Date registered: Nov 2011
Vehicle: 2003 CLK 320 Coupe
Location: Beacon, NY
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I agree that internet forums tend to mislead the "casual reader" into thinking that the cars are horribly unreliable...that any known common problem with a particular car (or engine, or tranny, etc) will absolutely happen in just a matter of time, like a ticking time-bomb. In reality, these known problems only happen to something like 3~4% of "affected" vehicles. So chances are, your car could have everything going against it and you'd still never have the dreaded failures. It's a phenomenon of the internet. Like mentioned above, everyone only tends to show up with their problems. Even forums for the most reliable Japanese cars can have you second-guessing your investment as a disaster waiting to happen.
As for Benzes, they may tend to be finicky sometimes, but I personally consider this an acceptable compromise on the less trouble-prone models. Unlike the average BMW, Audi, or VW (from what I'm told by more than one indy mechanic), these Benzes can be successfully enjoyed as practical daily-driven vehicles long out of warrantee. They will not be as reliable as household appliances, but you will always be happy that you can't compare them to such.
I always use my Bic/Zippo analogy of cigarette lighters here...it's far-fetched but bear with me...
A good Japanese car is like a "Bic" lighter, and something like a Benz is like a "Zippo". Disposable, the Bic will light each and every time, the first time, without drama, impervious to light wind; moderate moisture; pocket-lint; whatever, until it eventually dies and you regretlessly throw it away and buy another... A Zippo is not disposable. It will, however, require regular refuelling, periodic flint replacement, occasional hinge repair, etc, but it's a classic design that its owner tends to take a little bit of pride in, derives a little bit of pleasure from, and generally keeps for life.
Last edited by ellcapitan; 12-14-2011 at 06:31 PM.