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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Feb 16, 2006
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    any expert on cars?
    I am going to buy a car tomorrow, I narrowed down to these two choices.
    Given that both cars are $3000, which one is a better should I choose?

    (1)1991 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 4sp automatic with 200,000 miles.

    or

    (2)1993 Acura Vigor 5sp manual with 130,000 miles.


    I know the 5sp is more fun to drive but on the other hand the MB is more comfy. Hard to decide. I think the maintenance cost will be about the same, but I am not expert in cars. Help~

  2. #2

    spudd4242's Avatar
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    The benz will last much longer.. and u wont have to pay for new clutch as often

  3. #3
    todd51
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    I'm not a huge expert on cars, but wouldn't you think the car with only 130,000 miles would last a lot longer?

  4. #4

    spudd4242's Avatar
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    U would think so cuz its japanese but the benz is built much more reliable

  5. #5


    Member Since
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    I'd be going for the Acura. Can't beat Honda reliability.

  6. #6


    Member Since
    Feb 16, 2006
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    (3) '98 Civic with 50,000 miles. (but this one costs $3800 and has some dents on the exterior)

  7. #7
    todd51
    Guest
    Yea, I don't know from experience, I've never had a Benz or Acura

  8. #8

    jotdess's Avatar
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    How many dings? Really bad? I'd go for the civic. It gets the best mpg out of the three, insurance will be cheaper, and it has the least amount of miles.
    Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.

  9. #9

    rcltrh's Avatar
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    As a 2x Benz owner I'd go with the Benz, however I do my own maintenance and can fix just about anything that goes wrong. At 200K on a 91 you will have issues going wrong all the time. Not that they would most likely be that hard to repair yourself if you can do your own repairs. However again, at the MB dealer, a simple oil change is over $100, muffler +cats $4000, fuel pump replace $500, shocks $1000, front and rear brakes $750, even changing spark plugs can run over $500 (my ML would have been $950 for just the plug replacement had I not done it at home myself for about $100). So unless you are made of money or else know how to do these types of things yourself, run from the Benz. A 91 with that many miles will need these types of things and others done all the time it will seem as various smallish type things constantly go bad with that age, and every one will be very expensive if you can't do them yourself. Benz engines are bullet-proof and will go easily to 400K, but those small things will nickel and dime you to the poorhouse in a hurry with a MB.

  10. #10

    Red Snapper's Avatar
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    If you're looking for something reliable and cheap to repair if repairs are needed you should go with the civic. Being a 98 it seems 50k is very low mileage. If anything goes wrong with it parts are very cheap and very common.

    As rcltrh said mercedes and other european cars have expensive parts and you will most likely need to go to the dealer (if you want the work done right) who will charge an arm and a leg for simple things.

  11. #11

    Village Idiot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Snapper View Post
    If you're looking for something reliable and cheap to repair if repairs are needed you should go with the civic. Being a 98 it seems 50k is very low mileage. If anything goes wrong with it parts are very cheap and very common.

    As rcltrh said mercedes and other european cars have expensive parts and you will most likely need to go to the dealer (if you want the work done right) who will charge an arm and a leg for simple things.
    ex: MI IV Jetta = timing belt at 60k miles, neglecting it can lead fubared internals...
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  12. #12

    Sgt Beavis's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 18, 2006
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    The 300SEL is a diesel, right?

    IF the engine has been maintained, it can last well over 500,000 miles. There have been some that have lasted well over a million miles.

    However before you buy, you need to talk to a Mercedes tech and find out if the engine will be ok with the new low sulfur diesel gas that is being rolled out in the US this year. If it is ok, then that would be my choice.

    The other consideration is the cost of maintenance. Part for the MB WILL be more expensive. The Vigor is basically the European version of the Honda Accord. However it has a 5 cylinder engine that wasn't used in any other Honda/Acura product sold in the US. Parts will be harder to come by and more expensive.

    Ultimately, I recommend that you by neither car. You do not fully know the history of either car so you don't have any idea when something will break.

    SOMETHING WILL BREAK.

    The cost of a major repair for these cars needs to be figured into your purchase price. I have always recommended that people add the cost of a rebuilt or new transmission when buying a car that old. The transmission is more likely to fail before any other major component. The MB tranny may go for as much as $5000 for a CORRECTLY rebuilt unit. The Vigor should cost less but you can still figure about $2000-$3000.

    So I recommend you buy something newer. It may not have the social status of the MB but a newer car is likely to cost you less money down the road.

  13. #13

    coach_z's Avatar
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    you should be able to find a lot lower mileage car for that amount of money. theyare also 14 year old cars and imo a 14 year old car with 130,000 is not worth 3,000. it is more in the 1500 dollar range.

    i plan on selling my 97 jetta with 120,000 which is in spectacular condition for not much more than a grand

    long story short: too old, too expensive too high mileage
    -chris
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  14. #14

    Stretch's Avatar
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    Couldn't agree more Coach_z. I'll sell you my '01 cavalier with 77k for $2800, not sure where you are looking, but you can get a much better car, new and lower miles than the two that you are looking at for about 3k.
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  15. #15


    Member Since
    Feb 16, 2006
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    alright, after looking at the comments, i think it's probably not a good idea to buy the acura or MB. The '98 civic is probably my best choice.. although it's not as comfortable and more expensive.

    The MB 300SEL is not a diesel, so it gets pretty bad gas mileage. But the seat is super comfortable for long drives.


    I currently drive an 1997 infiniti J30, besides the usual maintenance, i haven't really spend much $$ on it. But I am afraid once something breaks, I'll have to spend a lot because the parts are hard to find. Well actually something already broke(power steering) but i just can't spend $1000 on fixing it.(quoted from Midas) Because my girlfriend needs a car so we have to buy one first before fixing the infiniti.

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