Mercedes-Benz has a long, storied history of building prestigious
automobiles, known for their engineering, comfort, and safety.
Expensive, yes, but excellent-driving vehicles.
Cut to 2007: they're still expensive, but the premium brand's shine is
being further tarnished as its vehicles' reliability continues to
decline. In the latest Consumer Reports Annual Car Reliability
, five of the ten models with the most reported problems overall
are made by Mercedes-Benz. Further, the carmaker also captured another
three spots within the worst 20 performers
experience with Mercedes-Benz test models
hasn't been all that good lately, either. Here's a brief list of our
models' problems within the past year:
* SLK350 - Excessive oil consumption required three dealer visits.
* ML350 - Dealer replaced the engine due to excessive oil consumption.
* C230 - Replaced the driver's air bag.
* R500 - Air bag warning light came on; replaced a
wire to the steering column, broken electric sunshade, recalled for
exhaust bracket and faulty valve on spare tire.
* CLS500 - Air bag warning light came on (but then
turned itself off), replaced a bad wiper blade on the driver's side.
* GL450 - Navigation system replaced.
* SL550 - "Check engine" light came on.
It is important to note here that our experience with these seven Mercedes-Benz models does not affect their Consumer Reports
ranking or final score. Contrary to what has appeared in
some other blogs and news reports, and has even been said around the
proverbial water cooler, our reliability ratings are based entirely on
reports from private owners in our annual survey.
Mercedes-Benz has long been an innovator and a leader in engineering
and safety. Many models still provide a particularly enjoyable driving
experience-- when they work. Something better change soon, or that
reputation for engineering, carefully cultivated for decades, will be
down the tubes faster than you can say "service engine soon." --Jim Travers