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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Been a long time lurker here. Wanted some advice:

My very first car was a 75' 240D. I loved puttin around town in it. Unfortunately my mom blew it up on the freeway (wrong gear).

Now I am back trying to decide on which to buy. I pretty much know the pros and cons of each car but wanted some help deciding:

Car #1

79' 240d automatic. Pretty low miles and looks like the PO took very good care of her. My original 240d was the older body style and had a 4-speed.

Car#2

Coincidentally, 79' 300CD, Looks to be in great shape but a little higher miles (157K).

Lets assume that both cars are in the exact same condition mechanically and aesthetically. Which one would you choose? Part of me wants the 240d because I am already familiar with it- kinda scared that it will be even more of an acceleration dog because of the transmission. The other part of me wants the 300CD because it is something new, looks sexier, and has more power. To sum it up; 240d is appeasing my practicality side and 300CD my fun factor side.

Which one should I get?
 

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2003 Volvo V70 5 Speed
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1,789 Posts
all things being equal get the 300CD. Faster, at least comparably, very little different mechanically so familiarity shouldn't be an issue
 

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1980 300cd
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119 Posts
Get the 300cd, but don't expect the windows or climate control to work 100%. Plus, an automatic 240d is a penalty box.
 

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1984 Mercedes 300DT
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52 Posts
First let me say that I love these W123's for lots of reasons. I've had six 300D Turbos (all automatic), one 240D Standard shift and I've driven the older 300D non turbos though I've never owned one. For someone who's driven gas engined cars and with no experience in a 300D even with Turbo the car seems glacially slow. I've gotten accustomed to the leisurely acceleration and it's OK. Accelerating out of the way of a problem situation even with the turbocharged 300D can be a problem so you've got to make allowances. The 240D Standard shift that I owned was yet slower though I thought OK because of the control you have with the transmission. The non turbo 300D's are just, in my opinion, abysmally slow and the 240D automatic is downright dangerously slow. If you're driving a 240D on small European roads or in the winding streets of European cities then acceleration is not very important but in the US most of us drive on fast roads much of the time and unless you can compete with the maneuvering of the other cars I think you're buying trouble.
 

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1985 380SE
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1,939 Posts
Get both:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
First let me say that I love these W123's for lots of reasons. I've had six 300D Turbos (all automatic), one 240D Standard shift and I've driven the older 300D non turbos though I've never owned one. For someone who's driven gas engined cars and with no experience in a 300D even with Turbo the car seems glacially slow. I've gotten accustomed to the leisurely acceleration and it's OK. Accelerating out of the way of a problem situation even with the turbocharged 300D can be a problem so you've got to make allowances. The 240D Standard shift that I owned was yet slower though I thought OK because of the control you have with the transmission. The non turbo 300D's are just, in my opinion, abysmally slow and the 240D automatic is downright dangerously slow. If you're driving a 240D on small European roads or in the winding streets of European cities then acceleration is not very important but in the US most of us drive on fast roads much of the time and unless you can compete with the maneuvering of the other cars I think you're buying trouble.
How much slower is the 240d auto as compared to the manual? 2 sec slower to 60? 4? Also I believe it is a 3 speed- The PO said it is slow but once you get up to speed (70 ish) it is fine. We would use this car in SF but now I am thinking it might be too dangerous for my wife to drive...
 

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1985 380SE
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^ The auto is a 4 speed, same goes for the manual as well. Some autos will have a 2nd gear start making it seem like it's only a 3 speed. On those you have to mash the pedal from a dead stop to make it start with 1st gear.
 

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1981 240D
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I agree with 240 Benz, you should get both, if you have the money. I am partial to the 240D, since I own a 1981 240D (manual trans). They are not fast, but they are very practical and handle nicely. The 300 is faster, but I still think you are better off with the 240D. I am actually looking for the older style 240D like you mother had. There is one parked down the road from me, but I hesitate to buy a car in that neighborhood.
 
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