Losing absolute faith in German engineering

I’ve always been a great believer in the strength of German engineering. Perhaps I’m just a dupe for national stereotypes, but I’ve always understood it that the Germans just do mechanics and machines better than anyone else.

This is why, way back in 1995, I worked two jobs and saved for that little bit longer so that I could buy a second-hand Mercedes instead of a Japanese or French car. Eventually, after a long European road trip full of mishap and misadventure the old beast finally exhaled its last breath of CO2 just as we hit Munich – it was as if it had been leading me home to die.

The fact that the Mercedes 450 SEL turned out to be something of a temperamental thing, despite being beautiful to look at and a beautiful runner when it did actually run, I always attributed to bad luck and a probably careless previous owner.

So this is why I am surprised to learn that Warranty Direct’s list of Europe’s five least reliable cars contains no fewer than three Mercedes models. As they are so given to mechanical failure and have high repair costs and not inconsiderable car insurance bills, I’m not sure why, despite the many, many allures of classic Mercedes engineering, I am now, as I had planned to, investing in a Mercedes as my next car.

Image © schoschie via Flickr, under Creative Commons Licence

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