We bought a 2017 Mercedes GLE AMG 3 weeks ago as my wife’s next vehicle. She was switching from a Model S and wanted a SUV (anything but Range Rover) It’s our first Mercedes-Benz and we had a great buying experience!
I’m a researcher by profession so I did my homework before walking into a dealership, I usually have precisely figured out the vehicle, its specifications, packages and pricing. My dealings are pretty straight-forward, that’s what i like. I have had experience of buying 7–8 luxury vehicles before buying my first Mercedes and I’ve visited at-least 50 luxury dealerships across US and Canada. I’ve dealt with Mercedes dealerships in New York (Poughkeepsie) and Michigan (Okemos) accompanying friends and family on their purchases. In Canada, I’ve dealt with Silver-Star Mercedes in Montreal for a unsuccessful purchase and finally bought my first Mercedes in Calgary.
Mercedes always stands out when it comes to customer experience, it does depend on the individual you’re dealing with but its pretty much standard when it comes to MB. My experience has been very positive, the least I can say is that its hard to say “NO” once you like their vehicle, coz the staff would do their best to make the sale!
My 2017 Mercedes GLE AMG Buying Experience:
I booked an appointment online to test drive a GLE and the dealership did the basics right in asking me the key features i was looking, in addition to date and time. On visiting the dealership I had a well-dressed, warm and very professional salesperson Rob (even on a Saturday afternoon!) waiting for me with bunch of brochures, inventory printouts and Mercedes build guide (My GLE 2016). He asked me if I wanted to go over the information before or after the test drive, to which I answered “I know everything about the vehicle that is on internet, its specifications and the reviews, tell me something I don’t know!” and he obliged by not wasting a single second on going over the specifications or features. Rob told me we’ll need to wait for 5 mins and kept us engaged by the usual questions like previous experience with a ML/GLE, what do we liked in our current vehicles and what made us pick the GLE as a replacement option. Most of the conversation that followed was based on how Mercedes could fit in and how it compared to our current vehicles (Tesla Model S and Range Rover Sport). He arranged not only the GLE model we wanted to test-drive but also the hybrid version.
Rob gave us a quick overview of driving controls and sought our permission to drive us explaining the technology and key features. He drove us for 10 mins, then handed the vehicle to us and we both drove it around for another 20 minutes. We had a good experience and got to know few good features that are not very well explained on the internet. One actually needs to drive and use the vehicle to understand their use and benefits. My wife liked the fact she won’t be missing much of technology like distance pilot (auto-steering), parking assist (all kinds of parking) and safety features. The one thing that stood out was the maneuverability of this BIG vehicle, its so easy to drive!, which eventually led us to pick the GLE over XC90, Cayenne and X5.
The few conditions we had were a Black-on-Black vehicle with all the technology features and to be delivered within a month. Rob clearly told us it would be tough due to our peculiar choices of technology with AMG, and that we might need to go for a custom build which will take 3 months or choose from what is available. At that point, we were a little skeptical as we never had anything other than Black for all our cars. We didn’t discuss the pricing or looked at the inventory. Rob told us that he’ll search if anything matching our requirements is available in Canada and he’ll get it for us.
A day later, we got a call that they found a matching vehicle in Silver/Black at some other dealership, did an exchange and it’ll arrive in a week. We visited again and worked out the numbers for the 2016 GLE, negotiation process was surprisingly smooth. I had derived a figure based on invoice pricing data and my other various sources of input, I plainly put the figure and it was accepted within 10 minutes after some discussions with Rob and his Manager. The discount was in addition to the already discounted 2016 prices and at par with invoice pricing. While signing up they found my date of birth and offered the delivery on my birthday eve which was in 12 days.
Exactly 3 days after signing up, Rob called me again and said he’s got a surprise for me. He found a 2017 model Black on Black (from a cancelled order) in Montreal with everything we wanted plus few extras, they took it and its on its way to Calgary and if everything goes per schedule, they could make it ready for delivery as we had planned…We immediately said YES!!. Now, there was a price difference of $2000 due to additional equipment, plus it was a 2017 hence no discounts, so the price went up by almost $6500. We again had a 5 minute discussion with the General Manager – Sales, we were offered to meet half-way by paying additional $3000 and rest would be absorbed by the dealership. I requested them to do something more and suddenly Rob comes with an idea, He asked me to give them my Range Rover Sports instead of returning it at the end of lease and I won’t have to pay anything, instead I’d get the sales tax benefit over the trade-in value!
So in the end, we got a 2017 with all the features we wanted, delivered to us on a memorable date, all this with 2016 pricing, some discount and freebies. Moreover, now I don’t have to worry about my lease return as dealership bought it out without me doing any paperwork!. I’m sure I would have paid more and went though a lot more discussions at any other dealership or brand, but the way it worked out at this dealership was “Above and Beyond” expectations!
I have had at-least one follow-up from each concerned department in the last 3 weeks, and more than that from Rob. I’ve been so delighted with the experience that I wrote 5-star reviews on all the relevant websites in Canada. I had positive experiences with many other brands but as good as this one, I personally believe its the Mercedes culture that they value customer experience above everything else. They’ve won me over as a customer and I see more Mercedes vehicles in my garage in future!