Mercedes-Benz is a brand of luxury. A brand known for manufacturing premium vehicles.
They are expensive by nature. But when compared to other luxury brands like Cadillac, Lexus, Porsche, or Audi, a Mercedes still costs the most despite a similar spec sheet.
So, What makes Mercedes so expensive? In this article, I will tell you about the reasons why Mercedes is so expensive.
Table of Contents
Why is Mercedes so Expensive?
Mercedes are so expensive, mostly because of the position of the brand that is considered luxurious. But the high price of Mercedes cars is also because of great equipment, advanced technology, and durability.
Every Mercedes is equipped with best-in-class luxury features. From leather upholstery to massaging seats, Mercedes takes no compromises in their cars. Especially when it comes to technology. Being a german brand itself, Mercedes is known to have the best cutting-edge tech in their cars.
From adaptive cruise controls to adaptive lights, the latest MBUX system, to Tesla-like Autopilot, a Mercedes gets you all. But the real essence of german cars can only be felt behind the steering wheels, the roaring V6 powerhouse, the popping exhaust, butter-smooth transmission, and under 15.0-sec quarter-mile are the real Mercedes character.
To be able to build a car that can ride on clouds when cruising and drift corners while just accelerating is what makes Mercedes so expensive. Not to mention the build quality and the amount of R&D put behind each product.
Mercedes are not just expensive cars. They are durable, expensive cars. You can see people driving their old Mercedes SLS and SLRs even after 20-30 years. Even the Modern Mercedes models, the A-class, C-class, E-class, are quite durable when compared to other German brands.
All these factors amount to the massive price tag behind a Mercedes. But what’s interesting is that German cars are cheaper in the USA than in Germany itself.
Then why do they feel expensive in the US? That is because of the competitive price of luxury cars in the American market.
How Expensive is Mercedes Compared to Other Car Brands?
Mercedes reduces their pricing in the USA to compete in the American market. So when compared side by side, there is not much difference in price tag.
For example, the cheapest Mercedes A-class is priced at $33,000 while its competition, the BMW 1 Series, Alfa Romeo Giulietta, or Audi A3, are all priced at an average of $35.000. The same is with the other C and E class vehicles.
The real difference starts when you go up the trim with the options. You see, a $33,000 A-class, when maxed out with options, sits at about $60,000. About $27,000 just as options for the cheapest Mercedes that doesn’t even add to the performance. A similarly specced Alfa Romeo Giulia costs only $50,000 with all the packages combined.
Doing the same for an S-class, G-class, or the Maybach easily hits $200,000. Even for brands with brands like BMW and Audi, that price tag is hard to reach.
Then there is the performance aspect. The Mercedes AMG badge, just like the BMW’s M badge, signifies power and performance. Which also adds a huge gap in the base price. The price difference between a Mercedes C-300 and an AMG C-43 is $15,000 for an extra 200 hp.
While paying extra for performance seems reasonable. With so many options and add-on on offer, a Mercedes can cost double its base price. This is a feat only exquisite luxury car manufacturers like Rolls Royce, Bentley, Maserati can achieve.
These additional options are the real reason behind the massive price gap between a Mercedes and its competition. What also adds to its expensiveness is the cost of ownership.
Also read: Are Mercedes Reliable After 100k Miles?
Mercedes Overall Cost of Ownership in 5 Years
It’s no surprise that Mercedes’s Cost of Ownership is higher than your average luxury car. On average, you need to spend anywhere between $600-$1200 on the annual maintenance of a Mercedes.
As for the 5-year cost of ownership, you can expect $4000 for C-class, $5,000 for E-class, and $6,000 for the G-class.
This only includes the general stuff as in oil change, fluid change, brake pads, spark plugs, etc. But when we go up the classes to the S-class, AMGs, or the Maybach, an annual expense of $2000-$3000 is very normal.
What bites the most is the over-expensive repair costs. While Mercedes does make durable cars, they start to show problems at 100,000 to 150,000 miles. Most of these issues are related to transmission, air suspension, and steering. Repairing any of which is an easy $1000 bill at the least.
According to Edmunds, when you combine all expenses i.e. Maintenance, Insurance, Repairs, Taxes, Financing, Fuel, and Depreciation, the true cost of ownership of a 2020 Mercedes E-class priced at $67,000 is $84,000 over 5-years for driving 15,000 miles a year. That’s Mercedes for ya!
Now that we have understood the expenses let’s look at the reasons behind them.
5 Serious Reasons Why Mercedes is so Expensive
1. Mercedes Uses Expensive Parts
German cars are sophisticated and advanced. And Mercedes being one of the best german car brands, uses high-end materials to build their car. From aluminum-steel chassis to alloy wheels, high-quality paint, advanced headlights, to hi-end computing systems and sophisticated engines and transmission.
All these need durable materials and highly engineered parts that are custom-made for each model. Not only that, it needs tons of R&D and a lot of dedicated manpower.
2. Mercedes Cars have Big Engines
While luxury is one aspect of Mercedes, another is performance. The reason why people buy German cars is that they are fun to drive. Despite all the tech involved, you always feel confident and in control. It is because these cars are good at both, it creates a win-win situation, which is a major factor behind their popularity in the US.
But adding a 400hp engine to your golden chariot sure bumps up the price. The AMG variants in any class pretty much double the price tag. You get a V6, though!
3. They Offer Hi-end Tech as Standard
What most brands provide as options, Mercedes does it as standard. May it be the safety features, driver assistance features, or simple infotainment features from the 12.3-inch infotainment screen, fully digital console, to HUD, and the latest MBUX with AI. All are standard in most Mercedes models.
Advance safety features adaptive high-beam, all-wheel steering, Mercedes Digital Light, Attentions Assist, blind-spot monitoring, crosswind assist are pretty common features on Mercedes vehicles.
Which Mercedes models should you avoid? Check it out in this post.
4. Mercedes are branded as Premium Luxury Cars
The brand Mercedes stands for premium luxury. This not only gives them the flexibility to use expensive materials to build their car, but they can also price it in a way that is limited to the chosen few.
While the base models are kept price-sensitive due to competition, the hi-end has no such limitations. Mercedes offers tons of luxurious features as options to make their cars luxury icons in their segment.
5. Mercedes Offers Best Customer Service
Convenience for a customer plays a major role in building brand loyalty for luxury brands. Mercedes does so by offering the best level of customer service, which can be experienced in/out of the showroom.
You get the extended warranty, on-site mechanic, 24/7 customer support, SOS call for the emergency response, all adding up to the extra price tag. The Mercedes-certified engineers that work on your car are well-trained professionals who are paid through the service package you buy.
Are there any Affordable Mercedes Models?
The most affordable Mercedes-Benz models are A-Class, GLA, CLA, or C-Class.
Mercedes is not an affordable brand to begin with. But they do have some models that an average American can buy. The Mercedes lineup in the USA starts with the A-class at $33,000 for A-class Sedan.
You can also buy the Mercedes GLA for $36,000, which is Mercedes’s most affordable SUV. Or the Mercedes CLA at $37,850 that is the most affordable coupe in the Mercedes lineup. Any Model in the A, C, and E-class is priced between $30,000-$60,000, given it’s not an AMG.
Is Mercedes Overpriced?
Whether Mercedes is overpriced or not depends on how you look at it. If your scale is “Value for Money,” then Mercedes is overly over-priced. The expensive price tag with the budget-throwing cost of ownership is not something most of us can afford.
But if you are buying Mercedes for what it is, as an icon of premium luxury. A symbol of status and class, then it being expensive gives it more value.
What are Cheaper Luxury Alternatives for Mercedes?
Besides the obvious BMW, Audi, Porsche, and Alfa Romeo, there are other luxury brands that compete with Mercedes, you have brands like Lincoln, Genesis, Infinity, Cadillac, Lexus, Volvo, all competing for premium luxury at lower prices.
The reason behind the long list of competitors is because of Mercedes’s versatility in their lineup. Due to their high-performing luxury cars, other brands like Lincoln, Cadillac, Lexus are entering the market with bigger engines and cheaper pricing.