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Old 05-08-2008, 08:31 PM
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2.8 Versus 3.0 Versus 3.2 V6

I'm looking at three different E300's. They are:
'93 with a 2.8,
'90 with a 3.0
'99 with a 3.2 (described as a V6)

They are all 100,000 mile cars, all with dealer-documented service, all selling for close enough to $6,000 so that the price difference isn't a big deal. Any opinions on which of these would be the most reliable, economical, most fuel efficient? I live in an area without a large population of Benz, except for the hippie-driven greasers and the retiree E's that they bought after selling the house in the Boston 'burbs and moving to the backwoods of Maine, where the mechanics know all about Chevy pickups.

The mileage claims from the various owners is interesting. The guy with the 3.0 says it gets 20 on the highway, the 2.8 claims 24, the 3.2 claims 26+. Does this make sense?
Thanks
SEO

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Old 05-08-2008, 08:57 PM
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The 1999 is an E320 E-Class, not a 300E (W124) like the two others. It is also a 18 valve - 12 sparkplug V-6, while the other two are inline sixes.
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Old 05-09-2008, 08:07 AM
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The 1999 model has a LOT more to offer. More air bags & better sound system.
Also more electronics..not a real DIYer.
Also the V-6 will out perform the other 2 choices in almost every way.
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Old 05-09-2008, 09:20 AM
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The '99 will deliver the best fuel economy. It also offers more power and better acceleration than the others. I'd bet the '99 will be the most reliable, just because it is so much newer. Others might argue the older cars are better built Benzes, but time takes its toll.

You likely won't have much luck with the local mechanics fixing any of them. Here again, I suspect the '99 offers the best option. It has OBDII compliant engine diagnostics, just like the pickup trucks. The older cars don't.

- JimY
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Old 05-09-2008, 11:31 AM
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The '99 is the answer - my wagon would get 26mpg with driving like a maniac on the highway - the V6 and the 5-speed auto is a great combo. Plus, it's eight years older than the others, which means less age-related failures.
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Old 05-09-2008, 12:57 PM
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I own carts with the single cam I6 (M103), the dual cam I-6 (m104) and two with the V6 320 engine ('98 E320 and a '02 C320).

Of all three, the V6s are more powerful have better accelaration and get better gas mileage. That is what the general consensus is.

The I6 (M103) engine is easy to fix and it is nearly bullet-proof. The I6 (M104) does not have as much acceleration as the V6s, but I think that has a lot to do with the transmission set up. The M104, like the M103, is easy to work on.

In one area the M104 bests the V6s and that is in its buttery smooth idle. Sitting inside my 300CE, with the engine running, the engine barely stirs. The V6s idle rougher.

BMW has stayed with its I6 engines, improving them over the years. There was probably some business-related eason why Benz went to V6 engines.

Hope this helps.

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