well, I'm oversimplifying, but after my 190D 2.2 I will probably NEVER own MB again. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy driving it and every time something goes wrong it's like a Jeopardy : for a $300 the answer is..... Also, for a 17-years old car it runs great (albeit at 155K miles it better!!).
However, My wife has a 1996 Stang 3.8l. It kinda feels like MB but is not quite so woefully underpowered. She bought the Stang new and did the standard warranty stuff (oil filters at the prescribed intervals). The only time ANYTHING went bad on the Stang was at 20K mi when she run over the ditch and needed a new rad and at 80 Kmi when the clutch pressure plate spring collapsed (still made it to the shop) and when I bent a tie rod on a pothole.
The first time the car had a tuneup was at a 100K mi when I replaced the plugs and ignition wires (really did not need it). now at a 110K mi I replaced fuel filter and put in a new K&N air filter. That is all of the maintenance the car ever had or needed. O, yeah, for the first time I think I will flush the cooling system (had the same coolant since 1998- guess what-no overheating and the water pump is jest fiiiiiiinnneeee). With all the repairs and standard maint my wife spent about as much since 1996 as I spent in the first year owning 190 (that would be July 2000 through July 2001). The total standard yearly maintenance cost of the Stang is about the same as two oil changes in my Merc. The Stang has a timing chain, so I don't have to touch that for another couple of years. I fully expect to drive it without ANY major repairs past 200K mi.
So, draw your own conclusions and please-spare me the mantra about older "luxury" car and how "stylish" it is to drive an MB. It wears thin, specifically when I hear my co-workers snicker seeing me in the company parking lot with my hood up and fixing that "reliable German luxury sedan" - yet again. I think I'm going to swap the cars with my wife.
Draw your own conclusions
1985 190D 2.2l Sold-to Brother-in-law
1996 Mustang 3.8l -"thinks it's a sports car"
1988 Grand Wagoneer - Sold (good home)
1995 Grand Cherokee Ltd -"What was I thinking??!!"