Published on October 7th, 2020 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Mercedes E-Class W211 Avantgarde Used Buy Review
Should You Take The Risk
The Malaysian used car market is bubbling with excitement as new car prices come down due to the sales tax discount and the sad situation with the global and also Malaysian economy. Luxury cars over 12 years old are taking the worst depreciation hit as loans are hard to come by and buyers need to show stronger financial documents as financial institutions cannot take the risk of a loan default.
One particular car that caught our attention recently was the W211 model Mercedes-Benz E200K. This was the last Benz model to carry the twin oval headlamps and a 1.8-liter supercharged engine (Mercedes calls it Kompressor). This 1796cc engine allows for very low yearly road tax fee and is good for sipping fuel in the city. Yes, it may not have the top end speed that you might want or the traffic light acceleration time to rival a Perodua Axia but this is one elegant, luxurious Mercedes that is well priced in the used car market today.
About three months ago we spotted a high specification year 2006 W211 Mercedes E240 Avantgarde model for sale in the classifieds for RM44,900 and suggested it to a retiring friend who wanted to enjoy his retirement years with a Benz.
He bought the car after negotiating the price down to RM42,000 and he is now a happy Benz owner. Maintenance is not too bad and it is just the once in a year road tax fee that irritates him. Running costs have been reasonable and the interior looks great and is very comfortable.
The look of this car is still admired by many and others just can’t accept the twin oval headlamps. Still, looks are subjective and it is todays used value we are sharing here.
His enjoyment with this used Mercedes was shared with some others and now we have been asked to source another used unit. Just three months have passed and we are surprised to find the value of this model has dropped.
Yes, we found a one owner 2004 model E240 V6 Avantgarde selling for just RM23,800 which was negotiated down just to RM23,000 with JPJ runner fees at a reasonable RM500.00. Yes, it was 2 years older and its mileage was a little higher, but the exterior and interior condition of the car was almost identical. The brakes needed to be changed and the car needed to be serviced with engine, power steering and its gearbox lubricants to be changed. Total cost amounted to about RM3,900 and the car drove almost perfectly after that.
Then some money had to be spent on giving the car a total interior cleanup and paint coating at our preferred ‘Shine N Shield’ center in Sunway for RM1,300. So, for a total investment of just under RM30,000 (this is only 10 per cent of the brand new selling price 16 years ago) the new owner got himself a handsome looking Mercedes-Benz that should be easy on the pocket in coming years and very little depreciation to be felt in coming years.
What to look out for. With the W211, start by looking for oil leaks under the car. Take the car for a test drive and make sure the gearbox is working smoothly as repairs are expensive (5-6k). Steering rack needs to be checked for unwanted whining sounds. Then comes the interior. Check the driving foot pedals to see how worn they are and then check the odometer mileage. Worn out foot pedals mean high mileage as some dealers will ‘turn’ back the mileage reading. If you see nice new foot pedals, then the dealer has changed the pedals to fool you which means its time to walk away and look for another car.
After a short test drive, sit in the car, let the engine idle and work the steering wheel to the right and left to hear for unwanted sounds. Make sure the a/c blower is low and the radio is switched off to hear the noises properly. Test the wipers, lights, horn, power windows and all infotainment features. Make sure everything is working fine. Repairs are not cheap.
Now, a car this age would have been in a few small city accidents which is common. Check the panels for even gaps and the paint finish should be even. If in doubt, then get your trusted mechanic to check this car for you and pay him at least RM100.00 for his trouble.