What an interesting debate this selection of comments has become. I'm here looking for reports for a Mercedes E320 wagon 4matic preferred. 2003 on, so I am not a new car buyer, 5 kids, not rich.
A couple of short statements, covering lots of years, my last new car was a Ford Taurus, and four years later it went to the scrap yard, two engines, three transmissions, average gas about 13 lt/100 km.
Next a Ford Thunderbird SC great car, power, handling, I'd say comparable with my present CLK, except for the $16,000 in repairs over three years, 3 transmissions, three cracked heads, complete AC system change (one piece at a time). Full suspension change.
Next, a Ford Probe, 4 years, 180,000 km other than oil + brake's $300 for a fuel pump. What a great car. 8 lt /100km
Next a MB 300E 3L 100,000 when I got it, 200k later (300K) water pump + brake line, ($500) given away, still on the road, around 470K now.
Then a 300E (2.8l) again, 100K when I got it, 300K when I gave it to a son. Years later, still his daily driver (now 380K) still gives around 8L/100Km.
Got hit by stupidity, bought an almost new Ford Focus, for economy. 11 lt/100k, $4,000 in repairs in 3 years, got CAA because of this car, called them 7 times when it failed me.
Last car, '96 E320 4matic, 80,000 when I got it, 315K now, three hydraulic lines have failed (2 in the last 3 months) brake jobs, oil changes, that's it, still drives like a new car, still gives 8.5 lt / 100km.
So, what do the readers think I should buy next, yes I'm getting older and heavier, and I like a little comfort, and I'm not always in the mood to drive the "summer car " the CLK430, so, would a Saturn be good for me??? I'd like to spend about $16,000, put 200K on it, and sell it for $8000 in 4/5 yrs, which the dealer just offered me for the wagon, what model Saturn is the car for this, instead of the MB, can I even get a Saturn that is a 7 seater, low MPG and out corners most 2 wheel drive sports cars??
PS, looking for an E320 4matic wagon.. don't care if there's a MB badge on it, I want comfort, safety, reliability and economy, and in my experience, that's spelled MB.
Totally disagree with you on the point where you said Lexus is not as reliable or better than MB. I have driven my LS 400 over 250,000 miles, and it still runs like a dream. Several of my close friends own Lexus LS series, and all of them are truly happy with their vehicles. I personally test drove the Mercedes S Class last year, before buying an LS 460. I felt nothing when I drove the S Class, but once I started the test drive of the LS, I literally had a smile on my face, and I had to get it.
LEXUS LS, one of the most reliable cars ever! Definitely, more reliable than BMW, Jag and Mercedes... Take my word for it guys!
It annoys me when people talk down on Mercedes Benz based on consumer reports, or reading bad reviews from websites like this. Carsurvey is only opinions, and should not be used as reliable source to base your judgement. I find that most people that go on this website usually buy second hand vehicles, so if they are not taken care of properly, they will give you a lot of problems. I would think that some of these disappointed MB buyers did not thoroughly review the past maintenance history before buying their cars, and if a MB is listed at a very low price, you should think twice about buying it. German cars do need proper maintenance for them to be trouble free in the long run.
As for the people who prefer Saturns over these cars and who say MB is for consumers with a big ego and for fat people, it just shows how judgmental you guys are. I am a big car guy, I love German cars, and in a way I believe the car defines your personality, especially the way it is modded and kept. But, you never criticize a person for their ride. For those Saturn lovers, you guys should be reading the comments on the Saturn reviews. Why waste your time here?
Also, I have friends that talk down on Mercedes especially commenting on their reliability issues, but they have never owned one. If you have never owned one before, you do not have the right to talk down on these cars.
The reason I like German cars is not because I want to show off, it is because they are very exciting to drive. I own a 2003 BMW 530i and my dad owns 2001 E320 4Matic, and they have been very reliable cars for us. I test drove a 2006 E500 4Matic yesterday, and I really enjoyed the drive. I do not mean to disrespect any comments here, but I find the Lexus to be very boring. I personally don't care if it is a lot more reliable than the German cars, I weigh excitement and driving pleasure way more. If I was to consider a Japanese car, it would definitely be an Infiniti.
I find that a lot of people are so caught up with getting that "most bang for you buck" and saving money, which you have to do, but some people (like the car guys) prefer to have a lifestyle that is more enjoyable and with a little bit more excitement. This is the reason why I love Mercedes, BMWs etc, I just absolutely love driving them! Would you ever take a Saturn just for a joy ride? So, please do not judge these drivers!
Well... brand loyalty certainly does show in this thread of comments. Unfortunately, for the person who wants to buy a car, loyalty isn't what we come to this site for. What we come for is what is a real owner's experience over the time they have owned a vehicle. These long winded rants only make me more suspicious of the writer's credibility.
It would be nice to read in simple terms what problems you had with the car and what it cost to fix. If you don't list much and others also don't list much, then I can get a better picture that the car is reliable. If multiple people here talk about having had the trannys replaced at 50k, then that seems to be a trend and helps my decision making.
BTW, I own 2 MBs. A 1985 300SD (285k miles) and a 1999 E300TD (230k). I love them both. I also have a 1998 Lexus ES300 that is just as nice. To top it off I have a 97 Passat TDI (285k) and a 2001 Expedition.
The car I have had the most trouble with has been the 2001 Expedition, but it has certain characteristics that make it valuable to me.
Much of the time it is not the car but who you have service it. My independent mechanic gives me value and truly fixes my issues. Dealers, over the years, have often just thrown parts at a broken car and then rationalized that those parts needed changed anyway. Find a great independent mechanic who specializes in your car and you will have less trouble and cost.