Home » These Babies Really Hug The Depreciation Curves: 2013 Mercedes C250 vs 2015 Hyundai Genesis

These Babies Really Hug The Depreciation Curves: 2013 Mercedes C250 vs 2015 Hyundai Genesis

Sbsd 4 21 2023
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Good morning, Autopians, and Happy Friday! Today’s choices hail from sunny Miami, Florida, and are absolute bargains compared to when they were new. Yesterday, we looked at a couple of nice sensible rides in the Chicagoland area. Let’s see which one you chose:

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The Vibe wins it, but not by much, and I think it’s safe to say that either one is a safe choice, if they are as good as they seem. A couple of commenters pointed out that the Highlander has a transverse V6, which is its own special brand of Hell to service, making the Pontiac’s little four a point in its favor.

As has become custom on Fridays, today’s choices are just a little bit more expensive than our standard fare. But they are one hell of a lot less than they once were. Depreciation is a cruel mistress, and the pricier they are, the farther and faster they fall. These cars are eight and ten years old, and they’ve both lost roughly 80% of their value already. Does that make either of them a good deal now? Let’s look and see.

2013 Mercedes-Benz C250 – $7,500

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Engine/drivetrain: Turbocharged 1.8 liter dual overhead cam inline 4, seven-speed automatic, RWD

Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL

Odometer reading: 84,000 miles

Runs/drives? Yep

I’m beginning to dislike looking up specs on newer German cars. Once upon a time, you knew exactly what was under the hood of a Mercedes (or BMW) just by the numbers on the back. 380SE? S-class with a 3.8 liter V8. 300D? Three-liter diesel five, turbocharged on 1982 and up. By that logic, I would have expected this car to have some sort of two and a half liter engine. But no; it’s a 1.8 liter turbocharged four, which you’d think would make it a C180. Well, it can be that too, but sometimes a C180 has only a 1.6 liter engine. It’s all very confusing.

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Whatever they want to call it, it’s a nice sporty little sedan, with sharp looks and decent performance. From what I’ve heard, these cars aren’t as bank-vault solid as the older ones were, but they’re still well-engineered (if sometimes over-engineered) and well bolted together. The trouble, as some of us have found out, is that when things do go wrong, they can go very wrong, and the price tag to put them right again can be very high, hence the often low price of entry.

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This C250 is in good shape, as you’d expect for only being ten years old. It’s also still low on miles, at only 84,000. So why so cheap? Well, it is small, basic, and low-powered, as Mercedes go. And since the price of repairs and service is similar across the board for any ten-year-old Benz, the value of a lower-end one, even in good shape, is going to reflect that reality.

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Still, if you’re a patient do-it-yourselfer who isn’t afraid to learn new things, cars like this could be a good way to get something nicer than your basic Malibu or Camry.

2015 Hyundai Genesis coupe – $6,900

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Engine/drivetrain: 3.8 liter dual overhead cam V6, eight-speed automatic, RWD

Location: Cutler Bay, FL

Odometer reading: 120,000 miles

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Runs/drives? Sure does

If you took a photo of this car back in time and showed it to a car enthusiast in 1993 and told them, “this is a Hyundai; it’s rear-wheel-drive and it has over 300 horsepower,” they’d have laughed in your face. But if you sell enough Excels and Scoupes, apparently it pays for sufficient R&D to put out something like this: the Genesis Coupe.

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Genesis had their last tour last year, but since Phil Collins wasn’t even with them anymore, I didn’t have much interest. I was lucky enough to see them in 1991, on the We Can’t Dance tour, and it remains one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to. Some will say they were never as good after Peter Gabriel left [Ed note: It’s taken a while, but I’m still on board with post-Gabriel Genesis, even if I’m a Gabriel stan. -MH] , and then Steve Hackett, but between Phil, Mike, and Tony, they put out some damn fine records, if you ask me. Duke is a personal favorite of mine still.

Oh wait; wrong Genesis.

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This Genesis, unfortunately, comes with a rebuilt title for an undisclosed reason. That might have something to do with the low price. Whether or not it’s a problem depends on the state: here in Oregon, a branded title is mostly a matter between you and your insurance company, but from what I’ve heard Mercedes Streeter say, it’s almost impossible to register a salvage-title car in Illinois. I’m guessing Florida is more on the lax side of things.

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Whatever happened to it, this car does look basically all right now. There are some funky panel gaps here and there which might indicate some repaired damage, but the seller says it runs “awesome” and that they’ve been driving it for three years, which tells me that it was repaired reasonably well.

So what say you? Would you take on a high-maintenance German? Or roll the dice on a rebuilt Korean upstart?

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(Image credits: Craigslist sellers)

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JDE
JDE
1 year ago

I feel like the naming thing with Mercedes especially is to fool the people that had previously purchsed NA versions of these cars. the Smaller displacement more stressed turbo motor may be equivalent on paper, but over time, the differences really come out. C63 is a bad example as the original V8 was really just a gnats hair over 6200 cc(I know, I know, it was to commemorate the M100 Engine), so they apparently were incorrectly taught how to round and rounded up anyway, but at least it was close to the name. the current Bi-turbo nightmare uses a 4 liter motor. Though to be fair the AMG M156 had plenty of issues for owners as well. They were the 5.4 triton of the Mercedes world with Breather and cam failures.

DDayJ
DDayJ
1 year ago

Merc for the win. That Genesis is a rolling version of Florida Man to me.

Bomber
Bomber
1 year ago

I was all in on the Genesis until “salvage title”. Merc wins even if it’s basically the lowest spec.

JDE
JDE
1 year ago
Reply to  Bomber

Same, and I even somewhat disliked the eyebrow hood. But even with more miles an NA Korean v6 is usually much less problematic than any Bavarian engine with a blow dryer attached.

Cyko9
Cyko9
1 year ago

The Genesis is a good looking car, and the interior makes me want to forgive the higher mileage. But the salvage title and a vibe of overall sketchiness has me running for the vanilla Benz.

Duke of Kent
Duke of Kent
1 year ago

There are pieces of each that I like and other pieces that I hate, so I’d like to Frankenstein the two together.

Why is one of the Benz’ headlights clear while the other has glaucoma? Was the car used as a before-and-after demonstrator for a company that makes headlight refinishing kits? Or are those kits such a PITA to use that the owner did just one headlight and thought: “I’m not putting myself through that again! I can see good enough with the other one!” So I’ll take the two clear lenses of the Hyundai.

I love the red paint on the Benz and hate the boring white on the Hyundai, so gimme the color from the Benz.

But look at that interior! Those caramel-colored seats in the Hyundai are nice! So I’ll take those.

I like the relatively low mileage on the Benz, and the rebuilt title of the Hyundai scares me, so I’ll take the Benz’ mileage and title.

But I also fear the price and complexity of Mercedes repairs, so I’ll take the mechanical reputation of the Hyundai.

Got all that? Put it all together for me, and I’ll meet you out front.

JDE
JDE
1 year ago
Reply to  Duke of Kent

I suspect the Benz is also not photographed from the clean headlight side for a reason, red paint is hard to match perfectly.

OrigamiSensei
OrigamiSensei
1 year ago

Loving the Genesis references. I do certainly love Gabriel-era Genesis but I think Trick of the Tail is the best Genesis album of all time. Perhaps a hot take, but I’m sticking by it. Likewise, picking the Genesis coupe. Those C-classes are not great cars so I’d take my chances with the devil I don’t really know.

Pneumatic Tool
Pneumatic Tool
1 year ago

There’s a little garage not far from here that proudly advertises “German car repairs”. I don’t know that guy…yet. Gimme the Benz.

Stig's Cousin
Stig's Cousin
1 year ago

That C-class is an incredible deal at $7500. That same $7500 would buy a mid 2000s Civic with 150,000+ miles (or a flood salvage Hyundai, apparently). I know the Benz will be expensive to repair when it breaks, but assuming it is in good mechanical condition (which a prepurchase inspection could tell you), it won’t require repairs all that often. The Benz is the obvious choice compared to this salvage Hyundai, but I think it would be the winner when compared to most other vehicles for sale at that price. If I were in the market for a car, I would definitely check out the Benz.

JDE
JDE
1 year ago
Reply to  Stig's Cousin

what if the Benz was wrecked, but never salvage titled? those mismatched headlights and no pictures of the clean headlight side might be for a reason.

Tim Cougar
Tim Cougar
1 year ago
Reply to  JDE

My Bimmer has mismatched headlights. It was parked when an F-150 lightly grazed it; dented the sheetmetal and cracked the headlight, no structural damage at all. Insurance paid to have the damaged headlight replaced. Stuff happens.

Tyler Anderson
Tyler Anderson
1 year ago

With questions looming on the salvage title and the owner claims to be driving it for three years, I’d ask for service records to confirm.

Giving the benefit of the doubt, I’ll pick the Genesis because I know firsthand how expensive BMWs are to fix.

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
1 year ago

Was assuming I’d be making a case for the Genesis, until I got to the whole salvage title + Florida deal. Yeah no thanks, I’ll take the Benz if I must.

FuzzyPlushroom
FuzzyPlushroom
1 year ago

Exactly. At least with the Benz, if an indie Euro mechanic gives it a (relative) thumbs-up, you have a better idea what you’re getting into, and it won’t be a headache to register and insure, only to maintain.

Sklooner
Sklooner
1 year ago

Yeah it seems some places are a bit lax on salvage inspections, in Alberta you have to show them how it was repaired, then it goes through a massive inspection that will fail you if tires are too old or your brake pads less than 50% and they check that the repairs were done properly. Some states just seem to check that all the lights work aftewards

Acrimonious Mofo
Acrimonious Mofo
1 year ago

Like many have already stated I was ready to vote for the Hyundai until I read the description. I know from first hand experience that there’s no such thing as a cheap Mercedes, but it still seems the better option in this case.

Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
1 year ago

Like others, I’m troubled by the title on the Hyundai. If it was a manual, and the title was clear, it would win hands-down.
The Merc is no prize either, as it’s a base model that lacks much of what you buy a Merc for. But if I had to choose between two Florida cars, I’d take it.

Ron Bitter
Ron Bitter
1 year ago

I was just looking at that Mercedes on craigslist yesterday, the ad says the clear coat is peeling and it needs a paint job.

Tim Cougar
Tim Cougar
1 year ago

I’ve always liked the W204’s styling (though I prefer the pre-facelift headlights), and it really looks great in that red. At that price I’d be willing to roll the dice on it.

DubblewhopperInDubblejeopardy
DubblewhopperInDubblejeopardy
1 year ago

Oof,I voted Merc, the Genesis, need to be borked with Star Trek’s Genesis device. Either way, they are both sadly, automatics…

Billywa
Billywa
1 year ago

Genesis had their last tour last year, but since Phil Collins wasn’t even with them anymore, I didn’t have much interest.

Sorry to be that guy, but… actually Phil Collins was on that tour. He can barely walk and he looks like he’s 95, but he can still sing and he made it through the tour…

ExAutoJourno
ExAutoJourno
1 year ago

I’ll take a dose of Benz-edrine.

The title issue is a major disqualifier. It could be trivial, or major, but it sets off warning sirens at DMVs and insurance agencies and could cost as much as the Benz on the latter’s worst day. Just can’t hack the aggro.

The M-B, on the other hand, could be costly, or it could be one of those paragons of German Engineering that just runs and runs forever. In either case, it’ll deliver a nice driving experience between service hits.

First Last
First Last
1 year ago

“Looks basically alright” with a salvage title and no explanation, in that part of the country, can also mean flood damage. That’s a nope from me.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
1 year ago
Reply to  First Last

Or gator damage

Outofstep
Outofstep
1 year ago

I was so sure that I was voting Genesis until I read the description. Benz for me, please and thank you.

SAABstory
SAABstory
1 year ago

Did the depreciated Benz thing a number of years ago and ran into the whole repair/parts price issue. That said, the Genesis, with those red flags? I’m picking the Benz.

CatMan
CatMan
1 year ago

I owned a 2015 Genesis Coupe, and would probably still have it if not for a panel van with a broken tie rod that veered right into it as it sat parked on the street. So just for the nostalgia factor and the fact that mine was deemed a total loss by the insurance company I’ll vote for it. However, in any other parallel universe I vote for the Benz

Tacofan
Tacofan
1 year ago

Let me think about this… a rebuilt title car, in Florida or a clean title Merc…. That Genesis has more red flags than a beach in Florida during a hurricane. Nope, Merc for me is an easy choice.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
1 year ago

Obviously I’m a fan of Hyundai’s whackier, performance oriented options but I wouldn’t touch that Genesis with a 10 foot pole. These are pretty common in my area and they tend to come in one of two flavors: well kept examples that have been owned by middle and upper middle class enthusiasts who have to give them up now that kids are in the picture (maybe 20% of em on a good day) or clapped out, vaped in ones that have been hooned to oblivion (the rest).

The same crowd that buys G35/37s and turns them into Fast and Furious with a 500 credit score ratchet street racers buys these too. This one has high mileage for its age and a rebuilt title…so we know it’s been ridden hard, put away wet, and probably still smells like a mix of strawberry vape mist and weed. Hell there’s a good chance there’s something illegal stashed deep in that car somewhere for the next owner to find….

The Benz is vanilla as hell and will require a 4 figure repair every 6-12 months, but it’s honest and was probably driven softly by an older person given the low miles and the fact that it’s in Florida. If you keep on top of the maintenance and keep an eye on the standard German failure points it’ll serve as somewhat stylish, somewhat engaging basic transportation for someone who wants something a little different…and I must respect that.

Squirrelmaster
Squirrelmaster
1 year ago

This. I’ve looked at Genesis coupes several times and realized they fall into the same category as used WRXs and Evos – babied or beaten; nothing in between. As they get older, they pretty much only fall into the latter category.

Brandon Forbes
Brandon Forbes
1 year ago

If the genesis had been manual I might have been able to try to look passed the title issues, but without a clear understanding of what happened there, and with an automatic, it fails to be competitive against the Benz, even though the Benz is far from desirable to me with that engine.

Cheats McCheats
Cheats McCheats
1 year ago

A solid Benz, or a borked Hyundai that we have no idea about? Benz every time. That’s almost throw away money these days with inflation and all the other insanity going on.

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