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  #1  
Old 10-25-2002, 07:48 PM
Holson Adi's Avatar
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Question 1994 E320 Sedan - $16,500.00 Worth it?

I found this decent sample of E320 Sedan on a dealer's lot. It's actually on E-bay too.

I went to look at it test drove it and found the following.

Powerful engine, and brakes.. :p obviously...

Missing left headlight wiper, inoperative right side headrest adjuster, a few scratches here and there.. a missing piece of the rear bumper... nothing major.

The transmission was smooth, engine was very free revving (I never drove such a powerful car...coming from a diesel)

The best thing is Starmark Warranty for 1 yr - 100,000 mi from whenever I purchase it.

62000 mi

The interior is clean, except for a cracked center console but that's no big deal I could probably find a used one for free again.. hehehe

The leather was really nice.

The guy also told me that whatever I want to have done will be done.. (perhaps I could ask for oil, and all other fluid changes)
Alignment, and wheel balance will be done.. (it is a Benz dealer)

What do you guys think?

KBB says it's $16,000.
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  #2  
Old 10-25-2002, 09:12 PM
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Seems awfully high.

I see 1993 300E (3.2's) / 1994-1995 E320's everyday in the Los Angeles Times in the $12,000 - $13,000 range.

Might be worth it for the warranty, but I know aftermarket warranties are available, too.
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  #3  
Old 10-25-2002, 09:48 PM
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How could this car be starmarked with all those faults you mention. are there service records with the car?
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  #4  
Old 10-25-2002, 09:53 PM
John_Schwarz
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The price is high - MBZ Starmarked cars run about 20% higher than those found elsewhere. Will you get the premium back when you go to sell it - probably not. Since you're paying a premium, you should get a next-to-perfect car. This is nit-picking, but if I had to do it again, here's everything I would check:

Scrutinize the body for body work/paint. Look down the sides of the car for any waves or dings. There should be none; it should be perfectly smooth. The paint should be in very good condition - make sure the clear coat isn't wearing thin (roof, hood & trunk). Check the wheels - is the clear coat coming off?

Check the chrome pieces on the bumpers the grey paint below on the side panels. If the car has been in accident, this grey paint tends to flake off easily. Look for areas on the car where the clear coat is bumpy like an orange peel - this shows that the car has been painted. Look at spaces between the body panels - does anything look crooked?

Carfax is a good start, but don't count on it to tell you the whole story. My E420 showed one accident; it had been in two.

Check the headlights for rock chips, and lights for cracks or broken plastic.

Goto the service department and have them run the VIN, being Starmarked all its repairs should be in their database. See what's been done, maintenance, etc. See if mileage at the repair times compares with current mileage shown.

Let the engine run at idle for 15/20 minutes - see how the temperature looks. See if the engine is mis-firing at all. Turn the steering wheel from lock-to-lock, listen for thunks. Check the tail pipe for any greasy residue or oil. Rev the engine and feel for mis-fires as tech goes up and comes down.

Tires should be very close to new. Check every single button - does it do what it should? Be sure to turn the AC on and off. Turn on every gizmo - check the electrical load. Test the stereo and make sure all the speakers are working.

Drive car through parking lots & over speed bumps - listen for odd thunks. Go through a residential areas doing lots of turns. Drive on the highway, check the cruise control, shift from drive into 3rd, etc. Check for passing power.

For the flaws you pointed out, have them replace the wiper, fix the headrest, replace the missing molding piece(s). If the wood is cracked on the center console, those can be hard to find. From the dealer it is very expensive. It's an easy fix provided you can find one with the holes cut out as you need.

With 62k miles, have them do the 60k service if it has not already been done. Brakes might be just around the corner - at least the pads. Have them replace the battery. Have them perform a state inspection.

I know people think I'm probably being too picky; but nothing worse than driving off the lot with a new-used car and then having to go to dealer/repair shop to get things put right.

A '94 E320 is about $14k, '95 E320 is about $15k. Lots of variables (condition, mileage, etc.). Some options were -

Rear Sunshade
Heated Seats - highly suggest - those seats get cold in the winter!
CD Changer
ASR
Built in cell-phone (worthless now)

On car of this age, 1 year 12k warranty is around $1200; 2 years 24k is about $2400. They vary depending on how much is covered (mechanical, electrical, brakes, suspension, etc).

Good luck.
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Old 10-25-2002, 10:53 PM
turbodiesel
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You can find a 1996 E300 Diesel for that price. It's too high.
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  #6  
Old 10-26-2002, 10:54 AM
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hehe I thought I was getting a good deal I guess not.

The car's warranty is a new car warranty as in it covers everything on the car, except for brake pads and stuff.

The right rear door's bottom is a little out of alignment though and it doesn't make sense to me that an 8 yr old car would need its rear door aligned.. maybe it says something?

It has heated seats, and ASR.

I know how you feel about nit picking though after I bought my first used car, which is really good mechanically (well I didn't pay much for it.. but still)
Right now I kinda want a close to perfect used MB.

Thanks for the suggestions guys.
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  #7  
Old 10-26-2002, 12:06 PM
Shaun McCarren
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Many dealers won't complete the Starmark repairs until they actually sell it, so that if they have say a dealer trade...they didn't spend all the time on the car.
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  #8  
Old 10-27-2002, 04:19 PM
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Well I found another one another Starmark'd car.

1995 E320 Special Edition with 37,000 mi for $24,900!!

I haven't looked at this one yet but will look at it Monday and test drive it or something. I hope this one's in a much better shape.
I'm very picky and will probably nit pick this time. With only 37,000 mi. it better be close to new.

It's Azure Blue with Oyster Leather Interior. Nice color I think.

These are its options..
Quote:
Optional Features:

- E1: Value Added Pkg
- E2: Value Added Pkg
- Leather Str Wheel/Shift Knob
- Special Edition Package
- Burl Walnut Trim
Could anybody shed some light on the packages? I can't really find any info on what they are.

KBB says it's $19,750. If the car does demand a 20% premium...
I'm guessing $23k is more like it?

This is a lot of money, I could get a pretty well used hi mileage 500E...

However I really think that the E320 is pretty powerful...enough for me.


Another car that I'm considering is a 1998 BMW 540i 6-speed for $26,000 also certified but I think it has 57k mi. Its options are heated seats and steering wheels and BMW's premium sound system.

I like the E320 more but the BMW sounds more like a good deal and its sound system is probably better..
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Last edited by Holson Adi; 10-27-2002 at 04:25 PM.
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  #9  
Old 10-27-2002, 06:03 PM
John_Schwarz
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I suggest searching on autotrader, ebay and carmax. I'm not advocating this as the place to buy a car, but it will give you a very good indication of market value. I'd be really surprised if find more than 1 or 2 above $16k.

At the $25k, the only W124 I'd consider at that price is a '95 E320 Cabriolet or an E500 (which seem to falling in price too).

While 37k miles is definately low mileage, the car is still 7 or 8 years old. Rubber seals, gaskets, bushings, etc., all fall victim to time. Also, in the Northeast, salt on the roads doesn't help matters either. I would not expect this to be a maintenance free vehicle.

Along the lines of Turbodiesel's comment about $16k for '96 300D; the prices are really falling fast on the '96-'02 E Classes. The new body style will cause those cars to lose around 10 to 15% market value between now and next April.

With a bit of patience, you might find a newer car with at lower price.
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  #10  
Old 10-27-2002, 07:23 PM
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Again, the price is incredibly high.

I don't car what KBB says, they are always high.

You can find '94-'95 E320's everyday from $12-$14k on average, and have trouble finding one for above $16k.

Even '95 E420's are in the $13k-$15k range.

That dealer is living on another planet.
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  #11  
Old 10-27-2002, 07:41 PM
John_Schwarz
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Ebay is "littered" with '96 thru '98 E's around $25k. Here are some prices of with the "Buy It Now" option:

'99 E320 Wagon
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=1870756561
Buy It Now: $24.9K

'99 E320 Sedan
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=1871073923
Buy It Now: $27k

'98 E320 Sedan
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=1871101280
Buy It Now: $25.9k

'95 E320 Convertible
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=1870969798
Buy It Now: $27.9 (71k Miles)
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  #12  
Old 10-27-2002, 09:31 PM
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test drive the 540i/6, my dad has a 528i and it drives like a dream. The steering wont be as precise as a 528i, due to the fact it uses recirc ball over rack'n'pinion. Drive both, then decide, both great cars IMO.
R
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  #13  
Old 10-27-2002, 10:59 PM
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I'm gonna go give that E320 a look anyway and maybe they might ask for less.

Those W210's sure look tempting but I am not into the styling. I'll look around for other cars. Right now though warranty is a priority....

I do agree that the money could get me into an E320 Cabriolet or even an E420 easily I guess add Extended Warranty..

I'll keep looking around... thanks for all the comments.

Ryan,

What do you mean that the 540i 6-speed uses recirculating ball steering instead of rack and pinion of the 528i? Is it because it's the early 5-series?
or do you mean that the E320 should feel less taut?

This BMW sounds like a good deal actually with the BMW warranty. Its value should be more like $30k right? I wonder what's up with it.

Today I saw a nice W126 560SEL in Silver. When I saw that though... I just couldn't help but think I still want an 80's Benz...
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Old 10-27-2002, 11:44 PM
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No, actually the two differant 5 series cars use the differant steering because of the differant engines. The 4.4l v8 versus the 2.8l inline six. That price does seem about right. You may be able to find a 2000 528i five speed for around that price range too. A 528i would have comprable power to an E320. Go to www.roadfly.org and look at the forums there, if your serious about it ask there, they can give you many tips on what to look for. The CPO warranty is definately important with that car, it's basically a solid car with only a few issues. Those issues include broken radiator necks at around 80k, water pumps around the same time, and catalytic converters(When these go put on high flow ones, cheaper and better). The 528i has the same issues less the catylitic converter issues. If your more interested in the track record of our 528i and issues i see with it(i'm nit picky as hell), just let me know. Any more questions i can probably answer too, i read about as much on bimmers as i do on this board.
R
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  #15  
Old 10-28-2002, 12:50 AM
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Wow that is weird... kinda don't make sense to me. Why would they put the 'inferior' steering system on the 540i. What does the M5 have?

If the 540i is nice I might jump into BMW. However I'd most definitely keep the diesel despite all its problems.. heheh
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