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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-23-2014, 05:04 PM Thread Starter
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Question From a Newbie

I've never owned a German car of any brand, always American. But the current generation M-Bs are just gorgeous. I'm at the point where I could consider buying another car and when I mentioned a 2011 or 2012 C Class sedan or C250 Coupe (which I think they discontinued after 2012?) I was told by several people to avoid this (or any German or European car) because its going to be a money pit. They say things like you'll never stop paying for repairs after the warranty, and even routine maintenance is going to cost an arm and leg. Fluid changes, brakes, batteries are astronomically expensive... One guy gave the example of his BMW (which I know, its a different brand) and said the battery cost over $200 and took hours to replace. I assume they require synthetic oil but are oem filters expensive? Other parts will fail, etc. One guy said you're insane if you buy one of these to depend on unless you do the repairs yourself, because dealers are huge ripoffs and quality techs are hard to find.

Granted, these cars aren't that old yet but how is the long term quality on them? Are they high maintenance? Are repairs really that expensive?

The prices of the 2011-12 C300s and 250s aren't that bad. I do know that is M-B's most popular model, are there any down sides to owning one?

Bruce
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-23-2014, 06:21 PM
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I just pdi'd a 14 c250 coupe, so they are still made.

These cars are not as expensive as BMW's. I have worked for BMW 8 years and now with MB for just under 3. I will say MB cars are a better car.

yes they run synthetic oil, but it can be bought at Walmart for 1/2 cost of the dealer. its 0/40 mobil 1 Euro blend. look on the back of the bottle and you will see MB compatible oil. it is also BMW LLO1 compatible.

the MB batts are expensive, but as of right now, require no "registering" of batt to the car. I see they avg life of 7-8 years in my area unlike BMW where they last 2-3.

I will also say MB over servicing their cars if there is such a thing. they recommend cabin filters every 20k miles where BMW says atleast 60k miles. BUT its all up to you. BMW/MB filter all run roughly 12-15 each, but you can buy them online in bulk and save money.

Last edited by Vortecpwr; 05-24-2014 at 07:41 PM.
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-23-2014, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
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I just pdi'd a 14 c250 coupe, so they are still made.

the MB batts are expensive, but as of right now, require no "registering" of batt to the car. I see they avg life of 7-8 years in my area unlike BMW where they last 2-3.
Yikes! 7 years in the heat of Alabama??? I wouldn't be comfortable with GMs and Fords over 5 years. Never had one last longer than that.

Was there a coupe version of these cars that is no longer made, maybe recently discontinued? I thought I had seen a writeup on one somewhere. The model lineage is somewhat confusing for a newbie.
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-24-2014, 07:42 PM
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the S coupe is fixing to be released. it is replacing the CL class that was discontinued a few years back along with the R class.

talking about the batteries. I have replaced them when they are dated back in 02-03. those are rare, but I have seen it.
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-27-2014, 10:29 AM
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Here's my 2 cents... As a new MB owner, I cant personally speak to the costs associated with keeping one long-term. I can say that I bought it for its tight tolerances, quality of build, and superior engineering and safety. My brother has an older MB...like a 1996 sedan and he's had minimal problems. My niece uses it still as a daily driver to and from college. Look around...there are tons of old MBs on the road. Maintenance costs more, but you can potentially keep it forever if you do the regular maintenance. Oftentimes, people can afford to buy the car, but not maintain it too.

Also, consider this... I just came out of an 2011 American car...beautiful cal...LOADED...but at it's core, it wasnt a well built car. It was a mediocre car dressed up with all the latest technology. By the time I hit 30K, it rattled and squeaked inside- not to mention the finishes on the fabric and leather were starting to fray. I decided to cut my losses now-- it scared me to think what my American car was going to look and sound like in 5 years. I went with a MB C-class... less bling but better built through and through. In the long run, it will cost less than my American car would have.

PS... I would have gone Volvo, but they are owned by a Chinese company now. I had one many years ago and loved it. It, like MB, was a quality build with logical appointments. Repairs were costly ($400+) but rare. I should have kept it.
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-27-2014, 10:45 PM Thread Starter
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One problem I've seen with a lot of the mid-range M-Bs that are more than say 5-6 years old is the headlights get very cloudy. That just looks cheap, like a cheap 10 year old American car. I wish with all their quality they'd figure out how to engineer better headlight lenses.
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-28-2014, 09:24 AM
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One problem I've seen with a lot of the mid-range M-Bs that are more than say 5-6 years old is the headlights get very cloudy. That just looks cheap, like a cheap 10 year old American car. I wish with all their quality they'd figure out how to engineer better headlight lenses.
Headlight lenses are an issue on all new cars, some more than others. MB has stepped up their quality with the new W204's when compared to the previous generation C-class (actually, across the board compared to their early to mid-2000 models). Every model of car can and will experience some failures, and hopefully you are not the unlucky one to get a lemon (regardless of what brand you choose). Regardless, any good detailing shop can easily wet sand and polish head light lenses in place to make them perfectly clear again for under 150 bucks as necessary!

My family has owned all kinds of cars: American, Japanese, and German. I have personally worked on all different kinds of makes and models for family and friends, and I can't say that these cars are any harder to work on than my last Japanese car (which didn't cause many problems, but in the end left me unimpressed to the point of getting rid of it).

The W204 C-class is generally a well-built car. My brother has a 2009 BMW 3-series, and his has caused more issues (although minor) than the 3 MB's in my family have all together. I find routine maintenance and replacement parts from BMW are far more expensive than the same parts from MB.

So far, oil filters, wipers, and other common items are not marked up terribly from the MB dealers in my area, and are quite reasonable I find. The servicing is more expensive, but I only do one service every 20,000 km (13,000 miles). This more than makes up for the expensive service, especially if you do them yourself as I do. The car will tell you what needs service and when (if you enter the special service mode using a sequence of buttons).

For the few very minor warranty issues I've had, the dealer in my area has been a pleasure to work with. Mind you, the MB dealers in the Toronto area are all owned by Mercedes Benz Canada, so they are corporate stores. That might make a difference, and your mileage may vary

In terms of the cars, if properly cared for and serviced regularly, they will mechanically last longer than you will care to keep them. Electronics can always break at any time, or they can last forever. This is true for any new car. Be careful which options you choose, and the simpler the car you buy, the less potential issues you will face down the road. I personally have not had any issues in that regard as of yet.

Good luck with the decision

Last edited by il_signore97; 05-28-2014 at 09:28 AM.
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-28-2014, 10:39 AM Thread Starter
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What does the little coffee cup symbol on the speedometer mean? The car has a built in coffee maker?

Was there a C-class coupe prior to 2012? I'm not seeing any listings for a 2011. The only coupe I can find from then is the real expensive one.
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-28-2014, 08:05 PM
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What does the little coffee cup symbol on the speedometer mean? The car has a built in coffee maker?

Was there a C-class coupe prior to 2012? I'm not seeing any listings for a 2011. The only coupe I can find from then is the real expensive one.
The cup sysbol is for a auto-drowsy program. The automatically detects if you are sleepy and suggests pulling over for coffee or rest.

I dont think so, it was mainly sedan for wagon for a first few years
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-28-2014, 09:38 PM
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What does the little coffee cup symbol on the speedometer mean? The car has a built in coffee maker?

Was there a C-class coupe prior to 2012? I'm not seeing any listings for a 2011. The only coupe I can find from then is the real expensive one.
The little coffee cup (Attention Assist) can be turned off in your settings. I turned mine off simply because the dinging and illuminated message scared the hell out of me while I was doing 90+ MPH down the freeway. I had no idea what was going in, and that wasnt the time for me to read the message on the dash.

As for previous coupes...yes, there was a CLK coupe, but they discontinued it. The C250 is currently available in a coupe; base price for a new one is about $37K. You can find a nice 2013 CPO for a lot less...plus you dont eat the depreciation.
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