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Mercedes-Benz: Future Models

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Comments

  • scott1256scott1256 Posts: 531
    It seems impossible to have a reasonable discussion about Mercedes or GM these days. Everything seems to be in absolutes - 'Mercedes is building junk' or 'There is no value left in any GM brand' etc.

    It may be that the old standards brands are losing their cachet with a younger generation The Japanese and Koreans are creating an image that I am slow to recognize. Hyundai/Kia have ambitions far beyond the lower and mid market range - witness the luxury cars they plan to introduce over the next 5 years.

    Surveys such as JD Power are the gold standard for many car buyers today. It seems many on these boards truly believe that a Hyundai or Kia is a higher quality vehicle than a Mercedes or Cadillac.
  • ikramericaikramerica Posts: 95
    well, doesn't everyone know that a stainless steel seiko watch is far superior to a gold rolex because steel doesn't tarnish?

    GMs problem may be that they have let the marketing drive the design rather than designing a great car and then letting it sell itself. and they aren't the only company guilty of that.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well you really can't read too much into that survey stuff, while I don't doubt that they show is true, the group that uses them for everything in my experiences with talking with them are pretty much clueless when it comes to other aspects of a car. Of course there are exception, but the clear majority that mention survey in their opening sentence about a car are not about much else. There are so many other things to a car imo.

    Quality isn't just reliability either, which is what those surveys primarily measure. Any Korean car might be less troublesome as far as reliability, but physically built better than a Mercedes? Nope. Engineered like a Mercedes or any other German and most Japanese cars? Heck no. Safer than a German car? Nope. Just less trouble and this partly due to them being about the most simple cars you can buy. Outdated and underachieving drivetrains and cheapo materials, but hey they are reliable so the uninformed thinks they're great.

    M
  • stroudmanstroudman Posts: 192
    I agree. It's like all the cars that get 5-star safety ratings in controlled crash tests have different rates of fatality per accident in the real world.

    BTW, merc, we got in our first S350 today. All black with a wood trim pkg. I gave it a spin, and must say it's everything I expected. Plenty of power, and plenty of car for $20k less than an S500. It accelerates about like an S430, IMO. So, they're out there, go see one if you haven't already. I'm glad they brought it over.
  • ikramericaikramerica Posts: 95
    The S350 has roughly the same legroom as the E-Class doing a quick comparo. So where does the 9 inches of extra wheelbase go? To the engine bay and trunk?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I've seen one already believe it or not, in Desert Silver. I spotted it instantly due to the shorter body. Probably only really noticeable to Mercedes fans.

    M
  • scott1256scott1256 Posts: 531
    MB needs better communication/PR. I believe a quality turnaround is happening but why is management whispering about it and not shouting proudly?

    Forbes magazine readers are prime potential Mercedes buyers with an average income of $150,000+ IIRC. Forbes has an article titled 'Almost Great Cars'. Individual vehicles are discussed that are not bad cars but that miss the mark in some way.

    Here is the shocker - they rate the WHOLE Mercedes model range 'almost great' - not one or two models but the whole line!

    "We do, however, feel comfortable calling DaimlerChrysler's Mercedes-Benz cars "very good" as opposed to "great." This is because they have a major flaw, pretty much across the board: They are sleek, but unreliable."

    Forbes is an influential magazine and this is a blow even though it is not accurate IMO.

    Link is below.

    http://www.forbes.com/lifestyle/vehicles/2005/05/09/cx_dl_0509feat.html
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Pretty lame article imo. Some of the cars they list have been called great including some Mercedes-Benz models. Forbes isn't an automobile magazine by trade so it pretty much the same as Consumer Reports talking about driving qualities and only naming the cars that they find to be reliable as having driving fun. Pretty good paper for wrapping fish heads imo.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well Edmunds has a test of the E55 wagon on their front page. Very interesting that it isn't on MBUSA.com yet. A stunningly capable car imo.

    M
  • scott1256scott1256 Posts: 531
    I agree - a lame article. But - Forbes readers are financially able to buy Mercedes cars and this will not dispose them toward doing so.

    Any quality/reliability issue usually takes a while being addressed and solved. This is not exclusive to Mercedes. The current problems at VW and the Cadillac situation of 10 years have similarities to the MB scenario.

    An article like this one in Forbes creates a lot of negative ripples. Restoring an image is not the work of a few months.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Yeah they should stick to the money talk. The article reads like a child wrote it.

    I've always felt that Mercedes had the most to lose when their quality went down hill since they were at the top in image and quality in most people's minds. People love to see how the mighty have fallen. This will take years to fix.

    M
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,969
    All black with a wood trim pkg

    I am following this thread as I am interested in the new R class Grand Sport Tourer. Your wood trim comment caught my attention. I got thrown off the RX400h thread for making disparaging remarks about the lack of off-road ability with the Lexus sport ute. One of the things that got to me is making out like aluminum trim is better than wood trim. Am I missing something? Anyway I am enjoying your dialog on the difference between cars. I am into handling more than doodads that are offered on many Asian cars. Too bad they can't handle or stop as fast as they can make them accelerate. I bought a 2005 Passat TDI until the R class with diesel hits our shores. It is a very nice car, though a bit smaller than my Suburban.
  • ikramericaikramerica Posts: 95
    Says who? I have never read any objective report that says ALL mercedes models have equal reliability problems. For Forbes to make such a grand statement is typical of the press today. They don't do research, they don't check facts, they write what they 'hear' or parrot what they 'read' and state it as fact without attribution or evidence. more and more journalists are being thrown off of newspapers for this laziness. but car reviews still suffer from it. whether it is fabricating stoplight anecdotes, slamming a cars ergonomics because they are too stupid to read a manual once in their lives, or repeating what they hear around the watercooler as fact, it is all symptomatic of journalistic laziness.

    I wrote a nasty letter to Edmunds inside line about the same thing. In every, and I mean, every, article recently about a new mercedes model, one that hasn't even been released and has no history of problems, the bottom line is always "this one will likely be a lemon" or something like that. It's is total parroting bias that serves little purpose.

    As i stated before and will repeat, MB cars get the same high customer satisfaction scores of other top models on Edmunds, and often higher, despite the low regard the editors have for MB. So who is right, the reviewer who drives the car for a day, laments you can't get a manual transmission, and then reads consumer reports, or the owner who has the car for years and loves it? If the cars like the C-Class were really lemons, how would they get 9.5 scores (compared to lower for the 3-series, A4 and X-type)? These averages include people who post about bad experiences, so it's not hype.

    So I guess if MB doesn't get 10s across the board, they are failures?
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,969
    or the owner who has the car for years and loves it?

    I vote for the consumer that gives his opinion after owning the car, over Edmund's, CR or JD Powers. I also get a lot of flack about Passat TDI being unreliable. Yet if you follow the threads there is much more praise than unhappy owners. I have gotten to where I don't trust magazine writers at all. Most of the articles are just re-writes of other articles or worse the written statement given by Toyota, Lexus or Honda.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Yes unfortunately thats how it goes. Once a story gets out a about Mercedes' not being reliable the lazy and uninformed run with it like its the case with every Mercedes in equal terms. Forbes hasn't a clue and they aren't an automotive publication so you know what I think of that lame article. I hadn't read that in any Edmunds reviews though, most of them were extremely postive lately (CLS500, SL65, SLK350, E55 Wagon) from what I've seen. Which review did you see that in?

    I think Mercedes gets slammed harder because they were the leader in the luxury car market so long and some people in the back of their minds like to see a great name fall from time to time.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    In reading some other sites tonight there is a lot of talk about whats upcoming in the Benz lineup, here is what we know and the latest rumors by model year:

    2006: CLK facelift new CLK350, C-Class new 2.5L, 3.0L, and 3.5L V6 engines, R-Class, M-Class, SLK280. S350 added to the S-Class lineup in the U.S. More standard equipment on all S-Class models for the final run of the S-Class.

    2007: New S-Class, new CL, E-Class facelift, SL-Class facelift, all three with new V8 engines. New G-Class, though there is some question as to whether or not this new large SUV will be called a "G". Some MB sites are saying it will be called the MLX or GLX. New V8s thoughout the entire MB range. New 6.3L V8 from AMG in various states of tune based on application. (should be the biggest year in the near future)

    2008: New C-Class. New CLK. New small SUV below the M-Class. Several names are being thrown around: MLX, MLK, GLK, X-Class etc. All we know is that it is coming. Finally there is talk of another CLS style vehicle between the next C-Class and the E-Class, the CLE.

    M
  • scott1256scott1256 Posts: 531
    I appreciate the concise overview of the next 3 model years for Mercedes.

    With 5-6 'future Mercedes' topics now open, often about single models, it can be hard to keep track.

    Would it be better if all 'future vehicle' Mercedes topics were consolidated in this one thread?
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,870
    Hi scott1256,
    We should be talking about specific, announced future models in the model-specific discussions. This one exists more for speculation, and for talking about models that are likely to be updated. If you want to keep track of all of them, subscribe to them and check your message center.

    Some members are only interested in 1 or 2 upcoming models, and wouldn't want to dig through this discussion for information on the one they're interested in.

    MODERATOR
    Need help navigating? kirstie_h@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.
    Share your vehicle reviews

  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I appreciate the concise overview of the next 3 model years for Mercedes

    No problem. Its always fun to try and look into the future. Mercedes' way of doing things though are pretty much predictable imo. Mercedes usually sticks to a clear pattern of introducing a new model. This new S-Class will be shown in Sept and will land here in the March-April timeframe, 7 years to the month when the current model went on sale here.

    M
  • scott1256scott1256 Posts: 531
    J.D. Power released the 2005 rankings today and Mercedes is back in the top 5. I am doubly pleased as 2 of my favorite marques are tied for 5th place: Cadillac and Mercedes.

    "As in last year's survey, General Motors Corp. (GM) had two of its brands -- Buick and Cadillac -- in the top five. Buick was No. 4 with 101 problems per 100 vehicles, followed by Cadillac in fifth place, tied with DaimlerChrysler AG's ( DCX) Mercedes-Benz."

    Top five brands in order: Lexus, Jaguar, BMW, Buick and Cadillac/Mercedes tied for 5th.

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,156948,00.html

    Let's hope Mercedes keeps the good quality rolling along.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Yeah I guess, though a 90 day survey really doesn't say much imo. To the survey worshipers this means absolutely nothing until Mercedes is #1, not only in this survey but in the 3-5 year ones also.

    Still though some improvement is better than none I guess. Hopefully there will be a corresponding improvement in the long term stats also. Thing is we have to wait until 2008 to truly find out how good the 2005 models are. Then again maybe not, CR does a one year survey. It will be out next April for the 2005 models.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Not a "future model" but still:

    image

    M
  • ikramericaikramerica Posts: 95
    Just proves my point that this kind of initial quality survey is pointless. Nobody I ever knew who owned a Jaguar would say it had quality on par with a Lexus over time...

    And people talk of how Hyundai has improved initial quality. but look at it this way. For many people, the Hyundai will be the first new car they've ever owned. Either a first car, or the first new car after a life of used. Do you think these owners, when asked, will offer up a squeak or a rattle as a defect? Or point out other flaws? Or will they be so excited about the car, they will say how great it is unless it has a real problem?

    I was given a brand new Mazda6 as a loaner yesterday (check engine light went on the C Coupe, likely an O2 sensor, very common problem in all makes). Anyway, I am the first driver of this car (24 miles) and while solid, there is a rear window squeak. As a perfectionist MB owner, I would report that in an initial quality survey, and that would be listed as a defect. But would a new owner of a cloth, base 4 cylinder Mazda6 report that same noise?
  • stroudmanstroudman Posts: 192
    Good point. Just like every aspect of a car, build quality in the first few months is relative. How good might filet mignon taste to you if all you've ever eaten is mcdonalds?
  • sgtmjrsgtmjr Posts: 2
    I second the concise message kudo. Interested in the AMG version of the new S class. Any insight?
  • ikramericaikramerica Posts: 95
    Three of the latest news items at inside line.

    http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/News/articleId=105713

    http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/News/articleId=105638

    http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/News/articleId=105626

    Read all three "what this means" endings and you'll see what I'm talking about. Just petty comments that don't say anything about the article, or maybe the writer's attempt at being witty? It might even seem as if they are being "encouraging" but then again, implying that MB recalls are somehow the norm for them but not for others is sort of lame. I mean, what does an endurance record have to do with recall notices. Every maker has recalls, even Lexus:

    http://www.recall-warnings.com/auto-category-V.LEXUS.html

    Of course, in the news item a few days earlier, when MB was talking about trying to get rid of defects, edmunds says: "Mercedes is finally getting back to basics, but the damage is done. Restoring the reputation of the three-pointed star will be a long haul."

    http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/News/articleId=105578

    Well, it will be impossible if Edmunds actively tries to thwart it.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Exactly because statements like this: " Funny how the 1970 Mercedes can manage a million miles but the new ones have to be recalled within days" are like totally ridiculous and nothing more than hype. Like you pointed out Toyota just had a recall of massive proportions as did the whole industry last year.

    This is unfortunately the burden Mercedes has to bear because they were seen as the best for so long and I think there is a large group of people that love to see an icon go down in flames. Considering as many times as Mercedes' cars have put cars from other companies to shame there are lot of people that are just chomping at the bit to see Mercedes finished. Ain't gonna happen folks.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Interested in the AMG version of the new S class. Any insight?

    There will be two as there is now. The S65's V12 is rumored to carry over, but with more hp, 630hp to be exact. The S55 will be replaced by the S63, running a new DOHC, 32V, Direct-Injection 6.3L V8 with anywhere from 500-600hp depending on who you believe. These probably won't be shown for at least a another year after the base S-Class models are shown this fall.

    The "regular" S should come in three flavors, S350 (268hp), S450 (325-350hp) and the S550 (380-414hp). We should know sometime in August what it will look like when Mercedes issues that all important first official photo and then of course it will debut at the IAA in Sept.

    M
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,969
    I was given a brand new Mazda6 as a loaner yesterday

    I was given a Hyundai as a loaner while they serviced my Passat TDI (poorman's MB) I was so happy to get back into the Passat. Fit and finish to performance were all well below the VW. Going to Qualcom stadium to test the new MB M Class cars. Let you know what I think. I am waiting for the R class with CDI to make it here then back to owning a MB. I agree on the way they do these worthless surveys. CR rates the Prius "Most Reliable". at least 13 people and probably many more have been stranded by faulty software glitch. Hard to accept that kind of survey as objective.
  • scott1256scott1256 Posts: 531
    1) Praise.
    2) Ponder and pout.
    3) Pounce.

    It is human nature to cheer the outsider taking over a market.

    It is human nature to observe success and resent it.

    It is human nature to pounce and overthrow a successful entity when they weaken.

    Cadillac was cheered as they displaced Packard in the 40s and 50s. In the late 1970s and 1980s Mercedes displaced a floundering Cadillac and many of us cheered (I know I did).

    Packard didn't survive stage 3.

    Cadillac fought back strongly after an initial stage 3 retreat and has increased sales by over 50% in a short time.

    Mercedes will solve their problems in 2-3 years - BUT - it may take 5-7 years to change public perception and stop the press sniping.
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