current MB Quality IS going down...
The current models of mercedes are not half as good as they used to be in the past. The materials mercedes uses are cheap, LOTS OF PLASTIC, everything is getting electrical controlled (complete motor management) and the cars don't last as long anymore (unless one is willing to pay some major repairs in time).
The first C class models (1993-1996) came with squeaking
1) front seats (the US have power seats and those seats do not squeak),
2) heater fans (the fans over scream any audio system),
3) clutch pedals (the US have auto transmissions only, so do not suffer that problem),
4) accelerator pedals,
5) steering columns and
6) SRS steering wheel rings.
Furthermore the diesel-injection-pumps of the C220D break down every 100-200.000km...
Electric controls take over manual functions (we have all read the numerous posts about the power windows...).
However, I still want to drive a Benz and nothing else (or maybe a BMW 330D executive, but I doubt whether they will be any better).
with a minor 600+k