It’s been a year now since I saw it listed on AutoTrader. At the time I was driving a 2015 Mustang GT that was fully loaded with all the bells and whistles. It was my third Mustang, and I honestly loved it, but not as much as the Roush RS that I owned before it. So only a year into owning my 2015 GT I started browsing around the used German car market. I’d never owned a German car before, but I’d always had a fascination with them.
German cars carry a beauty that just can’t be matched by American or Japanese auto makers. The elegance and status associated with owning a German vehicle is just on the next level. But I question how much longer that will hold true. Other car makers are in fact catching up as the “every day person” demands a higher level of luxury and quality in their vehicles. Hyundai is an excellent example of that. Look at some of their cars like the Sonata and much more impressively the Genesis. Their Genesis branded vehicles give the equivalent German cars a run for their money. Even the first generation of Genesis was very impressive and had such a smooth ride.
With that being said, I took this into account when deciding it was time to finally buy German. I wanted to own a Mercedes before that name declined in it’s meaning and status. That’s not to say that I ever think Mercedes will stop producing high end cars that are truly beautiful and luxurious. However, I do believe that more and more auto makers will catch up to the same level of standards, thus diminishing what brands like Mercedes, BMW, and Audi once stood for.
All of these German brands have steep depreciation curves, which can take a brand new car that costs $120,000 and turn it into a ten year old used car that you can pick up off of a car lot for $20,000 or less. And the biggest portion of that decline will occur in the first 3-5 years, which makes used German cars that are only 3-5 years old, one hell of a bargain. Buy them while they are still relatively reliable, and less than half the original price…and that’s EXACTLY what I did.
I knew I didn’t want an Audi because I’ve never like their interior designs. BMW was a brand I was considering but after test driving a few BMW’s vs a few Mercedes vehicles, I realized I didn’t really like BMW interiors either. It’s honestly a shame because some BMW’s of the 90s and very early 2000s had beautiful interiors, possibly my favorite of any other car brand. But for a good decade or more I feel like they went to hell, and only until maybe 2 or 3 years ago did they start to improve on this. The new BMW interiors are much better, but if I’m honest I still think the updated interiors on the new Mercedes vehicles are even better. The downside, is that I’m losing interest in some of the new Mercedes body styles. They are starting to blend together and it’s making for some serious funk that I’m still trying to figure out. But in the end I decided on Mercedes. This was based on the model year vehicles I was looking at, and my preference of German vehicles for those years.
I purchased my 2014 Mercedes E350 luxury sedan one year ago. It was a 4 year old German car with 37k miles and a $26,000 price tag. I traded my 2015 Mustang GT straight up for it, after negotiating with the car lot and having the Mercedes inspected by a mechanic of my choice. And after one year of ownership, I’ve put 10k miles on it and I’ve had three issues with it…
1. Two months after I purchased it, a notification popped up on the screen in the center of the “speedo” and informed me that the battery in the trunk of the car, which is used to operate certain electronics, was in need of replacement. I replaced it for a little under $300, seeing as the battery was ordered from Mercedes as an OEM part. I’m pleased to say that this was my most costly repair.
2. About 6 months into owning it, very loud and obnoxious sounds started coming from one of my rear deck speakers. I took it to an audio shop in town and asked if they could simply disconnect the speaker, because I knew replacing it, or the entire system would murder my wallet. Fortunately, they were able to do just that, and it only cost me about $80. They mentioned a new system entirely would cost thousands. So I was very happy to just have that one speaker disconnected. The stereo system still functions properly and no one would ever be able to tell that one of my rear deck speakers isn’t working.
3. Lastly, about 3 months or so ago, I received a notification on the same speedo screen that my key fob needed a new battery. I replaced it for a whopping $7 at a local battery store. And so this concludes my one year issue report for my used German sedan.
Beyond that I have absolutely loved this car. It has it’s quirks, but it’s sort of like dating the hottest cheerleader in high school…she can be annoying at times and has some bad habits, but at the end of the day, she is the most stunning thing you’ve ever seen and you love her anyway. To rid my life of some of the annoyances of the car, I’ve disabled some of it’s features. I disabled the feature that tugs the seat belts after you fasten them, as well as the feature that moves the steering wheel up and down so you can get in and out easier. They bugged me and my life is better without them.
Everything else though is satisfactory. I love that ALL of the door handles can be used to lock and unlock the car, not just the front two doors. All the windows are automatic, instead of just the driver’s window. If I find myself drifting out of my lane, the car can recognize the lines on the road and then vibrate the steering wheel to alert me. The seats are comfortable, and the rear sun shade is perfect for sunny days when I have my fiancee’s kid in the back seat. I love having a sun roof on nice days. I like the amount of storage I have in the car, and even though the infotainment screen is a bit out dated, it still does everything I need from connecting to my phone wirelessly for music, to GPS for directions.
Above all though, I love driving around in a car that basically looks like a slab of pure fucking sex on wheels. And that alone makes owning this car worth it.