MB cars have serious problems with being reliable. I've seen lots of
my friends cars with electrical gremlins (some serious enough to
warrant replacing of major components, others just annoying).
For that money, I'd suggest getting a good japanese car that is FAR
superior in reliability.
You also don't mention that with cars this old the seats are probably
worn out and in most cases the seats will be uncomfortable. The
first thing to make the car useful would be to get seats fixed (new
cushioning material - maybe new covers).
My experience with MB autos is that they WERE great 30-40 years ago.
Now it's just riding on a reputation from a long time ago. For the
past 10-20 years MB autos are awful build quality. Very unreliable
compared to say a lexus LS400 - LS430. For about $10k I'd suggest
getting one of these cars. Much better reliability.
Now if you really enjoy wasting your money and giving it to a MB
mechanic to fix these money pits - be my guest :)
Status symbol = I can afford to waste lots of money on a car that
requires high maintenance.
search google for unreliable luxury cars. You will see MB autos
(german cars in general) come up rather often...
Status symbol = I can afford to waste lots of money on a car that
requires high maintenance.
short version of this = a fool and his money are easily parted
Over the years, we have heard a lot of gripes about unreliable luxury
Lamborghini’s LM002 “had the durability of a potato chip,” one car-
industry analyst remarked. Your typical Land Rover, one reader wrote,
is “as reliable as a drunken house painter.”
And there are entire Web sites dedicated to jokes about Lucas, the
company which used to supply mediocre electrical components to Jaguar,
giving the automaker’s build quality a miserable reputation that has
endured for decades (“Q. Why do the English drink warm beers? A.
Because they have Lucas refrigerators”).
In other words, if you buy a luxury car, don’t expect it to be trouble-
In Pictures: 2007’s Most Reliable Luxury Cars
But some brands, particularly Japanese luxury automakers, are known
for immaculate manufacturing. At the start of this year, half of the
market’s 16 most-reliable luxury cars -- the models which earn
Consumer Reports’ highest marks for predicted reliability and/or J.D.
Power’s highest marks for manufacturing quality -- were Japanese,
including Toyota Motor's (nyse: TM - news - people ) $61,000 Lexus LS
flagship sedan, which the carmaker just overhauled.
The new LS is the fourth generation of the car since Lexus introduced
the line in 1989, and it has garnered more awards for quality than any
other luxury car, says Lexus. It has also won J.D. Power's Vehicle
Dependability Index study every year it has been eligible.
Lexus builds five of the 16 most-reliable luxury cars. Its slogan used
to be "the relentless pursuit of perfection," and it wasn't just lip
While the company has world-renowned manufacturing methods, "the
pursuit of perfection" is implanted so vigorously into Toyota's
corporate culture that Lexus engineers its trademark reliability into
cars before they ever hit the factories. The company’s designers and
engineers have mastered the science behind the creation of reliable
vehicles, and they don’t need to wait to see how their technology and
engineering will hold up on the actual cars, at least not to the
extent that other manufacturers do (to test things out, other
automakers need to build more pre-production prototypes than Lexus
Given Toyota’s merits, we were surprised to find that several other
luxury cars compare favorably with Lexus’ models, despite being issued
by companies that are hardly Toyota-like.
DaimlerChrysler's (nyse: DCX - news - people ) Mercedes-Benz
subsidiary, for example, has had reliability issues resulting in
massive recalls and dreadful Consumer Reports ratings. However, J.D.
Power has given two of the carmaker’s vehicles (the SL and SLK
convertibles) its highest marks for manufacturing quality. Power
reports that SL and SLK owners, within 90 days of taking delivery of
their new cars, are seeing very few problems with features,
accessories, interior components and body quality. Could Mercedes
finally be tackling its quality-control issues?
We’re asking the same question of other German cars this year. In
general, they are known for having technology that is prone to failure
because of its complexity. Yet we were surprised to see cars by
Mercedes, BMW and Porsche on our list this year.
Our list is made of new-model cars. A car is on our list if it has the
highest marks for reliability from Consumer Reports and/or J.D. Power.
Both use one-to-five scales for evaluating quality and reliability. A
“top marks” indicates a “five” from Power or Consumer Reports, or
both. The vast majority of luxury cars are not on our list.
What’s more, not every luxury car has reliability ratings. If a car
was new or overhauled for calendar-year 2006, don’t expect to see it
here. For example, Consumer Reports has not issued reliability
predictions for Cadillac’s Escalade and Acura’s MDX, two SUVs that
were overhauled last year. New cars like these need to be on the
market longer in order for customers to report problems the vehicles
may be having. And such blue-blooded cars as Maybach and Bentley
models tend not to have reliability ratings from Power and Consumer
Reports because the vehicles’ volumes are too low to make for
Power bases its overall manufacturing quality score on “problems that
have caused a complete breakdown or malfunction of any component,
feature, or item--i.e., components that stop working or trim pieces
that break or come loose.” Both Power and Consumer Reports base their
quality and reliability ratings on owner responses to their surveys.
Consumer Reports asks owners if they have had trouble with their cars’
engines, electrical systems, paint, audio systems and other
Rest assured, it’s possible to find luxury and reliability in one
vehicle. And that’s no joke.
Make sure you look the car over well, try to buy privately to get a sense of
the kind of person that owned the car before you etc. My '89 300E has about
300k km on it now with no problems other than a water pump... and definitely
it stops when I put the brakes on
So your in a taxi in that case, right? heh..
This isn't primarily about money in my opinion, it's more about the
incredible annoyance and hassle of cars that don't work when they
I personally am a cheap bastard, so I am driving an old (1986) 190e
which I paid $2700 (us) for about 6 years ago. I have had NO major
repairs or problems in that six years of driving, other then regular
maintenance issues (oil, gas, brakes, etc)...
I do have some annoying gremlins, which I consider par for the course
in a 24 year old car.
I think we can all agree that MB's recent models could do better
especially in the S class. Still, this isn't a Lexus group, so if you
want to talk about Toyotas go there.
Don't care about status quo. I care about surviving a car crash and being
able to walk away with no or minor injury. With the way people drive in
this world, it means alot.
Sure, you can say it is cheaper and more reliable in any car... but the
stories I hear all the time... some even people we know... they don't fair
well after a freak accident.
I see it in news all the time. Someone driving very recent model cars...
dead... dead... dead... from a seeminly 'smallish type of accident'. Severe
injuries... over and over again.
Then I recall incredible accidents in BMW's and Mercedes... they walked away
on their own. BMW flipped over many times... walked away.... Mercedes rear
ended by bottling truck.... walked away... Mercedes crashed into median at
high speed and flipped over... walked away. Every single car totaled...
We have a dentist and he got into an accident in his Honda... he was in
wheel chair for 6 months!
We have 2001 E320... super reliable... so I don't know about you saying
20-40 years ago great car... I work on older cars and they are much simpler
Modern MB is very loaded in electronics to provide you safety... even MB
techs laments about their complexities. A standard typical Honda doesn't
even have 1/4 of electronics that MB has.
wow, you want to compare technology in new lexus LS 460?
Please keep comparisons in same type of cars. i didn't mention
Honda. I said Lexus LS 400 considering the budget the poster was
stating. The Lexus LS460 is at LEAST on par with any technology from
german cars. Safety? These model cars (all the LS models) have 5
star safety rating from insurance safety crash tests in USA. 5 stars
is the best rating a car can get.
A Lexus LS460 has about the same or better levels of technology from
any german auto with a huge difference - the Lexus isn't riddled with
electronic problems/reliability issues the german cars have!
This car is most definitely a luxury car that is also extremely
RELIABLE. German car makers can spell RELIABLE, but that's about all
they can do with that word...
~more "German cars bad" rhetoric~
email@example.com.... a BMW owner?
Not surprisingly, a Google search for \ firstname.lastname@example.org/
spits back your lament about your BMW e39 problems. Rather ironic
you slamming German cars here on Usenet?
Oh well, 4/14/08:
An FYI about USENET: (it is not a blog or tidy little website)
Usenet is a wild and wooly place my friend. As a 20 yr veteran,
I'll let you in on a secret. It's always wise to "develop" an alias
that doesn't connect everything you've done online over the years to
the prying eyes of Usenet. No great invitation to panic .... an FYI.
(unless of course ~you~ find the search results for yourself reason
to "panic", since I didn't really delve too deeply)
Since you are using googlegroups to post from anyway, one is able to
create (IIRC) dozens of email accounts, each of which you can use safely
to post to Usenet, which is NOT your primary email address that connects
you to potential employers etc. or the entire world for that matter.
It's very easy to shift your "nym" for googlegroups and still retain
your primary email address - I recommend creating a new email ID
altogether. This is not personal, it is advice I give to all.
The downside to the upside of big bad Google is, it retains stuff
(we do online using email addies) for (we don't really know) but
a 20 year period (or more) has been tossed around in various
again.... hth, likely won't, I'm only a messenger.
"Ward, weren't you a little hard on The Beaver last night?" --June Cleaver
Excellent points. This at least proves I'm speaking from experience
and not just ranting opinions.
My experience with german cars (mine and my friends - several S500's
and 420's) is exactly like you see - problems.
Just trying to save someone else the unpleasant experiences I had. Is
this so bad??
No, but it's a huge generalization. And BM'ers can't compare to Benz's
ever. I've got 2 88 300Es. Universally recognized as bomb proof. In
salt-free roads countries they rack up millions of kilometers with
fresh oil and filters and basic maintenance.
The daily drive I've had for the last four years. 300K on it. In that
time I've purchased a new 80A alternator, and new brake lines front to
back. - Nothing (capital N) else. -30C or +30C she gets me home.
I've been driving since the 60s, from hi-performance domestics to family
sized whales. Then came the Asian imports - drove them all as well. The
lot of them left me stranded or had me on my back fixing anything and
everything many more times than these old "Berlin Taxis" I'm now in
love with. These are not prestige cars IMO. The 124s are heavy
old clods that handle really well. Everything about them spells
reliable, especially the diesels. 20 yr old switches and sensors work.
If they don't, a little WD40 breathes life back into them. Power windows
go up and down - right. But these (even though they're MBZs) aren't what
you're on about.
I'm speaking for myself and the legions of other guys that cherish their
old Benz. We're not the same breed as CEO real estate magnates that want
to flaunt. Anyone that buys the cars they leave behind are going to pay....
and pay. Sucks to be them. It's a trickle down.
The exotics (late model S class expecially) you're talking about share
the same problems all exotics suffer from. I would not buy one. Lexus
is rock solid yes, wouldn't buy one of those either.
People rarely "buy" higher-end cars today, leasing/financing is how it
works currently. They weigh depreciation out, write it off and trade
the cars after 2 years for new ones. Warranties take care of the
rest and lifetime roadside assistance makes sure you're never
stuck at the side of the road longer than an hour. Consumers
today are into brands - that's a given, good or bad.
Electronic/computer beefs are #1`offenders. All cars have changed in
quality since the nineties right down to quality of metal in motors and
chassis. IMO computers have taken the happy out of motoring.
So many variables.
"Ward, weren't you a little hard on The Beaver last night?" --June Cleaver
You are bradly stating MB stinks and now you say only Lexus LS460 is being
compared... No other car to be spoken about.
Then again, how many people can afford $65K+ car. You are also basing on
what your friends say... yet you don't own one.
We are owners here. Enough said.
My friends with mercedes cars are all doctors. They are ignorant
about cars and have been taken advantage of too many times. I help
them with maintaining their cars. I'm very good with fixing cars
(built my own racing car, really enjoy racing). I find good indie
mechanics or know when it's time for dealer.
I pretty much deal with all the ugly details of getting cars fixed,
dealing with mechanics, shopping for parts at good prices, etc.
This is about as heavy, 'in the trenches' as it gets for experience -
I've seen the typical $4k plus repair bills they see a few times per
I can go into lots of details if you like. I have lots of receipts,
We are all pretty well off, but we prefer not to waste money. After
seeing all the receipts it's very evident how often these cars fail.
Being aware of this, I tried the BMW 5 series. From research i've
done, BMW and Porsche have the least amount of trouble regarding
german cars. Audi has the distinction of being the worst. Mercedes
and VW come next moving up the scale to less problems. The least
amount of problems are from 6 cylinder 5 series models. The 3 series
is pretty good too but too small. The 7 series BMW are just as bad or
worse then MB and Audi. They are famous for how unreliable they are.
Speak to any indy german car mechanic. The 8 and 10 cylinder 5 series
come with more problems than the 6. The straight 6 engine isn't as
strong but it's been around a long time and it is famous for being
almost bullet proof. I didn't get engine problems, but I got several
other very annoying problems with cooling and alternator (including
pulleys). I don't want to go into a long rant but suffice to say I
was shocked at how bad the reliability was. I couldn't get past 20k
miles without a few visits to dealer for things that needed to be
On Lexus, I can go for 40k or more with just oil changes. My tires
wore out so I changed them, worn out wiper blades - this is the
typical things I change in 40k mile span. BMW (and any of my friends
MB) NEVER go this far.
I've known them for 7 years!! MB models are mostly S500 (their
flagship model - supposedly the best model MB makes) and 1 AMG 55, 1
420. Years range from 2008 - 1987.
If they get such a high bill couple of times per year, they are better off
leasing the car or buy new car every time it goes out of warranty.
I know all about just by being a MB owner that the mechanics wants top $$$$$
for repair. I am sick of it.
I have driven Lexus and I admire the luxury and comfort... but it is
boring... drives boring... don't like it.
Your friends are high net worth individuals... if they got into an accident,
they want to be in the best car possible... and that is MB, BMW, and other
high grade vehicles. They know and have seen many patients who suffered from
car accident... for them, it is 'insurance' money to make sure their family
They can lower their 'insurance' expense buy buying extended warranty when
they buy new cars. For older MB that is out of warranty, if they really like
it, they need trusted mechanic where you can help. Otherwise, if it
continues to be a money pit, it is time to upgrade.
I recall an old phrase... "I"d rather push a Mercedes then to drive a
Lexus." when Lexus first came out.
Speaking of extended warranty... Geico got an excellent plan... if you buy a
new car, insure it with Geico and buy their extended warranty plan... for as
long as you own the car and insured through Geico, your car is covered.
Check with Geico about this before buying a new car. I know of this because
my brother has it.
It is very good policy for a new car. There is about a $500.00 deductible.
You must be a policyholder at all times and can be transferred to another
policyholder. The cost was about $120.00 per year increasing slightly
yearly. All repairs must be preapproved by GEICO. GEICO send out a
representative most of the time. There are the usual denial for oil leaks
like it is with in specifications. I would say they are better than most
third party carriers.
Thanks Thomas, that great info. $120 per year with $500 deductible is very
reasonable... Alot of car repairs are over $500 per visit so it works out
well... especially the major repairs.
Is there time limit to how long the extended warranty can last? As long as
you own the car or like 10 years max?
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