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Rafi 12-20-2003 10:20 AM

Which model diesel to buy and watch out for ?
People of this great forum, I have started looking for a diesel MB, I need advice as to what model is better (dependable, low maintenance) and what to watch out for? I am looking for a late year model. I am going diesel for the first time. This will replace my 92 400E current milage 179K. I am due for NJ biannual inspection in January, if it does not pass, I may just jump ship.

leathermang 12-20-2003 10:42 AM

Of course those terms are very subjective and relative...
and this is not what you asked for... but I think I can name the most dependable and least maintenance car ( perhaps in the world )... every other car I know of will be towards the ' more problems' from this one:

1980 240d manual transmission 123 body style
manual (wire control to the heater /ac ) not the ' wheel' on the dash
manual windows
NO sunroof
no electric rear view mirrors,
no electric seat heater
no electric ANYTHING .... LOLOLOLOL

Rafi 12-20-2003 11:14 AM

OK, I think you went to the extreem, I can even take it farther, walk or ride a bicycle. If I read between the lines of your post, all models beyond manual everything is the same there is nothing you look for or stay away from ?

Rafi 12-20-2003 11:17 AM

OK, I can narrow the field a bit. There is only one late model MB available E300TD, Is this a good car? how to go about checking it out to make sure it is not a lemon? I am not going starmark and pay premium.

GottaDiesel 12-20-2003 11:19 AM

Need MUCH more info.

Year, mileage, where was it kept, condition...

Etc. Etc. Etc...

You get the pciture. :)

leathermang 12-20-2003 11:26 AM

ok,, that is easier even though I have no specific information about the model...
First on a particular car you should check with Carfax to see if there is some record of speedo rollback or collision damage not disclosed or known about by the present owner,
Then check and plug that car into their data base and read the list of safety bulletins, recalls and updates which MB has issued... if some look important get the actual copy of the bulletin and read it...
Check the archives of things like ' consumer reports' and 'powers' and any other consumer feedback from owners of those cars...
Then when looking at a particular car spend the $100 and have an independant testing company like LemonBusters run their checklist on the car.. and deliver the results directly to you..
Everytime you can find an owner of the model you desire stop them and get their opinions.... most people are flattered and love to tell their feelings, one way or the other, about their car...

I was saying there is a continuum and my car is at the extreme end of that.... ( the good end ) LOLOLOLOL

sixto 12-20-2003 03:31 PM


Originally posted by Rafi
There is only one late model MB available E300TD, ...
How do you figure that there is only one late model MB available? NJ s a hotbed of MB Diesel activity. I wish there were as many Diesels available in CA.

Sharing your budget and driving requirements will help as well. For sharing your budget, I have a PayPal account :)

95 S420
87 300SDL
83 300SD ... $950, see cars forum

Rafi 12-20-2003 09:01 PM

By limited model I mean from 1996 to 1997 E 300 D and 1998 to 2001 is the E 300 TD models and after 2001 and now there are no more MB diesels coming to the US. I am only looking for 1998 and newer model which only the E 300 TD. The rest of the comments are standard car buying techniques no new expert opinions so far on the forum.

sixto 12-20-2003 10:05 PM

You've painted yourself into a corner, then. You're correct that you're limited to the 98-99 E300 turbodiesel. There's been no MB Diesel in the US market since 99 but the E320 CDI is due in the spring.

If you can find a Starmarked E300, you shouldn't have to worry about maintenance costs for a while.

95 S420
87 300SDL
83 300SD ... $950, see cars forum

rickjordan 12-21-2003 10:41 PM

I may be wrong, but I believe the last "TD" (wagon) that MB brought here was the 1987 TD. I don't recall seeing or hearing about any TDs in the 210 chassis.

fahrgewehr2 12-22-2003 12:57 AM

why must it be a diesel?

Rafi 12-22-2003 11:12 AM

I would like diesel this time for fuel economy and longevity. Power and acceleration is no longer high on priority list for car selection, but it must be MB no sustitutes there.

Rick Miley 12-22-2003 12:15 PM

First, let's clear up the nomenclature. MB has not used the "D" or "TD" or the "T" since they renamed all the cars in 1994. So what you're looking for is a 1998 or 1999 E300 Turbodiesel. They are available only as sedans.

I've owned mine since new and it has been fabulous. However, there are others on this forum who have had a very different experience. Search for "E300" in the Diesel Discussion forum, and you'll be presented with plenty of information - likely more than you want.

RunningTooHot 12-24-2003 03:50 PM

Nobody has mentioned the 1995 E300D.
Rafi, if you like your current car, which is a W124 chassis, you’ll feel equally at home in the 124 chassis with the 6-cylinder diesel. It was only made for one year, and it is the same engine fitted to the later W210 cars. It’s not a turbo, but it is significantly quicker, gets better mileage, and is much more refined than my W123 300D (no offense to 123 owners intended – I still love my 300D ! ) The 124 chassis is (arguably) a better overall design than the ’96+ W210 chassis cars. The 1995 model is also the last year of production, so all the little bugs have been worked out over the years…

Holson Adi 12-24-2003 05:28 PM

Yeah, I think the 1995 E300 Diesel is a really pretty car, especially all facelifted and everything. I personally like the non-facelifted W124 for they are more aggressive looking. But the 94-95 models are definitely classier and more elegant.

I've even seen some E300Ds with leather, burlwood, and everything else. I really wanted an E300 Diesel that Hatch and Sons had but they wanted more for it than my E420 just because it had 40k mi. It was mint, but it had zebrano wood and MB-Tex.

The W123 I owned (300CD) was a fun car but the W124 is a much nicer car! It's more comfortable, handles better (relatively... it's still nowhere near as fun as the Celica ;) ), quieter, less quirks.

I've been in numerous W210s before and they are *IMO* even nicer than W124s. But I am partial to the 124 body style since I was a little boy :)

ps. I also miss that diesel sound...

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