Used German or lux cars, what if its not a Benz? - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

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#1 Old 10-09-2014
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Used German or lux cars, what if its not a Benz?

About a year ago shortly before getting my SLK, my wife and I jumped into Mercedes ownership for the first time when we bought her a 2010 GLK350 with less than 4k miles on it at 2 years old. It has been an incredible car, but in this economy paying a $30k car payment, when the car is only worth $20k has us looking for the door.


We are at the point that we plan on either refinancing it to a lower payment and holding on to it, or trading it on something else. But despite her car being an entry level Benz, with few options, I am struggling with the limited options out there in our $20k budget.


Don't get me wrong, there are tons of cars below $20k that offer superior option list and features, even more power and all in general offer better gas mileage. But few have the same build quality and level of comfort and refinement that has turned us into Benz lovers.


My previous car was a 2008 VW Passat VR6 4Motion and that car was the last of the B6 designated Passats available with all the trimings. That car is sort of my bench mark, since it was closer to an Audi than anything else in the line. The closest thing today in VW's lineup is the CC, with it and the Golf/GTi twins being the only VW';s actually still made in Germany, to the same high standards. The new Passat is now in the class of a Honda Accord or Camry... not what we want.


She likes being up high, but the offerings from Audi and BMW are a little out of reach if trying to stay below 40k miles, and the Tiguan from VW is nice in SEL trim, but after having a Jetta as a rental and not liking its build quality we are nervous it won't make her happy.


I'm curious for those who like us relish and appreciate the solid nature of MB cars, what other cars in this sort of scenario you might consider. We are open to nearly anything and plan on doing some test drives tomorrow, but our location has a limited supply of quality German cars, so whatever we decide on will need to be had through a broker, or as a result of a weekend trip to another area.


Top of our list of options are leather, or Mb-Tex equivalent. No cloth, we want Bluetooth and ipod connectivity for those longer trips and since that is when I will drive the car most, I really want something that is comfortable and quiet on the highway. Personally I am found of VW and Infiniti cars since I have had both in the last 10 years, the before mentioned V6 CC, Touareg or Infiniti EX is appealing, but the cost with low miles is limiting. Audi is on the list, but values in my are high and with no dealer within 400 miles its hard to find much selection. I've showed her a couple C300 4Matics in our range, but we wouldn't be bettering our selves as far as options, and MPG would be marginally better. I am inclined to do a refi of her car and keep it, but sort of enjoy the hunt to find a new car.
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#2 Old 10-10-2014
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I'd keep it if you like it, and forget about the depreciation curve. The car will last decades if properly maintained. We bought our '00 C230 Kompressor new in that year, the only M-B we've purchased new. Fourteen years and 70,000 miles later it's going strong and long since paid for. Unless something dramatically improves our financial fortunes, we will probably have it another five to ten years. There's simply no reason to trade it, since we couldn't care less about all the electronic gewgaws that clutter up cars these days. Mileage is fair by modern standards, around twenty in town and not quite thirty on the road--our bigger-engined SLK does better. But it's paid for, and we typically spend very little on annual maintenance because it doesn't need much. Previously we owned three different 190Es, including a 2.2 diesel 5-speed manual that came to us with 238,000 on the clock and stayed for fifty thousand miles before we sold it back to the couple we bought it from. We got a new 2004 Jetta TDI at that time, which we still have, and it's been a good car...it's but not a Mercedes-Benz. In hindsight, we should have spent the same or less on a high-miles but well maintained W124 E-Class diesel or a newer-than-1984 190D 2.5 for our rainy-weather commuting winter hack. Would have cost us less in the long run.
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