Mid 90's SL320 - running costs?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by pint6x, Oct 29, 2008.

  1. pint6x

    pint6x Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Mid 90's SL320 - running costs? vs W124 vs C140

    Just seen rather a nice 1995 SL320 (R129) - would running costs on this be significantly higher than on, say, a W124 320 (W124) Coupe?

    I mean I'm assuming they're both the same straight six lump

    Would I be right in thinking that the C140 CL420 or CL500 would be massively more expensive to run than either of the two mentioned above?
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2008
  2. rajinder_1

    rajinder_1 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I would say no, as its the same engine and proabaly around the same weight..
    although someone with better knowledge will correct me if im wrong.... :)
     
  3. mattc

    mattc Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    regarding running costs I suspect SL owners will be along shortly to advise.

    my question would be why not get a 500? fuel cost difference will be marginal at best
     
  4. IanA2

    IanA2 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    SL running costs are not that high as long as you are prepared to spend money when required and sometimes on preventative work. They are not and never have been cheap cars. It saddens me to see how some are neglected because people cannot afford or are not prepared to spend when neccessary. Just because it is now possible buy these classics at reasonable prices these days, it does not mean they are cheap cars to run, assuming they are to be kept in decent condition.
     
  5. BTB 500

    BTB 500 MB Club Veteran

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    A 500 will be a little more on insurance, fuel, and servicing (but not much). Depends how tight money is, and what mileage you do.

    I had an A service done on my SL yesterday - £248 at a main dealer (with their discount scheme for older Mercs). £105 of that was the oil, which obviously you could reduce by providing your own.

    I paid extra to have some other bits and pieces sorted at the same time (including replacing a split front ADS strut gaiter and worn roll bar bushes), but you need to expect that on any 11 year old car. As Ian said, you need to keep on top of things really ... most cars can be run on a shoestring, but not necessarily for very long!
     
  6. OP
    OP
    pint6x

    pint6x Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I suppose I'm really trying to determine which 90's classic Merc coupe can I run without having to sell my children into slavery in order to keep up with the maintenance schedule.

    Having fancied a W124 coupe for many years, I'm finally approaching a stage where sufficient funds may become available to buy and run one as my main driver. We have a big sensible estate for family duties, so I wouldn't be doing more than about 6k miles a year.

    So then I see a '95 SL320 convertible for similar money and it's the dog's danglies, and I'm thinking - will this cost a lot more than a W124 E320 coupe to run?

    But once you think of an SL320, it's but a short step to convince myself that an SL500 would be attainable.

    And from there, a jump to the C140 series CL420 or CL500 is but another short step away.

    I think that to keep my feet somewhere near planet earth in these straitened times I should limit myself to the 6 cylinder lump. If I were getting a V8, then I would prefer CL to SL, but if sticking with the 320 straight 6 I'm having a hard job deciding between R129 SL320 and W124 E320 Coupe.

    At the end of the day, money considerations will enter the equation, and whatever I get I would like to keep in good condition - so with the head ruling the heart and an eye on the purse strings, what would you get?

    E320 Coupe W124
    SL320 Convertible R129
    SL500 Convertible R129
    CL420 Coupe C140
    CL500 Coupe C140

    Sorry to keep banging on about this, but I'm sure many of you have faced similar dilemmas - fact is, MB made some damn good looking cars in the mid 90's and if money and space were no object I would have one of each! :bannana:
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2008
  7. gbjeppm

    gbjeppm Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    If I did not have children I would have the SL in either 320 or 500 guise, and would buy one that has been looked after, and loved, as my main criteria.

    As i have got kids then the 4 seats would sell me the E320, in fact I had a 300CE, and regret selling it, fantastic car.

    I would not bother with the CL's, starting to get into the electronics era, when there is a lot more to go wrong.
     
  8. Mark300SL

    Mark300SL 1962-2010. Gone, but not forgotten.

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    If you intend using the rear seats then get the Coupe - otherwise the SL wins in my book

    Mine has not cost a lot over the last 6 years at all - however I am about due to spend roughly its value over the winter as all the little jobs are getting close to needing doing at once :)

    I need

    Aircon regas - and find the leak :)
    set of front ball joints
    pads and disks & H/B shoes front and rear
    gearbox oil change
    big service ....
    Drivers side door pocket hinge
    2/3 interior trim parts
    Full wheel refurb
    Spark plug cover
    Exhaust manifold gaskets
    + anything else I find as I go through it :)

    That said the car has needed nothing but routine servicing, soft top rear windows and a water pump for many years. The M103/M104 engines are easy to work on and the parts can be sourced for a reasonable price if you are prepared to hunt around.

    The SL is in my opinion the better car, but the coupe gives you real seats in the rear should you need them. SL rear seats might as well not be there. Anyone small enough to fit in them shouldnt be in those seats in the first place. Anyone big enough to use the silly seatbelts will die in the unlikely event you ever manage to roll it :)
     
  9. BTB 500

    BTB 500 MB Club Veteran

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    Well the SL rear seats are officially designated as child seats, although my mum has ridden in the back of mine :)

    [​IMG]

    Lap belts aren't automatically a death sentence ... an adult friend of mine recently survived a major crash wearing one, and she was in the front as well (middle seat of a van). The SL back seats are heavily sculpted, and I reckon would be OK for small kids - as intended by M-B (who didn't exactly skimp on safety with the R129 ... the roll bar alone cost a fortune to develop).

    But obviously the coupes have better rear accomodation :)
     
  10. OP
    OP
    pint6x

    pint6x Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I think realistically that none of my 3 sons would be willing to squeeze into the back of a W129 convertible! two of them are nearly 6 feet tall :p

    So - CL420 vs CE320............
     
  11. Smiley

    Smiley Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    You have arrived at the correct answer. I had a R129 SL500 very nice car but the rear seats are the problem. Not only is there very little space but the front seats are close to the floor so there is no where for small feet to go under the front seat. My boys were only 5 and 7 at the time and it was hopeless; the lap belts did not instill confidence in such a powerful car either. The E320 cabriolet (or coupe) is a perfect 4 seater and the kids love it.
     
  12. grober

    grober MB Club Veteran

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    I would guess in overall terms the SL would be slightly more expensive to service and for non engine/transmission parts since its a lower volume model. The beauty of the w124 coupes is that they share a lot of components with mass produced w124 saloon which can help to keep parts costs down? Probably not much in it really though the cost difference would be more marked with later v6/v8 engined SL's. The SL's being convertibles and sports cars will more expensive to insure also. All Gp 20 as opposed to the 6cylinder w124 coupe's 16/17
     
  13. boeken

    boeken Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    i bought an SL500 from 96 exactly 1 year ago and this is what i have spend on it

    Petrol £1600 and done about 7k
    Maintenance (bits and bobs £800, mainly materials to fix bumper, replace blinkerlight, lost the tow hook cover and replaced it and had 4 new tyres put on and some minor cosmetic fixes)
    Insurance £650
    Service £550, included brake oil, usual oil and had the aircon refreshed
    road tax £180

    total £3800 for the year.

    not sure how much it depreciated over the last year and i paid for it in cash so no loans to take into consideration but also not been able to put the money on my frozen icesave account :D

    i think if i had bought an SL320 i would have probably spend exactly the same amount
     
  14. boeken

    boeken Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    oh and on the kids thing

    i agree, i have a 4 and an 8 year old, it is not great but they manage for short trips and if only have to take 1 I will put him in a car seat in the front, but we also have a mum van (picasso) for this purpose although my wife wants to swap to a beetle but i am trying to interest her in a 5-6 year old CLK instead.
     
  15. BTB 500

    BTB 500 MB Club Veteran

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    That's strange - our two older kids (6 & 8) love going in the back of our SL! Both front seats need to be moved forward a bit, no problem on the passenger side as there's a huge amount of legroom in the front (hence you can easily carry an adult in the back on that side). Not ideal on the driver's side unless you're a shorty, but being an auto I find it quite manageable with the seat a bit further forward than usual.

    I've posted this pic. a few times recently (complete with dog in the front :D)

    [​IMG]

    Note that this was just before getting out of the car - the roll bar must be raised when the back seats are occupied.

    But I totally agree that the E class is a better bet if you're using the rear seats regularly.
     
  16. boeken

    boeken Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    you are right

    the kids love it, 8 year old is fine in the back but 4 year old is too small to go without car seat (legally i think), so i usually put him in the front in a car seat, which means if my wife joins us she has to go in the back, they think it is like a rollercoaster with the bar up, but i would not want to use it for long stretches
     
  17. Roger Jones

    Roger Jones Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    "the same engine and proabaly around the same weight"

    SL 1855kg
    W124 Coupé 1600kg

    Surprisingly in view of this difference, the official fuel-consumption figures are very similar. I get 27+ from my 320 Coupé.

    Interesting choice, with which I was faced a while ago. The SL certainly has sex appeal, but the elegance and practicality of the W124 did it for me: genuine four seater, huge boot (although little interior storage space). It's a very civilized car and the engine is no lump but a very refined unit.
     
  18. Smiley

    Smiley Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I think the running costs of the SL320 and the W124 320 will be about the same; the SL500 is a bit thirstier mine never went above about 25mpg whereas my e320 coupe and cabriolet would both top 30 mpg (just). The w124 is very different to drive to the SL so worth trying them both out. I have never had a W140 CL - personally I think they are very very ugly compared with the W124 and the R129 which puts me off anyway - but I was put off either a w140 or w215 CL500 after hearing about maintenance costs - they can get expensive if they go wrong.
     
  19. Ade B

    Ade B Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Might be the wrong answer, but if running costs are a major issue, I'd look at a different marque.

    Maintenance costs on C124s vary from nothing to thousands per year depending on what needs doing, how good your spannering is and how fussy you are.

    Mine has been relatively cheap this year, I did my own oil service and spent £400 ish on replacement front springs and sorting an AC gremlin and a further £350 on paint (oh and a new stereo at £300 installed:rolleyes:). Its now due a major service at 70k and I have a sneaky suspicion that something is afoot with the front undercarriage which together with the service I expect to set me back £500+..

    My first year of ownership was eyewatering..

    Re the rear seats of a C124 - I'm 5'11 and slept blissfully from Le Havre to Rennes in the back whilst Mrs B did some motorway work. Very comfortable and with comedy drop down head rests to boot.

    Ade
     
  20. Smiley

    Smiley Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Like a Toyota Yaris diesel? Should be good on running costs :D
     

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