Looking for Low Maintenance Motoring

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DiscoSkipper

New Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2023
Messages
6
Location
Wales
Car
Land Rover Discovery & W202 C180?
Hi All,

New guy to the MB world here,

I'm foolish enough to own a 2002 Land Rover Discovery which, as it turns out, is rotting away infornt of my very eyes!

While I find the cash to get that sorted I'm in need of some transport for the next year or so, which is what has brought me here - I've got a budget of about £1500 give or take and want a manual so am looking pretty seriously at w202 c180's.

I'm not afraid of a bit frilly paint and laquer peel but am after something I can just put fuel in and run without any stress.

From a bit of initial googling its looking like a W202 should fit the bill, assuming I find a decent example.

I wanted to check in with the forum and get some opinions on whether I'm being an idiot or not from people in the know.

Any thoughts / advice is much appreciated
James
 
I love W202s, had 3 of them. however I wouldnt get one if you want trouble free motoring. They rust like nothing else.

Get a facelift W203 instead, shouldnt be rotting away.
 
Where do they tend to go other than arches? Would it be easy to tell if its on the way out front having a good look / poke around?

I'll start looking at W203s too, thanks for the recommendation
 
Yeah under the sideskirts, jacking points etc. Early W203s do also

Any particuar reason you want a Manual? rare for Mercedes.
 
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w203's rot at the wheel arches (galvanised bodies apparently 🤣🤣) and S203 can rot away on the rear load hatch , hidden from view behind the plastic number plate insert , once you see the bubbles from the outside its too late. Only way to check for it is to remove the covers from inside.

203's have terribly exposed rear brake pipes that rot away (MOT fail) and are a bit of a pig to get to to replace , some drop the rear subframe a bit for access.

If you do insist on a 203 C-class look very closely at the rear wheel arches for any sign of 'tarting up' or attempted rust repair. It's not structural , just ugly.

The HVAC system has weak points and if the links fail its can be a dash out job .

I don't think they are any more problematic than similar cars of the era . But the above are just some of the things to be aware of.

wheel arch rust c class.jpg

Personally if I had a budget of £1.5K for a turnkey run around I would not even be looking at a Mercedes Benz. Let us know how you get on 👍
 
Early VW Passat or Skoda Octavia with the pompe deutz diesel engine? last forever but terrible emissions
 
Yeah under the sideskirts, jacking points etc. Early W203s do also

Any particuar reason you want a Manual? rare for Mercedes.
Just personal preferance, admitedly they don't really suit the car and they norrow the field down quite a bit but I really can't get on with autos

I don't think they are any more problematic than similar cars of the era . But the above are just some of the things to be aware of.
All very good points to highlight, the advice is much appreciated!

Personally if I had a budget of £1.5K for a turnkey run around I would not even be looking at a Mercedes Benz. Let us know how you get on 👍
It is a very good point, probably more sensible options out there but I'm incabable of making automotive decisions without my heart having a bit of a say :wallbash:
 
How do they compare to W124? If I push the budget up a bit a high milage 200e could be on the cards
 
I really appreciate all the advice, by the sounds of things if I do go down this route I'll have to be vaery careful that it is a good example so I'll have to be strict with myself
 
Honda/Nissan/Toyota /Kia If you are looking for low maintenance/easy life.

The two most reliable cars I ever had were Toyota (20 years) and Kia (5 years). I was also looking after a relative's Honda (10 years) which was equally bulletproof. All three cars never needed any repairs whatsoever other than the usual service items.

I also had two Vauxhalls (11 years in total) and 2 Mercs (14 years in total) and they were pretty good, with only the occasional and inexpensive repair needed.

The worst car I had in terms of reliability was a Renault (3 years).
 
With 1.5k i would just get down the auctions and pick up the best condition with mot anything that runs well and looks ok. Other option is visit a few small dealers to see if they have any trade ins knocking about. Did both these in my early years, came home with some great cars and just run them to near death and then back to auction, those were the days, near free motoring. 😇
 
Low maintenance and Mercedes Benz are not usually seen together.
 

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