I was looking at other used cars and small new cars like Chevy's Spark and the Ford Fiesta. My plan — if I buy this thing — is to only keep it for one or two years and then sell it. What I'll be paying at the pump is gonna be a killer, but I drive less than 9000 miles a year, so it'll be sustainable for the short term.

My Honda has a broken engine mount that used to bolt to the transmission case. Now there's a hole in the case where the bolt broke, and because the motor sort of flops around now, I have to drive very gently. The only fix is a new transmission — for $3k! Then there's the driver's side power window motor that's starting to fail, and a bad ABS pump. So at the end of the day, the Benz ain't such a bad deal for a short term replacement. Then I might lease again (my Jeep and X's Cavaliers were both leases).