Are Mercedes really better? - Page 2 - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #11 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by BertL View Post
For some of you die-hard MBZ owners that have practical experience with older as well as more recent MYs, is there anything to the generality of "older cars" tend to be more reliable over the long haul, because they tend to be the ones with less technology, gadgets and gizmos that add complexity and therefore become more problematic in newer cars?

As a newbie to MBZ, I've been trying to learn by reading many forums like this for months while I wait for delivery of my new SLK, but right-or-wrong, I've been left with the impression that older cars tend to be the most reliable for that reason. Your thoughts? Thanks!
Not more reliable. Even early 90s cars have electronic ignition, computers and environmental controls that all break and go wrong. If you get a car old enough to really be simple then it will probably have a carburetor, and that is definitely not more reliable. The 1980s Mercedes diesels have a great reputation but if you need a car to start every morning without hesitation then a new car is always best.
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post #12 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 04:41 PM
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I don't know about better, but I would rather take a cross country trip in a Mercedes than in a Toyota. We like them for the ride.
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post #13 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 05:07 PM
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The older MB better reliabitity is a myth spread by old car owners.
I did own all diesel models available in US in last 30 years.
Each was excellent for its era, but new models are always better. MB did some ops on the way, like 350 diesel, but big engine work on US models past 1999 is unheard about. Even the first generation of digital transmissions had some baby teeth, they keep on proving to be mechanically bulletproof.
Sure guys who don't know new telephone from TV remote don't like digital cars, but plugging and reading the scanner sure beats searching for a leak in 100 pcs vacuum controls on older models.
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post #14 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by theswaggerwagon View Post
I don't know about better, but I would rather take a cross country trip in a Mercedes than in a Toyota. We like them for the ride.
Funny you should mention that...I'm about to leave for my annual trip to a con 750 miles away. In the past five years, I've used five different vehicles:

2007 Lexus RX350
1989 Ford Bronco II
1995 Chevrolet Blazer
2000 Subaru Outback Limited wagon
...and now the E320 wagon.

Out of all of them, so far, the RX350 was the most comfortable. The Bronco II was terrible; as a highway cruiser, it makes a decent off-road truck. The Blazer was all right, and the Outback wasn't bad. Ask me next week what I think of the E320. I still don't know what the ride is supposed to be like, but I do know that it's pretty good.
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post #15 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 07:40 PM
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I am intensely curious about Mercedes' reliability, but I don't expect to form much of an opinion based on the car I just bought, a 2002 model.

I have owned Japanese cars almost exclusively, but never a brand-new one. I just don't do brand-new. I'd always rather get something slightly used and neater.

Anyway, I've had two Toyotas, six Subarus and one Mazda that I wouldn't consider indicative of the brand. The Toyotas were very used, so had their needs. Two of the Subarus were pretty new when I got them.

Mostly I'd consider all my Japanese cars to have been as reliable as I would have expected them to be for their age. But major parts wear out. When my SVX was seven years old it needed a new transmission. My 2005 Outback needs head gaskets and front axles. My RX8 is on its third engine (which happened within 40k miles).

I drove a 1998 E320 here in town before I bought my 2002. That '98 had 200k miles on it. If that car was at all typical of the marque, I am astonished at how well it had held up. I am really looking forward to my time with that car, though again I admit that an 11-year-old car is probably not fair to judge a brand by.
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post #16 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 09:17 PM
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Hi all,
my 2 cents worth from Down Under.
The first MB I bought was a second hand (60,000km) W202 C240, and it came with a driver information video. One scene showed the car doing a max effort stop from freeway speeds, and still being steerable around other slower cars and avoiding the pile up. I don't think the average Lexus of Honda would be able to do the same :-)

And a lot of what you are paying for is the built in safety stuff. For example, a couple of years ago I went to a Mercedes Safety Day on the local race track. One of the things said at the briefing has stayed with me. The head driver said that MB was the only car on the road in which the computers 'talked' to each other. For example, if you have the rain sensing wipers on, and it starts to rain, so they activate, the car thinks to itself - hmmm, rain on windscreen, therefore rain on road, therefore let's apply the brakes very lightly, just enough to keep water off the disks. So if you do have to stop suddenly, your braking will be just that little bit quicker to act.
Cheers
David
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post #17 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 10:17 PM
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Brakes thinking about condition on the road? As far as I know that part of SBC brakes was subject to recall.
Being the first one on the market with new programs is not always the best, but at least we did not hear about running away Mercedes.
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post #18 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 10:48 PM
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The SBC brakes still wipe the rotors in the rain. The recall involved the wiring harness plug for one. And the other was the pump and or controller on some serial numbers. The second one was much more limited.
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In March 2005, the federal government’s safety agency in charge of motor vehicle recalls, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, announced Campaign ID # 05V133000, covering new and recent model year Mercedes with potential brake system failure problems.

Component: Service Brakes, Hydraulic

Potential Number of Units Affected : 204,000

Summary: On certain vehicles, the “sensotronic brake control” (sbc) system may prematurely shift to the hydraulic back-up function mode, due to deterioration of the wiring harness connection, or due to premature failure of the hydraulic pump.

Consequence: In the hydraulic back-up mode, the driver has braking power sufficient to stop the vehicle, although greater brake pedal pressure is required and the brake pedal travel will be noticeably longer.

Remedy: Dealers will install a bracket and replacement ground wire to the sbc pump unit on all vehicles. Additionally dealers will inspect and replace the sbc pump unit in SL vehicles produced during a limited production period. The recall began on August 8, 2005.
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post #19 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-24-2013, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Audiophile_AU View Post
One scene showed the car doing a max effort stop from freeway speeds, and still being steerable around other slower cars and avoiding the pile up. I don't think the average Lexus of Honda would be able to do the same :-)
I do. Both of the Lexus RXs I've owned had that level of competence in their handling. The other vehicles I listed above, well...
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post #20 of 31 (permalink) Old 04-24-2013, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Audiophile_AU View Post
Hi all,
my 2 cents worth from Down Under.
The first MB I bought was a second hand (60,000km) W202 C240, and it came with a driver information video. One scene showed the car doing a max effort stop from freeway speeds, and still being steerable around other slower cars and avoiding the pile up. I don't think the average Lexus of Honda would be able to do the same :-)

And a lot of what you are paying for is the built in safety stuff. For example, a couple of years ago I went to a Mercedes Safety Day on the local race track. One of the things said at the briefing has stayed with me. The head driver said that MB was the only car on the road in which the computers 'talked' to each other. For example, if you have the rain sensing wipers on, and it starts to rain, so they activate, the car thinks to itself - hmmm, rain on windscreen, therefore rain on road, therefore let's apply the brakes very lightly, just enough to keep water off the disks. So if you do have to stop suddenly, your braking will be just that little bit quicker to act.
Cheers
David
IMHO, I can't really agree... When I was considering placing an order for my SLK, since I have many years owning Lexus and Japanese brands, I spent a lot of time trying to understand safety systems from MBZ. What I concluded is for the most part, Lexus has similar capabilities -- they are just named and/or packaged differently, and sometimes tend to have a more conservative approach in what they do, e.g. while MBZ Distronic Plus will attempt in certain situations to literally bring your car to a full stop, Lexus' Pre-Collision System (PCS) will slow the vehicle with an alert, but won't try to fully stop the vehicle if it came to that; Some of the MBZ versions of Hill-Start Assist have the HOLD feature to keep you sitting still at say a stop light if you take your foot off the brake, but the Lexus version does not have the HOLD function -- only the original Hill-Start functionality intended to keep the brake on for a few moments while you move your foot to the accelerator so you don't slip backwards on a hill. Both brands have all the standard systems such as crumple zones, airbags, ABS, implementations of ESP, Brake Assist, and Lexus also does automatic brake drying when the wipers are on. Both brands also have optional systems like predictive brake priming, blind spot monitoring, adaptive highbeam assist, lane keeping assist... etc. Lexus Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Managment (VDIM), which I've had now on 2 generations of my SUVs since 2005, is a great example where Lexus also ties multiple hardware and software systems together -- so traction, stability, steering, etc. all work in unison.

The net of all that to me was MBZ is a leader in the creation of new safety systems -- history is clear on that point. They also seem to make a real effort to roll out the latest generation of those technologies across their line in a timely manner even within the same generation of a particular vehicle, whereas it's more hit-and-miss with Lexus timing and what features they make available in different models. Lexus tends to put new features of any substance only into new model generations every few years, and sometimes at a mid-life update, but not often. The Lexus approach as I've said, appears to be more conservative, for the good and bad of it -- perhaps in part given reliability is of such a prime consideration for the brand.

For me, I have no feeling I'll be safer in a MBZ vs a Lexus. What MBZ does bring to the equation is pushing some of those safety systems (like Distronic Plus) a little bit further. I honestly don't think I'll use some of the features that push the envelope too far, e.g. even if Distronic Plus should try to brake for me, there are many documented exceptions where it may not, so I plan to still hit the brake myself, and I'll probably always keep my foot on the brake at a stop light and never use the Hill-Start Assist HOLD feature. I like technology, but some things I'm still old fashioned about.

Present: '14 SLK250 (R172), '13 Lexus RX450h
Past: '06 Lexus RX400h; '09 BMW 335i (E93), '02 Lexus SC430, '99 RX300, '95 SC300, '91 Acura Legend ...and a few before that
Visit my personal website BertsPlace.net
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