Date registered: Jan 2008
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Thinking of buying a Benz, any advice?
I'm new here and admit knowing very little about MB. I almost pulled the trigger last week on a new Tacoma truck MSRP'd at $31K. My thought was that I live in Colorado and it seemed practical and reliable. I decided to wait. My wife said, "why not hold out and buy the car you really want"--a Mercedes. I was surprised to find some pre-owned models with under 35K miles priced in the mid-$20Ks. I'll admit I am lured to the idea because of the styling, the fact they are different, and the stigma of owning a Benz. Here are my concerns and couple questions:
1. Are these cars unreliable? I drive my cars for 5-10 years and with the exception of my current Saab 9-3 Convertible, have always owned Hondas. In 25 years and 4 Hondas my grand total in unschedule maint repairs is $40 for a frozen/broken power antenna. That's it. I notice the Honda and Lexus forums are littered with posts such as "What kind of wax do you use?" and "How often do you treat the leather." The Benz forum (and Saab forum) is populated with mostly posts on "What is wrong with my car." This seems like a red flag, am I missing something? Is it worth it to splurge for a 100K mile, full coverage, extended warranty?
2. I am thinking that used is the only way to go. Resale value seems horrific for MB. When a $55K car is listed at $24K 4-5 years later and with only 35K miles I can't see buying new. I keep my cars in showroom condition despite a 10-mile one-way commute daily. I only hand wash and wax keep my cars garaged. I only have them serviced at the dealer and keep every receipt, even for gas. I have all the scheduled maintenence done and replace parts before they wear out. Assuming I can find a 4-5 year old MB with under 35K miles, owned by an individual with the same mind set, is this the best way to go?
3. Snow. Colorado winters are unforgiving and I guess all but the 4Matics are rear wheel drive? Is there a huge price delta in going for a 4Matic. Whatever I buy will be a daily driver so I will not have the luxury of letting it sit on snowy/icy days. Should I limit myself to the 4Matics or will studded snow tires do the trick?
4. Lastly, are their models to avoid? Which are best? I like all of the MB line-up, even the entry level C-Class but don't care much for the SUVs. We have a Honda Pilot as our second car and plan to drive it until the wheels fall off. So, I want a sedan or coupe. Basic amenities such as a sunroof, heated leather seats, and CD changer are fine, I don't need Nav or Xexons, etc. Plan would be to baby the car and shoot for 8+ years of use. I drive about 10-12K miles per year.
Excuse the length of my post and lack of knowledge. I hope a few long time Benz owners will share their thoughts, including the pros and cons.