Mercedes Recommendation with $20k budget - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-06-2011, 09:35 PM Thread Starter
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Mercedes Recommendation with $20k budget

Hi All,

This is my first post to the forum. I am looking for a daily driver for around $20k-$25k. I currently have a 2004 G500 and now that I live in California, I have no need for 4wd.

I want a high quality car that will last me 3-5 years. I do not drive a whole lot maybe 5k a year. I like Mercs from the 90s and earlier. I feel that the quality is better. My current car is expensive to run, I spend around $1k-$2k a year to keep it going I am getting tired of it. It is not very good quality.

I want to be nickled and dimed as little as possible. I have tried owning a reliable Japanese car and for me it just did not work...I hated it.

I quite like 500Es, SL500s, CL500s, S500 coupes, E43AMGs, E320 coupes, 560SL, 450SL, SLCs, short wheel base S classes and coupes. I know Mercs in the 90s had some very expensive issues with wiring harnesses and I would like to avoid running into an issue like that.

Please recommend me a reliable Merc.

Last edited by Dalmore; 03-06-2011 at 09:57 PM.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-06-2011, 11:17 PM
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http://www.autotrader.ca/result/AdFr...spx?id=2755619

It's a bit far from you though, but I'm sure MB could figure something out for you. It's my local MB dealer, it's actually pretty sweet. That's in Canadian dollars mind you. It' got 29k miles, or 46k KMs as the add states. Alternatively they have a 2011 SLS AMG on the floor also

A Benz is like a good wife: Not overly expensive to maintain, but neglected gets expensive awfully quick!
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-07-2011, 08:00 AM Thread Starter
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Old cars with ultra low miles scare me a bit. Cars should not sit like that.

I rather have a used SLR for the price of a new SLS.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-07-2011, 08:14 AM
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Old cars with ultra low miles scare me a bit. Cars should not sit like that.

I rather have a used SLR for the price of a new SLS.
All depends on how it is taken care of, I could not tell you if it gets moved around once in a while to keep the juices flowing or not.

I here ya on the SLR, it's replacement at nearly half the price cannot be realistically compared to it though.

A Benz is like a good wife: Not overly expensive to maintain, but neglected gets expensive awfully quick!
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-07-2011, 11:19 AM
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With a $20K budget, buy a used car for $16K max.
$0.5K to do the regular maintenance right after purchase.
$3.5K in the piggy bank just in case 1 or 2 major engine problems come up throughout ownership.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-07-2011, 09:56 PM Thread Starter
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With a $20K budget, buy a used car for $16K max.
$0.5K to do the regular maintenance right after purchase.
$3.5K in the piggy bank just in case 1 or 2 major engine problems come up throughout ownership.
Out of the cars I listed what would be the most reliable?
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-07-2011, 10:08 PM
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Judging from initial list, you are a power freak.
My years when I was taking sharp turns sideways and made 1 second U-turns are over and I am on practical side.
IM educated opinion 320 cdi engine is a technological marvel of the beginning of 21 Century. Any vehicle you can get with this engine will make your face smiling not only on the first turn, but 500 miles down the road, where you will find yourself still having 1/4 tank of fuel.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-08-2011, 07:38 AM
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Welcome to the forum.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dalmore View Post
I am looking for a daily driver for around $20k-$25k... I live in California, I have no need for 4wd... I quite like 500Es, SL500s, CL500s, S500 coupes, E43AMGs, E320 coupes, 560SL, 450SL, SLCs, short wheel base S classes and coupes.
Since it's on your list, I'll put in a good word for the 560SL (R107 chassis). Excellent car for sunny California, as long as you're not too hung up on fuel efficiency. Even in that area, it's not really all that bad: mine gets 15-17mpg in mixed city and highway driving in the NYC area, which is the same as what my Dad gets in his 3.0L BMW X3.

I bought a one-owner '88 560SL with full service history, no accidents, no rust, and 69k on the clock for around $12,000. Mine has been absolutely, dead reliable after two years and 20k miles as my daily driver.

There are enough out there that you should be able to find a cream puff without any trouble. An '86 model will now be 25 years old and qualify for classic car status, which can make insurance and other issues easier to deal with.

If you're looking for something truly special, don't overlook the 190E 2.3-16 with the twin-cam Cosworth engine and Gruppe A touring car history. Compared to the 560SL, it will be significantly more difficult to find one in pristine shape, but it's worth the search. Incredibly rewarding to drive, and (like the 500E) it's a real sleeper. People have just started discovering the 16v again now that the supply of good E30 M3's has completely dried up. Demand has started to increase. It's a future classic.



1987 W201 190E 2.3-16: Vintage racer
1990 C124 300CE coupe: Daily Driver
1991 Peugeot 405 Mi 16: Weekend Toy
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-08-2011, 09:01 AM Thread Starter
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I will keep an eye out for a nice 560SL. 15-17 MPG sounds pretty good to me since I average just under 13 right now. Are the hardtops known to leak at all? I definitely like the 190E with the Cosworth engine but I think the chances of finding an unabused one for a reasonable price are slim to none.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-08-2011, 09:38 AM
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Just keep a watchful eye out for a 190E 2.3 16v. When they show up for sale, they go quickly.

Since you live in california, you shouldn't have any trouble finding one with a good body. Mint condition ones show up sometimes, and really are not very expensive.
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