Mercedes-Benz Forum banner

1 - 20 of 35 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My family is in need of a wagon and after much research we have decided to focus exclusively on the E320 wagon years 2000-2001. Love the look, feel, everything about them. Never owned a MB, but this is what we want.
Looking for more expert opinion to help locate the right car.

For background, here is what I have done and what we prefer:
*Check used car listings daily (eBay, craigslist of several cities, autotrader, cargurus, cars.com, and so forth).
*Located an independent MB mechanic. Already used them to inspect a car we decided against purchasing.
*Read forums and stickies on this website regarding purchasing used cars.
*Use NADA, Black Book, and Motor Trend used prices guidelines to help me determine value.
*Use typical background checks: Carfax, Autocheck, NMVTIS Vehicle History Report, Googling VIN #s.
*Willing to go outside area (Pacific Northwest)
*Prefer moderate mileage (~100k). Nothing over 120k. We drive 6-10k miles a year and looking to keep it for at least a decade.
*Must be in great shape all around, reliable, and safe. I am not a mechanic.
*Not in a hurry, but ready to buy when the right deal is presented.

So, I feel fairly well-informed, but need folks with more of a pulse on the street. Would love more opinions on
1) how much I should be looking to spend on models of these years and
2) if anyone has any honest leads on great cars for sale

Thanks for any input.
 

·
Registered
2000 e320 4matic
Joined
·
3,401 Posts
As you know, wagons are more rare. But, insofar as you're not looking for a 4matic one, you should be able to score a well sorted one for around $6-7k. Pay attention to the SF bay area. Wealthy folks, low salt use, and not alot of sun to ruin interiors. Good luck.
 

·
Registered
E320/E250 Bluetec Ford F350 6.7l
Joined
·
36,690 Posts
Do a search as lot of members went this way already. Bad news is that there is limited number of wagons in US and at 10 years of age not too many of them are in good condition. Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Two valuable pieces of advice. Thank you.
When you say "sorted", are there some things in particular to look for that need to be there?
I know I will not be getting a perfect car, but some considerations are more egregious and maybe less well known than others. What features and conditions are prerequisites for a purchase?
Thanks again.
 

·
Registered
2000 e320 4matic
Joined
·
3,401 Posts
At 100,000 miles they will need to have spark plugs replaced ($500). Also trans should have been serviced at least once at that mileage. MB originally said that the trans was "sealed for life." life turned out to be super short, so now they suggest trans service every 40k miles (might even be 30).
 

·
Registered
E320/E250 Bluetec Ford F350 6.7l
Joined
·
36,690 Posts
The transmission is the biggest issue for me.
Just bought W210 diesel with over 250k on the odometer. Diesel engine is still young, but nobody proved those transmissions are million miles rated.
I check ATF when I got it home. It is pinky, not black/gray like on the car I bought with 170k. No drips from the plug ufff.
 

·
Registered
88 560SL - 01 C240 - 02 W210 4matic Wagon - W212 4matic wagon
Joined
·
1,090 Posts
Normally best to purchase the lowest mile newest one you can find -- something that has been garaged at least part of its life with absolutely no rust -- not one bit. You will not find one for 6-7k. You need to look at 02's and 03's also?

I purchased my 02 wagon a little more than two years ago at 75k for around 11.5. I would have to go back and look ... I forget the exact amount :)

Everybody has a different idea of what they want in a used car. I wanted one that was as new looking as possible and obviously everything working. Mine is sliver with black interior and these tend to look nice longer than the lighter colored cars. My car was in extremely good condition -- the only visible marks being on the rims and some small scratches on the hood and one fender from being hit by cushions at the guys boat in a storm. No dents or marks on the bumpers -- even the mats looked great. That is what I wanted and was willing to pay the extra for this car. I was hunting for an 02-03 with less than 75k - car now has 105k. I found another this one a one owner in similar condition and price -- no scratches -- but the one I purchased actually had a year left on the MB CPO warranty.


Just to give you an idea of what MB did to the car under the warranty.

Rear shocks - fluid change - expensive fix on the wagon
Rear bushings
Radio replaced
instrument cluster replaced
AC hose fixed/ new R/D
ACC motor/ controller/ sun sensor
Front ball joints - control arm bush - basically rebuilt the front end
motor mounts - trans mount
both flex joints - mine is a 4matic
brake switch
valve cover gaskets


They did a few other items and I did some normal maintenance at purchased that amounted to about $500.00 -- and about the same on ongoing maintenance. You can see that even a perfect looking low mile always warrantied car can require a fair amount of work -- these are all common failure points in the W210. My thought was and is that I would keep the car for about five years and it would have around 150k on it at that point.

good luck
 

·
Registered
92 500SEL to 01 E320T current 2014 lexus LS460
Joined
·
3,886 Posts
I have a 01, and I would check is rust under the doors. everything is origional. Recently at 80k the air went out, evaporator and compressor had leaks I also needed a rear suspension bushing. The split seat does not release, MB tried ($180) but informed me they might have to order seat cover to get to the latch.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I found two interesting ones that I'd love to get your opinions on. Both have same interior and exterior colors, both all west coast (mostly Southern California) and essentially the same features. Here are the differences:
1) 2001vehicle is $7200 and has 103,000 miles, Carfax noted damage-- no accident-- to rear passenger door since repaired, some dings and scrapes on the front and back bumpers, and a stain in the cargo floor the size of a baseball (light colored).
2) 2003 vehicle is $9800 and has 80,000 miles with clean Carfax. No noticeable dings or scraps.
Both are going in for inspections, but if they come back with no major problems, which one would you get?
Is the price difference big enough to justify the older vehicle and is superficially weaker condition?


Sent from my iPad using AG Free
 

·
Registered
E320/E250 Bluetec Ford F350 6.7l
Joined
·
36,690 Posts
$2600 makes 36% price difference and I assume you can lower the price better on older model. In 3 years with added 100k, they will be worth the same. It is nicer to have newer vehicle, but it will cost you.
I would pay premium for car with better paint condition as on aged cars this brings the highest value.
 

·
Premium Member
2001 E320 - Brilliant Silver/Ash: 107,000+
Joined
·
17,193 Posts
Thinking it over, I'm not sure if 23,000 fewer miles is worth $2600 but the newer year, and as Kajtek1 pointed out, the paint condition, might be the best criteria to use. Do you have access to any service histories? To me, those are more important than Carfax reports.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
I unfortunately don't have detailed service histories.
A couple other other consideration:
the '03 was a lease car for its first 45,000 and is RWD.
The '01 is private all the way and AWD.


Sent from my iPad using AG Free
 

·
Registered
2001 New to me, E320 Wagon
Joined
·
126 Posts
S210 rule!

Glad you decided for a Wagon. :bowdown:

If you do not drive on snow, AWD is not needed much. Go for the lowest mileage you can find on a '00-01 as they are solid as a tank. I bought mine back in April with 63k miles in and my only regret is I don't get to drive it as I'd love to.

Either way you won't go wrong with a Wagon, specially an S210 ;);)
 

·
Registered
E320/E250 Bluetec Ford F350 6.7l
Joined
·
36,690 Posts
I unfortunately don't have detailed service histories.
A couple other other consideration:
the '03 was a lease car for its first 45,000 and is RWD.
The '01 is private all the way and AWD.


Sent from my iPad using AG Free
4M cost not only more to buy, but also more to drive and maitain. Do you really need it? I am still active skier, but driving up to Sierras few time a year doesn't really warrant 4M. I have to put chains about once every 2 years.
The W210 traction control can really help in lot of situations, but than you have to turn it off in others.
Decisions, decisions. I still with comparable cars would chose the better paint.
 

·
Registered
2002 E430 4-Matic
Joined
·
1,334 Posts
I've always been a proponent of shopping the car first and negotiating the price second.
Which car do you prefer? I'm going to assume that 4M isn't important to you because if it was - RWD would be a non-starter.

The difference in price amounts to ten cents per mile. You can't maintain these cars for ten cents per mile. Add that to your thought process.

There is 2 years less environmental wear on the '03. There are 23,000 fewer miles on the suspension, engine, transmission, bearings, water pump, air conditioning compressor, on and on and on. A failure of any one of these quickly erodes the $2,000 price difference.

The '03 appears to be nicer cosmeticly from your description.

So back to the question - Which car do you prefer, and is your choice driven by the $2,000 or your preference for the car? Only you can answer that question. In 2 years the $2,000 will be meaningless to you. But you will still have whichever the car you selected.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
The RWD vs AWD difference is not important to me, but wanted to hear what other people thought.
I really appreciate all of the great advice. Everyone is bringing a little different angle to consider. Keep it coming!
It doesn't seem to be an obvious choice. Other than some greater superficial cosmetic wear on the '01, they look very similar.
Looking forward to the inspection results on Monday for more insight.



Sent from my iPad using AG Free
 

·
Registered
2001 E320 RWD- 2011 E350 4M
Joined
·
575 Posts
If I remember correctly you are in WA area, I drove my rwd in Denver last winter and was amazed how well that car behaved even with the all seasons, when I got a killer deal on a new set of blizzaks, I thought I could use this car as a snow plow :)
Like Kajtek said 4M is more complicated and more chances it cost you more money to maintain it. If you absolutely don't need it, I would not personally pay the extra for it.
Besides all technical and financial approaches, which car do you lean on more? Which one of them you can see yourself driving and enjoying it? Like the color difference, interior color, even the smell of the car, hey it's gonna be with you and your family at least another 6 or 7 years you said...
Hope this helps, good luck on your search.
 

·
Premium Member
2001 E320 - Brilliant Silver/Ash: 107,000+
Joined
·
17,193 Posts
Too bad about service histories but that makes the PPIs even more important. I'm with a couple of others that 4matic is not necessary. I was caught in an ice storm with all season tires in my RWD. The traction control took care of me pretty well. It got me up a steep icy road (and yes I saw the triangle flashing) to a hotel where we spent the night.
 
1 - 20 of 35 Posts
Top