In General, how dependable is a used Mercedes?

In General, how dependable is a used Mercedes?
I have always wanted a Mercedes, just thought of them as dependable nice looking vehicles yet not too flashy (base C280 type models from mid 90s is
what I have in mind), but as I look at those cars in that range on autotrader and such, I find most have about 100,000 + miles on them and I wanted to ask in general how dependable are they after 100,000 miles, or is that why everyone is selling them (cuz they know after 100K things start falling apart?)
I know my Pontiac Sunbird and my Chevy Impala both had major issues in their life once they hit 100,00 to 120,000 miles aprox... Just wondering if a Mercedes (in general) will last longer and or be dependable moreso than the Chevy or Pontiac I had...
This would not be a primary car purchase yet I would like to know aprox how long I can guestimate it will last miles wise, I know if it was taken care of by the previous owner(s) it may last another 10 years, & by the same token if it was beaten and abused it may die tomorrow, but in general if I go find one that feels good looks good and drives good, and it has 100,000 miles on it, can I expect major issues anytime soon or will these things typically roll past 200,000 - 300,000 with proper upkeep & maintenance... (without an engine and trans overhaul NEITHER my Chevy or Pontiac could pass 120,000 miles even WITH regular maintenance and care given to them)...
Any input appreciated, still thinking hard about purchasing a mid 90's C280 yet again most have aprox 100,000 on them (and that's ok if they generally don't fall apart like my experiences with Chevy and Pontiac have been).
Bill
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Yes, I would say so. Although this is somewhat of a self fulfilling prophecy, as people expect an MB to run longer, so they keep it working.
The Pontiac sunbird is one of the sorriest excuses for a vehicle ever made, so it's easy to say an MB will be more reliable and is of higher quality then that POS.
Marty
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Mercedes Benzes are NOT reliable. They are money pits. That is before and after 100,000 miles. The frequency of required repairs increases with age of car. These are complex cars and they are marvels of engineering. They are NOT marvels of reliability. Sure wish they were.
mcbrue againbrokenly under the bridge in the trailer down by the river
96 S420
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Yeah well, you have a 140; they were disasters. You can't say "all mercedes are..." because you're talking about a huge range of cars. If you want reliable get an old diesel.
They're not Fords, but then again they're not as bad as say, um, Jaguar.
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The more complicated any car is the more things can and will break, regardless of brand. Cars go through repair cycles, things break and then more things break until the owner is ready to scream. But it passes and then the car runs well for some time.
Owning a Mercedes-Benz is not cheap. Costs can be lowered if you can and will do at least the maintenance yourself. The older the car the more this applies. Some owners have bought mid '80s Turbodiesels with 200K miles for $2,000, fixed some things and driven them for a year or more and sold them again for what they paid. Other owners have bought complicated models relatively cheap and then paid the luxury car premium to the repair shop.
A M-B's basic components: engine, transmission etc, are quite reliable IF they were regularly maintained and should be good for 200+K miles, less if not well maintained.
As a buyer your job is to (1) know what you want (and why), (2) be patient and wait for the right car to appear in your local market and (3) be ready to act quickly when it appears.
Ideally, you want to buy a car from a local private party, someone who has owned it since new or some years, someone who can tell you about it and show you its maintenance records or give you the name of the shop that did the work. Select a car, don't be sold a car.
Remember, old cars don't enjoy senior discounts at the repair shop, it's your money and buying a M-B is strictly voluntary.
I own two M-Bs, a '80 and a '97, each is nice in its own way.
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About 2 years ago I bought an old Mercedes ('73 450 SLC) with 145K miles on the clock. Its been my everyday ride since I bought it. So far its been great....no problems other than the usual (replaced front brake pads) maintenance. I also own a couple of American cars, a 1986 Jeep Cherokee and a 1978 Corvette. Compared to the Mercedes, the Jeep and Vette are total pieces of crap. Poorly designed, and virtually falling apart. These are my impressions...
Steve
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I just know I'm going to regret this, but I've had my 84300D for almost five years, and until the tranny went out last year I had really not spent much time or money keeping it going (that being said, I can just imagine what will go the next time I pull out of the driveway!). I started with 117K and now it has 265K, and considering that 99% of the time it doesn't give me any grief, I'd say that's pretty dependable - after all, my wife's 2004 PT cruiser's already been recalled,and it uses more oil than the Merc.
terry solomonson
Steve wrote:

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I have a 97 C280 with 143,000 miles. It's still going strong, even after a tough encounter with some black ice and a guard rail. I don't intend to get rid of it until at least 200,000 miles.
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Tom Royer
Lead Engineer
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Here is a quaint little tale...
http://www.sahara-overland.com/merc/maroctest.htm
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Good idea. Get a cheap 190 to beat.
Martin Joseph wrote:

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Slightly OT: colour looks like "Weizengelb", quite rare when available in early eighties. My W123 200D in that period was that colour. Sigh...
DAS
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