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I currently own a 1999 Volvo S80 T6 which I had planned to drive into the ground and own forever. This has not been the case. After 4 yrs and 55,000 miles the car is costing me a fortune in repairs. I will never own another Volvo. I'm currently looking at the 2004 MB E500 4matic and the new 2004 BMW 545i. My concern is quality. I want a vehicle I can own for 10 to 15 years, put 150,000 miles on it and have it not bleed me dry. With the DaimlerChyrsler and FordVolvo mergers/acquisitions I'm skeptical that the quality remains in these Euro-brands. Any thoughts??
 

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I just got a 1997 C280 its costing me a fortune to fix so far the tranmission has gone, mass air flow to name a few, I think its just a lemon of a car, other owners have not had the same problems. Now its not an E500 but, mercedes just brushes me off and says the car is passed the warrenty, maybe its because I did not drop 100 grand on a car. Just food for thought.
 

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According to my mechanic mercedes does not have the quality it used to, they are pumping cars out to fast and making people buy new ones with so many maintance problems.
 

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I had the same trouble with my Volvos... I was a Volvo owner for 25 years, but recently, their cars sucks and the service also sucks.

I'm planning to buy a Mercedes, but I still have this in my mind. Are they still the great car they used to be?
 

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From what I see here and on other forums in Europ it seems that MB made after 1994 are not of the same quality than they used to be. I have a A1992 500E and I do nothing on the car except fuelling up (often - in France it's pathetic) and regular maintenance.

Now to be fair all luxury brands are trying to make numbers even at the cost of quality. What they may not have understood is that it is the reason why in the first place we by expensive car. They apply a marketing technic well known in the software industry where it is better to ship a product 90% ready and send update for fixes while taking market shares(actually most of the big problem are electronic and software related so go figure , may be they've employed ex Microsoft developper's :wink: ). After all as long as we keep bying them they have no reason to believe that they are wrong.

I see only two solution to that problem while continuing to drive cars we like :
One is to find a pre 1994 in exeptionnal condition or buy a new car few years after it's first release when most of the problems have been corrected, like with software never buy version 1.0
 

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Mercedes Benz quality: Is it getting worse?

Hi y'all,

I also like the quality of the Lexus, Camry etc but I dont like the frequency of service, and replacement part requirements which add a lot to costs.
As an owner of a 300E (86) for 12 years, and it had fault too, I have to admit that the quality of the new MBs has become more like the Camrys & other Toyotas. The structural integrity is fine but, if you notice the bolt on/bolt off fenders on the 300E and earlier models and, the sub systems they are attached to and you look at the E320 models and more recent ones, you have to take a power torch and cut the rear fenders if you prang them up.No bolt on/bolt off feature. Interior leather and wood touches seem cheaper too. I now have a C230 Coupe which is well built, quiet, economical, fast, generally first rate quality, but it is highly computerized. It is faultless right now as a 2003 model. And, the service period is at least every 15,000 KMS(10K miles), which saves money. I wonder if it will be as great a car as the 300E, which I just turned over to my son and, which looks almost like a new car! How we treat our cars makes a difference but, some people are unlucky too. After all, they are all just machines, comprising some 15000 parts. Good luck to us all.

Al :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
What "version" of the E-class is 2004?

Any thoughts on what version the 2004 E-class really is? Engine, drivetrain, 4Matic, electronics, etc. I realize that there are a few new developments for 2004 but how long has the current version of the car existed? Have they had sufficient time to work out the kinks?
 

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drop in reliability

From what I've read Mercedes Benz quality is no longer what it used to be. Consumer Reports and their surveys
reflect a drop in reliability.

A neighbour of mine runs a car buying business and tells me that some of the 2004 E320s his customers have bought
are spending more time in the shop than on the road!

Take a look at this Autoweek story where they did a "long" term test on the C320. The glove box fell off twice!!! 8O
The list of problems is breathtaking.
http://www.autoweek.com/search/search_display.mv?port_code=autoweek&cat_code=longtermtests&content_code=05757659&Search_Type=STD&Search_ID=1671259&record=2

My '97 E320 is pretty reliable but not to the extent I expected. I had the mass airflow sensor changed, the
head gasket changed, minor electrical glitches and some rust spots around the wheel arches. Nonetheless it is a real
pleasure to drive. I'm not sure that I'd buy another many years from now, one given the trend in reliability.
 

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COME ON!!! My brother had a Hyundai for 9 years and never had such inadmissible problems!!!

I won't buy a Volvo because they have such trouble...

Why did I had to fall in love with a C230???


Shame on you MB!!!
 

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Well...I can't speak as a long time Benz owner, but I recently purchased a 1993 400E and I must say this car is awesome! It is in mint condition, all electronics work flawlessly, engine has the power of my '91 mustang convertible 5.0, but the ride is of course much smoother. I took it to a german Mercedes mechanic who has specialized in Mercedes for over 20 years and he told me this engine will be solid for at least 300,000 miles (currently has 113,000). I'm not sure if the quality remains on Benz's manufactured today...but it looks to me like the quality sure remains on 1993 400E. This car is 10 years old and still remains in brand new condition. I'm not impressed easily, but the quality of this car is very impressive!! :D
 

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I have a '91 Volvo 745ti with 207,000 miles and it have a better reliability than a brand new S80. I'll kept my old 745 and will sell my more recent one...

Seriously, it might be my last european car. They lowered theirs standards (but certainly not theirs prices) and the reliability and quality of construction isn't what it used to be 10 years ago... :evil:
 

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I've had my 1998 BMW 528i for about 4 years, and it's beenpretty reliable up til the past 3 months or so...seems everything is falling apart at once. I just clocked 160,000 miles on it though, so I guess I can't really complain too much. I was looking to trade it in for the new 5 series, but after seeing what a mess of a car the design team at BMW has produced in the '04 5 series, I'm now looking at an S-Class, probabaly an '02. I have a question though....my pal recently told me the S was going to be "remodeled" in '05. Any truth to that?
 

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as a general rule: new cars are lame. :D

new cars haven't had a chance to break yet, when you buy a used car you know it works! Plus it always helps if you have the ability to repair things yourself....silly warranties...
 

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I had a 1999 E320 and drove it to 52,000 miles and traded it when the new 2001 C-320 was released. The E320 was a very solid car. There was never an instance where I ever had a experience or thought that my glovebox would fall off (the car is built solid and can take hard use) as described in another post. When I had to trade in the car it still performed great mechanically, meaning I never had a single problem and the quality never seemed to vary from the day I purchased the car. Cosmetically the interior and overall car looked very nice. After owning it I believe that it's built very well and if the car is for a single driver or a family with kids regardless of the wear it would have on the seats etc. from kids the interior and car still holds up well and is long lasting. The engine and mechanics of the car were oustanding. There were no problems and I pushed the car to the limit since that was my car when I turned 16. When I got my 2001 C-320 I loved it initially. I had the newest mercedes technology with the leather and computer in the car etc. However, after about a year I realized that I just didn't hold up as well as my E-Class. The E-Class was perfect. I was only 18 when I got the C-Class and still drover it really hard. The transmission had started breaking itself down and there was metal in my oil pan according to my service rep at a Hoehn Mercedes in San Diego County. This was at around 36,000 miles. Mercedes put a new transmission module in my car and fixed everything and it felt like a new car and that's what you can expect from Mercedes, but I still knew that an issue like this and long-term I was better off with an E-Class and wouldn't see this with an E-Class. The E-Class makes Mercedes the majority of their revenue, so they put in the extra Research & Development and Testing so there are no problems. The C-Class is also basically an entry-level Mercedes so I guess the quality wouldn't be the same an E-Class. I traded in the C-Class and got a 2004 E500 two weeks ago. I paid an extra $1,950 and got an extended Mercedes warranty so i'm covered for 6 years 100k. That is the best thing to do if you are concerned about your car lasting and cost. Get the warranty from Mercedes, but you must get it the when you buy the car or within the first year, otherwise you won't be able to purchase a warranty that protects you like you are normally covered for the first 4 years 50k. I think with the E-class Models & Up, the quality only gets better as technology improves. I guarantee an E-class will last you a lot longer than a new 5-series. My friend has had a 1999 540i and has spent thousands repairing it as he got into higher mileage. Plus, mercedes tries to cover under warranty anything it possibly can, while bmw tries to do them opposite. That is the verdict from a friend who is a bmw owner. Hopefully you will go with the 04 E-Class.
 

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When my 99 E320 runs, it's an awesome car to drive. When it doesn't run it is a nightmare. Two transmissions at 49K miles, rack & pinion assembly replaced at 15K, rear door windows fall into the door sporadically, emissions, emissions, emissions problems like you wouldn't believe. And now the CD changer gets confused from time to time and can't remember whether the magazine is installed or not and the driver's seat control won't let the seat move back. I was hoping for a 300K+ mile experience like people I know who own older models, but now I'd be ecstatic to make it past 150.
 

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probably not a huge help, but if the seat won't move back, it is probably just out of synchonization. move it all the way forward (obviously you can't be in the seat while doing this) and hold the button for five seconds after it has reached the end of its travel. you should be able to move it backwards now. repeat the same process moving backwards and it should function as normal.
 

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Quality

Interesting question. I hope i can give you some hard bought experience.

I drive a 1999 BMW 528 (56k miles ) and my wife drives a 1998 E430 ( 80 k miles) we bought both new and has serviced both at the dealer at all reccommended intervals.

Besides oil changes I have replaced the front brakes and the Mass Airflow sensor on the BMW.

On the MB I have replaced every outside light bulb on the car. the Air Cond compressor, the Harmonic Balancer, Sunroof motor. all four power window motors. the battery, 2 valve cover gaskets front and rear brake pads and rotors, both outside mirrors. And very high priced rotuine service prices.

I like both cars yes somehow my wife got the v8 but I must admit that I have been shocked on the problems with the MB.
 

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rwvw415, why both outside mirrors on the E430? And about high routine services prices, hasn't this car a FSS (that put services at about 10K miles frequency)?
 

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European cars (whether BMW or Benz or Volvo) are junk.

Guys ... from years of experience ...

European cars cost twice the money when you buy them and twice the headache later down the road with twice the repair costs. Not worth it.

Go for Japanese Toyotas or Hondas. Want a luxury go for Lexus. BMW's / Benz, Volvos are just a piece of junk. This is my experince with used car sales, problem fixing and ownership.
 
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