I'm considering buying either 2004 CLK500 or 2004 ES500 in the near future,
and it'll be my first Mercedes. Just wanted all you guys' opinion about
Mercedes. Is it worth the money spent on an MB? I kept hearing and reading
about MB many current owners having electrical problems with theirs.
Thanks for the input.
Greg T (Florida)
This forum is mostly for curmudgeons who own older MBs (the ones that are
'durable' but not 'reliable') and look down their noses at those of us who
own the newer models (which, they say, are neither 'durable' nor
'reliable'). You would be far better off looking at the MB forum at
www.edmunds.com if you are interested in a newer car. Stay away from
mbworld.org (or whatever it is). Lots of snooty people over there who spend
most of their time telling others about their (non-vehicle) possessions.
I would sincerely recommend that you don't buy a Mercedes. I have had one
for two years and despite twenty five visits back to the dealer it still
rattles and creaks worse than a twenty five year old Morris Marina. It is
out of warranty now, so I took it to a BMW dealer to trade in against a BMW.
They refused to take it off my hands as it would be too difficult to resell!
I know anecdotes don't make data, and that some people are happy with their
cars. But before you make a decision, try and buy recent consumer surveys
such as JD Power or "Which" magaazine. You will see that my experience is
not unique - Mercedes has plummeted down the rankings in both surveys and is
near the bottom of the lists.
All models were bad - but especially C Class, M Class and V-Class.
Unfortunately neither JDPower nor Which magazine put their reports on the
internet - you need to go out and buy them. But if you do a bit of googling
on "Mercedes Quality JD Power "Which Magazine" etc you should find
references to these reports on other sites. The Which Magazine report only
came out a few days ago so not much yet on the internet about it.
Incidentally, all the German makes suffered badly in the Which report,
though Mercedes was the worst (below VW, below Opel, and way below BMW).
Jap cars got the best marks for customer satisfaction - particularly
Toyota/Lexus and Honda.
What makes MB buyers out of other car buyers cannot be found in brochures,
surveys and consumer magazines. It is the overall experience. Ask to test
drive each of them for a long weekend. Run the interstate for hours at 90+,
hit the back roads, and a charge through late afternoon Florida downpour.
Go out to a nice restaurant and show it off to your neighbors. Then you'll
know what to do.
I think of MB like Jaguars used to be in the 1970s. Nice to look at but
hopelessly unreliable. Every time I see one on the road, I don't feel envy I
just think "you poor sod, how often have you been back to the dealer with
Not twice, not once, but 'nonce' (unscheduled visits)
(though only 12 000 miles in 2 years).
Once I had to have the computer reset on the electric window as it wouldn't
go back to closed position after closing passenger door. (I have a cab.)
NB: To reply directly replace "nospam" with "schmetterling"
I have had MB's since 93. That includes a 400E, E320 and a E500 and can
truly say that I have enjoyed all of them more than any other cars that I
have owned except for my Vette roadster. They seem only to be getting
better. Regardless of what others say my new E500 is the best of them all.
It's extremely fast, gets out of the hole quicker than any MB I have every
driven including a Porche tuned special edition 500E in 92. My Vette when
new in 89 would run the quarter in 14.3. The new E500 will run it in 14-14.2
depending on what car mag you believe.
I and my wife have also owned numerous BMW's and like them too, but have had
significant problems with them. My Dad, brother and sister have owned 8
different MB in the last 15 years and all have been excellent cars. My niece
got a BMW 745i on my suggestion after I test drove one. In the last year
they have had so many problems with it that her husband wants to get out of
the lease early. I felt terrible when she said that I had gotten her to buy
a "LEMON". He is going to trade it for a S500. It will be his 4th S.
If you want the best vehicle made, get a MB. You won't go back. Don't
believe every thing you read. Most publications are paid by car
manufacturers so they aren't unbiased or have a hidden agenda. Try the
cars out and see which one you like the best. Talk is cheap.
BTW the CLK seems to be a less rigid chassis and has less room than the E.
It looks a little more "sporty" than the 4 door E.
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