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  #1  
Old 01-26-2001, 06:09 PM
snoopy
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If anyone feels like weighing in, please do...

I'm looking at cars for my sister. Options include:
1992 190E 2.3 5spd with 83,000 miles! Asking $8k.
1987 300d with 130,000 miles! Asking around $7.5k
1987 300E with 120,000 miles. Also around $7.5k
1983 300D with 130,000 miles!!! Bout $7k

Any thoughts on better years, models, etc? I personally lean toward diesels.
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  #2  
Old 01-26-2001, 06:46 PM
JCE's Avatar
JCE JCE is offline
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Location: So Kalifornia
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I think a lot would depend on the records and history on each car - they all have something to offer. The 123 300D is supposed to be nearly indestructable, but heading onto 20 years old some of the rubber and plastic may be getting a bit stiff and brittle. The 190 is a 5 speed, which I like, and probably gets better gas mileage and is newer, but is smaller than the other cars. The 124 bodies are very solid and supposed to give high survivability in accidents, but get less mileage than the others for the gas model (about 22-23 hiway on my 87). That said, diesel fuel is more expensive than premium out here (1.99/gal), which kind of offsets some of the economy advantage over the gas.

I guess it depends on what you are looking for. Economy, safety, size, reliability, ease of freeway driving (rules out the 5 speed during rush hour out here - smell that clutch cooking!). They all sound pretty good, so choose the best condition, records and repair history that fits your needs.
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2003 Firemist Red/grey leather SL 500
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1987 Smoke Silver/burgundy mbtex 300E Sportline (SOLD)

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  #3  
Old 01-26-2001, 06:57 PM
Snow bum
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Here and there . . .
Posts: 238
There are obviously a variety of factors to look at with any car purchase besides just the make and year. That said, and keeping in mind that I have not seen any of these cars, I am inclined to lean toward the 1987 300D or the 1992 190E. The W123 chassis of the 1983 300D has proven to be durable, and 130k is relatively low mileage for such a car, but $7k sounds a little pricey. I checked kbb.com, and the trade-in value for such a car in excellent condition in my location (Denver, CO) is only $1650, so $7k sounds excessive.

It has been said time and time again that the W124 chassis is your best buy in a used MB, period. I'm not sure I totally agree, but the W124 chassis is definitely a good bet. Additionally, the Mercedes diesel is one of the most long lasted engines ever put into a passenger vehicle. For that reason I would choose the 87 300D over the 87 300E.

The 190E may be a good choice, and the asking price seems reasonable. The manual transmission is a good feature when you consider long term reliability, and the car has lower mileage. I would seriously look at the 87 300D or the 92 190E.
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Ben

The MBs:
1976 300D (W115) - 330K and still going (sort of)
1991 300D 2.5 Turbo - Sold at 221K
1983 280SEL - Sold at 206K
1981 300SD - Sold at 232K
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  #4  
Old 01-26-2001, 07:09 PM
DALE DORIA's Avatar
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I agree with Ben..Go for either the '87 300D or the '92 190E. We had a '92 190E and really liked the car. It was very reliable and never gave any mechanical problems. The back seat is small, but my wife really loved this car. Good Luck!
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  #5  
Old 01-26-2001, 07:12 PM
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out of those cars I don't think you can go wrong buying any of them.

I personally like the 124 chassis cars, but the 190e is also a very good car, and the w123 diesel is also a great car.

I didn't know they made the 190e 2.3 in 1992 with a 5 speed. I thought they stopped doing th 5 speed in 87-88? and I thought all 190e's after 1989 were 2.6 litre m103 engines.

If it were me looking to make a purcahse on any of those cars, I'd go for the one with the best records, and I'd check to see if the 87 300E has had the timing chain done and valve guides/seals done. if it hasn't then it is probably due for them.

One last thing to consider. How do you feel when driving each of them. the one that gives you the biggest smile is the one I would go for. hehe

Everytime I get in my car, I smile as I fire up the engine. and I smile more when I drive.

Alon
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  #6  
Old 01-26-2001, 07:51 PM
Snow bum
 
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Location: Here and there . . .
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Alon, I believe that they stopped producing the W124 with a manual for U. S. purchase in the late 80s. I think that the W201 was available in the U. S. with a manual until its demise. But I could be wrong.
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The MBs:
1976 300D (W115) - 330K and still going (sort of)
1991 300D 2.5 Turbo - Sold at 221K
1983 280SEL - Sold at 206K
1981 300SD - Sold at 232K
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  #7  
Old 01-26-2001, 08:00 PM
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I agree with Ashman

All things being equal, buy the one that makes you grin the most and longest.

The lobbyists in my firm represent some of the air quality management groups in this part of California so I've been exposed to the diesel air pollution issue somewhat. I'm not sure about this with passenger cars, but I do know that commercial diesel vehicles are the source of a significant amount of the junk in our air around here. That aside, I previously owned a 240D and a 300D and they were both terrific cars. I sold the D and bought an E simply because of the acceleration factor. (Hottee18 is gonna kill me...)

If the air thing matters to you, you might check out that aspect of your purchase.

Someone is going to comment that my 300E, pound for pound of particulate matter per gallon burned, is just as dirty as my 300D was....
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  #8  
Old 01-26-2001, 08:11 PM
roas
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This one is easy! (I think?)

You said sister, so show her a picture of the cars like at, http://www.dhc.net/~pmhack/mercedes/models.htm.

Then ask her is she wants the auto or the manual, 8 out of 10 times the women will say Auto, that will probably elimate the 190e.

Usually newer is better and gas as well, females usually hate the diesel smell!

Flame suit ON!

Ross
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  #9  
Old 01-26-2001, 10:38 PM
CJ CJ is offline
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I wouold have to say that I would go with the 87 300D. I have a 1991 300D and I love the car. Unfortunately my Wife does not appreciate that I go down to the garage and tuck my car in at night, not to mentioned that snuggling a car in 30 degrees looks silly to the neighbors!!
:0
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  #10  
Old 01-27-2001, 12:01 AM
roas
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TXBill,

Ahhhhh, Texas. The land of "Big Hair"!

How I miss my old home. LOL
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  #11  
Old 01-27-2001, 12:58 AM
jeepguy
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1987 300D, but if you could get the $$$ lowered on the 1983 300D to around $4500, go for that! You wont go wrong with any of the diesels, just don't pay too much!!!
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  #12  
Old 01-27-2001, 08:54 AM
2.5 TURBO
 
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Location: Send me back to Atlanta
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Check out Ebay

I bought my 1983 300D Turbo with 150000 miles in Atlanta for $5300, $7500 seems high. Check out Ebay there are a lot of good dealers like this one.

He is called Mr. Wholesale and no I don't know this guy he just seems to have nice cars..



http://cgi6.ebay.com/ebaymotors/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewListedItems&userid=mrwholesale@excite.com
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1993 Teal 300 D (160K) Sold
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  #13  
Old 01-27-2001, 01:08 PM
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Hello Snoopy, IMHO- I prefer the older cars (116,123 diesel MB; Series III Jags etc.) but for your sister I would recommend what others have already stated- "the smile factor". All cars drive differently and I believe that I just have to "feel" the right one. I find the 124's handle more like American cars than European.. perhaps your sister would prefer that. I am always looking for/at older cars and am now searching for a friend of mine who wants one just like mine. I find the back roads offer used auto dealers who are willing to deal more with a buyer than big city folks. I wold take the following steps in choosing a vehicle for your sister: Have her drive and pick out 2 that she "smiles" about. Then find someone who knows something about MBs and let them drive those two and give their opinions. (what sounds do you hear traveling 5-15mph? How is the accelration/gear change? Does it shimmy at 60 and level off at 62? How does it feel at 80mph? etc). When she picks the one she wants, see if you are allowed to take it to an MB mechanic to inspect (might cost a little, but he can give you knowledg about the engine etc. that might save you headaches in the future). If someone knows about MBs they can tell you what might need to be fixed/replaced in the near or far future. Having said all that, I too believe the prices are way to high. Even with the relative low milage on the diesels, for $7k you would be hard pressed to get your money out of it through resale. I just paid $2k for an 82D that NADA lists for $4900 in perfect condition.. mine is 98.7% perfect... so the deals are out there, one just has to spend the time to look. Good Luck!
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Nello Tare

1982 300D (266,001 mi.) looking and running great

Previously owned:
1976 450 SLC
1983 300D
1976 300D
also
1982 Jaguar XJ6 (loved, but gone)
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  #14  
Old 01-27-2001, 01:35 PM
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TxBill, For $7k on an "older" MB maybe it comes with a big haired lady in the back seat. Or, in Snoopys sister case.. a big haired man.
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Nello Tare

1982 300D (266,001 mi.) looking and running great

Previously owned:
1976 450 SLC
1983 300D
1976 300D
also
1982 Jaguar XJ6 (loved, but gone)
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