What has followed is one of the most innovative car makers.
When you look over the history of automobiles much new technology has been birthed by Mercedes and then adopted by the rest of the industry.
Part of this may be due to the higher price point of these vehicles which allows for more expensive options to be incorporated into the car.
A few examples of this are the use of the alternator to generate electricity in the vehicle. For most of car manufacturing history up until the late 1950’s cars used DC (direct current) generators. While they generated electricity they did so in a complicated and an inefficient manner. Mercedes introduced the alternator on their vehicles and within a few years this became the industry standard. The same can be said for airbags, first introduced in the 1981 S-class sedans and within a decade found in all cars. So it goes that some of the innovations that we see on today’s Mercedes vehicles will likely be incorporated into all cars in the future.
Quality has always been a strong point for Mercedes Benz vehicles and along with that is durability and longevity. Did you know that 63% of Mercedes cars from the 1985 to 1989 model years are still on the road. The industry average is below 7%! What a phenomenal difference. For someone looking for a long term vehicle these are one of the best.
Having worked on all makes of cars throughout my career I see the cars that are built to last and the manufacturers that support them. Much of the longevity of a vehicle can be attributed to parts availability: Mercedes is excellent in this area and supports cars many years old. The same unfortunately cannot be said for most other makes of cars.
Mercedes line up features cars and SUVs. All are very well built. Some offer the best ride on the planet like the 500SL: a beautiful looking convertible, which is not just stylish but fast and with active suspension, corners like few other cars. With the roof off and the wind screen up you can barely feel a breeze while cruising down the highway.
On the other end of the spectrum are the Mercedes diesels. Mercedes has almost always had diesel cars in their North American line up; something that no other manufacturer can claim. While the older 240D & 300D models featured a small, noisy diesel engine they had bullet proof reliability and some are still on the road today. Today, Mercedes offers their BlueTec diesel which incorporates the most modern technology: low exhaust emissions, smoke free, fantastic fuel economy and very little noise. Next time you pull up beside one of these vehicles, roll down your window and listen: you can barely tell that it’s a diesel engine.
I’m often asked, are Mercedes expensive to fix?
The answer is both yes and no. On the yes side, these cars feature complex electronics and when something goes wrong with these components they can be very costly. Mercedes vehicles (as sold in North America) are all full featured luxury cars and along with that there is more to go wrong. On the plus side they are well built and so typically last longer than many other cars. On the no side of expensive to fix are many basic service items like brakes: brake parts are no more expensive for a Mercedes than they are for a Toyota, in fact they are often cheaper.