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Old 05-06-1999, 11:02 AM
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I have owned 4 Mercedes over the years. Most of them were early to mid eighties. I now have a new 1999 300 TD. When I look at the materials used, I notice more plastic, thinner molding, less chrome and more aluminum. Overall do you think the quality of today's Mercedes is equal to the 80's
and will they "go the distance" i.e 15-20yrs.?

Don M.

Old 05-06-1999, 11:19 AM
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Mercedes quality has definitely gone done. I believe it started with the new C class. I no longer feel comfortable that I wont have any big problems with my mercedes even at 100k. So I leased my new ML430 instead of buying it outright.
Don't get me wrong though, I'm still a big Mercedes fan and my family has 4 96+ mercedes.
Old 05-06-1999, 09:16 PM
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I have one customer who has a 1996 210 body diesel. It has over 160,000 miles and not problem 1!! The materials used in the interior are not indicative of the quality of the engine/driveline build are they/ I will agree that the interiors are more Modern as Hondaish if you will but the German engineering is still there from a mechanical perspective...


Old 05-06-1999, 09:26 PM
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How does a company like Mercedes keep their prices at 1992 levels unless something is missing? Every year there is a higher level of equiptment but prices haven't gone thru the roof. You tell me!
Old 05-07-1999, 09:22 AM
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I agree with many who question Mercedes
quality today when compared with the 70's
and early/mid 80's. One cannot but notice
the daily problems with cars made from 1986
to the present, especially the newer ones
since 1992. I bought my first MB (220D) in
the early 70's. Then on to a 1975 240D, 78
300D, 80 300SD, 83 240D, 82 300SD, 84 300SD.
I bought a 1987 300SDL and a 91 350SDL.
I kept the 87 and 91 for a total of 1 and
half years total. There was constant nick
picky problems;they were always back to the
dealer for repair/service. I honestly do
not think I had nearly as many problems with all
of my 70 and 80's diesels put together. I
love Mercedes, but years ago there was NOT
the problems that are constantly mentioned
here or by others who own the newer cars.
My technician at the MB dealership (who has
worked on MB for 35 years) agrees completely.
I ignored his warnings twice...when I bought
the 300SDL and the 350SDL. BTW, I currently
own a 1984 300SD. At 223,000 I had it back
at dealership once for an breakdown: vacuum
pump at 201,000. I have driven the car
140,000 miles myself!
Old 05-07-1999, 09:37 AM
Tobias MB
Posts: n/a
I totally agree with the diminishing quality of the newer cars by MB. My 140 S(orry) class is a good indicator of a lemon; both rear window regulators, door closing assist pump, AC evaporator, flashing warning lights on dash, and front end problems....all between 30k and 47k miles!! What is next...I fear of a blown head gasket. Time to trade it for a XXXX! My 84 190/5.0 has a better track record.
Old 05-07-1999, 11:45 AM
Posts: n/a
I agree that the diesel mercedes last forever. I had a 78 300D that had over 200k miles on it when I donated it. The car was still running perfect and I had never had a major problem with it!
As to the new Mercedes, I agree that to keep the prices low Mercedes had to cut corners. Unfortunately one of the corners cut had to have been quality control!
Old 05-07-1999, 05:36 PM
Posts: n/a
I have to disagree with those of you who say Mercedes quality has "dropped." When a friend of mine (who drives a loaded Toyota Avalon) climbed into my C-Class, he said "Wow, you feel like you're getting into a vault". My car has 52,000 miles (barely broken in I know)and rides and looks just like it is brand new.

Keep in mind that, with all the "creature features" of today's car, there's a lot more to go wrong -- whether it's a chevy or a MB. As for frequency of problems (lack thereof), I'd put MB ahead of all of them. The 70's cars didn't have headlight washers, heated seats, etc. etc. Let's be realistic -- there's probably hundreds of features that today's car have that simply weren't offered in the 70's.

As for the prices, keep in mind that MB is under tremendous price pressure from a lot of quality carmakers these days. Back in the 70's, MB had a monopoly on "quality". You wanted quality, you paid for it. Not anymore: you can buy excellent quality from Honda, Toyota, Acura, Lexus, etc. etc. To stay in the ballgame, MB had no choice but to keep control of their prices. You think the quality of TV's, stereos, and computers has dropped just because they cost as much (if not half or a fourth as much) as they did 20 years ago? Not.

My most recent testimony to MB quality was a recent hail storm: I watched from my office window as large hail pinged my C-Class relentlessly. The result? One very, very minor indention in the trunk lid. My friend's Mazda sitting next to it looked like someone took a hammer to it.

While these MB's aren't perfect, I think they're sturdy, reliable work horses that NEVER go out of style. Funny how you can hardly tell a nice 1986 or 87 300E from a brand new Mercedes,isn't it?

People often ask me "How can you afford to drive a Mercedes?" My response is:

"I can't afford NOT to drive a Mercedes."

Old 05-07-1999, 08:36 PM
Chris Ecklund
Posts: n/a
I to have a new 98 300ETD, and there are a few things I know Benz has goofed on.

So here is the answer, M-B, read these columns, and make the changes.

Moderator: How about a new column on this?

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