A Mercedes, a Bug, and a couple of Toyotas


My dad is looking to buy a new car and would like to sell his current car for the blue book value to one of his three kids. We need help determining which one of us is most in need of this car, or if we are better off with what we are currently driving. Don’t worry, there is no family dispute involved!

The car my dad is selling is a 2000 Mercedes C230 with 130,000 miles.

I have a 1969 VW Bug with 57,000 miles, engine rebuilt in 1996 (it is in very good condition, although it has a mind of it’s own and decides when and where it will not cooperate).

My brother has a 2002 Toyota Tacoma 4x4 with 114,000 miles. His gear shift is loose and has a lot of mobility, and one of the front wheels hits the wheel well when turning.

My sister has a 1997 Toyota Tercel with 110,000 miles.

Please help!


Frankly, it sounds like your sister has the only car worth keeping as a daily driver. If I was in your shoes, I would let your brother buy the Mercedes. Even if you need a new car, I wouldn’t want one that costs as much to maintain and repair as Mercedes. Keeping a Mercedes running in good order can cost a fortune.

No matter what you do, I think you should keep your Bug. It might not be a good daily driver, but if I had one, I couldn’t bring myself to part with it.


I would say the bug needs replacing most. The Tercel, if well maintained, will soldier on for many more years, it’s one of the toughest little cars ever made.

It sounds like the Tacoma has not been well maintained, and with gas prices going back to $4 per gallon in the next 2 years, I would try to get rid of the Tacoma as well, unless the owner actaully NEEDS such a vehicle!

The Mercedes is a good car in the hands of a very knowledgeable and caring driver. Other wise, it can become a real money pit. Your brother with the Tacoma would be the least likely person able to nurse a Mercedes to a long life.

I know this is not complete advice, but the decision is a collective one. Since you have been able to nurse an old beetle, you might be the most capable of managing the ownerhsip of the Mercedes.


None of you should buy it, given your current vehicles. It’s just now getting to the age where big $$ problems will start to crop up. And not to be too blunt, but if he’s wanting blue book $$, you’re not getting a bargain. I’d pass.


Same. I love this Buggy.


If either of your siblings wants dad’s Mercedes, let them buy it. Maintenance and repair costs on that car will be very expensive, and you don’t want it.

You sister’s Tercel will probably last another ten years if she keeps up with the maintenance.

Are you actually using a '69 VW as daily transportation? If so, you’re the one most in need of another car, but not a Mercedes C230. You need a nice, low mileage, used Corolla.


There are no obvious good solutions.

The Mercedes with that many miles will cost a lot to keep in good repair. That is not a bargain at that price.

The other three are either old or have problems, none of them seem worth keeping, except perhaps the Tercel, but why trade a car with problems for a Mercedes that will have problems and is expensive.


You may like your “Bug”, but age is working against the body integrity of this car. A 1969 sitting in your yard for nearly 40 years with 0 miles is potentially an unsafe car let alone yours. Everything built recently has higher grade steel with better collision design and less rust you can’t see. Why would you want to keep any “one or thing” around that’s inconsiderate, unsafe and with a mind of there own.


I’ve actually had the Bug since 1996, have been driving it every day since, and have been keeping up with the maintenance. I definitely agree that I would like to have a safer and more reliable car, but would the Mercedes be that car?


Oh, the C230 would be much safer and likely more reliable than your bug, as would just about any car sold in the last 20 years. Our concern is that the C230 will be very expensive to maintain and repair. But that’s your call.


Thank you all for your very helpful opinions and suggestions!


The Mercedes would definitely be safer, and might be more reliable, but you can do better for less money.

You could try haggling with your father, but I would just let one of the siblings buy the car so you can do your own thing.