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Old 14th May 2013, 12:23   #1
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Default Cheapest to maintain? Mercedes vs BMW vs Audi

Which of these cars is lightest on the pocket in terms of service intervals and unscheduled repair. Would be interesting to know how often out of ordinary problems occur. I agree some owners may have had some very expensive and or costly out of ordinary expenses but one has not really seen the manner of usage so I would appreciate it if we keep those howlers or hearsay out of this discussion. The idea is to understand that under normal - read careful use which of the three brands is a better in terms of maintenance and cost for the same.

Our experience: 2012 E250 Cdi Avantgarde just finished its 10,000km service costing 20 to 25K. They opened the brakes and serviced the same as a preventive step, washed and polished the car, changed all oils.
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Old 14th May 2013, 13:18   #2
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Default re: Cheapest to maintain? Mercedes vs BMW vs Audi

Even if the difference works out to a couple of thousand bucks, I don't think there is anything to beat BMW's Service Inclusive Plus / Ultimate packages.

1 lump sum payment at the start and you're all set for 5 years / 100,000 kms. These packages include lubes, filters and regular maintenance items....yes, but also brake pads, wiper blades and indirectly, an extended warranty on the car!

The premium Europeans have a very shoddy reliability record. There's no other way to own one than with a comprehensive package like BMW's 5 year coverage.

Audi also offers 5 year / 100,000 km service plans now.
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Old 14th May 2013, 13:31   #3
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My friend just bought an S Class and the sales person told him that his average service costs would come around 1 lac per service.
If that's how things go, then Mercedes is one hell of a car to maintain isn't it? I'm really shocked as to why Mercedes won't bring any service packages. If BMW and Audi can, then why not the Benz?
You could think that maybe they don't trust their car. It's like they know something is bound to go wrong.
Maybe the dealers (who make the maximum money out of service) restrict Mercedes from bringing these packages as they probably receive a lot of complaints from they customers?
I would love to buy a premium car knowing its a hassle free drive. Come in Mercedes. Step up your game here with the launch of the new Mercedes E class this Diwali!
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Old 14th May 2013, 13:32   #4
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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Even if the difference works out to a couple of thousand bucks, I don't think there is anything to beat BMW's Service Inclusive Plus / Ultimate packages.

1 lump sum payment at the start and you're all set for 5 years / 100,000 kms. These packages include lubes, filters and regular maintenance items....yes, but also brake pads, wiper blades and indirectly, an extended warranty on the car!

The premium Europeans have a very shoddy reliability record. There's no other way to own one than with a comprehensive package like BMW's 5 year coverage.

Audi also offers 5 year / 100,000 km service plans now.
Agree !

Recently went through the trouble of reading each line and paragraph of the BSI deals. The kind of coverage they give is simply amazing !

Over and above the regular "warranty extension" stuff on the parts in the BSI, they provide free roadside assistance to you if you're within a 100 km of any bmw showroom or within 100km of the cities they have listed If you have a Broken down car/fiat tire, they will send a flatbed truck for the car. In case of immobilization A taxi for you and your family and if needed - pay for stay at a nearby hotel for your entire family. All this will be free of charge !

http://www.bmw.in/in/en/owners/servi...e_advanced.pdf

Amazing stuff !
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Old 24th May 2013, 17:46   #5
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In my experience it goes like this Mercedes BMW then any other car service company then Audi. Audi has the worst service centres in Mumbai. And not to mention extortionate prices.
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Old 24th May 2013, 17:56   #6
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Default re: Cheapest to maintain? Mercedes vs BMW vs Audi

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chirag911 View Post
My friend just bought an S Class and the sales person told him that his average service costs would come around 1 lac per service.
If that's how things go, then Mercedes is one hell of a car to maintain isn't it? I'm really shocked as to why Mercedes won't bring any service packages. If BMW and Audi can, then why not the Benz?
I'd like to think because they are meeting their financial goals and their dealers are satisfied for the same reason.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
The premium Europeans have a very shoddy reliability record.
I remember being told this many years ago, Is this still the case?
I thought they would have tested and eventually tuned their cars to suit our climatic conditions and roads by now.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Audi also offers 5 year / 100,000 km service plans now.
Could you tell me if the one offered by Audi is as In-depth as BMWs?. Man in family is in the same boat as OP, Concerned with long term reliability.
Thanks.

Last edited by Maky : 24th May 2013 at 18:06.
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Old 1st June 2013, 20:14   #7
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Default re: Cheapest to maintain? Mercedes vs BMW vs Audi

Well I am currently shopping for one of the 3 cars mentioned here. The Merc seems the most decent to maintain. And they do have a service package
But I havent gone through the details yet.
BMW is the most comprehensive and the most expensive as well. Audi's package does not include brake pads, discs, belts, pulleys, suspension components or any major mechanical parts which suffer usual wear and tear. Extended warranty is another add on. Basically its just labour and fluids.
Another surprise was that BMW is changing some crucial conditions on their offer mid June onwards. Dont know whether this was a bluff from the sales guy. If anyone has information, please do share.
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Old 1st June 2013, 20:54   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BuBooMan View Post
Well I am currently shopping for one of the 3 cars mentioned here. The Merc seems the most decent to maintain. And they do have a service package
Another surprise was that BMW is changing some crucial conditions on their offer mid June onwards. Dont know whether this was a bluff from the sales guy. If anyone has information, please do share.
New E class is coming in sep. so The discounts on E class will get bigger every passing day. Sidwadia on the forum just bought an E220 CDI for 38L on road. Hope you're getting a similar discount. He was offered 6.1 lacs discount on the 520d as well. Both in Delhi. So there A6 was costliest to buy.
Mercedes salesmen are notoriously known to under play the costs of servicing. Also mercedes warranties are similar to the Audi ones, they are very vague and may not cover some very expensive parts.
Personal experience : Mercedes services cost much more than Beemer and more importantly, cost much more than you were told they would.

BMW is changing these conditions. You're right.
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Old 1st June 2013, 20:57   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluebeem View Post

New E class is coming in sep. so The discounts on E class will get bigger every passing day. Sidwadia on the forum just bought an E220 CDI for 38L on road. Hope you're getting a similar discount. He was offered 6.1 lacs discount on the 520d as well. Both in Delhi. So there A6 was costliest to buy.
Mercedes salesmen are notoriously known to under play the costs of servicing. Also mercedes warranties are similar to the Audi ones, they are very vague and may not cover some very expensive parts.
Personal experience : Mercedes services cost much more than Beemer and more importantly, cost much more than you were told they would.

BMW is changing these conditions. You're right.
On the ownership costs, Could your give some estimates here? 20% more? 30?
Thanks blue.
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Old 1st June 2013, 23:31   #10
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Default re: Cheapest to maintain? Mercedes vs BMW vs Audi

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluebeem View Post
New E class is coming in sep. so The discounts on E class will get bigger every passing day. Sidwadia on the forum just bought an E220 CDI for 38L on road. Hope you're getting a similar discount. He was offered 6.1 lacs discount on the 520d as well. Both in Delhi. So there A6 was costliest to buy.
Mercedes salesmen are notoriously known to under play the costs of servicing. Also mercedes warranties are similar to the Audi ones, they are very vague and may not cover some very expensive parts.
Personal experience : Mercedes services cost much more than Beemer and more importantly, cost much more than you were told they would.

BMW is changing these conditions. You're right.
Now considering that BMW is going to drop a few crucial parts from their service coverage, that should level the playing field.

E220 CDI for 38L on road? Are you serious? It is 53l OTR without discount here. Thats a d/c os 15 big ones! Please confirm! That is infact lower than the list OTR of a C220CDI Avantgarde!!!

Last edited by BuBooMan : 1st June 2013 at 23:34. Reason: Forgot to mention the Cclass
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Old 2nd June 2013, 08:07   #11
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Originally Posted by BuBooMan View Post

Now considering that BMW is going to drop a few crucial parts from their service coverage, that should level the playing field.

E220 CDI for 38L on road? Are you serious? It is 53l OTR without discount here. Thats a d/c os 15 big ones! Please confirm! That is infact lower than the list OTR of a C220CDI Avantgarde!!!
Please see sidwadia's posts last week in the new car price check thread.
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Old 2nd June 2013, 14:17   #12
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Default re: Cheapest to maintain? Mercedes vs BMW vs Audi

Quote:
Originally Posted by BuBooMan View Post
Well I am currently shopping for one of the 3 cars mentioned here. The Merc seems the most decent to maintain. And they do have a service package
But I havent gone through the details yet.
BMW is the most comprehensive and the most expensive as well. Audi's package does not include brake pads, discs, belts, pulleys, suspension components or any major mechanical parts which suffer usual wear and tear. Extended warranty is another add on. Basically its just labour and fluids.
Another surprise was that BMW is changing some crucial conditions on their offer mid June onwards. Dont know whether this was a bluff from the sales guy. If anyone has information, please do share.
Most expensive because it is most comprehensive. If Audi's package could include all exclusions towards service and regular maintenance then it would be apple to apple comparison. Till then, for me BMW is the most value for money service. In this cut throat competition if Audi/Merc are not able to extend a comprehensive package it shows that either (i) they know they wouldn't meet BMW's price point OR (ii) they are not sure themselves and do not want to take the risk of guaranteeing a maintenance cost to the customer. Such risk according to them is the customers' problem.

Regarding changing some crucial changes, I do not see the coverage is going to be changed in any way. BSI is a mighty successful product from them. What I am aware of is that it will come with higher flexibility and 'modular' arrangement. The customer can pick up one base pack and add on additional packs basis his/her usage.

Needn't worry.
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Old 2nd June 2013, 19:40   #13
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Originally Posted by Maky View Post

On the ownership costs, Could your give some estimates here? 20% more? 30?
Thanks blue.
Hey Maky,

Can't give you a percentage as such. But I'll give you an example. Cousin bought a C class few years back. Mercedes promised that the services will cost 18-20k. His first service cost him 25k approx. and subsequently all services have cost him between 35-45k. When this was discussed with the management they maintained that the "service" still costs 18k, the rest of costs were "preventive" part replacements.
A BMW service will cost you between 18-20k and only the major service will cost you 55-60k which happens every 45-50000 Kms depending on your driving style.

The thing to keep in mind is that BMW is the only company that gives you the option of capping this expense at 2.57 lacs for 5 years. BMW is the only company that includes all your service costs also within their extended warranty program. Other brands will make you pay extra for warranty only, plus you'll have to pay for services separately. So with a BSI ultimate for 5 years/60000 Kms you have the guarantee that you will not spend anything more than 2.57 lacs on the car. I can most certainly guarantee that in 5 years you will end up spending that much on that car anyway. This is obviously the best case scenario where you've seen no shutdowns/breakdowns/faults for 5 years.

Take for example, somebody on the forum has started a thread wherein their BMW 520d transmission broke down after hittin a bump on the road. The cost of repair - 7 lacs! He paid 5k - presumably the cost of alignment and balancing. In a merc or Audi, you'd have to pay 7 lacs !
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Old 2nd June 2013, 22:34   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluebeem View Post

Hey Maky,

Can't give you a percentage as such. But I'll give you an example. Cousin bought a C class few years back. Mercedes promised that the services will cost 18-20k. His first service cost him 25k approx. and subsequently all services have cost him between 35-45k. When this was discussed with the management they maintained that the "service" still costs 18k, the rest of costs were "preventive" part replacements.
A BMW service will cost you between 18-20k and only the major service will cost you 55-60k which happens every 45-50000 Kms depending on your driving style.

The thing to keep in mind is that BMW is the only company that gives you the option of capping this expense at 2.57 lacs for 5 years. BMW is the only company that includes all your service costs also within their extended warranty program. Other brands will make you pay extra for warranty only, plus you'll have to pay for services separately. So with a BSI ultimate for 5 years/60000 Kms you have the guarantee that you will not spend anything more than 2.57 lacs on the car. I can most certainly guarantee that in 5 years you will end up spending that much on that car anyway. This is obviously the best case scenario where you've seen no shutdowns/breakdowns/faults for 5 years.

Take for example, somebody on the forum has started a thread wherein their BMW 520d transmission broke down after hittin a bump on the road. The cost of repair - 7 lacs! He paid 5k - presumably the cost of alignment and balancing. In a merc or Audi, you'd have to pay 7 lacs !
This is very enlightening.
The service cost for the merc you mentioned is approximately what I thought. I would like to ask however if you have knowledge on this, are the costs in line with the international costs of ownership with these German brands or are we in India being charged more?
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Old 3rd June 2013, 01:54   #15
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Default re: Cheapest to maintain? Mercedes vs BMW vs Audi

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluebeem View Post
Hey Maky,

Can't give you a percentage as such. But I'll give you an example. Cousin bought a C class few years back. Mercedes promised that the services will cost 18-20k. His first service cost him 25k approx. and subsequently all services have cost him between 35-45k. When this was discussed with the management they maintained that the "service" still costs 18k, the rest of costs were "preventive" part replacements.
A BMW service will cost you between 18-20k and only the major service will cost you 55-60k which happens every 45-50000 Kms depending on your driving style.

The thing to keep in mind is that BMW is the only company that gives you the option of capping this expense at 2.57 lacs for 5 years. BMW is the only company that includes all your service costs also within their extended warranty program. Other brands will make you pay extra for warranty only, plus you'll have to pay for services separately. So with a BSI ultimate for 5 years/60000 Kms you have the guarantee that you will not spend anything more than 2.57 lacs on the car. I can most certainly guarantee that in 5 years you will end up spending that much on that car anyway. This is obviously the best case scenario where you've seen no shutdowns/breakdowns/faults for 5 years.

Take for example, somebody on the forum has started a thread wherein their BMW 520d transmission broke down after hittin a bump on the road. The cost of repair - 7 lacs! He paid 5k - presumably the cost of alignment and balancing. In a merc or Audi, you'd have to pay 7 lacs !
My parents got a 520d this new year eve. Went to the dealer last week to replace engine oil. There's no first service as such because it's condition based service. The service adviser quoted Rs. 33k after reading the key fob. Which included changing engine oil and filter, A/C filter and wheel alignment and balancing. It was about Rs 8k for wheel alignment and Rs 8k for the A/C filter.

Honestly I don't believe wheel alignment was needed. In the west, it is generally done after 30,000 km or when the car pulls in one direction. But the SA was recommending it every 10k km. They also made a mistake of leaving the used A/C filters in the trunk. There wasn't much dust. I could feel a thin layer of soot like substance but it didn't really look like it reached the end of its life. Could've lasted at least another 5k km.

I may not be entirely right about the A/C micro filters but wheel alignment every 10k is excessive. I'm not sure how often do other brands recommend wheel alignment in India. Note that wheel alignment isn't included in any BSI package, neither is the A/C filter.

This doesn't include the cost of cleaning interiors and waxing/polishing that you need to get done regularly.
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