Newbie 320 CDI question

Tuddie

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Hello there, this is my first post. I am possibly returning to the UK to live in the not too distant future, looking for advice. I will be after a E320 cdi, spending up to around £3500 - 4k. Which is the best engine to go for? I had heard they were slightly different in the older 03 than the 05. Newbie to all things Mercedes so looking for a little advice. Thanks in advance... Steven
 

DSM10000

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Welcome.
For your proposed budget you should be able to find a well cared for late model of 2008 /09 vintage (this model ended production late 2008 I think.). This would have the later OM 642 3litre V6 with the 7 speed automatic.

Earlier 320 Cdi (pre 2006 model year) had the 3 litre straight 6 with a 5 speed automatic gearbox. These older models had a good reputation for reliable engines and gearboxes if looked after but corrosion can be a problem on bodywork, subframes etc.

The later V6 models are more powerful and cruise well with the 7 speed gearbox.

They can have problems with oil cooler leaks (cheap on parts, expensive on labour) and Port shut off motor failure is not unheard of if the seal between the Turbo inlet leaks. The seal was updated but its worth checking for leaks.

Not all models had a DPF fitted but all have EGR valves. Carry out the normal checks and due diligence and hopefully you will find a reliable and enjoyable car.
 

Phil1968

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The earlier 3.2 straight-6 is pretty bulletproof, the later 3.0 V6 not so much, but still both good engines. Obviously the later engine is more powerful (by about 40 bhp iirc) but the earlier iL6 is eminently & reliably tuneable if required. Both will get over 40 mpg on a run.
 

Smart320

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Had a 2008 E320cdi, no DPF , very reliable , great motor , just make sure it has full service history
and the gearbox has been serviced every 37500 miles or 5 years
 
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Tuddie

Tuddie

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Thats a great help thanks alot. Im unsure now which to choose. Both sound like good models so im thinking on just go with what turns up that I take a fancy too. Obviously I will have a good look over them but there doesn’t seem to be an horror stories or one being preferred over the other.
 

DSM10000

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Thats a great help thanks alot. Im unsure now which to choose. Both sound like good models so im thinking on just go with what turns up that I take a fancy too. Obviously I will have a good look over them but there doesn’t seem to be an horror stories or one being preferred over the other.
The early models (pre face lift up to 2005 ish) are likely to have some corrosion.

Later models have more reliable electrics but more complex engines.

At the price point you mentioned it is more the condition than the age. Good luck!
 

W1ghty

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Post facelift 2006 -2009 E320cdi (or 280cdi) , personally I would avoid the sport if possible because of the 18” wheels , but they would be an easy enough change .
My E320cdi has been very reliable , even with me diy servicing it .
 

m80

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The V6 CDI was fitted to some during 2005.
The C class I had was rust free, but that was sold 6 years ago.

As said the V6 does have some gremlins, I've no experience with the in line 6 but it sounds more relaible.

But for reliability and economy the early 2.1 four pot takes some beating, but more agricultural.
 

Phil1968

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The 2003 E320CDI I had 10 years ago was corrosion free too, although it was only 7 / 8 years old at the time. Didn't they have aluminium doors / bonnet / bootlid & the rest was galvanised? I thought they went all out after the rust issues with the previous W210?
 

DSM10000

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They were better protected than the C class of the same years but I have seen a number with corrosion (well paint bubbling up on arches and doors.

One area that needs careful attention is the rear sub frame and brake pipes. Neither are cheap to replace but even the later 2008 /09 models may not be immune to this.
 

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