what's a good cheap daily driver? - Page 2 - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-10-2011, 12:29 PM
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Well the '94-'97 C280 has the M104, which had headgasket problems. But on the later '98-'00 M112, most of the overall issues seemed to be ironed out. The only downside to the C280 would be the higher fuel consumption of the M112 6-cylinder vs. the M111 4-cylinder. Either way, I would stay away from a '94-'95 W202, both the M111 and M104 engines suffered from engine harness issues. Personally, I would go with '96 C220, '97-'98 C230, or '98-'00 C280. Keep in mind all of these cars require 91 octane and that prior maintenance plays a big role in a vehicle's reliability.
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-11-2011, 09:22 PM
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80s diesel. but again, they leak so if you dont care about your driveway, they are the way to go. fixing the leaks negates the point of cheap.

generally german and cheap and daily isn't in the same universe

vw phaeton. when vw copies mercedes, but forces you to service it next to golfs and jettas
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-12-2011, 03:10 PM
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It seems that you can pick up the W210 E-Class for a cheap price. Diesel 210's seem to be extremely rare in my area, so I can only vouch for the gasoline engines. I own a '97 E320 with that M104 engine - and while it never leaves me stranded, repairs seem to pop up on a monthly basis. These monthly repairs seem to cost me anywhere from $50-350. Fuel economy on the M104 is wonderful, getting me a little over 30MPG on the highway.

All older Mercedes will have higher maintenance demands, but the trade-off is having a beautiful car with amazing performance, handling, and safety.

Besides the W210, you could also look into the older 190D. They seem to be quite reliable with amazing fuel economy. I was actually looking into a 190D for myself, to use as my commuter car.

If you really need your car to be economical and cheap, I would look into something Japanese. Honda, Toyota, Nissan - something with a little 4-cylinder to get you from Point A - Point B. Like a previous post, you can always get another Mercedes later on, once things have panned out.

Best of luck!
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-17-2011, 08:40 AM Thread Starter
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It seems that you can pick up the W210 E-Class for a cheap price. Diesel 210's seem to be extremely rare in my area, so I can only vouch for the gasoline engines. I own a '97 E320 with that M104 engine - and while it never leaves me stranded, repairs seem to pop up on a monthly basis. These monthly repairs seem to cost me anywhere from $50-350. Fuel economy on the M104 is wonderful, getting me a little over 30MPG on the highway.

All older Mercedes will have higher maintenance demands, but the trade-off is having a beautiful car with amazing performance, handling, and safety.

Besides the W210, you could also look into the older 190D. They seem to be quite reliable with amazing fuel economy. I was actually looking into a 190D for myself, to use as my commuter car.

If you really need your car to be economical and cheap, I would look into something Japanese. Honda, Toyota, Nissan - something with a little 4-cylinder to get you from Point A - Point B. Like a previous post, you can always get another Mercedes later on, once things have panned out.

Best of luck!
I do like the looks/features of those late 90's E-classes. I happened to find a very clean '97 E420 with 115,000 miles for $4,200. I know it's a little worse on gas, but are there any other major flaws with the 8 cylinder? It's at a used car dealer so I sent them an email asking if they'd consider a trade-in. Maybe I could go take a look at it and work something out

Fred
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My pictures: http://s193.photobucket.com/albums/z...rcedes%20300d/
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-17-2011, 10:19 AM
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There are several members here who own a 1997 E420. I don't remember anything uniquely bad about those. But if you like the body style see if you can find a 1998 or 1999 E300 TD.

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post #16 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-17-2011, 11:09 AM
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generally german and cheap and daily isn't in the same universe
I ... (personal) do not agree. I have a SEAT ibiza 2001 with 240k kms and it still has its initial clutch, shocks, rotors... only thing that went was the PS pump.

For reliability think VW, some Audis, all Toyotas, Mazdas and Honda... though the Japanese cars do not have much soul!!!

GL

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post #17 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-17-2011, 06:41 PM
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For reliability think VW, some Audis
I wouldn't buy a VW or Audi in North America for reliability, everyone I've known with either has been pretty miserable. The W202 is nice, I have a '99 w/ supercharger (Kompressor) but you could look for a post '97 (due to the wiring harness issue) and get a normally aspirated c230, you would get the 4-cyl engine which would be great on gas. I've driven a W123 diesel and a 190D in the past and both cars left me wanting for more power, specifically when merging onto the freeway. You need to plan your moves and learn to never pull out in front of other vehicles, at least until you are very familiar with the power curve of the car. I'm sure it's less an issue at speed, these cars were built for cruising all day long, not as much for standing burn outs like American cars.

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post #18 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-17-2011, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Monique View Post
I ... (personal) do not agree. I have a SEAT ibiza 2001 with 240k kms and it still has its initial clutch, shocks, rotors... only thing that went was the PS pump.

For reliability think VW, some Audis, all Toyotas, Mazdas and Honda... though the Japanese cars do not have much soul!!!

GL

you are joking right? vws are nightmares and cost as much as a mercedes to maintain, but are still a vw.

audis after series 80 and 100 are a complete disaster up until around 2005.. and even then they have issues like plastic water pumps and carbon build up in the engines, water leaking into electrics and what not. parts are often not stocked and on back order because that's VAG philosophy - to underproduce and understock parts.

all toyotas? kiiiinda. wouldnt touch the tundra, the avalon, tlc200 and some lexus models and jap spec models.

honda.. heh.. those blow as many transmissions as mercedes, if not more. although the latest models seem to have cured that.

vw phaeton. when vw copies mercedes, but forces you to service it next to golfs and jettas
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post #19 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-18-2011, 05:17 PM
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Each car is only as reliable as owner can/wants it to be.
You want a car without worry about repairs? Buy a new one with warranty and hope it will not have glitches.
I did own several VW in my life. Don't recall them needing much parts, just TLC. Audi A4 Avant was nice small car, but burned way more gas than much bigger MB wagon 4-Matic.
Older MB did require some parts replaced, but being complicated cars, you can't complain about spending couple hundred bucks a year on them.
The 1987 300DT I bought last year for my son become very reliable car under my care. Spend less than $300 on new brake pads, senor and bunch of seals and orings, but now the engine as far as I can see from the top is bone-dry, although I think main seal is sweating a bit under.
So how many 20+ years old cars with close to 300,000 miles on odometer would you consider for trip across the country tomorrow?

Last edited by Kajtek1; 03-18-2011 at 05:21 PM.
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post #20 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-19-2011, 09:22 AM Thread Starter
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Each car is only as reliable as owner can/wants it to be.
You want a car without worry about repairs? Buy a new one with warranty and hope it will not have glitches.
I did own several VW in my life. Don't recall them needing much parts, just TLC. Audi A4 Avant was nice small car, but burned way more gas than much bigger MB wagon 4-Matic.
Older MB did require some parts replaced, but being complicated cars, you can't complain about spending couple hundred bucks a year on them.
The 1987 300DT I bought last year for my son become very reliable car under my care. Spend less than $300 on new brake pads, senor and bunch of seals and orings, but now the engine as far as I can see from the top is bone-dry, although I think main seal is sweating a bit under.
So how many 20+ years old cars with close to 300,000 miles on odometer would you consider for trip across the country tomorrow?
i agree with you, the W123 diesels are very simple and easy to maintain cars. the problem is, since mine's so old, parts keep going bad and i'm no mechanic. i'm driving to SC in june with some friends, and 800+ mile trip, and, honestly, i'm a little nervous about my car. it's never left me stranded, but i'm not the luckiest person, haha. that's why i'd really just like to get into a later year gas benz. it doesn't have to be beautiful, but as long as it has fairly low miles and a good history, i'll be content.

i found an '87 190e with 130,000 miles. looks very clean, clean background check, and more than $1000 less than what i'm asking for my car. i know buying any used car can be risky, but i have the knowledge from my last one to make sure this one is good

Fred
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My pictures: http://s193.photobucket.com/albums/z...rcedes%20300d/
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