W210 300TD or 320CDi - Thats The Question

Irresistance

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Hi there,

I am in the process of scouting out a W210 Estate car and boy am I split in the middle on some things...

Right now the choices realistically are:

300TD, 320CDi and maybe 320 non-diesel, very maybe a 430

Thing is, I would prefer a 6 inline engine as I feel those are the most reliable ones, being naturally balanced and having less parts... here in Australia I drove a W126 300SE and now that I am going to Europe I want something a bit more modern, hence the W210. Considered the W140 for a while but its just too darn big :p

My main dilemma right now is the choice between a 300TD or 300CDi. Can anyone give me a rundown of what the pros and cons are of both models? I know 320CDi is a bit more powerful, has the interior facelift and I admit it certainly looks nicer inside, but for me reliability is going to be a major factor as I will be using the car very extensively for long highway trips, up to 50.000KM/year... so it's gotta be a reliable set of wheels.

300TD's are considerably cheaper these days, so my thinking goes that if I buy one I will have more money to properly service it (proactively) but the 320 seems more advanced... is it also more economical?

Any advice greatly appreciated :)
 

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Hi & Welcome,

I'm on my second 320CDI first was an IL6 this is the V6, whilst both mine were/are saloons the engine is what your asking about. Click on the link in my signature and you can read about my IL6 320. I loved it :)
 
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Irresistance

Irresistance

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I am guessing you got the W210 CDi from new... repair costs seem reasonable... especially when you look at it per mile... 0.04 quid aint much, thats about, oh... what 25 quid for a 1000KM trip...? 1250 for 50.000KM - not bad at all! I imagine a second hand car may have more costs but... still pretty good!
 

Blobcat

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I am guessing you got the W210 CDi from new... repair costs seem reasonable... especially when you look at it per mile... 0.04 quid aint much, thats about, oh... what 25 quid for a 1000KM trip...? 1250 for 50.000KM - not bad at all! I imagine a second hand car may have more costs but... still pretty good!
No, it was 2 years old when I bought it but still with 1 yr MB warranty.
 

malcolm210

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320CDi pros and cons:

+ points:
1) - The interior with leather and climate is quite a nice place to spend a lot of time.
2) - Expect 40mpg @ 70mph and 38mpg @ 80mph, probably better than the 300TD by about 10%
3) - Engine is very good and combines power with economy, mid range torque is exceptional. For a diesel the IL6 is very smooth and once warm is very quiet. The throttle response is excellent and very similar to a petrol.
4) - The 5 speed gearbox is well suited to the engine, I never seem to use tiptronic even when overtaking (much better than my 300TE where it would have been useful) the power delivery is quick and impressive.
5) - The trade rate the IL6 as one of the best engines merc have produced a lot of cars are now showing 150-200k without reporting any major issues.

- points:
1) - Check for rust. do a search on the forum so that when you view you are knowledgeable about where to look. Applies to all 210s.
2) - Some 320CDi's suffer early injector failure, to refurb all six will cost circa £900. I know from experience, mine required doing at 65K. Bosch diesel specialists do the best job @ £125 per unit. Tell tale signs are poor tickover.

If you can find a well maintained good spec vehicle and are prepared to look after it they are a great workhorse. And yes I would have another. Blobcats list an excellent reflection on running costs. As a matter of interest Goodyear NCT5 tyres suit the car well and with the type of usage you are talking about expect 40-50K miles out of them.

Hope this helps
 
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Blobcat

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As a matter of interest Goodyear NCT5 tyres suit the car well and with the type of usage you are talking about expect 40-50K miles out of them.

Hope this helps
I have NCT 5's on my W211 320CDI and they are doing very well. I had to change the front 2 because of a camber issue at just over 20K miles. I then put the new ones on the rear and the rears have now done another 9K on the front and still 4mm left.
 

Parrot of Doom

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My 300TD is at 225,000 miles and has an ever so slighly lumpy idle (intermittent) which I put down to one of the injectors needing a service. The tappets are getting a little noisier on overrun, but apart from those two minor issues the engine revs very smoothly, has excellent power delivery (0-60 still around 9 seconds), and is very quiet at speed. It sounds as though its going to go to 300,000 without any complaints. It currently is burning about half a litre of oil every 5000+ miles.
 

Alex M Grieve

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My 300TD is at 225,000 miles and has an ever so slightly lumpy idle (intermittent) which I put down to one of the injectors needing a service. The tappets are getting a little noisier on overrun, but apart from those two minor issues the engine revs very smoothly, has excellent power delivery (0-60 still around 9 seconds), and is very quiet at speed. It sounds as though its going to go to 300,000 without any complaints. It currently is burning about half a litre of oil every 5000+ miles.

Your 0-60 time is well ahead of the MGB, which used to be a very popular volume sports car! - So, hardly sluggish - and I doubt if many MGBs did 225,000 miles!
 

silverhorse

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My E300td 1998 model is going strong at 150000 mls and drives like new . This model is bombproof but keep an eye out for rust when buying.
 

Jack the Lad

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Do consider the petrol model as well. I've only owned mine (a yr 2000 V6 320 petrol) for a year and 27,000 miles, but as far as I can tell from all the info I have gleaned it is reckoned to be be just as reliable and as cheap to run as a diesel and go on for just as long.

Fuel consumption is heavier than the diesel, but not by as much as you would think. Mine does 35mpg at a steady motorway 80, only 3 mpg less than Blobcat's diesel. My overall average consumption over 27,000 miles is 31.4 mpg. That works out at just £300 more than the cost of a diesel version (using Blobcats 36.6 mpg average) at today's prices.

Factor in that mine cost £6K to buy (at 40,000 miles) and an equivalent diesel would have been £10K or more to buy and it would take over 13 years or 360,000 miles for a diesel owner to recoup the £4K difference in purchase price. It will have expired before then.

If you are buying new the diesel makes more sense because of the silly secondhand values. If you are buying secondhand you are really silly if you pay those prices !
 

Blobcat

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Do consider the petrol model as well. I've only owned mine (a yr 2000 V6 320 petrol) for a year and 27,000 miles, but as far as I can tell from all the info I have gleaned it is reckoned to be be just as reliable and as cheap to run as a diesel and go on for just as long.

Fuel consumption is heavier than the diesel, but not by as much as you would think. Mine does 35mpg at a steady motorway 80, only 3 mpg less than Blobcat's diesel. My overall average consumption over 27,000 miles is 31.4 mpg. That works out at just £300 more than the cost of a diesel version (using Blobcats 36.6 mpg average) at today's prices.

Factor in that mine cost £6K to buy (at 40,000 miles) and an equivalent diesel would have been £10K or more to buy and it would take over 13 years or 360,000 miles for a diesel owner to recoup the £4K difference in purchase price. It will have expired before then.

If you are buying new the diesel makes more sense because of the silly secondhand values. If you are buying secondhand you are really silly if you pay those prices !
Only point I would make is that my trip computer always read a lot more than actual MPG, my figures are from a spreadsheet I run based on actual fuel and miles. A typical view of my W210 trip computer is in my signature.
If your 35mpg is based on actual fuel then that's great if it is from the trip computer there may well be a discrepancy.
 
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Irresistance

Irresistance

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Thank you all for your replies. I have meanwhile purchased a 1999 320 CDi silver estate and it is indeed a very wonderful car. I am getting 7L/100KM up to about 8L/100KM for fast or intensive driving. I am having a problem with the collector (not sure if the same name appliesin English, its how they call it here in PL) which apparently is stuck and causes me to loose turbo boost at higher RPM (3000+) about which I made a new post to get some more opinions.
 

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