Originally Posted by Piobaire
Between Mrs. Piob and me a collective twelve years of MB driving in the last six years. Not a single issue.
Originally Posted by JayJay
My previous two MB's had more than their share of issues, particularly the last one. I've had my current one for a year and a half without a single issue whatsoever.
I think both of these comments speak to initial quality (or in jayjay's case lack thereof). The concern I have with German cars is owning them outside the warranty period and facing extremely steep maintenance for both consumables and things that should never break but do in German cars. Maybe it's because they try to squeeze too much performance out of their powertrain, who knows.
By anecdotal comparison, my wife and I have had almost no powertrain issues after about 225k combined miles on two older cars - one Japanese sedan and one Amurrican SUV. We have had our fair share of maintenance, primarily typical consumables plus emissions related - oxygen sensors and the like, but never anything transmission or engine related. Probably 5 or 6k total maintenance over the years including tires and brakes. German cars seem to have high pressure fuel pumps that disintegrate or other items which are either design defects or otherwise under engineered parts (plastic where you would expect metal given the stress the parts are under) which leads to significant expense after the warranty expires.
I've had zero issues with my 2012 MB after 18k miles, fwiw but have very little interest in owning a German car (except a Porsche because as Hroi points out, they are built to last) whereas the rest all seem built to lease.