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Old 01-19-2001, 09:21 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Harbor City, Ca USA
Posts: 90
Does anyone know in the last 10 years what model has been the least troublesome, meaning the model that doesn't nickel and dime you to death?
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Old 01-19-2001, 09:45 PM
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Oceanside, NY
Posts: 506
You can get a 300 D (diesel) or you can get a E300/300E. They are both W124 chassies, and lots of people have them, make many many miles, and the cars are great. Look into one of those, or maybe a nice 190 or so.
"Damn the torpedos, four bells full speed ahead"
-Admiral Farragut

-1987 300E Smoke Silver
-1997 S320 Black on Black
-Soon To be E55 AMG
-27 foot Grady White Offshore Sportfish.
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Old 01-19-2001, 09:46 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: New Bedford, MA USA
Posts: 1,583
Hello...., I don't know of any MBZ model that does the "nickle and dime" thing. When something lets go, it's usually "mucho dinero" But, any one of the w124's with the M103 motor are a good bet. Larry Bible can fill you in on the diesels, but they are also seen as generally rock solid. These are not cheapo cars. They are generally well engineered, well put together and last forever if given proper maintainance and care. Just my $0.02 worth. BTW, many people I meet can't believe my 300e is 12 years old. They keep their good looks forever...
Jeff Lawrence
1989 300e
2000 Dodge Grand Caravan SE
No matter what you fix, there will always be something else to fix..
"Warranty" is just another way of postponing the inevitable.
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Old 01-19-2001, 10:40 PM
Ashman's Avatar
Service Advisor
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Sherman Oaks, CA
Posts: 4,748
I don't know of any car that doesn't cost you lots money to fix at some point or another.

I have noticed one thing out of all the cars on the road, I see more Mercedes that are 20 years old than old japanese, american, or other makes (BMW, VW, Audi, etc.).

With that in mind, I am assuming that there is only one reliable car, a Mercedes.

Sure the japanese cars can last a long time, but they can get very expensive to repair once the warranty is up.

At least I know that with my benz and a good mechanic, the cost will not be that expensive.

Even if I were to have to get the head, valves, and timing chain done, it would still be very cheap compared to other repairs on other cars.

My jeep needed new fuel injectors installed, cost me over $900.

A W124 300E/E320 in my opinion is a great car. you really can't go wrong with them. I've seen people buy them with well over 150k miles on them, and the cars have lasted easily for another 100k or more.

Its all in how well you take care of the car, if you never change the fluids, never fix large problems until they finally give, don't expect the car to last.

If you take care of it, and service it well, it will service you well for many years to come.

Want an example of how well built a mercedes can be? My brother has a 1985 380SL. he bought it with 110k on it. It had been sitting for 3 years garaged. the paint was clean interior clean, and the car ran very solid. He has basically done nothing to the car at all except one set of tires. He has not changed the oil often, maybe 4 or 5 times max, and the car now has 160k on it, and still drives great. in fact when I changed the oil a few weeks ago, it was so black, I nearly slapped my brother for waiting so long.

but all in all he has spent maybe $600 total in the last 2 years on the car. Now that to me is an excellent value. two years, $600 what more could you want? 10 years $3000? That sounds good to me.

If I could get away with driving any car for 2 years and only spend $600, most of which was tires, the rest on oil, I'd be damn pleased and would definately buy another in an instant.

Its like I love to say. you can't go wrong with a benz.


"Have you hugged your Benz today?"
'92 300CE - Sold
2004 C240 - C7 Wheels
2015 ML350 - P1, Pano, Ash poplar wood, Sport Dinamica interior, Running Boards Keyless go.
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Old 01-20-2001, 07:03 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Toronto, CANADA
Posts: 1,193
I think the term reliable doesn't really relate to cost of repairs. My car has needed some repairs lately that were a bit more costly than I would have liked them to be, but even at almost 15 years old and 180,000 miles the car has never let me down once. It has never failed to start, got me stuck, or left me high and dry anywhere. I am constantly seeing cars broken down on the side of the road (alot in the middle of the road), and all are cars newer than my own. Also, as discussed in other forums, Mercedes are not necessarily more expensive to fix. I have a friend with a Honda Accord that is less than 6 years old who replaced his distributor cap for the same cost I replaced my cap and rotor and wires (and those Mercedes Wires are bloody expensive). Just thing if you were given the job of buying all the parts necessary to build a Mercedes from scratch, compared with other cars. It would cost a heck of alot more and take much more time. But would it be worth it? You bet! I don't know of any model that is better on the maintanence budget than others. I do know that the big bodied S-Class (w140) is supposed to be the most expensive Benz to repiar and maintain since the 600 of the 60s and 70s. Your best bet in buying a Benz, if these repair costs are a concern is to buy a newer modelo with a starmark warranty. I don't know how much more it will cost you, but others on this forum say it is worth it.

Jason Priest
1999 E430
1995 E420 - retired
1986 420SEL - retired
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Old 01-20-2001, 09:54 AM
CJ CJ is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Earth
Posts: 1,318
Just to add my $0.02, I have several family members that really beat the piss out of cars, two of them are contractors and take the MBZ to construction sites daily!!! Despite all of this each one of thier MBZ has gone past the 500,000 mile mark with out any problems other than normal wera & tear. All of thier cars are diesels.
1982 240D, 1985 300SD and a 1985 300D.
Good luck!!!
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Old 01-20-2001, 10:06 AM
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Gainesville FL
Posts: 6,844
Unfortunately, the only car I would include in the low cost to own catagory would be the 91 126 chassis car.

The real low cost cars were the 80's diesels especially the manual transmission 240D with manual A/C and roll-up windows.

The 126 chassis is the only one of that era that made it into your 10 year catagory. All the cars built since then have become much more complex and have become that much harder to DIY or even to find a true tech that can keep the cost to only those needed.
Steve Brotherton
Continental Imports
Gainesville FL
Bosch Master, ASE Master, L1
33 years MB technician
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Old 01-20-2001, 01:52 PM
akry's Avatar
W140 Maniac
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Burnaby, BC, Canada
Posts: 960
Stick with latest W126 models or W124 models...they are the best bet, IMO.

Andy Kuo
1992 Mercedes-Benz 400SE

2002 Acura TL Type S
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Old 01-21-2001, 10:33 AM
Posts: n/a
During the useful life of my 240D I ALWAYS felt absolutely confident when taking off on a 600 mile or greater round trip, which was at least once a week in those days. I've never owned a non Mercedes in which I could have such confidence. It was very important for me to be in Little Rock, or Fort Smith, or Lubbock or Houston, and the car faithully got me there with minor situations through the years.

About a year ago the engine laid down while I was on the way to the office. I don't do the regional travel any more, the only travel I do now is by air. If it weren't for the fact that I just enjoy driving the 124 and 203 cars so much more, I would put the 240D back on the road and keep it going forever. The way the company I work for is going down the tube, I may end up forced to do that before too long anyway.

The 124 car has let me down once, the head corroded through. Partially my own fault. It went back together beautifully and is now what I drive most. I have the same absolute confidence with it that I did with the 240D. If I were to regionally travel again, the 124 would get me to every meeting reliably.

Have a great day,
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