Although Timeless, Some Mercedes-Benz Retain Their Value Better Than Others

Guest Article by Vince Evans*

Residual value is something that is on the top of every car owner’s mind, because the second they buy a car and drive it off the lot it immediately starts depreciating in value. This is obviously true for Mercedes-Benz as well. The Mercedes-Benz is a timeless vehicle; however, some models have much better residual values than others. Although different models and classes of Mercedes retain their original values differently, the Mercedes-Benz brand as a whole retains its value quite well within its respective segments. The E-Class and SLS AMG super-sports car have recently received the “2014 residual value champions” award from the German internet magazine Focus Online. Mercedes-Benz also showed to have the highest value retention in a study featured in Auto Bild in 2010. Perhaps the greatest example of Mercedes-Benz value retention is the classic 1950s 300SL gull-wing model which is currently worth roughly forty times its original price. However, as we all know, the 300SL is an anomaly and the majority of cars do depreciate over time. Mercedes-Benz’s are some of the best cars out there regarding residual value, but some models are definitely better than others.

C-Class Sets the Bar

According to Cars.com the 2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class has the best resale value for the “Near-Luxury” class. The C-Class has the best residual value among all brands for this category and naturally it is also the best among all Mercedes-Benz models. Taking a look at the residual value after three years of some of the other 2012 models we can see how each class grades out when compared with the others. The C250 has the best residual value among all models with a resale value of 42% of the MSRP after three years. The C350 (41% MRSP after three years) and C63 AMG (36% MRSP after three years) also do very well for used Mercedes-Benz.

E-Class and the Rest of the Pack

The E-Class is probably the second highest rated class for resale values with the E350, E550, and E350 Sport all being worth around 30% MSRP after three years. The M-Class models are middle of the road having slightly less residual values after three years than the E-Class models.

S-Class Brings Up the Rear

The S-Class models are some of the finest luxury vehicles on the road and are equipped with more technological features than anyone could ever ask for, but they unfortunately do not have the greatest resale value among Mercedes-Benz. The S-Class models rank last among Classes C,E,M,R, and S. The S600 has the worst residual value of all models in these classes with a resale value of 20% MSRP after three years and the S63 AMG is only slightly better at 23% MSRP after three years.

When compared with other makes in respective categories, Mercedes-Benz stacks up pretty well regarding residual value. With the E-Class and SLS AMG super-sports car recently winning awards and the 2012 C-Class being named Cars.com’s best resale value for the “Near Luxury” category, it’s easy to see that Mercedes-Benz cars as a whole- retain - their values quite well. If you’re looking to get the best residual value out of your Mercedes-Benz you may want to think about a model in either the C-Class or E-Class, while avoiding models in the S-Class. However, at the end of the day, you can’t be too concerned about the residual value of your vehicle because you can’t go wrong driving a Mercedes-Benz.

* About the author: Vince Evans is a self-medicated car freak who gets his fix by going to every auto auction within driving distance. If he can’t be there, he writes about New Jersey used car dealers.

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2 comments

Anonymous said...

Residual value for an S-class is 20% of MSRP after 3 years?

E-class values at 30% of MSRP after 3 years?

I don't get these numbers at all - please let us know where we can buy these attractively priced used cars?

Squiggles said...

Ok fair enough, if you're rich enough to own a new MB and keen on getting the best resale value (i.e. a rich but frugal tight ass) then go with the recommendations. But, if you're looking to get into a luxury "pre-owned" MB, particularly one that would have been pampered by the first owner and with a steep decline in resale value, which model would you choose? The resale value isn't going to keep on declining steeply and because it's tapering off with age you'd be a mug not to choose the luxury model which has had most of the cream knocked off the price. So, think beyond new-car resale value if you're buying a used car.

Cheers, V

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