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Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sedans

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  • Hey guys, what would happen if I use 87 gas in my 2003 E320? I've heard some people using regular and no difference in the car.
  • Ok,folks,here's the deal. I have some sad news for you all. The Mercedes Benz name has been resting on its laurels for quite some time now. Perhaps at one time MB was actually living up to its reputation, but that was a long time ago and, sadly, things have changed dramatically. First of all, let's get one thing straight: the "prestige" of the MB mark is quite unjustifiably exaggerated in the US, much like the "Cadillac" name was once synonymous with luxury in the 40s and 50s. In fact, if you drive a MB in the US, you probably (amusingly) think you're impressing your neighbors. In Europe, every Tom, Dick and Harry drives a MB and many of them are used as Taxi cabs. Secondly, MB is woefully inadequate in the area of amenities. Let's take the 1997 E420 (which I own): cheap running boards that keep popping off, cheap plastic used for the glove box which seems as if it is something one would expect to find on a Honda Civic, no illuminated ring surrounding the ignition keyhole to assist in low-light conditions, no volume or tuning controls on the steering wheel, cheap plastic trim around the "first-aid kit" mounted in the rear arm rest which pops off every time one attempts to open it, cheaply made directional signal/headlight arm which breaks easily, cheap vinyl dashboard material which develops cracks due to sun exposure...need I go on? Even the Honda Prelude I had ten years ago didn't have those problems (and still doesn't...my daughter now drives that gem back and forth to college)!
    The final straw for me was the right front spring mount which apparently has "collapsed" due to "corrosion" even though the car has been garage-kept and well maintained. One MB mechanic tells me that it's a "manufacture defect" and is irreparable since the body metal the spring mount was attached to is "no longer there" and that my only option now is to hope that MB will make good on it...otherwise, too bad. In my opinion, MB is taking us all for the ultimate "ride"..charging exorbitant prices for a piece of junk. You can keep your Mercedes Benz if you wish...but you'll be seeing a lot more of your mechanic than your wife. Good luck to all you die-hards...and good riddance to Mercedes Benz.
  • You want to spend more time with your wife than with your mechanic?
  • mark156mark156 Posts: 1,992
    Habitat1, I find the third row very useful when needed and have used my ML many times to carry 6-7 adults. The people who sit back there say it's quite comfortable. I've never sat in the MDX so I can't really compare the two. Once you get the hang of the folding second row seat, it's very easy to maneuver. The second row seats slide forward about 6 inches to allow more leg room for the third row. It would be nice if the third seats were under the floor because it does take up space when they are hanging on the side. I like the fact that they have full 3 point seatbelts and "real" headrests.

    Jmatone, you should tell us like it is and not sugar coat anything!

    Mark
  • I have some NEWs for you too! I own a 2002 C320 and a 2005 E320 CDI and have no problems with either. Previously I owned a 1995 C280 and a 2001 E320 and had only two problems with the C280, replaced front brake pads, failed fuel pump after about 5 years and one problem with the E320, replacement under warranty of the instrument cluster due to a defective outside temperature display. Do you suppose the taxi drivers in Euorpe have MBs because the need them on the road instead of in the shop? Anyway, who cares what Euorpeans drive?
  • mark156mark156 Posts: 1,992
    I have been to Europe a few times and I like it when I get the "Mercedes" cab. When chatting with the drivers, they buy them because they can get way over 200,000 miles on them with little trouble. I was in Spain this year and the driver had a 2000 E-class diesel but the odometer was in kilometers which showed 407,000 kilometers. That's about 250,000 miles right? This car was SO clean I was shocked and had to look at the odometer again to make sure.

    Mark
  • jmatone:

    I just sold a 96 E320 4 months ago with 140,000 miles on the odometer. Until it hit 115,000 there was only one problem: the rubber bushings in the front end sway bars and tie rod ends had to be replaced. It was done under the Starmark warranty. At 115K it needed shocks, serpentine belt, and brake rotors and pads, none of which are failures; but wear items.. It did need some serious repairs around 120K; head gasket and water pump. But after all that work it ran and felt like a brand new car. And it looked great for a 7 year old car; people were amazed it was so old when they saw it. That's one of the major features of a Mercedes; they look good for far longer than any other car.

    tomotomo mentioned brake pads as a problem. I beg to differ. All cars need brake pads on a fairly regular basis; MB a little sooner than most. But they are a WEAR item, not a problem. So tomotomo's cars were even better than he thought.!

    When I sold the 96 I bought a lightly used 2001 that is so much better in every way. It's got the ESP, ASR, radio controls on the steering wheel (I am not sure that many cars offered that feature back in 96 and 97?), it rides smoother, handles better, and is much quieter. And the V6 seems stronger, but it could be the 5-speed tranny vs. the 4-speed in the 96. And I hear that the 2003/4 model is even better yet..! I can hardly wait to buy a 2005 in 2007..!

    Either you got one of their rare lemons or it was a Chevy with the MB logo on it..?
  • Better check this out and see who's building more reliable cars.. Big, big shame for the has been germans.

    http://www.aiada.org/article.asp?id=4694
  • mbnut1mbnut1 Posts: 403
    That after years of building pure crap that the American manufacturers are building some cars that have decent reliability. In general the American manufacturers have singinicantly improved their reliability while the Germans have added significant complexity (particularly in the area of electronics) without the maintaining previous standards of quality control over the additional complexity. The bottom line is they still drive better than anything else on the road and yes unfortunatly there is a greater likelyhood of visiting the shop than some American cars.
  • i drove my beloved e320 over a curb and cracked the panel below the passenger side door.(it is flimsy plastic, to my surprise). is this a costly item to replace? thanks
  • FYI, you didn't burst my bubble! Just because you got a lemon, assuming you did, it doesn't mean all MBs are. My experience with 5 MBs have been very good, much better than with a previous Cadillac SLS.
  • I had a 97 C280, 2yrs,50,000 miles. Mercedes bought the car back as a LEMON. They gave me a great deal on a new 99 ML430. I kept it for a year, 30,000 miles (lots of squeaks and rattles) and ended up trading it in for a Chevy Suburban.
    Chevy Suburban.. 2 yrs and 60,000 miles and no problems. Go figure.
    I now have a Volvo XC90 T6. 6 months and 20,000 miles. Great car. My wife has a 01 E320 wagon...little problems here and there. Her lease is up soon. I had better luck with the Chevy.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    But, I have to ask for an honest answer:

    Can you honestly say that the Suburban doesn't drive like the Love Boat and look like it was designed by a committee of blind engineers??

    I hear what you are saying about the dissapointing reliability and quality control of your Mercedes. The pre 2003 ML series was generally recognized as the worst Mercedes ever. But no matter how bad a Mercedes was, I wouldn't be pushed, kicked, or prodded into a Chevy. For God's sake there are Hondas, Acuras, Toyotas, Lexus and Nissans to choose from.

    Saying that the Chevy Suburban doesn't rattle or have maintenance problems is like marrying the Circus fat lady because she doesn't have hairy legs. Yeah, but she's still fat.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
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  • r1_97r1_97 Posts: 181
    Starting with '05 models, MB is no longer providing no charge maintenance. This tells me the direction of the quality of MB service. I think it's a bad move on their part at a time when they need to improve their public image.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I don't take that as a negative by itself. None of the premium Japanese brands - Lexus, Acura or Infiniti - offer free maintenance. While I would certainly prefer free miantenance to not having it, I don't think it's worth more than a few hundred dollars. The big stuff is still covered by warranty.
  • twoof1twoof1 Posts: 308
    Free Maintenance is an oxymoron. You either pay up front as part of the sale price of the car, or you pay as you go along.
    There is no free ride.
  • r1_97r1_97 Posts: 181
    That's true, however, MB is a status-image brand and providing included maintenance enhances their image and good will among customers. It also brings owners into their shop where other problems may be diagnosed before they become apparent and cost MB more under the warranty.

    I think it's good business to include the minor cost of the maintenance during with the warranty period with the purchase price of the car.
  • I agree it's good business but I don't think MB has taken much out of the price this year compared to last year to compensate for the change. The '04 I bought was 3.5% less (sticker) than the current '05 sticker WITHOUT the included maintenance. Probably would have been well over $1000 out of my pocket.
  • If you buy a Starmarked 01-04 you get the free maintenance. In my case, I brought my used 01 in for the FSS and they called and needed to keep it for a second day so they could replace the catalytic converter and battery. (Neither had failed, but they said they were deteriorating). And that was on top of also replacing the windshield wiper and the oil and lube job. I think I got my money's worth; $0.00... And I should be able to get one more free FSS stop just before the 50,000 mile mark. After that, even though I have Starmark coverage for another 3 years, I'll just do the oil and filter thing with my local service guy. The dealer gets nearly $200 for a non-warranty FSS service. Although... If they keep replacing partly worn-out parts until my Starmark runs out...???
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