Originally Posted by WannabeBenzOwner
I might consider getting a Honda or Acura, but is a $2,000 Honda really that much better than a $2,000 Mercedes in terms of reliability and maintenance costs?
Why yes, yes it is. You have to remember the original price of many Mercs in that price range (W123, W126, W140) were made to be a higher-priced car, with bells a whistles to suit, and an even larger buget assumed for maintenance. As an example, the transmission filter for my car was $51. A trans filter for a Honda is considerably less, and the price does not dictate quality in any case.
It's general knowledge that Honda's typically have lower running costs then a Mercedes car. They're very simple to work on, and parts, even from the dealer, are very attractively priced. Ever replace the waterpump on a Civic? It's right there
, and straight forward.
This is where your lower labour rates come into play when having work done at an independant mechanic. An indie has the ability to make you thier b*tch, for lack of a more illustrious term, as soon as you bring them an old, malfunctioning Mercedes and say "It's not running right."
Try to compare that fact with taking into account the parts prices for an older Mercedes. Your buget will allow you to get a newer Honda, rather than an old Merc. I'm not trying to settle an arguement about which car is more reliable, rather, am illustrating that the Honda will be cheaper over the span of your ownership.
When I was in the market for my first car, I was considering more "upscale" marques as well (which is an oxymoron in this context condering the age of vehicle my bank account allowed for). I then found out that
1) old BMW 740's had electrical systems so terrible the car was totalled as soon as one's "tweaking" for a new CD player released the magic blue smoke,
2)Audi's parts prices were through the roof and thier dismal rust-proofing did nothing to ease the pain,
3) 70's-80's Mercedes 300D's did 0-60 in 28 seconds, and thier rediculous 27MPG was beat by a Civic any day of the week, all the while accelerating 3 times faster, and
4) Jaguar XJ6's were the worst of all worlds, with fuel injection systems and gas mileage that made you yearn for an Escort.
Purchase a Honda Accord or Civic (please, not one of those 500lb early 90's hatch-backs though) and enjoy efficient, reliable transportation.