Last post on Sep 17, 2007 at 5:06 PM
You are in the Mercedes Benz M-Class
What is this discussion about?
Mercedes-Benz M-Class, Ford Explorer, Buick Rendezvous, Acura MDX, Car Safety, Fuel Efficiency (MPG), SUV
#428 of 473 Sold ML, Bought MDX (What took me so long?)
Jul 20, 2003 (8:13 pm)
Last week, I traded-in my 2000 ML320 and bought a 2003 Acura MDX Touring with Navi and RES.
In the past year, my ML turned into a complete nightmare - first started with the air mass sensor failure (twice), then the in-line fuel filter, followed by the infamous/common power window switch failure, the moonroof (a trim fell off), the transmission valve stuck, mysterious noise from the AC center vent, the power steering hose clamp recall, and the last one - the glove box cover hinge broke! It was unbelievable.
With warranty expiration in sight (we put 47K miles on it), the local MB dealer in Omaha (which runs their newly acquired MB dealership like a Ford dealership) sent me a letter saying that they will provide "complimentary local transportation" (read "no loaner") for service after the warranty expires. After seeing the JD Power report, well, that's it for me. I opt out.
My wife and I both have high demanding jobs, with a little one year old. We have no time for stopping by the MB service department every now and then (they don't open on Saturday!) Plus they charge $90/labor hour! (A brake job at 25K mile costed me $900.)
With reliabiliy as the #1 requirement and a $40K-$45K budget, we shopped for the Japanese brands only (love X5 but it's just another ML in terms of quality and reliability; do not want to take the risk of trying the "recently improved" GM quality - may be in five years when they have a track record established.) We considered the Lexus GX but the third row seat is a joke. The RX is gimmicky (the power hatch is for physically challenged people IMHO.), pretentious (oh come-on it is a dressed up next gen Highlander) and overpriced like the GX. The dealer experience was so-so (they were not fair on the trade-in value).
Ended up I bought an MDX because that's a safe choice from a reliability standpoint, with a lot of nice features (DVD, Navi, third row seats, etc.), at a very reasonable price (I paid $40K). Also the dealer treated me well. In the past I owned a Honda Accord from 1995 to 2000 before I made the costly mistake of buying the ML. Over the five years I had no problem with the Accord. I trust Acura/Honda reliability.
Looking back, I have to say ML is a well-designed vehicle with great off-road capability. I drove that in severe weather (heavy rain, whte out snow, icy road) and survived. I took that off road too and it rocked! But the build quality and reliability is simply horrible - I worried about another failure coming from god-know-where every day in the last three months I owed the vehicle.
In conclusion, I have completed lost confidence in MB. Too bad the ML is our first and last Mercedes vehicle. We will never buy another Mercedes again.
Jul 25, 2003 (5:02 am)
I just over the last week have read this whole thread, well sometimes when things got re-stated a bit too much I scimmed it, but all I can say is wow. We do have some strong opinions on this board.
Jul 25, 2003 (1:20 pm)
I dropped by the GM dealer the other day and they were discounting the Rendezvous $6,000. Imagine what used ones are worth!!
Jul 25, 2003 (1:39 pm)
According to Kelly's blue book, a 2002 Buick Rendezvous CXL with AWD in Fair condition is worth $11,660 in trade in value. The invoice price for a 03 Buick Rendezvous CXL with AWD is $29,502. Assuming one paid $500 over invoice price, that comes out to $30,002. A depreciation of $18342 or 62% of its original value in one year. The saving on the RDV's purchasing price is very attractive, but when one trades in the RDV, thats when he or she really pays for it.
Jul 25, 2003 (2:01 pm)
Thanks hopeitsfriday. I notice in our local papers that low mileage two year old RXs and MDXs are almost selling for what new ones are going for. I guess cheapest isn't always the best deal. Is there a low demand or is it oversupply for the Rendezvous?
Jul 25, 2003 (3:24 pm)
I stopped by my Buick dealer 2 weeks ago to see what my '02 RDV CXL would be worth in trade on an '04 "Ultra" when it comes out.
The fleet manager told me that my '02 is worth $19,000.
I bought it 2 years ago for $28,000 (MSRP was $32,500).
Check out www.nada.com and try it again.
#434 of 473 Resale Values
Jul 25, 2003 (3:25 pm)
It's usually quite true that Domestic vehicles don't hold the early resale values nearly as well as the imports. The 5 year resales tend to be a bit closer because depreciation of the plateau effect.
The numbers that you quote, hope is a little skewed though:
Assumptions: 21K/Good condition (most 1.5 year cars will be this or even excellent)
2003 CXL: Bluebook: 29545
2003 ongoing Discount: 3000
2002 Resale 13660
Difference 12885 (~49% depre)
2003 MDX Touring: Bluebook: 37802
2002 Resale: 30720
Difference 7082 (~19% depre)
I would think it of this way:
If you don't mind buying a 1.5 year old car, get the Rendezvous for $13660!
Regardless, get the car you're satisfied with and that fits your 'intent to keep'.
If you're going to buy and drive x >5 years; the choice would be domestic. If you're going to trade-in <3 years--go import (or even lease deal if structured correctly).
#436 of 473 Resale value after 5 years
Jul 25, 2003 (4:35 pm)
Since we cannot compare a 5 year old Buick Rendezvous and the MDX. Lets compare a Buick and an Acura that has been around for 5 years. The LeSabre Limited and the TL are pretty close in price. According to KBB, assume 60000 miles, a five year old LeSabre Limited in fair condition is worth $6600 and a five year TL in fair condition is worth $11040. Almost twice as much.