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  #1  
Old 01-30-2003, 02:51 AM
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Is it safe to say any 03 benz and on will have improved quality?

Mercedes has admitted to the decline in quality and promises to improve things. Is it safe to say the 03 models and on will feel like a real mercedes again? Any 03 owners have any experience with this?

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  #2  
Old 01-30-2003, 02:55 PM
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The term quality is subjective.

If you are talking about quality of materials used in construction, then overall yes the use of high strength steel has increased and torsional rigidity is improved.

If you are talking about trim pieces then the answer is no.

Currently, you will need to look to Audi to fulfill your desire for nice trim materials and the best attention paid to detail.

If you want a reliable car to own for a long time, the answer to that question is to buy the most simple car you can find that is built in this model year. Do without electronic sensors and you will have less potential problems to arise down the road.

W123's will be able to be restored to a very high standard.

W211's are antiseptic appliances that go to the junk yard right after their expire date electronically comes up and .......

poof!

out of commission.

The multifunction display in the instrument cluster will read.....

Expiry date reached: car to be dismantled and recycled at DaimlerChrysler disposal centre, disposal fee to arrive in mail. Please download new model invoice of your choice. Thank you from Mercedes-Benz.

"Mercedes-Benz. The future of the automobile."


Mike McKinney
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1989 300CE - 269,000 km
1994 SL600 - 59,000 km

Last edited by SHYNE; 01-30-2003 at 03:00 PM.
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  #3  
Old 01-30-2003, 03:11 PM
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I don't want to sound too gloomy about the future of the automobile because, the potential for great products to arise is very high.

Consumers have indicated that they want electronic gizmos and convenience items in their vehicles. Along with all of that convenience comes increased inconvenience when the systems malfunction. To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

People don't want to pay a premium for high quality detailed craftsmanship and consumer loyalty studies show this. The general public doesn't seem to care so why should DaimlerChrysler and the Daimler-Benz group who manufacture the Mercedes-Benz vehicles...

Hey! Look on the bright side! We now have Mercedes-Benz Classic Service!

Follow this simple ideal. Buy a new Mercedes-Benz and use it like an appliance like the general consumer does. Don't spend money on maintainence. Just dump it off at your dealer after your tired with it or your lease runs out. Simply pick up your next appliance and continue.

Save your spending money for that pristene classic Daimler-Benz product you have put away for sunny days!

I tell you some of you R129 owner's will have a valuable classic on your hands.

Mike McKinney
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  #4  
Old 01-30-2003, 05:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by SHYNE
People don't want to pay a premium for high quality detailed craftsmanship and consumer loyalty studies show this.
There's the rub. People are not willing to pay for a high quality car that is contructed to live for a very long time without gizmos and doo-dads.

Think about the attitude of most people. My neighbour has a 1993 Dodge Caravan. It has 100K-miles on it, as it pertty much done. It's rusting, the tranny is shot (again) and the engine will be going soon. Trim is coming off as fast as you can drive it. Guess what they bought as their second car? A Breeze. They're not unhappy at all with the life of their Caravan.

They look at the 190E, and can't imagine how it can do it. It's three years older than theu Caravan, has over twice the mileage, and has no rust, drives great, runs like new, and is a great car.

People want their car to last until the loan/lease payment is up, and then they're going to get a new one anyway. In fact, leasing has made this SO simple. Heck, we don't even worry about resale anymore, just the amount of the monthly payment.

When the last payment was made on the C230 (Dec 2001, yay!), I called MBCC and thanked them for their excellent service (financing the car through MB was a treat) and told them that if we were buying another car sometime in the future, I wouldn't hesitate to use their service. They were surprised that we weren't trading the car in.

It comes down to expectations. Consumers want 20" tires and GPS on their Dodge Ram-you truck, and that's what makers will roll of the assembly line.

Mercedes responded to the Lexus threat by merely creating cars that people would buy, and they were successful. MB's sales have been soaring. Okay, the ML is starting to wear thin, as sales are off. Word is out about shoddy build quality.

MB needs to be competitive and responsive, but they also need to stand firm on their reputation for longevity and reliabilty. I think that 2003 is a watershed year for them. They've got some VERY bad press as of late concerning quality, and from respected sources like JD Power and Consumer Reports. Don't harp about either of those organizations. The fact is that layfolks look at their statements very carefully.

MB has to be careful about alienating their long standing and loyal custome base. We'd call ourselves an "MB Family." That said, my wife will not be replacing the now-sold E300 with a Mercedes. She will not soon forget the time she lost dealing with such an unreliable car. And at 37, we've got lots of car buying years ahead of us.

Will the 2003+ models notch up in build quality and 1-4 year reliability? They better. And if it's not reflected in JD Power and CR, watch out. Could be a disaster.
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  #5  
Old 01-31-2003, 09:04 AM
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Hey John!

Good to hear your 190E is going strong.

I am hoping I will have another 2 trouble free years with mine.

I will be finishing school by then and would like to finance a SLK 320 6 speed.

When did you replace your timing chain and rails on your 2.6?

I'm closing in on 165,000 and am currently changing the oil every 4500kms. I get a small discount since I am doing a Co-op placement with MBC.

Any advice on the mileage interval? My technician said keep on changing the oil at or below 5000kms and I'll be good until 220,000kms.

Any advise on this would be appreciated.

Thank you John.

Mike McKinney
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  #6  
Old 01-31-2003, 10:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by SHYNE
Currently, you will need to look to Audi to fulfill your desire for nice trim materials and the best attention paid to detail.
NOT true.... my dad got a BMW 750iL recently (2000) and it is obvioius that the people back in germany took lots of time to make sure everything was perfect and it is amazing. The dash is handstiched leather, the headrests are like pillows... etc. I will admit that the previous 7 series (E32) was more of a sports sedan than a luxury car, but it seems that bmw has really aimed the recent 7's and the new 7's (E 38 and E 65) towards luxury without cutting corners.
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  #7  
Old 01-31-2003, 10:49 AM
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SHYNE:

I had the dealer do the timing chain and tensioner at 200K. It was below the limit for stretch (way below) but I'm a little retentive about single row chains, even in inline engines.

Might do it again at 400K, we'll see. She just crossed 340 this week.

If Helen decided on a new car, then we'll sell the 190E back to my Dad. He's been missing the 'ol gal, and was thinking about using it as a "winter beater." He's considering trading his C230 on a new R230 SL, and would limit his winter miles on the SL.
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  #8  
Old 01-31-2003, 12:13 PM
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4NDELIT:

I would agree with your arguement.

Those BMW's are beautiful cars and I would have to say that E65 and E39 series cars are better than there competitors from Mercedes-Benz the W220 and W210.

The E39 is absolutely the best sport sedan around. Sorry E55.
The interior is built very very well. The headliner is alcantara! Audi has it as well in the S8.

The 1 and only flaw with both the E39 and E65 were the door handles. They were junk. If they made them pull handles like the 210 style (I personally find the W220, W203 and W211 handles are flimsy pieces of junk) that car would be perfect.

If I needed a car for all purposes, my choice would be a 6 speed manual E39 BMW 540i

Mike McKinney
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  #9  
Old 01-31-2003, 12:22 PM
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the thing I like about the door handles, is that the little cove lights up when you unlock the car so you can see where it is at night... sorta gimmiky, but cool nontheless. As far as audis, I think they are very luxurious too, my friend's dad has an A6 that is awesome.
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  #10  
Old 02-01-2003, 10:12 PM
AndrewK
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People in America dont want a long-lasting car because we are a throw-away society. We trade cars every two or three years, so who cares about 20 years! People wont pay a premium for high craftsmanship quality, they want to know "how much horsepower it has" and "whether it has a 6-disc CD player", and want to pay about $25,000 for it. They could care less about whether its still running 30 years later. Pathetic.
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  #11  
Old 02-03-2003, 12:55 PM
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Andrew,

I see our birthdays are only 3 days apart.

I am 5 years older than you.

I was just wondering if you could state which side of the pond you are on since I am not quite sure after reading your post.

Is the general public pathetic due to its purchasing priorities or are we pathetic for wanting long life, serviceable products?

What do people your age think about the general build of cars today? I was just wondering how much difference there is in 5 years.

Mike McKinney
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  #12  
Old 02-03-2003, 09:09 PM
AndrewK
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I am saying that build quality is going south quickly and that its a shame. I can tell a big difference between our family's 2000 C230 (W202) and 2002 C230 (W203), and the W202 is no doubt not as good as the 124, and so on. I partially attributed that to the American public's unwillingness to pay a premium for build quality and quality of materials, because we are a throw away society. Maybe a few to many jumps in logic, but I think it generally is true.
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  #13  
Old 02-04-2003, 11:51 PM
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I don't think the quality will improve. Mercedes is trying to be all things to all people, and it is not possible. I think the quality started to go down the tubes when M-B merged with Chrysler _ you know, "there goes the neighborhood." I have a 1994 E320 wagon that I absolutely love. But I have been leasing BMW 540iTa wagons (1999 and now 2002) for every day use so I can stretch out the life of the Benzwagon. I am quite impressed by the quality of the BMW, much much better than M-B.

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