I'm a little surprised about the concerns of high mileage diesel vehicles, these are (or at least were) capable of going round the clock at least twice, as it was always said that they go on forever, obviously this is with 100% care and proper maintenance etc, hell back in the day I had a 2ltr petrol Ford Cortina that went round the clock twice, and was still going strong when I got another car, is this an outdated view on cars now?
The more miles you will be doing, the more a diesel becomes a reasonable option. I had formed the impression you would not be doing much mileage, and it is low mileage on short journeys that militates against diesels.
Don't buy a car with Airmatic; it's good, but expensive to fix if it goes wrong.
That burgundy E240 (first one in post #16) looks absolutely superb for £2k, if you can live with the thirst, and there's a lot less to go wrong than in later cars. Find one similar with a diesel, and the same applies, plus the economy will be much better. The inline six-cylinder diesel engine (OM648? OM613?) which preceded the V6 in the early W211 is regarded as one of the best (and most bombproof) diesel engines MB have ever made, and more conomical than the V6 as well.
Looking at diesels, bear in mind anything in emissions class euro 5 or lower is likely to incur daily charges in the increasingly common low emissions zones in city centres.
I had formed a similar impression. Perhaps it was the phrase "I don't do long journeys" in the opening post which fooled us?!
Be aware that for a number of years now the “easy entry/exit” feature on Mercedes cars does not motor the seat back, it only moves the steering wheel up and away.if only other cars had this seat function I'd be over the moon