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Mercedes vs SAAB. which one runs longer?

I drive a 2004 SAAB 9-3 (60,000 miles) everyday to and from work for 10 miles total. Recently, I got an offer to get a 2000 Mercedes E320 (36,000 miles) in place of the SAAB for free. Both are first owner.



Considering that SAAB is manual and my wife does not drive manual. The Mercedes is a better in case she need to drive. The rear window screen can shield my baby boy from the harsh Texas sun.



We are frugal. The bottom line is we do not want to replace the car in 8 years. Considering the ages and mileage between the two, which one can last the next 8 years with less total cost to operate? We are not handy DIYers. Thoughts?

80-90% of it has to do with how well it’s maintained. The 04 will probably last longer just because of it’s age. Things wear out because of age.

Sorry but both of these cars are expensive to repair when problems emerge. The Saab is a bit newer, and the MB has less miles. I say that’s a wash. The MB is perhaps a better designed and built car, but parts are unique and expensive for both cars.

I’d take the free MB, sell the Saab and put the money in a special account (or a hole in the wall of your house) so it will be there for some of the inevitable repairs that will be required over the next 8 years.

They will both run for as long as you wish to continue spending money on their repair. Of course, that is also true for other makes of cars. The difference in this case is that both of the makes that you are interested in have below-average reliability, and above-average repair costs. There is an old saying that tells us…“There is no such thing as a cheap Mercedes”, and this applies even if you get the car free-of-charge.

As Uncle Turbo stated, if you intend to keep either of these cars for 8 more years, you would be well advised to put money aside for their repair and maintenance. If you put aside at least $750 per year in a dedicated “repair account”, that should save you from sticker shock when the big bills start rolling in, a few years from now.

For a 5 mile commute I would use a bicycle or an eGO electric scooter if I didn’t want to peddle: http://www.egovehicles.com/

ANY car can be made to run forever IF YOU POUR ENOUGH MONEY INTO IT…BOTH of these cars can become MONEY PITS very quickly. Sounds like someone wants to trade you straight across. It’s a 50-50 crapshoot…

Six of one, half dozen of the other in my opinion; unless the person who’s wanting to trade you the Benz has recently discovered a serious, and expensive, problem lurking and is trying to dump the car off on someone.

I’m a SAAB guy (former SAAB tech and prior/current SAAB owner) so there’s some bias on my part. Most SAAB owners are perfectly happy with their cars and hitting 300k miles is not a big deal.

It’s about the devil you know vs the devil you DON’T know!

I’d keep the Saab, but be prepared to phase it out in 4 years. The company has been spun off by GM after entering bankruptcy in Sweden, and a local sports car manufacturer has bought it. Its future is uncertain ,as is the parts supply.

Which one do you like more? Even if you drive 12,000 miles per year, neither will likely wear out soon. Unless you’ve slowed down dramatically, you drive 12,000 per year, despite you 5-mile commute.

GREAT idea IF you live South of the Mason-Dixon line. But for people who live North…that’s only possible 10-20% of the year.

This is kind of like ‘Alien vs. Predator’: both have their strengths, and both can eat you alive with repair costs! If you are frugal non-DIYers, keep the Saab while you look for something both more reliable and less expensive to repair. Don’t get me wrong, the E320 is a great car, but it doesn’t seem to be a good match for you.

I’m basically on the M-D line (Wash. DC) and I ride a bike to work 95% of the time, except in deep snow.

If you are frugal, you should not drive a Saab or a Mercedes; both these cars will become money pits as they age, and normal maintenance is more expensive than on more mundane cars.

As I say elsewhere, if you must chose, keep the Saab and give your wife some profesional driving lessons. The Mercedes could be a can of very expensive worms!!

Do I understand that someone is offering to swap you that MB for your Saab?

Keep the Saab. It’s a known commodity. Teach the wife to drive a manual.

Thank you all for your responses! Just want to clear up things. The deal is from my father because he is buying a new car. He just think the Mercedes is better and if we take the deal, we would sell the SAAB and he get the proceed to fund his new purchase. The current Mercedes resell value is near 3 times of my SAAB. It is a kind offer from him.

Even kind offers can turn out to be bad economic decisions.

Sounds like your dad is a kind and generous man.

This new contextual information changes my opinion. I’d accept dad’s kind offer. It sounds like he’s offering it with your best interest at heart.

My respected friend VDC makes a good point, but I sense that dad feels the Benz will be a better vehicle, and he’s right there on-site. This one is, admittedly, a tough call.

A 2000 E320 with only 36k miles is a very nice car. The 3.2 V6 has proved to be a very good engine.
A lot of people automatically get their dander up as soon as they here the word Mercedes, thinking every one is a money pit and costs a fortune to maintain.

If the E320 is rust free and has been factory maintained it would be an excellent value for you. Keep up the maintenance and if anything breaks (like they do on ANY car) fix it. Don’t let repairs build up on you.

Your Dad sounds like he’s trying to help you out with a nice safe sedan. I think you should let him.

Gee, I always thought it was miles that wore things out.

With this info, I also change my mind. You can trust the ‘seller’ completely (a rare event), and you’re no worse off, certainly. But absolutely do keep the maintenance fully up to date.