Will buy a car this fall...suggestions?

Svempa

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And forget about the Evo versions. They're way more expensive than the limit Justin set.
 

Mopar Man

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Get a Chevrolet Suburban, those are sweet.
 

edkwon

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Justin: did you answer my questions about your financial and living situation?
 

justin syder

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i assume you live and work in NYC, ive learned from my friends who lived there that while purchasing a car itself is not cost prohibitive, paying for the reglar parking space and insurance can be very prohibitive, plus i hear theft rates are notorious in neighboring north jersey raisng those insurance rates even further. i assume youve factored all that into your budget and decision making.

then again i don't really know you and you could be like my friend who works on wall st, makes over 200K a year and saves money living in a tiny studio and doesn't own a car. you might have an excess of money to play with, and if thats the case, ignore what i said.
#1, to answer your question edkwon, I don't earn $200,000 but I definitely considered the cost of having a car, which includes gas, insurance, parking and possible maintenance. I will need one this fall as I would have to go back to college to finish my degree and will have classes after work during the evening. I am also getting a car because I would rather pay more than going with the cheaper alternative of mass transit because I like the freedom, mobility that having a car offers. To me waiting for transit has been stressful at times and inconvenient, despite being a lot more affordable. I will purchase my first car after I come back from vacation for two reasons; #1 I will spend some money while away and that will dictate how much I have left for the car. I would be able to buy it right after i come back from vacation or will have to wait a months pay to supplement what I need which is all depending on how much I spend while on vacation. #2 While away on vacation I will not be able to look after the car or be sure that any maintenance issue is taken care of and will not have to spend money on insurance since I won't home to use it. Otherwise I would have made plans to buy it already.

#2 I HATE SUV's and really dislike most American cars.

#3 Svempa, Isn't this an Evo version? It does fall in the budget.

1988 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3, $3500

http://www.autotrader.com/fyc/vdp.jsp?car_id=223681080&dealer_id=60311033&car_year=1988&num_records=&model=&make2=&start_year=1981&engine=&keywordsrep=&keywordsfyc=&certified=&fuel=&body_code=0&search_type=used&distance=50&first_record=26&make=MB&color=&min_price=100&drive=&default_sort=priceDESC&max_mileage=&style_flag=1&sort_type=priceDESC&address=10475&advanced=&end_year=1995&pager.offset=25&transmission=&doors=&max_price=6000&cardist=34
 
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andyhui01

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^Justin, that doesn't look like an evo to me, If I recall (I used to love the 190E's), Evo's have this huge rear spoiler (similiar to the Mitsu Evo's), that just looks like a souped up 190E.
I think the best value for money 190E would be the 2.5l cosworth one, one of the best looking and pretty powerful.

and ps, welcome back :D
 

Steve Levin

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It does look like a 2.3-16 -- the wheels and smaller rear wing would be right. As would the bolstered seats and manual.

The real question is: what's the service history?

Steve
 

bigsweezey

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Prices differ from place to place, and I'm in the SE and that seems to be a good buy. looks clean, low mileage for the year if it's correct. I'd go check it out and look for rust. Also run a carfax and see if anything comes up.

Which ever you decide, get a AAA membership. If you use it once it'll pay for itself. Not because it's a merc, more because it's an older car. Although merc's of that year aren't known for their dependability.
 

Svempa

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Nope Justin thats a regular 190E 2.3-16.

The Evo versions have the larger 2.5 liter engine. There are also regular 2.5-16 models so just because a car has the 2.5-16 Engine it doen't have to be an Evo.

Evo I


Evo II


But I'd suggest you'd find yourself a nice 2.3-16. They're the cheapest to buy and maintain and are really nice cars. I'd go and have a look at that car you linked from autotrader. For american circumstances the price makes sense. Also seems to be in good shape.

For an Evo in good condition you'll 25 000 ? and upwards.
 
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justin syder

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Thanks guys for your input!! It is helping me with this decision. So much so that I dont feel like a 190 anymore, more likely to go for an E, 300E!! I'm still in the early shopping around stage but I found a nice 93 300E that would have 217hp!!

What do you guys think?

1995 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E320 - $3,900
http://www.cars.com/go/search/detail.jsp?tracktype=usedcc&searchType=21&cid=&dlid=&dgid=&amid=&pageNumber=0&numResultsPerPage=50&largeNumResultsPerPage=0&sortorder=descending&sortfield=PRICE+descending&certifiedOnly=false&criteria=K-|E-|M-_31_|D-_287_|N-N|R-30|I-1|P-PRICE+descending|Q-descending|Z-10475&aff=national&paId=134506775&leadExists=true
(i do notice the cracked/scratched bumpers)

The 88 190E 2.3 is a 190 with a sport kit or sport package and the reality set in of me not really getting a cosworth as they are hard to find and way over my budget if I found one. A early 90s E-Class looks to be a better choice to me...for now that is. I can't wait to buy already!!!
 
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VillageIdiot

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Thanks guys for your input!! It is helping me with this decision. So much so that I dont feel like a 190 anymore, more likely to go for an E, 300E!! I'm still in the early shopping around stage but I found a nice 93 300E that would have 217hp!!

What do you guys think?

1995 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E320 - $3,900
http://www.cars.com/go/search/detail.jsp?tracktype=usedcc&searchType=21&cid=&dlid=&dgid=&amid=&pageNumber=0&numResultsPerPage=50&largeNumResultsPerPage=0&sortorder=descending&sortfield=PRICE+descending&certifiedOnly=false&criteria=K-|E-|M-_31_|D-_287_|N-N|R-30|I-1|P-PRICE+descending|Q-descending|Z-10475&aff=national&paId=134506775&leadExists=true
(i do notice the cracked/scratched bumpers)
Here's my input for you: my Dog and Lemon guide. (Good book btw.)

E-Class W124 between 93-96.
How Reliable? Dodgy
How Safe? Okay

Overall: Not recommended

A satisfying car to drive, when working. Head gaskets etc. may blow at 100k kms.

What goes wrong?
Old engines rattle and leak oil
Camshafts wear with age
Timing chains fail with age
Cooling systems are notoriously unreliable
Any cooling fan clutches need replacement if not already done so


That was just the main bits, trust me there was a LOT more. If you disagree don't take it up with me, talk to the people who wrote the book.

Looks like a good buy though, seems clean and in good condition. Happy motoring!
 

andyhui01

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^^my aunt had something like that, but it was a 96 E280 (same body I believe) and somewhere around the 120k km's mark the cars entire electronic system just died... like nothing was working, lights, car couldn't start and everything. They ended up replacing alot of stuff, and as Village idiot said, it isn't very reliable, in Hot climates, the cars temp. shoots up in traffic and the cooling system dies quite often. I think Mercedes were starting to go downhill from then, better to get the older models.
 

justin syder

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damn, I really liked that 95 E320. Let me know what years I should focus in on and what years I should avoid. I was looking at 190's and E-Class' between 1982-1995. Would it be ok to buy a car that has been repaired? Had a new transmission or other fix thus not making it a problem I would go through?

I guess a 190 might be the likely pick.

Here is the only BMW I would be interested in,

http://www.autotrader.com/fyc/vdp.jsp?car_id=224783892&dealer_id=60448333&car_year=1991&num_records=25&model=&make3=BMW&make2=BMW&start_year=1981&keywordsfyc=&keywordsrep=&engine=&certified=&body_code=0&fuel=&search_type=both&distance=50&model3=325E&model2=&first_record=126&make=BMW&color=&min_price=&drive=&default_sort=priceDESC&max_mileage=&style_flag=1&sort_type=priceDESC&address=10475&advanced=&end_year=2008&pager.offset=125&transmission=&doors=&max_price=9000&cardist=25


BTW, I do not want to put too much money into these cars, that might not be avoidable but if you guys know which ones are more costly than others feel free to drop a line. Which ever car I purchase I do intend to use carfax and any other site to check the cars history and I would be willing to take it to a Benz dealer to get it looked at after I buy it,change oil or anything that needs to be taken cared of. Those are the measures I can take to avoid serious repair or to prevent anything major from happening.

Thanks again!
 
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Spectre

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If you want a Mercedes that's a paragon of reliability, do NOT go any later than 93. In was in 1993 that Mercedes announced that they would no longer be overbuilding their cars - coinciding with the end of the 190E. Anything that was made after the C-Class was introduced is automatically suspect, IMHO.

There are still thousands of 190Es running around here in the States, parts are surprisingly more on par with my XJ6 (and *that* car has cheap parts since it was a parts bin car) than with my former 750iL. There's a lot of support here for them. A friend has one of the last W201s, a 1993 190E 2.6. It's a good car. Their biggest drawbacks are that the 2.6 is a KE-Jetronic system (so it can be arcane to troubleshoot sometimes), and the ignition module/controller is hideously expensive ($900-1600) when it goes out. If you get a W201, get a spare ignition controller from a junkyard ($50) or use a MegaSquirt unit to control the spark. Make sure any 190E you have has a *working* climate control system. You do not want to have to take that apart if you can avoid it. They're reliable cars, otherwise - take care of them and they'll run darned near forever.

Also, from a driver's standpoint, get a 92 or 93 190E 2.6 if you want an automatic. They all use the legendary ZF 4HP22 transmission, but the earlier cars *always* move off in second gear unless you designate it manually, and they're calibrated for economy. The 92 and 93 (and maybe 91) have a more "normal" 4HP22 control and they start off in first. Performance is a lot better.

Here's what a 93 190E 2.6 looks like with Euro lights and an S600 style aftermarket grille.



 
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Svempa

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My friend has a 190E (basemodel with ca 120 bhp) and it's just the most reliable car I can think of. The car has done a bit over 300 000 km and all it requires is ordinary maintenance. It simply won't break.

So as mentioned before Justin: Get the 2.3-16, so you get some performace too, and enjoy a troubelfree ownership.
 

justin syder

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Thanks for the info Spectre and I'm pretty sure I just might get a 190E 2.6 Svempa.

If I had to go out and get test drives and start to buy tomorrow I would have it down to these 4 choices,

1992 Mercedes-Benz 190 E Sedan -$3900
http://www.michaelsmotorcarsinc.com/detail-1992-mercedes~benz-190-e-1309444.html

1991 BMW 525i -$3900
http://www.autotrader.com/fyc/vdp.jsp?car_id=224783892&dealer_id=60448333&car_year=1991&num_records=25&model=&make3=BMW&make2=BMW&start_year=1981&keywordsfyc=&keywordsrep=&engine=&certified=&body_code=0&fuel=&search_type=both&distance=50&model3=325E&model2=&first_record=126&make=BMW&color=&min_price=&drive=&default_sort=priceDESC&max_mileage=&style_flag=1&sort_type=priceDESC&address=10475&advanced=&end_year=2008&pager.offset=125&transmission=&doors=&max_price=9000&cardist=25

1993 Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.6 - $2,750
http://www.cars.com/go/search/detail.jsp?tracktype=usedcc&searchType=21&cid=&dlid=&dgid=&amid=&pageNumber=0&numResultsPerPage=50&largeNumResultsPerPage=0&sortorder=descending&sortfield=PRICE+descending&certifiedOnly=false&criteria=K-|E-|M-_31_|D-_1274_|N-N|R-50|I-1|P-PRICE+descending|Q-descending|Z-10475&aff=national&paId=132714903&leadExists=true

1990 Mercedes-Benz E-Class 300E - $4,900
http://www.cars.com/go/search/detail.jsp?tracktype=usedcc&searchType=21&cid=&dlid=&dgid=&amid=&pageNumber=0&numResultsPerPage=50&largeNumResultsPerPage=0&sortorder=descending&sortfield=PRICE+descending&certifiedOnly=false&criteria=K-|E-|M-_31_|D-_1274_|N-N|R-50|I-1|P-PRICE+descending|Q-descending|Z-10475&aff=national&paId=230100016&leadExists=true

The first one, the 190E at $3900 could very likely be mine and I'm starting to fall in love with it. The BMW is a nice one and the price is good but I would have to really like to drive it to pick it over a Benz. The third choice is a nice color and really good price but mileage is higher than what I want. The last one is a E300E and I like the HP over the others but the price is higher than what I want to pay.
 

andyhui01

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^I don't know about you but I have a feeling if you drive the E34, you'll fall in love with it. It has a potential to look very nice (but I have a feeling you're not planning to go down that route) and the 2.5l Straight-6 engine sounds really nice, however I don't know many E34 owners so I cannot answer your question about reliability, but I assume that it can't be that bad.
 

justin syder

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It is a good enough car for me to consider but a test drive would have to settle it as I am a big Benz guy and looks alone I would take a Benz over the BMW.

Just my preference. Time frame to buy is less than 3 1/2 months...around mid Sept.
 

Ottobon

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If you don't hate Subarus, i would highly, and i really mean this, suggest test driving a 95+ Subaru SVX LSi (must be 1995 because those are reliable, and must be LSi because tan leather interiors look 100x nicer then grey, and the AWD system is worth having) those things are amazingly comfortable, and yet had more soul then really any Subaru ever. I was blown away by the 95 i drove and i wish i could have scooped it up for the $3800 sale price.

Benz are nice though, so i would agree to buy the pre-93 and get a well kept example, if it wasn't for the fact Benz are supposidly hard to work on i probably wouldn't have bought a Jetta diesel, and would have saved for some big turbo diesel benz
 

justin syder

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If you don't hate Subarus, i would highly, and i really mean this, suggest test driving a 95+ Subaru SVX LSi (must be 1995 because those are reliable, and must be LSi because tan leather interiors look 100x nicer then grey, and the AWD system is worth having) those things are amazingly comfortable, and yet had more soul then really any Subaru ever. I was blown away by the 95 i drove and i wish i could have scooped it up for the $3800 sale price.

Benz are nice though, so i would agree to buy the pre-93 and get a well kept example, if it wasn't for the fact Benz are supposidly hard to work on i probably wouldn't have bought a Jetta diesel, and would have saved for some big turbo diesel benz
I looked into anything sporty and remotely sporty, Vettes, Firedbirds, Mitsu Evos, Subaru WRXs, Camaros old Porsches and nothing pretty much came up within my budget or my area. This is why I'm going with a Benz as there are many in my area and budget to choose from. That BMW is also in the back of my mind, I will have to test drive it to rule it out before settling on a Benz, my fav car and brand to pick.
 
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