Many people discriminate these vehicles for being money pits, and machines that just don’t deserve ownership unless they are 5 years young or newer. There are even mechanics (*cough* Scotty Kilmer *cough*) who downplay the practicality of these vehicles because of parts, labor, and overly complex electrical and hydraulic systems.
My family has owned Mercedes-Benz vehicles for as long as I can remember and what I can say about them is not the same as what the haters of this brand say.
These cars have something that most others don’t: Character. No matter what year or model Mercedes you get, somebody down at the design center of Mercedes spent months and months revising every last detail of that car, constantly modeling and remodeling, making sure that each piece of their intricate design makes sense and provides the luxury and speed the Mercedes brand strives for in all their cars. Every car as the signature of the either Carl Benz or Gottlieb Daimler, signifying that the company still knows its roots as well as adding a slight personal touch to each vehicle.
Now that I got the Mercedes spiel out of the way, what does owning a Mercedes mean to the individual that has a job, family, hobbies (other than working on your car), etc.? If the car is 5 or 10 years old and you plan on becoming a long-term owner, it is inevitable that you’ll have to learn the car. Learn its ins and outs, it mechanical and electrical quirks, its sometimes frustratingly huge amount of sensors, and so on. It is no small feat to learn one of these luxury vehicles, and it certainly comes at a hefty price if you try to take the dealership route. You will end up working on these cars a lot over the years and there’s not much you can do about it, but that is the very thing people like me love.
Even though this hump will drive most of the crowds away, the people passionate about cars like this don’t work on Toyotas for fun. Toyotas are easy, but they are also meager cars with minimalist designs. When you put in the work, you get a car that has so much character you almost feel like you can talk to it.
“Enough with the ‘character’ thing, what about the actual car?” -everyone reading this right now
If you’ve ever ridden in one of these fine luxury automobiles that has been brought back up to factory specs, it floats like a cloud on the road. Whether its traditional strut and spring setup or the high-pressure hydraulic ABC suspension, MB always finds a way to just make them float. Also, the sheer power given to each vehicle really makes them fun to drive. Even just the smallest car in the SL class, the SLK 230, is a 2-seater 4 banger with a supercharger that is nearly the power equivalent to a naturally aspirated M112 V-6.
I am not here to convince you to buy one, but I’m here to defend the iconic brand from being tucked away in people’s minds as a “money pit” just because the parts are above average price and they are monsters to work on.
Happy Wrenching 🙂