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Old 02-14-2001, 02:05 AM
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They do not build them with the pride that they used too.
M-B has been forced by its competitors, which include Lexus, Infinity, Acura (makes that didnt exist 15 yrs ago) and BMW and even some american makers including Cadillac and Lincoln, to ruduse their prices and mass market in order to SURVIVE!
Your telling me M-B has a 2001 $29,000 car that has the same build quality as my $31,000 1983 300TD? It can't. Its pure economics. Lets face it folks, Cadillac has become a better make now (ie. northstar engine), Lexus has produced some ultra-luxerious and reliable luxury cars and so has Infinity. And Lincoln has produced some nice, stylish automobiles of late. And Americans typically want flash, features and new.
I was in the body shop getting an estimate for my 83 300TD which was rear ended while a lady was doing the same for her plastic 98 280. She said this was the 3rd time it had been rear ended and thought of just getting rid of it right there and leasing a new 2001, since it was about $9000 less than what she had orginally paid for her's.
Her adittude typlifies the typical benz owner today. "Well the make them cheaper now so ill just get a new one". I wouldnt get rid of my 83 if you paid me double its worth. Too bad newer benz owners don't feel that way about theirs.
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Old 02-14-2001, 02:07 AM
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Damn, sorry for all the misspellings in the previous message! Its late.
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Old 02-14-2001, 05:26 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Perth, Australia
Posts: 55
I agree to the above post and I'm not about bashing MB. I love their cars, but i too feel that they are built at a price these days. I guess time will tell. We'll see what these newer ones will look like in 10-20 years, and compare them with our pre '90s models.

The fact that they can produce models these days at cheaper than the equivalent old models AND shorter model life-spans says it all...just like the japanese cars, although the likes of the Miata MX5 and Lexus have longer model spans. As we are living in a throw-away society, I can't see how MB would not be heading in that direction. All I need to do is get some cash together and buy myself the last of the true Mercs.
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Old 02-14-2001, 06:06 AM
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I prefer the newer Mercedes

Whether Mercedes could have done any better is anyone's guess, but the newer generation of Mercedes still beats its competitors hands down and are clearly better than the previous Mercedes models. Major improvements in passive and active safety, far better performance, improved mileage. I would prefer to drive a brand new E55 over a 500E any day, and rather be sitting in a new S class than and older one if caught in an accident.
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Old 02-14-2001, 08:36 AM
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Eric said it best.

It seems like with every new MB model for the last twenty years, I've heard this "they're not made as good as they used to be" argument.

If you are the average MB purchaser, you only drive your car a few years before buying something else. For those buyers there are indeed many cars that will drive well, give minimal trouble and still look good for a few years.

Where the MB sets itself apart, is after 10 or 15 years and several hundred thousand miles. I have yet to see a Cadillac that was worth rebuilding at engine time, unless for some reason the engine suffered an early fate for some reason, like lack of maintenance, or an accident

I would like to see a Cadillac, unrestored, of any year or model with 500,000 miles on it, parked next to my 240D that has over 500,000 miles on the clock. In spite of the fact that it suffered a minor scrape and ding while my sixteen year old parked it on the high school parking lot, it looks absolutely great. It still drives with no rattles and feels as solid as the day I first drove it when it had 17,000 miles.

If you can find such a Cadillac, I hope it has a good radio, because you will definitely need to turn the volume up very loud to keep from hearing the rattles.

My $0.02,
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Old 02-14-2001, 06:27 PM
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Yes that is true but my uncle has a 1986 chevy s-10 pickup with over 350k on it origanal engine. So thier are others out thier but few. WOW i never expected this many replys or views when i started this
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Old 02-14-2001, 06:32 PM
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In a few years i will let you know how my Cadillac Seville has held up. It has 130K now and everything is orginal except a rebuilt tranny. Even the rear brakes are orginal (disks). This car may not make 500K, but i feel you are comparing apples to oranges here (diesel vs. gas). Ive never seen a M-B gas engine last 500K, and id be willing to bet i get 200K from my Seville engine. Ive never restored my caddy, just maintained it well. Ive never seen a M-B gas engine untouched with over 250K.
My seville was bought for $13K in 1977. The equivient M-B (450SEL) was over $35 that same year. Hard to justify paying 2.5 times as much for 50K more miles. PLEASE don't get me wrong, M-B produces the BEST cars in the world, but at a cost. Now today they build many of their best selling models down to a cost.
Cadillacs post 1981 were crap until 1993 (better engines), and while i believe M-B has never built a piece of crap, today their products are built to a price.
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Old 02-14-2001, 06:36 PM
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my mech has a 81 euro 280se in his part yard with 481k on it's odometer it has passed on now but some of its parts are still living trough my car. The gas engines can do just as much as diesels just not as easily. by the was the 280 died cause the owner overheated it till it blew everything.
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Old 02-14-2001, 10:24 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Chattanooga, TN
Posts: 146
This is my first post on the site, and wouldn't you know I hit a subject I am currently keyed into. My 1983 300TD went 345K before being destroyed by a drunk driver (the car was parked!) My 1991 300E was built like a vault, and spoiled me when I took delivery of my 1995 400E. The 400 had plastic parts everywhere, fit and finish were lacking, the rear doors never shut correctly, and if it were not for a tornado ending its brief life in 1997 I would have probably unloaded it. Thinking I was ready for the pinnacle of MBZ, I purchased a 1997 SL500 with a panoramic top - gorgeous car! But once again the plastic was everywhere, my friends 1993 SL was perfect while mine looked cheap, and when it devloped a no start problem that MB refused to cure, I sold it at a loss. I am now back in the market, and without a doubt, will purchase the car of my dreams - a 500E. The new ones are nice, but I want a lasting value that is a joy to drive everyday and that I can reliably count on to start and look new in 200k miles.

Sorry for running on.
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Old 02-22-2001, 03:41 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 472
Would people buy Mercedes-Benz vehicles if they went up 10k in price but, were built like the days of yore???

My guess is yes!!!

Just think, minimalist design philosophy and increased build quality and upgraded trim materials combined with the significant improvements in technology today.......

Think of an original 190E or 300E with Xenon headlamps, side impact air bags, head protection curtains, updated direct injection inline six, dynamic stablity control, tele aid, and every other modern convience people like in an original minimalist body design.

One can only dream......

Mike McKinney
1989 300CE - 269,000 km
1994 SL600 - 59,000 km
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Old 02-22-2001, 10:51 PM
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You know everyone is saying that a benz built the old way would cost so much more it would not. i figured it out once my car would cost 120k to get it if it was new. which is more than a s500 cost today. So it is not just that.
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Old 02-23-2001, 08:52 AM
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Kuan made a point that brings up a thought I have from time to time.

I drive my 300E some days and my C240 other days. I have thought a number of times that as safe as the 300E is, I hope if I ever have a bad crash it's in the C. The safety technology in the new MB's is priceless.

As far as the talk about building them the old way, I don't understand why you would want one. IMHO with the exception of a few models over the years that have an acchilles heel or two, every generation of MB is better than its predecessor of the same class.
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Old 02-23-2001, 12:32 PM
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New MB's better?

I agree with Larry that the technology in the latest models are the best and far superior to the previous models. However, what I don't think is right is Mercedes choice of materials on some items. Frankly, I would rather pay another $2k or so and have an interior that oozes quality and luxury rather than save the $2k and have to see and touch hard cheap plastic. As beautiful as the new S-Class is, the interior materials are 3rd rate compared to the previous W140.
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Old 02-23-2001, 01:21 PM
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JCE JCE is offline
Down to the Wear Bars
Join Date: May 1999
Location: So Kalifornia
Posts: 2,189
A lot of the plastic comes to you courtesy of government regulations, US and German, which require an ever increasing percentage of a vehicles content to be easily recyclable. As I understand it, the "New Red Green" party in Germany wants the auto manufacturers to be ultimately responsible, cradle to grave, for disposal of "their" vehicles, up to and including forcing the companies to buy wrecked or junked cars.
Plastic can be recycled at lower temperatures and more easily than metal. Wood is very difficult to recycle, especially if it is bonded to a metal or plastic backing. Manufacturers are testing plastic and ceramic engines as well. An Australian company already has one in production for a stealth recon military aircraft.
Technology has drifted a long way from the early machines with the lace iron work, gilt lettering, and artistic colors and shapes! But then, our grandkids will probably be listening to us complain "In our day they used good, heavy, honest plastic instead of these cheap Manipulated Aerogel/Fullerene Nanotube composites you youngsters use on your commuter pods!"

2003 Firemist Red/grey leather SL 500
2015 Palladium Silver/black mbtex GLK 350
1987 Smoke Silver/burgundy mbtex 300E Sportline (SOLD)

Click to see 87 300E
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Old 02-23-2001, 03:13 PM
Davis Lo
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It is so sad that we are living in a "NOTHING LASTS LONG" era but Marketing heads the whole lot. An ultimate target of any company is to maximise their profits and kick the competitors out...To archive this, it has to provide and meet excatly what the market wants. That is what excatly Mercedes has been doing in recently years...A-class, ML-class, V-class, SLK...They are the attempts that Mercedes
never do in the past and that can easily tell you that M ercedes has realized how important the marketing is and again "Nothing Lasts Long" applies. Just sit in a W220 S-class and comparing the interior fittings and the use of "New" (new for Mercedes but used to japanese cars) materials with the Lexus LS sedan (any generation, they are almost the same anyway) and you will get my point. Why I replace my Lexus LS400 with a W140 S320L even it is $60,000 US dollars more expensive (in HK)? When I came to the showroom, had a touch of the materials and my sense told me that this car will run forever.
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