2000 Mercedes-Benz E430

I think the days of V8s in mid-size sedans are numbered. With emissions regulations and fuel economy standards becoming more stringent as the years go on, you’ll be seeing smaller and smaller displacement engines along with hybrid systems becoming the norm in almost every car except the ultra-high performance models. Look right now, the current Mercedes-Benz E-Class lineup lacks a V8 until you get to the top of the range E63 AMG, which starts at $110,000. Even ten years ago, you could get your E500 with a 5.0 V8 and call it a day. Not anymore, two 2.0L inline-fours and an 3.0L inline-six are what awaits your down payment. Buyers don’t really care, as long as the car looks good and the lease numbers and performance are good, sign ’em up.

So rewind 20 years and head back to the new Millennium where the E-Class lineup was simple. There was the 3.2L V6 E320, 4.3L V8 E430, and 5.4L V8 E55 AMG. Done. The buyers for E320s and E55s were very different people, as the E320 was $47,000, while the E55 was a significant amount more at $72,000. Turns out its not cheap to pay a bunch of Germans in a small town to hand-assemble a car. So what about the E430? $53,000. Suddenly that extra six grand seems like a worthwhile upgrade over the E320. You had more than respectable numbers at the time with 275 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft of torque. Still, every time you saw an E55, which lets be honest probably never because of the extremely low production numbers, you wanted those 18″ Monoblocks and special body kit. Now that is 20 years later, does it still make sense to buy an E430? I think so, especially this one.

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1989 Mercedes-Benz 300E

I think it’s becoming pretty clear to everyone that the reality of owning a “new” car that was recently produced for a really long time is slim. Unless you own some factory diagnostic software and tools, or get really cozy with an independent shop that does, the weekend warrior at home in the garage will be a thing of the past. Even with something like an oil change requires software to reset the service intervals, and changing a battery? That literally needs to be coded to the car. No more slapping a new one in and calling it a day. Because of all this, I think the demand for relatively simple cars will grow greater and greater. A perfect example of that? Of course its a W124 Mercedes-Benz E-Class. This example up for sale in Maine is no low-mileage garage queen, but nice enough to make you think is. The thing, the price certainly reflects that.

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1993 Mercedes-Benz 300CE

I personally think one of the more overlooked Mercedes-Benz that is still relatively affordable is the W124 coupe. It’s starting to get in that sweet spot of becoming old enough to be classic, but all the equipment is still modern enough, both safety and amenities, that you are perfectly fine driving it everyday. Nothing will kill you in terms of maintenance or repairs, and even since it is a W124 at the end of the day, it shouldn’t be that unreliable at all. What’s not to like?

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2001 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG

Nothing makes me smile more than high performance variants with a bunch of miles on them. Especially when I don’t own them. The supposedly finicky and fragile nature of them sometimes hold true, but for the most part if you just maintain them, you’ll be fine. Granted, today’s car isn’t exactly a Maserati Biturbo when it comes to build quality and complexity, but it is a hand-assembled super sedan from 20 years ago. As always, in full disclosure, I have one of these in my garage sitting under a cover, but that doesn’t mean I’m not realistic about them. That subject is none other than the W210 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG – a car which predates bi-turbo V8s and crackling exhausts. Just a big engine, some subtle body work changes, and some wide tires. That’s it. This example up for in Washington? Thoroughly enjoyed.

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2006 Mercedes-Benz E500 Estate

Station wagon, estate, avant, whatever you want to call them, they are still popular. How did I come to that conclusion? Well, take a look at basically any German vehicle that is offered in both sedan and wagon and you’ll see that the wagon transacts at a higher price tag on the used market. This is especially true when it comes to high performance models like an Audi RS or AMG. A lot of that has to do with having your cake and eating it too, along with the exclusivity, as high performance wagons are made in extremely small numbers. However, even in standard base models, the wagons are still bringing premiums over sedans. Today’s car, a 2006 E500 Estate up for sale in California, follows that trend. Who says wagons are uncool?

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2001 Mercedes-Benz E430

For as bland and as boring as Mercedes-Benz can be with some of the color combinations, every once in awhile they’ll give us something that shows they still have a little bit of style. The W210 E-Class was pretty notorious for being offered in nothing but earth tones, especially the beige on beige examples. What we have here today is a 2001 E430 from the swanky minds at the designo department who offered up a color combination of Mocco Black Metallic over a Nappa Nubuck leather interior with natural elm wood trim. Even better, it has the classic 18″ Monoblock wheels and just 75,000 miles. To top it off, it’s had a single family ownership and service records from new.

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1999 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG

Not to be the guy who says “I told you so”, but I’ve been singing the praises of the W210 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG for years now. Biased? Of course. I bought two of these cars, one gifted to my father, and one for me, and both remain today. Mine stays tucked under the cover in the garage and maybe sees the light of day once a month while my father, although a retiree, daily drives his and just crossed 205,000 miles on it. Both of them were purchased when they were probably at their lowest point in worth, and as luck would have it, prime examples are starting to pull really strong money. I know that is a little bit of an outlier, but the rising tide lifts all boats unless you are talking about an example that is ready for the junkyard. Are there deals still out there for these cars? Yes, I think so. Higher mileage examples and ones that need a little love can still be had under $10,000, but I think as the years go on, those examples will be put out to pasture and only the strongest will survive. This 1999 up for sale in California sure is a strong example with just 54,000 miles, but are you willing to pay the price now hoping the prices will continue to creep upwards?

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1997 Mercedes-Benz E300

I’m sure I’m not the only person who wants both an analog experience in my car along with having the ease of DIY on most everything, but also wants modern tech and these crazy new safety features called airbags. Case in point, my Mercedes-Benz W116 and W123 are both simple enough that I can diagnose and fix almost anything on the entire car in my home garage, but their main safety features are headrests and a padded steering wheel. If you go to the other end with a newer Mercedes-Benz diesel, you see cryptic messages on your infotainment screen saying the car isn’t going to restart unless you fill the tank up with AdBlue fluid, but hey, at least the car will literally steer itself in between the lane lines while you are frantically Googling on your phone what the hell AdBlue fluid is. So is there a happy medium? Well, I think I have one option.

The W210 is a very fine chassis in my eyes. Granted, I’m biased as I own one, but they are seemingly sturdy cars as long as you keep them away from constant moisture and salt. All the gas engines in car are equally as fine, but thankfully the US market was blessed with a gem of a diesel, the OM606. This 3.0 liter inline-six replaced the OM603, which replaced the OM617, so we have good lineage here. It was available in turbo and non-turbo, with today’s car I want to look at, a 1997 E300, being the non-turbo. Much like Mercedes diesels of past, this one has a lot of miles, but probably also has good years left in it as well.

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1993 Mercedes-Benz 300CE Sportline

If you want to get into the Mercedes-Benz W124 world but don’t want to pay the big prices that the 500E/E500 commands, there are a few other options if you need that little extra bit over a standard offerings. Mercedes did just that with the Sportline option on the coupes, sedans and even the estate cars, and it gave you a more that just some cool little badges. While you didn’t get a horsepower bump, you did get a bunch of revised suspension components, wider wheels and tires, a quicker ratio steering box and a smaller steering wheel. Worth it? Probably so. Visually, you can’t really tell a Sportline car from a regular W124 outside of those little badges, so when hunting for these cars you do really need to have a keen eye when searching through the mass of W124s for sale at any time. Thankfully, people are starting to recognize these cars are more desirable to some and thus listing them as Sportline cars, like today’s car – a 1993 300CE with just 39,000 miles. Problem is, this dealer outside of Chicago is asking a ton of money for the honor of that badge. How much? Well, you’re well into 500E asks here:

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2005 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG Estate

When it rains, it pours. For a vehicle that North American only saw 192 of, I have come across three W211 Mercedes-Benz E55 Estates for sale in less than three weeks. Last week it was a 2005 in The Hamptons that needed some help and the week before that it was an even rarer 2006 also in New York that was replaced by a Ferrari FF. Today, we have another 2005 that is up for sale in sunny Jacksonville, Florida that thankfully looks to be in prime shape. This S211 painted in Brilliant Silver Metallic checks in with 145,000 miles and thanks to a few little Mercedes software tricks, has some nice little features that I don’t see all that often.

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