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w124, w140, w202, vito
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Hiya

I know it's been asked a lot here, but I'm looking at getting a 96-97 e280/320 or 528/535i. They are all around similar price ranges here ($25-30k). My question is which is better...

I guess my main requirements for a 'good' car would be something that could cope with all the rubbish that I throw at it, with minimal complaint. I'm happy to spend money on routine maintenance (ie service every 5000k etc, as I do with my current car ('94 e220)), but the main issue is that I do drive my cars pretty hard and pretty fast. Would either of these cars take the torture test as well as my w124, or would they fall apart like most Japanese cars do the second I look cross-eyed at them? I’m expecting to have to deal with a few annoying problems here and there (damn those wacky germans…), but generally, are the mechanical components ‘tough’ enough to deal with a bit of pressure, and are there any particular bugs or troublesome items that I should watch out for on either of the models? Small issues aren’t too much of a concern to me, but if it’s an unreliable piece of crap like our s-class, then I’d be a little more inclined to back away from it.

Performance wise, I believe that MB v BMW are pretty similar in a straight line, and although the BMW generally will handle better out of the box, with a bit of work (eibachs, etc) a benz can compete against it so that’s not too much of a concern.

I’m more inclined to go towards the benz, because I just love the style of them, however, there is a lot more choice with the beemers, cos there are just so many of them for sale at the moment. If you guys have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them before I rush out and do anything stupid!

Cheers

Tej
 

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4,115 Posts
the W210 is a great car but if you compare it to a 5 series you'll find the W210 chassis to be a little softer (ina less sporting way). Ideally you should go for a E320 with a sport package & as many optionas as you can think of and as long a warranty as you can get it (if possible)

Best advice i can give you is to go for a test drive in both on the same day if possible and see which you prefer.

Good luck and let us know what happens.
 

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2007 Volvo S40, 1991 Mercedes-Benz 300E
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The W210 is a great car but it definitly has its issues, some major and some minor. Do a search on this forum and you will see plenty of issues that W210 owners, including myself, have had to suffer through.

In response to your statement of how low quality Japanese cars are, may I suggest that you do some research on Lexus. I have owned a Lexus before, and I really dont think there is a better built car out there. If Mercedes continues to make cars the same way they are making them today, there are going to be far more Lexus on the road than Mercedes.
 
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