My E class spent so much time in the shop between the recall items and some minor body damage that I got very used to one C230 SS rental/loaner in particular because it became my "loaner" of choice whenever I had one of my cars in for service. I first drove it when it was "new" when it had about 41 miles on it, and later when it had about 12k miles on it I was one of the last to drive it as a loaner as well. After I was able to drive an 06 C230 with the new V6 and 7 speed auto I realized the 05 Kompressor was a little quicker getting to speed and did so while getting about 2mpg better as well. Except for the 06 having MP3 available on the audio system the 05 seemed a much better value.
I tracked the old loaner down to the local Enterprise rental lot where they had it and a bunch of other C230's for sale. I would guess that all of the MB dealers in the area dumped their 05 loaners for new 06 models at the same time because they really had a lot of them. I asked the sales manager if he thought he would have trouble moving such a large lot of identically equipped cars, and he said the contract they had with MB usually resulted in most of the cars being repurchased by dealers for their used inventory at the dealer only auction in this area. He said the cars they could not retail off the lot were moved to the auction after a period of waiting if there were no interested retail buyers.
Well, being the impulsive person that I am, I said to the manager that since he would only get wholesale at the dealer auction would he be interested in selling one of the cars to me for $25k?
When I parked the "loaner" in the driveway later, the other half asked what was broke this time. I told her everything was fine but the loaner was here to stay. The car has been perfect as I expected but I don't plan on ever buying another car this way again. Actually I should clarify that. I will never buy anything expensive like it again unless the other half knows up front what I am planning.
12K miles is almost new and how can you go wrong with Mars red. Just make sure it hasn't been wrecked. Have a body shop look it over, they can tell you if it's been repainted. If the dealer won't go for it, put it in writing that you can return the car withing 30 days if there's anything wrong with it they don't disclose like a previous accident or body work. I can deal with anything mechanical, I would hate to have a car that's bent the wrong way. Also make sure it was a loaner from day one and not a lemon that they took back with a few thousand miles and they kept it as a loaner.
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