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Old 11-23-2001, 09:47 PM
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Question All wheel drive recommendations ?

No sooner do I finish up on my '87 560SEL (new dash and seats, valve job, replacing self-levelling rear suspension with "standard" version from a 420SEL, rubbing peanut butter on the door handles, etc...) than I find myself moving a new town... one with steep steep roads and 20+ feet of snow a year. So my beloved Big Body Benz has now become my summer car and it's time to look for a winter ride - which will have to be AWD, since even if you are the world's best driver the highway patrol will make you stop and put chains on a 2WD.

There's not many options apparently, in AWD sedans. After the W124 (90-93) 4matics, there was apparently a gap of several years where MB didn't make AWD cars. This probably would have been the age car I would have gone for, so now I have to decide between the older models (more maintainence than I want to do) or the newer (more $ than I want to spend). Any opinions on this? Or are there any other cars I should consider? I did like the early 90s Audi V8 Quattros but think that could too easily turn into a maintenence nightmare. Maybe AMG or someone else made a tricked out 4matic that would make me feel better about the extra cash?

Hopefully I won't have to buy a Subaru and bring shame to my family.

Too bad there was no W126 4matic. No THAT would be a nice ride.

87 560SEL 130000 Miles
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Old 11-24-2001, 08:56 AM
renok7's Avatar
Registered User
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Montrťal
Posts: 95
Hi Matthew,

I live in Montrťal, Canada and own a '93 300E 4Matic. This is the best car I've had for winter driving. Unfortunately, it appears that a lot people neglect to check the transfer case oil regularly and this can lead to major repair costs. If you do decide to buy one, make sure that you have the AWD checked thoroughly. Also, they are prone to electrical problems but so are a lot of the MB products. They were often purchased as a winter car in the Northern States and in Canada so there are quite a few low mileage 300E 4Matic available out there. I got mine with 49,000 miles 15 months ago.

Good Luck,

P.S. BTW, If you do a search on 4Matic on this forum you might just go for the Subaru

'93 300E 4Matic
'98 Nissan Altima
'00 Yamaha Road Star Silverado

Last edited by renok7; 11-24-2001 at 09:55 AM.
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Old 11-24-2001, 11:12 AM
Lebenz's Avatar
backwoods member
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: In the fog
Posts: 2,862
Take a look at the year 2000 or later ML series, or even a new one. They are actually less expensive to operate than a typically malfunctioning 4-matic.

BTW, if you intend to use your older 4-matic in town, thatís where you are begging problems. The older 4-matic system experiences extreme wear in stop and go traffic.

Also MB reintroduced the 4-matic line in MY 98, but with a completely different awd system. You can find MB sedans and wagons with awd starting from this model year. In non-MB vehicles, Iíd make a bee line to the Volvo XC series. Itís well built and performs great. Newer Audis are also a good choice, and on a similar line, VW has a new line of awd vehicles that Iíve heard good things about. Subaru is also not bad. It is probably far wiser to get a new Subaru than an older MB 4-matic. BTW, where are you moving to???

And if you want something old but very reliable, the pre-Chrysler Jeep line was pretty good! Especially the V8 powered Wagoner. I still see as many of these in snow country as about anything else!


'00 ML320 "Casper"
'92 400E "Stella"
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