1983 Mercedes-Benz S-Class 300SD 3.0 turbo diesel from North America
High-end engineering for a low price
Barely anything electrical worked on the car when I acquired it. Many mismatched parts that made me think the car had been salvaged before. I had to fix everything myself.
CV boots are worn and showing cracks after 27 years of use.
Transmission vacuum maladjusted, tranny shifting hard.
Rear windows' fastening clips broke 2 months after buying the car, replaced them with new ones, which broke off after a year.
Auto locks for the doors inoperative.
MPG went down from averaging 32 down to 23 combined city and highway, suspect worn injector nozzles.
Mid console out of adjustment due to broken plastic.
This car is probably one of the best cars for the DIY person. Every component is very accessible and easy to replace.
On that note, it's better to know how to do, at least, basic maintenance on these cars. Auto shops were trying to charge me US $85 for an oil change, citing the very common excuse "Oh, it's a Mercedes; a very different kind of car, you need 9 quarts of oil in it" I did it myself, and found it easier to do than in any other car I have ever owned. It does take the 9 quarts of oil to fill up though.
Also, new parts for these cars are NOT cheap. Good thing is that you can get them at you local junkyard. With a little luck you can make yourself a really great car, cosmetically and mechanically speaking, on a really low budget.
Great brakes as one would expect from an S-Class Mercedes Benz.
The acceleration off the line is not great, and I thought the engine was dying when I first acquired it, however, after educating myself better on the car via Internet forums, I learned that it is normal.
However, once the turbo kicks in, feels very comfortable at highway speeds.
The suspension is very good and comfortable. Cabin maladjustment makes it a bit noisy going over road imperfections, but the ride is very comfortable.
The engine, if adjusted properly, is very economical, yet powerful (again, once the turbo kicks in).
When I first acquired I was averaging a combined city and highway MPG of 32. I'm averaging 23 now. Time to adjust that engine.
Finally, the styling is just timeless. Properly kept, and maybe with AMG wheels, nobody could guess that you're driving a 30 year old car.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 4th June, 2010