Why do you think the toyota corolla
It has large appeal to the masses because it's cheap. If you are a utilitarian, or are less fortunate, it's an important feature.
Was there ever a time that mercedes or bmw topped the surveys in term of reliability and customer satisfaction?
I see you drive a 1989 260E. Do you think a Corolla would have lasted you that long? Whether you bought it used or new has no bearing on the answer!
DO you not remember when japanese cars where just POSs? Remember when Nissan was Datsun, when you could read through the doors of a hole rusted Toyota?
We've had 2 MBs which literally went to the dealer for service only, and wear and tear like pads, wipers, tires, etc... the last W124 300E diesel topped 200,000 miles on that regime. We sold it, and still see it around town. The paint is as new, the engine runs liek new, the interior is flawlwss and spotless. I'll put that against any Toyota.
Sure enough, the japanese cars are very reliable these days, with Toyota on top of the list. But are they the safest cars? The most innovative? Packed with new technology?
No! No! And finally No!
If you don't care about these, you get a Toyota. If you don't care and want to show off in a Toyota, you buy a Lexus. If you care, you get a Mercedes-Benz, which is not as reliable as it used to be although a diesel will get you going forever, packed with great engineering and technology, but also on the bleeding edge which means reliability issues.