Second opinions on Merc 300TD Purchase

I’m just getting into it, but like the style, as well as the space in the back which would allow for extra storage. wouldn’t be too worried about needing to be zipping around town. As long as it’s able to get me there is all I ask

Want storage space in the back, have been driving trucks for the past 7 years, recently a 92 chevy S10 but want something a little bit smaller, and stylish, but still allowing for storage and lugging space.

Well , this 300 TD might get you there but I wouldn’t count on it getting you back .

heh, aw geez

I advise you spend more time driving these cars. If a buddy has one, ask if you can occasionally drive it. While I agree the looks are classic, the handling is not for everybody

You will find the 300TD to be very gutless, compared to your S10, especially if your truck has the 4.3 liter V6

I know these cars, and we also have tons of GMs in our fleet, including S10s, so I’m not just blowing smoke

Regardless of how well the car is maintained, you’re going to be spending a LOT of money keeping it up. Again, I’m speaking from experience

I don’t mean to rain on your parade, I’m just offering my own thoughts, based on experience


Absolutely, I’ve been going back and forth on this. Have been hearing mixed feedback regarding reliability/driveability. Some say that they are great daily drivers while others say it will spend more time just soaking up my funds and hardly running at all. I am interested in learning how to maintain a vehicle and these seem to be well researched and have a breadth of knowledge online to pull from. The cost of repairs is daunting, but the character of the car and the potential for learning from it is a huge draw. Looking online for different kinds of cars I might be interested in, but feeling stuck on the MB!

Please listen to @db4690 and make sure the reality of the car matches what you think it might be like. Try to find one you can drive or be driven in to see what they’re really like.

I wouldn’t go that far

They certainly keep running, but keeping it in good shape at the same time is where the deep pockets come in

I will accept the attraction to the Mercedes Wagon. But you only have 6000.00 apparently and no real budget for repairs. If this thing needs service in the mountains your chance of finding a mechanic for an old MB diesel are really slim. If you just have to have one then search for one that does not have a list of things that need to be done. Your statement about learning to maintain vehicles does not mean much. All that needs to be done is service on schedule ( oil changes - other fluids at the recommended time - and other basic items ).

I’m going to be checking it out on Thursday, will, really think long and hard about this decision, I feel good after talking on the phone with the seller, but for sure won’t be certain on anything until giving it a thorough looking over. He has replaced and put a lot of work into the thing, and the fixes still suggested seem like things I would be willing to put a little more time and money into to make sure they get to that final point. Will keep ya’ll posted, thanks for input and suggestions!

Here’s an official Mercedes-Benz website. It contains service and repair procedures for the 123 series (the car you’re looking at, in other words)

You’ll want to click on “Disc 2” and click to enable adobe

Well, of course you do. The person wants to sell the vehicle, they are going to say what ever it takes.

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going to see it in person today

I remember a Mercedes 300 diesel 4dr. in the shop I worked at. IIRC we measured the 0-60 times with a calendar. Maybe they have improved since the late 70"s :slight_smile:

We once had a 190TD and here are some thoughts.

  1. The engine will probably be reliable although it may need an injector or two and the oil/filter/fuel filter changes are frequent and relatively expensive.
  2. In our experience, the rest of the car will eat you alive. Mercedes parts are expensive and maintenance is frequently needed but not easy to do. After a point the annual repair costs were as high as a car payment (we used an independent dealer specializing in Mercedes cars). “Built like no other” refers to servicing as well as to driving.
  3. If you need (or think you need) anything with the heater core, forget about it quickly.
  4. we looked at a 300TD before buying the lighter 190, and my wife and I both checked to see if the emergency brake was on when we first stepped on the fuel.
  5. This car may look rugged and safe but it has few airbags and other advanced safety features. You’d probably be better off with nearly any modern car, and you can check for crash ratings on any model you are considering.
  6. Having said that, these cars often have an apparently solid feel and stability that few cars can match, and many people consider this to be charming. The interior often smells nice in an old-fashioned way and the leather/leatherette holds up well.

Would I buy another one? You’d need to pay us lots of money to take one off your hands.

A neighbor want one for years and bought one about 10 years ago. It lasted about 6 months because of the long list of expensive repairs. He replaced it with a Santa Fe.

Where did/do you live?

They never sold a 190 wagon in the US

As far as I know, the 123 chassis (the one OP is looking at) never came with leather, only that high grade vinyl, which Benz called “MB tex” or something along those lines

Reply to db4690:
Never said it was a wagon! It was a US turbodiesel, and marketed around the same time as some 300TD’s, so it definitely seems germane to the original question. We considered a 300TD when we bought the 190TD but the 190 just seemed like a livelier and more suitable car.
Whatever the interior was made of (my reply indicated my uncertainty, and I will take your word that it was not leather), it was nicely made, generally held up better than the rest of the car with less maintenance and cost, and it smelled good. Keeping it clean was easy because of the high quality it had (I would have to say the interior was surely the nicest part of the car). BTW you can buy a product that supposedly mimics the smell of a Mercedes (key in “mbreminiscent”) and you can use this no matter what you drive.

Turbo diesel and diesel models were marked with only a “D” on those old Mercedes vehicles. The “T” in TD or TE indicate that it is a wagon, “Tourismus und Transport”.

For that model year . . .

The 300TD is the wagon and that’s the title of your discussion

The sedan and coupe were never badged as “300TD”

And for that matter, you’ll not find a 190 sedan with a diesel engine that has a “190TD” badge on the trunk lid

As for the 190 being a livelier car, I agree with you. It was a much more modern design, with better handling suspension and steering . . . compared to the car that you’re looking at, which was designed much earlier

As for the seats, even though the material is holding up well, do the seats still offer any support,?

or are they “sat through” . . . ?

sight unseen, my vote is for the latter

Bills for the upholstery shop can be quite costly

A heads up . . . if the seats indeed no longer offer support, so to speak, the problem is usually two-fold. The support under the vinyl is worn. I forget if it’s horse-hair or foam. And the seat frame itself is just plum worn out. The springs (which are not coil springs, by the way) are caved in. You’d have to see a new/refurbished seat frame next to a worn one to see the difference.

Now that you tell me it’s not a wagon . . . but presumably a sedan . . . I’m no longer sure the price is appropriate. For one thing, the paint would have to be in phenomenal shape

If it happens to be a coupe . . . and I doubt it, because they’re fairly rare . . . the price would be pretty good