Prestige vs Family car - fuleonthehill
I was looking to buy a new Mondeo @ around 17-18k-ish, but having shopped around a new C-series Estate, which is about the same size, will cost roughly 22k. So, question is, given the scale of discounts on offer and residuals, which one will make the most financial sense if intending to sell in 3 years? I really know very little about this, even after reading around the boards....any help much appreciated.
Prestige vs Family car - gabble
It would be worth checking out the values of current 3 year old Mondeos and C class to get a true comparison if money is the only criteria.

Gut feel would say that the Merc will be worth a bigger percentage of it's purchase price, but given the purchase price is higher that might not mean it is the cheapest.

BUT. It will probably be the more satisfying car to own and drive. Might even be good enough that you don't want to get rid after 3 years... If you kept it say 5 years the annual cost would be vastly reduced.

Prestige vs Family car - rtj70
The Mondeo is the size of an E-class so not comparable in size at all. In fact the Mondeo Saloon is longer than an E-Class.

Don't forget residuals are quoted as a %age but the Ford costs less in the first place. So for example after 3 years/36k miles if the Mondeo retained 30% of £17k that's just over £5k with a £12k loss. The Mercedes if it retained 40% (likely) that's £8.8k and a loss of £13.2k.

I'm not saying by percentages for retained value are anything but a guess but the bigger Mondeo can probably be had for less than £17k at the moment.

Don't be fooled by the percentage game. Work out the real loss. The Mercedes in real terms will cost the same or more over 3 years.

Prestige vs Family car - Alby Back
A good way to get a fix on what the real costs of running a car are is to obtain quotes from contract hire companies on the models you are interested in. Keep the playing field as level as you can by asking for the same terms and conditions EG 36k over three years fully maintained.

These guys know what it really costs. Can be quite surprising what works out relatively cheaply and conversely what doesn't.

Might help you to make your decision. Having said that, if you are going to sit in it every day and the cost difference is acceptable, it's sometimes better to go with what you want rather than what you should do......
Prestige vs Family car - xtrailman
Its mad to buy a Mondeo new, losses far too much. An excellent buy second hand.
The merch will retain much more value.
Prestige vs Family car - retgwte
of course it also depends where you regularly park and whether the locals consider it their divine right in the absence of any police worth speaking about to scratch any car considered up market such as a merc, often something that doesnt stand out and fades into the backgroung like a mundaneo can help attract such attention

Prestige vs Family car - rtj70
xtrailman, you're talking percentages again. Anyone needs to work out the loss in money terms to really compare things. And also work out the money lost... retaining 50% value could still loose a lot of cash.

And also factor in other costs over the time you keep the car like insurance, servicing, road tax, tyres, etc. I am not saying the Mercedes will cost more but nor am I able to say the Mondeo costs more.

We have insufficient information to offer best advice but percentage value retained is only one factor.

The suggestion above of using a lease quoting service (is Cash or Car still running) is a good one. On a lease a more expensive car could work out cheaper. But it depends on many factors.

Edited by rtj70 on 08/03/2009 at 20:13

Prestige vs Family car - daveyjp
07 new shape Mondeos 2.0TDCi advertised at a local garage - £6,995. No idea on mileage, but it gives a good idea of depreciation over what could be less than two years.
Prestige vs Family car - L'escargot
In our household we class any car worth more than £2000 as a prestige car!
Prestige vs Family car - oldtoffee
Two or three year old BMW 530?

Prestige vs Family car - xtrailman
Although the merc may only save £1k over 3 years, through the residuals.
We really are comparing two different cars, the merc will still drive like new after 3 years, the ford will not.

In my experience the other costs dont make a deal of difference.

I bought a new A4 avant 1.8T quattro in 2000 at 23k, four and a half years later sold it for £10500.

My last xtrail i paid £20500 in Dec 2004, at the time of purchase the predicted return after 3 years was 60%, after four years when i came to sell the car was only worth £6.5k

The audi was ins group 17, the nissan 12, the insurance costs the same!

The service costs just about the same.

The only reason i dont drive an Audi now is the fact that Audi don't make a car i want.
Even the Q5 does not tick all the boxes.

The xtrail ive just bought new, only because i got a £8400 discount, to ofset depreciation.
Prestige vs Family car - ablandy
xtrailman, on what do you base the fact that the merc will still drive like new and the ford will not after 3 years?

Given that neither car has been out for three years, it cant be based on experience.....

Prestige vs Family car - boxsterboy
Weighed up against the cost of depreciation - whether expressed as an absolute, or as a percentage of the list price ;-) - you have the value of the 'pleasure' of driving what should be a more refined, satisfying, prestigeous car. What that is worth will depend entirely on the individual concerned!
Prestige vs Family car - davidh
My experience of the current C class is limited to merely being a passenger. I was left underwhelmed. There didnt seem to be any interior plastics or fabrics difference between it and what would be traditionally called a mainstream car such as the New Mondeo.

Well, either Ford are ripping you off with the Mondeo, or Mercedes are now building cars down to a price cos I dont see where the Merc is better. I wouldnt pay the extra for the Mercs perceived extra "quality" I think the only exception to that would be Lexus - they seem to major on doing things well that you cant see.
Prestige vs Family car - TheOilBurner
you have the value of the 'pleasure' of driving what should be a more refined satisfying prestigious car.

If that's what they're after, then they better go with the Ford! ;)
Prestige vs Family car - xtrailman
Of all the cars that i have had from new, the Audi was the only car that still felt tight after 4 years.
All parts,( apart from tyres, mainly due to scrap metal flats via work)
were original.
The xtrail was also tight.

A part from that only a toyota has come close. All the vauxalls x2, fords x2, honda, nissan primeras x2 all felt loose after this time. And i will not talk about the bag of carp Mini metro i had.

Although you appear to get little extra for your money when you buy a prestige car.
There is a difference. The question is are you prepared to pay for it.

Edited by Webmaster on 09/03/2009 at 23:58

Prestige vs Family car - TheOilBurner
XTrailMan: I've had Ford's that still felt tight at 6 years old. Guess I was lucky huh?

Our Zafira is weeks away from it's third anniversary and still feels as tight as two years ago, and no different to the brand new ones too.

I must be very lucky indeed...
Prestige vs Family car - madf
I have driven 10 year old Fords that felt like new.. And seen 6 year old Mercedes rusting like mad round the wheel arches.

Mercedes quality is not what it was and in my view the smaller ones are 50% overpriced for what you get and the quality.. As for teh depreciation and servicing and insurance costs...!!

As for reliability, A Ford will knock a Mercedes into the next field..

Toyota are of course even better...than Ford.

Prestige vs Family car - ablandy
im going to disagree with xtrailman im afraid, because what youare saying is that because the car is german it will be "tighter" after 3 or 4 years. That is quite frankly nonsense and only shows you have fallen for the media hype. Mercedes have over the last few years had major quality issues which have been addressed now i believe.

For you audi made an impact, but that has no bearing on the quality of mercedes.
Prestige vs Family car - xtrailman
No problem, agree to disagree.
I just can't see the point in paying out new, for a ford that after only a year will drop like a stone in value?

I only talked about Audi, because i haven't had a Merc.

But my daughter has had 14 new ones, and her husband has had more.
He works as a sales man for merc', so he has a new motor every few months, and my daughter every six months, so merc' have some second hand cars to sell, is one reason he gave me.

So i have been a regular passenger in most of the range, and do get to see the build quality good and bad.

All i can say is have you had a prestige car?
Prestige vs Family car - ablandy
i havent mentioned anything about the financials and agree that mondeos are a very sensible second hand buy because they do drop their value (but all new cars do so it is essential to do your sums to work out what is best).

The issue i had with your post was that you stated the merc was a better buy because it would be tighter after a number of years than the ford and we have established this is based on supposition and your experience of audi.

tbh i wouldnt buy either. If you must have a new car, then lease it (but thats a whole other thread!).

I have had bmws, previsou car was honda accord tourer type s and my current one is a new shape mondeo. If it had a different badge on it you would call it a prestige car. And i have always disliked mondeos but the cost difference between the mondeo and the so called prestige cars that had no benefits over the mondeo for me wasnt worth it (i do quite a lot of miles for work).

There is no denying that people will see the merc badge and judge you in a different way than if you pulled up in a ford.

My advice to the op, do some maths, work out the possible difference in cost over x no. of years and then take a test drive. Then work out if the cost difference is worth it to you.

Prestige vs Family car - Avant
Financially there's not a lot in it, as the Ford costs less but depreciates faster. Try driving each of them, with the type and size of engine you want, and see which you prefer driving. If image is important, no doubt you'd go for the Mercedes, although you could argue that fewer Fords are used as German taxis.

If you do choose the C-class, make sure you can live with the idiotic parking brake - I know I couldn't.
Prestige vs Family car - andyfr
If you do choose the C-class, make sure you can live with the idiotic parking brake - I know I couldn't.

I thought that until we hired a car in the US with the same type, now I wouldn't mind. Provided it had an automatic gearbox of course.
Prestige vs Family car - Collos25
If its the C class it has to be automatic as has been previ0usly stated the foot operated parking break is a nightmare and also do not forget everything is an extra on a Mercedes.A c class in Germany is classed on a par for size with a Ford Focus only its not as good.
Prestige vs Family car - Pizza man
Get a Lexus LS400/430 ;)
Prestige vs Family car - Bagpuss
@OP: I would try them both. I like Mercs but the lower spec C-Class models, especially the diesels, are actually quite ordinary to drive and really no nicer than a Mondeo. Mercedes 4 cylinder diesel engines are depressingly noisy compared to competitors' products. The C-Class is also nowhere near as spacious as the Mondeo.

If it were me I'd take a higher spec second hand spec C-Class with a 5 or 6 cylinder engine, unless the space were important in which case I'd take the Mondeo.
Prestige vs Family car - Martin Devon
I have skipped to the bottom (end) of this post after reading the first one. I have a 1995 E class 320 petrol. Employee has a 'w' reg Mondeo Ghia. EVERY time I would have the Ford. No comparison I am afraid. Merc' goes like stink etc etc etc, but in real world terms get practical. Yes yes I know it's boring, but I'm just saying...........OK?

Off road m/bike for fun.