Considering a Merc for transcontinental jaunts

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by SamuelD, Jan 9, 2016.

  1. ianrandom

    ianrandom Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Yeah I use mine every few weeks, it'll sit for a couple of months outside in the winter, and I can just jump in and drive it to wherever. It never behaves any differently. I do tinker sometimes though

    Anyway, I think tinkering isn't what the OP needs, so an older car that needs a bit of maintenance, in the middle of Paris, might be unsuitable.
    I still think a 190 could possibly work if a good one. And the low purchase price compared to a newer economical car might offset fuel costs.
     
  2. 190

    190 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Pontoneer reminded me of another area where the W201 beat the W204 hands down - visibility. The W204 isn't that much bigger but it feels it and is much harder to judge when reversing. The reason modern cars have reversing cameras or parking sensors is because they need them. I guess it's partly due to fashionable high waste lines with less glass and partly improved drag coefficients although the W201 was no slouch in that department particularly in it's day. MB build quality may not be what it was but one consistent design aspect that they have never let fall by the wayside has been class leading aerodynamics.
     
  3. Pontoneer

    Pontoneer MB Club Veteran

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    I/ve never owned or driven a W204 , although I've been passenger in them , both front and back , a fair few times .

    I believe the general consensus is they're an improvement on the W203 , which I readily concede I was particularly unlucky with - but I won't buy another .
     
  4. Nasco12

    Nasco12 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Golly, we're three pages in and no one has mentioned a W202. Cheap as chips, very reliable, very comfortable. A C200 will do 36.65mpg on the motorway. Took mine to Munich. It was absolutely perfect. The only real drawback is rust. If you are prepared to spend a couple of grand in the first year ironing out the problems (usually minor) you'll have something you can keep for years.
     
  5. Pontoneer

    Pontoneer MB Club Veteran

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    I hadn't mentioned the 202 because I'm unsure why the breakers are so full of them - a few are certainly crash damaged , and others are rusty , but there are also plenty of what appear to be perfectly viable cars being broken .

    I had wondered if they were the first to have troublesome electronics - certainly with the part stripped ones I see it is often things like instruments and electronic components under the bonnet which have been taken ?

    Just the other week , I was looking at a C220 Avantgarde ( W202 ) which had just arrived - it yielded a high level brake light which looks like it belongs in my 190 , a first aid kit , and the front headrests which should do as rears in my 190 once I get the correct brackets ( I have the covers to match my interior . I also noted it has cruise and thought some of the parts might suit my R129 ...

    I do like the 202 and think it is a more attractive car than the 203 , no particular reason I haven't had one yet - guess I just haven't got around to it .
     
  6. Meldrew2

    Meldrew2 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    +1 for W204. I swapped from a W203 to a W204 a few years ago and found the ride comfort, stability at speed and fuel economy all to be better. The C180 Blue Efficiency I had felt like a larger car and handled very well at motorway speeds (and higher).
     
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  7. flango

    flango MB Club Veteran

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    I'd go with anything with a 2.3 M111 engine bomb proof and will clear 35 mpg on a run. Ensure whichever variant has no or little rust and you have a very reliable motor.
     
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  8. Pontoneer

    Pontoneer MB Club Veteran

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  9. OP
    OP
    SamuelD

    SamuelD New Member

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    You’ve all given me much to think about. Thanks for taking the time to post.

    To clarify a few things, we sometimes fly (but that takes almost a day too, including the airport travel at both ends), trains take even longer than driving and cost a fortune, and renting a car doesn’t make sense because we use it for many other trips too (e.g. most weekends in the summer).

    I’m completely uninterested in Korean cars, the Citroën DS4, etc., though I don’t doubt they each have their benefits. A BMW 1 Series or Mercedes A-Class is not out of the question (and the smaller petrols have seriously impressive fuel economy), but my girlfriend would much prefer a car that looks like a car should, i.e. a saloon. To be honest, so would I.

    I’m looking for a car with purposeful design, elegant engineering, enjoyable driving characteristics, good long-term durability, and pleasure of ownership – whatever that means to me. But also much better motorway comfort than our C1 and decent fuel economy, plus preferably a petrol engine.

    The W201 is an awesome piece of engineering and I completely agree with Pontoneer on the merits of its narrow pillars, good visibility, airiness, pliant ride, etc. I learned to drive in a Renault 5 and that little car seemed to have more interior space than the latest bloated Clio at twice its size! It also took bumps in the road with far more grace. So you can’t convince me that modern cars are unequivocally better.

    But I wonder if I have the mechanical wherewithal to keep a W201 happy. And I worry I’d be giving up too much fuel economy compared to the latest petrols.

    I’ll mull it over for a while.
     
  10. Driver15

    Driver15 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    In that case... A Bmw E60 (5 series ) 535d msport or a 550i....

    Or a 530d to tick all the boxes..

    The e60 chews up the miles perfect and you get out feeling like you have only driven 1% of the mileage..

    look at the F10's also.
     
  11. Pontoneer

    Pontoneer MB Club Veteran

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    Apart from DIY maintenance for the routine stuff , I wonder if there is a GOOD Mercedes Indy in the 'environs' of Paris , for any trickier stuff ? Failing that , I suppose you aren't all that far from the Channel ( la Manche ? ) and you have Olly of PCS ( our own Black C55 ) on the south coast of L'Angleterre :)

    http://www.mbclub.co.uk/forums/memb...r-service-mercedes-specialist-portsmouth.html
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2016
  12. Pontoneer

    Pontoneer MB Club Veteran

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  13. Pontoneer

    Pontoneer MB Club Veteran

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    Or something more 'classic' , like a 1602 or 2002 ?
     

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