Bob's new wagon

Today is new company car day, back to the wonderful world of Mercedes C class driving. :heart_eyes:

Shoo, shoo away nasty BMW 320d estate.:roll_eyes:

The auto recovery industry’s favourite.


My last one did 186K miles from new in 4 years and never let me down once, the only problem it had was the internal drivers door handle the pin became loose after 3 years. Literally nothing else. I find Mercs much more comfortable and quieter. I have a Porker 944S2 conv. if I need to blast it about.

And exactly how useful is a sample size of one in drawing conclusions about a product that sells in hundreds of thousands?

You’ve been lucky. The stats usually put C class in the bottom 10% for reliability, but at the same time in the top 10% for owner satisfaction!

My wife works for a recovery firm and over ten years you can plot the deterioration of Mercedes build quality and reliability by the numbers of recoveries and severity of outcome.

Given the continued faith in the brand you would have to conclude that Mercedes policy around 2000 to not compete with Audi on quality and presumably to invest less on this aspect has proved to be a profitable one.

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Feckin statistics, eh Bob…

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My experience of Audi is two A4’s and they were absolute friday afternoon cars, always going wrong especially the electrics, never again, the same with VW, (two Golf GTIs and a Passat).

Over the many years of company car driving new cars, the best in terms of reliability were Mercedes and Citroen (XM many years ago). Worst; Audi, VW, Ford and a Rover 820 (I didn’t choose this one I was allocated it, utter crap car).

Worst dealers; VW by some margin. BMW are snooty and crap service, but they at least mend the car. VW just return it unmended and then say they have done the work.

Best dealers; Nissan, Toyota and Mercedes.

That’s cos most merc owners are up themselves :wink:

Audi’s and mercs are for nouveau riche poseurs who hate driving.

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IME, not too bad because RWD.

Only had one Audi and it was an unpleasant experience simply because the combination of steering, chassis and suspension makes for that VW 'dead behind the eyes’TM @gthang experience. It would make me very reluctant to bother trying another.

They do nice interior on the more expensive models, but the exterior styling is ultra-conservative. They really are for people who don’t like driving.


Fucking hell, I well and truly screwed up the post moves there.

Move along, nothing to see.


Despite that, they’re horrible rubbery things when it comes to steering feel and handling (based on driving a C63 and E63, which are suppressed to be the sporty ones!). The V8’s do sound nice, but one trick pony.

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Agreed, but they do score on comfort and on the non-agressive ones the chassis and suspension do seem to be designed by the same team.

With Audis you can have the normal suspension which is by the same turn soft but hits the stops really quickly jarring your back, or go S-Line which is proceed straight to the osteopath.

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After working through all the usual German rep type vehicles (when i had company cars) ive arrived at the somewhat depressing conclusion that Japanese cars are where my own money will be spent when it comes to daily drivers. I couldn’t give a shit about badges, all i want is reliable, comfortable transport.
My old Accord was bomb proof and my current auto diesel mazda 6 has, touch wood, been faultless for 53k. Although if you read the internet diesel Mazda 6s are flakey.
Have to say that for a big car the mazda 6 ( 4 pot diesle aside) drives very well, way better than average VAGs even with electric steering. It feels light and agile reminiscent of the mk3 Mondeo, which is high praise as I’m still to drive a better all round normal car.

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I think you have chosen well cos’ Mercedes F1 team is best = besterest road cars :+1:

This chap loves mercs (see towards end)


Reliability aside, having driven a CLA 200 I quite liked it. The difference being that if I was a company car driver I’d consider having one, but being a private buyer (albeit with mileage fully expensed) I would think more than twice.

I saw this when I was in the industry over ten years ago. We always differentiated feedback data between company cars and private buyers - company car drivers were always significantly happier overall and could mislead you to design against the wrong features and parameters.

Also when you own the car during it’s life-cycle is important. I’ve mostly been self employed so rarely had any company cars. Usually buy them 3-4 years old with, say, 40k - 70k miles on the clock and keep them for 3-4 years. This puts a whole different complexion on ownership…


That’s largely where I am Jim, I tend to look at the depreciation curve, my likely annual mileage and then factor in other subjective things like my current taste and desires to arrive at a choice.

Then my wife tells me my choices are baloney and provides a long tale of woe for whatever car I mention based on 10 years of recovery data. This usually boils down to, if its not Japanese then its your risk! We don’t all make decisions purely on logic alone though do we?!

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Yep, that’s why my last three have been beemers :sunglasses:

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