I'd either go old or new. 123 or 210. W123 for tanklike construction and ease of maintenance and repairs. W210 for power, Lexus-like reliability and pure comfort. Our 98 E300 turbo is one superb driving car. It's a great handling car, is the quickest North American sold diesel, and gets exceptional fuel economy.
My dream car is a W203 C270 diesel. It's the only car that would make me rush down and trade the C230.
1998 C230 "Black Betty"