Used Mercedes under $5k - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-24-2011, 06:31 PM Thread Starter
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Used Mercedes under $5k

New to the forum. Just moved to Los Angeles from
NYC and I need a car. If I search craigslist under $5k for a Mercedes, there are tons of results. Aesthetically I think the older the better. I don't need the car to be super fast or to handle like a new car. I just want basic city transport. I don't want something that will be unreliable and will require expensive repairs. I've done some research and have found completely mixed results. Some say "the most expensive Mercedes is a cheap one". Others say they are built like a tank and can drive to $500k. Can anyone help on this topic?
Thanks for your time
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-25-2011, 12:37 AM
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One doesn't rule out the other. The cheap Mercedes (diesels) are build like a tank, but the might need dozens of orings and seals replacement, what will count 4-figures at the dealer.
One million miles on diesel Mercedes is quite common, but not maintenance free.
I figured out the W210 is the best bang for the buck. Good luck on your search.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-25-2011, 06:12 AM
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You should be able to find a very nice w126 for around $5K but cheap and repair usually do not go together unless you can do it yourself.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-25-2011, 01:28 PM
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I agree that E320's of the W210 style are the best deal.
Lots of support websites such as this make DIY a reality.


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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-28-2011, 06:41 PM
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When it comes to any luxury car it's smart to buy the cleanest and lowest mileage car you can find. the 4cylinder MB's are generally cheaper in every aspect when it comes to the price of parts. 6cyl are "reasonably" priced and v8 parts and plain expensive.

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND a 90's C or E class. In all honesty an Audi/bmw/mercedes/porsche/lexus/rover are the worst cheap cars to buy reliability/cost wise but its up to you.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-28-2011, 09:16 PM
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Maintenance plays a big role in a car's lifespan, so always ask for service records. As mentioned, the W210's and W202 C-classes seem to be well built. But if you're just looking for cheap, reliable transportation- I would stick to Domestic or Asian brands.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-28-2011, 11:35 PM
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If you're not going to be doing your own maintenance and repairs, you can expect to spend a few grand a year on an old-ish benz that hasn't been properly maintained.

The quote in your post has a strong basis in reality.

Good luck.

Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy; its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery. (Winston Churchill)
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-11-2011, 09:44 AM
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Watch out for the 93-95 with the degrading wiring harness. This will set you back a grand even if you install it yourself; close to two grand for the dealer to do it. Unless the seller can show it has been replaced, plan on that repair; good negotiation point.
I bought a 1994 E320 for $5000.00 and drove it for 5 years before the harness went south, Car had 180,000 on the clock when I bought it and 228,000 when it finally failed. It is more time related than mileage. Good luck!
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-11-2011, 10:26 PM
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I'm selling my 1999 E320, and I'm in OC

Look in the FS section!
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-11-2011, 11:46 PM
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The W124 is a great choice, the perfect balance of engineering and technology. watch for slipping transmissions and leaky headgaskets. And if you aren't offended by the styling, the W210 has depreciated dramatically to the $3000-and-up range and that's also a lot of car for the money.

1990 300TE 4MATIC Japanese-spec - 74,000 mi
1995 E300 Diesel - 327,000 mi
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