Hey everyone, I'm new obviously and I may not be a Benz owner yet but I plan to and very, very soon. I've been doing a lot of research and from what I've gathered people say the 90's and before Benz's are more reliable and longer lasting than current day models.
Don't believe it.
A "90s" Benz is very likely to need
-maintenance/replacment of components in the HVAC system ($2K)
-a new engine wiring harness ($1K)
-rebuilt auto transmission ($2K)
-new headgasket ($2k)
Yes, they didn't have any electronics that failed in the first thousand miles, but they're still 10-15 year old cars and approaching being worn out.
The 350K miles thing is bunk.
Statistics say that the only thing that equates to "properly maintained" is dealer service by the schedule. If you can find one with records of that, some of the stuff mentioned will already have been replaced, and that's good.
Whatever you do, stay away from S-class, as generally speaking if you can't afford to buy a new one you can't afford to own one at all. These are the technology leaders of the line and are basically throwaway toys, and the fast-plunging resale values for them reflect that.
Note also that it really wasn't until the mid-1990s that Mercedes learned how to build engines that weren't essentially truck engines, so don't expect good fuel economy with an old Benz. That basically didn't start until the advent of the V6.