Replacing my flood-damaged 2010 Mercedes-Benz E250 CDi: Options?

In case the E350 CDi plan does not work, I am also open to exploring used E250 CDis and E220 CDis of similar vintage.

BHPian B747fan recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Hi everyone,

I have recently got a slight itch to replace my 2010 Mercedes E250 CDI. The car has covered over 1,35,000 km, however recently it has been plagued with issues. This year alone we have spent well over 2 lacs into it. The car was also hydrolocked back in 2019 (more on that later), which doesn’t help either.

So a little back story about the vehicle + slight ownership experience

The year was 2010, and I was just a little over 5 years old, and my mom was looking to upgrade from her Mitsubishi Lancer. At that time, we had 3 cars in our garage. A 2006 Tata Safari Decor VX 3.2, a Tata Indica, and a Mitsubishi Lancer, which was my mom’s personal car and the one she enjoyed driving the most. The service costs had increased significantly, and there was no authorized service centre in my hometown of Jodhpur, so we decided to let it go and started looking for options.

Now I am not aware of which options were considered, but I vaguely recall a test drive C220 CDi in white colour visiting our home.

A few days later I was shown the brochure of the W212 E-Class and was asked to decide on a few specs. I remember selecting the alloys which eventually led to us getting home an Obsidian Black Mercedes-Benz E250 CDi BlueEfficiency home on the 19th of December 2010, which was also my mom’s birthday!

This led to the start of luxury cars in our family.

Eventually, this also became the car that made me into a Mercedes fanboy, which led to our purchase of a GLS350d in 2016, which has now left the garage, and replacement is due in the future for it as well, however, this post will focus on replacing the E-Class, which I have named “A little”. (My best friends did play a slight role in this)

Now, this car is very close to my heart for various reasons, mainly because of the nostalgia attached to this car and the fond memories with this. This is also the car on which I learned to drive in 2020, and I still enjoy this car to the max!

However, the car was hydrolocked back in August of 2019, at around 1,12,000 km, and has become very problematic since.

This incident took place when we were on the way to the airport, and it had rained heavily the previous night. This was just 1km away from the airport, and to this day we regret taking the E instead of the Crysta or GLS.

The car was eventually repaired and back in service by February-March of 2020.

I had my first experience driving it on the 29th of August 2020, and I instantly fell in love with the power it had to offer! 201hp, 500nm torque, and RWD, which arguably is not the best choice for a beginner, however lockdowns and empty roads made it better for me, and also helped me in improving my handling skills!

However soon after I started driving, (and using the car to its full potential by pushing it to the limits that the driver never pushed it to), the check engine light came on while I was driving, and the car suddenly stalled. (It was an empty backroad and hence wasn’t much of an issue, however, the car had to be towed to our farm 1km away, where our mechanic came and diagnosed the issue as something with the fuel pump).

Since that day, the check engine light constantly remained on and to this day it has some or the other issue popping up, however, it did not affect the performance for the most part until this year.

Here’s a clip of it effortlessly getting past 120 with the check engine light on.

The main issues that we experienced this year include a head gasket replacement, turbo servicing, accelerator pedal failing, steering lock failing, and intercooler hose pipes giving up.

The head gasket replacement led to the heads being rebuilt, which obviously accounted for the majority of the money we spent on it this year, and the last of a reliable FNG back in my hometown is also causing more issues.

Also, the car still struggles with many electronic issues from the hydro locking, including busted speakers, some wires still being wet(which was diagnosed when the accelerator failed), and some other sensors causing issues.

Now I have been facing a dilemma on whether to buy new or used. Open to both choices, however, I have a very specific set of requirements, and I am also very attached to the W212 pre-facelift design.

My requirements:

So, I have considered the following options:

I would appreciate suggestions on this matter.

Parting with a few photos of my beloved a little:

Here’s what GTO had to say on the matter:

Beautiful Benz, sorry to hear of the flood damage. Once a car is severely flood-damaged, it is never ever the same. I realised it with my humble Nissan Sunny. Water can reach places that the human hand (mechanic’s hand) will never be able to.

Sell your car. for 13 years is anyway a good service period.

My suggestion = since you are comfortable with pre-owned, buy a well-maintained used E-Class or 5-Series. Go for 6-cylinder only, either E350 CDI or 530d. There are plenty of options in the market. You have the budget, so avoid the 7-lakh rupee examples. Set your max budget and go for the newest, lowest run example you can find in it.

Forget spending 70 lakhs on a new C-Class. Better spend 30 – 50 lakhs on a great E350 or 530d. Take a spin in the G30 530d too, you will love it. The current-gen E-Class is an LWB which I don’t think is to your tastes, so look for the previous-gen E350 CDI, but it will be old.

Here’s what BHPian B747fan replied to GTO:

Hi GTO! Thank you for your response. Yes, I fully agree that a car once water-damaged is never the same anymore.

I am mainly looking for a W212 pre-facelift because of the elegant grill it has, which, in my opinion, looks timeless! A few months ago, while I was driving on the highway, a biker overtook me, gave me a thumbs for the car, and then sped away! I have narrowed down the E350CDis which looks to be in decent condition, however, I will still get evaluated before proceeding further. The facelift W212s get the Avantgarde pack as standard, which I do not really like, but I did scout for facelift E350CDis, and only found one in decent condition in Mumbai, however, the asking price was too much, at 39 lakhs for a 2017, 2nd owner car, driven around 80k.

I am indeed mainly considering 6-cylinder options only, I considered both diesel and petrol, so E350CDi, E350 Petrol, and E250 Petrol, I decided to stay away from petrol because of the increasing ethanol content in petrol, as the maintenance is already quite expensive with these old beauties! (Will definitely be looking for some good FNGs in the Bandra/BKC area) But I am still open to considering them in case I don’t find any good examples of E350 CDi.

The car will be mainly driven by my driver and occasionally by me, as I am yet to gain full confidence in driving in Mumbai traffic (currently driving a manual 2010 Innova here) The average running will be around 300-350kms a month.

Last year, I decided to get my car evaluated at the local dealer. They gave an estimate of 18 lakhs to fully repair the car. It was then lowered to 3.5 lakhs for just fixing the main items.

While I am fully open to used cars, my mom isn’t, and she suggested going for a newer one, and that’s why I considered the new C300d. (She wants to give me a car as a gift for my birthday which was just a few months ago.) She also liked the E-Class LWB, however, I did not like the use of blue with beige in the interiors of the E350d AMG Line, hence decided to skip it.

While I appreciate your suggestion for a BMW 530d, and I know you have one, I am not really a BMW person. The only BMW I will ever consider, that too as a project car, might be a BMW 118d.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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