Date registered: Jun 2009
Vehicle: 2001 S430
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My Dad owned a 1985 W123 300D. It was a magical car. Strong, reliable and so stable on the autobahns of Germany. Then we came to Australia and due to the ridiculosly high price of second hard cars I bought myself a Volvo. I drove my Volvo for 15 years needing on fuel to run and regular service (I service my car's every 5000km). I convinced myself that Volvo made a better car than Mercedes, even though in the back of my mind I wanted to drive a Mercedes just couldn't afford one at the time. My Volvo, sadly I'm giving it up soon will probably outlast most cars on the road today. The body, engine and transmission are all bulletproof. As opposed to a same age Mercedes, I believe it's a better car. It has everything you need without it being overcomplicated. Don't laugh, I'm talking a 1981 car here.
I went out with my budget set and decided on an upgrade to 1997. I looked at both 97 Volvo and Mercedes. Test drove them both and came to this conclusion. The Volvo cannot be compared to the Mercedes. The Merc does everything so much better and has everything you need (note the deliberate use of the word "need") with being overcomplicated. Now I am a proud owned of a 1997 C200 and I love the car. Sure there are faults but you will never find a perfect car.
I think the old Mercs had just as many design flaws as the new ones. But the new ones seem to have droped in both quality of the material and the workmanship. This is no doubt to meet the market. With environmental concerns, fuel prices and not to mention the bottom line, Merc had to evolve. Having said this, I still believe that Merc has the edge on all other makes of car. I think we can all be proud that we drive a Mercedes Benz, no matter the age of the car.