which model / year to go for ?

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Hi,
I am new to the group and considering a Mercedes as my next car..
Is there a FAQ to go and research what I want,or is it a case of asking here and sorting any replies ?
Basically I am looking for a large estate, diesel, manual between 5 and 10 years old, reliable and easy to work on.
Thanks,
Nick
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Nick, you're at the right place re all things, and others, Mercedes. wrt querry above, :-) aren't we all?
cheers, guenter
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Talking about an E-Class? S-Class doesn't have estates.
E-Class estate more or less the ultimate.
You have to give some info, e.g. budget. By your use of the word "estate" I deduce you are in the UK. Yes?
DAS
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I would suggest the E Class... the E320 is the most popular and reliable...2001 to 2003...
Hiowever, I'd personally would buy the 1998 or 1999 E300 Tubo Diesel cars... excellent fuel economy, robust power, and very little maintenance.
Forget the 4 matics because they are problematic and most of us don't need it. One set of good snow tire will take care of us in winter. One set of summer tire only (not all-season) tire will take care of us on the other 3 seasons.
If you insist on one set of tire all seasons, then get the "all-weather" Nokian WR Tires.
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I highly recommend the 1998 or 1999 E300 Tubo Diesel. I have a 99 sedan, not the wagon (not available in the US) with 105K miles. Has been completely trouble free and a pleasure to drive.
Raj

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OP needs an estate (station wagon). Budget not stated but an E320 CDI should be ideal, though any (turbo-)diesel above 2 l would suit European tastes (I can't recall where the E-Class starts - anyway it would depend on the year.
Michelin, Pirelli or Continental tyres should be fine, too. Depends on what is factory-fitted/what there is already on the car.
OP did not state his exact location but in southern England winter or all-weather tyres have become redundant for most people.
DAS
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W124 diesel wagon.
http://articles.mbz.org/buying/checklists/124 /
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Hi all,
Thanks for all the replies -...
Yes I am in Southern UK , about 30 miles SW of London....
DAS - Yes - I think I am looking at the E-class or similar / former model to that.. Budget is really around GBP 5K to 8K and yes I need an "Estate / Wagon" bodyshape...
Tiger - Sounds like the E300 turbo diesel could tick many boxes, especially "excellent fuel economy, robust power, and very little maintenance" I assume the 4 matics are 4 speed automatics... looking for manual anyway as I like to be a little involved and I assume they would be less expensive to repair/replace.... and, yes, we Brits only need an all year round tire - we rarely get much below freezing and haven't seen much snow for years in the south here. Gator-mech - ........thanks for the comments --- confidence inspiring !
Richard - great site - I am hoping the budget will allow a somewhat younger model here in the UK - I haven't researched secondhand prices yet - only just started the research, but already it could be the E300 fits the bill !
Thanks all - I will now see what the budget will allow
Nick
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..... now I'm a bit puzzled. Nick wants a manual diesel less than 10 or so years old. Do I now understand that these exist in Europe - ie the UK? If so, how do I go about importing one of these
cheers, guenter
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Why are you puzzled ? The Germans have been producing good diesels for years and "Diesel" has been around in UK for nearly as many years but it started to really catch on in the mid to late 90's.... I used to have a couple of Volvo (petrol) 850s, a T5 and 850R which were "quick"... but then I got a new BMW 2001 530 Diesel and was instantly "converted" to diesel - great car !.. However a change of circumstances now requires me to invest around 6k GBP in my vehicle... I had an elderly 1995 BMW E34 525 TDS, and absolutely loved it - great value - but ageing so it had to go - I currently have a 1997 Volvo 2.5 diesel - pretty good but not as good, so am looking at a Mercedes as I have never had one and want to own and live with one for a while....
My perception of Mercedes however is that the last 5 years have seen a decline in build quality - I may be wrong or got the timescale wrong, but anyway, my budget wouldn't stretch to a 3 year old model in any case.
So I am seeking a big, powerful, reliable, low mileage, manual, great build quality, not-too-old diesel wagon (aren't many of us ?) and its looking like a late 90's E300 or E320 is what I am after....
I go to France regularly and bring back around 250 litres of Diesel which at around 75p/litre there, makes savings more than the ferry fare and its a day out !
So that's my reasoning
Nick
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Nick, you are lucky indeed. I now understand. FYI Mercedes only imports a very few manuals into Canada, ie North America as a whole... the C series offers 2 models I believe that are manual.... certainly none of them are manual. The last manual MB imported, afaik, was the 240D back in the 80's which I used to own, but rusted away underneath my seat.
any that you find should be a great car
cheers, guenter

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.... sorry for the previous garbled post... crappy editor

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Just look on a European Merc website and you will see the selection of diesels.
FYI in the 'old' days before BMW et al jumped on the diesel bandwagon Merc was already associated with diesels, especially in Germany. Might have had something to do with the fleet of (diesel) taxis.
MB was a pioneer in the field of diesel engines for passenger cars.
DAS
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Guenter Scholz wrote:

Yes, lots of manual diesels in Europe, in fact the auto diesels were a bit rare. Diesel cars are favorite among people who drive a lot because they have a lot lower fuel costs. Automatics aren't very popular in Europe but that seems to be better in Germany which seems to be the best place to buy a 2nd hand car in Europe. Don't buy a car from the UK, unless you want the steering wheel on the wrong side.

I guess you could just buy one on http://www.autoscout24.de/ and have it shipped to you...
Ximinez
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Look, sonny, it's the OTHER side, not the wrong side. Do you need the lecture about Romans, Continental chaos and Napoleon?
;-) DAS
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I suppose you are referrng to Diesels? In the UK the vast majority of Mercs are automatics, though this may be different for diesels.
With older and slower (non-turbo) diesel engines I suppose the incentive for manual was a bit of extra performance.
Modern autos don't necessarily consume more fuel than manuals, maybe even less in some instances (according to manufacturer's figures).
DAS
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Dori A Schmetterling wrote:

Not in Holland they're not, and since when do Britons consider themselves Europeans?

In Holland automatics are considered to be for the elderly and disabled. Something to do with these cars that were very popular in among them:
http://www.ritzsite.demon.nl/DAF/DAF_cars_intro.htm

I agree, I find my style of driving is quite different in an automatic.
Ximinez (two MB automatics)
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Below...
DAS
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Dori A Schmetterling wrote:

Excellently quoted, mr. Schmetterling!
Ximinez
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Ximinez, which it was that easy. If the car is not sold in Canada, where I am, it 'may' not be legal to import. It costs much money and effort, so I'm told, for a car company to be able to import any given model (savey requ, emissions, bumper heights, lights, etc, etc, all have to be acceptable). Don't know though, and that's the interesting part, if one can mix and match different aspects of different models.... hmmmm
- cheers, guenter
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