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'73 280 SE 4.5
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33 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have really been wanting to know how good these cars are.
I think the body style is one of my favorite benz sedans. I've heard they are really quick cars and was wanting some feedback on somebody that has the earlier ones,97-99.
Are these motors and transmissions going to last 100k, 200k or 300k?
I know it depends on the owner and car history, but things to look for that will go wrong on a car with 100k would help.
I would even consider a wagon, just thought about trying one for a daily driver as I'm about to get the wife the newer car and me the used one.
Thanks for any input.
Mario in Fort Worth
 

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1997 E320, 1997 S320
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2,946 Posts
mario, there is lots of info in the stickies, probably way more than you need. what's your budget? my advice is to find the newest ones with lower mileage, mainly because the transmission received some updating in the newer ones. engine will outlast the rest of the car, but rust would be of concern. since you are in texas though, rust wouldn't be much of an issue.
 

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1999 E320 4matic (owned previously); 1996 SL500
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674 Posts
The E320s are quick cars. But this all depends on what you are comparing it to. The E320 compared to "real" sports cars are rather average in terms of performance.

But if you've driven underpowered subcompacts, large heavy SUVs/trucks most of your life, then the E320 is a seriously fast car by comparison.
 

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1999 E300 TD
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2,045 Posts
If you are a DIYer with loads of money, buy the oldest.

If you are NOT a DIYer, buy the newest, read the owners manual and understand how the systems are networked on the car or else you will be forever whining on the forum "how do I change that bulb" or " I am in limp mode--will my wife undestand?" or "Oh my God the check engine light is on--what do I do?? or the real beauty---"I think I have rust on my valve springs--can I go to Mexico next week"

You will love the car!!!
 

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Premium Member
2001 E320 - Brilliant Silver/Ash: 107,000+
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17,193 Posts
Yep these are great cars. But I wouldn't buy one with 100,000+ miles. You'll pay more initially, but I'd look for one in the 50,000 range.
 

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2000 E320
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19 Posts
You are already in a great spot(Fort Worth) for used MBs. Just bought a 2000 E-320 w/ 64K miles for around 8 grand. I would look for the following:

1) Service History
2) Milage
3) Condition and care.
4) test drive.
 

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Mercedes-Benz 1998 E320 - 160,000 Miles Strong
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215 Posts
Inspect the engine for grime or leaks, also for any damage to the bumpers or mis alignment.

CHECK THE ALL FLUIDS, make sure they're clean!

I think some mechanics do some kinda check if your buying a Mercedes you should do that if your just stepping into the Mercedes world.

Good Looks
 

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Premium Member
2001 E320 - Brilliant Silver/Ash: 107,000+
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17,193 Posts
...I think some mechanics do some kinda check if your buying a Mercedes you should do that if your just stepping into the Mercedes world.
Ditto to Spadwaller: Have a pre-purchase inspection (PPI) done by a qualified MB mechanic. If you don't know a good Indy, have a dealer do it. It might be the smartest $250 you spend on the car.
 

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1985 380sl - charcoal grey w/lt grey interior
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182 Posts
i was in the same position you are in earlier this year trying to decide on which year is best.

the face lift models 2000-2001 not only look nicer but have some better options like the more stout transmission and one of my favorite are the radio/dash functions on the steering wheel...they are very handy and used all the time.

you should be able to find a good low mileage 2000 E320 in the $7-9K range.

look out for:
1. catalytic converter rattle
2. loose mirrors
3. CEL and other issues which can be identified by checking computer
 

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E320/E250 Bluetec Ford F350 6.7l
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36,732 Posts
I wouldn't worry about 100k. Our diesel has 212k.
1997 models are quite different from newer and I am talking significant stuff, not the face lift. Engine is I6, what some prize, but keyed ignition that wears out and is big headache to replace, remote door locks that are intermittent most of the time, not all windows have speed operation and no FSS.
Still good car if the price is right. but those things would drop at least $1000 comparing to model with identical mileage but a year newer.
 

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'01 E320 15k miles..
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32 Posts
As Mentioned get a pre purchase inspection done. Several good independent shops in DFW. Several big ticket items,
catalytic converters $1400-$2200
AC evaporator $1500-$1800

Not trying to scare you off, but just to realize how important an inspection is. Good luck, I got a Cherry 15k 2001 a few months ago :) Fabulous car.
 

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96' W210 & 10' W212
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194 Posts
Can be a good car but really depends on previous owners use/abuse if any.
High Mileage is not really an issue as the engines are solid on these cars, just test drive and PPI inspection as others have mentioned and get the newest you can afford.
 

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'73 280 SE 4.5
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33 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for all the input guys. I see alot of dealers who get these cars and are selling them quite cheap, mostly with 100k plus. Everytime I ask if they have any records it amazes me that they don't keep them or get them with the car. Oh well, I guess that's why the ppi is done.
 

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E320/E250 Bluetec Ford F350 6.7l
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36,732 Posts
Missing books when sold by dealer is standard operating procedure. As well as missing spare key.
I know that stuff is taken off by mechanics preparing the car for sale and end on ebay later on.
When manuals are not big issue, I would strongly insist for spare key and a printout showing the missing keys have been deleted from car memory. You don't want mechanic knowing your address giving the spare key to his friends.
 

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2000 Mercedes-Benz E320 4matic
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44 Posts
Missing books when sold by dealer is standard operating procedure. As well as missing spare key.
I know that stuff is taken off by mechanics preparing the car for sale and end on ebay later on.
When manuals are not big issue, I would strongly insist for spare key and a printout showing the missing keys have been deleted from car memory. You don't want mechanic knowing your address giving the spare key to his friends.
This is unfortunately very true. Most of the key fobs are taken when they run a car through the auction actually. My brother-in-law is a wholesaler and they have a big box of key fobs for this reason. They keep them in case a car they buy is missing one and only has a door key. Same with the manuals. If you buy a car that has went through the shoot... chances are you are getting 1 key and often no manuals or records.

You'll also want to run a Carfax/Autocheck (i think is better, and cheaper). ou won't believe how many cars are run through NC or SC to "wash" the titles. There are over 600K cars that got flooded in New Orleans alone. There are many that have rebuild titles and then they run them through the auction at one of the 3 states who can wash them clean. The history will still show it, but the actual paper title will look clean. A rebuild title is only worth about 50-60% as much. They can be good cars if put back together well, but you have to know how to look for frame damage, etc. Also if a car was less than 3 years old and an insurance company wrote it as a total loss... RUN AWAY. That car took some major damage (like 70% of the book value in repairs).
 
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