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I've been mulling the idea of a certified pre-owned 525i, to get a little extra room (the other possibility is using the Camry for weekends with the kids, and just driving the 325i during the week [oh yeah, mom can get behind that! :) )

Was doing some research at Edmunds.com, and was very surprised that they recommended Mercedes over BMW for a used car:

"Luxury Car: 1996-2000 Mercedes-Benz C-Class


2000 Mercedes-Benz C-Class What? We chose a C-Class over a BMW 3 Series? Yep, the baby Benz offers more rear-seat passenger room along with a more luxurious cabin. Those looking for a sportier driving experience would be better served by the Bimmer. But if its upscale ambiance and Mercedes-Benz vault-like build quality you're seeking, the C-Class is the one to get."


Not knocking Mercedes, but I've heard all kinds of people saying that they 'ain't what they used to be' - so why would you buy a used one ?
 

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Welcome!

I go by Kodiac at C&D. Glad to see you are still looking at a bimmer.

Here are my thoughts...

The C-class will give you more rear passenger space and probably more trunk space as well. The 5 series offers more interior space than a 3 series (not as much as you would think), but the trunk space is nearly identical in the current generation.

As far a quality goes, yes, Merc has had some problems and some can be traced back to the Chrystler merger. The advantage of buying a used one would be getting a car that was built before the parts bin was "polluted". Many times when there is a merger (the Volvo/Ford mariage comes to mind) the car currently in production will not be effected until the current model run ends and a new generation begins. The current running production lines uses parts already sourced. When the new model generation begins all bets are off and the parent company can infuse thier parts and practices in to development. Volvo is facing this in all of their current cars. The next iteration will have some Ford DNA. This may be why they still recommend the used C-class.

With all that in mind, is that the way you really want to go. From what I read over at C&D you loved the BMW for the same reasons that we are all at this forum...we LOVE the way the car drives...the perfect weight distribution, the inline 6 engine, the suspension...

Ask yourself, would you really be happy driving a Mercedes
;)
 

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I'm a bit surprised by that recommendation as well. In terms of reliability, the older C class didn't score as well as the older bimmers (trend continues today). But, the old C class definitely has that "vault like" build quality that has currently eluded Mercedes.
 
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