6th Jul 2017, 19:24

I'd take this further - avoid ANY Mercedes built between 2000 and 2006 (junk) or 1993-96 (wire harness nightmare). My daughter has a 2003 C280 wagon. Complete garbage, everything from the door handles falling off to innumerable expensive mechanical crap going wrong. Stay far away.

7th Jul 2017, 21:15

Generally I'd agree with the general vibe of the review and comments so far.

However as someone who has owned lots of different cars over many years, I'd like to add the following - you can't run a luxury car on economy money. Certainly when they get older they will have issues, as all cars do, and they won't be cheap.

I have no doubt that quality control on some Mercedes and other so called "Top End" manufacturers went downhill from the very late 90s, but you could also say that about a lot of cars. And yes some prices they charge for parts is insane and unfair.

But the best advice when buying any car of this type (i.e. one that isn't a run of the mill cheap car to be used daily) is to do your research and have cash aside for any disasters, and find a friendly reliable independent garage that knows a particular car make and model well enough to take care of them at reasonable prices. I can't emphasize independent specialists enough - they should be your first go to on any car at 10 years old or more - you tend to find main dealers will be uninterested in older cars. At least that is the case where I live in the UK.

1st Aug 2017, 18:14

To the reviewer who stated you can't run a luxury car with economy money: Wrong.

Part of a car brand's cachet, being luxurious and costing more than regular cars is the assumption of reliability. This is 2017... not 1917. Why in the world people think that a luxury car should equate frequent repairs and high costs is beyond me and illogical. You have already paid 3 or more times the cost of a regular vehicle. Should you also be insulted and robbed by being charged more for frequent repairs and lack of reliability not associated with "lesser" vehicles? How luxurious and quality conscious can a brand be if it keeps breaking down on owners and requires high cost maintenance? Would you accept this if you purchased a home and it kept requiring high maintenance bills due to things falling apart? Or a washer, dryer, stove, dishwasher, etc? Of course not. But the brainwashing and advertising that states you are "special" and "better" than others for purchasing these luxury vehicles is a powerful thing.

Lastly... if you want proof that you can purchase a luxury vehicle and not have high maintenance costs, go look at the reviews for the Lexus LS... any year... any model. People are so overjoyed at the reliability of that vehicle they almost sound like a cult. And that is a good thing my friend.

By the way... I am the owner of a 1985 Euro Mercedes 500SEL. It was the last of the handmade S Classes... the last to be easy to work on yourself... the last to be reliable... and the last to be worked on for a low price by independent Mercedes mechanics. And it will be MY last Mercedes Benz... because every model after mine has been a disaster in reliability and ownership costs... as evidenced by what my friends and family members have told me. My next car? A used Lexus LS.

2nd Aug 2017, 07:55

Re: running a luxury car on economy car money: Sort of. BUT, and it's a big "but", it depends on which country you are in and which particular model.

I'm in New Zealand, and whereas 20 years ago a European car was fairly unobtainable and posh, because we have used Japanese market imports in RHD form, most of the BMWs, Audis, Volvos, Mercs, VWs and the like can be bought used, 8-12 years old, for much less than a brand new Hyundai. It's so common here that even people in rough neighbourhoods drive them; you just don't get car jacked here for driving them. It's accessible now, but more so, independent mechanics have geared up and become very familiar with these cars, so they're no more mysterious to repair than a Honda Prelude or a Subaru (which is in fact more complex and expensive to fix). They charge the same per hour labour rate whether Euro or Japanese, and it's a matter now of the cost of parts. Sticking with standard vehicles (basic 4- or 6-cylinder petrol/gas, no turbo, no AMG or M-Sport or S-line), the cost of basic parts from filters to water/fuel pumps or even aircon compressors (and using OEM) is comparable to Japanese.

I do know that Americans are gouged by garages for simply driving European cars; not so here. But you must know the market too - in NZ, parts of German cars tend to be OK, but Italian car parts or French can cost much more. And while you can improve your chances by getting a German car that's been checked out, it's still a risk to get a Range Rover or Jaguar, regardless. In the UK, French and Italian car parts are much cheaper than here. If you stay away from the BMW 7-series, Merc S-class (from the mid-90s onwards), Audi A8s, you just might be able to enjoy having a normal European car, and put up with minor age-related quibbles like a sunroof with a busted motor.

2nd Aug 2017, 10:40

My opinion is now they are now very dated. And it shows. I had them. I had big repairs. Like the 5k air replacement. The dated look also is evident in the interiors. Often these are money pits with or without diligent maintenance. I would rather stay Mercedes not switch. What's wrong with having cachet if you work hard and are highly successful? If you can well afford a nice car, buy it.

2nd Aug 2017, 13:01

Generally I agree. I'm the guy that left the comment about not being able to run luxury cars on economy money. What I was getting at is the general running costs you should be aware of when buying such a car, even if it looks like a genuine bargain.

And yes as others have commented - it depends on many things, the country you live in, the time period you are buying from, and the availability of parts, and even the generation of people buying certain types of cars.

For example I live in the UK. As a kid growing up in the late 80s and 90s I watched the likes of Mercedes S-Class and BMW 7 series cars and was always told they was unattainable by anyone who isn't a doctor or movie star, haha. I've since had cars like that and enjoyed them - but they were not cheap to run.

For example now you can buy a 1996 Ford Escort for £600. And you can also buy a 1996 BMW 750iL for £600 as well. The Ford cost £8000 new in 96, and the BMW cost the best part of £75,000. So initially this seems the BMW is a bargain, and it is, but what I'm saying is the Escort will maybe only be £200 to fix an average repair. The BMW on the other hand is a liability - get an engine or gearbox problem and you are looking at over £1000 even at a good independent garage.

I wasn't being negative, and at the end of the day you only live once, and you should buy what makes you happy, but I was just pointing out that when an expensive car gets older, it may be as cheap to buy as an economy car initially, but the running costs are likely to be double. Not to mention fuel, insurance, tax etc is also very expensive where I live.