Date registered: May 2005
Vehicle: '07 GL320CDI
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If you buy a W124 it will soon require
HVAC system work
new ignition switch cylinder
engine wiring harness (later models)
There's pretty much a minimum cost of ownership and you can choose between depreciation or parts replacement, but you'll still spend the minimum.
If you can find a W124 that's just recently had most of the listed work done, then you'll be lucky and have a pretty nice car.
"Lasts forever" is simply wishful thinking and is something maybe promoted by people who foolishly think cars can run doing nothing to them. It is a myth for any car, including Mercedes. I'd think $1500-$2K minimum per year to maintain a W124.