2019 Mercedes experience

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Post by LDPD on Sun May 05, 2019 7:48 pm

Anyone have one of the new A/S models based on the latest 2019 Mercedes offering. Be interested in how you find the Mercedes experience. All looks very good - any negatives or surprises?

Many thanks

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Post by RogerThat on Sun May 05, 2019 9:37 pm

I've never owned or driven one, but I'm guessing you probably can't go far wrong with a marque like Mercedes?

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Post by Peter Brown on Mon May 06, 2019 2:31 pm

RogerThat wrote:I've never owned or driven one, but I'm guessing you probably can't go far wrong with a marque like Mercedes?



After nearly 8 years experience from new - only major problems I've had with the van were down to Mercedes, including 5hrs on the hard shoulder of the M6 at Penrith on 28th December because the fuel injectors has failed (three months out of warranty) and now on the 3rd set of brakes.  Many friends have had rear leaf spring break.  Having said that I've just belted back from the ASOC National at Newark and despite the £15k premium will probably go Merc again - if ever.

PS 2019 - New Sprinter and whole new experience - the MB Specialist Fleet Sales Manager has left the company in frustration.
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Post by groundhog on Mon May 06, 2019 8:28 pm

Like Peter's our mercedes is now a few years old, have owned many motorhomes, unlikely to be buying another new one but would certainly be looking for a mercedes base if we did. allthumbz
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Post by Pete Taylor on Wed May 08, 2019 3:52 pm

Mine is also older (chassis build July 14, A-S delivered Dec 2014). The “Mercedes Experience”  i. e. Dealing with the staff employed by M-S has been excellent. As for the Sprinter we had two real show-stoppers. The “main brain” expired in rush hour in the Centre of Bristol, M-B mobile bloke flashed the software but unit was toast... I’ll spare you the details about having to leave the van for a week, while M-B made a new unit (each one is unique) then having to go back to collect it. M-B loaned us a Vito for the week.

Second one the fuel pump inside the tank died while we were at Hexham. Another trip on a transporter to M-B Carlisle, Alain had to leave it so they could drop the (full) fuel tank and extract the pump, hire car this time, which proved to be another load of ago, bttw.

Both these happed just before the warranty expired and we were told they were very rare faults. Perhaps a good thing as the brain job would have been four figures and the pump around 500 quid.

I’m not sure that I wouldn’t get a Transit next time. 🤔

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Post by kaspian on Thu May 09, 2019 8:38 pm

RogerThat wrote:I've never owned or driven one, but I'm guessing you probably can't go far wrong with a marque like Mercedes?

Oh dear try telling that to my work colleague who was give a new Merc van after years of Transits. Initial pride of ownership faded quickly as it spends much of its time in our workshops with engine  sensor, abs, clutch , brake issues and now  new a new part wiring loom required. He wishes he had his old Transit back as even the rust is starting to show on body  seams etc........
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Post by groundhog on Fri May 10, 2019 1:22 pm

They are both good vans, the sprinter has a longer corrosion warranty than the transit and a 7 speed auto as opposed to 6 speed on the transit. I would be happy with either but auto is important to me so on balance the mercedes has the edge.
Difficulty is finding the layout you want then matching with a Merc or Ford base and you will have very limited choice if any.
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Post by harry h on Fri May 10, 2019 5:37 pm

Agree with Kaspian  Mercs are also expensive to repair compared to a Transit. I know a fleet engineer that finds the Merc experience a nightmare.
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Post by groundhog on Fri May 10, 2019 7:29 pm

According to commercial fleet who, with respect, give statistical rather than anecdotal information, the average cost of running a similar 3.5 ton chassis cab, based over three years and 45000 miles equates per month to £73.54 for a sprinter and £59.26 for a transit ( I have used the nearest equivalent models).That is s difference of a little over £500 in three years. The Fiat Ducatto is marginally less than both of them at £57.26 per month.
Where opinion may differ of course is how important an additional cost of £135 a year is on a £70 K motorhome?
Furthermore it is likely a motorhome will do far less mileage than a commercial van so that cost difference is even less.
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Post by kaspian on Fri May 10, 2019 7:53 pm

With respect Hog , running costs do not reflect the frustration with downtime due to breakdown even if still under warranty and repaired at no cost. As a self confessed Merc lover I feel they lost their way big time in the late 90s - 2000s . C and E class cars and Sprinter vans that dissolved at a rapid rate .....Yes they are better now but are trading on past reputation I feel. Meanwhile the competition caught up rapidly .  Will we in future  see pristine classic 2000 ish registered cars like the solid Mercs of old , I doubt it. They are probably mostly rust now and I have worked on a few! 
     Interestingly I spoke to a well known delivery company driver last week  who was driving an extra long high top Merc. I said that would make a nice motorhome. His reply was ' you wouldnt want it mate' as it is constantly in their garage . His colleagues would all change back to a Transit tomorrow.But I do agree that Merc Automatic gearboxes are good. Just changed the auto  gearbox oil and filter on my brother in laws Merc  SL  at 80000 miles and its back to shifting smooth as a babies'.......
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Post by groundhog on Fri May 10, 2019 8:47 pm

The company I owned had a number of mercedes cars and vans in the late 90's and NONE one of them dissolved at a rapid rate nor suffered any significant downtime. Since then I have owned two mercedes cars and two mercedes motorhomes and the same applies. Whilst I fully accept and respect your extensive experience and opinion in servicing these vehicles it is not how I have found it to be.
Let's agree to disagree, the transit and sprinter are both about as good as it gets.
I believe a new 2019 hybrid transit is about to be launched, now that looks like a perfect chassis, how about it autosleeper!
( and this from someone who was previously a firm Jaguar man and wouldn't consider a mercedes)
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Post by RML on Sat May 11, 2019 7:09 am

Our 3 year old Fiat base has never missed a beat.
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Post by kaspian on Sat May 11, 2019 8:26 am

I agree Rich , we have had 4 Peugeot 250s and in all we replaced one shock absorber at 3 months old that lost all of its oil overnight on a pitch at Boroughbridge and a starter motor that failed at 1 day old !  Yes our current van has had the well documented dodgy dash lights again replaced under warranty.
        Transits are not immune, my own Transit had  rust in chassis  seen after only a year in 2014 van and ever more complex emission gear giving regular sensor issues etc. Older Transits were mechanically  fairly bomb proof.
       Hog you must have been lucky as C and E class of early 2000's have had a reputation for dissolving in the trade with rust on wings , wheel arch returns and cills a common experience from 5 years onwards. We regularly saw Sprinters with blisters of rust in the middle of panels , not even at the edges.... I remember my old 190, the box  sections of the chassis were absolutely  drenched in preservative wax from new , the last of what I would call traditional solid Mercedes build . I suppose if every car lasted 30 years , you sell less of them ..  and traditional German build was better than farming out build to South Africa and Mexico with poor quality control.

     We use and drive our vehicles differently  from their intended build so comparisons are hard to make and perhaps unrealistic.  Trade users ( not owner/ drivers )  thrash them and clock up starship miles in 3 years so body corrosion  never an issue and drivetrain gets a good exercise daily. Motorhomes are used much less frequently , with long downtime and you rarely see one being driven like you stole it so engine and emission issues surface.. Parts guy at local Peugeot dealership told me their delivery x250 has over 300 thousand miles on it and it looked almost new.....
        Even if used all year round , the fact that you take it out on salt laden roads but then dont use it the following fortnight when  commercial use would wash that off naturally in heavy rain the next day gives issues too. How many white van man drivers have to change all 4 tyres at 5 years old with 8mm of tread left due to cracking of sidewalls?    I thought I did well getting 59  thousand miles on my Transit front tyres in just over a year and our fleet garage changed them out at 3mm .
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Post by Jimmee on Fri May 17, 2019 10:27 pm

Ours is a 2014 7 speed automatic Bourton.  Nothing negative to say as so far no problems and we love the automatic driving experience.  That was our main criteria when buying another motorhome and it had to be rear wheel drive.  After years of driving manuals, we wouldn't go back.  Hope this helps.


Last edited by Jimmee on Fri May 17, 2019 10:42 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : additional information)
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Post by Pete Taylor on Sun May 19, 2019 7:27 pm

So... in answer to the original question it seems that none of us have experience of the new Sprinter!  smile!

Whilst not wanting/able to sell our five year old one, I was interested in looking at a fwd Sprinter (presumably this will become favourite for motorhomes/campervans because of the much lower floor). Unfortunately my local Merc dealer didn't have one available but said I could have a test drive when they had a demonstrator (this despite them knowing that I was not in the market).

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Post by Peter Brown on Sun May 19, 2019 8:18 pm

AS are only using rwd and not short wheelbase so no Stanton at the moment.
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Post by Jimmee on Mon May 20, 2019 6:54 am

RWD every time especially in a motorhome.  No problem with the floor and it is all one level.  My personal view.
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Post by Pete Taylor on Fri May 24, 2019 12:28 am

So... no one here has experience of the new Sprinter.

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Post by Jimmee on Fri May 24, 2019 9:03 am

No it would seem!
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Post by groundhog on Fri May 24, 2019 11:43 am

Possibly because the 2020 model due this year has only just been launched and I wonder if there are yet any vans based on that. I was told Hymer had pre ordered all of th first release of chassis cabs which may or may not be true but it came from Mercedes direct
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Post by Peter Brown on Fri May 24, 2019 12:13 pm

AS were building on the new chassis in October 2018 and all of the Mercs at the February 2019 NEC show were on the new chassis.
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Post by groundhog on Fri May 24, 2019 4:17 pm

With your inside knowledge of a/s Peter I would be interested to know how many 2019 Mercedes they have delivered and which is the most popular model
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Post by Peter Brown on Fri May 24, 2019 5:27 pm

Sorry I don't have figures but I guess the Bourton is most popular
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Post by Pete Taylor on Mon May 27, 2019 3:03 pm

groundhog wrote:Possibly because the 2020 model due this year has only just been launched and I wonder if there are yet any vans based on that. I was told Hymer had pre ordered all of th first release of chassis cabs which may or may not be true but it came from Mercedes direct
That would be chassis cowls, I think. A cowl is a cab without the back panel, as used by just about everybody for m/h construction. It comes with a temporary back panel, not sure of the material on M-B but I've seen Pugs being delivered with plywood panel in place.

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Post by PLOUGHLIN on Mon May 27, 2019 4:29 pm

That is a standard Delete option that AS specify for their MB orders.

FW1 - Elimination of Cab Rear Panel.

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