Grand for a grand: The ‘barely run-in’ Mercedes C250 diesel

Here’s a new regular feature to Revmatch and it’s one I’ve wanted to get rolling for a while.

The name of the game is grand for a grand and it’s pretty self-explanatory but I’ll explain it now to those who aren’t familiar with this or similar articles from other sites.

Every week – (yeah, let’s make it a weekly) – I’ll dig through the automotive classifieds for something that catches my eye. My budget will be capped at £1,000, and I’ll try and keep the choices as interesting as possible.

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The W202 C-Class isn’t as widely appreciated as the W201 190E it replaced

First up is this, a 1996 Mercedes C250 Elegance listed at £10 below the budget this feature allows, and to me it looks like the ultimate bargain basement barge. Below the Autotrader advert description, the car’s engine is listed with a 2497cc displacement figure, and it’s that – twinned with a listed horsepower output of just 111hp – that points towards this car being fitted with the rare, 5-cylinder OM605.910 straight diesel lump.

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Inside it’s clean and original

No boost means no turbo to fail, and taxi drivers all over the world will verify the durability of these engines. Its automatic drivetrain should offer the sort of seamless shifting that steered people away from Merc’s manual transmissions too. Still, the W202 is a car created outside of what most Mercedes geeks would like to consider as the brand’s finest hour, and simply googling ‘W202’ will frighten you to death with the horror stories.

Saying that, this one appears to have been built to last, and despite its below average (yet still considerable) 165,000 miles, there’s gleaming paintwork and no obvious rust problems. The interior looks particularly good too, with fresh looking cloth seats and centimetres of classy wooden veneer. There’s also air conditioning and a sunroof along with electric windows and central locking.

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There’s even a towbar

The seller mentions part service history, which is probably to be expected after 21 years of use. Astonishingly, this car hasn’t failed an MOT in the past ten years, with the current MOT (10 months or so remaining) only advising of two leaking shock absorbers. There are also 4x nearly new Michelin tyres to boot. Hell, there’s even a towbar!

This seems like a great purchase to me. For once, I’m glad I don’t have a spare grand or I’d snap it up right away. Here’s the link to the advert on Autotrader.