Toyota Nation Forum banner

1 - 20 of 35 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello, I'm new here but not new to the Toyota brand. Currently as my daily driver I have a 2014 Mercedes ML350 4matic with about 85,000 miles on it. I'm trying to decide whether or not to dump it or keep it as it just went out of CPO. Car has been pretty trouble free since I've owned it 2+ years. No air suspension and naturally aspirated v6 engine (no turbo or diesel) so not alot of things to wrong hopefully. Car feels solid and built like a tank. Wife mainly drives it with the kids but it has recently become a family vehicle.

I walked into a Toyota dealer to test drive the 19 Highlander Hybrid and I was pretty impressed with the power and definitely could use the captains chairs and third row (2 small kids). Right now, the ML is averaging about 18mpg combined city and highway. The Highlander Hybrid AWD looks to average about 28mpg. Dealer could work close to offering 20k for my ML if I trade it in. Would it make sense to get out of the Benz now before it hits 100k miles (value tanks and i've heard horror stories of German cars falling apart right after 100k) and pay 45k-50k for a new Highlander Hybrid Limited for the gas savings and reliability peace of mind? Or even 36k-40k for a gas Highlander? What are the pros and cons of both vehicles? Trying to see what would be the best financial decision for 5 years and hopefully 200,000 miles +.

Thanks for any input
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
6,187 Posts
For a family with small children HiHy Limited is excellent choice. It is very family oriented. Very.

Yo will have pretty good AWD and lots of storage areas. I had 2012 one, I used it as a truck for 6 mths. Literally. Had 12 ft boards inside once.

If you have "nice foot" you should easily hover around 30mpg single driver. Accordingly, more weight, less mpg. But still, it will outperform any non hybrid version.
They are VERY reliable. Make sure you get one Made in Japan.
also, look at trade ins or 2018 models. Not much difference, price though is much lighter.

MB is, as of lately, known money pit. I get it, you got Wednesday one, but they tend to start expensively breaking as soon as out of warranty.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
456 Posts
Remember why you bought the ML350 in the first place... was it because you wanted a Benz, because your wife wanted a Benz, because you wanted a luxury car, because the ML350 is one of the safest cars you can buy, because you got a really good deal on it, or some other reason?

If you bought the ML350 because you like German cars and you were willing to pay the premium of owning one at the time of purchase, I would keep it. You're right - naturally aspirated engine removes the possibility of turbo failure and MB can't design a reliable air suspension if the survival of the company depended on it. You still have the 7 speed transmission, and various electrical issues that can go wrong though. Do all the necessary maintenance (and even the seemingly unnecessary stuff - is the 7 speed auto sealed? Even if it is, change out the transmission fluid) and keep the ML350 to 150K miles.

I (personally) am not a huge fan of Hybrid vehicles because you will need a battery replacement in ~10-15 years and ~150K-200K miles. As I own my cars for much longer than that, it essentially guarantees that I will need to shell out $2-3K at some point to replace the battery. However, it may be worth it for you depending on what percentage of your driving is city driving. If you're driving 200K miles in 5 years, or 40K a year, I'm assuming you drive mostly highway and you may or may not recuperate the Hybrid premium. You'll have to run the numbers on Highlander vs Highlander Hybrid. I'd say there's a good chance you may not need to change the Hybrid battery if you sell the car in 5 years and 200K miles.

The most economical thing to do would be to trade in the ML350 and buy a used gas Highlander and drive it until it dies. I would say the cost of ownership of a new Highlander Limited and keeping your ML350, should be comparable when factoring in depreciation and maintenance. But, the new Highlander Limited will be in the shop less often and be less of an inconvenience. All depends how much Benz ownership is worth to you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
For a family with small children HiHy Limited is excellent choice. It is very family oriented. Very.

Yo will have pretty good AWD and lots of storage areas. I had 2012 one, I used it as a truck for 6 mths. Literally. Had 12 ft boards inside once.

If you have "nice foot" you should easily hover around 30mpg single driver. Accordingly, more weight, less mpg. But still, it will outperform any non hybrid version.
They are VERY reliable. Make sure you get one Made in Japan.
also, look at trade ins or 2018 models. Not much difference, price though is much lighter.

MB is, as of lately, known money pit. I get it, you got Wednesday one, but they tend to start expensively breaking as soon as out of warranty.

How do you find a made in Japan 17-19 Highlander? I thought all were made in the US?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Remember why you bought the ML350 in the first place... was it because you wanted a Benz, because your wife wanted a Benz, because you wanted a luxury car, because the ML350 is one of the safest cars you can buy, because you got a really good deal on it, or some other reason?

If you bought the ML350 because you like German cars and you were willing to pay the premium of owning one at the time of purchase, I would keep it. You're right - naturally aspirated engine removes the possibility of turbo failure and MB can't design a reliable air suspension if the survival of the company depended on it. You still have the 7 speed transmission, and various electrical issues that can go wrong though. Do all the necessary maintenance (and even the seemingly unnecessary stuff - is the 7 speed auto sealed? Even if it is, change out the transmission fluid) and keep the ML350 to 150K miles.

I (personally) am not a huge fan of Hybrid vehicles because you will need a battery replacement in ~10-15 years and ~150K-200K miles. As I own my cars for much longer than that, it essentially guarantees that I will need to shell out $2-3K at some point to replace the battery. However, it may be worth it for you depending on what percentage of your driving is city driving. If you're driving 200K miles in 5 years, or 40K a year, I'm assuming you drive mostly highway and you may or may not recuperate the Hybrid premium. You'll have to run the numbers on Highlander vs Highlander Hybrid. I'd say there's a good chance you may not need to change the Hybrid battery if you sell the car in 5 years and 200K miles.

The most economical thing to do would be to trade in the ML350 and buy a used gas Highlander and drive it until it dies. I would say the cost of ownership of a new Highlander Limited and keeping your ML350, should be comparable when factoring in depreciation and maintenance. But, the new Highlander Limited will be in the shop less often and be less of an inconvenience. All depends how much Benz ownership is worth to you.
Thanks jintao. I am used to German vehicles (owned audi a8 for 8 years and BMW 550 for a year which was a money pit). I got the Benz because from what I've read, it is one of the more reliable German brands. I wouldn't go back to Audi or BMW. The ML350 was also the perfect size (not too big or to small) and drove better than the 2015 Lexus RX350 I tested and the infotainment was easier to operate than the mouse thing on the Lexus. Safety was also a big factor and the Benz looked to be the safest.

We drive probably 15,000 - 20,000 miles per year. If I trade in the Benz, the difference is about 16k to get the Highlander gas version and 25k for the Hybrid. Not sure if I will come out ahead in 5 years with gas savings and maintenance to the tune of 16k than if I just keep the Benz.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
325 Posts
Remember why you bought the ML350 in the first place... was it because you wanted a Benz, because your wife wanted a Benz, because you wanted a luxury car, because the ML350 is one of the safest cars you can buy, because you got a really good deal on it, or some other reason?

If you bought the ML350 because you like German cars and you were willing to pay the premium of owning one at the time of purchase, I would keep it. You're right - naturally aspirated engine removes the possibility of turbo failure and MB can't design a reliable air suspension if the survival of the company depended on it. You still have the 7 speed transmission, and various electrical issues that can go wrong though. Do all the necessary maintenance (and even the seemingly unnecessary stuff - is the 7 speed auto sealed? Even if it is, change out the transmission fluid) and keep the ML350 to 150K miles.

I (personally) am not a huge fan of Hybrid vehicles because you will need a battery replacement in ~10-15 years and ~150K-200K miles. As I own my cars for much longer than that, it essentially guarantees that I will need to shell out $2-3K at some point to replace the battery. However, it may be worth it for you depending on what percentage of your driving is city driving. If you're driving 200K miles in 5 years, or 40K a year, I'm assuming you drive mostly highway and you may or may not recuperate the Hybrid premium. You'll have to run the numbers on Highlander vs Highlander Hybrid. I'd say there's a good chance you may not need to change the Hybrid battery if you sell the car in 5 years and 200K miles.

The most economical thing to do would be to trade in the ML350 and buy a used gas Highlander and drive it until it dies. I would say the cost of ownership of a new Highlander Limited and keeping your ML350, should be comparable when factoring in depreciation and maintenance. But, the new Highlander Limited will be in the shop less often and be less of an inconvenience. All depends how much Benz ownership is worth to you.
Where do you get your info on the need to replace the battery at some point in time?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
456 Posts
Not saying that you will certainly need to replace the battery, but the statistics are out there. Many people don't. There was a test done of a 2001 Prius's battery a few years ago with 200K miles on it, and it was found that it was close to new condition.

It's hard to predict battery failure. If it failed at 30K miles, I would be surprised. If it failed at 120K, I wouldn't. There are many people who have needed a replacement at that point.

Similar to radiators - there are people who have 350K+ on their original radiator. That is not the norm - many seem to need replacement around 150K. For me, my radiator cracked at 88K, and I can't say I was too surprised about it.

YMMV.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,567 Posts
Not saying that you will certainly need to replace the battery, but the statistics are out there. Many people don't. There was a test done of a 2001 Prius's battery a few years ago with 200K miles on it, and it was found that it was close to new condition.

It's hard to predict battery failure. If it failed at 30K miles, I would be surprised. If it failed at 120K, I wouldn't. There are many people who have needed a replacement at that point.

Similar to radiators - there are people who have 350K+ on their original radiator. That is not the norm - many seem to need replacement around 150K. For me, my radiator cracked at 88K, and I can't say I was too surprised about it.

YMMV.
I've heard from my classmates when I was still in school for Toyota T-Ten that it seems that the first generation Prius batteries "run-forever" whiles the later generations don't.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
217 Posts
If you're to the point that you've already walked into a dealership, taken a test drive, and talked numbers, then you've already decided to dump your old ride (nobody does that for fun). If this is the case, the a HL is a great choice, know matter which trim you chose.

Obviously, if the Benz is paid for and meets your needs, sticking with it is the more pocket friendly option. I have a friend that only buys Mercedes Benz vehicles, he'll only buy them used (usually high mileage), and has been know to get 300K+ out them before he sells them, and their usually still in great shape when he sells. Sure, he spends some money on repairs from time to time (and he likes tinkering with them), but it's a fraction of the cost of driving a newer vehicle. Of course his passion for the brand dates back decades and he has a bias towards them, but he swears by their build quality and reliability. That said, he usually buys their large sedans (I'm not familiar with the models), so I'm not sure if that reputation carries over to the SUV's.
 

·
Gman_yota
Joined
·
53 Posts
For greater peace of mind, I would suggest going with the Highlander - any model - and yes, trading in your Benz while it’s below 100k, so you get max value for it.

A Toyota Certified used, low-mileage ‘18 or ‘19 HL would be my choice, so you’re not paying for initial depreciation.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,736 Posts
How do you find a made in Japan 17-19 Highlander? I thought all were made in the US?
I don't think you do find a new one made in Japan. The gas engine version has been made in Indiana for years. The hybrid was still made in Japan for a while, but I'm pretty sure that moved to Indiana as well when the 3rd generation started in 2014.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,736 Posts
Where do you get your info on the need to replace the battery at some point in time?
Because nothing lasts forever. Toyota warranty covers them for 8 years or 100,000 miles. If you won't keep the car that long, then you obviously don't care. But if the car stays on the road a lot longer than that, then eventually someone will need to change the batteries.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
456 Posts
Thanks jintao. I am used to German vehicles (owned audi a8 for 8 years and BMW 550 for a year which was a money pit). I got the Benz because from what I've read, it is one of the more reliable German brands. I wouldn't go back to Audi or BMW. The ML350 was also the perfect size (not too big or to small) and drove better than the 2015 Lexus RX350 I tested and the infotainment was easier to operate than the mouse thing on the Lexus. Safety was also a big factor and the Benz looked to be the safest.

We drive probably 15,000 - 20,000 miles per year. If I trade in the Benz, the difference is about 16k to get the Highlander gas version and 25k for the Hybrid. Not sure if I will come out ahead in 5 years with gas savings and maintenance to the tune of 16k than if I just keep the Benz.
My opinion: I am someone who values reliability, so I would opt to get the Highlander. That's me. I don't necessarily mind needing to take the car to the shop because of issues like shocks or air conditioning, but I absolutely cannot deal with problems while on the road.

But, I am generally in favor of keeping whatever existing car you already have. You seem to like the ML350. The price difference is more than $16K if you factor in the added depreciation of the new car (i.e. in 5 years, your ML350 might be worth $6K, or $14K of depreciation over 5 years, whereas a new Highlander might only be worth $16K, or $20K of depreciation over 5 years). If you also consider the opportunity cost of that money, it can be a pretty substantial amount -- more than enough to cover additional gas and maintenance on the ML350.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
7,783 Posts
One AC issue, or electrical function fail on that MBenz and you will wish you traded it in when you had the chance...
Yes those engines and many of the trans are solid, but most German makes, after their 7 to 10 ride, the problems can be costly.

But, if like that guy who likes to tinker and fix them here and there, as I too have a friend who has 5 older late 70-80's in similar models, and he manages to keep 2 running. There are some simple older models that do run a solid for many years, and it sounds like yours maybe one of them, and if over the next 3-5 years you get a 1600 bill for some issue...that's about it...you fix it, and wait for something else. But, if not getting stranded is the main concern....Either you take a precautionary measure and start changing older parts on it after 120K miles or so...instead of taking a reactive appraoch....OR....perhaps a Highlander is in your future. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
I have a 2017 HIghlander Hybrid Limited Platinum, bought new, 48k miles on it now with no issues. I agree with concerns of the MB (and most Euro or American made cars) after 100k, and its sounds like your ready for a new SUV anyway, but make sure you spend enough time driving Highlanders to be ok with Toyota’s very reliable yet conservative version of luxury. I recommend the Limited Platinum for you to get as close as Toyota can to the comforts of the Euro luxury SUV you’re used. I highly recommend that you drive both the hybrid and the gas models because I like the extra and immediate torque of the electric motors as much as the mpg bump. The hybrid also eliminates engine start/stop gas saving (disable able) feature. I used to get 26-27 mpg city or highway (no better unless 55mph on highway). I changed to 20” Lexus rims with lower profile tires; same outside diameter as original, but about an inch wider to improve the overly soft and less than nimble handling. Handling improved more than expected, but mpg dropped to 22-23. I like the Highlander very much overall, was best feature/value 7-8 passenger plus luggage SUV(2017), extremely reliable (I ran to after Lemon Law of very problematic new $83k loaded 2016 Volvo XC90 Hybrid). Although I miss the far superior European luxury and better handling air ride suspension and blistering performance, this nicest Highlander (Limited Platinum) version with basically all options at $53k was $30k less and has had zero problems. My dislikes are the lack of usable lane keeping (only a warning system), no Apple Play (in 2017) and lack of low speed following (disengages under 30mph) mode also without traffic start/stop ability, little stalk for cruise control functions (not built into steering wheel controls). The JBL sound system is extremely disappointing in sound quality, plus lots of rattles from doors and hatch with any bass heavy music (and I’m a big JBL fan) - my 2011 Nissan Maxima’s Bose and my Chrysler Pacifica (company car) basic stereo’s sound much better. The old style mechanical foot pedal parking brake is literally embarrassing to release due to truck like operation and loud clunk that usually occurs when disengaging. My favorite feature is the “birds eye” view that automatically appears somewhere below 10 mph, which makes curbs and parking space lines appear and disappear exactly when needed, although the upgraded screen is not high resolution, nor bright or glare resistant enough. If there is a new Highlander coming out in 2020, I would definitely wait for it if better mpg and the potential for many needed upgrades.
Hope some of that helps. Good luck
 
1 - 20 of 35 Posts
Top