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      01-09-2020, 01:41 PM   #1
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Which is built better, Porsche or Mercedes?

Excluding the A-CLA models which cars are built better ( things like rattles, strength, quality of materials ) the Porsche or Mercedes ?
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      01-09-2020, 01:46 PM   #2
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This really shouldn't even be a question -- primarily because of scale.

M-B's lower-than-average long-term reliability averages should tell you all you need to know. They simply don't age well, and never have.
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      01-09-2020, 01:59 PM   #3
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My boss is a huge Porsche and Merc fan, he always has at least three Porsches and three or more Mercedes at any given time. I typically take care of any issues he can't handle himself with the shops, dealers, etc.

The Porsches have been trouble free for the past ten years, thru several Cayennes, a Panamera, Cayman S, 911 4S, and a Macan Turbo S. It's really astounding how reliable actually aside from a couple of recalls on the Panamera and the Macan. I really can't think of any other issues and they tear up the cars pretty good but they are well maintained.

He has had a few GL's, SLS, GLE AMG, S55, CL65, C63's, S550, etc. etc. and they have been reliable under warranty but on his C63S, LS and the previous gen S550, and the current gen S550 they definitely had some significant issues past the warranty. Shifter assembly failures, power windows system failure, air suspension failures, infotainment failure, trans issue (C63S) etc.
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      01-09-2020, 02:15 PM   #4
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Initial quality or longevity? How common are high mile high price tag Porsches vs high mile Mercs? Cost of parts / labour may be a factor
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      01-09-2020, 02:29 PM   #5
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Porsche for sure. The cars are built well and built to last. They know that most people will finance them (they have terrible lease offers for a reason) and often finance for 48-60 months. It limits the amount of people that have access to the car and keeps values up and inventory down

BMW and Mercedes on the other hand... have pretty much turned into rental companies. But it does make it great for people like me who want a barely used M3 for like 30-40% off MSRP after 3 years.

personally my f80 has been great and free of problems or rattles.
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      01-09-2020, 02:36 PM   #6
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P car. In one of my previous lines of work, wrapping cars, we tore cars down quite far, and in some cases even took doors off. The overall build quality of the Porsche's was FAR superior to the quality in the Merc's. Not just build quality, but also the quality of the materials was much better in the Pcar. Lot's of people tend to think this means over complicated and hard to work, but removing the light out of a 911 is the simplest thing ever, the front bumper removal took me all of 20 minutes... No harder to remove the bumper off a $200k Turbo S Cabrio than my G35.
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      01-09-2020, 03:06 PM   #7
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In the 80’s and early 90’s this was probably a legit debate. Thanks DaimlerChrysler!
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      01-09-2020, 03:08 PM   #8
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Porsche hands down
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      01-09-2020, 03:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth One View Post
In the 80ís and early 90ís this was probably a legit debate. Thanks DaimlerChrysler!
Not really. Even in those days, Mercs were known to turn into rust buckets by year 8-10, and drivetrains and electronics had all manner of issues.

Know that the Merc 190E was the preferred car for German taxi companies during the bulk of the mid-1980s. The industry abandoned it in favor of BMWs, Fords (Euro ones; much different than U.S. ones), and VWs because so many were developing issues that could not be fixed economically.

My dad nearly bought a 320E to gray-market back to the U.S. in 1985. (They sold for the USD equivalent of $18k back then, before the dollar collapsed late that year.) The single reason he didn't: reliability concerns.
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      01-09-2020, 03:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freakystyly View Post
Initial quality or longevity? How common are high mile high price tag Porsches vs high mile Mercs? Cost of parts / labour may be a factor

This always makes me think of the JD power aware commercials Chevy runs. Initially quality is such a worthless measurement IMO. Who cares if it's initially good if it turns to crap after 2-3 years or less.
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      01-09-2020, 06:15 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by //steve\\ View Post
This always makes me think of the JD power aware commercials Chevy runs. Initially quality is such a worthless measurement IMO. Who cares if it's initially good if it turns to crap after 2-3 years or less.
the people who lease
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      01-09-2020, 06:46 PM   #12
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Porsche easily. All it takes is a trip to the dealer to see the difference. Mercedes isn't even up to BMW and Audi standards.

On a side note, I'd argue that some G-chassis BMWs are even nicer than comparable Porsches.
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      01-09-2020, 06:48 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth One View Post
In the 80’s and early 90’s this was probably a legit debate. Thanks DaimlerChrysler!
I will say that Mercedes has improved a lot since ditching Chrysler. I'd argue that aside from the W221, all their vehicles were varying degrees of mediocre and were purchased by naive people who wanted the badge but were incapable of observing the finer details. Their designs, quality, tech, everything has skyrocketed since then.
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      01-09-2020, 08:40 PM   #14
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Not sure. Anecdotally I would think it's a wash because Mercedes owners will put more miles on a car and that the typical owner will be closer to the general population in terms of driving style.
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      01-10-2020, 12:33 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Humdizzle View Post
Porsche for sure. The cars are built well and built to last. They know that most people will finance them (they have terrible lease offers for a reason) and often finance for 48-60 months. It limits the amount of people that have access to the car and keeps values up and inventory down

BMW and Mercedes on the other hand... have pretty much turned into rental companies. But it does make it great for people like me who want a barely used M3 for like 30-40% off MSRP after 3 years.

personally my f80 has been great and free of problems or rattles.
Depends what sector. A S Class is still benchmark for most other German manufacturer and it's not cheap at all.
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      01-10-2020, 08:01 AM   #16
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I have a GLK Blutec for my daily which I really like. We are racking up miles on it and we hope that it lasts for a very long time. My '96 993 is a solid car but just a weekend toy really. Although we have put about 7000 miles on it in 2 years.

I think my point is Porsches generally get used differently than most other cars so that my skew things a bit. My MB seems well built so fingers crossed.
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      01-10-2020, 08:47 AM   #17
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From my personal experience, in terms of build quality this is how it's rank them:

Porsche > BMW > Mercedes

I had a Cayenne turbo, E89 Z4, F13 640 and R231 SL63 from all 3 brands so take it for that it's worth. Aside from build quality issues, the Merc was way more exciting and luxurious than the others.
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      01-10-2020, 10:14 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 9krpmrx8 View Post
He has had a few GL's, SLS, GLE AMG, S55, CL65, C63's, S550, etc. etc. and they have been reliable under warranty but on his C63S, LS and the previous gen S550, and the current gen S550 they definitely had some significant issues past the warranty. Shifter assembly failures, power windows system failure, air suspension failures, infotainment failure, trans issue (C63S) etc.
Don't they treat air suspension as maintenance parts these days?

Anyway I have experience with all 3 brands, all CPO cars, here is my problem counts for what's worth (not counting recalls, maintenance items like battery etc)

2013 GL450, owned 2016 - present
- radiator leak
- air suspension leak
- rear trunk actuator failure
- crankcase leak
- turbo coolant line busted
- intake pipe busted
- driver side mb tex started flaking and peeling

2011 e90 m3, owned 2014 - 2019
- brake vacuum sensor went bad (suspect it was from mechanics dripped brake fluid on it)

2012 997.2, owned half a year so far
- broken trunk button (possibly previous owner's user error)
- car key remote stop working
- car key button broken
- rear seat belt ratchet mechanism went stuck need replacement
- silver plastic trim on steering wheel peeling / wrinkling

so from my own experience, bmw > porsche > merc
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      01-10-2020, 11:34 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Salty Dog View Post
I think my point is Porsches generally get used differently than most other cars so that my skew things a bit.
This is something one must consider here. There's no doubt in my mind that Porsche sports cars, not their Audi/VW cousin SUVs, are pretty reliable, BUT most people tend not to drive them much. Most 911, Caymans, Boxsters, etc. are only driven 2K to 5K miles per year. That makes a huge difference.
Maintenance, repair, and parts costs are MUCH higher than Benz (and BMW) as well, typically 50% more on everything. In most cases, you'll be stuck having to service/repair your late model Porsche at a dealer because of the tech and tools needed to work on these somewhat exclusive cars.

Also, when looking at used mid 2000s to 2015 Porsche sports car on Bring a Trailer, I am astounded by how many have had $10K in maintenance after about 5-6 years on the road. It also seems like total engine rebuilds in the $20K+ range are common place on low mileage 993 and earlier generations. I do have to wonder about the later model motors and the long term maintenance/repairs as these motors have a ton more tech and aren't very serviceable unless dropped out of the car. Also, most every common non-turbo Porsche engine built in the last three of decades seems to have some pretty frightening potential issues that can take the motor out in the blink of an eye. Take note of the costs of an engine replacement is these cars. It's hilarious.

Porsche has really good long term dependability per the data, but consider how these cars are used.

As for Benz, yeah, not so reliable and not on the same playing field as Porsche. Per JD Power Long Term Dependability data (3 years of ownership), Porsche ranks #2, BMW #8 (above the industry average), and Benz #15 (below the industry average).
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      01-10-2020, 11:55 AM   #20
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It may be better to ignore the Porsche sports cars and only consider the SUVs and wagon when comparing in order to keep it apples to apples.
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      01-11-2020, 07:09 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viffermike View Post
This really shouldn't even be a question -- primarily because of scale.

M-B's lower-than-average long-term reliability averages should tell you all you need to know. They simply don't age well, and never have.
I have to disagree with old MBs not being reliable. In 1982 my Father bought a 300D and my Mother a 380SL. Both my parents are in their 80s and both of these cars are still owned by them (although they don't drive too much anymore). The 300D has 385K miles and the SL 325K. These cars have their original engines and transmissions and apart from common maintenance they have been very reliable. My Father also belongs to a German club where all the old men own MBs from the 70s and 80s and brag about who has the highest mileage. If you visit their house my Dad will give you an earful on how his cars are built like tanks. He will also readily admit the new ones are built like "garbage". 😂
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      01-11-2020, 07:36 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by //steve\\ View Post
This always makes me think of the JD power aware commercials Chevy runs. Initially quality is such a worthless measurement IMO. Who cares if it's initially good if it turns to crap after 2-3 years or less.
My thought's exactly. Initial quality isn't "quality" at all, it's spray-painting a turd with pretty colors.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Humdizzle View Post
the people who lease
The useless ones, got it. I mean, if you always lease you're either too rich to care or too stupid to know better, and neither is a good representation of the general public. Cars should be made to last at least 100K without significant issues.
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