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I've been looking at the last car I hope to ever buy and the hands-down concensus goes to the Germans with the Swedes running a close second. Many people say that their Mercedes is their pride and joy and that if it is kept well-maintained, it will last forever and be a pleasure til you drop dead. I have only heard of one person whose maintanence costs were eating him out of house and home, but he bought his Mercedes used and had no record of what kind of care and treatment its original owner subjected it to. People all over the world have said that the occassional repairs are rare but that you should be prepared to shell out some serious pesos when the dreaded day does finally arrive. Mercedes.com can access Benz owners all over the world and I have been emailing up a storm asking people's impressions and advice. Volvo and Saab also have brought in good reports but nowhere near the same lack of maintanence problems as the Benz. I'm like you, I want my next car to be my last car- EVER.
Consumers Reports at www.consumersreports has some excellent data on cars and how they stack up in terms of repair and maintanence costs- they are well worth looking at if you have narrowed down a few models you may eventually be interested in buying. For me, I'm going to shell out the extra pesos up front and buy a car that should theoretically last me a lifetime- namely a Mercedes. My Dad owns 5 of them and swears by them. He doesn't buy them unless they are at least 30 years old and they are all GORGEOUS, and run like the wind. The only problem they have is with the damage that salt from the winter roadways does when the roads get slippery. When driving in slush and salt, you might be better off taking the Toyota. I'm going to keep my Honda for just such occassions (although I had originally planned to trade it in towards the cost of the Benz.) The Accord and the Civic are both great little cars too, but I wouldn't expect either of them to last me a lifetime.
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