03/21/14 08:29 PM Re: Mercedes Benz Owners [Re: hattaresguy]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 34224
Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By: hattaresguy


Don't edit my quotes thanks, my statement is correct I'd have zero heartburn buying a 2014 Honda Accord and driving it out of warranty for years, but a CLS63 AMG? NFW


Well you have to compare apples to apples. A fully decked out accord with every last electronic doodad?

First, it still has FAR less than the CLS63...

But Id not trust all that junk in a 2014 honda either.

It's not like when it fails (yes, when) it's going to be any easier or cheaper to fix.

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#3319716 - 03/22/14 11:24 AM Re: Mercedes Benz Owners [Re: Y_K]
hattaresguy Offline


Registered: 06/01/11
Posts: 5325
Loc: CT
Originally Posted By: Y_K
C-Class is for wannabees - a German saying. Cheaper than dirt on manheim.com auction lots. There is another German saying about Audi, but it is outside the scope. Tigers were fantastic tanks when new, but the same malaise: over-engineering lead to excessive downtime multiplied by the need for the properly trained skilled mechanics. if you go that route, use the proper fluids. Don't look at cost, look at performance.


The baby Benz is a decent cheap little commuter car. Mercedes makes lots of vehicles most of them are commercial or military, only a small percentage are high end.

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#3319720 - 03/22/14 11:25 AM Re: Mercedes Benz Owners [Re: Quattro Pete]
hattaresguy Offline


Registered: 06/01/11
Posts: 5325
Loc: CT
Originally Posted By: Quattro Pete
Originally Posted By: hattaresguy
If the OP is interested in classic MB's those models have their warts as well.


The OP has been MIA. It'd be nice if he'd return and provide some more detail in terms of which years/models specifically he's interested in to help make the most out of this so far rather generic discussion.


Yeah pretty much, MB made a ton of cars and most models had their good points and bad points to look out for.

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#3319832 - 03/22/14 02:17 PM Re: Mercedes Benz Owners [Re: bobbob]
CBR.worm Online   sad


Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 1450
Loc: Jupiter, Fl
And the more mainstream the model, the more reliable and cheaper to maintain they tend to be. E320/E350 are like the Camry/accord of the MB world. More reliable and easier to maintain than the V8+ models and cheaper parts.

A buddy bought a used E63 for a great price - he is just doing his second brake job. Each front rotor is $1,000 purchased from an internet source. He doesn't care, but it if you buy a $100,000 car a killer price, you still have maintenance costs in line with a $100k car. Prior to that he had an E55 which took thousands of dollars per shop visit, again he didn't care but the cost of ownership is high.

We have an E320cdi, an E350 and a C240 in the family that have all been inexpensive to maintain to 100k.
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#3323169 - 03/25/14 01:24 PM Re: Mercedes Benz Owners [Re: CBR.worm]
Norm Olt Offline


Registered: 01/27/03
Posts: 1819
Loc: Pac NW
Originally Posted By: CBR.worm
And the more mainstream the model, the more reliable and cheaper to maintain they tend to be. E320/E350 are like the Camry/accord of the MB world. More reliable and easier to maintain than the V8+ models and cheaper parts.

A buddy bought a used E63 for a great price - he is just doing his second brake job. Each front rotor is $1,000 purchased from an internet source. He doesn't care, but it if you buy a $100,000 car a killer price, you still have maintenance costs in line with a $100k car. Prior to that he had an E55 which took thousands of dollars per shop visit, again he didn't care but the cost of ownership is high.

We have an E320cdi, an E350 and a C240 in the family that have all been inexpensive to maintain to 100k.


And a front rotor for an AMG car or one with the Sport Package is about $100 or so...

C'mon! An E63 is kind'a up there, isn't it? WAY up there, IMHO!

Cheers!
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#3323325 - 03/25/14 03:48 PM Re: Mercedes Benz Owners [Re: JHZR2]
rjundi Offline


Registered: 03/16/04
Posts: 6587
Loc: New England
Originally Posted By: JHZR2
Originally Posted By: hattaresguy


Don't edit my quotes thanks, my statement is correct I'd have zero heartburn buying a 2014 Honda Accord and driving it out of warranty for years, but a CLS63 AMG? NFW


Well you have to compare apples to apples. A fully decked out accord with every last electronic doodad?

First, it still has FAR less than the CLS63...

But Id not trust all that junk in a 2014 honda either.

It's not like when it fails (yes, when) it's going to be any easier or cheaper to fix.


Disagree since Accord is a top selling car and will have a massive used parts sourcing based on sheer volume. Also aftermarket exists as a car like Accord is appealing to the masses new and old vs MB which is specialty model and novelty in some ways and fades.
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2005 Legacy GT wagon 5mt - 172k - Mobil 5000/OEM Subie filter

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