Your thoughts/experiences?... Citroen, Mercedes, other marques.
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Thread: Your thoughts/experiences?... Citroen, Mercedes, other marques.

  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger! garyk's Avatar
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    Default Your thoughts/experiences?... Citroen, Mercedes, other marques.

    Particularly interested in your personal experiences. I have always owned French cars, particularly Citroen (as below), and I am very fond of my current 2005 C5 HDi wagon. It is a little large for day to day city use, so I'm *entertaining* whether to look for .... something..... but I'm looking at a very low budget, say $5,000 - $6,000.

    I have many friends who are Benz aficionados, my web research suggests the E300 / 300D (I'm favouring a coupe rather than a four door) and apparently early 90's.

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    Anyway, no firm decisions, (may stick with the C5), but I'm interested in those that have experience with other marques and models as compared with Citroen.

    Preferred parameters: not too large (compact 4 door/hatch/coupe), economic, comfortable, auto, reliable, with some character. Thoughts?
    Once upon a time:


    Many R4s (incl. fourgonnette), R5LS, R16TS.


    GS 1015, 1220, sedans and wagons.
    CX 2200, 2400.
    ID 1966, 1969, DS21H, DSpecial, DS23 Pallas.
    C5 2002, 2004 petrol and diesel.
    sold ..... D Special 1974 ... to fellow Tassie AFer.
    sold ..... Xantia Activa 1998 (look out Gulargambone)
    sold .....GS 5 speed sedan (what a tale)
    sold .... 1986 2CV6

    And now:

    C5 2.2 HDI 2005 wagon
    CX25GTi 1985 auto
    CX2500 IE Pallas 1985 auto
    DS23 1973 Pallas
    DS23EFI 1975 Pallas

  2. #2
    Tadpole
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    A tough question! I think the biggest problem you'll have in your budget is combining interesting and auto with reliable.
    There are decent 307s, 407s, C4s, Meganes out there in your budget but I would personally steer clear of the AL4 gearbox if possible. Your experiences may differ from mine, though!

    Looking elsewhere, perhaps;
    Volvo S40 (especially one with the turbo 5 cylinder engine)
    Audi A4
    Jaguar X-Type?

    I've owned a Volvo S40 and it was very comfortable for a cheap car! Great sound system, low wind noise, soft seats and suspension. The only downsides are expensive maintenance costs and high fuel usage. The turbo 5 cylinder is known to like a drink!

  3. #3
    1000+ Posts J-man's Avatar
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    I've found Benz parts pricing either horrendous - if genuine only available, or cheap as, if non-gen available. The left front seatbelt retractor spring broke on my CLK500. A new seatbelt was only available genuine through Merceres for $1000, just for the part . I bought a second hand one (wrong colour webbing) and swapped over the mechanism. Whole job cost me $120.
    The trans service kit on the other hand, included a filter, pan seal and wiring harness connector and seal for the loom to go into the casing as they leak internally into the loom and fritz the trans computer. The kit was non-gen for about $60 from memory. I've found most jobs, especially maintenance, a piece of cake on the car. Some things like the crank angle sensor tested me out, being located on the block behind the left bank cylinder head. Couldn't even see it, so replacing using a mirror was fun ..... Not
    Sensational car to drive though. Very comfortable, economical and hugely powerful

    I forgot to say, I'd hate to have to pay someone to work it!
    Last edited by J-man; 7th November 2017 at 02:23 PM.
    cheers,

    John

  4. #4
    1000+ Posts FIVEDOOR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J-man View Post
    I've found Benz parts pricing either horrendous - if genuine only available, or cheap as, if non-gen available. The left front seatbelt retractor spring broke on my CLK500. A new seatbelt was only available genuine through Merceres for $1000, just for the part . I bought a second hand one (wrong colour webbing) and swapped over the mechanism. Whole job cost me $120.
    The trans service kit on the other hand, included a filter, pan seal and wiring harness connector and seal for the loom to go into the casing as they leak internally into the loom and fritz the trans computer. The kit was non-gen for about $60 from memory. I've found most jobs, especially maintenance, a piece of cake on the car. Some things like the crank angle sensor tested me out, being located on the block behind the left bank cylinder head. Couldn't even see it, so replacing using a mirror was fun ..... Not
    Sensational car to drive though. Very comfortable, economical and hugely powerful

    I forgot to say, I'd hate to have to pay someone to work it!
    I have a mate who is into 7 series B'mers and on a recent overseas trip he filled hid suitcase with suitable parts, sensors, consumables etc etc as the price difference was astronomical. Something around 20 Euros in a discount car parts place in Germany, could be between $80 - $120 here as a rough guide and it wasn't just one thing.
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  5. #5
    1000+ Posts gerry freed's Avatar
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    I am very happy with my Mazda 6. Everyone knows how to service it and it doesn't need parts. The C5 is still in bits as I wait for parts from Europe.
    Think Global - Ride on Spheres

  6. #6
    Veni Vidi Posti 68 404's Avatar
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    2009 Renault Laguna 2.0 dCi wagon
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  7. #7
    1000+ Posts cam85's Avatar
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    740/940 volvo turbo wagon?!


    W124 coupe or sedan. Both can have powerful motors in the right models.

  8. #8
    Fellow Frogger! garyk's Avatar
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    Thanks for the feedback so far!

    Gunner:
    I would personally steer clear of the AL4 gearbox if possible. Your experiences may differ from mine, though!


    Yes, agreed, my current C5 doesn't have the AL4 (my previous 2 x C5s did ... ) and indeed, I would steer clear of them.
    (I was once offered a cheap, immac one owner Xsara ...with what seemed like an obvious AL4 gearbox "problem...")

    I do like the C4 2.0 HDI 6 speed auto, but not many other model C4s. That model was a Mini Cooper beater IMHO.
    The VTS C4 is fun, but is: (a) manual (b) not exactly a great ride, and needs revving to maximise the fun.

    My colleague just bought an E320 (circa 2003) and I have been for a highway ride; very nice car indeed, suspension pretty good (E class are nice, C class not so much) its somewhat large and thirsty, otherwise a very superior car (and relatively cheap).

    I owned an Audi 90 2.3E for some years, very nice car, but not so keen on the A4 (let alone the cost).
    The Jaguars I am familiar with are, erm, not reliable, (and rather dull compared to Citroens), but I'm not familiar with the X type.

    The top-end BMWs are definitely for those who can do the work .. and afford the parts!

    I've driven quite a few Benzes, (but never owned one). The C180 and C200 look fab, but the Citroen is a better thing. I didn't find them convincing to drive. Also poor visibility. And, of course, expensive compared to the C5s.
    The A and B Class were rather bone jarring, and didn't appeal at all.
    You've gotta get to E class to start to get a "ride" that approaches the Citroen hydraulic models, and the more superior fit-outs and features.

    I have also test driven quite a few Pugs, and a colleague owns a 407.

    The E Class Benzes seem like the sweet spot, (early-mid 2000s) although the bigger engined ones are not fuel friendly!
    The 300D (diesel) Benzes get excellent raves. As do W124s.

    68 404: I saw that E430 .... nice, but again, probably too big, and thirsty. Thirsty Merc?

    I'm not likely to do much work myself, so, indeed, cost of work/parts is important.
    I have "managed" with Citroens for a long time, and the labour/parts thing is reasonably well sorted for me.

    The hard thing is... um, to go to a Mazda, Volvo, etc .... (which can be very sensible, and economical compared to the others), but not exotic. I've owned a Volvo, and a Honda.

    As mentioned, I may stick with the Citroen ... it isn't a pressing decision.
    The wagon I presently own was great when I was building, but is a bit too big for day-to-day (so, ditto the Volvo wagon).

    I do appreciate your thoughts, especially those who have owned and operated Citroen alternatives.

    I don't think they exist, but a mid/early 2000s "E300D coupe" would (on paper) be A Good Thing.
    All the ones on offer in Oz are older.
    Last edited by garyk; 7th November 2017 at 08:07 PM.
    Once upon a time:


    Many R4s (incl. fourgonnette), R5LS, R16TS.


    GS 1015, 1220, sedans and wagons.
    CX 2200, 2400.
    ID 1966, 1969, DS21H, DSpecial, DS23 Pallas.
    C5 2002, 2004 petrol and diesel.
    sold ..... D Special 1974 ... to fellow Tassie AFer.
    sold ..... Xantia Activa 1998 (look out Gulargambone)
    sold .....GS 5 speed sedan (what a tale)
    sold .... 1986 2CV6

    And now:

    C5 2.2 HDI 2005 wagon
    CX25GTi 1985 auto
    CX2500 IE Pallas 1985 auto
    DS23 1973 Pallas
    DS23EFI 1975 Pallas

  9. #9
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    My wife moved to a MB B200 after 3 Scenics, doesn't have some of the useful storage spaces of the Scenics but is overall a much better car; all of the ergonomics make sense for a start
    I've been surprised how enjoyable it is as a no-stress highway mile eater.

  10. #10
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    Benz use....used Citroen hydraulics...pay Peugeot accordingly.. .Beemer...if I wrote what I knew about them from extremely honest sources...you would TOTALLY ignore same..So what about a 505 GTI .....made twice the price German Holden...180 e....look like a completely woeful piece of worn out toilet paper...little out of left field...club rego....not huge ??? I definitely not prejudiced..but I do have a healthy bias...that is a leaning toward....not pre judging....put article up on f book last night when people goggle eyes about benzez....brother nearly died in His in very low impact crash...engine did not deflect....into firewall...so close...another half inch...bye bye..anyway...wait till you find something you fall totally in love with....like you did when you met.your wife( I do hope you got a special one)...anyway...205 so auto....wow...what an awesome honey of a car....little hard to find these days...just thought....if still available...there was an extremely rare 205 si sedan ...auto I think...woefully cheap...looked like needed a good bubble bath...to sweeten her up...if you are adventurous...anyway..A couple of curved balls...enjoy your search...

    Sent from my HUAWEI TAG-L22 using aussiefrogs mobile app

  11. #11
    Fellow Frogger! garyk's Avatar
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    Oh...I still am a fair way off abandoning Citroen!
    Just seeking "experienced comments" at this stage.
    And I'm sure other marques have a lot to offer.
    Always respected the older Pugs, and can't afford anything new.

    As mentioned, I do like "E" class Benzes, but not much below them, and I think you have to go to an E to get Citroen ride (etc).
    My friend just acquired an E320 (circa 2003) and its impressive. But a lot of electronic gadgetry...

    My biggest fear is that a *nice* Benz is likely to be very expensive to repair and maintain.
    I kinda reckon you get great Citroen value at 1/3rd - 1/4 of the outlay, and probably - 1/4 of the cost for repairs!

    Thus my call-out for feedback.
    Once upon a time:


    Many R4s (incl. fourgonnette), R5LS, R16TS.


    GS 1015, 1220, sedans and wagons.
    CX 2200, 2400.
    ID 1966, 1969, DS21H, DSpecial, DS23 Pallas.
    C5 2002, 2004 petrol and diesel.
    sold ..... D Special 1974 ... to fellow Tassie AFer.
    sold ..... Xantia Activa 1998 (look out Gulargambone)
    sold .....GS 5 speed sedan (what a tale)
    sold .... 1986 2CV6

    And now:

    C5 2.2 HDI 2005 wagon
    CX25GTi 1985 auto
    CX2500 IE Pallas 1985 auto
    DS23 1973 Pallas
    DS23EFI 1975 Pallas

  12. #12
    1000+ Posts gerry freed's Avatar
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    Those Mercs around 2003 hit electronic reliability problems, door locks, window winders etc
    Think Global - Ride on Spheres

  13. #13
    1000+ Posts graham66's Avatar
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    I’m very happy with my GS. It does everything with aplomb and still looks comparatively modern in its styling. In fact I’d say other cars have just now finally caught up with the GS stylewise. It blends in seamlessly with today’s moderns and doesn’t look like a relic of another era. It’s easy to service and maintain, has impeccable road manners, is brilliantly economical (see my consumption figures in the Tennant Creek thread) and totally dependable.

    Regarding the suspension.... as good as it is... the almost dogmatic view of a lot of Citroen tragics here that nothing else compares is bollocks.... from my experience the ride is not too dissimilar to my old ‘67 404. Peugeot had definitely caught up by this time.

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