We bought a 2017 Mercedes GLE AMG My wife’s next vehicle 3 weeks ago. She switched from a Model S and wanted an SUV (anything but Range Rover). It’s our first Mercedes-Benz and we had a great buying experience!
I’m a researcher by trade and I did my homework before going to a dealership. Usually I figured out the exact vehicle, its specs, packages, and prices. I’m pretty straightforward, I like that. Before buying my first Mercedes, I had experience buying 7 to 8 luxury vehicles and visited at least 50 luxury car dealerships in the US and Canada. I looked at Mercedes dealerships in New York (Poughkeepsie) and Michigan (Okemos) who would take friends and family with their purchases. In Canada, I looked into Silver-Star Mercedes in Montreal because of an unsuccessful purchase and finally bought my first Mercedes in Calgary.
Mercedes always stands out when it comes to the customer experience. It depends on the person you’re dealing with, but it’s pretty standard when it comes to MB. My experience has been very positive, the least I can say is that it is difficult to say “NO” when you like your vehicle because the staff would do their best to close the sale!
My buying experience for Mercedes GLE AMG 2017:
I booked an appointment online to test drive a GLE and the dealership got the basics right by asking me the date and time which key features I was looking for. When I visited the dealership, a well-dressed, warm-hearted and very professional salesman Rob was waiting for me (even on a Saturday afternoon!) With a series of brochures, inventory prints and Mercedes building instructions (My GLE 2016). He asked me if I wanted to go through the information before or after the test drive, to which I replied, “I know all about the vehicle on the internet, its specs and ratings, tell me something I don’t know!” and he was required not to waste a single second going through the specs or characteristics. Rob told me we had to wait 5 minutes and dealt with the usual questions like previous experiences with an ML / GLE, what we liked about our current vehicles and why we chose the GLE as a replacement option. Most of the conversation that followed was based on how Mercedes could fit into our current vehicles (Tesla Model S and Range Rover Sport) and how it fits in with them. He not only arranged the GLE model that we wanted to test, but also the hybrid version.
Rob gave us a quick overview of the drive controls and asked for our permission to explain the technology and key features to us. He drove us for 10 minutes then he gave us the vehicle and we both drove around for another 20 minutes. We had a good experience and got to know some good features that are not explained very well on the internet. One has to actually drive and use the vehicle to understand their uses and benefits. My wife liked the fact that she won’t be missing a lot of technology like distance pilot (automatic steering), parking assist (all types of parking) and safety features. The only thing that stood out was the maneuverability of this BIG vehicle that is so easy to drive !, which ultimately led us to choose the GLE over the XC90, Cayenne and X5.
The few conditions we had were a black-on-black vehicle with all the technical features to be delivered within a month. Rob clearly told us that due to our particular selection of technologies it would be difficult with AMG and that we may have to go for a custom build that will take 3 months or choose from the available ones. At that point, we were a bit skeptical as we never had anything other than black for any of our cars. We didn’t discuss prices or look at inventory. Rob told us that he will look to see if something is available in Canada that meets our needs and that he will get it for us.
A day later we received a call that they had found a suitable vehicle in silver/black at another dealer, had carried out an exchange and it will arrive in a week. We visited again and worked out the figures for the GLE 2016, the negotiation process went surprisingly smoothly. I had derived a number based on invoice price data and my other various input sources. I made the number clear and it was accepted within 10 minutes of talking to Rob and his manager for a few minutes. The discount was in addition to the already reduced prices for 2016 and at the same level as the invoice prices. Upon signing up, they found my date of birth and offered delivery on my birthday evening, which was in 12 days.
Exactly 3 days after signing up, Rob called me again and said he had a surprise for me. He found a 2017 Black on Black (from a canceled order) in Montreal with everything we wanted plus a few extras. They took it and it was on the way to Calgary. If everything went according to plan, they could get it ready for delivery as planned … We immediately said YES !!. Now there was a $ 2000 price difference due to additional equipment and it was 2017 so no discounts so the price went up by almost $ 6500. We had another 5-minute conversation with the General Manager – Sales. We were offered to meet halfway by paying an additional $ 3000 and the rest would be taken care of by the dealer. I asked her to do a little more, and suddenly an idea occurred to Rob. He asked me to give them my Range Rover Sports instead of returning it at the end of the lease and I don’t have to pay anything, instead I would get the sales tax advantage over the trade-in value!
So in the end we got a 2017 with all the features we wanted delivered on a memorable date, all with 2016 prices, some discounts and freebies. In addition, I no longer have to worry about my rental return because the dealership bought it without me doing any paperwork !. I’m sure I would have paid more and had a lot more discussions with any other retailer or brand, but the way it worked out with this retailer was “amazing”!
I’ve had at least one follow-up from every affected department in the past 3 weeks, and more than Rob’s. I loved the experience so much that I wrote 5 star reviews on all relevant websites in Canada. I’ve had positive experiences with a lot of other brands, but as good as this one, I personally think it’s the Mercedes culture that they value the customer experience above all else. You have won over me as a customer and I will see more Mercedes vehicles in my garage in the future!