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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-04-2006, 09:55 AM Thread Starter
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Question Used Mercedes vs used Volvo?

Hello all,

Looking for some advice.

We are a family of four in the market for a "new" used car. We have been Volvo people for years, and last drove a 960 wagon that died of mysterious electrical problems. We once had a 1980? 300D that we lovingly called The Tank until it died.

We want to get another wagon that seats 7 (with 3rd seat in back). We want to spend no more than $10,000. Most important: our 17-year-old son wants to learn to drive, but we will all be using this car, and we'd like to get some good years out of it. (We are very fortunate to live in a town that has excellent public transportation, so our car usage will be well under 12K/year.)

We have an opportunity to buy a 1995 Mercedes 320E Wagon with 97K miles, asking $7400. Anyone familiar with this model? Any glaring things we should be on the lookout for? How would you compare this with a Volvo of similar vintage? Safety, reliability are my chief concerns.

Many thanks!
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-04-2006, 12:02 PM
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Thanks and welcome to the forum! Both brands will give you reliable transportation (knowing about a 13 year old MB 190E and a 26 year old 240GL)
but honestly I'd go for the Benz. The mentioned E320 seems a great deal (pricing is about par for this model, or may be even lower than usual).... but be on the lookout for hidden and visible abuse over the years (these are people carriers), and make sure all the service has been done at the proper time.
Comparable (in safety) Volvos are the 850 and V70, but knowing the complex nature of their 5 cilinder powerplants and front wheel drive, their technical durability will for sure not be the same as the Benz'es.

Hope this helps

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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-05-2006, 08:57 AM
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Question buying my first car

i would like to buy a car that i'll use daily to and from work for at least two years running a total of about 20 000 km per year. Could you please provide honest advice if a mercedes C class would be a good choice.
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-05-2006, 11:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by titus
i would like to buy a car that i'll use daily to and from work for at least two years running a total of about 20 000 km per year. Could you please provide honest advice if a mercedes C class would be a good choice.
20,000 km a year is not too much - I am driving almost 20,000 miles a year with a 1993 190E. A C-class is quality wise not as good a choice as the 320TE mentioned earlier in this post, but still way above average. I'd say yes, but go for a non Kompressor model like C240, C280 or C320.

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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-05-2006, 05:19 PM
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I'm a Volvo wagon guy ('93 240, '00 V70, '03 XC70 (only the V70's mine)) now sharing my time as a Benz wagon guy ('03 E320). Saddly, I've had less problems with my V70 in four years than I had with my E320 in four months. By that I mean, one catalytic converter went on the E and I've had no systems fail on the V; so clearly this isn't a huge complaint.

For your price, you could go as new as a 2000 V70 (the last true (sort of) Volvo) instead of settling for an older Benz. At least spring for the V210 E320 because it's beautiful.

I'll guess they'll both be reliable if you regularly maintain them and browse the respective forum to learn what to watch for. The Volvo will idle rough when the throttle body needs cleaning. The Benz will need the MAF and window regulators replaced. If you know, you'll be ready.

If I were you, I'd choose based on the cars' characteristics. I alternate between the two cars every day, and these things become more and more present. The Benz is more coddling: staying in low revs, gracefully gliding through turns; while the Volvo is a bit more active: throttle surges easier, more responsive ride. Their interior comforts are different as well: firm Benz seats to more plush Volvo seats, more manual Volvo controls to more "I'll do it for you" Benz controls.

Either way, you pick a winner. Both reliable cars if properly maintained. And damn, they can sure get the groceries! Wagons are the best.

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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-05-2006, 11:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedubpdx
Hello all,

Looking for some advice.

We are a family of four in the market for a "new" used car. We have been Volvo people for years, and last drove a 960 wagon that died of mysterious electrical problems. We once had a 1980? 300D that we lovingly called The Tank until it died.

We want to get another wagon that seats 7 (with 3rd seat in back). We want to spend no more than $10,000. Most important: our 17-year-old son wants to learn to drive, but we will all be using this car, and we'd like to get some good years out of it. (We are very fortunate to live in a town that has excellent public transportation, so our car usage will be well under 12K/year.)

We have an opportunity to buy a 1995 Mercedes 320E Wagon with 97K miles, asking $7400. Anyone familiar with this model? Any glaring things we should be on the lookout for? How would you compare this with a Volvo of similar vintage? Safety, reliability are my chief concerns.

Many thanks!

What is it with 960 wagons and problems? My dad has one and it has had a ton of problems since day one and he refuses to get rid of it.

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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-13-2006, 11:26 AM
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We own both an S430 and a Volvo XC70. I'll take the Benz for days without snow and slush, but for the Minneapolis winter, I definitely want the Volvo.

A 4 matic version would be a good fit, but I'm not sure that the earlier models had that option. Perhaps an early M-Class, but they're still beyond what you'd like to pay.
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-17-2006, 10:48 AM
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I started out looking for an up market mini-van, found them to be a mixed bag, then I looked at the Volvo wagon VS MB Wagons of the mid to late 90's and wound up with a 84 300TD. 25 MPG, 7 seater, bullet proof..old school safety and charm...think about it...veggie oil too!
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-17-2006, 02:18 PM
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Honestly I think you'll get more for your money with the Volvo but neither are a bad choice. If you can swing an E320 wagon it is larger than a V70- I also have owned several Volvo's (93 240 wagon,00 V70, 03 S60-recently totaled, I'm still in mourning) The 00 E320 I just got is smoother and more refined than the V70 I had. It also came with the 3rd row standard-3rd row's on used Volvo's can be hard to find and are kind of pricy from the dealer. The Volvo I guess is a little sharper handling but neither can be critised as they are both tip top autos. One other interesting point is that a Benz will get a much different reaction from people than a Volvo- Benz's are esteemed by some and hated by those jealous people who will consider you "snobby" because of your car .(stupid) Those are two excellent choices I don't think you can go wrong with either.
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-17-2006, 05:19 PM
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personally I would go for the benz. The benz will turn heads and its probably alot better ride. Maybe you sould provide pics of the two.
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