Need straight opinions on a possible purchase... - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-18-2007, 12:08 PM Thread Starter
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Need straight opinions on a possible purchase...

I am obviously new and have been checking this forum for a while. I currently own a 98 Corvette, but I always loved the SL500's. I am considering trading the Vette for a 99 model with 78,000 miles. I've been told that Mercedes are maintenance nightmares. I can't believe they are that bad. I understand replacement/tune-up parts may be higher, but honestly:

Are they THAT problematic??

Thanks for the opinions/advice!!

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-18-2007, 12:27 PM
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I doubt an R129 would be any more maintenance-intensive than a Corvette.

Felicita e un bicchiere di vino con un panino.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-18-2007, 12:43 PM
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HONESTLY? I would get rid of the Vette and get the SL. They require no more maintenance or treatments than a vette. They will last longer, are safer, more stylish, and more classy. There is also a different image associated with an SL which is that of "success and power" unlike the image associated with a vette which is "midlife crises" or a "baldy trying to pick up young woman" or a man with "a small dick"
I know this will piss many people off and I am getting a little side tracked but the point is I believe that you will love the comfort, quality of the drive, quality of the product which is much much better and again not to mention the reliability and most importantly the SAFETY! GO FOR IT MAN!
post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-18-2007, 02:04 PM
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Some Mercedes are maintenance nightmares, case in point might be an SL600. Stick with the SL500, and it should be a step up from your current ride.

"If spending money you don't have is the height of stupidity, borrowing money to give it away is the height of insanity." -- anon
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-19-2007, 09:34 AM
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If you are handy at all, MB's are not that bad to maintain. In my neck of the woods, there is a corvette on every corner. SL500's are rare. You will likely stick out a bit.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-19-2007, 10:48 AM
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Having owned both C4 and C5 Corvettes and a group of Benzes including SL you are going to find some items on the SL more expensive to deal with.

Labor rates for the Benz is going to be between $75-140 depending on where in the country you live, rates for the C5 will be between $60-90.

If you are looking at performance, the SL500 is not even in the same ballpark as the C5 Vette. That C5 has just about the best performance/dollar ratio of any car ever made. The SL is just not up to the performance levels on either the twisties or overall acceleration.

On long distance driving, unless you have the Z51 package I would consider them about even. The wheelbases are close enough that each will provide you with ample soreness after 500+ mile days [I have road tripped both a C5 and R129 on 2000+ mile trips]

As far as fit and finish, most like to say that the Benz is far better than the Corvette. It is much better than the 93 and back vettes but the later C4 and C5 Vettes got NVH down pretty well. I don't like some of the interior materials on the cars but then again I find that they are holding up very well.

Electronics on the C5 are better than that of the R129 cars. There were some gremlins in the mid - late 90s Benzes that caused long lasting issues within the company. The C5 Vette seems to have little of that problem [I do remember the digital dash on the early C4 cars being a problem that gave me fits].

As for which one is the midlife car, some think both are. I have had fun with both groups of people. The opening of the Corvette Museum in 92 was a blast and the StarFests that Mercedes Benz Club of America puts on every other year is equally fun, although many fewer cars in attendance.

You will be happy in the Benz community and this group at benzworld is very good. It comes down to a choice of two good things. That can't be bad.


Being smart is knowing the difference, in a sticky situation between a well delivered anecdote and a well delivered antidote - bear.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-19-2007, 02:24 PM
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No experience w/ vettes, but in our extended family we have purchased 3 E-classes and 2 MLs (including one a month ago). All low-mileage vehicles, and overall, the MB doesn't deserve at all a reputation for quality. Recent example, 2 week old ML died on the road due to fuel sensor problems, and has been in the shop for 3 weeks. Other forum member has same problem. Do not expect long-term quality like you would in Lexus, Acura, even BMW or Porsche from MB.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-19-2007, 04:26 PM
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I had 2 serious problems with my 2001 C5. It burned oil....a common problem with these cars. The clutch vibrated and chattered.....another common and unfixable problem. Also, it needed higher octane than what I could get in Cali. and so it never performed at peak. I started mixing in 100 octane unleaded to blend to about 93 octane and then it ran great.

I traded it on a 2004 Sl500 and that was the best car I have ever owned! It had only one problem with the trunk latch and that was it.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-19-2007, 05:26 PM
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I had a late C-4, It was a very nice car,HOWEVER, My '00 SL-500 is 10 times the car!!!! PERIOD!!! The vette is faster {speed limit is STILL 65mph} the vette is Quicker{B.F.D.} The vette gets better gas mileage,28 vs 25 Not worth a second thought!!! The SL Rides much better, feels MUCH more SOLID!!!!! Has the hard top and a soft top!!!! And has all around more CLASS!!!!!!!!!!!!! The only thing I would say is buy as late model as you can swing and ENJOY!!!!!!!!!
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