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Mercedes-Benz M-class vs Ford Explorer/Mercury Mountaineer vs Buick Rendezvous vs Acura MDX



  • felizfeliz Posts: 32
    Makes sense. Unless it's a collector car all vehicles are eventually worth scrap.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Value notwithstanding, the ML has turned out to be a POS and has hurt MB and their rep at least on this continent severely. I'm a fan of Mercedes, and wish they would just scrap the M and try again, and NOT with the G-500!
  • I'm also a fan of Mercedes and BMW as well. I am afraid you are right, the ML has hurt MB and their rep on this continent severely. The X5 had its share of early production problem just like the ML, but the X5 was very well designed and engineered. The ML suffers from both production and design problems and it did not stand out in any particular area, it was a all around average suv. Mercedes in a way is very much like the new Cadillac, they built a very nice high end car but just dont know how to built a entry level car. The next ML will be redesign from the ground up, lets hope they learned a lesson from the first ML and spend a little more money on design and manufacturing engineering.
  • fndlyfmrflyrfndlyfmrflyr Posts: 668
    Chrysler will probably become Mercedes' entry level name. Slowly, Mercedes engineering is being added to Chrysler cars (Pacifica has some and the Crossfire is basically a two seat C-Class with a different body and interior).

    The ML competes against the Lexus small SUV in size and utility. It is an old design, long overdue for replacement. The bar has been raised substantially.

    Adding Mercedes engineering to the DC Jeep line may be a better investment than trying to one up Lexus and Infinity in the luxury 5 seat SUV arena.

    My entry level Mercedes, a Chrysler PT Cruiser GT, so far, has proven to be assembled better, more trouble free, and every bit as reliable as my MDX. Resale value may stink now, but I'm not planning on replacing it for years.
  • And Cadillac's entry level name is Buick.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    And Lincoln's entry level car is Ford, and BMW's entry level car is.........oh, the well respected 3 series, at least for now. I hear a 1 series is coming.

    So, if Chrysler is the entry level Mercedes, then why are they bringing over the A -Class? And what's with the C Class hatchback?
  • Still dont understand the logic behind the C Class Hatchback. You would think that Mercedes would have learned a lesson from the BMW 2 door hatchback that fail 4 or 5 years ago.
  • tmakogontmakogon Posts: 74
    Dollar-wise depreciation matters more to me than percentage-wise depreciation. Cash value depreciation is comparable for MDX and RDV.
    Also, with a more expensive vehicle you have a greater opportunity cost as more money is tied up in the car.

    Here's an example on depreciation costs using the used TMV method with comparable features and parameters:
    Back in 2002 I mainly compared a MDX Touring (no navigation) with a RDV CXL AWD, and bought the RDV for $10,000 less than the MDX.
    Although the features are not exactly same, they are very close in both trims, hence the choices.

    A 2002 MDX Touring cost new $38500 if you had the patience to wait for 5-10 months and pay MSRP. Now the excellent condition trade-in with 11K miles would bring $31642, a cash loss of $6858 (17.8%). The 2002 RDV cost me $28540 (MSRP 35150) and now would trade in for $21,004 in excellent condition with 11K miles. The cash loss is $7536 (26.4%).

    Although RDV has depreciated more than MDX in the first year in percent, it cost about the same in dollars, plus I had the remaining $10,000 for other purposes.

    My example with just 11000 miles and excellent condition for both vehicles may not apply to all cases. It is merely an illustration that the percentage-wise depreciation may be a misleading indicator as the actual loss is in the dollar value.

  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    My nephew just came by hopping mad about the $700 brake job his M-class just got at the MB dealer, and that's only the rear brakes. I told him, you can't have Falstaff, and have him thin. It costs more to drive a MB than it does the domestics. Particularly the M & E class, evidently.....
  • rerenov8rrerenov8r Posts: 380
    In my neck of the woods, the stuff that one gets done at most EVERY dealership is vastly more expensive than that which gets done at a local shop or franchise type operation.

    For some service items it may be worthwhile to use the dealer, as the skills & equipment that they have may make the job get done better and/or more quickly. Oil changes and brakes generally don't fall into that category.

    I believe that MB, Acura, & BMW need not cost more to maintain than Ford or GM products IF you choose the service that you have done at the dealer wisely. Far too many folks drop their vehicles at the service department and accept whatever profit enhancing service/inspection the folks behind the counter will sell. Yes folks, they are SALESPEOPLE too! Just like a wise shopper wouldn't let a the new car saleperson soak 'em for mop n' glow or a can of fabric spray it is important that you authorize the SPECIFIC service you want done...
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    You could make that case easily. But my experience could make the other as well. I find my Lincoln/Mercury dealer does not overcharge for brakes and routine service. They are high on things like belts, water pumps, alternators, that kind of thing but actually give the best deals on tires.

    My friends with Mercedes products are chronically bemoaning the cost of parts & labor for their machines, from the $700 brake job to the $1500 oil changes. Clearly, they should stay away from the dealers for routine stuff.
  • chaz12chaz12 Posts: 3
    The problem with not sticking to dealers for regular wear items, whether it's MB, BMW, AUDI, etc. is that warranties may then become void. I've heard alot of stories about dealers not covering warranty items if the car has not been routinely serviced by an authorized dealer.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Ford has never done that to me in all my life.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,004
    Plus in the US, the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act forbids tying routine dealer maintenance to the warranty. Although sometimes it may take some nudging from the state's attorney general's office to get the dealer to figure that out.

    MB, as one example, covers most routine maintenance for the intial ownership period so they may balk if you take your ML320 to a quick oil change place and put some 30 weight dead dino in it.

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  • rerenov8rrerenov8r Posts: 380
    You'd have the full weight of federal law, thousands of legal cases and all 50 state's Attorney Generals on your side. Plus the manufacturer. The recalcitrant dealer would have their "Service Advisor" with a pencil lost in his lower GI tract...

    'taint NO WAY that a warranty can be voided by not visting the dealer for service. Heck you could even take the new Ferrari Enzo that costs $650,000 anywhere you want for an oil change -- though I doubt that the 12 quarts of one-off 10W60 Shell Helix motor oil will be instock at many JiffyLube stores....
  • As long as you have reasonable records that required service was performed in a timely manner there should be no warranty problem no matter where the service was done, even DIY.
  • The other day I tried to sit in the '04 Toyota Highlander 3rd row. Was that a tight squeeze... Not that I'm tall - I'm 5 ft 9". No space left behind the 3rd row - would you put your kids' friends there?

    We should start a new 4+2 classification for the tight third rows made for the purpose of marketing as in the 2+2 convertibles that have the rear two seats for the insurance purposes.

    With the navigation and the trim the sticker price was over $35K. For this price MDX might be a better option. I feel that Rendezvous still has the best 3rd row among crossovers - leather, reclining, and good usable legroom.

  • I looked at a Highlander's third row a few days ago too (I was at the dealer for a Prius). Yep, sure is tight, but there is some room behind the the third row. The Buick does have more knee room than the MDX, but the room behind the 3rd row is less. BTW, the MDX third row reclines as does the middle row.

    I'd like to see the next MDX have a two inch stretch in wheelbase so that access to the third row would be easier and there could be a two inch increase in knee room too.

    I like your idea of using a +2 (or +3) to designate the third row. The Pilot has three seat belts in the same width seat as the MDX third row, which has only two belts.

    If you want to see a real third row joke take a look at the new SRX. Lots of knee room, but the cushion is on the floor which results in a chin high knee position.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,614
    explorer head 39 rdv 39, shoulder 52 rdv 49, hip 45 rdv 48, leg 35 rdv 35 (all rounded to nearest)
    would guess the rdv is a little easier to get in/out of.
  • montreidmontreid Posts: 127
    The Buick has 18.1 ft behind the 3rd row and fits my Combi stroller, the MDXs 14.8 didn't fit it.

    Both have reclining 2nd and 3rd rows, which is nice to gain the extra inches behind the 3rd rows. I like the 60/40 partion in the MDX better than the 50/50 in the Buick, but only a single side entry on the MDX into the 3rd row and the headrests needed to be taken off too.

    Haven't seen the highlander's 3rd row. Interesting why the new 330 doesn't offer it if the highlander does.

    SRX: weird how low the seat cushion is, isn't it? Maybe something to do with the motor?
This discussion has been closed.