Should I do this? - Mercedes-Benz Forum

 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-26-2011, 08:09 AM Thread Starter
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Post Should I do this?

Hey all,
I'm new to the forum and need your total, unbiased honesty.
I do not own a MB, but have driven them on rare occasions years ago. Out of young ignorance, I never bought one. Now, at 45 years old I find myself really wanting one. I've been in love with last generation's (2007 I believe-2011) C-class and am trying to talk the wife into letting me find a CPO 300 Sport 6MT. Unfortunately, a project to move Mt Rushmore would be a simpler task after my last car fiasco. You see, I talked her into a 2006 (bought new) VW GLI that has been the absolute worst vehicle I've ever owned. Now she's nervous about any future German brands and rolls her eyes when I give her the "these are different" line.

So, to you all I ask the following:

What am I getting into with this generation of C-class?

Can I expect these to be what Mercedes was once upon a time (20-year lasting car with warranty repairs that last longer than 6 months)?

How's the actual build quality these days? My paved roads in central-Louisiana are some of the worst, teeth-jarring roads, comparable to a third-world country and I hate squeaks and rattles.

I remember C-class and other modestly positioned MB as being taxis in Germany years ago, therefore, they were known to hold up well to all conditions, just as tight and quiet as day number 1. Still true, or am I looking at the wrong animal here?

If I do decide to find a CPO, probably 2008-2010, what should I look out for? What can I expect MB-USA to do for me and how can I expect to be treated?

Thank you all very much for your time, patience and willingness to help out.

Watson
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-26-2011, 09:17 AM
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How long have you been married? In Husband 101, you learn that the classic method is in convincing the spouse that it was her idea, not yours, to obtain whatever it is you want to get, like that 70" LCD panel, the dual fuel, outdoor grill with infrared searing strip . . .

For instance, suggest that you thinking of a newer car, perhaps another fine product from the VW family, like a Passat or even an Audi A4 . . . or maybe a CPO Mercedes . . .
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-26-2011, 10:40 AM
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What was the problem with VW? I owned bunch of them over the years and besides them being smaller and less comfortable than MB, they were good cars.
When you decide on model you want, you can go to the model section and most of the
sections have common problems listed in stickies.
At least you are going into right direction. Years ago I had VW that I was using on project when my wife got rear-ended in her MB. I offered her the VW to drive. The short test drive with VW ended with short comment what was like "no freaking way I drive that"
So bear in mind, once you show DW she can drive MB, this will be one way street.
Good luck with your search.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-26-2011, 04:16 PM
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I'm a wife. I'd ask on a scale of 1-10 how much you want this car? Then tell her. If you can make it work financially then what's holding you back? Life is short. I recently bought the car of my dreams since I was 17. I'm now 44. I haven't regretted it for a moment. Go for it!
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-26-2011, 06:45 PM
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I was in a similar situation moving from BMW to Mercedes. To be honest, at least with my R500, I've been disappointed. It may be an unfair comparison, as the prior cars BMW 3 series and X5, were last of their respective generations (E46 and E53). (I don't know what it is, but I have a proclivity for buying the last of BMW generations. As a matter of fact, I just bought R1200GS and immediately learned that this will likely be the last of the oilheads.) No doubt both Mercedes and BMW are equally expensive to repair--and I did catch a fair amount of flank about the high costs of German cars, but BMW was able to find the problem and cure it first try, every time. Our first generation R500 has tested my wife's patience on German cars. It seems to always have some minor problem lurking: gremlins running very deep. Mercedes often cures something but not the entire problem. Multiple trips aren't unusual. The BMWs would go a year or more without a problem, so you were able to forgive and forget.

I don't want to dissuade you. Mercedes makes wonderful cars. They carry prestige and are more luxurious. The dealers, in my opinion, are expensive but generally courteous and fair. The original CPO warranty covered most every problem, and the current extended warranty has proved well worth it's cost. On the question of WAF, the R500 is still losing this battle, however.

Last edited by thomgonzales; 11-26-2011 at 07:21 PM.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-27-2011, 08:23 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses. I'm having some trouble navigating this beast but, not being too digitally resistant, I'll manage to wrestle it down eventually.

MTI, I've been married 14 years. She's figured me out pretty much and I'm having problems implanting "her idea" in her head. I tried to make her think it's for the greater good, but I can really understand her concern. I even tried telling her a CPO C-class isn't too far off from the average cost of a 4-door family ride, which brings me to...

thomgonzales. She is worried about the German thing now, especially after owning VW for the past 13 years. Now, your R-class, isn't it the first model year? Also, is it possible it's just YOUR service center that fumbles the ball? Can it really be representative of the entire brand? I've considered the BMW 3-series which really gives me a different concern: In my opinion, the people who buy/lease the 3 series may tend to "rag" on that car more. It's been many years since I've driven one of those too, but they seemed mostly an enthusiast's car and the ride may not be quite as refined as the C class. Am I out of line on that assumption?

380Blue, bless your gizzard. You go girl! To answer your question, sometimes I have to evaluate how much I really want one of these. I've been circling around this for a year now like a buzzard. I keep a sales brochure on my desk at home, and guard it with my life, as I'm afraid she'll trash it when I'm at work. I fear I'm, at times, displaying signs of OCD with this.

Kajtek1, My problem with VW has been mild to severe over the 13 years of owning them. Most have been fun cars to drive. My 1997 Jetta GLX (VR6) was my favorite, but the wife didn't care for it, so the trading game began. For the most part, the Jetta line has been the most problematic, and VW service has been a mixed bag over several areas. I was military for 20 years, so I was always moving around. The absolute worst service has been here in Louisiana in Bossier City and Lafayette. Either way, it's over 100 miles to the nearest dealer, and I always have the dealer's service them while under any warranty. My most reliable VW was my 04 Passat Wagon, but it was the most boring vehicle I've ever driven (1.8T, auto xmsn) and fell in love with the GLI when I test drove it in May, 2005. This has been my nightmare come true. Been towed to the dealer at least 4 times, left me stranded 2 times, I've driven a total of 800 miles for a boost leak that I had to troubleshoot myself and offer to pay them for the consumables needed for the work. It's on its sixth (not exaggerating here) AC system, the 5th lasted one week, they didn't want to give me a loaner while it was in for a week. Squeaks and rattles galore. Engine power went downhill after the first year (something I've never seen by VW before) and it will never come back. Trunk doesn't close until you fiddle with it for 5 minutes, headliner fell after 3 years, and the list goes on, and on. This isn't the forum for this car, but it's the last straw with this company, and given how they're decontenting their current line of auto's it'll be a cold day in Hades before I buy another one. I've yet to see a Japanese car that even comes close to the interior agronomics, design, fit/finish of any German car. The door panels don't even pass inspection to lure me to test the seat. Ultra cheap copies of German cars now.

All in all, I'm wanting something that will hold up longer than the average car, power wise and structurally. I used to love how these cars would feel and sound on the road after years of driving. Many people seem to have older C and E classes (20 yo) that are as beautiful as the day they were new. I realize maintenance has to be done, but with VW all the maintenance done seem to be in vain. Kinda like life-support at 70,000 miles. The horror, the horror...
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-27-2011, 09:30 AM
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You are completely correct: there is always a possibility that my experiences are merely outliers. It could be that my car's problems stem solely from being a first generation model. It could be that my R500 is a lemon. Or, it could be that my service center is far below average.

This board has been invaluable as have been the various TSBs. Interestingly, almost every problem that has occurred on my R500 has been well documented by both Mercedes and this board. The numerous problems that my R500 has suffered also seem to be shared by all the related Mercedes platforms. This hints at negating the outlier argument.

Please don't take my posting as damning the car or passing aspersions on the brand. I would only suggest that you search the boards, read over the positive and negative postings and determine for yourself. I would have probably done it over again, but to be completely honest, I should have had gone in with lower expectations. ...and like may posters here, I should have never even considered passing on the extended warranty. (Luckily the CPO gave me a year to decide.)

P.S.

As to the question of pardoning first generation cars, I have grave reservations with the starting premise. A car manufacturer as large and profitable as Mercedes, especially one which prides its self on R&D, shouldn't have released cars that weren't yet ready market. It's a recipe for corporate and brand suicide. More importantly, it's also irresponsible to treat customers as guinea pigs. (I know caveat emptor...)

On a similar note, I've read several apologist postings saying that Mercedes has acknowledged its MY06 quality culpability and even suggesting that that period was Mercedes admitted low quality point. That's no excuse. Admitting fault without remedy is worthless and shouldn't pardon the damage. Moreover, Mercedes had a second bite at the proverbial apple when they re-sold these cars as CPO. Although not legal bound, an interest in repairing its brand equity should have pressed them to correct at the very least every major problem that they had subsequently discovered (viz., the various TSBs) before re-releasing them into market. Rather, they pinched pennies and waited for customer to complain and only make repairs on an ad hoc basis. I'm not advocating here but rather pressing the apologist argument to its logical and specious conclusion.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-27-2011, 10:59 AM
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Sorry to hear about you bad experience on German engineering based on VW. Even I had always good luck with all VW I did own, MB is totally different animal. Being mechanically inclined, I don't hesitate to buy high mileage cars and most of them were over 200k, while 2 were over 300k when I sold them. All diesel MB I did own always sold for more than I paid for them.
Now if you plan to take the cars to the dealer, don't buy MB. Especially in the area that doesn't have competitive shops that can service them.
I bought my first MB diesel very cheap, because PO in Baton Rouge was routinely ripped off by lonely MB shop there.
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