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  #1  
Old 03-28-2001, 12:25 PM
CMCon98
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Well, my Dad is finally replacing his '89 Volvo 740 wagon with 160,000 miles on it. It has been an absolutely trouble-free, hassle-free car for him. He is 72 years old, and the last thing he needs is a car that needs frequent repairs or constant maintenance, or that is expensive to keep reliably on the road. He needs a station wagon, and will buy one that is a few years old ('92-'98). Subarus, Audis, and Volvo 850s are too small to carry all the golf bags, yard plants, etc. that he carries in his car, so he needs something fairly large. I really like the 124 300TE, but know little about their day to day reliability, maintenance costs, etc. Diesels are out, as are FWD cars. The alternative is another RWD Volvo; probably a 940 wagon. My Dad needs a car that NEVER dies on the road, with a/c, heat, wipers, etc. that work when they're supposed to, and a big, solid, sturdy feel that only Volvos and MBs seem to have. What do you folks think would be the better car for his needs?
Thanks in Advance!
Colin
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  #2  
Old 03-28-2001, 01:23 PM
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Colin,

If you will read my post under "Traded My Mercedes for a Lexus", you will understand why I would say get your father a Volvo. I understand that my experience seems not to be the norm, but it is my experience, nonetheless.

I bought a 1975 Volvo 240, a new model at the time. It had a lot of new model glitches. By the time I got to 20,000 miles, there had been so many problems I considered getting rid of it. However, Volvo continued fixing everything beyond the stated warranty period. After reaching 25,000 miles, everything was fixed apparently and I then drove the car another 100,000 miles with no problems at all.

When I moved to another car, I sold the Volvo to my daughter and son-in-law who used it for a number of years.

Incidentally, I too am 72 years old, so I understand why you want a reliable car for your father.
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  #3  
Old 03-28-2001, 01:34 PM
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Colin,

I doubt that there is a car out there which NEVER dies on the road If you're looking for peace of mind, perhaps a later model T would suit his needs. MBUSA offers 24hr roadside assistance for any Mercedes, be it a 1927 Mannheim or a 2001 S-Class. This coupled with the (discounted) Starmark warranty might be the best value available.

Kuan
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  #4  
Old 03-28-2001, 09:27 PM
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JCE JCE is offline
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I would look at IntelliChoice http://www.intellichoice.com/ic2/ which lets you enter a model car and determine operating expenses - both the 95 w124 wagon and the 95 940 Volvo wagon rate as excellent. I would also check http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/problems/tsb/servicemmy1.cfm for the problems/technical service bulletins to see what kind of obvious problems the cars have. The 95 MB had 1 (instrument cluster), the 95 940 had 5 (3AC, electrical, seat track). Useful starting points IMHO. Good luck on the search.
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  #5  
Old 03-29-2001, 12:11 AM
clacker
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I fail to see why a 124 wagon will do but an 850 wagon will not-I would have thought the Volvo was bigger! The 124 bodies are aging too, something that will effect its overall reliability. To buy a newer Mercedes wagon will cost some big dough! I would recommend the Volvo again, he is used to their quirkiness and driving habits. There are alot more of them available compared to Benz wagons too, hence lower price.
What about a Toyota Camry wagon? They have excellent ratings and were made during that time frame.
Greg
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  #6  
Old 03-29-2001, 12:58 AM
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Value for money, I'd go with a Volvo.

They're both the same for reliability.

For a little more or $$$, endurance and better technical/mechanical finishing, go for the MB.
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  #7  
Old 03-29-2001, 01:40 PM
CMCon98
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Thanks for the replies. The thing that rules out the 850 and Camry is that they are FWD. While they are both excellent cars, Dad prefers RWD.
Colin
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  #8  
Old 03-29-2001, 11:11 PM
Swanee
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My dad's got a '92 Volvo 940 which he faithfully sticks to. He claims that it can load in five golf bags + 4 golfing buddies most comfortably and i've have not heard of the car konking out on him. We've got a W202 at home as well but it only fits one golf bag so that's not terribly fetching for dad... though I covet it so (!).
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  #9  
Old 04-01-2001, 10:26 PM
BobB
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I think you answered your own question. Keep the 89 ! It only has 160,000 k on it with no trouble. Chances are you'll get another 200,000 k without anything major, other than normal maintenance items, brakes, tires, timing belt, etc. Our 82 240 has about 500,000 k on it, let my son down last winter, timing belt went, $40.00 to tow it home and $29.00 for a belt. Only time it has ever let us down.
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  #10  
Old 04-02-2001, 12:57 AM
Jason M.
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I wish my girlfriend's experience with a volvo had been as good as yours. a 91 740 sedan she bought new. Now has 140k miles on it. Electrical gremlins from the first week she bought the car. Relays blow, fuses blow, warning lights flicker. I've managed to fix a bit of faulty wiring that the dealer couldn't fix during 5 trips. A new transmission, starter, alternator, and water pump. The only thing that has gone right is that the pistons, rings, and cylinder heads are in excellent shape, everything else has been a terror. I'll take my MB any day.
PS: keep in mind thats in a dealer maintained car with near perfect service records.... whats a car without proper service look like?

Jason M,.
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  #11  
Old 04-02-2001, 01:05 AM
Johnson Chan
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I would say Volvo as well. They are not too expensive and safe. I am not a real big MB fan anymore.
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  #12  
Old 04-02-2001, 01:05 AM
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2 things spring to mind:

1. Its a 1991 Volvo ... let it be any other make, you're bound to have problems that comes with age. Rolls Royces and MB make no exception. Electronics, i.e. relay, fuses, etc are not predictable objects, but at least the mechanical components are fine as they ought to be.

2. Its a 740 - the engine was based on the 240 platform with little (if at all) any mods, which has had about 20 good years of use in them before being transplanted onto a new chasis.

I believe this 740 was one of the shortest model span for Volvo that was the catalyst in the re-thinking and design of future not-so-boxy cars. I quite like the way Volvo has designed their cars since the inception of the 740, leading up to the 940, 850 and S70. Remarkable.

But I'd still keep on to the MB.
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  #13  
Old 04-02-2001, 01:45 AM
Jason M.
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Y. M. Sin

I would agree with ya YM but the volvo had all of the above (except the transmission) replaced under warranty. Electrical problems present from week #1. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I havent been impressed with anything but the sheer engine mechanical longevity. Everything else has fallen apart.


Jason M.
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  #14  
Old 04-02-2001, 02:53 AM
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Hopefully you don't have to resort to sticking things around your car just so it won't fall apart ...

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  #15  
Old 04-02-2001, 05:35 AM
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Coincidentally, I have been looking at 850s and S70s - scouting for a possible good bargain. Don't know what I'd do if I do find a good one ...

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