Owning the cars listed at the bottom of my post I;m afraid I have to agree. I was not happy with my 99 E300. It was a shop queen. I sold it for a few reasons. 1 its lack of reliability. 2 it was a shop queen. 3 I felt the payment was to much for its reliability. 4. I fly for American Airlines.
I love my 82 300TD and my 560 SL. And will keep those. But yes I have seen a real change in Mercedes in the last 23 years that I have owned them.
1970 220D, owned 1980-1990
1980 240D, owned 1990-1992
1982 300TD, owned 1992-1993
1986 300SDL, owned 1993-2004
1999 E300, owned 1999-2003
1982 300TD, 213,880mi, owned since Nov 18, 1991- Aug 4, 2010 SOLD
1988 560SL, 100,000mi, owned since 1995
1965 Mustang Fastback Mileage Unknown(My sons)
1983 240D, 176,000mi (My daughers) owned since 2004
2007 Honda Accord EX-L I4 auto, the new daily driver
1985 300D 264,000mi Son's new daily driver.(sold)
2008 Hyundai Tiberon. Daughters new car