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MB or BMW?

 
Old 05-11-2012, 12:08 PM
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MB or BMW?

Afternoon all
I'm thinking of buying a new car for everyday drive. Now crossshopping between MB C class and BMW 3 series. I've been a very loyal customer of MB. As you can see from my signature, I owned 5 MBs in the past and no other cars. But the recent reliability issue has made me suspicious about MB.
So here is the deal. I can't decide wether I should get a 2012 C300 or 2012 BMW 328(or even 335, same to me). I like the new C's interior, it is much better than the BMW. But many told me BMW has a better reliability. I plan to keep the car for at least 5 years.
Or should I just pay 10k more to buy a new E? I had a 2010E350 before(bought new), and I test drived the new C 300, dont know why, I feel everything is the same except the E is roomier.
Any suggestions? I apprciate your time!!
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Old 05-11-2012, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by jj1400 View Post
Afternoon all
I'm thinking of buying a new car for everyday drive. Now crossshopping between MB C class and BMW 3 series. I've been a very loyal customer of MB. As you can see from my signature, I owned 5 MBs in the past and no other cars. But the recent reliability issue has made me suspicious about MB.
So here is the deal. I can't decide wether I should get a 2012 C300 or 2012 BMW 328(or even 335, same to me). I like the new C's interior, it is much better than the BMW. But many told me BMW has a better reliability. I plan to keep the car for at least 5 years.
Or should I just pay 10k more to buy a new E? I had a 2010E350 before(bought new), and I test drived the new C 300, dont know why, I feel everything is the same except the E is roomier.
Any suggestions? I apprciate your time!!
There is no data I've seen which supports the 3 series having superior reliability to the C. In fact, JDPower suggests the opposite. The rationale for switching to BMW (which is also on my mind) is for the more nimble, responsive (engine/trans and chassis!) driving experience at the trade-off of the MB's greater comfort, or if you want a manual transmission. I note you are not considering the new 4 cylinder versions of either, but if you start to, the new BMW motor has been reviewed as far superior. But, that is in the first year of a new car, so caveat emptor! If this is a pure quality/reliability decision, the MB is the superior candidate.
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Old 05-11-2012, 01:00 PM
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I checked Consumer Report, and put eight similar cars side by side, MB C-Class, BMW 3, Lexus IS, Volvo, Audi, Infiniti, etc.

C-Class has the highest overall points. Noise level is one of the lowest maybe tied with another car. BMW is noticeably noisier on the comparison list. I never test drove BMW so not sure the actual noise level.

I made that comparison list (copy and paste to my excel sheet) after I decided on C-Class but before I went to dealer on the purchase day, just to see if there is anything important I missed.
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Old 05-11-2012, 01:06 PM
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2008 CLS550, 2010 E350 sport 4matic, 2012 CL550, 2008 C350 sport
Im a very devoted MB fan but when I went to purchase a compact sport sedan, I drove the 3 series, C class and A4. The MB's cheap interior (pre-facelift) led me to get the Audi. I would NEVER get a 3 series, even if it is as good as they say, mainly because you seen one on every street! They're the most over purchased car ever!

So if I was buying in 2012, the C class is probably the best. But the pre-facelifted models...not so much hence the A4 in my driveway
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Old 05-11-2012, 01:08 PM
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I've test driven the a fully load 2012 328, 2011 335i, and 2012 528i. I have to agree with sportstick about reliability. The new BMW 4 cylinder engine is brilliant compared to the MB and you wouldn't believe its a 4-cylinder until you're idle and hear a diesel engine coming from your hood (but that applies to the c250 as well). I was shocked when the lowest price for the 2012 328i on the lot was 55k MSRP. They are not cheap cars because BMW expects that you pay for all the options (even the alarm system) unless you want an empty sporty handling car. If you're looking at the 335i, expect to go as low as 50k. IMHO, if you don't go to the track every week, then 0-60, 1/4 lap speeds/time, stiff suspension and goddamn run flat tires will be pointless and only give you a huge back-ache, leaving you wondering why you didn't stick with MB Although free service is nice and saves you about $2,000 total, you're going to fall into debt paying $600 per run flat tire, which cannot be patched, unless you pay $1,500 for the tire insurance (70,000 miles/5 years I think), so either way, expect to pay.

BMW are fun cars and it feels nice to be behind the wheel, knowing that you have an extremely capable car when some guy in a Honda tailgates you or thinks he's the sh*t. The thing is, I feel the same about a MB minus the back/head aches.

Although it's entirely your opinion because its based on personal preference, remember that you're asking in a MB forum so don't expect much sympathy for BMW

As a fun fact, long, long ago, BMW almost went out of business and was nearly purchased by Mercedes-Benz because they couldn't make a proper luxury car (in terms of style and comfort) and were only saved because they went for a sporty platform.

Last edited by Domm; 05-11-2012 at 01:14 PM.
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Old 05-11-2012, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Domm View Post
I've test driven the a fully load 2012 328, 2011 335i, and 2012 528i. I have to agree with sportstick about reliability. The new BMW 4 cylinder engine is brilliant compared to the MB and you wouldn't believe its a 4-cylinder until you're idle and hear a diesel engine coming from your hood (but that applies to the c250 as well). I was shocked when the lowest price for the 2012 328i on the lot was 55k MSRP. They are not cheap cars because BMW expects that you pay for all the options (even the alarm system) unless you want an empty sporty handling car. If you're looking at the 335i, expect to go as low as 50k. IMHO, if you don't go to the track every week, then 0-60, 1/4 lap speeds/time, stiff suspension and goddamn run flat tires will be pointless and only give you a huge back-ache, leaving you wondering why you didn't stick with MB Although free service is nice and saves you about $2,000 total, you're going to fall into debt paying $600 per run flat tire, which cannot be patched, unless you pay $1,500 for the tire insurance (70,000 miles/5 years I think), so either way, expect to pay.

BMW are fun cars and it feels nice to be behind the wheel, knowing that you have an extremely capable car when some guy in a Honda tailgates you or thinks he's the sh*t. The thing is, I feel the same about a MB minus the back/head aches.

Although it's entirely your opinion because its based on personal preference, remember that you're asking in a MB forum so don't expect much sympathy for BMW

As a fun fact, long, long ago, BMW almost went out of business and was nearly purchased by Mercedes-Benz because they couldn't make a proper luxury car (in terms of style and comfort) and were only saved because they went for a sporty platform.

Good post
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Old 05-11-2012, 02:46 PM
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Depends on what you want as far as experience.
You prefer luxury? Mercedes
You prefer to feel connected to the road for a fun driving experience? BMW
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Old 05-11-2012, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by jj1400 View Post
Afternoon all
I'm thinking of buying a new car for everyday drive. Now crossshopping between MB C class and BMW 3 series. I've been a very loyal customer of MB. As you can see from my signature, I owned 5 MBs in the past and no other cars. But the recent reliability issue has made me suspicious about MB.
So here is the deal. I can't decide wether I should get a 2012 C300 or 2012 BMW 328(or even 335, same to me). I like the new C's interior, it is much better than the BMW. But many told me BMW has a better reliability. I plan to keep the car for at least 5 years.
Or should I just pay 10k more to buy a new E? I had a 2010E350 before(bought new), and I test drived the new C 300, dont know why, I feel everything is the same except the E is roomier.
Any suggestions? I apprciate your time!!

Were those "many" that told you happen to be BMW owners?!
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Old 05-11-2012, 09:54 PM
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Thank you for all your responses guys! I've made my decision, yea, gonna pick up my C300 tomorrow! I am an MB fan and I will stay with it! As always.
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Old 05-11-2012, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Domm View Post
I've test driven the a fully load 2012 328, 2011 335i, and 2012 528i. I have to agree with sportstick about reliability. The new BMW 4 cylinder engine is brilliant compared to the MB and you wouldn't believe its a 4-cylinder until you're idle and hear a diesel engine coming from your hood (but that applies to the c250 as well). I was shocked when the lowest price for the 2012 328i on the lot was 55k MSRP. They are not cheap cars because BMW expects that you pay for all the options (even the alarm system) unless you want an empty sporty handling car. If you're looking at the 335i, expect to go as low as 50k. IMHO, if you don't go to the track every week, then 0-60, 1/4 lap speeds/time, stiff suspension and goddamn run flat tires will be pointless and only give you a huge back-ache, leaving you wondering why you didn't stick with MB Although free service is nice and saves you about $2,000 total, you're going to fall into debt paying $600 per run flat tire, which cannot be patched, unless you pay $1,500 for the tire insurance (70,000 miles/5 years I think), so either way, expect to pay.

BMW are fun cars and it feels nice to be behind the wheel, knowing that you have an extremely capable car when some guy in a Honda tailgates you or thinks he's the sh*t. The thing is, I feel the same about a MB minus the back/head aches.

Although it's entirely your opinion because its based on personal preference, remember that you're asking in a MB forum so don't expect much sympathy for BMW

As a fun fact, long, long ago, BMW almost went out of business and was nearly purchased by Mercedes-Benz because they couldn't make a proper luxury car (in terms of style and comfort) and were only saved because they went for a sporty platform.
Nice post! BMW is no luxury in my mind and I love the quiet feeling MB gives me. So pick up my C tomorrow! Thanks a lot!
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Old 05-11-2012, 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by tasho3 View Post
Were those "many" that told you happen to be BMW owners?!
Amazingly, I just found out, yes! They are BMW owners
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Old 05-11-2012, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Sportstick View Post
There is no data I've seen which supports the 3 series having superior reliability to the C. In fact, JDPower suggests the opposite. The rationale for switching to BMW (which is also on my mind) is for the more nimble, responsive (engine/trans and chassis!) driving experience at the trade-off of the MB's greater comfort, or if you want a manual transmission. I note you are not considering the new 4 cylinder versions of either, but if you start to, the new BMW motor has been reviewed as far superior. But, that is in the first year of a new car, so caveat emptor! If this is a pure quality/reliability decision, the MB is the superior candidate.
Thanks SPORTSTICKS. I'll pick up my C tomorrow. The reason why I'm suspicous about MB's reliability is bacause my 08 GL450 gave me a lot of problems. But I just found out that MB sedans are still superior quality cars!
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Old 05-12-2012, 07:00 AM
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2010 C350, 2011 BMW 328xi
JJ, I own one of each, 2010 C350 and a 2011 BMW 328xi--I drive the C and my wife drives the BMW. they both have their qualities depending on what you are looking for in a car. As previously posted the BMW is great in the handling market--I don't think there is any debate there. However ride is superior in the MB. Listen to the sound of the doors closing on both. You will hear something immediately. Its like the sound of a tin can verses a custom crafted house door. you hear the build quality right there. then look alone the edge of the engine hood and you will see the quality sheet metal of the MB verses what looks like a cookie cutter of the BMW.

I commute 80 miles a day so bought my MB for the ride quality and got the 350 so I have a little punch in the traffic. I have been very pleased and never disappointed. The BMW is great for racing around close to town for errands but is not the greatest long distance driver. If you ask my wife she will tell you a different story but one key indicator recently was she asked my to look at an X6 as her next car. Funny because I hadn't even considered my next car as I am so pleased with the one I drive so there is something she already doesn't like about a car she has driven for a little over a year.

Good choice on the C!
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Old 05-12-2012, 07:56 AM
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I feel connected in my c class! Its a drivers car to!
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Old 05-12-2012, 09:12 AM
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Although I never tried BMW, I agree it's more a performance car than MB, based on magazine reading and people's talk.

However, performance versus luxury are relative. Before my 2011 C300 (my weekend car), I had four Japanese cars, 94 Altima, 96 Maima, 00 RX300 (still has) and 02 QX4 (my daily car now), RX300 being the softest. None of those cars has more road connection than my C. My wife already complained about C being too hard over bumps, which I got used to in just a first few days.

I don't need anything firmer than the C. C is super comfortable, and highway power is more than enough to me. I didn't realize it hit 100 mph so fast a few times when I was late.

I never imagined buying a non-Japanese car because of the reliability issue, until I happened to find Consumer Reports rated 2011 C reliability "average". I took a chance and gave it a try, prepared to waste my $40000 total.

Last edited by C300CA; 05-12-2012 at 09:15 AM. Reason: more info
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Old 05-12-2012, 09:27 AM
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In todays car world if you buy a car based on reliablility your basing your decision upon minor details. There is not much of a diffrence between the most reliable car and worst reliable car out there.
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Old 05-12-2012, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by StuttgartUSA View Post
There is not much of a diffrence between the most reliable car and worst reliable car out there.
My friend bought an MB E320 (?) in I think 1999. He said it is his first and last MB. It gave so much troubles like it couldn't start, windows couldn't roll up, etc etc. Nothing really major yet but enough inconvenience to not to buy another...

One MB SUV is stilled rated very low in reliability this year.

Reliability is not minor but really a major consideration in my mind. People are talking about what color, body trim, etc. Those are all minors to me. If I am in a super nice looking car but waiting on the roadside to be towed, people are passing by, what do I feel?

Last edited by C300CA; 05-12-2012 at 10:36 AM. Reason: more info
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Old 05-12-2012, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by ltcinf View Post
JJ, I own one of each, 2010 C350 and a 2011 BMW 328xi--I drive the C and my wife drives the BMW. they both have their qualities depending on what you are looking for in a car. As previously posted the BMW is great in the handling market--I don't think there is any debate there. However ride is superior in the MB. Listen to the sound of the doors closing on both. You will hear something immediately. Its like the sound of a tin can verses a custom crafted house door. you hear the build quality right there. then look alone the edge of the engine hood and you will see the quality sheet metal of the MB verses what looks like a cookie cutter of the BMW.

I commute 80 miles a day so bought my MB for the ride quality and got the 350 so I have a little punch in the traffic. I have been very pleased and never disappointed. The BMW is great for racing around close to town for errands but is not the greatest long distance driver. If you ask my wife she will tell you a different story but one key indicator recently was she asked my to look at an X6 as her next car. Funny because I hadn't even considered my next car as I am so pleased with the one I drive so there is something she already doesn't like about a car she has driven for a little over a year.

Good choice on the C!
Itcinf, I'm very appreciate that you give a so much detail response. I commute about 40 miles round trip per day so yes as you said the BMW may bot fit me well. Btw, I have to go new york city frequently which takes me 5 hours to drive. In the past I always drived my 07 S550 to new york, but if I have a C now it will be better since most the time I drive alone to New York, S is kinda waste.
I like the X6! Actualy that's the only BMW I really like. My mother has one, it's 2010. Exept for the not-too-roomy rear seat, everything else is fantastic. But I hear BMW will have a X7 next year. So why not wait, if you eventually decide to buy your wife a X6,or even ML63 AMG?
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Old 05-12-2012, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by C300CA View Post
My friend bought an MB E320 (?) in I think 1999. He said it is his first and last MB. It gave so much troubles like it couldn't start, windows couldn't roll up, etc etc. Nothing really major yet but enough inconvenience to not to buy another...

One MB SUV is stilled rated very low in reliability this year.

Reliability is not minor but really a major consideration in my mind. People are talking about what color, body trim, etc. Those are all minors to me. If I am in a super nice looking car but waiting on the roadside to be towed, people are passing by, what do I feel?
My older brother owned a 1999 BMW 528. Didn't really use it much as a daily driver, thru 4 years that he owned it, it burned 3 ECU's, a water pump, a cooling fan and finally sold it cause it needed a torque converter replaced! He than got a 2006 X5 which he also didn't use as a daily driver. After a year of owning it, the ABS system went out, and than the rear diff chewed itself! Ask him of he'll own a BMW again?!

We were just talking about this with me mechanic last week and he said he'll own a Audi before he owns a BMW! He also trades cars on the side, so he goes thru cars on weekly bases!

We also own a 2006 BMW 550i currently, and the thing is the most uncomfortable mid size sedan I have ever sat on! But it is a BLAST to drive! I don't know what BMW were thinking but those run flat tires feel very wooden and very uncomfortable! Even a dead fly On the road you'll feel on your vertebrate!

Last edited by tasho3; 05-12-2012 at 11:40 AM.
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Old 05-12-2012, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by C300CA View Post
My friend bought an MB E320 (?) in I think 1999. He said it is his first and last MB. It gave so much troubles like it couldn't start, windows couldn't roll up, etc etc. Nothing really major yet but enough inconvenience to not to buy another...

One MB SUV is stilled rated very low in reliability this year.

Reliability is not minor but really a major consideration in my mind. People are talking about what color, body trim, etc. Those are all minors to me. If I am in a super nice looking car but waiting on the roadside to be towed, people are passing by, what do I feel?
C300CA I agree with you a lot. I think a car's reliability is worth 30% of my choice. When I bought my 08 GL450(new), I stopped in the shop for 5 times with the odometer only read 8000miles. Thanks god it doesn't give me any other troubles during the 8k to 35k interval. MB's SUV is not from Germany, that might be the reason why they have a lower quality. But I have to say, MB sedan is still very solid. My 2007 S550 has not problems at all, now it has 60k miles, I have it since break in.
I think back of all the cars I have, find that for those which give me troubles, are all that I don't have them since break in. For instance, the GL, although it only had 2500 miles when I bought it, it past the break in period. I don't think the first owner of the GL treated it well during the break in period. so it gives me troubles in the future.
In a nutshell, reliability issue is important, MB's SUV is not that solid, and break in is very important!
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Old 05-12-2012, 11:50 AM
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Every performance BMW road tested in SA breaks something during the test - Electronic diffs you name it - They are fragile. I guess the cooking models are OK but the new 3 series is as big as an old 5 & has lost a lot of it's driving edge. More like a badly spec'ed Merc.

BMW's do not make old bones well. If you are going to change them every 60K miles they are fine but won't do close to MB mileage.
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Old 05-12-2012, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by tasho3 View Post
My older brother owned a 1999 BMW 528. Didn't really use it much as a daily driver, thru 4 years that he owned it, it burned 3 ECU's, a water pump, a cooling fan and finally sold it cause it needed a torque converter replaced! He than got a 2006 X5 which he also didn't use as a daily driver. After a year of owning it, the ABS system went out, and than the rear diff chewed itself! Ask him of he'll own a BMW again?!

We were just talking about this with me mechanic last week and he said he'll own a Audi before he owns a BMW! He also trades cars on the side, so he goes thru cars on weekly bases!

We also own a 2006 BMW 550i currently, and the thing is the most uncomfortable mid size sedan I have ever sat on! But it is a BLAST to drive! I don't know what BMW were thinking but those run flat tires feel very wooden and very uncomfortable! Even a dead fly On the road you'll feel on your vertebrate!
wow, before your post I never know BMW has so many problems. In my mind MB is far superior than BMW, especially in the past. But BMW and Audi kinda catch up in the recent decades. 550 should be cool to drive (although I never try it before).Actually performance wise, I think MB AMG bit BMW. btw, is that C63 yours? It looks fabulous!
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Old 05-12-2012, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by C300CA View Post
If I am in a super nice looking car but waiting on the roadside to be towed, people are passing by, what do I feel?
A rush of air?
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Old 05-12-2012, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Glyn M Ruck View Post
Every performance BMW road tested in SA breaks something during the test - Electronic diffs you name it - They are fragile. I guess the cooking models are OK but the new 3 series is as big as an old 5 & has lost a lot of it's driving edge. More like a badly spec'ed Merc.

BMW's do not make old bones well. If you are going to change them every 60K miles they are fine but won't do close to MB mileage.
The new 3 seris looks ugly, much more ugly than new C. But new 5 series looks betther than new E. Just my opinion.
My friend is wondering wether he should buy a new E or new 5. Do you have any idea on the 5 series?
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Old 05-12-2012, 11:59 AM
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You guys realize that reliability between first and last is separated by mear percentage points right?

Also it does not matter where the MB is built, Mercedes quality control is the same in SA as in Germany with the same suppliers. Also the factory personal in Germany are mostly ostlanders not deutch.

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