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1989 560SEL
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2,110 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hi all,

i usually hang out on the w126 and w124 forums, but need your input. my parents were in a pretty bad accident about 2 weeks ago that totaled their '01 toyota camry (taxi ran a red light and t-boned them) and now they're looking for a replacement car.

i posted this in the CLK forum too, but wanted your input on the E430 as well, because they're eying an '01 CLK430 and an '01 E430 that a local dealership is selling. i used to have a 400E that my dad drove a few times and fell in love with, and i think they want a V8 benz now...

i'm familiar with the w124, having owned a 400E and an E320 in the past; how is the w210 E430 from a reliability and overall ownership perspective? i know corrosion was a problem on the w210, at least in the early years -- would a 2001 model have that issue? also, how maintenance-intensive is the V8 in this car? any weak spots i should know about? would this be a reasonable choice for my parents (in their late 50s/early 60s), even though they're not the DIY type?

thanks!
 

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'01-E320 & 02-ST2
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31,631 Posts
Hey, Janos. I've not heard of any specific corrosion problems on the newer 210s other than the door seals one.

The 210 does have it's weaknesses (most of which translate to the 208/209 as well). I started a thread a while back discussing some of these:
http://www.benzworld.org/forums/w210-e-class/1346468-relatively-common-issues-w210.html

You're an MB guy so you may be able to help them with a thorough review of any car they come across, otherwise I am a fan of the prepurchase inspection.

Maintenance records are quite important, be sure the regular stuff has been done plus fluid changeouts (AT!), etc.

While I love the CLK styling, the added room of the 210 is more to my liking. Particularly if you're working under the hood. :) Hopefully your parents are ready for significantly higher maintenance bills, too. :)

Take care and enjoy the ride,
Greg
 

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2012 C300 Sport 4Matic and 2003 CLK430 Cabrio
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1,919 Posts
Lets start by saying that if I were not the father of two, I would be driving a CLK430. You will get a good list of hot spots for both cars since you posted this question in the W208 and W210 forum. But if both cars are in equal shape with all records etc. I think it comes down to space. The W208 is based on the C class and is a smaller car all the way around. I have driven a CLK 430 for month and had a blast. It feels sporty. The E430 is a great comfortable cruiser that will move when you ask it with no questions. The engines are prone to the same issues in both cars. Your parents need to drive both. I will say that it took me a few days to find a comfortable driving position in the CLK. I'm 6'1 230 lbs, so your Dad should try the seat out first.
 

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W210 1996 E320 Smoke Silver. [W124 1990 300CE Artic White - Sold].
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814 Posts
It is not comfy at all in the back seats of the CLK.
 

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2000 MB
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803 Posts
Start the car early in the morning. Be the first customer. See if it starts one click.
 

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1994 E320 Wagon,1999 E320 Wagon,2000 E 320 Wagon, MGB Track/Rally, ,1988 300E ,more....
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6,019 Posts
Don't

buy from a dealer,they will pay several thousand more than what the car is worth.
bay area private party sale

2001 Mercedes-Benz E430 V8 is Black/Java Leather interior in excellent condition including all books and service records, low miles 51K and an extended warranty good to 1/09! Mileage is 18 city and 25 Highway. Includes the E2 Pkg.: Glass Sunroof and Rain Sensor. This Mercedes-Benz is a GREAT value offered at $16,500.00 or best offer.

offer $13,000 cash that's all it's worth in a cash market.
If they are financing and go the dealer route they will be upside down on the deal the minute they drive off the lot,and since you say they are not diy types,dealer financing on an overpriced 01 e430 is not the ticket to a good experience with mercedes benz.
deal cash,inspect the car with a pro inspection and they will love the car.
ohlord:bowdown:
 

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99 Merc S420 (80k Mi) 07 Lexus LS460 (21k Miles)
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4,583 Posts
They seem to be off to a good start. 01 was just about the best model year for the W210. I hope they do realize that either 430 is a V8 that requires premium fuel. They were used to a V4 or V6 that could run on regular! Gas prices are out of control and this car isn't going to be cheap to operate. Maintence should be average, but exceed the Toyota in overall costs. They should be looking at a Southern, Western or West coast used cars, to avoid road salt damage (assuming they live where it snows?).
 

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2000 MB
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803 Posts
Originally Posted by E430SportMB
Start the car early in the morning. Be the first customer. See if it starts one click.

I'm curious... if it doesn't start one-click, then what could be the root cause/causes?
__________________
My Mercedes-Benz Homepage and W123 Owners Photo Gallery and My W126 S-class!

Could be the ever famous cps ( camshaft sensor ) or hopefully, just a weak battery.
 

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1989 560SEL
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2,110 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
thanks guys. there are several in their area (queens), and one in particular looks nice. about 45k miles, clean, carfax checks out, with an asking price of $14k. we've bought a car from this dealer before and it was a pleasant transaction with no nasty surprises. i'm advocating for the sedan over the coupe for practical reasons, though the CLK does look nice too, with AMG wheels and stuff. a little too mid-life-crisis though...

will keep you posted; they're still waiting for the check from the insurance company for the camry, so it'll be a little while (and the car in question might be gone by then, in which case we'll have to start the search anew).
 

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'01-E320 & 02-ST2
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thanks guys. there are several in their area (queens), and one in particular looks nice. about 45k miles, clean, carfax checks out, with an asking price of $14k. we've bought a car from this dealer before and it was a pleasant transaction with no nasty surprises. i'm advocating for the sedan over the coupe for practical reasons, though the CLK does look nice too, with AMG wheels and stuff. a little too mid-life-crisis though...

will keep you posted; they're still waiting for the check from the insurance company for the camry, so it'll be a little while (and the car in question might be gone by then, in which case we'll have to start the search anew).
Hey, Janos. If they drive during NYC winters then I'd encourage the 4Matic variant, extra safety margin on icy/snowy roads, even more so with good winter tires. They're older so they won't care about the extra tire gap. :)
On the other hand if they're retired and can just stay home until the roads clear, that's not an issue. Give them our best, we're just glad all they lost was a car and they're okay.

Take care and enjoy the ride,
Greg
 

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CL500, E430, SLK, Subaru...
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648 Posts
If they can stand the wheel being on the other side of the car they can offer on my 430 wagon. 10,000 miles of shipping is merely a technicality...

I've had W124's and now the 430 (facelift W210) and my E55 (original W210). In the little group around my place there's a smattering of both types: the 210's are better on gas, generally - that 5th gear in the box helps a lot. Whether it's better to spend the gas money (in the W124's), or to spend on the inevitable gearbox rebuild (in the W210), is debateable. What really makes the difference with the 210 is that several simple failures can drive people to sell off cheap, and all the fixes for those failures are findable here.

I echo the comments about weak batteries, by the way. My experience is that all mercs will turn over when the battery is all but dead - and then once running, weird little bugs creep into all sorts of minor systems. My 430 is clearly a type of buy pretty much unique to London: the "Neglected Toff's Family Chariot" - a car that goes a long while between services, accumulates bumps, and spends a lot of time in traffic. It was sold with a dead torque converter, and was cheap as a result: the point about Benzes is, you can take cars like this and fix them up, and still come out ahead.
 
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