Mercedes-Benz pops up toward the bottom of “Most Reliable Brands” lists throughout the internet. Constant electrical issues may warrant its placement, however, the last thing to break on a Mercedes is its engine and drivetrain. That makes a Mercedes more dependable than expected. Air conditioning systems and electric seat bolster adjusters may break, but the engine will always complete the journey. These are some of the most reliable cars the brand has ever released, among many.
The GLK Class gets top marks for being a reliable Mercedes. In fact, it doesn’t have many unique recalls associated with it. There are several trims to choose from, in both rear and all-wheel drive configurations. The GLK350 has a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 300 horsepower, while at the other end of the spectrum its 2.1-liter inline-four makes 200 horsepower. Aside from airbag recalls, there was a problem with leaking fuel filters. According to U.S. News, the 2015 GLK Class earns the #1 luxury compact SUV slot, with a five-out-of-five rating for reliability. Older years are quite a bargain as well.
2011 CLS Class
Contrary to the C300’s poor reputation with reliability in the mid-2010s, the 2011 CLS only has 1 recall against it, with very few customer complaints. U.S. News heralds the CLS for having a powerful V8, comfortable interior, and excellent exterior styling. Mercedes-Benz offers the CLS class with two different engine options. The CLS550 comes with a 5.5-liter V8 with 382 horsepower, while the CLS63 AMG comes with a 6.2-liter V8 churning out 507 horsepower. The CLS Class earns a better than average rating for reliability from U.S. News. For a slightly cheaper CLS consider the 2008 model year.
Mercedes-Benz’s 2006 E350 model got a lot of flack as being unreliable. It harbored hundreds of complaints against it, among a few recalls that were too big to ignore. However, it looks like Mercedes has turned the tide with the E-Class. It comes with a 2.0-liter inline-four, producing 255 horsepower for the rear wheels. Its curb weight somewhat tips the scales at 3,792 pounds, but its average repair cost is low compared to other cars from Mercedes. Repair frequency is also low according to Repair Pal, with low-urgency repairs.
2011-2016 SLK Class
Despite having five recalls issued against it, the SLK Class has proven to be a very reliable Mercedes. There are three different trim levels, the SLK 300, 350, and 55 AMG. Its engine options go from a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four to a 5.5-liter V8 making 415 horsepower. This SLK generation only got an automatic transmission, but older models can come with a manual. The SLK is Mercedes’ signature roadster, delivering exquisite handling and solid acceleration.
An inspection before purchase is always a good idea, especially with a used car. No matter what year or model Mercedes-Benz, there’s a good chance its engine and drivetrain are rock-solid. However, while these models are among the most reliable Mercedes-Benz ever made, the absolute most reliable Mercedes anyone can ever buy is a brand new one off the lot.