Buying a 2013 or 2014 Mercedes E-350...Change my mind

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Time for a replacement for my wife's 14 year old Saab 9-5 Aero which has served us well. Am looking at 2012-2014 MB E-350 sedans with under 50k on them. We are outside of Philly and it's a target rich environment for them. Plenty to pick from under $25K. Why should I not get one ?
 
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Would the local area cars have rust issues? if you plan to keep it until it gets to be 14, this might be a good reason to search from more southern locations.
 
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Not sure about the US market, but many (if not all) of the Canadian versions are 4matic. I prefer RWD/FWD and I know the MB will handle differently and consume more fuel than the FWD Saab did. Also, if you plan on keeping it a while, I hope you are very handy with tools/have someone you trust to work on it.
 
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To save the sackcloth and ashes BITOG contingent the trouble... Buy a soul-slaughtering anodyne appliance(but only if you can pay cash).
 
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Originally Posted by Farnsworth
Very expensive repairs and often needing special equipment. That's why used ones off warranty are so cheap.
Expensive equipment which often only dealers have.
 
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Originally Posted by Toros
Time for a replacement for my wife's 14 year old Saab 9-5 Aero which has served us well. Am looking at 2012-2014 MB E-350 sedans with under 50k on them. We are outside of Philly and it's a target rich environment for them. Plenty to pick from under $25K. Why should I not get one ?
Remember one thing "NOTHING is more expensive than a cheap Mercedes" They are no more expensive than others really IF well maintained and that means following to the letter their maintenance schedule. A pre-purchase inspection by a "Qualified" MB Mechanic is mandatory
 

Y_K

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If you have access to Mannheim auction prices paid section, you may scratch your head wondering why there are so many of them go for so little money. Apparently, there is a reason. If your heart is still there, drive more than a few before you buy. You may also try a few Lexus GS cars just to see, if they may appeal to your wife at all.
 
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Well I have two E-350's, a 2008 and a 2011. The reason they're so cheap is that there's always a newer model available and like the sentiment above, everyone is afraid of the high repair costs. They're probably higher on older models. The W212 platform you're looking at the 2013-2014 are much more reliable than the previous generation. Anyway there's lots of resources out there. Use this vin decoder to find out what options the car has. https://www.datamb.com/ The EPC/WIS you can get on eBay for around $10-$15, that's the parts lookup and the service manuals that the dealers use. There's also several online places that discount MB parts about 25-30% off list price. I wouldn't worry too much about rust, lots of the panels used are aluminum like the hood and trunk, no rust on my 2008 although there's some minor surface rust underneath, the body panels hide a lot of it. You can get code scanners like the Autel Diaglink which does MB specific codes, around $90-$100 on Amazon, otherwise a knock off Star/Xentry C3/C4 scanner is in the $600-$800 range online, the real thing is thousands. Most expensive part of owning one so far is the tires/rims, those low profile 18 and 17 inch rims tend to get bent/cracked from all the potholes in this area and I'm not sure why I've also picked up a bunch of nails in the last few years. Tires tend to be about $200 a pop. The E-350's in the area are probably 4matics which are fine, slight hit on the gas mileage, but you get the same 4 tires on all the wheels. The RWD version gets staggered so the rears wear out in 1/2 the time as they can't be rotated. I would look at the 2014, it had a lot of new stuff like LED headlights and collision prevention and it was also the face lift. The early W212 had faded wood trim, but mostly was gone by 2013/2014 although some still claim that it's still there on their 2014's. Open the door to see if the wood hidden by the door is the same color to make sure the wood isn't faded. The pano roof can make noise over certain bumps, the bolts need to be tightened. I'd use the vin decoder to find things like the bixenons/lighting package, pano roof, parktronic, real leather instead of mb-tex, keyless go, dynamic seats, driver assistance package, power trunk closer, etc., but that's just me. Hard to find them loaded, most just had the P1 package and one or two options on the list. Once you start loading them up the price can climb up there. A real unicorn these days would be a loaded 2014 E550, last year they made them. They're fun to drive, I hope you get one. My only regret was not getting one sooner. I can honestly say that it's one of those things that brings a smile to my face once in a while which never really happened in previous soul slaughtering appliances I was driving before. Mine might have too many toys though, I have to stop myself from playing with various options as it can be too distracting.
 

OVERKILL

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A 2014 should still be able to be purchased as Certified Pre-owned through a Mercedes dealer, which is probably your safest bet.
 
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Originally Posted by Nick1994
Is an empty pocket worth 5% better driving satisfaction? It isn't for me.
It probably isn't for those that to stretch for it. I paid cash for both so it wasn't an issue, they were both used when I got them and they were under 20k. One thing that's great is all the music options, bluetooth, 6 cd changer, Sirius and the regular radio. (Never used the 6 CD changer). Audio system is also way better than the run of the mill car.
 
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I've done the buy a 5 year old Merc thing twice now although they were both much simpler models. First one was a 190e which I kept for 21 years with negligible maintenance costs, only a few trivial things like water pump and thermostats. Rust underneath was the real issue in the end and the only reason I sold it. Current car is a C180K bought at 5 years old and now 9 years old with the only non-scheduled cost being a corroded brake pipe. Not a spec of rust on body panels but underneath may be different. Personally I wouldn't touch a 4matic. Can't see the point of extra complexity if winter tyres will do the job. Main dealer service prices are crazy. You need to find a good Mercedes independent for the things you can't DIY. If reliable, an MB is no more expensive to run than other cars.
 
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My brother had one for about 12 years very little trouble and said it was the cheapest car he ever owned. He bought his wife a BMW and said his Mercedes had much higher quality rotors when he did the brakes. He won a raffle for a 2 year lease on a Jeep Patriot and said it was junk. Biggest mistake he made was getting rid of his MB to make room for the new Jeep. Turned in his lease and bought a MB SUV which he loves but says he expects higher maintenance with the 4matic AWD. There is one thing much more expensive to repair than a cheap MB and that would be an old cheap wood yacht. I have people try to give me them all the time 40-60 ft but in need of much repair at the marina. They just want out of the taxes.
 
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Originally Posted by Toros
Time for a replacement for my wife's 14 year old Saab 9-5 Aero which has served us well. Am looking at 2012-2014 MB E-350 sedans with under 50k on them. We are outside of Philly and it's a target rich environment for them. Plenty to pick from under $25K. Why should I not get one ?
For that kind of coin, consider a Panamera. They really are that cheap with even heavier depreciation than these mid-level Mercedes models. For that matter, a real-deal S class Mercedes can also be bought for reasonable money. Just bear in mind that repair costs can be high, although these are generally quality cars that should hold up well, contrary to popular belief.
 
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Originally Posted by Nick1994
Is an empty pocket worth 5% better driving satisfaction? It isn't for me.
In my case it's several orders of magnitude greater driving satisfaction-and my debt-equity ratio is just fine. But to each his own...
 
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Originally Posted by Wolf359
Well I have two E-350's, a 2008 and a 2011. The reason they're so cheap is that there's always a newer model available and like the sentiment above, everyone is afraid of the high repair costs. They're probably higher on older models. The W212 platform you're looking at the 2013-2014 are much more reliable than the previous generation. Anyway there's lots of resources out there. Use this vin decoder to find out what options the car has. https://www.datamb.com/ The EPC/WIS you can get on eBay for around $10-$15, that's the parts lookup and the service manuals that the dealers use. There's also several online places that discount MB parts about 25-30% off list price. I wouldn't worry too much about rust, lots of the panels used are aluminum like the hood and trunk, no rust on my 2008 although there's some minor surface rust underneath, the body panels hide a lot of it. You can get code scanners like the Autel Diaglink which does MB specific codes, around $90-$100 on Amazon, otherwise a knock off Star/Xentry C3/C4 scanner is in the $600-$800 range online, the real thing is thousands. Most expensive part of owning one so far is the tires/rims, those low profile 18 and 17 inch rims tend to get bent/cracked from all the potholes in this area and I'm not sure why I've also picked up a bunch of nails in the last few years. Tires tend to be about $200 a pop. The E-350's in the area are probably 4matics which are fine, slight hit on the gas mileage, but you get the same 4 tires on all the wheels. The RWD version gets staggered so the rears wear out in 1/2 the time as they can't be rotated. I would look at the 2014, it had a lot of new stuff like LED headlights and collision prevention and it was also the face lift. The early W212 had faded wood trim, but mostly was gone by 2013/2014 although some still claim that it's still there on their 2014's. Open the door to see if the wood hidden by the door is the same color to make sure the wood isn't faded. The pano roof can make noise over certain bumps, the bolts need to be tightened. I'd use the vin decoder to find things like the bixenons/lighting package, pano roof, parktronic, real leather instead of mb-tex, keyless go, dynamic seats, driver assistance package, power trunk closer, etc., but that's just me. Hard to find them loaded, most just had the P1 package and one or two options on the list. Once you start loading them up the price can climb up there. A real unicorn these days would be a loaded 2014 E550, last year they made them. They're fun to drive, I hope you get one. My only regret was not getting one sooner. I can honestly say that it's one of those things that brings a smile to my face once in a while which never really happened in previous soul slaughtering appliances I was driving before. Mine might have too many toys though, I have to stop myself from playing with various options as it can be too distracting.
Once again, you need to understand that the only true BITOG experts on European cars are the folks who haven't even sat in a Audi/BMW/Mercedes?Porsche- never mind owned or driven one...
 
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