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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
REVISED: Wagon/SUV purchase decision

Hi,

I'm a new member looking for some feedback. My wife's looking to buy a "pre-owned" C class or E class wagon (not the R class) and I'm hoping those of you with with Mercedes experience can share your thoughts with this neophyte. Any model years to avoid? Pros/cons that you can think of. I'm particularly interested in hearing from members who owned a wagon and can share their experiences.

Thanks in advance to everyone willing to help out.

M.
 

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1990 420SEL, 1979 450SEL, 1973 450SE, 2003 C320S, 2005 C230WZ, 2005 E320W Avantgarde
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I am going to assume your are looking for a Mercedes-Benz Certified Pre-Owned vehicle. This is a vehicle that is available only through a Certified Mercedes-Benz authorized retailer. Any Certified Mercedes-Benz will be a great vehicle, and be a smart financial decision.

Here's why. A Certified Mercedes-Benz has Certification stoppers that it must pass before even being eligible for Certification.

Here is what stops the Certification process before it begins.

1. over 75,000 miles/over 6 model years old.
2. VMI discrepency. (Vehicle Master Inquiry with MBUSA, discrepency would be warranty return, voided warranty, warranty review, rental, or similar)

3. problem found in CARFAX vehicle history report.
4. TMU (true miles unknown)
5. identifiable structural damage

If the vehicle passes all of the above, it then undergoes a 155 point inspection by a Mercedes-Benz Certified technician.

Here's a quick peek at what they look for.

1. cracked interior or exterior lenses
2. alignment
3. Mercedes-Benz approved tires
4. all books and keys
5. exterior dings and scratches

Once a vehicle is inspected, if it passes, it is then reconditioned. The technician makes notes on the Inspection and Certification Report, and this report goes to the dealer, and the new owner. The new owner and dealer also receive a copy of the CARFAX vehicle history report.

Financially, C, E, and M Class models normally have special financing for Certified cars. All MB CPO cars receive 12 months or 100,000 total miles of warranty with no deductible. This is also in combination with any existing factory warranty. For instance, a 2006 E350 wagon with 10,000 miles purchased in January of 2006 would be warranted until January 2011 or 100,000 miles. Whichever occurs first. At the time of purchase, and at additional charge, you may also purchase up to 24 additional months of CPO warranty. This would mean you would be covered until 2013 or 100,000 miles.

The CPO warranty does differ from the factory warranty. It does not cover paint, exterior or interior soft trim, lenses, but is the same in every other way. No deductible, full roadside assistance in addition to the basic roadside assistance, and it is transferrable to a private party.

I hope this helps. Best of luck.
 

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92 500SEL to 01 E320T current 2014 lexus LS460
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The 210, is a pretty good car, not too many issues. The engine pulley, the rear door regulators, some rust issues, and maybe spring perches. The 211 is a little sleeker but not as roomy, of course I think the C wagon was dropped. The Tel Aid will require an update for $600, in Jan 08, and the benefits are questionable as to the charges. If it has the factory phone the choices are limited unless it is updated to Blue tooth.I would get the MB extended warranty as part of the deal, 4 matic is nice but only if you need it. the 320 is pretty peppy.
My ML was in at least once a month during the first year , the wagon only two or three items in five years.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the detailed input, it is very helpful. One question, though, which model is the "210" or the "211". I'm used to referring to the models,e.g., C320, E320, etc.

THanks again.
 

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2012 C300 Sport 4Matic and 2003 CLK430 Cabrio
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I was in the same boat 3 weeks ago. I just purchased a 2002 C320 wagon for my wife. She loves it. We looked at the (w210= 2002 E320) and the (w211= 2003 E320) But the (w203= 2002 C320) was the best deal.:thumbsup: We paid 21k for the c320 with 23,000 miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
that is a good deal! good luck and enjoy the car.

acarter53 said:
I was in the same boat 3 weeks ago. I just purchased a 2002 C320 wagon for my wife. She loves it. We looked at the (w210= 2002 E320) and the (w211= 2003 E320) But the (w203= 2002 C320) was the best deal.:thumbsup: We paid 21k for the c320 with 23,000 miles.
 

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W124 body runs up to 1995
W210 96-02
W211 03-present
As mentioned W124 4-Matics have big problem with transfer case, what won't stop them from driving in 2WD mode.
W210 have some issues with front spring perches, that dealers often repair even without official recall. Bigger and more comfty than W124, but more electronics to worry about.
W211 ? How big is you checking account?
 

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95S320 , 98E320 4-matic wagon
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2000-2003 E Class was the safest car in the US.

If that isnt an endorsement a family man cant relate too I dont know what else to say:)
 

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Actually, the S211 Wagon didn't arrive until 2004, so the 2003 wagon is an S210.
 

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2013 VW Golf Sportwagen TDI, 2011 Mazda 2, 2000 E320 4Matic Wagon (retired),1994 C280 (retired)
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MackM said:
Hi,

I'm a new member looking for some feedback. My wife's looking to buy a "pre-owned" C class or E class wagon (not the R class) and I'm hoping those of you with with Mercedes experience can share your thoughts with this neophyte. Any model years to avoid? Pros/cons that you can think of. I'm particularly interested in hearing from members who owned a wagon and can share their experiences.

Thanks in advance to everyone willing to help out.

M.
We've owned a 2000 E320 4matic wagon for about 7 months. We bought the car with about 70K miles on it. So far we have been very happy with it. We had it inspected by a trusted mechanic who specializes in MB products. Don't consider the purchase of a used MB without this step.

There are a few things to look out for. The first is to make sure the car has had the Harmonic Balancer (main crank pulley) on the engine replaced if it is one of the years that is part of the recall. There is plenty of info on this site about that. You shouldn't have to worry about the spring perch issue on a wagon as for some reason it does not seem to affect wagons. However, it is easy for a mechanic to inspect for rust in this area so have them do it. You should definitely check for exterior rust and pay close attention to the doors. What you want to do is gently pull back on the rubber weather strip that surrounds the door frame and look for rust in this area. Do this on all four doors all the way around the door. It is very easy to do yourself.

The transmissions on either the C or E from these years are a potential source of problems because MB has claimed that they don't require the transmission oil to be replaced and are "fill for life" units. This is garbage, of course, but too many people bought this from the dealer and didn't change the fluid. You can't check the fluid yourself without the special tool from the dealer (no dipstick comes with the car) so this is another reason that a mechanic who specializes in MB is important. They can check it and give you an idea if it has been replaced or not. You also want to verify that the car has only had synthetic motor oil used because petroleum-based oil is not up to withstanding the 10K mile oil change interval that MB recommends.

I'm not sure what you are accustomed to driving, so I'll assume you have no MB experience. These cars involve much more maintenance than Hondas/Toyotas, etc. Be prepared to pay more for everything. Be prepared to have to do more, as well. If you're ready for the responsibility that comes with one of these cars you will never go back. I bought ours for my wife as she was going to be commuting to and from work every day with our infant son in the back seat, about 60 miles a day total. I don't worry as much with them in the car. She got rear ended a month ago and all occupants were completely uninjured. That makes the price of maintenance (and gas, which costs much more than her old Honda) more than worth it.
 

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Have 2004 E320 Wagon

Last September the MB dealer in Tulsa traded for a 2004 E320 wagon with 35,000 miles. It was sold at that dealer originally and had the CPO warranty; also an attractive color with a few nice extras. It drove and looked as new. I just recently went back to the dealer for my first service visit to get a C service, which was paid for entirely by Mercedes on 2004 model vehicles. My total bill was $25 because I wanted the tires rotated. Can't beat that.

It averages 22mpg in town driving and high 20s on the Interstate. There is enough cargo space for my needs, and for bigger items there's an ML430 in the family.

I feel I bought the wagon at a sweet spot in its lifetime: new enough to qualify for the CPO and with enough depreciation to make it very affordable, plus low, low finance charges for CPO vehicles through MB financial. When the CPO expires in 2009, I could be back for another one.

Bruce in Tulsa
 

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MackM said:
How does the ML compare to the E wagon in terms of service record, reliability, etc.? If I could impose for some more information, it would be much appreciated.
You've got no idea what can of worms have you opened here ;)
Generally ML have bad reputation for reliability, but this is still hit or miss issue.
Our original ML runs 8 years with only single MAF issue.
The German-quality 99 wagon in 2 years of my ownership took MAF, front CV joint ($1200 ouch) and has some engine oil leaks.
 

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I dont want to open a ML vs E dispute, It is like the K&N crap. My brand new ML was a piece of junk, no car could be in for repair once a month. I made a lot of friends at MB and helped the diagnose a problem no one would get their hands on. I supplied when, and the circumstances, and how the problem occurred and how to duplicate. My E has been great, not as good as my 300 TDT but good! MB has this issue about loading up cars, the Cabs are no longer MBs in europe why?
 

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I'll recommend a 2000-2002 E320 wagon (W210) with all wheel drive, called "4matic". The 4matic makes gas mileage a little worse, but it seems to provide better grip and much more confidence in rain and snow.

I bought my 2002 E320 wagon (supposedly CPO....) at 37k mi and, after putting 11k mi on it, I'm still pleased with it. Good luck.
 
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