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Discussion Starter #1
So, I would love to officially be a part of this forum but truth be told, I still don't own a benz. In fact, I signed up to this forum over a year ago and at the time had come across a cherry 2006 e320 wagon and assumed I would be an owner, but let it slip through my fingers.

Sadly, my wife and I have been looking ever since and now we have an 18 month old child to boot.

My wife needs a new car and we've managed to get by with her mazda, but now we've found a great car. Here's the specs:

2004 E320 Silver Wagon - 33K miles

They bought the car from carmax and I think according to the carmax records, they're the 3rd owner. I would be the 4th.

It does not have Comand Nav, but appears to be setup for it, according to the owner. It has 3rd row seating, sunroof, HK sound system, from what I can tell all the standard stuff, but no power tailgate, heated seats, keyless go, rear passenger window sun shades. It's also not in the best exterior condition. I reviewed the car today and took some pictures, which I'll be posting to this thread.

Did the best I could to inspect it, owner does have all records and it was dealer maintained since they bought it 3 years ago. carmax records show they sold the car to them in 5/06 for 37K with a 20K down payment from a trade in. The car had 28K miles when sold to them. Back in 06, would this car have sold for 37K with 28K miles? Anyway, obviously for them to have owned it for 3 years and only put 5K on it makes it very appealing to me. At 5 years old and with 33K miles, it seems worth it.

Bottomline, the private party seller is asking 18K. What do you all think it's worth?
 

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E320/E250 Bluetec Ford F350 6.7l
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$18k is WAY too high.
Wagons are lovely machines and they don't have any major issues, but 3 owners in 6 years? Somebody didn't like the vehicle to keep and didn't like it to drive. That raise red flag.
Than as everybody here tells. Inspect, inspect, inspect.
 

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18k too high?? What are you on? :confused: It has 33k miles on it. That's a perfect price. And he could easily work them to 17k. Wagons are much harder to find.

And did the car actually have three different owners..or was the carfax considered one of the "owners"?
The only suspicious thing is the fact they owned it for 3 years and only put 5k miles on it. If they are seniors then that makes sense. If the car was a "weekend" car then that would make sense(but who makes a w211 a weekend car??).


$18k is WAY too high.
Wagons are lovely machines and they don't have any major issues, but 3 owners in 6 years? Somebody didn't like the vehicle to keep and didn't like it to drive. That raise red flag.
Than as everybody here tells. Inspect, inspect, inspect.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
mileage low

erifly - totally see where you're coming at with this too. the mileage thing was very suspect to me. especially when you consider the minor damages that i took pictures of. btw, that's everything i could spot in terms of damage. the rest of the car is cherry.

i'm supposed to give an offer on the car today. without giving away too much of the couples' privacy, they are in a major west coast metro area and are antique dealers. they have two galleries and live within 5 miles of both of them. yes, the car was used to transport antique stuff and this very metro area could easily account for the minor parking damage on the car.

kajtek - i see your viewpoint too. why would anyone not drive such a great car like this one? well i can only say eccentricity. if you look at my earlier post, this couple traded in their land rover because it was too tall and then proceeded to over pay and for this car at 37K. i've always been pretty sensible with $$ but I think when you get to the level where you can buy a benz, there will be a certain element of the population that won't scrutinize the value vs. practicality aspects of owning this type of car.

so can anyone give a rough approximation of what i should offer, given what it will cost to repair the exterior?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
oh with regards to mileage

the owners claim that because they are antique dealers and do quite a bit of travel to europe where they're from originally.

the reason they are getting rid of the car is that they only use it when they are in town and it would be more economical to rent when they're here. plus apparently one of the two galleries they own are closing down so they are consolidating everything to one gallery so the time they spend in town will be even more reduced.
 

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I know how it hurts MB owners seeing the value of their babies dropping nose down and I sold our Designo Edition ML55 for 40% below Blue Book, but this is reality, that those cars and luxury cars generally have very low values those days. I used to drive 99 E wagon and changed it for a diesel. Now I am back to wagon. 2001 Audi quatro with 68k for $5000
It is good to be a buyer those days.
 

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The price is good for the mileage, but it reflects the condition of the car and the lack of options. Do you really want to be driving a Mercedes that's beat up? If you're planning to repair the damage and other wear and tear, then you'll end up spending more than if you had bought a car in good condition to begin with. Only buy what you really love. The fact that you had to ask for advice on this says you have doubts.

One of the things you can say about a Mercedes is that their owners tend to take very good care of them and it's not unusual to see an 80K or 120K car that almost looks in showroon condition. Be patient and keep looking and you'll find the car you really want. How about a 2004 with 62K miles for $21k near the 'major west coast metro area' of San Francisco? You can probably get it for less than asking: Cars For Sale: Car Details - AutoTrader.com

Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
bodywork

nlehre - i know what you mean. to be frank i'm quite surprised at the condition of the vehicle. granted it's five years old, but what i didn't mention is that my father in law owns a pretty reputable body shop (Oscar's Auto Body in San Leandro, CA if anyone is inclined to have some work done!). Yes, the work would be gratis, but I would need to buy the misc parts. my wife is sold on the vehicle, so we're making an offer on it today at 16500. we're prepared to walk away though since the seller seems adamant on the price. apparently she's received quite a few dealer calls which doesn't surprise me since they could easily flip the car touting it's low mileage and desirable body color.

wish me luck or steer me to a better deal if you can!
 

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Good luck, but I don't think you really need it.
I am monitoring prices of 2005-2006 E320 cdi.
Lot of dealers advertise them in the 30-36k range. That doesn't stop me from finding higher mileage models for less than 17k. It is pretty crazy out there.
 

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The price is too high for the condition of the vehicle. I've had a woagon (totaled due to accident) with more than 200,000 miles on it that is in way better condition than that. I just got a 211 wagon just a little north of what you paid, but it looks like the car just came out of the showroom except for a cloudy right headlight which I was able to polish out without an issue.

Where are you exactly located? It took me a few weeks to get mine just looking for the right one.

I would suggest you pass on this one as it doesn't seem like it has seen any love from the previous owner/s.

Just my $0.02.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
in CA

MBZ16V - I'm in CA. truth be told. sure, there's a million resources out there autotrader, craigs, this website, ebay, etc. but the 211 wagon is pretty rare and yes there are examples out there that are in better condition but in 100% of the ones i've found (not willing to look beyond CA or go through a broker and wait for one to be shipped to me, don't have that kind of time) they're higher in mileage. i know these cars can go 200K, but I would prefer to be the one to put those miles on not someone else.

And you're right we met the couple. they have a fantastic house in a great area and the car was always garaged, but they clearly are not benz fanatics and didn't really care for the car. But I just received the CarFax report and it includes records up to 3/09 and this couple has literally put 5K on it since they bought it in 5/06. Service records are on point since the car is technically still under warranty until the end of this year. all the maintenance required and recalls notices have been addressed. honestly, it's minor cosmetics.

if i didn't have access to a body shop, or wholesale discounts to parts yeah i would pass on this too, but I do love me a mild resto project as well.

like i said, if there's something better out there, I'm all ears but if you see my earlier posts, we've been looking (yes not agressively) since 11/07.

I should also add, it's not the money. Our plan B if this falls through is another wagon (sadly from a dealer) that's a 2005 e320 model w/ 41K miles for 22K. We're prepared to spend 25K, but this is literally the only car in our area with this mileage.
 

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MBZ16V - I'm in CA. truth be told. sure, there's a million resources out there autotrader, craigs, this website, ebay, etc. but the 211 wagon is pretty rare and yes there are examples out there that are in better condition but in 100% of the ones i've found (not willing to look beyond CA or go through a broker and wait for one to be shipped to me, don't have that kind of time) they're higher in mileage. i know these cars can go 200K, but I would prefer to be the one to put those miles on not someone else.

And you're right we met the couple. they have a fantastic house in a great area and the car was always garaged, but they clearly are not benz fanatics and didn't really care for the car. But I just received the CarFax report and it includes records up to 3/09 and this couple has literally put 5K on it since they bought it in 5/06. Service records are on point since the car is technically still under warranty until the end of this year. all the maintenance required and recalls notices have been addressed. honestly, it's minor cosmetics.

if i didn't have access to a body shop, or wholesale discounts to parts yeah i would pass on this too, but I do love me a mild resto project as well.

like i said, if there's something better out there, I'm all ears but if you see my earlier posts, we've been looking (yes not agressively) since 11/07.

I should also add, it's not the money. Our plan B if this falls through is another wagon (sadly from a dealer) that's a 2005 e320 model w/ 41K miles for 22K. We're prepared to spend 25K, but this is literally the only car in our area with this mileage.
I understand where you're coming from. It took me two weeks of looking for wagons. I, too, have access to a great body shop and good OE parts a discounted pricing, but I don't think the price truly reflects the value of the car. By the time you get all these done you'll be at $20K+. I too do not mind a mild resto, (specially where Steve can really add the options that didn't come with the car) but I think the car should be priced at somewhere closer to $16K rather than $18K. I've even flown to LA and San Diego to look at wagons and found ours in a lot three block from our house (ironic isn't it).

There are a few wagons in LA, a white one with Almond/mocha interior, with Keyless Go option, HK Sound, which you could probably get for $19.5K. True it might have 40K+ miles but the wagon was well taken cared of.

Good luck in your hunt. PM me if you want any help. I wouold be more than happy to help you look for one.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
salvagggee..

saw that one - even got a response.. after several repeated emails...

verdict - salvage title.
 

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Just wanted to wrap this up for anyone that's interested. Transaction went down this past Saturday. Seller really dragged it out, but we're quite happy with the car and can say that it was worth it. we even got the added benefit of an extended warranty. car will go to my inlaws body shop at the end of may for some minor work, we'll have it professionally detailed after that and then I will post pics of our new - preloved w211 wagon.
 

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Just wanted to wrap this up for anyone that's interested. Transaction went down this past Saturday. Seller really dragged it out, but we're quite happy with the car and can say that it was worth it. we even got the added benefit of an extended warranty. car will go to my inlaws body shop at the end of may for some minor work, we'll have it professionally detailed after that and then I will post pics of our new - preloved w211 wagon.
I'm truly glad for you. Hope everything works well with you and the car. Welcome to the 211 forums.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Happier I could not be!!

Just returned from a nice little Memorial Day Weekend trip to the bay area. Some more news to report for anyone that's interested. Since the last posting, we've taken delivery of the vehicle, basically washed it, and that's it. Did some factfinding and ran a carfax which turned up that this was a 2 owner vehicle before me, which would make me the third owner now. I also saw through the owners service records that the car has only been serviced at MB of Laguna Niguel and MB of Beverly Hills. The last service done was a Service E in 1/09. The notes seemed quite extensive, but did include a tranny flush, radiator fluid flush, engine flush/oil change and other maintenance related items. Also caught some items regarding a stereo volume issue and sticking power sunroof. These issues have yet to present themselves, so I assume they're resolved. Anyway, our family trip to the bay went terrific. Love the car, handling and the convenience of a wagon for our two dogs. I don't have pictures yet, but my father in law took the car in to his body shop, assessed the damage, and went straight away into doing some of the repairs. His son (my bro in law), and myself did all the work Saturday which including, taping/masking, sanding, bondo, wetsand prep, cleaner, paint, clear coat, wetsand, and polish/wash. I'll post pictures that will correspond to the damages that were repaired, but otherwise the car is now near perfect. I say near perfect because it does need a detail. The residue from the polish really made it's way into the nooks and crannies and we'll need to take it out along with really good interior shampoo.

Pictures to come...
 
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