2006 Mercedes-Benz E350 4Matic Estate

My never-ending quest for a replacement for my dying Land Rover for a winter vehicle (it is still ongoing) saw me look at a W210 Mercedes-Benz E320 Estate 4Matic and then went back a generation to look at a W124 Mercedes-Benz E320 Estate. It seems like most preferred the W124 and I can’t say I disagree, but I thought it might be interesting to head the other direction and look at a W211 E350 4Matic Estate. Mercedes made the W211 a little softer, a little sleeker and the biggest change was going from the M112 V6 to a M272 V6. The M272 was based on the M112 but with a bunch of little upgrades like continuous variable valve timing, the elimination of a mechanical thermostat and a dual variable-length intake manifold. Everything that sounds great on paper, but these early M272s had one major flaw that basically turns vehicles radioactive and unfortunately this wagon suffers from that. Of course I am talking about the dreaded balance shaft gears.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2006 Mercedes-Benz E350 4Matic Estate on eBay

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2006 Mercedes-Benz G500 Cabriolet

The W463 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Cabriolet is one of those vehicles that you might have a hunch is special, but aren’t quite sure how special until you really look at it and then ultimately look at what kind of prices they are commanding. I’ve taken a look at these G Cabrios before and my consensus is that they are loved for two reasons. The first being that they are extremely rare and people love to have what others can’t get. Second reason being that it is simply a G-Wagen with a power convertible top. Jeeps and Defenders with cloth tops are cool and all, but just easily pushing a button to raise or lower the top on your SUV that can literally climb a mountain is a luxury that people will seriously pay for. This 2006 G500 Cabrio up for sale in Switzerland looks to be case once again.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2006 Mercedes-Benz G500 Cabriolet on eBay

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2006 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG Estate

During my daydreams I always try to run through my head what relatively modern Mercedes-Benz is going to desirable and collectible in the near future or beyond. I’ve racked my brain plenty of times and the list I always come up with usually isn’t very long. It is not like there are not a bunch of good cars out there, but almost every one of them is a mass-produced vehicle that was made to be the best for the first few years then discarded quickly for whatever is new. That is how the entire car business is now and I don’t think it is going to change any time soon. It is even more true with newer AMG cars because their astronomical running costs just don’t make it feasible to keep long-term. Of course, there are exceptions to everything and one of those exceptions is the W211 E55 AMG Estate. The combination of the M113K in an estate body, which everyone seems to love, has proven to be one of the most desirable Mercedes of the past dozen years or so. It isn’t just because it is a wagon, because AMG keeps blessing the US market with these super wagons, but rather it is reasonable enough to live with when it comes to repairing and maintaining this estate. Thus, demand stays high, prices stay high and you have a vehicle that will go down as a young classic. This 2006 up for sale in New York is just one of these examples and given its price and mileage, is probably a pretty good deal.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2006 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG Estate on MB World

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2006 Porsche 911 Carrera S Coupe

When searching for value among 911s I typically turn to the usual suspects of the 996 or, when I want to turn the clock back a bit, the 911SC. Where I rarely look is the 997 and I think that’s probably been a mistake. Naturally prices will tend to be a little higher for one relative to its earlier peers, but you are getting more car for that money. And while some buyers might still prefer a 911SC or 3.2 Carrera for the simple fact that they come from the 911’s air-cooled years, many are happy to have a modern Porsche with all of the refinement (and extra performance!) that comes with it.

Here we have one that’s fairly standard as 911s go, but which does come in a nice specification and should come in at a fairly good price: a Black 2006 Porsche 911 Carrera S Coupe, located in Northern Virginia, with Camel leather interior, a 6-speed manual transmission, and a fairly reasonable 54,400 miles on it.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2006 Porsche 911 Carrera S Coupe on eBay

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El Jettamino: 2006 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Smyth Pickup

Although I’ve espoused my love of wagons and their do-everything nature, the reality is that I live in the suburbs and there are certainly some times (read: pretty often, actually) that I could use a pickup truck. But, if I’m completely honest, I’ve previously owned a big Chevrolet 2500HD pickup and I’m still not convinced that I’m a pickup kind of guy. Worse still, have you priced a pickup out lately? HOLY MACKEREL. A base Silverado starts at almost $30,000 and if you want things like…seats, and/or wheels, you’ll quickly need more than $40,000. When I see $40,000 asks on a pickup which a) I know will be rusting in 5 years no matter what I do and b) because it’s a GM, will almost certainly break, I get pretty annoyed. Worse still, the “Heartbeat of America” isn’t built in America. I know. I live right by the port where they all come in on a boat. Beside the steady stream of Fiats, Volkswagens, Porsches and Alfa Romeos, there’s a long line of Chevrolet and GMC pickups being driven into the United States for the first time.

So how about a pickup that’s a bit more my speed? Built in America with tons of European flare by utilizing recycled Audi/Volkswagen products, there’s always the Smyth Pickup:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2006 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Smyth Pickup on eBay

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2006 Volkswagen Golf GLS TDI

Update 7/3/18: After not selling a month ago for $5,900, the seller has raised the price to $6,500.

Recently, my mechanic picked up an interesting car. It’s a Golf GLS 2.0. Immediately, it’s a car that most will dismiss as being perhaps the least exciting Volkswagen produced in modern times, if not the least reliable. He tossed me the keys when I turned up with a broken front spring in the Passat (Thank you, Rhode Island Department of Pothole Management Transportation) .

Stepping into the Mk.4 from the B5.5 Passat, you’ll feel instantly right at home. The two share a majority of switchgear and the layout is identical. However, the quality of the Golf is lower, and it’s immediately evident the moment you turn the key. There’s less noise isolation, there’s more plastic, and the feel of the car is not as refined as the Passat. There are fewer options, too.

However, there are redeeming qualities. I can get the 1.8T in my Passat to return well over 30 mpg. But, to get those numbers you really have to go easy on the throttle. Not so in the Golf, which returns well over 30 mpg seemingly regardless of what you do with the loud pedal. And though the Mk.4 has gained a reputation for being unreliable, what immediately struck me was that everything still worked. Cruise control, power mirrors, seat heaters, air conditioning, radio, sunroof – it was all working on this relatively loaded GLS model. That was especially curious when I looked at the odometer, because still on its original engine, his 2003 Golf had an almost unfathomable 273,000 miles on it – yet it looked, ran and drove like it had less than half that amount.

For a car he picked up for around a thousand dollars, I’m not sure what more you could ask, so I decided to keep an eye out for one to pop up. It did, in nearly the same configuration as my mechanics. Except it is the more desirable turbo diesel model, known for going ultra long distances on nearly no fuel. So is this the one to get?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2000 Volkswagen Golf GLS TDI on eBay

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2006 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG

Something always brings me back to the M275-powered Mercedes-Benz cars. Is it the 603 hp and 738 lb·ft of torque? Probably. But something else just draws me to these mid-2000s rocket ships on wheels. I love the conservative styling with just a touch of aggressiveness like the quad exhaust tips and 18-inch twin-spoke AMG wheels in gunmetal gray. Just when I think I’m ready to dive in headfirst with one of these beasts in a business suit, I turn and run the other way when I see what it takes to live with one. This 2006 S65 AMG for sale in California checks all the boxes when you looking for one of the cars. Including a recent repair bill that will question how it is it possible that car repairs cost that much.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2006 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG on MB World

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2006 Porsche 911 Carrera S Coupe

I kind of stumbled into this car by accident. And I like it so I guess it’s a happy accident! This is a 2006 Porsche 911 Carrera S Coupe. It’s done around 61K miles and has a 6-speed manual transmission to deliver its 355 horses to the rear wheels. I don’t know quite how I ended up on its page. I certainly hadn’t set out to look for an early 997. But there I was and here we are.

I have been taking a look at more examples of the 996 lately because they do come in at pretty nice value. I’ve also grown to like the design more on some of the models. It’s all sort of a compromise though as I try to find examples that make the best of the model’s design flaws. When we step up to the 997 those issues mostly fall away. Many viewed the 997 as a return to where it appeared the 911 was headed following the 993. The 996’s divergences were smoothed over or replaced. In general, the 997 design has been better loved and we’ve seen its basic ethos carried on through the 991.

All of this is to say that if you can afford a little bit more car, then you can still do well for performance value with an early 997. And that’s why I stuck with this 911 after I stumbled into it. I wouldn’t say there’s anything particularly special about it. It looks like a nice, honest, 911 and at a pretty good price. There’s nothing wrong with that.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2006 Porsche 911 Carrera S Coupe on eBay

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2006 Mercedes-Benz S350

Everyone once in a while one of my favorite mystery cars pops up for sale again. That mystery being why in the world Mercedes-Benz brought these for sale in North America. The car I am talking about is the 2006 S350. I’ve covered this odd ball over year ago but incase you are new or just don’t know the story with this car, let me explain.

In 2006, the last year for the W220 in North America, Mercedes-Benz sold the S350 alongside the S430, S500, S55 AMG, S600 and S65 AMG. This would be totally normal except the S350 was a short wheelbase car that was over five inches shorter than the rest of the model lineup. It was also the only one with the V6. These cars weren’t highly optioned at all and as a result, were nearly $10,000 cheaper than the 430 and $20,000 cheaper than the 500. But why did Mercedes bother to bring over the S350 for only one year? My only guess is they had an abundance of them scheduled for production and needed to rid themselves of these cars while planning the W221 production to start later that year. But that can’t be it, right? Mercedes probably has an entire building full of production planners who make sure things like this don’t happen. They are German, after all.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2006 Mercedes-Benz S350 on eBay

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2006 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG

Earlier this year I looked at a 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG and pondered how cheap it would need to be for me or you to take the risk on. Ultimately, at the $17,495 the seller was asking still wasn’t cheap enough for me to even think about buying the car. 603 hp and 738 lb·ft of torque be damned, $17,495 is still $17,495 to me. Today, we have the brother of the CL65 for sale in New Jersey, the S65, and guess what? It’s cheaper than $17,495. How cheap?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2006 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG on eBay

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