View Full Version : From Mazda to Mercedes?

Steve Paulson
04-18-2013, 03:43 PM
Looking for wisdom here, and for intell from those that know. We have an '03 Mazda Protege5 that's....well....it's just ok. As the model goes this one is excellent with all the toys. They hold their value well--I'm guessing I could sell it for maybe somewhere just north of $7k.

I'm eyeballing a Mercedes wagon to replace it--similar year, similar miles, similar price. They apparently don't hold their value well, but to think that for about an even swap my wife could be commuting to work in a Mercedes instead of the Mazda....golly, it's awfully tempting.

The years and models being considered are 2001-2003 c240, c320 & e320 wagons. It would seem that with proper maintenance they can run for a good long time. Anybody know anything for sure?

I'd never even considered owning a luxury brand before. Then some used car salesman parked an e320 wagon on his lot for an alarmingly low price and it got the wheels turning, so to speak.

chad newton
04-18-2013, 03:49 PM
Only suggestion I have is to check reviews or go to an independent foreign car machanics shop and ask the service guys what they think about then. A couple of hours of research could save years of agony.

04-18-2013, 04:03 PM
I think German cars are some of the safest out there.

I've never owned a Mercedes, but I used to do lots of Germanic internet readin' when I had my 911. The consensus seemed to be that Mercedes build quality got cheaper, not as bomb-proof, in those early 2000's models. Now again, I was reading opinions of people who'd owned MB before, comparing to the one they just bought.

I don't recall reading anything about motor quality or repair concerns. If I wuz you, SP, I would research this model on MB forums. Try this one: www.benzworld.org/

Benjamin Liu
04-18-2013, 04:16 PM
It would seem that with proper maintenance they can run for a good long time. Anybody know anything for sure?

I can't speak for that specific model, but throughout most of the 1990s I drove a 1983 Mercedes 300D. I stupidly sold it in 1999 when it needed some expensive (or so I thought at the time) repairs. It had over 250,000 miles on it IIRC.

I have noticed that people will treat you differently if you drive a Mercedes, some good, some bad. It might not be as much these days since newer Mercedes look a lot like Hondas, Toyotas, or Hyundais while the older ones had a very distinctive look.

As for safety, I know someone who was in a bad accident in 1993 where his 1990 Mercedes rolled over a few times and he walked away from it. He was injured, but no broken bones or anything he had to stay in the hospital for.

Steve Paulson
04-18-2013, 04:30 PM
I have noticed that people will treat you differently if you drive a Mercedes, some good, some bad.

This admittedly is a consideration, albeit a small one. Guys in my line of work (pastors) don't tend to get paid much, so the folks at church may raise an eyebrow if they see the pastor's family rolling around in a MB. But I'm enough of a pot-stirrer that I'm ok with raising a few eyebrows.... :naughty:

The safety thing is also a consideration. The Mazda is no slouch in crash tests, for a small car, but having a bit more metal around us is never a bad thing. And the Mazda is very small....and my daughter is growing quite tall....

This is more about want than need. But I do NOT want to get into something that will give me headaches. Research has been ongoing and will continue. Figured I'd ask here too. :grin:

Benjamin Liu
04-18-2013, 04:34 PM
This could be a subjective thing, but compared to all the other cars I've driven, the diesel engine of the Mercedes just felt more powerful.

It also came in handy when jerks tailgated me- stepping on the accelerator produces clouds of black smoke. It was almost like having a smokescreen. :laughing:

04-18-2013, 04:56 PM
Save yourself a nasty surprise and spend the money to take it to a good German auto specialist for a pre-buy inspection.
Realize German car maintenance is 3 to 4 times more expensive than other brands. Parts are that much more as well as service.

That said they are a lot of fun and definitely worth the money if you can spare it.

04-18-2013, 05:40 PM
I would get the E series wagon. They are great solid high mileage vehicles. Your Maintenace won't be this bad but I have an 09 450GL and was just told the front two shocks for the pneumatic suspension will be $1,900 install. This is about half the dealer cost. The wagons don't have this option so your are safe.

Maintenace will be higher buy definitely have it checked out first. I have found it to be better to maintain a quality vehicle than to keep buying newer cheap ones. My daily driver is a 99 Landcruiser with 245k miles and counting.

04-18-2013, 05:51 PM
They do okay with lots of high-dollar maintenance and repair. As long as you can foot the bills, they are a solid vehicle. I had a BMW once, and it was an awesome car, but she was very expensive to repair and maintain.

John Chambers
04-18-2013, 08:00 PM
Well, you can carry more guns and gear in the MBZ...