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post #61 of 106 (permalink) Old 10-25-2012, 10:34 PM
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I am enjoying the insights from everyone - thanks! My wife drives an X3 which matched the ride comfort of my C230K. At that time we both tended toward the sporty side of whatever we were driving. But as I am now a bit older I wanted a bit more of a softer, yet firm ride. So I moved into a used C280 4matic luxury. It is interesting to move from one to the other. One screams to go into the corners but will also coddle you down the freeway. While the other insists on making you comfortable for the long haul...unless you happen on a curvey road. In which case it's also very capable of letting it's hair down a bit!

So I like kajtek's statement...the hot date vs the one you want to marry. That is an excellent comparison.
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post #62 of 106 (permalink) Old 10-26-2012, 07:36 PM
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MB vs BMW

Since my wife and I have owned five examples---3 BMW and 2 MB, driven them a combined 450,000 miles, and had them serviced from NH to FL, I feel we are qualified to comment on their differences. I will not attempt to judge the motivations behind the decisions of others to choose one marque over the other. As to luxury, neither has an advantage unless you include the Maybach, but BMW certainly has the edge in the "fun to drive" category.
The real difference comes in the cost to maintain and dealer attitude category. BMW parts run 2 to 3 times the cost of MB and labor time is proportional. BMW client advisers are less knowledgeable ---(one recently insisted my 740i needed 2 camshaft position sensors replaced when it only has one). When taking our 87 300E to dealers, we are still treated with respect, given free loaners, and always receive a washed and vacuumed vehicle when finished.
Finally, I do admit that MB's seem to command more respect from the masses. We lived in FL in the 80's, owned a new 240D (cheapest MB available then), and always found it parked out front by restaurant valet attendants.

We just completed a 600 mile run from Cape Cod to Maryland in just over 8 hours at 24.5 mpg in our 15 year old BMW 740i and loved every minute.
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post #63 of 106 (permalink) Old 10-27-2012, 12:39 AM
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I own a BMW X3 and a CLK500....the CLK is hands down more luxurious and plenty fast, even compared to my Porsche Boxster S I just got rid of. My CLK is way more reliable than the BMW, hands down. Both are 2004's with under 80k miles. The X3 is unstoppable in crappy weather though, and I tow a small trailer with it often. But when it is time for a newer vehicle (probably another year) I will be getting a newer ML350
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post #64 of 106 (permalink) Old 10-27-2012, 04:58 AM
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My first German car was a brand new 3 series BMW - I loved it. The I bought another, also 3 series. It started falling apart with first the CVs packing up, then the engine needed an overhaul at 50k miles.
I bought a 2nd hand 525 which was magic, I upgraded to a (2nd hand) 530iA. Also a great car.
Then I bought a 10 year old Mercedes Benz C240 auto with 150k on the clock. I have never loved a car more. I always thought of a Merc as out of my range, but now I have one, I wonder why I ever bought the Beemers.
I can't quite put my finger on it, but the Merc has something that is missing on the Beemers. A previous poster hit the nail on the head - the BMW is a hot date, but you want to marry the Merc.
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post #65 of 106 (permalink) Old 10-27-2012, 08:58 AM
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People buy Mercedes for all that they are, Companies buy BMWs for all that they are not. Merc says i have taste and class. BMW says ive got a new rep job.
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post #66 of 106 (permalink) Old 10-28-2012, 07:03 PM
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Wink MB interiors are built to last

I have thought long and hard about this question for many years as many of my friends own BMW 7's... I own an 2010 S63.

The most obvious difference to me is not the exterior, but the interior of the car. Every time I get into a BMW I feel like I just climbed onto an old saddle (albeit on a race horse!). The interior just doesn't hold up. It looks dirty unless it's meticulously cleaned - the dashboard collects dust and looks dirty minutes after being cleaned!. The interior takes a beating and shows it - like an old saddle. Now some people like an old saddle - feels comfortable and perfect.
Also, the plastic trim in the cockpit shows wear very quickly.

But others, like me, want to get in my car and want to see and feel like it always new. The interior of a MB is far easier to maintain and it looks newer for much longer. I believe that's why the MB has a higher resell value and less depreciation.

I've never kept a car longer than two years or 50,000 miles. I drove Lexus vehicles (LS, SC, ES, LX) for about 10 years. Then I discovered MB. Wow, what a difference (except for the LX). I had a 2008 S550 that blew me away and when I learned about the S63 - that was it. Now, I've got 38,000 miles on the S63 and I think I'm going to keep her for a while... a long while.

As for the Lexus LX (vs. the MB G550) I just don't think MB understands the SUV the way Lexus does. The LX-470 and LX-570 vehicles are far superior to MB GL in every way... except one. That damned Lexus (GM, Toyota, Panasonic?) navigation system that requires the vehicle to be a stop before entering an address into the system. At least MB understands the importance of that and doesn't prohibit entry while moving.

Anyway, back to the BMW - I've only owned on BMW, a 318i Cabriolet that my wife *had* to have. The car seats, when placed in the back seat, totally prevented the seatbelts from being used as the connection point was too far towards the centerline of the seat - so much so that even a minimalist car seat covered it up. Kids had no trouble buckling belts in any other car but this one. Made it a total pain to drive so we sold it in a matter of months...

MB - the best built, longest lasting, and most FUN to drive cars in the world.
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post #67 of 106 (permalink) Old 10-29-2012, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve928 View Post
People buy Mercedes for all that they are, Companies buy BMWs for all that they are not. Merc says i have taste and class. BMW says ive got a new rep job.
You waited two years to post, and this is the best you can do?

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post #68 of 106 (permalink) Old 10-29-2012, 10:10 AM
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I loved reading all the comments on this thread and though I would add my penny's worth.

I have owned quite a few cars in recent years, first of which was a brand spanking new BMW 118i Automatic and last of which is my current E320 Avantgarde.

The culture here in South Africa is one of not driving a car beyond their maintenance plans (most brands give 5 year, 100 000km plans as standard here) because no one wants to carry the cost of maintaining a German car. This was the case for me also with the BMW. I drove it until the maintenance plan was about to expire, and sold it, moving on to a Jaguar S-Type (yes, I know, bad move).

I bought the BMW because I was young and considered myself to be a hip young advertising exec who needed to impress clients and friends, and to a degree the BMW achieved this. I bought the Jaguar because it screamed "premium sedan", and lent a certain confidence when pitching to new clients...and then several cars later I bought the E-Class.

Mercedes for me says "I have arrived". It says that I am successful and have taste, but am sensible and not oblivious to practical requirements from cars. Clients compliment me on my choice (and sometimes question it too, being an unmarried 27-year old guy). I love driving it, and it has presence, unlike the BMW 5-Series. I have several friends who own Mercedes vehicles, and they range from A-Classes right up to the mighty S-Class, and we all agree that there simply is no other car manufacturer who builds cars like Mercedes Benz.

Here in SA there is a trend for Mercs to be the domain of Doctors and Accountants, while BMWs are rife among the hip and young (or young at heart), especially in the industry I work in.

Ultimately I bought the car not caring what people would think, as I did with all my previous purchases. I bought the car as an expression of self, and for how it would make me feel each morning I saw it in the drive and every moment I spent behind the wheel. How is that? Simple: "Like I have arrived"...
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post #69 of 106 (permalink) Old 10-29-2012, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by 2000 C280 Sport View Post
Manual Transmission? Thats like using a typewriter. Mercedes does not need a manual in a AMG. It does not fit or work correctly. BMW is the sporty luxury car. Even thou M Cars and AMG compete with each other they are still 2 very different cars.
Whether competent or not, reviews in the U.S. have indicated that the secret of a great manual transmission has either eluded Mercedes engineers, or it is not a priority.

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Originally Posted by Philip2 View Post
Prior to my current 350 CLK convertible, I never owned an automatic; felt it would not give me the level of control over the engine I desired. But I have to say, my automatic Mercedes is not bad at all. Are manuals now obsolete?
I have found myself debating that recently, due to a drive in a C250, which is what I'm seriously considering buying. From my current car, I'd say no.

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Originally Posted by Triggerhappy View Post
I judge people by their car all the time I think it does tell me something about a person if they are driving something that says "I don't care". If your car is a total POS it generally says you are either a) very bad with money, b) didn't do any research or c) know absolutely nothing about cars. If someone makes a very large purchase and gets a 3-5 year loan without doing any research or putting any thought into it whatsoever it makes me question their wisdom. Not to say that everybody has to drive a Mercedes car or that anyone who drives a Camry is an idiot, but someone who drives a Sunfire might be.
I try not to use the word judge in this situation, but deal in probabilities. It's most likely that if I see a Toyota in front of me, I should be looking for the way around him, especially if that Toyota is a Camry or Avalon, this in a situation where most people drive slowly in the left lane, which is one of my pet peeves. However, I would agree that some choices speak volumes about the owner. For example, someone driving a Dodge Caliber as a personally owned vehicle is someone seemingly not paying attention, and should be dealt with accordingly. My one drive in one of those revealed Prius like acceleration, without Prius like gas mileage, or, for that matter, good looks.

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Originally Posted by Prevost View Post
You buy a M B for two reasons, because you want to and you can, the first one does not mean s*** if the second one is not true.
In short order, one will be able to say,"The base commander and the Staff Sergeant met at the gate, and both were driving new Mercedes-Benzes". It takes only so much to get a new one, with the lease deals being what they are here. Just considering payments and gas, I'd save money over my current car, to the tune of a hundred dollars a month. That's one reason why I'm considering a C250. It is a having your cake, and eating it in one bite sort of move. The main one, really, is the point, usually true of any German car, but more so in a Mercedes, when you feel you've been driving it for years for how instinctive and satisfying it is to drive. It's been true of the S Class cars I've been lucky enough to take for a spin, and it was true of this C Class. Admittedly, I'm also looking not to mistake my car for anyone else's in the parking lot at work, and this will be very effective in that purpose.

Also, buying a older Mercedes, and at one time I could have bought a early '70s 450 SEL for $1200 can be displaying the proper instincts and disguising a lack of means.

No doubt, though, that one buys a BMW because it is sportier, or is perceived to be such. I drove a new BMW 3 series just after trying the C250, and have found that in this case, that may no longer be true, and the Mercedes was a more direct, if not more sporting choice.
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post #70 of 106 (permalink) Old 10-29-2012, 01:07 PM
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Whether competent or not, reviews in the U.S. have indicated that the secret of a great manual transmission has either eluded Mercedes engineers, or it is not a priority.
I suspect it's the latter, I can't imagine Getrag couldn't supply MB with all the excellent manuals they wanted, if only MB asked for them.

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