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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-31-2005, 01:04 PM Thread Starter
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RE: $20K budget - what model/year/type should we buy?

Thanks for all the replies. What we had in mind were either the ML (W163), the E (W210) or the S (W140). I don't trust the ML too much because of its history. We like the S more but also heard E would be a more reliable car ...
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-01-2005, 04:01 PM
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RE: $20K budget - what model/year/type should we buy?

All the cars you mentioned had some electrical problems. The ML's also had some engine and other problems, but in any of these, you should get a good pre-purchase inspection anyway. The W210's had rust problems that I find unacceptable, along with their share of electrical problems.

I would just pick the vehicle you like the most that is in the best condition that would fit your needs.

I am partial to the 1999 E300D but doubt you could find a good one for under $25,000. I believe you CAN get a 1999 ML320 in excellent condition for way under $20,000 if you look hard enough. The 1998's had more problems than the 1999's. The 2000 was a cosmetic makeover with some mechanical improvements, but the 2001 and later ML's were reportedly the more sorted out vehicles.

Regards.

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Previous: 1993 190E 2.3, 1992 320SE, 1987 260E, 1984 190E 2.3
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-01-2005, 06:06 PM
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RE: $20K budget - what model/year/type should we buy?

Never mind that new trash, do as Joe says and get a classic, reliable 126.
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-03-2005, 11:43 PM
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RE: $20K budget - what model/year/type should we buy?

$20K should get you a 2001 to 2002 E320 in pretty nice shape plus leave you dollars left over for an extended warranty.

Peace of mind, nice performance, great mileage in a fairly new, reliable unit.

Unfortunately, the 126's, and 124's are getting long in the tooth. Great cars, but a major effort to find a nice reliable unit -- and after pouring money in, you still have a 10+ year old car.

The 140's can be a little too much for a sufficiently nice copy and have wickedly bad electrical system problems if not carefully attended to. They make me a bit nervous. Might be an interesting play if someone is brave enough to sell you an extended warranty but you dollars won't go much past 1997, 1998

Good luck.

Mike

Now: 2010 GLK350 4Matic Then: 2003 C320 4Matic, 2006 E320 CDI, 2000 E320, 1994 E320, 1991 190E, 1985 300D, 1983 300D


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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-03-2005, 11:48 PM
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RE: $20K budget - what model/year/type should we buy?

A 560SEL from here: http://www.worldclassmotorcars.com/index.htm

They run you about $20,000 for a low mile perfect 560 on that site.

Worth their weight in gold.

I agree with jdc, as usual - stay away from all that other stuff. But if you're a software engineer and can get through all that new crap when it fails, then all the power to you.

Mercedes-Benz W126 S will make you smile - they're works of art, unlike the newer next-to-chromeless Daimler-Benz's.

Tory



1990 560SEL - W126
-929 nautical blue metallic & 262 navy blue leather
-58,000 KM (36,200 Miles)
-Euro spec Japanese import (KAT edition)
-Complete service history since new
-5,546cc SOHC 16v V8
-10.0:1 compression
-285 hp@5200 rpm, 324 lb/ft@3750 rpm
-2.65 limited slip diff
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post #16 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-04-2005, 07:51 AM
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RE: $20K budget - what model/year/type should we buy?

I agree that a good 126 would be tempting, but they no longer are as reliable when you consider how a car ages. For their age, they are quite reliable, but will require some "other" maintenance such as fan motors, windshield washer pumps, sunroof cables, brake overhauls, that sort of thing.

An ML is quite tempting, IMO, because of the lower cost and great value. Once issues are fixed, they may turn out to be quite robust. The later versions will have fewer electrical problems, but it seems that Mercedes has not adequately addressed electrical problems until about model years 2004 or 2005, so you may want to look at a 2004 C-class for this.

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post #17 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-12-2005, 12:56 AM
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RE: $20K budget - what model/year/type should we buy?

Quote:
w108 - 8/4/2005 1:48 AM

A 560SEL from here: http://www.worldclassmotorcars.com/index.htm

They run you about $20,000 for a low mile perfect 560 on that site.

Tory
Wow... their offerings make it clear how much better-looking the 126 was than its successor. Lean and graceful followed by clumsy, clunky panzerwagen.

Sorry if I've offended any 140 lovers!
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post #18 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-12-2005, 03:51 PM
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RE: $20K budget - what model/year/type should we buy?

Well, I'm on my second E-Class and tend to agree that they generally have fewer problems and are definitely cheaper to keep on the road.

I think you can easily find a solid 2000 or newer W210 in that price range.

I recommend ( and bought, myself )an extended warranty for peace of mind (from Heritage, but MBZ sells them too)

It should all easily fit under $20,000 with room to spare.

My 2000 E320 was $18K a year ago. Couldn't be happier.[:)]

Mike

Now: 2010 GLK350 4Matic Then: 2003 C320 4Matic, 2006 E320 CDI, 2000 E320, 1994 E320, 1991 190E, 1985 300D, 1983 300D


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post #19 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-12-2005, 10:17 PM
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RE: $20K budget - what model/year/type should we buy?

I've had a 1989 560 SEC for about 4 years. I've spent $1000 on it during those 4 years. But, only the necessities have been fixed. The engine needs rings and the buschings need to be saturated or replaced. It also is rusting and needs a paint job. I got the car for 7k. The good thing about a 560 SEL would be the 5.6L V8.

I've heard a tune-up for an ML is like $1,500?
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post #20 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-13-2005, 02:32 PM
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RE: $20K budget - what model/year/type should we buy?

I'm still pretty partial to the C's but a recent E320 would be a lot of fun, and a great, reliable car.
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