So, I have been looking at diesel vehicles again, and have settled on an older Mercedes. I figured they have the best build quality, retain their value, and are super reliable.
My current daily driver is an old Saturn SW (wagon) 1998. It gets between 30-40 average. I want something close to that, and have always liked the styling of the W123, and since I have a wagon now, a 300TD.
However, recently I did find a 1987 190D 2.5 turbo (!) on craigslist. I know, it's super rare, and the economy would be closer to what I get now, if not better. I have never (besides a couple moving vans) driven anything larger than a compact, so I don't know if the larger W123 would be more or less comfortable for me.
The asking price for the 190D is $1900, and the only downside I can see is the right front fender, the one with the turbo vents is rusting. I can't tell if it is just surface rust or it has eaten through the metal from the photo, but I hope it's not a hard to find part if I do pop on it.
So, should I get that 190D, or should I hold out for a 1985 300TD?
Oh, I did miss out on someone selling a 1985 300D nearby for $995 on the local craigslist. Looked in excellent condition too. Oh well.
BTW if this is in the wrong forum, feel free to move it. I'm new here.
A used turbodiesel is a risky investment. The W123 series was probably the best Mercs, ever. I owned an older W115 240D/A which rattled and shook its way leisurely op to over 700,000km, with no mechanical repairs done.
My father owned two W123 300D's which I also drove many times over many years. That old 5-cylinder engine is a stalwart that will never let you down as long as the basic maintenance is done. Fuel economy is excellent and congested city driving, bumper-to-bumper, returns just around 9km/l but open road consumption goes to as much as 16km/l, with 13km/l a good average.
The one risk factor is the vacuum tubes for central locking that may perish and, one a rainy day, you have to open the hood and press STOP to cut the engine, as we discovered at my father-in-laws funeral!
These engines easily do 500,000 imperial miles or more, really good stuff. It is also good for using biodiesel such as sunflower oil, unlike more modern diesel engines. (I stick to ULSD, however)