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Old 19-11-2016, 12:28 PM   #31
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Like I said I would like a large 4 door saloon with RWD or AWD. Hondas are FWD only.

I can't afford a late W211.

So I guess I would be better off then with something like an Omega? As large as an E Class, luxury enough for me and they don't have the bad reputation the W210 has. The V6s are quite quick too.
Good luck with finding a good Omega these days. I used to drive them with the police and was also a demo driver for Vauxhall. Omega's also rust and the V6 engines can become quite rough after 100k. They were never as good as the old 24v straight 6. Quite a bit smaller than the E class too.
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Old 19-11-2016, 12:38 PM   #32
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Well, my reservations come from its very bad reputation. I would have zero reservations for example if I was thinking of a W124.
In that case you would be rather unwise. Apart from rust (yes - old W124s do rust !) there would be disintegrating wiring looms to look out for along with all the other potential problems associated with 20 - 30 year-old cars.




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Originally Posted by Tmc View Post
Like I said I would like a large 4 door saloon with RWD or AWD. Hondas are FWD only.

I can't afford a late W211.

So I guess I would be better off then with something like an Omega? As large as an E Class, luxury enough for me and they don't have the bad reputation the W210 has. The V6s are quite quick too.

Sure it's not a Merc and it's a Vauxhall. But it costs quite less to buy and to maintain. And we have a Ford and a Vauxhall now and the Vauxhall is 15 years old and passed the last MOT without any problems and has no body rust at all.

I guess a reliable Vauxhall is better than a rotten Mercedes?
An old Omega is likely to have at least as many problems as an old W210 and possibly a great many more. I really wouldn't see one as a cheaper and more practical alternative.
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Old 19-11-2016, 01:35 PM   #33
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Apologies if I missed it but what's your budget?
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Old 19-11-2016, 02:32 PM   #34
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I'm sure you say that in terms of marque, luxury and features? I would have to agree there is hardly anything better for the money. But if it will be at a garage to repair all the time because of a bunch of issues you can't even enjoy all it has to offer.

I need a car as a daily driver so it needs to be reliable.

And an early W211 is better and more reliable?

Thanks.
Mechanically the cars are good, can suffer from limp mode but like anything diagnosed and repaired properly they are fine.

The W211 doesn't suffer from rust as they were galvanised, however I would avoid a very early (say 02/52) one.

As above, budget will help
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Old 19-11-2016, 02:46 PM   #35
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Thanks everybody for the replies so far.




Sure. The E Class is a good car but we are talking only about the W210. Are there still W210 taxis at this point?

And a as far as I understand, engine and mechanics were never the biggest problem. I'm sure they would run 200k miles no problem. The W210 problems seem to be electrical and very bad rust.

What is even more scary is that I have never seen a car with such a long list of notorious problems in their Wikipedia page as the W210. This must show they are really common right?

And are you saying the W210 is as reliable as a Toyota or Honda? Because I would think if it was, it wouldn't have the horrible reputation it has. Toyota and Honda have very good reputations for reliability.
I have never owned a W210 , but have had several W124's and would have another in a heartbeat .

Re the taxi question - I was in Tenerife a few months back - most of the taxis there were W124's , then 210's were the close runners up , followed by still a few W123's being run as taxis and a couple of W201's - then all the 'other makes' .

I was in Berlin a couple of years back , and while there there was a strong representation of the newer models , there are still significant numbers of W124 and W210 taxis - my impression though being that the 124's still running as taxis outnumber the 210's , but that is just an impression .

Apart from rust , the most common 210 fault I'm aware of is front spring perches collapsing - two friends have had that happen . Electrical issues are common to all Mercs of that era .
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Old 19-11-2016, 02:53 PM   #36
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The W210 is over 20 years-old and even the latest ones will soon be 15 years of age so problems (rust is the main problem but won't be the only one) are to be expected especially as these tend not to be low-owner / low mileage type cars - most will have earned their keep. They should therefore be seen as Bangernomics with a bit of luxury thrown in.

Look out for a diesel model (but check the injectors carefully for "black death") - a 220 if you want some serious fuel economy or 320 if you want a bit more zip and if you keep looking you'll eventually find a very nice one for little more than 1000 or an absolute cracker for 1500 - 2000.
Not sure if the OP is particularly looking for diesel , but I'd suggest petrol models are nicer to drive , more likely to have been privately owned and looked after , and less troublesome .
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Old 19-11-2016, 02:58 PM   #37
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I've owned four W124s. I have serious reservations now about those!
So have I - however I feel I'd know where to look for problems in a prospective purchase and would have no reservations in buying a good one - another estate is a distinct possibility ...
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Old 19-11-2016, 03:09 PM   #38
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So have I - however I feel I'd know where to look for problems in a prospective purchase and would have no reservations in buying a good one - another estate is a distinct possibility ...
As with my earlier post on the w210. Having had a bad one and pullig it apart, I now know where to look on any future purchase.
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Old 19-11-2016, 04:53 PM   #39
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I owned a W210 3 litre diesel estate 1999 vintage and sold it when the car was 10 years old in 2009. I still see the car regularly and it is being driven by the person I sold it to. Yes, I had rust problems, but on the W210 there were some cars that really did rust badly and some cars didn't. I guess I had one that didn't so much, however, I am of the opinion that we have our engines serviced once a year, the body work should be treated the same and any blemishes should be sorted before the become eyesores. On the estate, over the 7 years of ownership I probably spent 600 or so on the body work, mainly the wheel arches. The tops of the doors under the rubbers I did myself. Good luck in your search for whatever car you decide on.
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Old 19-11-2016, 05:10 PM   #40
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Like I said I would like a large 4 door saloon with RWD or AWD.
......................

Lexus LS or GS?
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Old 19-11-2016, 06:12 PM   #41
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Apart from rust , the most common 210 fault I'm aware of is front spring perches collapsing - two friends have had that happen .
Yes but that is also caused by rust.
Inadequate under-seal and protection, so it creeps along 'undetected'.
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Old 19-11-2016, 06:27 PM   #42
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Yes but that is also caused by rust.
Inadequate under-seal and protection, so it creeps along 'undetected'.
Not as it was explained to me by an MB master tech : on the 210 the perches are only held on by three spot welds , which eventually fail and let go - it is poor design and not caused by corrosion .
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Old 19-11-2016, 06:30 PM   #43
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Like I said I would like a large 4 door saloon with RWD or AWD. Hondas are FWD only.

I can't afford a late W211.

So I guess I would be better off then with something like an Omega? As large as an E Class, luxury enough for me and they don't have the bad reputation the W210 has. The V6s are quite quick too.

Sure it's not a Merc and it's a Vauxhall. But it costs quite less to buy and to maintain. And we have a Ford and a Vauxhall now and the Vauxhall is 15 years old and passed the last MOT without any problems and has no body rust at all.

I guess a reliable Vauxhall is better than a rotten Mercedes?
Don't overlook Volvo .
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Old 19-11-2016, 09:31 PM   #44
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Don't overlook Volvo .
I was going to suggest a V70...
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Old 19-11-2016, 09:35 PM   #45
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Omegas are fantastic cars, but you'll need look to find a good one now. Sadly, they too are known for rusting. Find a good MV6 and you'll be delighted.

Interestingly we chose the Omega over a W210 too.
Honestly the more I think about it the more sense it makes. If the W210 wasn't as bad as it is then I would for sure go with it. But by the sound of it I would have to be extremely lucky to get one which won't have a lot of problems or turn problematic in the future. So I would be buying a car which I can be almost certain will give me problems and know for sure is expensive to repair.

With the Omega, not only the entry cost is less, the repairs are also lower cost and it doesn't have the bad reputation the W210 does. Sure there are many who will snob it because it's a Vauxhall. I don't care about that. But I have been doing some reading and I have yet to see an Omega owner making fun of the car as I have seen many W210 owners. Like saying the W210 will pop a new rust bubble every time he turns his back on it, or others flat out calling the car a piece of c* in so many words. I read reports of rust starting after a year of use from new and all sorts of things that just shouldn't happen. Specially with an expensive Mercedes.

All together, in the end I have read way more bad things about the W210.

Yes, any car from that era will rust compared to later cars. But it's clear the W210 has a serious problem which goes beyond the normal for that era.The fact it is an expensive Mercedes makes it even worse of a fact.

On top of all that I have had good experience with Vauxhalls. Like I said mine is 15 years old now, so it was made around the same time as the Omega, so it's a good example for quality of Vauxhalls of that time. Never had any major problems with it and no rust. Passed last MOT straight up.

I also visited with an acquaintance today who has 2003 Omega Elite and spoke to him about it. His car has no rust. He had only two small spots behind the rear doors and took care of it years ago and it has been solid since. He said the 90's ones have way more rust problems. But in 2000 after the facelift they got better protection. No engine problems either. Sitting in the car it's quite big, lots of leg and head room at the back, very comfortable to drive and I quite liked the way it drives. It has over 150K on the clock but the engine doesn't feel rough at all. It's a V6 as well. It drove really nicely and feels quite a step up from my current Vauxhall and Ford.

When I mentioned I was considering a W210 or the Omega he didn't even let me finish my sentence, saying don't buy that vintage of Mercedes. His brother went through 3 of that era. E class and 2 C Class till he finally gave up on the Mercedes image and bought something else.

So based on the feedback I got here on the W210, and all the horror stories I read online, plus having an acquaintance personally telling me horror stories about them. This combined with my great experience with Vauxhalls from that era and Steve's great experience with the Omega in particular, I think it's an obvious choice now.

BMW doesn't seem to have the horrible reputation of the Mercedes of that era. You hear the same you hear about the Omega. That they also rust. Most cars of that era will. But not that they melt away plus all the other gremlins. But I just dislike BMWs and how they look. Same with the Lexus.

So I guess the Omega makes the most sense and with the price of an OK W210 I can get a great Omega. As difficult as it may be to find a good Omega today, I guess most will agree it's not nearly impossible as with the W210, according to people here and everywhere. So it will still be an easier task.

Then I may save up to get a late W211 later or one day even a W212.
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