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  #1  
Old 05-30-2013, 08:23 PM
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Location: Tega Cay, SC
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Thinking about replacing the 300TD with a newer 300TE or e320

I have a 84 300TD that I'm about to throw in the towel on. I love the old diesel but am getting sick of it breaking down. I've been shopping a bit for newer wagons. I don't know much about the W124 and W210 models though. I saw a few 300TE and e320's in my price range( < $5000). How are these regarding reliability? I'm also considering 90's Camry wagons and Taurus wagons because they have 3rd row seats as well. In your opinion, which is the most reliable of those cars?

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  #2  
Old 05-31-2013, 07:10 AM
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I'll refrain from commenting on the non MB choices.

I've owned and driven each diesel series starting with a W115 220D, including 3 W123s, and 2 W124s.

We had an 87 300TD for 13 years, and have owned it's replacement, a 95 E320 wagon for eight.

You will find the W124 chassis wagons a nice upgrade from the W123 wagons. The only diesel choice is the 87 model year, and it's price reflects it's rarity. It's also at the beginning of the model run, and as such, doesn't have all the updates made over the ten year run.

All things considered, we're pretty happy with the 95 wagon. My wife misses the 'noise" from her TD, but otherwise it's a much more pleasant car all around. In town mileage suffers by comparison, but on the highway, the powerful M104 engine only lags by 4-5mpg.

The 94-95 wagons are bargains on the market right now, and many nice ones can still be had, but take your time, and find one that is in top shape, don't get seduced by a bargain, needy car.

Good luck,

Jim
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14 E250 BlueTEC black. 45k miles
95 E320 Cabriolet Emerald green 66k miles
94 E320 Cabriolet Emerald green 152k miles
85 300TD 4 spd man, euro bumpers and lights, 15" Pentas dark blue 274k miles
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  #3  
Old 05-31-2013, 07:46 AM
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If truly looking to steer away from steady repairs you'll probably want to go for a W203, W210 or W211 wagon....a well maintained low miles example will be the best in terms of low repair rate. We just went through this finding my bro a car, his W123 was constantly needing things and everything didn't work right (except engine), so he ended up with a very nice 2002 E320 W210. Its a fantastic machine. Quite an upgrade
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-diesel is not just a fuel, its a way of life-
'15 GLK250 Bluetec 118k - mine - (OC-123,800)
'17 Metris(VITO!) - 37k - wifes (OC-41k)
'09 Sprinter 3500 Winnebago View - 62k (OC - 67k)
'13 ML350 Bluetec - 95k - dad's (OC-98k)
'01 SL500 - 103k(km) - dad's (OC-110,000km)
'16 E400 4matic Sedan - 148k - Brothers (OC-155k)
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  #4  
Old 05-31-2013, 09:19 AM
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My budget precludes me from looking at too new a model. One shop said to steer away from the dual cam engines and stick with the single cam which are earlier years of the W124(?). He had a 92 300TE in pretty good shape mechanically although it had high mileage. That same shop also had a 2002 C-Class wagon for a good deal because the A/C doesn't work. 2002 Mercedes-Benz C-Class 4dr Wgn 3.2L - Inventory | Gunter's Mercedes Sales & Service | Auto dealership in Rock Hill, South Carolina That price it a bit higher than I am looking but it seems like a nice car.
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  #5  
Old 05-31-2013, 09:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by byronnash View Post
My budget precludes me from looking at too new a model. One shop said to steer away from the dual cam engines and stick with the single cam which are earlier years of the W124(?).
Why, exactly?

Quote:
Originally Posted by byronnash View Post
He had a 92 300TE in pretty good shape mechanically although it had high mileage.
Oh. Nevermind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by byronnash View Post
That same shop also had a 2002 C-Class wagon for a good deal because the A/C doesn't work. 2002 Mercedes-Benz C-Class 4dr Wgn 3.2L - Inventory | Gunter's Mercedes Sales & Service | Auto dealership in Rock Hill, South Carolina That price it a bit higher than I am looking but it seems like a nice car.
Isn't that a twincam?

Again, the W104 is a nicer engine. 30+ more HP, and better economy. Plus, a first gear start and a lower diff ratio.

Whilst I could have purchased a W210 wagon for less than I spent on my pristine 95 (in 2005), I did not want to deal with the issues that bedevil the W210 chassis. Newer technology, coupled with MBs first foray into cost cutting their components have made me bearish on owning one. (EX 1: one window switch fails, all switches need to be replaced as a unit. EX 2: Tailight assemblies melt due to overheating circuits. EX 3: Headlight switch doesn't turn on headlights. It only "request" that the lights be turned on, a computer "decides" if it's going to actually turn them on. Needless complication.)

My 95 wagon has not been problematic, and has required very little other than routine maintenance during our period of ownership (40k miles/8 years). The only big ticket item that I had to replace was the evaporator shortly after I bought it. After 20 years spent maintaining W124 cars, I'm as comfortable with them as I am with the older models.

Jim
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14 E250 BlueTEC black. 45k miles
95 E320 Cabriolet Emerald green 66k miles
94 E320 Cabriolet Emerald green 152k miles
85 300TD 4 spd man, euro bumpers and lights, 15" Pentas dark blue 274k miles
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  #6  
Old 05-31-2013, 12:57 PM
pawoSD's Avatar
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 15,438
The w203 C320 wagons are very nice and are mechanically quite simple. So far so good on my brother's W210, its a 2002 so the very last year they were produced.
__________________
-diesel is not just a fuel, its a way of life-
'15 GLK250 Bluetec 118k - mine - (OC-123,800)
'17 Metris(VITO!) - 37k - wifes (OC-41k)
'09 Sprinter 3500 Winnebago View - 62k (OC - 67k)
'13 ML350 Bluetec - 95k - dad's (OC-98k)
'01 SL500 - 103k(km) - dad's (OC-110,000km)
'16 E400 4matic Sedan - 148k - Brothers (OC-155k)
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  #7  
Old 05-31-2013, 04:33 PM
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Outside DC
Posts: 384
The W124 has a much-deserved reputation as a trouble free, reliable workhorse once you get it sorted out. Mine has been trouble free for 10 years and 70K miles. Sorting out, though, separates the men from the boys. Or the wannabe owners from those that will get 400K out of their gassers. Head gaskets, wiring harnesses, slipping transmissions and evaporators are the problems. Never heard of anyone having to replace one of these things twice.

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