Why do people buy Mercs? - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

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#1 Old 03-07-2018
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Question Why do people buy Mercs?

Like an idiot I have bought two of them, a W169 and R171, poor engineering and expensive parts. I can only assume that poor engineering is from the perspective of the consumer, with niggling faults that cost a fortune in parts & labour, but, as with people that use Smart phones, you are addicted to the convenience and cannot do without it, so a price is levied on that, which is good engineering by the manufacturer. Thankfully, I am an engineer, mechanical, electronics and data communications and with the grateful help of many of the posts on these types of forums have managed to "see off" the Mercedes-Benz dealers. I am also the lucky owner of a Ferrari which is double the age of my Mercs with similar mileage and have had nowhere near as many of the faults of my R171. It is far cheaper on equivalent parts, labour and servicing...go figure?
So, thank you all for the help with all your posts, saving me time and money and making the pain of being mugged by Mercedes-Benz a little more bearable with the gratification of evading these “Highway Men”.
On another note, those that work in a Ferrari dealership are proud and enthusiastic petrol heads, who gets that in their Mercedes-Benz Dealership? Do you get invited to watch the German F1GP surrounded by AMGs with free food and drink at your local Mercedes-Benz Dealership?
Oh, another thing, my Ferrari is worth three times the value I paid for it. My R171 SLK55 that I purchased at the same time has decreased by 30% having paid about the same for each vehicle.
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#2 Old 03-07-2018
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#3 Old 03-07-2018
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#4 Old 03-07-2018
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Welcome from Indiana. I love my SLK. Depreciation on most Mercedes is fast and furious compared to a Ferrari for the very reasons that you stated. I don't believe there is anything inferior about the Engineering however you are correct about the costs for repairs on the labor side but parts are actually fairly reasonable through second source. It all comes down to who buys "new" Mercedes and why. The majority of people who buy new Mercedes have a lot of money but little to no inclination to maintain or repair them themselves, they are the type who buy a new vehicle every four or five years and dump them at the first sign of any problems. SLK is not a car most people buy as a daily driver thus making the market for older vehicles with lower mileage on the market plentiful. I find it hard to believe that a Ferrari is any less expensive to maintain than a Mercedes but I have no actual experience owning a Ferrari, I test drove a used one once once and wasn't at all impressed with the long throw on the gearbox or overall handling but that's purely personal. It's true Mercedes have an accelerated depreciation rate which is why I would never personally buy a new one but I have never lost a dime on any of the three used Mercedes I have bought and never had a major mechanical issue with any of them and have always done my own work on the little issues that have arisen. This is purely my take but as far as bang for the buck on a used vehicle it's hard to beat Mercedes.
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#5 Old 03-07-2018
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#6 Old 03-07-2018
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#7 Old 03-08-2018
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Welcome along, lets see if you can catch up with the mighty mercs this season
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#8 Old 03-08-2018
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Welcome from the now thawed out East Anglian flat lands 👍

You've told us of all the lows of owning a Mercededs Benz, what about the highs....

Enjoy..Mal & Lou
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#9 Old 03-08-2018
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Hi, welcome from Barrhead, Scotland.
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#10 Old 03-08-2018
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Hi from London,

Welcome aboard!
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#11 Old 03-08-2018
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I like Mercedes because they depreciate and when they do they represent excellent value for money. Yes there have been some examples of poor engineering in Mercedes but one hears of poor engineering in Ferraris as well. What else would one call a gearbox that does not shift into first unless it is warmed up.
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#12 Old 03-08-2018
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Hi and welcome to SLKWorld.com from the UK Midlands - Thanks for joining us and posting an intro!

I love my Merc because of the sound and torque of the V8, which improves in about 20 seconds by touching a switch and lowering the hard-top roof!
(and it's needed little more than fuel, tyres and regular servicing in the 4+ years of ownership)

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#13 Old 03-08-2018
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Hi and welcome from the Southern tip of Africa

Someone gave some saged advice regarding purchases: Once you've paid for it, make peace with whatever comes with it. The surest way to be unhappy with a purchase is to second-guess your choice after the fact when comparing it to other options.

Personally, I bought my SLK 170 off an auction site. It is much loved for its SLK-ness and not so much for the three-pointed star(ness). In other words, I love the machine much more than the status. The latter is surely the cause for inflated prices. If you paid more for it, surely its better, right?! LOL

Well, mine was cheaper - and with less miles done - than similar vehicles on the auction site. My first care was a Benz. It was a few months older than me when I started driving at 18 and was nothing as sexy as the younger, faster and more fuel-efficient cars that other friends were buying or getting as gifts. It took me to class for my education and home for mom's cooking and laundry. It even took me home with spare parts where the mechanics installing the spares were amazed that the car still drives (failing distributor). So there my choice was both sentimental and financial.

Perhaps it helps that my SLK is not an AMG, so less chance that someone tried to achieve light-speed in it and the simpler engine is cheaper to maintain. I just compare complexity of the paths of the belt on the 230 to the 320 and 32 AMG make my jaw drop.

The reputation of the R171 is that is considerably better than the R170 and should things work out that way, I hope to find out. Someday. If my R170 breaks and goes beyond the reach of what my wallet can handle, I will be sad, but there will be no crying in the fetal position. It has brought me so many smiles and good memories in my year (almost) of ownership.

I wish you many happy miles with your very good looking automobile stable
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#14 Old 03-08-2018
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Welcome from North Hampshire

"Touch Wood" I've found My R171/350 to be really reliable & the "electronics" work & keep working, which is more than I can say for some of the cheaper brands....

Yes it has dropped in value, but then that is a supply & demand thing with so many SLK's on the UK road's..

The bonus of owning a SLK is the "nice/decent" people who choose to own them..!!
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#15 Old 03-08-2018
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One thing i do agree on is the Quality / build
As per newer model added along the years its getting more and more Plastic Fantastic .......

I remember years back they used ivory on steering wheels

Bring that back i say .

And less plastic PLEASE !
Oh and Welcome

Rant over .
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#16 Old 03-08-2018
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You win some and you lose some.

I've become a mechanic because no one in this area would work on older Audi's. My SLK has been a breeze!

for me, it's not "IF something breaks" - it's "how accessible are all the bolts to the part that goes wrong?" ... that's what defines a car to me.

Welcome!
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#17 Old 03-08-2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dinkydong View Post
Like an idiot I have bought two of them, a W169 and R171, poor engineering and expensive parts. I can only assume that poor engineering is from the perspective of the consumer, with niggling faults that cost a fortune in parts & labour, but, as with people that use Smart phones, you are addicted to the convenience and cannot do without it, so a price is levied on that, which is good engineering by the manufacturer. Thankfully, I am an engineer, mechanical, electronics and data communications and with the grateful help of many of the posts on these types of forums have managed to "see off" the Mercedes-Benz dealers. I am also the lucky owner of a Ferrari which is double the age of my Mercs with similar mileage and have had nowhere near as many of the faults of my R171. It is far cheaper on equivalent parts, labour and servicing...go figure?
So, thank you all for the help with all your posts, saving me time and money and making the pain of being mugged by Mercedes-Benz a little more bearable with the gratification of evading these “Highway Men”.
On another note, those that work in a Ferrari dealership are proud and enthusiastic petrol heads, who gets that in their Mercedes-Benz Dealership? Do you get invited to watch the German F1GP surrounded by AMGs with free food and drink at your local Mercedes-Benz Dealership?
Oh, another thing, my Ferrari is worth three times the value I paid for it. My R171 SLK55 that I purchased at the same time has decreased by 30% having paid about the same for each vehicle.
Welcome from the The Netherlands!
Can't comment on UK prices but over here I can't afford a Ferrari. Cheapest used 348 from 1994 30k miles is here €79500
Cheapest SLK55 from 2006 60k miles €25950
Labour and servicing? Hmm...to give you an idea for a 348 (no dealer, indy):
yearly maintenance regardless of milage € 950
every 6/10/50000 miles €1469
every 30000 miles €1725
timing belt every 30k miles or 3 year €2849 (ouch !)
Parts not included.

My wallet can't afford that,but it can afford a R171 350.....
So there's your answer...
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#18 Old 03-08-2018
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Thumbs up Venting my Spleen!

Hey people, thanks for all those welcomes and great points of view, thank you. Overwhelmed at getting any response at all! I purchased all three cars Ferrari, W169 and R171 as used. The SLK55 and Ferrari about 7 years ago at about the same time for similar money. I was very fastidious regarding condition, history, mileage and even more so with the ’55 regarding the options. Both were at 16K miles, now both at 35K. I was very pleased and feeling blessed, especially with such an understanding and loving wife!! From a single man’s point of view, perhaps, both cars have their pros and cons, and drive differently like the various women and/or men you “test drive”. I am a fortunate man having found my perfect partner in life. The ‘55 has had a list of defects as long as your arm, 2 sets of control arms, heated seat base, crank case sensor failure ( a frightening experience on the open road in traffic, has the effect of an instant engine seize), alarm siren, secondary air injection (smog) pump(and relay), externally clouded headlamps, consistent creaking roof, corrosion of diamond cut on wheels, seat belt buckle denting door card, modding wind restrictor to fit designio roll overs, headlamp washer nozzle leak, cam cover oil leak, fitting a Smart top module so the roof behaves in a manner that you would expect, gas boot struts. I’m sorry that I cannot continue listing as I’m getting stressed writing about them. I would consider myself not to be a rich man, but similarly not in poverty. Like all petrolheads striving for the best chariot and maxing out on the size of the wallet. Playing at a rich man’s game and loosing as far as the Merc is concerned, even with my skills, these forums and time investment. The Merc is undeniably smiletastic to drive but I have the burden of lack of confidence. I have a lack of confidence, trying to enjoy the moment before I have to invest hours of research to fix it myself to avoid the “Stealers” or “Indies”. These can charge a fortune (in my financial books) to read a simple fault code. Over the same period what snags has the Ferrari had? Two engine hood and one glove box gas strut plus I left the fuel (gas) filler cap on the tonneau cover and lost it! Selection of previous vehicles Datsun 260Z x2 (triple dellortos), RS Cosworth (2 door) with Ford Motorsport upgrade pack, Twin Turbo Supra Aero Deck, 944 Turbo, Dax Cobra (350 Chevy), Pilgrim Cobra (V6 Essex), Capri 3.0 GTXLR, XR3i, Williams Clio 2, Sunbeam Alpine Tiger, Mini 1275GT, Cortina 1600E, Dutton Phaeton (Burton 1660 with twins), TVR 390SE x2, TVR 420SE to name a few. All smiletastic without the burden. Back to the Ferrari, my local dealer wants to buy it and even tempted me with a Murcielago rag top PX. I preferred my Ferrari and also the Merc, even with its “features”, so its not a bad car, just a disappointing ownership, which could be avoided by the Manufacturer and its army of “stealers” and “indies” joining the parade. My Ferrari dealer offers fixed price servicing (Sneaky Pete not at Netherlands prices…how much do you pay for a pint of Lager!!?), VIP owners events….for free….I like free…for example hospitality at Goodwood 76MM including breakfast!! Turdo2 glad you are finding work with those obviously very nimble hands!! In conclusion the Ferrari is proving to be the better partner, as stated, some you win, others you lose, but the fun is in the chase! P.S. the W169 has been equally a pain in the butt…common denominator Me + Merc! Thanks for reading a Grumpy Old Mans rant!! You will see me in the balcony of next Muppet Show. Feeling better now after venting my Spleen!
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#19 Old 03-08-2018
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Glad you got it out of your system
we are a happy and helpful forum and we love our slks
and 'banish' those that do not into 'never never land'
I have had my 55 for 10 years this May and other than a couple of MAFS and weeping valve cover gaskets, those have been the only things, knock on wood
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#20 Old 03-08-2018
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[QUOTE=dinkydong;4153641]Like an idiot I have bought two of them, a W169 and R171, ...

Well as you have kept them for 7 years they can't be all that bad now can they


As for the depreciation I guess the smart option would be to buy them when all the issues have been fixed and all the money lost by the previous owners at a rock bottom bargain basement price, Just like I did.
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