Hi from a Brit in a Japanese Car in Germany :)

Beastlee

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Hi all,

I've been working in Germany for a while now and currently drive a 1996 Mitusbishi Legnum VR-4 with a a few subtle and not-so subtle mods. Although it gives the German marques a few embarassing moments (0-60 is under 5.5 seconds wet or dry) it's starting to feel it's age and needs some more extensive work doing to it.

I've joined up as we are now looking for something that can replace the VR-4 with. We need a sub-6 second estate car that is understated/stealthy but offers comfort, reliability and relative efficiency on fuel (I am used to 18mpg). The C32 estates seem to fit the bill so I decided here would be a good start to gain the knowledge I need.

I'm an IT tech by trade but have worked on cars since I was about 12 and now run the local Motor Club where I do nearly all my own work. I'm not sure that's going to be necessary if I am going to maintain the MB history though.

Hope to chat to you soon.
Lee
 

ironsheik

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W204 C200CDI SPORT.
Hey now, the people on here will probably help you make your mind up by the end of the day...:)

welcome and enjoy...
 
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Deleted member 37751

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Hello and welcome to the forum.

The AMG estates are real Q-Cars, don't rule out the S210 E55 AMG, although I'm a big fan of the C32
 

grober

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You will find it difficult to find a car to match the performance+ handling of a 4WD legnum VR 4 ----- If you are prepared to drive a LHD car then one of the big engined v6/v8 Mercedes 4MATIC ESTATES would fit the bill. However if you need a RHD 4x4 estate then your only choice is probably an quattro Audi C5/C6 [RS 6] S6 Avant. There are bargains [ but thin on the ground due to rarity ] to be picked up since they aren't too popular 2nd hand due to their high running costs.
 
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Beastlee

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Thanks for the welcome.

@Grober - With the work I've done to the Legnum there's little in the same ilk which I'm going to have to live with. As it stands I'm keeping the Legnum in the workshop to finish the needed work and my wife, who's also a petrolhead, will be running a Mitsubishi RVR Hyper Sports Gear R. This will most likely end up on a car trailer behind the C32 going to shows as this is a super rare car in Europe.
I'd originally started looking for an RS6 as this is my dream car but have decided that £10K wouldn't get me the right one and I didn't like what I was reading about reliablility and servicing costs. I realise the Mercs may also cost me in the servicing stakes but there seems to be less issues at less cost than the RS6.
I am lucky in that I get things tax free here and therefore I'll be taking full advantage before we come back to the UK in the next couple of years.

I've been following Autotrader and Pistonheads, as well as the Classifieds here, for the right car. I'd like an 03 C32 Wagon with as many options as possible and hopefully under £10K. I'm a bit of a spec snob and if it doesn't have something I'll be looking for the parts to upgrade, ie. Bi-Xenons, digital climate unit, etc.
I'll head over to the C-Class section and see if there's any info I need on the specs.

Thanks again
Lee
 
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Deleted member 37751

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Lee,
If the budget is near to £10k you'll be very close to the 203 C55 V8 AMG, although that would probably be a saloon.

There's never been a better time to buy, the prices are through the floor for the big smokers at the minute....
 
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Beastlee

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@sweetpea - £10k is the limit, I'd prefer closer to £7k then it would be possible much sooner.
With two dogs, a 14yo daughter and the need to shift equipment around all the time I need the estate. The only C55 estate I can find is £19K and LHD, they also seem to use more juice and not go as fast but I am prepared to be corrected on that. Admittedly they seem to have a nicer cockpit.
 
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Beastlee

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I've just realised there's no C-Class section here, must have been a different forum. Where's the best place for me to pose C32 specific questions?
 

st4

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Don't know but just keep looking, they do come up and are pretty reliable fast cars.
 

s500colin

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Hello Lee
Welcome to the Forum :thumb:
 
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Beastlee

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I've read that the electric memory seats are supposed to be standard. Unfortunately it seems that most of the ones fot sale at the moment don't have them, anbody know why?

What wheels will clear those front brakes? Do you have to run staggered or could I fit 225/45/17 rears for the winter? Over here there is a legal requirement to fit winter tyres from October to April so I need to budget for tyres and rims for winter. I already have a good set of Vredestiens in 225/45/17 from the Legnum, a £600 saving. Would be even better if I can fit 17x8 114.3ET45 rims.

How good are the seats for lumbar support? I suffer with back pain and longer journeys can be very difficult in the wrong car. I like the adjustable leg support the Recaros provide but note the Merc seats dont seem to have it.

What is the boot capacity like ona wagon? The C-Class is slightly smaller than my Legnum and I noticed the back has quite a shallow slope so it doesn't look like our dog crates would fit.

I appreciate I could get some of these answers by visiting the local German MB dealers but I'd rather get real life responses. When it comes to buying one the £500 return trip means I better get it right first time and I'm unlikely to get to test drive one (c32) before I make the decision.

Oh and sweatpea.....I've been canvassing the C55s now too. Not sure I can stretch the extra £5-6k for one although it is a 56 plate so much newer. Much prefer the interior and the clear bi-xenons.

Here's my wish list:

Preferably 03 model, 02 would be OK but not 01
Wagon
Not silver, nothing against it but I'm keen on having a dark car and something a little off the norm.
COMAND
Climate Control with the digital readout (I'm a gadget guy)
Driver and passenger full electric memory seats.
Sunroof (less paint to polish :))
uprated/stainless/resonator delete exhaust
pulley replacements done
bi-xenon upgrade, actually this doesn't bother me as I will have to swap to LHD lamps anyway and can get Bi-Xenons here.
Preffereably <100K miles but I doubt any extended warranties will cover the time I'm in Germany

Not much i know.
 
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Beastlee

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Did I ask the wrong question(s)?

Have noticed that all the C32s have disappeared now, only a couple of older ones with issues or lacking spec left. :(
Have looked at the E55s but again the spec is lacking.
 
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Beastlee

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Does it do 60 in less than 6 seconds?

I can't edit my last post but I should point out that the main criteria is that it must do 60 in under 6 seconds, prefferably under 5 or near as damit. The VR-4 can do it in 5.2 in the wet and I'm not the type to go to a slower car.
 

Bobby Dazzler

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Sorry, I asked you to post your questions, but must have missed them!!

I hope this helps...

Electric memory seats are standard in the UK, but not in other markets - likely to have been a pricey option which might explain it.

225/45 17 winter tyres are fine on the 8.5j rear wheels - this was my winter set up until today. Best on 7.5j wheels though - now switched to 7.5j rears.

Seats are very comfy and adjustable - including leg support IIRC - I wouldn't be surprised if it's a Recaro frame, as the shape is very similar to the Recaros I've had in previous cars. Not grippy though (nappa) and not quite flat so you will move if you corner hard - which may not be great for your back. No problems for me regarding comfort though.

Can't comment on boot capacity of estates from experience, only guessing. Sloping back probably makes it more of a "lifestyle" estate rather than a true load lugger, so you'll notice a difference to the Legnum I reckon.

Go for the latest car you can - a phase 1.5 02 will be the same as any cars registered later - even 2004 registered cars (very few) were built in 2003. They come with Bi-xenons out of the box, and IIRC can be toggled for driving on the continent or UK.
 
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Beastlee

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Thanks Bobby Dazzler, figured you may have missed it or been on holiday like myself.

The electric memory seems to be missing on more of the UK C32s than have it, very odd. Grip isn't too much of an issue, the VR-4 can corner like nothing I've known but the seats donh't have a bolster so it's easy tobe thrown out of them, particularly with the leather option!

Have found the PCD for Mercedes and it's unfortunately different so I'll need to source some winter wheels that clear the brakes. At least I have 4 good tyres though.

As long as the boot is reasonably sized we could make it work but I've started looking at the E-Class and even M-Class for inspiration.

Unfortunately I'm not allowed to use the flat beam adjustment on the headlights, I have to get proper LHD units. It's a local rule, not an EU one and is crazy but I have no choice.

Thanks for the info, now all I need is for the right car to appear! There was one when I first started looking but now there's only ons with issues :(
 
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Beastlee

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This has just caught my interest, 2004 MERCEDES-BENZ E CLASS E55K 5dr Tip Auto Amg Estate

It seems to fit my requirements but is just a bit more than I really want to spend...
is the E55K a specific model? I'm guessing it's an E55 with a 'kompressor'.
 

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