The Mercedes-Benz brand is known for luxury, style, timeless design, and, naturally, speed. These German automobiles are one of the most popular luxury car brands worldwide. According to the Mercedes slogan, it’s “the best or nothing”.
Mercedes are known for being luxurious, technologically advanced, and generally reliable. The best models for reliability are the Mercedes Benz E-Class sedan, the 2015 Mercedes GLK Class compact SUV, the Mercedes GLC Class SUV, the Mercedes C-Class midsize car, and the Mercedes 2011-2016 SLK Class roadster. The least reliable Mercedes models are the 2021 Mercedes Benz GLE, the 2021 GLS, and the Mercedes S550.
Table of Contents
- Are Mercedes Cars Reliable?
- How Long Do Mercedes Last?
- Most Reliable Mercedes Models
- Least Reliable Mercedes Models
Are Mercedes Cars Reliable?
Mercedes are high-quality, luxury vehicles that boast posh, comfortable interiors and the latest in technology. But, overall, as a brand, are they reliable?
Repair Pal gives the Mercedes-Benz brand as a whole an average reliability score of 3.0 out of 5. This makes it 27th out of 32 car brands. The average annual repair cost for scheduled maintenance and unscheduled repairs is $908, which is average for luxury vehicles.
Foreign, luxury vehicles tend to need more care and maintenance than other vehicles. Mercedes is not an exception. The average vehicle goes to the mechanic 0.4 times per year for unscheduled repairs, whereas Mercedes average 0.7 visits per year.
13 percent of those repairs are considered severe, compared to 12 percent across all car makes and models. A repair is considered severe if it involves a major system, and costs more than three times the average annual repair cost.
How Long Do Mercedes Last?
Mercedes vehicles can enjoy a long life with proper care and maintenance. There is a saying that if you take care of a luxury vehicle, it will take care of you.
On average, a Mercedes can be expected to last 200,000-250,000 miles. That’s longer than the average of 150,000-200,000 miles across all vehicle makes and models.
On average, cars are driven around 15,000 miles per year. According to our calculations, a Mercedes should last 13-17 years. The average vehicle lasts 10-13 years.
Most Reliable Mercedes Models
All Mercedes are not created equal when it comes to reliability and longevity. Some models stand the test of time, while others are destined for an early end. If you are looking for a reliable Mercedes, one of these models will be your best bet.
Mercedes Benz E-Class
The Mercedes Benz E-Class cars are among the most popular and the most reliable in the Mercedes family. These four-door sedans are anything but ordinary. Sleek, quick, and responsive, the E-Class also has high safety ratings. The 2008, 2009, and 2012 model years are particularly known for their excellent reliability.
According to Repair Pal, the E-Class has above-average reliability ratings. It scores 3.5 out of 5 stars for reliability and is ranked 12th out of 30 full-size luxury cars. It has lower than average annual repair costs for luxury vehicles, too.
The Mercedes Benz E-Class costs an average of $788 per year for normal maintenance costs and unscheduled repairs. In comparison, other full-size, luxury sedans have an annual repair cost of $976. The average annual repair cost across all vehicle makes and models is $652.
Just how often does the E-Class visit the mechanic? On average, you will take your E-Class to the mechanic for unscheduled repairs 0.6 times a year, slightly less than the average of 0.8 times per year for full-size luxury sedans.
2015 Mercedes GLK Class
The Mercedes Benz GLK is a luxury, compact crossover SUV that has grown in popularity worldwide. Reliable, functional, and attractive, it also has the quick acceleration that you would expect from a Mercedes. It is available in two-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive models.
The 2015 Model Year of the Mercedes GLK Class is particularly noteworthy for reliability. U.S. News and World Report ranked it number one out of twelve luxury, compact SUVs for the year. It also got five out of five stars for reliability from JP Power.
Repair Pal, on the other hand, ranks all model years of the GLK Class right in the middle of the road for reliability and repairs. With 3.5 out of 5 stars for reliability, the Mercedes GLK is 5th out of 11 luxury compact SUVs.
The Mercedes Benz GLK Class also seems to have average repair statistics. The average annual cost at the mechanic for routine maintenance and unscheduled repairs is $859, which, as it happens, is also the same average for all luxury compact SUVs.
The GLK will visit the shop for unscheduled repairs 0.6 times per year on average, which falls in line with the average for other luxury compact SUVs.
Mercedes GLC Class
The Mercedes Benz GLC Class is considered to be one of the most reliable SUV’s on the market today. Elegant and compact, it is also a powerful, driving machine. Even though it was introduced more recently (2015), it is a solid vehicle with no major complaints. The most reliable model years are 2017, 2018, and 2019.
Kelley Blue Book gave the GLC Class a 4.1 out of 5 rating for reliability, based on 60 consumer reviews. Consumer Reports also give the GLC their thumbs up as a recommended luxury SUV. Since the GLC shares body types with the Mercedes C-Class, parts are often accessible.
A luxury, midsize car, the Mercedes C-Class vehicles are synonymous with the iconic Mercedes image. This comfortable compact car handles well and has enhanced safety features. Note that there have been several recalls and issues reported with the 2014-2017 C-Class model years.
However, according to U.S. News and World Report, the 2021 Mercedes C-Class is a standout! It ranks third for luxury compact cars and scored an 8.4 out of 10 according to their research and data. J.D. Power gives it an impressive 81/100 for quality and reliability.
The Mercedes Benz C-Class was updated in 2022 with a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that gives it better gas mileage and acceleration. It has updated safety features and a predicted reliability rating of 3.5 out of 5.
2011-2016 Mercedes SLK-Class
The Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class is a compact roadster. Production of the SLK-Class stopped in 2020. The modern line of SLK-Class vehicles is available in several trim levels, and engine options. Like most Mercedes, the sporty SLK has quick acceleration and smooth handling.
It is also considered a reliable, luxury vehicle, with a solid drivetrain and engine. Repair Pal gives the Mercedes SLK-Class 3.5 out of 5 stars. It has an average annual repair cost of $808 for regular maintenance and unscheduled repairs, as compared to an annual average of $801 for all luxury compact cars.
The Mercedes SLK class does visit the mechanic slightly less often than other compact luxury cars. Average mechanic visits due to unscheduled repairs are 0.6 times per year, while other luxury cars visit 0.7 times per year.
Least Reliable Mercedes Models
There are some Mercedes models that should be avoided if you’re after reliability.
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE
The 2021 Mercedes GLE has not been in the world for very long, and already has an astonishing 11 recalls, including several concerning safety recalls. Consumer Reports states that the GLE is much less reliable than average.
This midsize, luxury SUV looks great, and handles well, though some owners complained about a stiff suspension. However, its track record and all the recalls make it one of the least reliable Mercedes.
2021 Mercedes-Benz GLS
The Mercedes-Benz GLS is a full-sized SUV with three rows of seats. It’s luxurious, comfortable, and full of high-tech options. However, according to Consumer Reports, it gets below-average reliability scores.
The 2021 GLS is considered to be the least reliable vehicle in the luxury, full-sized SUV class. If that isn’t bad enough, it also has four safety recalls. Owners also reported issues with the confusing control system.
The Mercedes Benz S550 is a luxury sedan with cutting-edge technology and agile handling. However, its reliability scores are less impressive. S550 owners complain about issues with the transmission, HVAC system, camshaft, and driveshaft. That’s a lot of issues for one car!
According to Repair Pal, The Mercedes Benz S550 only gets two out of five stars for reliability, making it below average. It ranks 25th out of 30 full-size luxury cars for reliability.
The annual repair costs for an S550 are high. On average, S550 owners spent $1,249 per year for scheduled maintenance and unscheduled repairs, in comparison to an annual cost of $976 across all full-size luxury cars. It is also in the shop for unscheduled repairs an average of 1.0 times per year, as opposed to 0.8 for other full-size luxury cars.
If you’re looking for “the best or nothing”, some Mercedes models deliver the best reliability, and some do not. Look for one of our top Mercedes models. And, as with any used car purchase, make sure to look into the history of the vehicle and have it checked out before purchase.