For as many really expensive cars I take a look at, I try to feature a fair amount of ones that are reasonably affordable in terms of how expensive this hobby can get. This is especially true when it comes down to pure valve for money. Today’s car, a 2011 Mercedes-Benz SL550 up for sale New Hampshire has a selling price of well north of $100,000 back in 2011 and was generally seen at the best buy if you wanted a German roadster. You know what you were going to get in terms of features and quality, and running costs aren’t anywhere near what you’d pay for an Italian counterpart. Now that we are over a decade later with these, that $100,000 price tag is just a reference point and actual prices are much, much lower. How does around $20,000 sound?
Sometimes things just don’t make sense. The Mercedes-Benz R-Class is one of those. When it launched, it was compared to a bad minivan with ugly styling and a crazy price tag. The R350 rang in north of $50,000, while a loaded up R500 4MATIC hit $70,000. That is a lot of money for something that doesn’t look the price, and the quality was average at best. The interior was just a lot of parts-bin stuff and was very much form-follows-function. One would think that would equal almost no demand for them in the used market given Mercedes expanded their SUV lineup massively and updated everything around them. However, the prices they are still bringing in the used market some 15 years later say that is not the case.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2006 Mercedes-Benz R500 4MATIC on eBay
Ever since about March or so when the American passport suddenly became worthless, people who usually travel by plane to vacation spots suddenly were packing up and driving to where ever wasn’t their house. That meant normally pleasant national parks and camping spots looked like Disney World in July. That’s not a good thing. Good luck even finding a parking spot at an outdoor venue and suddenly the sleepy little resort towns in the Midwest are overrun with tourists. To combat that, people had to go even further away into some true expedition exploring, but mom’s Honda Odyssey minivan wasn’t the ideal vehicle for the job. Enter the overland rig.
The overlanding community has always been strong, but never in your face about it. You could usually tell if you saw a roof-top tent or some serious suspension and wheel/tire combo, but that was about it. Jeeps and Land Cruisers are the preferred vehicle of choice, but you’d get your Tacoma and other trucks as well. What you usually don’t see, are $100,000+ luxury SUVs, even as capable as they might be. Taking a Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen into the woods and putting trail damage on one is a bad idea unless you plan on being buried in it, but it looks like this 2013 up for sale in West Virginia of all places is exactly ready for that. Notice I said “ready” and didn’t used any past tense language on that one. Let me explain.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2013 Mercedes-Benz G550 on eBay
I don’t believe a lot of people necessarily think about the R230 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class generation. Outside of the SL55 AND SL65 AMG cars, they cars are rather forgettable in the world of modern convertibles. Don’t get me wrong, there isn’t anything particularly bad about them, but they were rather soft. The design was conservative with subdued lines and long curves, and the inside was much of the same. Mercedes isn’t dumb here, this is what their SL buyers want. Because of the long production run and a bunch of variants, there isn’t a giant demand for them over 10 years later. Whats that mean? Cheap cheap cheap.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2007 Mercedes-Benz SL550 on eBay
As fun and quirky as my two daily drivers, a 1980 Mercedes-Benz 300SD and 1983 Mercedes-Benz 240D, are to have, they are borderline miserable to drive in the northeast during the winter months. Since I don’t own a four car garage, they sit in the driveway 99% of the time while my W210 E55 AMG sits under a cover in my garage with empty boxes piled on top of it. As a result, it is always a surprise to see if the locks or door handles are frozen when I walk outside in the morning. From there, the 240D is pretty good about starting in any temperature but the 300SD isn’t having it unless the coolant heater has been plugged in for a while despite me just replacing the glow plugs a few months ago. Once I do get one of them fired up, really hot heat is a pipe dream in the 240D while it’s a crap shoot in the W116 because of the god forsaken Chrysler servo system. Compare all this to a normal car that you simply press a button on a key fob, put it in gear and drive away in total comfort. This all has me dreaming about a more modern daily driver and when you comes to dreams, you know what they say, dream big.
This 2010 S550 4Matic up for sale in Brooklyn might be one of the nicest W221s outside of any S600 or AMG variety. Painted in Designo Magno Platinum Matte Finish on the outside, the inside is even better with Designo Sand Leather seats with Oak Grain Designo Natural Matte wood sprinkled about. Add in some other neat options like the rear seat entertainment package and you have a really loaded up S-Class. But even with the depreciation at around 25% of its original cost, is it worth it?