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  #1  
Old 07-08-2003, 04:55 PM
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Mercedes Benz E-Class

I have a 1997 E 320. It is plagued with problems cheap finish and bad design.
If I would not have had an extended insurance it could have cost me thousands of dollars to fix the car, starting with oil leaks, AC compressor and blowesrs, steering wheel vibrations and air sensors, everything had to be changed and upgraded after 70.000 miles including the head gasket and the garage told me every second 6 in line E-Class has the head gasket blown.
Today everything got confirmed Daimler Chrisler is worst than GM, Subaru and Ford

Read http://money.cnn.com/2003/07/08/pf/autos/bc.autos.durability/index.htm
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  #2  
Old 07-08-2003, 05:00 PM
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yal yal is offline
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Yeah I just saw that. Scary stuff! When my W124 retires Lexus (Toyota whatever) seems to be the way to go

Lets see if (hope, pray) the latest E improves those numbers. I don't think this can be explained away by saying MB owners complain more.
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  #3  
Old 07-08-2003, 05:05 PM
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E-Class

Wonder if the arrogants from Mercedes Benz USA or Germany have read this stuff.
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  #4  
Old 07-08-2003, 06:30 PM
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yal yal is offline
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Judging by the number of new model mercedes cars I see on the street, I don't think they give a damn
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  #5  
Old 07-08-2003, 07:01 PM
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I always assumed that Mercedes' quality numbers were brought down because of Chrysler, Dodge and Plymouth cars, but the reverse is true.

The long-term numbers are after three years of ownership, which is really not long term in any of our books, but it is surprising that Dodge, Chrylser, and Plymouth all rank higher than Mercedes after 3 years. The article says that the problems are concentrated in the M-class and E-class, which comprise roughly half of its sales.

These 3-year old vehicles were based on numbers collected in 2002, so these are all vehicles purchased in 1999.

The 1999 W210 was in its 4th year of production, so you think MB would've figure things out by then. The engines (V6 and V8) were only in their 2nd year of production, though. The rate of deterioration on the E-Class is greater than on any other vehicle in the industry.

Mercedes also had the largest gap between initial quality (the number of problems found when a vehicle is brand-new) and long-term quality.

Daimler Chrysler shouldn't be surprised at these bad numbers. Every quality study in the last several years is looking worse and worse.

I'd like to think this would be a "wake-up call" to the engineers at Stuttgart, but to tell you the truth, I'm not very optimistic.

I think my next used car (whenever the hell that is) might either be a Lexus or a Honda Accord V6.
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2001 E430, Bourdeaux Red, Oyster interior.
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  #6  
Old 07-08-2003, 08:14 PM
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This does not seem to be contained to Mercedes. BMW, VW, and Audi have all lost ground in quality rankings, and once the darlings of CR, are now bottom feeding below cheap garbage from Chevy.

Now, at this point MB does not care one bit. Sales are doing fine, and the public votes with dollars, right?

Well, the real problem folks, is US. It's the folks on the board. Mercedes has chosen to abandon the hard-core MB buyers and follow the path of sales through leasing and people that think a car is old when it turns four. The number of people like us that buys a car and keeps it for 15 years is dwindling. People just build a "car payment" into their lives, and just expect it's something they'll always have. They get rid of a car before the warranty expires anyway.

So, why would Mercedes, or any other maker for that matter, build cars to last 15-20 years? That is plain DUMB in the business world. You need to keep the products turning over! Drive sales!

Remember that MB got hammered by high prices and Lexus competition in 1990-1995 so hard that they completely shifted gears. By 1995 people's buying habits were on the move, and all the Germans were seeing the light. Heck, I've yet to see a Mercedes print ad in my local papers that even mentions the PRICE. They talk about the lease payment, and that's all most folks care about now.

A friend of mine didn't want to buy a 1997 BMW 328 when he found out it had 125,000 kilometers on it. That's 75,000 miles. He thought the car was done for, miled out, at the end of it's useful life. The car was a great deal, and had I been looking for a car, would have snapped it up. At first I couldn't understand why the price was so agressive, and then it dawned on me. Most folks think that it's got maybe a year or two left and then it'll have to be towed to the yard.

Go find you neighbour and hit them on the head. They're responsible for this mess.
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  #7  
Old 07-08-2003, 10:48 PM
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Blackmercedes you are right and you are wrong.
The american buyer is leasing cars, driving 12,000 miles per year for 3 years and then changing the car, no sentiment, just a tool. But, the german or european buyer, the one cleaning the flies from his front grill ,every weekend by toothbrush,maintaining his car like new for 20 years, is not making 600$ monthly to pay for an E320 lease and he is investing his soul in his car. For this public , the new Mercedes is a big, big disappointment They could really lower their standard to the standard of a VW but then why should I pay 60,000$ for their car instead of 25,000 for a VW Passat ?
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  #8  
Old 07-08-2003, 11:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by dkarp
But, the german or european buyer, the one cleaning the flies from his front grill ,every weekend by toothbrush,maintaining his car like new for 20 years, is not making 600$ monthly to pay for an E320 lease and he is investing his soul in his car. For this public , the new Mercedes is a big, big disappointment
I wonder if Mercedes cares as much for the German customer as much as it once did. Think about how profitable the US business is. All the models are highly optioned models with a very high margin. In the North American market, they cut dealer margins from 13% to 7% without any drop in MSRP. The manufacturer just kept all the extra cash.

I truly hope that the European customers have enough influence to make Mercedes alter it's course.
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  #9  
Old 07-09-2003, 04:31 AM
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Location: Ankara, Turkey
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All these reliability issues and JD Power listings make me wonder if MB has a seperate production and assembly line for US market only, which lacks traditional MB quality control systems yet manufactures more profitable cars filled with lots of toys. We hear no such problems about MB products (except the A and ML-klasse), the quality is still top notch far beyond BMW and Audi, Toyota-Honda-Nissan being no competetion. Maybe they are not as solid as they were 15 years ago but also consider the number of electronics and amenities today. Think of a W124 with the standard equipment and restraint systems of today's W211, the price would be incredible, but again how would you compete with the Japanese copycats? I find the US market responsible for the current situation because their style of car ownership mainly influenced the manufacturers to make inexpensive cars filled with options and V8's.

2003 W211 E200 Kompressor--- roughly 75000 euro with all options, price in Turkey.

2003 W211 E500--- roughly 65000 USD with similar options, price in the US.
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  #10  
Old 07-09-2003, 07:49 AM
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1995 E320 SE
 
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Location: Downingtown, PA
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it is worth it

I have to say that I never had so much fun driving a car as I do when I drive my 1995 E320. I am willing to fix the evaporator core, the wiring harness, the head gasket, or anything else that breaks, just so that I can keep driving this marvelous car. I think this car is an almost perfect driving machine. I figure that even if it costs a lot to fix it when it breaks, it will still cost less than making payments on a new, but lesser car. In fact, even if it costs more, it will be worth it to keep this car.
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I just couldn't give up on my 1995 E320.

I think it might be like always going back to that same bad relationship with an ex girlfriend.
You feel you love them too much, or you are just too stupid to know any better.



Flickr slideshow of my 1995 E320
http://www.flickr.com/photos/24145497@N06/sets/72157616572140057/
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  #11  
Old 07-09-2003, 09:12 AM
JetForeman
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AMEN ksing44!!! I've thought about purchasing an ML in the past for more room but I can't part with my E320. It's part of me now and I love it. Sure it's kicked my butt a few times with problems but it always faded away as I feel the car accelerate from 80 to 120 in a flash or just cruising down the highway in a quiet serene environment. Gotta love that straight 6........
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  #12  
Old 07-09-2003, 09:48 AM
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Both Ksing 44 and Jetformen you are talking about the W124. This is not the analyzed car. The analyzed car is the W210, E320 !!

And , have you ever cruised with an Audi A8 Quattro, or a BMW 5 series or 7 series, all of these cars being on a similar used car price range with the E320, (tangling like a boat when it takes corners) ??

I was on a test at a GM facility in Tarrytown with an E420, Audi A8 Quattro and BMW 540 against Cadillac. The closest to the Cadillac, meaning to a boat was the E420, it could not even come close in road behavior to the A8 or the Bimmer.
But this is besides , head gasket, AC compressor, blower motor and on and on.....
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  #13  
Old 07-09-2003, 12:25 PM
JetForeman
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karp, I was aware of the "analyzed car". My views were expressed in accordance with ksing44 and with the overall topic of MB quality and reliabililty. Ownership of any car comes with it's ups and downs. J.D. Powers may be the self proclaimed expert of vehicle ownership surveys, but in the real world there will be 97 E320's with absolutely no problems and ones like yours. I hate to see MB get a bad rap in well known surveys like J.D.'s, but all can't be wrong.

Everyone has brought up good points as to why MB is losing ground in this survey, but when the time comes to replace their worn out Benz's, how many will actually buy a Honda or Lexus? They might score at the top of J.D. Powers, but they're about as generic (and fun to drive) as a household refrigerator. And yes, I've owned both. They are great cars, BUT, you get the honor of parking on side of one wherever you go and you lose the uniqueness of a MB. Now is that why we're all here and current MB owners?
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  #14  
Old 07-09-2003, 12:31 PM
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Location: St. Albert, Alberta, Canada
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Quote:
Originally posted by JetForeman
Everyone has brought up good points as to why MB is losing ground in this survey, but when the time comes to replace their worn out Benz's, how many will actually buy a Honda or Lexus?
There are lots of MB owners that are not car enthusiasts like us. We're the minority, hate to say. My wife sold her 1998 E300 turbo out of frustration and bought the Subaru that now sits beside my C230. I doubt she'll ever have another Mercedes after the experience she had with that car. Not only was the car junk, but the dealer always acted like it was her fault somehow, and fixed it under warranty but griped the whole time.

She was shopping G35's/ES300's and the like when we stumbled upon the Subaru and the excellent deal it was.
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  #15  
Old 07-09-2003, 12:45 PM
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1995 E320 SE
 
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Location: Downingtown, PA
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bring them on

Quote:
Originally posted by dkarp

The closest to the Cadillac, meaning to a boat was the E420, it could not even come close in road behavior to the A8 or the Bimmer.
I don't think my car ever qualified as a "boat", but I did feel the need to tighten it up with the Eibach springs, Bilstein shocks, and +1 wheel and tire package. It definitely isn't a boat now and I am pretty sure my car is at least on par with any of the cars you mentioned. In addition, as I remember, the E320s were always praised for their perfect balance between comfort, quiet, and performance in reviews that raved about the cars.
__________________
I just couldn't give up on my 1995 E320.

I think it might be like always going back to that same bad relationship with an ex girlfriend.
You feel you love them too much, or you are just too stupid to know any better.



Flickr slideshow of my 1995 E320
http://www.flickr.com/photos/24145497@N06/sets/72157616572140057/
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