Last post on Nov 10, 2009 at 6:48 PM
You are in the Mercedes-Benz C-Class
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Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Car Safety, Sedan
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#5120 of 7297 RE: Some minor problems on C240 after 3400 miles by bootfay
Dec 15, 2001 (10:08 am)
I still monitor this board because about eight months ago I had actually put a down payment on a loaded C320 (it looked and felt at the time like the right car for me). I had considered buying a 2001 then waited for a 2002 because of the problems. I then walked away from the deal because of excessive delivery delays and the problems continued to grow.
I eventually paid $6000 (incl. tax) more and bought a Lexus LS430. While a different kind of car, after reading posts like yours, I feel even better about my decision.
The LS has been near flawless (the single problem has been the radio's automatic noise control does not always work and Lexus is in the process of correcting this). The ride is smooth and powerful and the quality, features and interior are perfect.
When I read your post I had to shake my head and think I would have had to pay over $47,000 to put up with those kinds of problems.
I was coming from a Lexus ES300 so I was used to excellent service and quality. It would have been a frustrating experience to spend more money (than the new Lexus ES300) on the C because it was a Mercedes and have to rationalize the poor build quality.
What are these C's going to be like four, or ten years from now if they are failing like this after six months?
And I know some of you will say the people listing problems here may not be representative but check out the number complaining on the Lexus site and you will see there are virtually none.
True the exterior styling of the C is great but I am really starting to appreciate the LS styling. Yes, the LS looks a lot like the old S - but that is okay with me - I think it looks classy.
In the final analysis I would rather have a car that resembles a Mercedes on the outside but is a Lexus in engineering and quality than a car that is a Mercedes on the outside but resembles a Yugo in engineering and quality.
I do not mean to offend anyone's choices by the above statement I just can't understand how Mercedes quality can be so bad.
#5121 of 7297 Unfair comparison,
Dec 15, 2001 (11:10 am)
Edarte...The Lexus LS430 might be the best 4-door sedan in the world. An unfair comparison to the c class MB. I will agree that the number of problems with the MB models is unusual. I did not think about it until you printed it in your message, but an additional $6000 to move from MB C class to Lexus LS430 could be the best $6000 anyone could spend. Just MHO.
#5122 of 7297 Good Report on 2002 C320
Dec 15, 2001 (1:56 pm)
Just to balance some of the complaints on C class MB's, here's my story. I took delivery of a 2002 C320, brilliant silver with ash leather, about a month ago. Now have 2000 miles on it. It is everything I hoped for and more. No problems except static on AM radio which was promptly fixed (loose connection). Car is nimble, quiet, smooth, and a pleasure to drive. Took a lot of study to understand all the settings for remote unlock, driver memory, etc., but now have it down right.
Anyone holding up ordering because of poor quality should go ahead. The car is great. Mine was assembled in Brazil with 88% parts made in Germany, and the fit and finish is perfect.
#5123 of 7297 The jump to a conclusion
Dec 15, 2001 (2:07 pm)
Your implication that Mercedes-Benz quality and engineering is sub-standard, perhaps comparable to Zastava-Yugo, is unsupported by the facts. And despite your disclaimer, this comparison was clearly intended to be inflammatory.
You will never get statistically reliable information on vehicles from ANY message board on the Internet. They are not random samples and indeed there is much mischief that is posted on the 'net.
To see the statistical reliability of vehicles, one needs to go to the agencies that do proper work in the field: Consumer Reports, JD Power, ADAC Pannenstatistik, and indeed the cost of independent extended warranty plans.
In all of these, Mercedes-Benz cars are near the top of the list, outflanked by your favourite, Toyota, in most cases. But Mercedes-Benz cars are certainly more reliable than average. Claims to the contrary are wholly ill-founded.
Finally, if reliability is of the highest importance to you, you should sell the LS430 and buy a Starlet or Corolla, as they are FAR more reliable than the pseudo-S Class is. Even some German cars are more reliable than the complex LS 430.
#5124 of 7297 Acco20, cmcgahee & 404c
Dec 15, 2001 (8:51 pm)
Why is it unfair to compare the C320 to the LS430? I think it is fair to compare any two cars, as long as you consider the costs and benefits fairly. It only cost me $6000 to go from the C to the LS. Now the C had every option on it and the LS does not have the luxury package with reclining vibrating rear seats , etc. But overall it has much more than the C in options plus a V8 (290 HP) and a lot more room (and I expect much better quality and reliability). I could just as easily compare the LS430 to the S500 (again you have to consider the costs)
I can understand why you think my concluding statement was intended to be inflammatory but it really wasn't. Maybe exageratted, but not inflammatory.
I made this statement because, as I have said in previous posts, I really wanted to buy a MB. And only over several months did I change my mind. Several months of watching this board.
It is too simplistic to say I am just looking for reliability (but I see nothing wrong with expecting that in addition to other requirements).
Something very simple can be very reliable. A hammer almost always works. But the cars we discuss here are far from simple. They are very sophisticated and complicated. Lexus (IMO) demonstrates it can build excellent cars that almost always work as designed. MB is starting to show serious problems in this area.
I don't mean to rehash this stuff because I have done this before on this board and I appreciate the understanding and the hospitality of the readers to tolerate me having my say.
I only responded today because I wanted to balance out the view that while the C has the potential to be a great car there are definite problems with its production. And I say this knowing that there are C owners out there who have not had the problems.
But when a car costs this much money I think one has the right to expect near perfection. This is just not the case with the C today and I think it is misleading to advise someone to go ahead and order one without first warning them to expect problems.
It is true these boards are not controlled statistical samples and there is "mischief" posted on the internet. But I think it is a reasonable assumption that all automotive sites are equally prone to mischief and all car owners are equally likely to report their problems on a board. You just see a lot more problems on the MB site. (Especially after considering the relative number of vehicles sold by each manufacturer) And while MB's quality may be "more reliable than average" my point is that they cost a lot more than average and you don't get what you pay for. And as you say JD Powers and others find Lexus to be the best. And, while I may be wrong I thought someone recently reported that MB was 10th in the list - not near the top (But I do admit I have not taken the time to verify this report)
I will now promise not to "stick my oar in again" (at least for a month or so). Again I enjoy the dialogue.
Enjoy the Holidays.
#5125 of 7297 Same old
Dec 15, 2001 (11:45 pm)
I go away for 3 months. I come back and what's the first thing I see?
Person A: I finally decided to buy brand X because MB has the reliability of a Yugo/Kia/Fiat. Why pay $ for the MB name when you can get brand X for better quality/cheap price etc? When you pay $$$ you have the right to expect perfection. This is not intended to be inflammatory even though I'm posting in the MB forum.
This is gotta be second oldest storyline in the world. The first is of course boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl. This storyline is Man buys brand X. Man compares brand X and disses MB in the MB forum. Man says it's not meant to be inflammatory. I must have seen this at least 50 times since I joined Edmunds. What is funny is ofcourse they're all comparing whatever brand X is to Mercedes-Benz, proving that MB is still #1.
From the perspective of someone who hasn't been talking cars for months I can tell you this. You are what you drive. People buy cars to reflect who they are. People don't care about prices or consumer reports. People who can afford to buy a $47K car buy a $47K car. They don't buy a $20K car and invest $27K in mutual funds. And if you bought a Lexus you probably didn't want the MB in the first place.
#5126 of 7297 Compare MB C model to Lexus LS430
Dec 16, 2001 (6:37 am)
Edarte,Perhaps you misunderstood my post #4878. My point was that the LS430 is an unfair comparison to the E class MB because the LS430 is so much more car for the extra $6000 dollars. $6000 dollars is a lot of money, but the difference you get for the expense is outstanding. Your last post helps make MY point. Enjoy the Lexus, as I said before... The LS430 could be, "the best 4 door sedan in the world", INHO.
#5127 of 7297 Try the LS430 in the Snow!
Dec 16, 2001 (1:06 pm)
For the price I paid for my E-430 4Matic I could have bought an LS430. I have no doubt the Lexus is a well-built car, but my E-430 is solid, comfortable, handles well, has plenty of power, and is also reliable. On top of all that, it has 4-wheel drive. IMHO the E-430m 4 Matic is the world's best 4 door sedan.
#5128 of 7297 Merc vs. Lexus-the age-old dilemma
Dec 17, 2001 (5:50 am)
Everyone has an opinion on this-here's mine. The LS430 is a magnificent car-that's beyond question.
I've never agreed with the "get biggest engine option",so i think the E320 a better value,and is the one I'd want. I don't really like the E430-I'd go up to the S430,although I realize the car might seem slow to some(but my sister's 1992 S320 I find peppy enough).
I don't think the LS430 is really a driver's car. It is so quiet and smooth,it's like an isolation chamber-it's eerie!
But Lexus seems guilty of giving the customer whatever he wants,whereas Mercedes still seems to have a corporate vision of what their cars should. They are professional designers,after all.
I have two problems with the LS interior that TOTALLY ruin it for me. First of all there are two interior thermometers-why? It seems typical of that "downtown Tokiyo at night"look. And the interior wood-there's far,far too much of it. It just looks ridiculous and even a little tacky. There's no restrain inside.
Finally,the Benzes are so much more fun todrive-there's just no comparison.
Of course,we all have passionate views of these great cars.
Dec 17, 2001 (7:46 pm)
When is Mercedes-Benz NA going to get their act together and bring back diesel-engined cars back to the States? I'm not going to wait forever for a brand-new diesel Mercedes, so if they're not coming, forget it; I'm spending my money on a Volvo instead.