We could probably keep going on about this forever and I completely agree with you to disagree.
I am sorry to hear about the many complaints people have about the treatment they receive at MBUSA dealers and was stunned myself when confronted with it. What I have seen here and heard about is unheard of in Germany and the surrounding countries. Fact is that unfortunately most of the dealers here in the US are franchise and for some reason unknown to me the MBZ headquarters in Stuttgart has very little control over what is going on here in this country. To give you an example: You walk into almost any MBZ dealership in the LA area wearing jeans and T-shirt, they almost scare you out, most of the time dont even give you a free brochure and treat you with a condescending attitude I find despicable. Unthinkable in Germany.
In Germany MBZ scores the highest of all automobile manufacturers in customer satisfaction in service etc and I have yet to see any american dealership that even remotely approaches german standards. That is unfortunate, because excellent service and customer treatment is one of the other great qualities of MBZ, which is obviously disregarded in the US.
About your comparison with Honda, question is: How long do these engines last?
Do they have a reputation of going up to 200K-400K miles even in gasoline cars?
A powerful engine does not make a great race or street car and hp output is not the final word. The amount of torque it actually produces and a flat torque curve is what really counts in the end.
To tell the truth, I dont even look at Honda or any other asian manufacturers, usually they are pathetically weak when it comes to real world applications and you stop looking at drawing board numbers.
Talking purely about engines, is Honda even close to being a real competitor to Mercedes in F1 racing?
Sure they build cheap cars with great gas mileage. But these are also cardboard boxes ( they are light, thats why they are fast and also why they start flying once you start cornering hard and why you are toast when you get into a serious accident) with outrageous prices for dealer only parts. A friend ran his Accord into a E320 ever so slightly, result: $4000 damage to his car and a scratch on the bumpercover of the E320. Sounds crazy, but I have seen it myself. Lets face it they are cheaply built, begin falling apart mostly around 75k-100K miles and ride quality sucks after the initial breakin period.
What good is a car like that with the best liter to hp ratio on the planet.
I personally have never owned a japanese car and most likely never will, but friends and relatives have and learned to regret their choice, with one notable exception being Subaru.
Anyways, as yours, my opinion stands also and stands reinforced by the exceptional standards MBZ upholds in Germany and their unequalled history in innovation and racing.
If MB's were not truly as reliable as their reputation suggests, how do you explain 75% of Germany's Taxi fleet being accounted for by MBZ vehicles, mostly E-Class, all rescue vehicles and fire engines as well as police troop transports in Germany being MBZ, Vietnam importing lots of older Benzes instead of newer Rice bowls, the US Army replacing their Jeeps with Gelaendewagen, MB diesels of the last four decades still running strong in many a third world country, where other cars fail almost instantly, Japanese embassadors to foreign countries riding in MB's rather than Lexus, MB having set many records that still stand unbroken today etc etc.
If US people running US dealerships, don't care for their customer base the way they should or to uphold a value system obviously alien to this country and somehow keep MBZ from efficiently reinforcing their standards, than thats what the US people have to live with. Sorry to say it, but that's how it is and I completely agree with you that that is not how it should be.
I sometimes wish I could make people here experience MB as it is in Germany, with an average dealership having about 100-150 preowned and new cars on display, wider choices in engines and other options to individualize a new car purchase and with open doors and outstanding service and treatment to anyone who owns or whishes to own a Mercedes-Benz of any period.
Have a Happy New Year!