REAL DEAL AUTO BLOG

Best Mercedes to Buy for 20 grand?

Posted in Uncategorized by wolferadio11 on December 7, 2009

  

Noticing that some frantic car shopper landing here from this google search “best mercedes to buy for 20 grand”.  Keeping in mind that the answer to that question does not reside here, I feel it should, so here ya go.  

I offered $7,500 the other day at Dallas Auto Auction on a 95 SL500 with 75k, bright red, both tops, looked nice enough.  The seller came back at $9,000 and I took a pass.  Not because the SL wasn’t worth 9, but at 7.5 it seemed simply too cheap.  What’s $1,500 between friends you may ask?  That’s an easy one SERVICE BILLS.   The question better posed may be “What is the most reliable, least expensive Mercedes to own/operate for $20,000.  One answer to the question is NOT the SL.  

The new SL introduced in the early 90’s was an example of German engineering ahead of it’s time.  The automatic rollbar feature, the hummerish beam (width) of the roadster made for incredible handing characteristics, the in dash phone, heated seats, performace, and overall gorgeous presence of the car is A++.  Don’t quote me, but wasn’t this a 100,000 dollar car when introduced?  I recall being in high school and choking down on the sticker price of not just the SL, but the gorgeous S body cars of that era as well.  How can a 100k benz in 1993 be less expensive in 2009?  I don’t know, but I do know that I bought a brand spanking new S430 AMG Sport Package car in 2003 for $83,000.  The twin sister to that car in 1993 listed for the same, or a bit above it’s ten year, less equipped predecessor.  (and know I do not believe Diamler followed uncle Sam Waltons footsteps by outsourcing to China.  

My opinion for the best Benz for 20k is the newest, lowest mile, S class one can capture around the 20k mark.  Lexus’s LS typically outperforms S classes on depreciation (outsourced to Japan :), but there is something about a big body S class that one comes to appreciate, rather quickly.  Here are some current dealer auction results on the most S class and SL class for 20,000 bucks. 

The market data computer doesn’t like copy/paste functionality, please bear with me (below)  

03 SL 500 

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11/24/09 MANHEIM Regular $26,400 44,407 Above BLACK 8G A Yes  
11/12/09 FRDKBURG Lease $19,500 45,069 Avg SILVER 8G A No  
12/01/09 FAAO Lease $26,000 48,321 Above BLACK 8G A Yes  
11/19/09 RIVRSIDE Regular $21,000 54,123 Avg SILVER 8G A Yes  
12/03/09 SO CAL Regular $21,300 54,650 Avg BLUE 8G A Yes  
12/03/09 RIVRSIDE Lease $20,500 55,269 Avg SILVER 8G A Yes  
12/03/09 GTR TMPA Regular $27,400 55,846 Above BLACK 8G A No  
11/10/09 RIVRSIDE Lease $19,500 57,652 Avg FIREMST 8G    

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 2005 Mercedes S430 two years newer, similar MSRP, but many more used examples in the market than the SL 

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11/19/09 RIVRSIDE Lease $24,000 44,024 Above WHITE 8G A Yes  
12/03/09 RIVRSIDE Lease $21,500 47,368 Above BLUE 8G A Yes  
12/01/09 RIVRSIDE Lease $17,750 55,475 Avg BRI SIL 8G A Yes  
11/18/09 MILWAUKE Lease $18,000 62,534 Avg BLACK 8G A Yes  
12/03/09 PENSCOLA Regular $19,900 64,052 Avg BLACK 8G A Yes

So there are my two picks.  05 S class and 03 SL.  Happy Motoring, and remeber these are what the DEALERS paid at the auction, and they wouldn’t be called dealers if they a were a non-profit organization. Photo taken from my Iphone at Papa John’s in Fort Worth, Tx.

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