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  #1  
Old 01-16-2003, 12:46 AM
tivoliman's Avatar
Happy with Mercedes
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 364
What car fir a 16 year old?

Daughter just got license and is asking for a car.

My response to date has been NO!!!

Well, let's think - what if I bought her one -

My concerns are :
Safety
Reliability
Cost

One suggestion I was given - 190D
Safe, not fast, but rare - may be expensive.
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Thanks for the help
Bill Fisher

'86 560SL (186K) - Now a 'classic' : Registered as an Historic Vehicle
'95 E420 (198K)
'99 E320 (80K)
'03 LS430 (Lexus)
- - - - -
'95 E420 (231K) Sold to a happy buyer, new to Mercedes
'90 300E (65K) Sold to an Mercedes Lover
'92 190E (215K) - retired to the salvage yard, sigh
'93 500SEL (214K) - Moved to another family, still runs like a young pup
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  #2  
Old 01-16-2003, 12:56 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Middletown, DE
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safe and slow, but not rare. Depends which 190D. My 2.2 (4 cylinder) is very slow, but very reliable. relatively dependable. Great first car except VERY underpowered (0-60 mph in about 17 seconds as per factory spec). That's not good if she gets in a jam and needs to get out in a hurry, say, when that 18-wheeler is about to hit her. Car teaches you timing and patience. 2.2's were sold '84-'84.

The 5 cylinder 2.5 is, apparently as reliable but much faster. like having a 6 cyl. with a 4 cyl. fuel consumption. These are rare and I don't know much about'em. My190D is a daily (124 miles per day) driver and is as reliable as my 1996 mustang. I fully expect my 2 year old drive it in 14 years as his first car (I'm NOT kidding).
feel free to ask any other questions.
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1985 190D 2.2l Sold-to Brother-in-law
1996 Mustang 3.8l -"thinks it's a sports car"
1988 Grand Wagoneer - Sold (good home)
1995 Grand Cherokee Ltd -"What was I thinking??!!"
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  #3  
Old 01-16-2003, 03:41 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Long Island
Posts: 10
i agree that a very slow car can actually be unsafe -- i've avoided many an accident by hitting the gas, not the brake.

another thing to think about is the availability of diesel in your area -- does NJ have it at most pumps? if not, it might be safer to go with gasoline.

having said that, i would have killed for ANY mercedes when i was 16, so your daughter is pretty lucky just for having you consider buying her one...
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1989 560SEL
1993 400E
1994 E320 wagon
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  #4  
Old 01-16-2003, 08:26 AM
LarryBible
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I started both my kids in 123 diesels. They are difficult to tear up and very slow. The kids enjoyed that they were "driving a Mercedes."

My son started in a 240D manual transmission and my daughter in a 300D, which, of course, are all automatics.

Worked great for us.

Good luck,
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  #5  
Old 01-16-2003, 09:38 AM
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Location: North Central Kentucky
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I vote for the 123 body. Try to find a 240D manual shift. The biggest problem with the automatics was the off the line abilities. Once underway my 300D is fine. It just scares you to try to pull out in traffic. Handles very well. Ferocious four wheel disk brakes. Body like a Tiger tank. Should be fairly cheap to buy and own if you shop carefully. Biggest trick is to not expect to find it in a week.
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  #6  
Old 01-16-2003, 09:39 AM
Potomac German Auto
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Frederick, MD
Posts: 407
I am w/ Larry on this one !!!

The 240D is a very reliable car and the OM616 engine will run & run & run w/ the right maintenance. Safety in this car shouldn't be too big of a concern for you. The 240D like all other Mercedes is a VERY safe vehicle.

Another bonus is that the car is pretty econmical on fuel costs. !!
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  #7  
Old 01-16-2003, 11:23 AM
1992300e
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What ever she can afford

I vote she get which ever car she can afford.....

Just kidding, I am sure i'll be first in line to buy my kid a car when the time comes. Our first is on schedule for a june arrival. I am thinking S55AMG

I have often thought that a standard is a good first car. I think it's important to know how to drive a stick, you never know when it will come in handy and I think it keeps the driver alert and involved.

I am not sure if I would get a Mercedes as a first car for my kid. With all the systems and potential problems I am not sure it would be worth the effort unless you are handy and a DIY. Kids seem to find a way to break stuff.

I don't want to make any enemies on this site, as without your help my 300e would still be sitting in my garage. Plus I enjoy the threads and personalities. But I find the jap cars bullet proof, easy to work on, easy to drive and if new enough very safe.

Maybe my 300e wasn't properly maintained prior to my purchase, even though I have the records from previous owner and he did all factory recommended work at dealer.

Just my 2 cents,
Joel
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  #8  
Old 01-16-2003, 12:52 PM
LarryBible
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The 123 is much more rugged and reliable than the 124. I've driven them both, and that's my opinion and experience.

Good luck,
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  #9  
Old 01-16-2003, 01:13 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 563
I bought an '88 300SEL for my 16 year old. Nice big luxury sedan with an underpowered (but not slow) motor. It has decent acceleration because they cranked up the rearend, but he's not going to want to race anybody. He actually picked the body style and I found the car. I've had it for about 3 months now and I've gotten very familiar with the M103 engine. There seem to be a LOT of people in this forum with that engine, so information is plentiful.

Driver airbag too.
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1988 560SL Black/Palomino
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  #10  
Old 01-16-2003, 05:40 PM
WRS WRS is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Herndon, VA
Posts: 24
When I was 16 I bought a '77 300D. It was slow, but bearable.

It never left me stranded and put up with a 35 miles of commuting to school every day loaded with 5 kids.

I could afford the maintenance and fuel bills too.

It wasn't the coolest car around, but I never got pulled over in it either. When a kid in the parking lot hit me from behind, his car had over $1000 in damage, mine had a scratch.

Now I'm on my 3rd Benz.
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  #11  
Old 01-16-2003, 06:14 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Portsmouth UK
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Wink

Hi Tivoliman

If my 16 year old daughter asked for a car it would have to be something like a 1:32 scale model - still they are pretty safe.

But then 17 is the legal age for driving in UK.
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230 TE (W124) 1989 with 153,000 miles on the clock - hoping for at least another 100K
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  #12  
Old 01-16-2003, 07:18 PM
tivoliman's Avatar
Happy with Mercedes
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 364
Talking thanks

Well actually I'm still holding back on buying any car, as I didn't get one one till I was in college.

I was interested to learn the popularity of desiels.

we will see...

comment the actual real license is at age 17.
__________________
Thanks for the help
Bill Fisher

'86 560SL (186K) - Now a 'classic' : Registered as an Historic Vehicle
'95 E420 (198K)
'99 E320 (80K)
'03 LS430 (Lexus)
- - - - -
'95 E420 (231K) Sold to a happy buyer, new to Mercedes
'90 300E (65K) Sold to an Mercedes Lover
'92 190E (215K) - retired to the salvage yard, sigh
'93 500SEL (214K) - Moved to another family, still runs like a young pup
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  #13  
Old 01-16-2003, 11:10 PM
ILUVMILS's Avatar
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Location: New Jersey, U.S.A.
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Awww, c'mon Dad. How 'bout a nice CL600? Safe? Yep. Reliable? Absolutely! Cost? ..................Hey, it's your little girls first car!!! Good luck
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  #14  
Old 01-16-2003, 11:19 PM
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Location: Evansville, Indiana
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A 190E 2.3L would also be a good choice -- decent milage, no severe maintenance problems I know of, and fairly common, also getting a bit long in the tooth now, so not too expensive.

My perfect idea of a first car for anyone except the occasional truely reliable kid is a junker that barely runs. That way, when they run that traffic light or go too fast on an icy road and spin out into a culvert, you won't hurt so bad since it was junk anyway. Ditto for driving with their foot to the floor with the oil pressure light on.......

Seriously, if she is a reliable kid, a 190E would be a good combination of reliability, safety, and economy.

Peter
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1972 220D ?? miles
1988 300E 200,012
1987 300D Turbo killed 9/25/07, 275,000 miles
1985 Volvo 740 GLE Turobodiesel 218,000
1972 280 SE 4.5 165, 000 - It runs!
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  #15  
Old 01-16-2003, 11:20 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Okanogan County, WA
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First Car

I'm assembling a fleet of 123's for my three youngsters. I don't feel that the 300D's are slow off the line. the lower geering makes thim move out with some alacrity. My 126, on the other hand is s. l. o. w. off the line, but cruises close to 80 at less than 3500rpm as opposed to 65mph@3000rpm in the 123's.

I would also prefer that the kids learn in a manual trans. car, but they seem hard to come by these days.

...I ramble on. A diesel MB is the perfect first car. Reliable, Durable, Safe, Economical and the satisfaction of driving the best.

RBM
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