My heart says yes but my head says no...

djs34

New Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2020
Messages
6
Location
Uk
Car
Toyota
Good morning and thank you to anyone who takes the time to read this post. I am glad to have found you.

Things are changing work wise for my husband. He is now required to travel 3 days a week (a 160 mile round trip mostly motorway) into an office. This will be for about 18 months and then he will be back working from home again.

We currently own one car, a Toyota Aygo (yes I know, I am embarrassed!). We now need another, for his new commute and an estate model at that (for skip runs, dogs, doing up the house etc). A car that will happily do a fair few motorway miles with a big boot. We do not want to spend a fortune on this temporary arrangement.

So, I started looking. I have found VW golf/passat estates and Toyota Avensis in our price range of about £3500. All with plus 100K on the clock and around the 08/09 plate mark. These makes should, in theory have some longevity to them and be able to go for another 50000+ miles, I think.

Then I saw it, a 2008 Mercedes 2.1 DCI C220 Avantgaard estate near to the 3k mark. 120K on the clock. One owner, FSH, recent MOT with no advisories....

A few years back my husband owned from new a 2003 Mercedes C230 Avantgaard estate and adored it. The turbo and suspension went and it ended up being sold as parts and towed away four years ago (he nearly sobbed)

We are aware that if things go wrong, it's expensive (with a capital E!) but am I stupid to think (please don't hold back), that a well looked after Merc should be able to clock up a fair few thousand miles on the motorways with, fingers crossed, few or no problems if we continue to look after it this end? Or is it the VW or Toyotas of this world for us? Why would you know? How would you know? lol?

Thank you, yours a completely conflicted, and tortured soul over this!
 

Dave Richardson

Active Member
SUPPORTER
Joined
Oct 14, 2007
Messages
943
Location
Plymstock Plymouth
Car
C Class 220 Evo CDI and a W176 A class 180 cdi
Good morning & welcome to the forum, I hope that someone with greater experience than I is able to advise you. Much depends on the servicing history & love given by the previous owner having said that 120k miles is not a lot for the age of the car & just think on how many km a Parisian taxi clocks up in its life
 
OP
OP
D

djs34

New Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2020
Messages
6
Location
Uk
Car
Toyota
Good morning & welcome to the forum, I hope that someone with greater experience than I is able to advise you. Much depends on the servicing history & love given by the previous owner having said that 120k miles is not a lot for the age of the car & just think on how many km a Parisian taxi clocks up in its life
My heart likes what you are saying Dave. Thank you!
 

Gollom

MB Enthusiast
SUPPORTER
Joined
May 10, 2006
Messages
7,922
Location
Preston, Lancs
Car
S204 C220CDi Sport ED125 BlueEfficiency, NTG 4.5, AMG bits!
Could be a great choice! Where are you? Someone on here could recommend a good independent garage and you could ask if they would pop along and give it a one-over for you? No guarantee but increases the odds greatly of getting a good 'un!

One thing you can do yourself is view the car after it has been stood overnight to see if the rear-end has sunk - they usually have self-levelling suspension and of course, the components age.
 
Last edited:

Grahamcol

Active Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2007
Messages
429
Location
West Midlands
Car
2007 CLK 220 and 2001 SLK230
Well my money would be on the Merc but l am biased! I think that C220 will have the Om646 engine as per my CLK. Not the fastest engine ever but extremely durable and reasonable economy. If you have it looked after by a decent Merc specialist rather than a main dealer you'll save a lot of money and might be less expensive to run than you think. Only you can decide.
 

ChrisHGTV

Active Member
SUPPORTER
Joined
Oct 4, 2019
Messages
522
Location
Guildford
Car
E250 Avantgarde Estate, Alfa GTV V6, Vespa, Ducati, many bicycles...
I would just say check the rear air suspension as i think that's the weak point if there is one, and it could cost a quarter of the cars value to fix. The other option i would recommend looking at is the Mondeo Mk 4. I know it's not a Merc so forgive me!- but if you just need a reliable, comfortable, cheap and big mile muncher (that is also cheap to fix) they are hard to beat. I had one before my E estate. Of course not as "nice" as the Merc but as a tool i think they're brilliant, and there are loads of them. If you can find a Titanium X they're rather well appointed. The hatchback isn't that much smaller with the seats down than the E estate - they are big load luggers when needed. Our old one is still going strong at almost 200k miles, as we sold it to the folks next door. I prefer the Merc for sure but might be worth having a look at Mondeos, if only to confirm a decision on the Merc? I've spent more in a year on my 2011 E250 with 100k miles (suspension, engine mounts) than the whole time i had the Mondeo (150k miles) excluding servicing, maybe something to bear in mind.
 

ChrisHGTV

Active Member
SUPPORTER
Joined
Oct 4, 2019
Messages
522
Location
Guildford
Car
E250 Avantgarde Estate, Alfa GTV V6, Vespa, Ducati, many bicycles...
I would just say check the rear air suspension as i think that's the weak point if there is one, and it could cost a quarter of the cars value to fix. The other option i would recommend looking at is the Mondeo Mk 4. I know it's not a Merc so forgive me!- but if you just need a reliable, comfortable, cheap and big mile muncher (that is also cheap to fix) they are hard to beat. I had one before my E estate. Of course not as "nice" as the Merc but as a tool i think they're brilliant, and there are loads of them. If you can find a Titanium X they're rather well appointed. The hatchback isn't that much smaller with the seats down than the E estate - they are big load luggers when needed. Our old one is still going strong at almost 200k miles, as we sold it to the folks next door. I prefer the Merc for sure but might be worth having a look at Mondeos, if only to confirm a decision on the Merc? I've spent more in a year on my 2011 E250 with 100k miles (suspension, engine mounts) than the whole time i had the Mondeo (150k miles) excluding servicing, maybe something to bear in mind.
Sorry, just realised you're looking at a C and i think these don't have air suspension which hopefully makes it easier to decide on the Merc!
 
OP
OP
D

djs34

New Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2020
Messages
6
Location
Uk
Car
Toyota
I AM AN IDIOT! It's an E220 not C220. I knew this... I'm so sorry.

In that case Chris, your good advice on suspension still stands.

A massive thank you to you all.
 

Chrishazle

MB Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 13, 2008
Messages
4,446
Location
Nr Ashford, Kent
Car
2008 S204 C220CDI Elegance Estate Auto, 2008 R171 facelift SLK280 Auto.
2008 C220 is an early S204 - which I have. Mine is Elegance trim rather than Avantgard so has slightly softer suspension (not air, the C's do not have it!), I'd have no hesitation in recommending it for long distance motorway cruising, we do 120 mile trips to our daughter in Aylesbury (M20/25 then A42) and it's lovely. As above, if the service history is good, go for it!

Oops, while I was typing, a correction appeared so my comments about a C220 are irrelevant!
 

Gollom

MB Enthusiast
SUPPORTER
Joined
May 10, 2006
Messages
7,922
Location
Preston, Lancs
Car
S204 C220CDi Sport ED125 BlueEfficiency, NTG 4.5, AMG bits!
I AM AN IDIOT! It's an E220 not C220. I knew this... I'm so sorry.

In that case Chris, your good advice on suspension still stands.

A massive thank you to you all.

If it's on a forecourt, view it at night and pop back first thing in the morning to see if any significant drop. Both sides as not unusual for just one side to be worse

Helpful bunch on here so say town where you are and we can be a bit more specific
 
OP
OP
D

djs34

New Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2020
Messages
6
Location
Uk
Car
Toyota
I have just called to ask some questions and the car was sold last night!

Gutted now.

Thank you all so very much for your help. It is not gone to waste as I will continue to explore this option and others (such as the Mondeo).

Really very much appreciated it.
 

DrNick

Active Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2003
Messages
548
Mercs love motorways. As do diesels. The air suspension is only for the rear suspension on estates and is for self-levelling. Its not that complicated and its been used for many years on all E class estates. One of mine did have a problem though, but it was a leaking airline and it didn't stop the car being driven, and cost £50 to get fixed at a local garage.
As with all cars, its worth getting it checked over. All cars are being sold for a good reason - you just need to have some confidence that that reason is not because of a hidden issue!
 
OP
OP
D

djs34

New Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2020
Messages
6
Location
Uk
Car
Toyota
OK. So I am now looking at a 2009 Mercedes C320 (definitely C class this time) Sport CDI Auto estate (also looking at a Toyota Avensis, btw used Mondeos seem to be unreasonably expensive!). I have asked the Mercedes seller some questions related to rust, timing belt, service history etc and will go from there.

Time is short. The commute starts next Monday and we only found out yesterday about the change in plans!

Gollom - we are near Shaftesbury, Dorset. Have just found a great (I think) independent Mercedes garage near Shaftesbury who have quoted me £226 for a full service, useful to know should we go down the mercedes route.

Anyway, thank you all very much indeed and I mean that.
 

DrNick

Active Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2003
Messages
548
I had an E320 from that vintage. I think its the same engine. Best car I've had, mainly because of the engine/gearbox.
Not sure there are many "common" issues but its worth pulling the plastic engine cover up to check the injectors are not leaking. If they are there will be a load of black crud around one or two of them. Needs to be sorted sooner rather than later if it is there!
 
D

Deleted member 37751

Guest
OK. So I am now looking at a 2009 Mercedes C320 (definitely C class this time) Sport CDI Auto estate (also looking at a Toyota Avensis, btw used Mondeos seem to be unreasonably expensive!). I have asked the Mercedes seller some questions related to rust, timing belt, service history etc and will go from there.

Time is short. The commute starts next Monday and we only found out yesterday about the change in plans!

Gollom - we are near Shaftesbury, Dorset. Have just found a great (I think) independent Mercedes garage near Shaftesbury who have quoted me £226 for a full service, useful to know should we go down the mercedes route.

Anyway, thank you all very much indeed and I mean that.
That model didn’t suffer from rust issues and that engine has a timing chain, not a belt.

Other than that, you’re at a very sticky budget there with the age/calibre of car you’re looking at buying, it really can be a minefield.

It might be worth putting a wanted advert up on the forum, maybe someone’s thinking of selling amd just needs a little push...
 

ChrisHGTV

Active Member
SUPPORTER
Joined
Oct 4, 2019
Messages
522
Location
Guildford
Car
E250 Avantgarde Estate, Alfa GTV V6, Vespa, Ducati, many bicycles...
One thought to buy you a little more time - is it worth trying to rent a car for a week so you don't have to jump at the first one you see? Might take the pressure off a bit, or could be a Plan B?
 

MEMERC7

Active Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2013
Messages
94
Car
SLK 250 AMG Sport 125 Ltd Edition
I sense you & your husband are influenced by the concept of owning a Mercedes but please don't assume that the brand is any less capable or reliable than what might be called 'lesser brands'. Over a period of some 20 years I chose or was issued with sundry Fords, Vauxhalls, Toyota's & Honda's minimising my tax burden & in every case providing me with 150k+ miles of comfort & reliability. Used in the UK & abroad just one car gave me a problem, a Vauxhall with a supercharger or whatever it was that failed, cost me £700 to fix. I was not aware of becoming a social outcast by business colleagues friends or neighbours because there was not a 'premium' brand car on the drive. I did have a concours winning 1960's classic sports car in the garage though!!
Those who know Mercedes will rightly advise that there was a time when quality was abysmal so be sure to follow such advice if intent on Mercedes ownership. In terms of tactile perceived quality a company Honda then a private Audi A3 where both equal if not superior to the 2 Mercedes I have owned. As I reflect on car ownership the most comfortable car in which I drove thousands of miles in Europe was a ..........Ford Mondeo estate !!!!!
Consider what seem to be a temporary arrangement as the need for an 'appliance' which as long as it's comfortable economical & reliable the badge is of no matter. Later use the money saved to be more indulgent.
Good luck.
 
OP
OP
D

djs34

New Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2020
Messages
6
Location
Uk
Car
Toyota
"I sense you & your husband are influenced by the concept of owning a Mercedes but please don't assume that the brand is any less capable or reliable than what might be called 'lesser brands'. "

Driven by wanting to make my husband happy and nothing else ;-) He would be happy on the other hand with many other makes of car. So there is great flexibility there and I do so appreciate your thoughts and input on other makes MEMERC7, just as I do everyone elses.

ChrisHGTV, your suggestion of slowing things down with a temporary car is equally good. I suddenly find myself with more information than I can handle! We both work full time so there is little time to research fully and I do therefore think we need to be careful not to fall into panic buying mode. We are sorted for next week transport wise. I am putting together a shortlist of suitable car makes. Have increased the budget a little but definitely want to stay a cash buyer. The cost of maintenance thereafter is fine, I just don't want to borrow money to buy a car.

At the end of the day, it may well not be a mercedes. However I can see ourselves in the years ahead, the proud owner of one but with a bigger budget to spend on one. So if not now, later.....

Enormous thanks to you all. What a great forum this is. I may well see you again in the future. Take care.
 

Dichtung

Active Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2007
Messages
331
Location
N.W.
Car
W203 2.2Cdi
Been down your thinking. 2008 was/is a dodgy year for c220 cdi s New Shape 2007 and some 2008 cars have the excellent OM646 engine, but late 2008 cars onwards have the later engine which have serious cam chain problems.
The bad news is that early new shape cars (1) have a badly designed rear subframe that quickly rusts and in some cases have lost suspension mounting lugs.
(1) Saloons. Don`t know about estates.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom