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Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sedans



  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I think at this point we're in the "pile on" phase. I mean really, reading some of the posts here you'd think that no E or any other Mercedes was capable of holding up the day after it left the dealership. This is mesg board and thus the place for folks to vent their problems. Every brand of car sold here has a thread on the Repair board with posts in them and MB is no different. There are some posts here from the same people that state their problems and that hardly means there is some major problem with the E's tranny or engine.

    Don't get me wrong I'm not saying for a moment that MB doesn't have a problem with reliability, but its been overblown by many at this point. The way CR has talked about the E-Class no one here will ever think it is reliable no matter how the cars actually hold up in the field.

    BMW while having proved more reliable is no Toyota either. Not by a long shot and them running forever is one of these statements that glosses over the fact that keeping a BMW running "forever" is no cheaper than keeping a Mercedes running forever. Well at least for the first 4 year or 50K, which BMW now pays for.

    MB's problem isn't due to them thinking they could do whatever, it comes from being spread too thin and having too much else going on (mergers etc.) to keep their eye on what they did best.

    Also, IMO reliability and quality are different things, or reliability is a component of quality. Audi's have fabulous "quality" but terrible reliability. The day an American car is built as good as a Mercedes I'd buy one. Sure they're getting good marks in reliablity surveys for using ancient technology not nearly on the level of any European or Japanese luxury car, but to say they're eating Mercedes' lunch on quality is simply false. An American car riding on an ancient platform using a derivative of a 20 year old engine might be less trouble to own, which it should be, but it isn't nearly the car a Mercedes is. This is what the surveys and the people who live by them continually miss and evidently can't even begin to understand.

  • microrepair
    I didn't find it, their service department did when doing a Service A or B. I was none the wiser.
    They are quite good at finding problems. They aren't always that good at properly identifying them. Nor are they that good at obtaining parts to fix them.
    As I've said before, most of the time issues I'm experiencing are not critical. My car has never been on a flatbed. However, they are continual, frequent and quite disappointing.

  • I fully agree with merc1. I currently own a 02 C320 (wife's) and a 05 E320 CDI. So far both have been trouble free. I previously owned a 95 C280 and a 01 E320 that were also pretty much trouble free with only minor problems (fuel pump on C280 at 40K+ miles and an outside temperature display on the E320). I would purchase Mercedes again.
  • pearlpearl Posts: 336
    Maybe...and I do agree that there are always tendencies to "pile on" when something/someone is down; however, the frequency, depth and breadth of the complaints about Mercedes and their dealerships are abnormally high. What seems especially troubling is that complaints have been going on for years, are documented widely by respected sources like CR and JD Powers, yet are continuing to surface on the newest models like the E350 - and not just trivial stuff (transmissions, etc). No doubt there are plenty of people who have not experienced problems, but enough have, consistently, and made noise about them, that Mercedes truly has a major PR issue here that won't go away until both HQ and their dealer network get serious about fixing them.
  • albellalbell Posts: 185
    I am in PR, and I have to smile everytime someone brings up MB's "PR" issue.
    Sadly, in most cases, these "PR" issues are borne from operating or business issues that business executives or managers refuse to acknowledge or correct until a public outcry ensues. MB's is a textbook example of this. MB really doesn't have a "PR" problem as much as a "reality" problem: they have been unresponsive to the growing evidence that their products, processes, systems and infrastructure are not best-in-class. One can debate the how or why, but that doesn't really matter to the consumer. They are the only arbiter that matters.

    I have owned 3 Mercedes (and many other lux and non-lux brands) and my problems have been mostly minor, but I know others' are not. What I have experienced though is that the customer service experience -- from sales to service -- is inferior at MB, especially compared with other manufacturers. This has exacerbated the physical quality problem, and is, in my opinion, more problematic over the longer term than the manufacturing quality, because perception is so slow to change, once it has been formed.
  • A very thoughtful post on the challenges faced by MB. I still own one of their vehicles and sold my other to buy a BMW 5-Series in 2003. No regrets on the vehicle side and have been more than pleased by my BMW Dealer experience to date.

    One of the 4 MB's purchased by my wife and I had a structural problem with the front bumper assembly... it completely separated from the car when pulled onto a flatbed tow truck! Without boring everyone, what MB put us through soured us both on the brand more than the car itself (1999 ML).

    MB has tampered with what it's customers have held most dear over decades... engineering excellence and top-drawer quality. Sure, it costs to maintain an older MB, but well worth it IMO. Whenever I've had my Rolex cleaned and maintained over the years, it has cost me a considerable amount. Well worth it for me based on the ownership experience of having a watch I'll wear the rest of my life!

    Arrogance and the ownership experience will never mix successfully and MB has been forced to rethink how dealers hold up their end of the bargain. Some get it... some don't. Those that don't send customers to their competition - simple as that. THe branded image becomes tainted and it is difficult to regain. Witness Audi and unintended acceleration. Problem handled arrogantly and the public responded. Although they build a wonderful car line from top to bottom (especially the A8), their sales numbers in this country lag those in comparable European settings.

    If I were running MB, I'd have already bent over backwards to get the dealer (sales and service) channels and the manufacturing operation on the same page with a more collaborative business process focused on a quality ownership experience. Can't have both arms of the MB organization on different pages or the customer ultimately suffers.

    One interesting thought... Toyota has historically had the highest "quality" car lines but among the worst retail experiences. They still sell lots of cars on quality perceptions (and reality) alone and people still endure cheezy dealer experiences. Tells me that if MB can arrest the quality issues and thoughtfully engage its consumer base, they will pull out in fine shape. The competition is nipping at their heels and, in varying degrees, successfully taken long-time customers away.

    We'll se if real leadership surfaces at DCX.
  • albellalbell Posts: 185
    I also own a BMW and the sales and service experience is so much better than MB.

    You know its funny, the NYC MB dealer is the only company-owned site in the US and you'd think it would be a showcase for a quality ownership is far from that. I have had better experiences at the Ford dealer up the street.

    I agree that if they can get the quality right then they can turn things around. It will take time but it can be done. But they will really only have one chance to do it right.
  • I've owned 3 MBs over the years and there have always been minor issues with the cars: electrical stuff, wind noise, transmission thunks, but I will still continue to support the brand for the following reasons.

    1) Service experience has been better than others. I have not experienced Lexus, but Honda, Subaru, Toyota and BMW service has been less than the level of service I experienced at MB.

    2) Driving experience. This is the most important factor. MBs are just very solidly built and I have a great experience driving them. I don't care if my car never breaks down but if I don't enjoy driving it I don't want to own it. I've had new Japanese cars and after a couple of years, they just don't feel the same, they feel worn out. The engines just feel used up already. And the metal skin is so thin that a minor hit from someone else's door will cause a big dent in it.

    I'm not arguing with anyone about this, it's just my experience and my thoughts. Your mileage may totally vary.
  • Hi: Does anyone know where I can get rear seat covers or cargo trays and such at a discount? TIA.
  • I commend you on a very well-written commentary.
    I am just about to purchase a CDI- will probably order as I cannot find available one that has the options that I would like.

    I presently own an Audi A6 and am choosing to sell that vehicle prematurely because of numerous and repeated minor electrical annoyance problems. My expectation is that MB will be better, and hope that MB is already on the way to improved QC. I have owned 4 MBs in past, the newest being an '84, and all were virtually trouble free.

    Am wondering if anyone has a dealership they recommend particularly as a GOOD place to purchase a new CDI? Willingness to deal on price is a strong consideration as I am not wedded to the dealership in my home town :P .

    Keeping my fingers crossed...
  • I asked the very same question of the dealer re: ordering a new CDI (320) and the deal is that the rear window blinds that are the roll-up type are factory installed. The only ones you can get if they did not come with the vehicle are ones that clip in place somehow. I got the info from the parts department- they were able to look it up and find a photograph.

    If your car doesn't have them already in the rear door panels, then you cannot do the roller-blind shades aftermarket.

    The clip in ones are not too terribly expensive.
  • albellalbell Posts: 185
    I'm with you. I love the MB driving experience, which is why I keep returning to the brand. I prefer my E-class it to everything else I have driven, even my 3 series convertible.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,824
    A reporter for an influential U.S. publication is working on a piece about Mercedes and would like to hear from consumers. He’s wondering whether the recent quality problems are enough to stop consumers from buying Mercedes in the future. He also cites that Mercedes says it has worked hard to fix the various problems and is producing the best quality cars ever. He’d especially appreciated hearing from any long-time Mercedes drivers around who agree or disagree. If you have a story to share, please respond to with your daytime and evening contact info., city/state of residence and what models of Mercedes you own/have owned, no later than Weds., Sept. 28, 2005.

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  • I will say that our current (#2) Atlanta-based MB dealer has worked with us in a positive manner. We switched from the dealer where we had purchased 3 MB's to one of their competitors. Regarding the bumper issue on the 1999 ML, we were forced to find the replacement part ourselves since we were out of town when it happened and the MB Regional Service Rep was arrogant as all get out.

    Since it was my wife's car, she all but called it quits on MB, a car line she always admired. The saleswoman we worked with at dealer #1 had since changed dealers and went to bat for us at her new dealer. Arranged for a fully loaded 2002 ML at their cost and she has provided excellent service.

    Although I love my 2003 e39, I do still desire another MB one day when things get back to where they should have always been. I can (somewhat) live with a manufacturing defect, but I can't live with the arrogance of sales and service people. Believe the inconsistencies across the dealer channel contribute to many of the issues I read about on this board.
  • Totally agree on the driving experience. They know they are not BMW and never cared. Just "built like a bank-vault" solidity and extremely sound touring characteristics. To me, the Rolex of cars... built like they were carved from a block of steel and designed to run forever. Of course, I'm refering to the prior-gen S-Class and W140 E-Class! That, to me, signified the luxury of world-class engineering and quality.

    Although my e39 provides an exceptional ownership experience, it is a very different and more "sporting" vehicle. Would love both brands in my garage as follows (current models)...

    MB S-Class (new platform)
    my current e39 530SP
    BMW 650
    CLK55 cab (would love the SL, but need room for my wife and the pooch!)
    BMW M3 6-sp (no SMG)
    MB 420CDI (when it is available)
    SLK55 (wife loves it)

    and, gotta have the new 997 Carerra C4S :)
  • Would you mind letting me know which Mercede's dealership and salesman that you have been working with? I have been looking for a 2004 E320 and the dealership in South Atlanta is horrible. I'd like to buy in my city, but, if they find out that your educated, won't buy their warranty, trade in, or use their financing, and if you also know what mercedes are worth today, they basically told me to go elsewhere, so, I have been working with a dealership out of Ga.
  • Well, let me gush some more. I traded in a 7 yr old C-class. At 7 years old, it still felt new, no rattling, very solid on the road, handled very well, no diminishing of power from the engine, even the paint was still very bright. After a wash, it looked new (from about 20 ft away, any closer and you'd see the rock chips and the scratches).
  • I am in NC & have had great service. Presently have 2001 E320 & 2005 SLK350. # 17 & 18 in MB's that I have owned. Both have had only minor problems which have been received exceptional attention from my dealer. Also from the factory rep.So no complaints.

    They also have been getting quite a few CDI's. 2005 as well as 2006 models.
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,666
    I wonder why they have a problem if you are educated and don't use their financing, they don't want your business...

    Mercedes has alsways been known as a well made car...theoretically, you paid more because you were buying a car that was barely broken in at 200,000 miles, whereas the avg American car was well worn at 50K and worn out at 100K...

    If they are having true quality issues, dealers should be offering top-notch service and putting pressure on Mercedes to improve quality...if it really is a PR problem, meaning that the car is good but false rumors have been circulating, then it is up to Mercedes to use proper PR to set the record straight...

    OTOH, if I were BMW and Audi, I would keep my eyes open and recommend to my dealers to give folks super-service beyond the call of duty to win them over...

    If Mercedes quality truly has deteriorated, does anybody know why???...
  • Can you give me the name(s) of the dealerships that you mentioned in your last post? I think that is ok with the rules of the forum as long as you don't give me names of sales person, right?
    Thanks! :)
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