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Old 03-12-2003, 11:25 AM
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A. Rosich A. Rosich is offline
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Join Date: Nov 1999
Posts: 883
The Odyssey, although regarded by car magazines as one of the best handling minivas, stills just that: A MINIVAN! For me, they are cumbersome, uneconomical and just plain ugly.

Nothing can beat the design/elegant profile of a station wagon, and the M.B. W124 (S124 to be more exact) is to me THE most elegant wagon on the road.

The Volvos are nice, but to me they have two BIG disadvantages: First: their materials deteriorate faster than M.B.'s finishes. Second: newer models rely on five-cylinder engines (with and without turbos). Five-cylinder engines are rough, unrefined, and just plain agricultural. Nothing beats the smooth running of an inline 6-cyl engine (well, maybe a V-12 is smoother, but who wants to put up with burden to mantain them?). The turbos, although good on performance, tend to put too much stress on engine parts, and finally, they are more unreliable. Also, as stated above, parts for older cars are not as widely available as they are for M.B.s

Check out both car on e-bay. The E320 seems a better bet. Anyway, smoked silver is THE best color for a W/S124. Dark colors tend to be too hot on summer days and they are IMPOSSIBLE to keep clean.

One comment though, I like to stay away from non-brand used car lots. I do not know your budget, but I will advise you to buy from a Mercedes-Benz authorized dealer. If you can find a local car serviced always at the dealer with a full history it would be great. Another good bet would be a B.M.W., Jaguar, or any luxury car dealership where an M.B. owner decided to change brands and traded its M.B. wagon. This cars tend to be better kept and usually have a better maintenance record.

Be sure to check the rear self-levelling suspension for leaks. This system is expensive $$$ to fix. Also, drive the car around and see if the transmission shifts smoothly. There are NO normal jerks or hard shifts on an M.B. auto. The trade invented that to cover for poor kept cars. Also, run the A/C at all fan speeds and see if it cools properly. Evaporator fixes are also expensive. Finally, on E320s, be sure the engine wiring harness has been updated and check for any oil leaks around the engine block (especially at the front, behind the fan!).

Good luck hunting!
A. Rosich
CL 500, 1998
S 500 L, 1998
E 320 T, 1995 [Sadly sold ]
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