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1994 E320
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Discussion Starter #41
I keep looking at Volvo wagons trying to like them, but they just don't do it for me. That, and I don't think they are very compelling from a quality or driving experience compared to a MBZ or BMW. I've seen some that border on "cool", but I have never known a Volvo owner who had anything better than a mediocre experience. Saab wagons intrigue me, but those would be more of a cheap project. Whereas I feel pretty comfortable I could get an older MBZ or BMW wagon where I would feel comfortable driving the family anywhere in them.

With the BMW, I am more interested in the generation that would have followed the W124. The early/mid 90s 5 series don't excite me as much as the 95-2003. And the 2004+ got too electronic for me, especially with the iDrive stuff. With the MBZ, it's pretty much only the w124 wagons as there were too many problems with the W210 and the later wagons are just ugly. The C class wagons look OK, but it sounds like they are also problematic.

I would love to stumble on a super clean w124 wagon, but it seems like most are beat and have no reverse. Something will eventually pop up to strike my fancy. In the mean time, I'll keep driving my "free" w124 sedan. :)

Definitely don't want to deal with the Craigslist crowd. What a zoo.
 

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'92 300TE 4matic 280,000miles, '92 300TE 4Matic 'Ice Blue Metalic' 101,000miles
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I think our resident Volvo expert would disagree with you on your Volvo observations and even though I always sign my name, he refers to me as 'what's his name', so I give him no dignity as well. In any event, you just had to drive the comparable Volvo wagon back in the day and then drive the Benz...end of story.

Super clean TE's are hard to find...they sell well, as everyone wants a wagon. After 23yrs of owning one, I can't imagine not having one, even though the color scheme makes me want to hurl these days. The TE's were used as utility wagons in most cases and the reason they are hard to find super clean.

Good luck on your quest!

Kevin
 

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1993 300CE Cabriolet (mine) ; 1994 E320 Wagon (wife's) ; 1990 Benz 300E 2.6 (son's)
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6,752 Posts
The only Volvos I like(d) are the RWD ones made up to 1995, specifically the 740/940 wagons, but they are way cruder cars than W124's.... they are live axle, (some of the I6 960 models were IRS, but thats a complex hard-to-work-on expensive engine). Those cast iron block 4 cyl Volvos ARE some of the easiest things in the world to work on, and they'll suffer benign neglect far longer than a Mercedes. but Volvo in recent years has cut way back on spare parts availability for these older models which cuts down their long term desirability.


my 740 turbo wagon...



this was my daily driver before I got into benzes a couple years ago. its still doing my solo road trip and hauling duty as our benz wagon is my wife's, plus the volvo has overload springs, beefy sway bars and heavy duty shocks so it handles heavy loads better than the benz. and a solider roof rack since it has real rain gutters, and a tow hitch that I hardly ever use since we got rid of our hobie cat (volvo 740 wagon can tow 3500 lbs and haul 1200 lbs payload).
 

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1994 E320
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466 Posts
Discussion Starter #44
So I officially sold my E320 to my buddy today for $500. Not crazy about selling to friends, but he knows exactly what he's getting and if it blows up tomorrow, he could sell the harness and ETA and get his money back. And if he wanted to double his money, he could sell the virtually new Michelin tires on very nice 8 holes, Sachs shocks, new Kienzle stereo, coils, etc.

I'm not sure I'm out of the w124 woods just yet. Still looking for a nice wagon. That, and I'm sure I will be helping my buddy deal with anything that comes up. Keep posting the deals in the Craigslist thread!
 

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'95 E300 DIESEL, '91 600SEL, '92 600SEL
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The only Volvo wagon that turned my crank was the 1995 850 T5-R. The only downside was front wheel drive, but a ultimately tuneable engine that was rock solid akin to MB engines.
 

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1993 300CE Cabriolet (mine) ; 1994 E320 Wagon (wife's) ; 1990 Benz 300E 2.6 (son's)
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I had a 1996 850 T, which was virtually the same wagon, with a few less HP (the -R had turbo+ giving it a few extra PSI boost for 30 seconds at full throttle) and less insane suspension (16" rims on my T vs 17" on the -R, and milder shocks, still pretty sporty on the T). I hated it. handling was awful considering how sporty-stiff it felt, harsh ride, massive torque steer under heavy pedal on a bumpy road, cramped interior. at 100k miles, it was full of squeaks and rattles on the interior, AND the suspension was shot, it needed new control arms, steering rack, etc. ground clearance was awful, so you couldn't even take a fire road without risking the oil pan.
 

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1994 E320
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Discussion Starter #47
Fingers crossed . . . I might have a line on a deal for a 2004 Lexus IS300 wagon. Not really similar to a w124 wagon in anyway, and quite a bit smaller. But if the price is right, I'll take a flyer on it.
 

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'95 E300 DIESEL, '91 600SEL, '92 600SEL
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Fingers crossed . . . I might have a line on a deal for a 2004 Lexus IS300 wagon. Not really similar to a w124 wagon in anyway, and quite a bit smaller. But if the price is right, I'll take a flyer on it.
Talk about a step down. Going from a W124 to a rebadged Toyota Altezza with leather interior.
 

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1994 E320
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Discussion Starter #49
I guess it is all perspective. I'm not brand-loyal. I have owned cars and motorcycles from all around the world. Almost all have something going for them. Definitely a difference between Japanese and German cars and motorcycles. I currently own both and really like both. I wouldn't say one is quantitatively "better" than another. Just different.

Step down? Maybe based upon original purchase price. The MBZ certainly would have higher quality components, but the I would give the nod to Lexus in terms engineered reliability. Add in 10 years newer and, ahem, cupholders, and I'd call it a wash. I'm assuming a totally different experience, but not one without its own merits.

We'll see what happens.
 

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'99 S420 114K
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Daily Driving

Step down?

We'll see what happens.
There are certain aspects of a Benz that few, if any, other manufacturers offer. The suspension, braking and quality build would be good examples. I like Lexus, Infinity, Audi, BMW, Acura, even Volvo. But when you look at things like frames, suspension, interior component quality, and overall ride quality for me, Benz delivers what I want. It's your money, and if you are looking at vehicles, especially wagons, under $10k you don't get much, IMO. :dunno:

Hit those Lexus forums, see what owners say about the particular model you are looking at.
 
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