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Old 02-13-2003, 07:49 PM
Marcb's Avatar
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Post 1992 300D Questions

I am considering the purchase of a 1992 300D Turbo to replace my 2001 VW Jetta TDI. The Benz is a bit bigger and I found one in really nice shape. Now, how reliable is the 2.5 engine in this car and what is everyone's opinion about the car in general. Is this one to stay away from? Also, how reliable is the transmission in this car? I love the Jetta TDI and don't know if this "swap" would be beneficial but any comments are welcome. Thanks.

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Old 02-13-2003, 08:39 PM
Holson Adi's Avatar
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Location: Boston, MA
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The W124 .vs. Jetta...

I rode in the Jetta (my friend was looking for a car in that class). We rode in both the VR6 and the 1.8T

The VR6's ride and smoothness was amazing. If I were to say it's probably softer than a W124 (last 124 I drove was the 500E though)

I don't know about the engine too well. The Jetta's TDI sounds tiny - quiet. The Merc's 2.5TD engine sounds more 'diesel'

But there is no way that I'd not trade a Jetta (if I had one) for a nice W124. The W124 has such a substantial feel to it. It drives like a tank, it's very solid. Maybe it's a fake impression but I really love the 124 chassis. I think it's still the most handsome/distinctive midsize sedan there is. Then it would be the BMW E39.

If you're lucky, some 250D Turbos actually have leather and heated seats

Good luck,
2008 BMW 335i Coupe
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Old 02-14-2003, 11:38 AM
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Location: Colorado Springs, CO
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The older Mercedes WILL require some work, because its older. The Volkswagen MAY need some work.

I think it all depends on what kind of person you are and who will service the car. IF you like to wrench or do your own work, you will should find the Mercedes esay to work on and save you a lot of money. IF you don't like to wrench and like new car warranty, the VW may be better for you.

Consider that MOST VW dealers have NO clue about the TDI engine. Timing belts are every 60 or 80Kmi and who will do the work? Some dealer destroy the engine trying to do the timing belt and/or charge $600. IF you have a problem, you may be on your own. Consider that many MB dealers know how to work on the cars and do a good job - and CHARGE for it.

Overall, I'd say the 2.5Turbo (602 engine) is one of the best MB ever made and there are few problems with them. Those problem that do occur are sometimes "freak" incidents like a turbo goes bad or an injection pump. The 124 car is generally very good with a few flaws - some A/C evaps fail and that's a $1500 job (dash comes out). Other than that, there are some "wear" items like the rubber in the suspension. It gives the smooth comfortable ride, but it wears with time and miles. Tranny's are a mixed bag. Most make it to 175Kmi. After that some die, or leak. Others like mine are at 278Kmi with no leaks and no slipping.

I really enjoy my 300D which is the same chassis as your possible 92 2.5Turbo but with a slightly larger and engine. I will take it anywhere and leave the VW TDI at home except when it snows - because I don't care if the VW POS TDI gets totalled. I have owned both A3 and A4 Jettas.
Brian Toscano
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Old 02-16-2003, 08:15 PM
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Location: Minneapolis, MN USA
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I also came up with the same decision recently. I found a very nice 98 Jetta TDI (Jetta III style) and a 92 300D 2.5 Turbo.

The only thing I think the VW really has going for it is the exceptional fuel economy (50-60mpg) and the manual transmission. I don't hear much, of anything, about people with 200,000-500,000 miles on their TDI's and many at about 150,000 have replacement engines.

Price was actually very similar, so I chose the Mercedes. In owning similar models in the past, I knew much of the maintainence, which certainly supported the decision.

The 300D is much more solid and obviously commands a different crowd and respect. You have to think about those things too.

2018 Tesla Model X
1999 S500 Grand Edition 164k
1992 300D 2.5 Turbo 287k
2005 E320 4MATIC wagon
1991 Alfa Romeo 164L 99k (sleeping for a while)

Then: 96 Lincoln TC, 93 Lincoln TC, 87 560 SEL, 87 300 SDL, 80 300D, 89 560 SEC
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Old 02-17-2003, 10:21 AM
CJ CJ is offline
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These cars are great!!

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