, allow me to provide another perspective, as the owner of MB's, Hondas, and a Ford.
Like Kajtek1--whom I've actually met, and both he and "Mrs. Kajtek" are very gracious people--I also own a Ford Super Duty truck, a Diesel. Great truck, and I understand why he bought his. The local Stealership told me that the left rear brake "wasn't stopping like it should." Said it would cost $1,100 to repair it. Sounded like a ripoff to me.
I was right. I went online and got a set of pads, brake discs, and reman'd calipers, for $250...yes, that's plural, i. e. for *both* sides. Left and right. Less than two hours later, the job was done for both sides, and I knew it was done right. That includes a brake fluid flush, BTW.
My lady and I between us own two Hondas as well. I just got through overhauling the whole suspension on her car, a 23-year-old Civic. Handles like a dream now. Also replaced the valve stem seals, because the car needed it. I've done a bunch of stuff to that car (cooling system, tires, battery, *all* fluids replaced, etc.).
Our Hondas are very reliable...because I do these things
Now let's get to Mercedes-Benz. Between her and me, we have four W220's and a W211. The 2003 S430 is Honda-like in its reliability. This car got a very similar treatment as the aforementioned Honda Civic. Whatever needed replacing got replaced. It's quite a list.
The result: I would trust that S430 on any road trip, at any time, of any distance, even with her all alone, going coast-to-coast across the United States...and back. That's about 3,000 miles each way, so 6,000 miles total. We just get in the car and drive at this point--no fuss, no muss.
The same is true of our other Benzes. The E320 CDI is also Honda-reliable, as is Dad's S430. Just get in and drive. The S600 TT does require a bit more attention, but it's far, far from terrible. The project 2000 S500, "her Benz", wouldn't require hardly any attention if it weren't my "test mule" for projects like the new Android head unit.
The commonality here? I maintain my vehicles and keep them in "good repair" in the first place, with good parts. What is "good repair"?
"good repair" (adj): the state of repair in which CowboyT would trust it on a road trip at any time, to any place, without hesitation, without even needing the benefit of roadside-assistance companies or a cell phone; see "pristine mechanical condition".
That's a high standard, indeed. That's how Dad taught me to maintain a vehicle, and that's what I do for every last one of them, the truck included. Yes, I would trust the S600 TT on a coast-to-coast round trip, too. Yep, that car, too.
On all of my vehicles, I use quality parts. HondaPartsNow.com has gotten plenty of my money, as have FCPEuro and MBOemParts.com. The truck got Bilstein shocks a few years ago (it was time). If I do use aftermarket, I get good aftermarket, and I avoid "Chinesium" like the Plague. The Honda got KYB Strut-Pluses and Moog Problem Solver suspension parts. The Benzes have gotten OE or Genuine-MB, since the aftermarket's kind of thin for those cars. Either way, I get good parts that I *know* will last for the next 15 years. Do it right and do it once.
The moral: get your Mercedes-Benz into "good repair", as I have done with all of my vehicles, using good parts
, and you will have a luxury car that is "Honda-reliable". My current stable of cars is proof.
As a former neighbor puts it: "It really is cheaper to go First Class."