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  #31  
Old 01-10-2013, 03:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbolil View Post
I am trying to step away from this equation because I do most of my own maintenance work. I have had many diesel MB's and a couple where the tranny has failed, She has been great while I attempt to keep these cars on the road. All of our cars have at least 266K on them.
My wife drives 100 miles round trip in snow country. I thought it would be nice to have a 05-05 E320 cdi with stability control and some of the other creature comforts like the heating/cooling seats plus the other upgrade for the seats.
She likes the idea of driving something pretty new. I would like something that will protect her more and provide excellent fuel mileage.
Time out.......you've disclosed A LOT of new information since your first post.

If I had to drive the car 100 miles a day in snow/snow country, I'd be buying an AWD/FWD/ or 4X4 something. The last car I'd choose in 2013 to drive in snow/ice country is a RWD (right-rear-wheel-drive-MB-diesel car) - these are not cars that can be depended upon to get you somewhere in snow/ice country. BTDT

You also mention "all your cars have at least 266K on them." Cars with perhaps too many things wrong with them, when it comes down to it - none may necessarily be dependable. That gets old fast. One reason why many spouses put their foot down is demanding something new OR dependable that will start and operate properly. Many drivers of aged MBs are actually hobbyists, and have several of them on hand, because they can be picked-up on-the-cheap, and so something will start when they need to get somewhere.

A Ford Fusion with FWD would be a terrific choice in snow country.
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  #32  
Old 01-10-2013, 04:55 PM
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How about a Subaru?

I don't know where you live, but here is an example -- a two-year-old Subaru Outback with heated front seats and powered front driver's seat with 27,000 Miles for $22,990. I'm sure there's one in your area, especially if you live in the snow country. Consumer Reports consistently rates these cars as having well-above-average reliability, good ride, and general smoothness. If you see these buttons right below the shifter in a picture, the car has heated seats:

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  #33  
Old 01-10-2013, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skid Row Joe View Post
If I had to drive the car 100 miles a day in snow/snow country, I'd be buying an AWD/FWD/ or 4X4 something. The last car I'd choose in 2013 to drive in snow/ice country is a RWD (right-rear-wheel-drive-MB-diesel car) - these are not cars that can be depended upon to get you somewhere in snow/ice country. BTDT
They probably can drive RWD in the snow well, given how long they have

Hey, I just hit 200 posts!
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1982 300SD -- 211k, Texas car, tranny issues ____ 1979 240D 4-speed 234k -- turbo and tuned IP, third world taxi hot rod

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  #34  
Old 01-10-2013, 05:11 PM
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Not a bad recommendation. My father has a 2006 Subaru Forester. It's almost at 100,000 miles and it looks and runs like new. All he's had to do is fluid service, brakes pads, and then a new clutch at 90,000. Really reliable well built cars. About the only new cars I'd consider. My mom bought it new and it went in exactly zero times during the 6 year/60,000 mile warranty period. The local Subaru service guy --->
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  #35  
Old 01-10-2013, 07:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jooseppi Luna View Post
They probably can drive RWD in the snow well, given how long they have


They (an RWD - RIGHT-rear-wheel-drive primarily) in the case of an MB 2WD sedan won't get too far, was the point - not whether "they'd been driving them for X amount of time."

They are definitely not cars made to go in ice, snow, etc. They certainly will not do any sort of grade that an FWD/AWD/ or 4X4 WILL do. Disaster comes to mind - 44 years experience with 'em in snow and ice.

In 2013 - there's uber-better choices to make for it's described purpose of "100 miles a day in snow country."

The Subaru Outback is an outstanding winter weather vehicle for what the OP is asking for - they can be had NEW in the low $20s too.
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  #36  
Old 01-11-2013, 02:07 AM
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While it's true there are some things you can do with 4x4 in the snow and ice that you can't with RWD, a RWD car with good tires is still perfectly adequate in ice and light snow. You start to encounter problems trying to climb steep grades on ice or when the snow starts getting deep enough to high center the vehicle.

As for FWD: No thanks. I'd rather save power understeer for those rare occasions when the front wheel of my motorcycle comes off the ground, and lift off understeer for "never".
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  #37  
Old 01-11-2013, 10:39 AM
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You guys seem to have a huge bias against Japanese cars. There resales values are very high lus they stay on the road easily to 200,000 miles. a 1995-1998 will still fetch at least $2800

What I am concerned is that at 80K-100K the CDI will start to be needing parts replaced, while the newer Japanese wont have any issues for at least a few years.

We all know the ride will be better in the Mercedes. I used to say that the diesels get so much better fuel mileage than the gas engines but that cant be said anymore.

The new Altima gets 38 mpg on the highway, about the same with the cdi but then again the price of diesel is now $.35 to $/50 more a gallon not including all the additives.

I guess what I am saying is that the reasons I switched to diesels 4 years ago are no longer as valid as they once were.
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  #38  
Old 01-11-2013, 10:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimmyL View Post
Tell your wife to consider a Honda. You can get a very nice Accord in that 18K range. An excellent car!!
Thinking exactly the same thing, a 1 year old 4 cylinder Accord with 15k miles is in that range. Mechanically, it will cost you less to run over 250k miles and may be worth more when you get around to sell it.

So it depends on what you're looking for. An MB diesel engine is very robust, but it's the little things like bushings and window regulators that will nickel and dime you.
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  #39  
Old 01-11-2013, 11:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimbolil View Post
You guys seem to have a huge bias against Japanese cars. There resales values are very high lus they stay on the road easily to 200,000 miles. a 1995-1998 will still fetch at least $2800

What I am concerned is that at 80K-100K the CDI will start to be needing parts replaced, while the newer Japanese wont have any issues for at least a few years.

We all know the ride will be better in the Mercedes. I used to say that the diesels get so much better fuel mileage than the gas engines but that cant be said anymore.

The new Altima gets 38 mpg on the highway, about the same with the cdi but then again the price of diesel is now $.35 to $/50 more a gallon not including all the additives.

I guess what I am saying is that the reasons I switched to diesels 4 years ago are no longer as valid as they once were.

Dont know what Altima you are driving but my 2010 Altima 2.5S sedan can only afford 22 to a max of 24 in real world mileage - The dealer has been in the car with his "consult" system hooked up and logged some data - everything was perfect according to them.

my MB is dead on at 30 mpg - 600 miles on the odo when the triangle lights up and I fill in 19 gallons. If I do an all highway trip and somehow keep myself from breaching the speed limit I have gone 700 miles on the same tank.

surely I would not like to tackle snow and sleet with this car as it can get "ahem" funny in those circumstances.
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  #40  
Old 01-11-2013, 04:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skid Row Joe View Post
They (an RWD - RIGHT-rear-wheel-drive primarily) in the case of an MB 2WD sedan won't get too far, was the point - not whether "they'd been driving them for X amount of time."

The Subaru Outback is an outstanding winter weather vehicle for what the OP is asking for - they can be had NEW in the low $20s too.
1) What is right-rear-wheel-drive compared to rear-wheel-drive?

2) To get an Outback in the $20,000s *EDIT*: I meant "in the low $20,000s" with seat heaters in our area you basically need to buy used.
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1982 300SD -- 211k, Texas car, tranny issues ____ 1979 240D 4-speed 234k -- turbo and tuned IP, third world taxi hot rod

2 Samuel 12:13: "David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die."

Last edited by Mölyapina; 01-13-2013 at 11:20 PM.
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  #41  
Old 01-11-2013, 04:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jooseppi Luna View Post
1) What is right-rear-wheel-drive compared to rear-wheel-drive?

2) To get an Outback in the $20,000s with seat heaters in our area you basically need to buy used.
1) It means the car has an open, as opposed to limited slip, differential. Probably 99% of cars & trucks fall into this category. It's why you get one black stripe when spinning the tire. Almost all Mercedes use open differentials. Newer MBs with traction control have an open diff but apply a single rear brake to equalize power transfer to each rear wheel. It works well but will eat up brake pads if you use it too much.

2) Agreed. I looked at some Subies before regaining my senses and buying an E55 station wagon as my practical car. Outbacks were all north of $30K. You had to chase down a low content Forrester to get even into the lower $20s.
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  #42  
Old 01-11-2013, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by alabbasi View Post
Thinking exactly the same thing, a 1 year old 4 cylinder Accord with 15k miles is in that range. Mechanically, it will cost you less to run over 250k miles and may be worth more when you get around to sell it.

So it depends on what you're looking for. An MB diesel engine is very robust, but it's the little things like bushings and window regulators that will nickel and dime you.
Al is so spot on here!!! You realize this after you walk away from the brand.
I'm not at all trying to change anybody's mind who loves their MB. Nothing wrong with that!
But many cars last hundreds of thousands of miles, and without the glitchyness of German autos. I've been cured of any German car!!
As this pertains to the original poster, lots of good info from folks. Will be interested to see what your choice is......
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  #43  
Old 01-13-2013, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by jcyuhn View Post
1) It means the car has an open, as opposed to limited slip, differential. Probably 99% of cars & trucks fall into this category. It's why you get one black stripe when spinning the tire. Almost all Mercedes use open differentials. Newer MBs with traction control have an open diff but apply a single rear brake to equalize power transfer to each rear wheel. It works well but will eat up brake pads if you use it too much.

2) Agreed. I looked at some Subies before regaining my senses and buying an E55 station wagon as my practical car. Outbacks were all north of $30K. You had to chase down a low content Forrester to get even into the lower $20s.
That pretty well explains the plight driving a Mercedes-Benz car in snow. They just do not have the ability to tackle any kind of grade. One or the other, usually the right rear tires spins. The most you're going to get out of one is a side to side spin of the left and right. Miserable car to try to do any sort of hill with any amount of ice or snow on it without a full on run at the hill. From a dead stop, forget it - you're going nowhere.

A friend bought a Subaru Outback in October 2010 for $22K, brand new. It had enough equipment on it to make it respectable. If you're looking for an Outback for $30K and Up, that is easy to do these days. Another friend loaded one Up well over $30K. They are either in short supply, or the perception of them in short supply has driven this car's availabilty, pricing, or both in many parts of the country.

I don't believe the E55 will cost anywhere near the likely low budget of running a Subaru Outback. Either on fuel, or maintenace costs. I don't think those two cars are in the same universe if trying to make that comparison. Same deal with trying to compare an Altima with a E320 CDI....say what?....huh?
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  #44  
Old 01-13-2013, 03:42 PM
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I learned to drive in Duluth Minnesota, arguably one of the hilliest, snowiest, coldest, and iciest major cities in America. Short of an Olds Toronado or a Caddy Edorado, FWD cars did not exist. Four Wheel drive was what you saw on Willys Jeeps and Dodge Power Wagons, and they were scarce as hens teeth. Most everyone drove an everyday Domestic car with RWD. Sure, we loaded the trunks with sand, but we put on skinny snow tires too. I didnt own a FWD car until around 1980, and IMHO, on ice, they are one of the most dangerous cars you can drive. In an FWD on ice, taking your foot off the gas can induce an unrecoverable spin. In a RWD, taking your foot off the gas can help you regain control and give your fighting chance at recovery. However, on ice, virtually any car is dangerous.

Just to add, I also drove a few Mercedes through some Minnesota winters and didnt feel their traction was that bad.

I guess my point would be, if your wife doesnt know how to drive well on slippery roads, short of an AWD with TC, a RWD is probably one of the better handling cars. Actually, RWD IS the best handling, from almost every perspective. Throw a few sand bags in the trunk and put some tall narrow traction tires on it for the winter, and it will go almost anywhere.
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  #45  
Old 01-13-2013, 10:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Skid Row Joe View Post
I don't believe the E55 will cost anywhere near the likely low budget of running a Subaru Outback. Either on fuel, or maintenace costs. I don't think those two cars are in the same universe if trying to make that comparison. Same deal with trying to compare an Altima with a E320 CDI....say what?....huh?
Um, I was being sarcastic there. Will try to include a smiley going forward.
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