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  #51  
Old 05-29-2019, 09:26 AM
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In Germany, most if not all taxis are Mercedes. At one time, the team I was part of undertook asking several drivers about it: not only are they viewed as durable, reliable cars but also many of their drivers love detailing them. Every driver we asked proudly showed off these little boxes with special brushes and oils that you were supposed to use with the different woods and lovingly explained the maintenance they did on the car.

I've got the hypothesis that one of the reasons Mercedes-Benz decided to rebirth the Daimler brand and icon for their Smart line is precisely that: Smarts don't have woods, they're targeted to women and in general we'd rather do our nails or dust our house than detail a bunch of different wood bits in our car.
Yeah, in Germany, the Mercedes brand is like Chevy in the US. Every taxi I saw in the 90s was usually a Mercedes 190E. I owned a 70s vintage 240D when I first got there. What a piece of shit that old thing was. It always seemed to me that Mercedes had a problem with their paint coatings. The things seemed to have rust issues.

I drove both a BMW 325i and an Audi on a couple of business trips. They could certainly fly down the autobahns, and handled very well. I like cars, but I'm not willing to pay the US prices for any of them.
  #52  
Old 05-29-2019, 09:56 AM
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I drove both a BMW 325i and an Audi on a couple of business trips. They could certainly fly down the autobahns, and handled very well. I like cars, but I'm not willing to pay the US prices for any of them.
Seems to me, US prices for BMWs, Audis and MBs are a bargain compared to what they cost in Europe. And you'd be lucky to get the same engines we get in North America.
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  #53  
Old 05-29-2019, 12:00 PM
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Seems to me, US prices for BMWs, Audis and MBs are a bargain compared to what they cost in Europe. And you'd be lucky to get the same engines we get in North America.
Probably, but still too rich for my blood. Same for Acura and Lexus.
  #54  
Old 05-29-2019, 01:39 PM
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I'm driving a Mercedes these days. The thing is solid. It has the feel of a car that is really well built.

It's not fancy, it's a station wagon. I bought it 3 years ago for the princely sum of $3,000. The rear suspension is shot, the rear window regulator is broken, the headlights mismatched, it's 19 years old and every single body panel on it has rust.

Despite all this, it feels like a very solidly built car, it doesn't feel cheap, it doesn't feel like corners were cut to keep the price down.
  #55  
Old 05-29-2019, 03:01 PM
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I found this two-door Granada from 1978, very well maintained by the looks of it. Not gonna lie, I would drive the shit out of that thing, especially if I could get it with a manual transmission and a V8. It looks like a miniature version of a sixth generation Thunderbird. It does NOT look like a Mercedes. But I still think it looks cool.

The four-door version does leave something to be desired, and it DOES look like a cheap knockoff of a Mercedes.
Here's an actual 1978 Mercedes to compare them with.
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Old 05-29-2019, 03:20 PM
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Or better still, here's an example of one of the ads where Ford tried to compare them.

I've read that this was a gimmick that Lee Iacocca came up with when he was CEO at Ford -- take a fairly ordinary car, but give it some "luxury car" styling touches like a fancy looking grille or a vinyl roof.
  #57  
Old 05-30-2019, 02:03 PM
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That is even worse than I remembered.
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Old 05-30-2019, 03:55 PM
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for all that money you would think you would get good reliability but you don't . So be prepared for way more problems than a Honda or Toyota.
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Old 05-30-2019, 04:32 PM
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While I haven't had any real "seat time" in a Mercedes, I have spent plenty of seat time in Volkswagens (amongst other cars) and I can say that there seems to be something more "Precise" about European cars, they just generally feel tighter put together and have more emphasis put on the driver experience...

to sum up my car ownership, in order of ownership;
'88 Ford Escort Pony, '92 Dodge Shadow America, '98 Dodge Neon Highline, '02 Dodge Neon Base, '07 Saturn Ion 2, '07 VW Rabbit MkV, '11 Honda Element LX, '12 VW Golf TDI

of all those cars, I hated the Escort (unreliable piece of crap), *LOVED* the Shadow and '98 Neon, they may have been cheap econoboxes, but they had a spirit to them, they were *FUN*, the '02 Neon was softer and more bloated and less fun, the Ion was mediocrity on four wheels, the Element was extremely versatile, but soulless (my first and last sludgebox automatic) and got crap fuel mileage

out of all those cars, I still own the '07 Rabbit (2 door, 5 speed manual, 200,000+ miles still on the stock clutch and just as solid as when I bought it), and the '12 Golf TDI is my daily driver

the TDI is a DSG "Automated Manual", and the only reason I went with the DSG is because it was in my price range ($9,000 with 50,000 miles on the odometer, Certified Preowned with a 2 year bumper to bumper warranty, and 4 year 150,000 mile powertrain/emissions warranty from date of CPO purchase, no it's not a conventional manual, but as automatics go, it's the best compromise for a hardcore manual guy like myself

i'm still keeping my eyes open for a 6 speed manual Golf TDI, when one comes in in my price/mileage range, I *WILL* be trading out of the DSG, the DSG is a good automatic, but it *IS* an automatic, the paddle shifters are the saving grace, allowing me to take over control of the transmission whenever I want...

Out of all those cars, the VW's still put an ear-to-ear grin on my face, they have amazing crisp handling, acceptable power, and are generally just a nice place to be, they're not as "refined" as a Merc/Bimmer, but they do have a similar *precision* feel to them, very driver-focused

comparing the two directly, the Rabbit is a *hair* more engaging due to the 5 speed manual, it's just a hoot to drive, but the TDI is no slouch either, and with 236 Ft-LB of torque on hand at under 2000 RPM, it feels like a jetliner on takeoff, and pulls like a bloody freight train under power, plus, the suspension is tuned closer to the GTI, so the handling on the TDI *slightly* edges out the Rabbit.

Both put an ear-to-ear grin on my face though, and the DSG actually has a couple advantages over a clutched manual (Dear OG, never thought i'd be complimenting an automatic), since the shifts are near instantaneous, power delivery is seamless, and I can actually safely shift gears while apexing a tight corner to keep the car in the powerband, something that is less advisable in a clutched manual, due to the longer interruption of power delivery, there is the possibility of destabilizing the car in technical twisties.
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  #60  
Old 05-30-2019, 04:45 PM
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Heh. Volkswagen is the one European brand I don't plan on buying in a million years. I've gotten several of their cars as rentals (multiple models and brands) and the only one whose seat could be adjusted to be comfortable for me was an Ibiza Sport. Sadly and like every other Volkswagen it had the lights in this wheel to the side of and hidden by the steering wheel, rather than on a lever attached to the steering wheel. Maybe people 30cm taller than me can actually see the lights wheel while driving without doing contortions, but I can't and that makes the lights be the opposite of a safety feature.

Last edited by Nava; 05-30-2019 at 04:47 PM.
  #61  
Old 05-30-2019, 05:50 PM
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out of all those cars, I still own the '07 Rabbit (2 door, 5 speed manual, 200,000+ miles still on the stock clutch and just as solid as when I bought it), and the '12 Golf TDI is my daily driver.

Both put an ear-to-ear grin on my face though, and the DSG actually has a couple advantages over a clutched manual (Dear OG, never thought i'd be complimenting an automatic), since the shifts are near instantaneous, power delivery is seamless, and I can actually safely shift gears while apexing a tight corner to keep the car in the powerband, something that is less advisable in a clutched manual, due to the longer interruption of power delivery, there is the possibility of destabilizing the car in technical twisties.
I've had a couple VW's over the years as well. I just donated the most recent one to NPR because it was still very road-worthy and will probably serve someone well for another few years to come.

It was a 2000 VW Jetta GLX (VR6) with 5 speed manual. Leather. Fully loaded. I bought it new in 1999 and drove it happily for 20 years. Regular maintenance and a few unnecessary upgrades was all it took to keep that thing running. Still the original factory clutch and exhaust. Taught both my kids to drive on it. The youngest drove it almost exclusively for the past year. Never a dull drive in that thing. Such a lovely car in all conditions. Sometimes I still wish I had it to take out for a spirited dash through the twisties.

That said, soon as my ass hits the seat of the MB, I forget about all the other cars.
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  #62  
Old 05-30-2019, 06:38 PM
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The best part of my Golf TDI?
if I drive like an old man, I get 38-40 on country backroads, 35 in town/city, 42-45 on the highway.
If I have fun, 35 on backroads, 30 City, 39-40 Highway.

and the handling is always brilliant, twisty, serpentine back roads at the speed limit, roaring down the highway, or hopping between stoplights, it's never boring!

with 236 TQ on tap right off the bat, stoplight-to-stoplight is always fun, and surprises many a driver thinking that it's a "slow, stinky diesel"

no, it's not, it's a car that gets great mileage, *AND* is amazingly fun to drive, you don't have to sell your soul/love of driving to get great mileage, you don't have to be saddled with a soulless, gutless hybrid.
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  #63  
Old 06-04-2019, 05:15 PM
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I really hate my 23 year-old S420:

I'm forced to listen to Chopin on the stereo at 85 mph because it's too quiet for rock n' roll.
I've been forced to buy a set of tires and wiper blades this past 5 years. These maintenance costs are gonna break me for sure.
I had to pay $1600 for it. Damn, that's $1600 I'm never going to see again. Depreciation on this thing is killing me, man.
I wish it had some rattles and squeaks so I could figure out what might be wrong with it.
  #64  
Old 06-05-2019, 08:08 AM
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Well, if the fuel costs don't kill ya, speeding tickets will.
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  #65  
Old 06-05-2019, 03:31 PM
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I really hate my 23 year-old S420:
I've never owned one, but I've heard that older Mercedes, particularly ones from after the early-1990s or so, often develop electrical problems. Is this anything you've experienced with yours?
  #66  
Old 06-05-2019, 03:37 PM
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Obviously I'm not a car guy, but to me and probably to most people, if you took the labels off of a Mercedes and put Ford Tempo emblems on it, I doubt that 98% of people would notice the difference.

Other than the status, what objective features make the car so desirable?
The reason you can't tell a difference from the outside is they are, very often, the trendsetters. Often other companies take design cues, sometimes with blatant ripoffs. It is not really an incredible technical feat to make a car that looks like another car.
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Old 06-05-2019, 05:29 PM
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Does anyone have recommendations for summer reading? I really don’t care about the genre, plot or even the language it’s written in.

It just has to be a paperback in medium blue.

What? You don’t purchase things for their outer appearance?
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Old 06-06-2019, 05:00 PM
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Does anyone have recommendations for summer reading? I really don’t care about the genre, plot or even the language it’s written in.

It just has to be a paperback in medium blue.

What? You don’t purchase things for their outer appearance?
I know you were being sarcastic, but I have seriously heard of decorators treating books simply as decorations, just something to sick on a shelf to complete the "look" of the room, and thus they buy them purely based on their size and color. And now I wonder if there would be a market for purely decorative fake books, like a cardboard box with a fancy leather bound cover.

Last edited by WildaBeast; 06-06-2019 at 05:01 PM.
  #69  
Old 06-07-2019, 02:36 AM
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Does anyone have recommendations for summer reading? I really donít care about the genre, plot or even the language itís written in.

It just has to be a paperback in medium blue.

What? You donít purchase things for their outer appearance?
If you don't think aesthetics matter in a vehicle, you need to explain why all the major automakers maintain large and lavishly funded design centers and spend many millions on the exterior and interior appearance of every new model. The alternative would be to churn out cars that evoke the Soviet era of automotive design, where every car looks like a Yugo. Aesthetic design complements engineering and both are things in which Mercedes excels, which is why some of their cars look like works of art.

For most of us, appearance in a car is not the most important feature by any means, as long as it isn't blatantly ugly, but it's definitely a factor in decision-making. I care about appearance as a matter of aesthetics in an expensive piece of property, even though I personally couldn't care less about the "image" factor -- but many people care a great deal about image, even if they would never admit it.
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Old 06-07-2019, 02:40 AM
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And now I wonder if there would be a market for purely decorative fake books, like a cardboard box with a fancy leather bound cover.
There is. You can get wallpaper that looks like books (including in sizes intended to fake a single row/shelf), you can get boxes (both strong and not) which look like books... I've seen a folding bed (the kind that looks like a closet when it's put up) whose cover was wallpapered in book-wallpaper; somehow that little bit of trompe l'oeil managed to make it draw a lot less attention than if it had been a large "closet door" in between two columns of bookshelves.




And while I didn't choose my last car based on "ok, who makes them in red?" I did have a very clear notion of "I'm not taking anything in grey, black, white or light blue - it's got to be visible".
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Last edited by Nava; 06-07-2019 at 02:43 AM.
  #71  
Old 06-07-2019, 08:06 AM
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And while I didn't choose my last car based on "ok, who makes them in red?" I did have a very clear notion of "I'm not taking anything in grey, black, white or light blue - it's got to be visible".
Pull me over yellow?
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  #72  
Old 06-07-2019, 02:04 PM
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Independent shop checking in here. We don't work on Mercedes because:

1. Specialized training is required, and nearly impossible to get. None of our
techs are trained to work on them.
2. Parts are difficult to get, and expensive when available.
3. Specialized tools are required. These are usually rather expensive.

BTW, as an aside, I've noticed that all the new cars look almost exactly alike, at least from the outside. I drove by a Rolls-Royce dealer the other day, and the only way I could tell that it wasn't a garden variety Honda was by a minute inspection of the grill.
What's the point in driving a ridiculously expensive car if nobody knows you're doing it?
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Old 06-07-2019, 02:25 PM
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What's the point in driving a ridiculously expensive car if nobody knows you're doing it?
I've always assumed this is the reason the newest Mercedes models have a ridiculously huge emblem in the middle of the grille. Not only is it huge, on some cars at least the emblem actually lights up when the headlights are on. The only conceivable reason for it to light up is to make sure everyone knows this car is a Mercedes, even at night.
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Old 06-07-2019, 03:45 PM
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BTW, as an aside, I've noticed that all the new cars look almost exactly alike, at least from the outside. I drove by a Rolls-Royce dealer the other day, and the only way I could tell that it wasn't a garden variety Honda was by a minute inspection of the grill.
What's the point in driving a ridiculously expensive car if nobody knows you're doing it?
As long as by "all the new cars look almost exactly alike" you mean "not alike at all"! Sure, there are superficial similarities, in the sense that cars of every decade have similar high-level styling themes, but come on! Mercedes is particularly adept at having distinctive styling themes that tend to be common to particular model lines. It's not hard to be different, but the styling knack that Mercedes has mastered is to be different and aesthetically appealing at the same time. As for Rolls Royce, I think they were once very elegant but I don't much like their modern look. Still, they're definitely unique. If you think this looks like a Honda, may I suggest an eye exam.
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Old 06-07-2019, 09:16 PM
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I think MB has missed the boat when it comes to the US market. Why spend that kinda money on a tight cramped sedan that handles like a sports car, when u can buy a Chevy Tahoe thatís much more comfortable, much bigger, and can tolerate crappy potholed roads. Americans value size/$ at an acceptable quality level. Instead of quality/$ at reduced size.
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Old 06-08-2019, 12:10 AM
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If you don't think aesthetics matter in a vehicle, you need to explain why all the major automakers maintain large and lavishly funded design centers and spend many millions on the exterior and interior appearance of every new model.
No, I’m just using the old saying to mock the OP for ignoring the performance, quality and whatnot and focusing solely on the exterior. Never said it wasn’t important, you read that into it.


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I know you were being sarcastic, but I have seriously heard of decorators treating books simply as decorations, just something to sick on a shelf to complete the "look" of the room, and thus they buy them purely based on their size and color. And now I wonder if there would be a market for purely decorative fake books, like a cardboard box with a fancy leather bound cover.
My friend is an attorney and spent a lot of money getting hard cover law books for his conference room despite doing all of his research electronically. He said it made it look more “professional.” I have no idea if that is the case or not.
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Old 06-08-2019, 12:23 AM
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I think MB has missed the boat when it comes to the US market. Why spend that kinda money on a tight cramped sedan that handles like a sports car, when u can buy a Chevy Tahoe thatís much more comfortable, much bigger, and can tolerate crappy potholed roads. Americans value size/$ at an acceptable quality level. Instead of quality/$ at reduced size.
...maybe that's one reason Europeans aren't as big as Americans despite suffering from the same food industry: we have smaller houses, smaller cars and smaller roads and we'd like to continue being able to use them. For us, that sedan isn't cramped, and it can drive on our narrower roads and park in our smaller spaces comfortably. Most of the roads my GPS takes me on when I let it avoid traffic lights (which it hates for some reason) wouldn't be wide enough for that Chevy.
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Old 06-08-2019, 01:37 PM
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I have a 1977 Mercedes Benz 300D. Know what they stuffed the seats with in 1977? Rubberized horse hair! HORSE HAIR! The stuff all ends up under the seats leaving one to sit on vinyl-covered springs. My dad's 1973 Pinto wagon's seats were made with a good grade of synthetic foam rubber, ferfuxsake!! Were things still that bad in Germany in '77?
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Old 06-08-2019, 08:25 PM
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...maybe that's one reason Europeans aren't as big as Americans despite suffering from the same food industry: we have smaller houses, smaller cars and smaller roads and we'd like to continue being able to use them. For us, that sedan isn't cramped, and it can drive on our narrower roads and park in our smaller spaces comfortably. Most of the roads my GPS takes me on when I let it avoid traffic lights (which it hates for some reason) wouldn't be wide enough for that Chevy.
Yes. I agree the euro and US market/culture is different on average, US buyers value size/$ for the most part. Why? Probably just the way US companies have always competed, who knows.
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Old 06-08-2019, 08:27 PM
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I have a 1977 Mercedes Benz 300D. Know what they stuffed the seats with in 1977? Rubberized horse hair! HORSE HAIR! The stuff all ends up under the seats leaving one to sit on vinyl-covered springs. My dad's 1973 Pinto wagon's seats were made with a good grade of synthetic foam rubber, ferfuxsake!! Were things still that bad in Germany in '77?
Thatís funny my VW Ghia uses horsehair too. Gives a unique smell that I always associate with old air-cooled vwís, didnít know MB did the same. Makes sense I guess VW and MB both use the same suppliers.
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Old 06-08-2019, 08:31 PM
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I think MB has missed the boat when it comes to the US market. Why spend that kinda money on a tight cramped sedan that handles like a sports car, when u can buy a Chevy Tahoe thatís much more comfortable, much bigger, and can tolerate crappy potholed roads. Americans value size/$ at an acceptable quality level. Instead of quality/$ at reduced size.
Maybe for average, middle class Americans. Except Mercedes isn't trying to sell to average middle class Americans. They're going after the premium market. That's not as big as the market for big Tahoes, but it's a niche that does exist in the US and that's the one they fill.
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Old 06-08-2019, 09:04 PM
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I would think that if they’re using MB’s as taxis in Europe, they would go after the middle class market in the US. Especially since large SUV’s are not cheap at all. You’d think a car company would want to sell cars. Sorry, I just think MB’s aren’t that great
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Old 06-10-2019, 07:26 AM
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I would think that if they’re using MB’s as taxis in Europe, they would go after the middle class market in the US. Especially since large SUV’s are not cheap at all. You’d think a car company would want to sell cars. Sorry, I just think MB’s aren’t that great
Overwhelming majority of the MB taxis in the EU are smaller displacement diesel engines. What's your understanding of the desirability for more expensive, often slower, diesel cars in the US market, given the higher average costs of diesel fuel?
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Old 06-10-2019, 08:55 AM
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Diesel cars have never really caught on in the US. Probably for the reasons you mention. A diesel SUV might do ok, as long as it was priced similar to a gas version, but that might be difficult to accomplish.
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Old 06-10-2019, 09:58 AM
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Mercedes has produced and sold diesel cars and SUVs in the US market for years. 300D being one of most iconic models. More recent models include the ML350/GLE350 BlueTec midsize SUV models available for about 10 production years. But here again, they are aimed at the luxury market with lots of extras not included in the very different Chevy Tahoe SUV target market. So I'm not sure what specifically makes MB "not so great" when considering they are not aiming at the same market segment.
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Old 06-10-2019, 10:55 AM
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Overwhelming majority of the MB taxis in the EU are smaller displacement diesel engines. What's your understanding of the desirability for more expensive, often slower, diesel cars in the US market, given the higher average costs of diesel fuel?
This American *LOVES* his 2012 VW Golf TDI (certified preowned with 50,000 miles), the reasons I bought it were;

1; diesel engines are built far stronger than the equivalent gasoline engine, they have to stand up to the much higher pressures involved in compression ignition, their durability is infamous

2; they are generally more reliable than the equivalent gasoline engine, and the chassis is typically more durable as well, barring variables such as corrosion from road salt, small diesel passenger cars can *easily* go 400,000+ miles with routine maintenance (oil changes and the like), there's a good video series on YouTube by "Car Throttle" that details his experiences with a Skoda Octavia (similar to a VW Jetta)sedan with 450,000+ miles on it, (He named it Miles ), in one of the vids, he took it to a local mechanic and performed a teardown on the engine to check for wear, at 450K+ there was nearly no wear at all, the mechanic said if he didn't know the history, he would have thought the engine was nearly new based on the wear patterns (or lack thereof)

3; They generate all their power/torque at low RPM, making them far more drivable around town and on backroads, my Golf TDI may only have a humble 140 HP, but it makes a respectable 236 Ft-Lb of torque at under 2,000 RPM, accelerating from a stoplight feels like a jetliner taking off, the torque shoves you back in your seat with authority, and under power, it pulls like a frakking freight train, it's incredibly *FUN* to drive in daily use, no it won't win any 1/4 mile drag races or top speed records (until I tune it up, that is ), but it's the perfect *FUN* daily driver

4; depending on how I drive, on my 2 lane hilly backroads, with speed limits from 25-55 MPH, I can get around 31-45 MPG, and, unlike the utterly soulless, asthmatic, gutless prius transportation appliance, the Golf TDI is actually a major hoot to drive, it's incredibly fun, and puts an ear-to-ear grin on my face every time I drive it, yes, the prius will get better absolute fuel mileage, I won't debate that, but the prius sacrifices *EVERYTHING ELSE* at the Altar Of Fuel Economy, i'm willing to sacrifice a *tiny* bit of fuel economy to gain a huge amount of fun

5; (not limited to the Golf platform, but a reason nonetheless), it's a hatchback, hatchbacks are awesome, period!, fun and utility in a very practical package

I plan to keep this one as long as possible, I plan to drive the wheels off it, then add newer, better wheels, the TDI platform is well worth preserving, my plan is to get at least 400,000 miles off it , this is one car i'm planning on keeping the rest of my life.

the *ONLY* downside to the car is that it's a DSG "Automated Manual", the *ONLY* reason I got the DSG version is that I needed a replacement car as my previous car, a 201 Honda Element LX AWD (my first, last, and only sludgebox automatic) was totaled out in a car accident, and I needed something inexpensive, the DSG Golf was the only one in my price range at the time, $9,000 for a car with 50,000 miles, a 2 year unlimited bumper to bumper warranty and a 4 year/150K powertrain and emissions warranty (4/150 from date of CPO purchase) was hard to resist....

Ö.however, I am keeping my eyes open for a similar deal on a manual version, if I can find a '12-'14 CPO Golf TDI with a manual, I will trade out of the DSG to get the manual version

so no, not *ALL* Americans are opposed to small, economical diesels, I prefer them over their gasoline siblings

Ö.once battery-electrics become feasible in brutal New England winters I may consider a Tesla as my next car, ideally a Golf-style hatchback would be nice, rear wheel drive (or selectable AWD that would allow me to turn the front motor to a generator/recharge motor instead of a drive motor, hey, that's a great idea for the current crop of AWD Teslas, give the driver the ability to turn one of the drive motors into a generator, an easy way to reduce range anxiety....
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  #87  
Old 06-10-2019, 02:16 PM
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This American *LOVES* his 2012 VW Golf TDI (certified preowned with 50,000 miles), the reasons I bought it were;

1; diesel engines are built far stronger than the equivalent gasoline engine, they have to stand up to the much higher pressures involved in compression ignition, their durability is infamous
this is not true. you're comparing heavy truck engines to light vehicle engines. The car world has had plenty of diesel engines which were trash.

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2; they are generally more reliable than the equivalent gasoline engine, and the chassis is typically more durable as well,
this is no longer true, modern diesels are even more complex than gas engines. and reliability of the emissions controls has been "problematic" at best.

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3; They generate all their power/torque at low RPM, making them far more drivable around town and on backroads, my Golf TDI may only have a humble 140 HP, but it makes a respectable 236 Ft-Lb of torque at under 2,000 RPM, accelerating from a stoplight feels like a jetliner taking off, the torque shoves you back in your seat with authority, and under power, it pulls like a frakking freight train, it's incredibly *FUN* to drive in daily use, no it won't win any 1/4 mile drag races or top speed records (until I tune it up, that is ), but it's the perfect *FUN* daily driver
236 lb-ft is pathetic out of a 2.0 turbo engine. Go look at the specs for all of the other 2.0 gas DI turbo engines out there on the market; you'll find that nearly every single one puts out more torque and way more hp than that 2.0 TDI. And they're capable of doing so at just as low an RPM as a diesel. Here are a few examples: Hyundai Sonata 2.0 GTDI, 245 hp, 260 lb-ft 1350-4000 RPM. Buick Regal 2.0 GTDI, 250 hp, 260 lb-ft 2000-5000 RPM. Honda Accord 2.0 GTDI, 252 hp, 273 lb-ft 1500-4000 RPM.

and so on. Turbocharging gets you low end torque. diesels only have that reputation because for decades people have been comparing turbodiesels to normally aspirated gas engines.
  #88  
Old 06-10-2019, 02:47 PM
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The car world has had plenty of diesel engines which were trash.
Diesel cars had a brief period of popularity in the US in the early 1980s in response to the fuel spikes of the 1970s, and during this era Detroit made some diesels that were complete garbage. As I understand it Oldsmobile had one that was notoriously bad, precisely because GM failed to design it to handle a diesel's higher compression ratios (I think they might have simply modified one of their existing gas engines to burn diesel, but I might be wrong). IMO the diesels from this era gave them a bad reputation in America. But most European car companies are more skilled at building reliable diesels since they've been doing it longer -- see the legendarily indestructible Mercedes 300D.

Yes, you do have a point about the emissions control devices, though.
  #89  
Old 06-10-2019, 03:36 PM
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Diesel cars had a brief period of popularity in the US in the early 1980s in response to the fuel spikes of the 1970s, and during this era Detroit made some diesels that were complete garbage. As I understand it Oldsmobile had one that was notoriously bad, precisely because GM failed to design it to handle a diesel's higher compression ratios (I think they might have simply modified one of their existing gas engines to burn diesel, but I might be wrong).
you are wrong. the Olds 5.7 diesel shared almost no parts with the gas engine. it was built in the same plant so certain aspects of it (bore spacing, deck height, cylinder head bolt layout) had to be the same, but apart from that the diesel 350 and gas 350 were almost entirely different engines. The two flaws it had were 1) weak head bolts causing blown head gaskets, and 2) the lack of a water trap in the fuel system which damaged injection pumps and could contribute to blowing head gaskets.

Quote:
IMO the diesels from this era gave them a bad reputation in America. But most European car companies are more skilled at building reliable diesels since they've been doing it longer -- see the legendarily indestructible Mercedes 300D.

Yes, you do have a point about the emissions control devices, though.
the only thing the OM617 has in common with a modern diesel engine is they notionally burn the same type of fuel. those old engines were so durable because they made practically no power and were really understressed. The modern OM624 V6 is known to have several weak points, as does the VM Motori 3.0 V6 used in several FCA vehicles. High pressure fuel pumps are a weak point on a lot of engines.
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Old 06-10-2019, 09:42 PM
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But here again, they are aimed at the luxury market with lots of extras not included in the very different Chevy Tahoe SUV target market. So I'm not sure what specifically makes MB "not so great" when considering they are not aiming at the same market segment.
I guess my lack of being impressed with MB partially has to do with this. What does MB have to offer in regard to extras,over and above a fully loaded Chevy or Cadillac?

Last edited by Mcmechanic; 06-10-2019 at 09:43 PM.
  #91  
Old 06-11-2019, 02:39 AM
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Part of it is simply that what the Chevy or Cadillac have as options, Mercedes considers baseline. Sometimes it happens that by the time you load everything (including some stuff you don't give a shit about but which is part of each successive "package") onto another brand's similar-sized car, the fully-loaded car is more expensive and has a worse functionality ratio* than the one which started as more expensive and also as already having all that other stuff.


* hereby defined as "things I really want" divided by "stuff I had to get because it was part of a package". For example, back in the Dark Ages I bought a car which, in order to include a CD player, would also have acquired several speedy-looking stickers. The price of the change from tape player to "CD player plus snazzy stickers" was higher than that of a truly high-end sound system. More-expensive models already came with a decent-to-high end CD player, no need for snazzy stickers.

Last edited by Nava; 06-11-2019 at 02:41 AM.
  #92  
Old 06-11-2019, 09:27 AM
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I guess my lack of being impressed with MB partially has to do with this. What does MB have to offer in regard to extras,over and above a fully loaded Chevy or Cadillac?
Long ago (in the 80's?), I was listening to a car talk radio show. A caller had called in about some persistent noise while driving that he couldn't seem to track down. During the call one of the hosts told a story from when he was the manager of a dealer service department and a customer came in several times with a complaint about noise while driving. About the third or fourth visit to try to fix this, the customer complained "You'd think that these kind of problems wouldn't be allowed in a 20,000 dollar vehicle". The service manager replied, "You don't own a 20,000 dollar vehicle. You own a 10,000 dollar vehicle with 10,000 dollars worth of options". That was the service manager's last week with that dealer.

Nobody talks about a "fully loaded" Mercedes (or just about any other top end luxury vehicle). Everything is engineered in from the start. It makes a difference.
  #93  
Old 06-11-2019, 09:50 AM
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I think MB has missed the boat when it comes to the US market. Why spend that kinda money on a tight cramped sedan that handles like a sports car, when u can buy a Chevy Tahoe thatís much more comfortable, much bigger, and can tolerate crappy potholed roads.
You may not know this, but we city dwellers laugh openly at folks who try to five such beasts in the city. It's hilarious to watch them try to park, either on the street or in a cramped parking garage.
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Old 06-11-2019, 11:01 AM
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Nobody talks about a "fully loaded" Mercedes (or just about any other top end luxury vehicle). Everything is engineered in from the start. It makes a difference.
Sorry, I had to laugh at this a little. Try going here (Porsche configurator) and prepare to be horrified.

I don't want to go all "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" here but I do think there can be a very noticeable difference in quality between a Mercedes/BMW and lower end cars. If you don't get a certain satisfaction from feeling the solid "thud" of a Mercedes door closing versus the tinny feeling of a Kia, then that just means you're not looking for such things (which is absolutely fine). Some people appreciate clothes, some appreciate wine, others appreciate cars and probably pay closer attention to the differences between them.

Many years ago, I hated BMWs, not because I had ever driven one but because of the image of the yuppie scum cruising around like he owned the road. But then I noticed something in every magazine article I ever read. Whenever they road tested a Mustang or Nissan, they would always say something akin to "The handling is fantastic. I mean it's not quite as good as a BMW but it's really, really good." Finally, I went out and test drove a BMW just to see if it was better than anything else. Most car dealerships will take you on a very specific set of roads that are flat, smooth and well maintained while talking your ear off to keep you from noticing any problems. The BMW dealer just put me in the car and said "Go to it!". It really did handle better than any other car I had driven. Hit a bump? The car doesn't even get fazed. Take a corner a little too fast? It lets you feel exactly how much grip the tires have. I ended up driving BMWs for 20 years and they honestly saved my life once when another car ran a red light and I had to swerve around it to avoid a full speed collision.

I certainly don't mind that some people don't appreciate a nice car the same way I hope they don't mind me wearing sneakers and a T-shirt. But some of us do.
  #95  
Old 06-11-2019, 11:07 AM
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Those people took themselves off the high shelf when they came up with That Monstrosity, the one named after a spice
  #96  
Old 06-11-2019, 11:07 AM
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You may not know this, but we city dwellers laugh openly at folks who try to five such beasts in the city. It's hilarious to watch them try to park, either on the street or in a cramped parking garage.
I generally don't have a problem in American cities with my Expedition, although my last business trip to Chicago, the valet indicated that it wouldn't fit in their garage, and so I had to self-park. It was no big deal, other than having to walk a couple of blocks like a caveman.

I had an Expedition in the Mexico City area for a year and a half. Wonderful vehicle, but I absolutely refused to drive it if I had to go into the city proper, as it was much, much too huge. Whenever a coworker wanted to swap cars for a weekend road trip, I was always happy to take the Fusion, because it meant I could drive to Reforma or similar destination in town. Ironically, I never had issues with it in places like Guanajuato City or San Miguel de Allende, despite small streets.
  #97  
Old 06-11-2019, 11:58 AM
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I think MB has missed the boat when it comes to the US market. Why spend that kinda money on a tight cramped sedan that handles like a sports car, when u can buy a Chevy Tahoe thatís much more comfortable, much bigger, and can tolerate crappy potholed roads. Americans value size/$ at an acceptable quality level. Instead of quality/$ at reduced size.
One of my coworkers tends to leave at the same time as I do, so I notice what car he gets in when he leaves. I noticed he apparently owns both a Tahoe and a Mercedes sedan, which of course made me think of this post. Evidently he sees benefits in both vehicles.
  #98  
Old 06-11-2019, 12:47 PM
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I found this two-door Granada from 1978, very well maintained by the looks of it. Not gonna lie, I would drive the shit out of that thing, especially if I could get it with a manual transmission and a V8. It looks like a miniature version of a sixth generation Thunderbird. It does NOT look like a Mercedes. But I still think it looks cool.

The four-door version does leave something to be desired, and it DOES look like a cheap knockoff of a Mercedes.
Back when he worked for an oil company in the 70s, my dad used to be given Ford Granadas as company cars. And he hated them deeply. Was much happier when his company went to Chevy Malibus.
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Old 06-11-2019, 03:20 PM
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I'm in Australia, so perhaps my experience is different. I owned an E320 (very much used) for a number of years. It was a bit of a tank, but it was the most amzing car I have ever owned. For a few years I needed to do a 200 mile round trip (that's each way, so 400 miles in total on one day) each week. I just pointed it down the road and never worried about it.

The only problem was that every service cost a fortune.

I unfortunately needed to give it away when the repair bill was going to be over $6K, and it was worth nowhere near that much,
  #100  
Old 06-11-2019, 04:41 PM
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I guess my lack of being impressed with MB partially has to do with this. What does MB have to offer in regard to extras,over and above a fully loaded Chevy or Cadillac?
If you're truly interested in the side by side comparo, you should spend a little time researching a loaded Escalade and a loaded GLS. Go sit in both and drive them both. Even better, compare the features, look and feel of both cars from 10 years ago. I think you'll find that MB is generally first by a number of years as far as almost every new technology and safety feature you find in cheaper modern cars today. They were first to produce Anti-lock brakes in 1978 in a production line car. They continue to be leaders in virtually every market segment. Now, maybe you don't care about the latest new bell or whistle. Fair enough. Not everyone needs or wants a self parking car. But you can't say you're not impressed with the fact that if it exists, more often than not, MB introduced it first.
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