S40 vs. C5 vs. Mercedes C Class - sigmallp
I have a 3 year old Mercedes S320 from new (Jan/Feb 2000) with just over 20,000 miles on the clock with original 18inch 5 spoke alloys and P-Zero tyres with all the options except Command. It has full service history from the Mercedes Benz dealer. Although I love the car, due to personal reasons, it is for sale now and would be grateful if you could let me know what would be a realistic price for a quick sale either from a dealer (Mercedes or third party?) or private sale.

In its place, I am thinking of getting either the new Volvo S40 saloon or Citroen C5 HDi Exclusive or a secondhand Mercedes C or E class with a budget of £12,000. What would you suggest is the best option?


S40 vs. C5 vs. Mercedes C Class - DavidHM
Glass's on the left, although these cars are difficult to value because the market (both supply and demand) is quite small.

As for the cars you suggested; probably none. How do you know what your budget is unless you know what the S320 is worth?

When you say new S40, do you mean the one that's not out yet, or a new S40 from current stock? I don't think the new one will be around for another six months or so.

In your situation, assuming your ideas of the car's value are realistic, I would go for a used, early current shape Audi A4, or a new or nearly new Mazda6 or Mondeo.
S40 vs. C5 vs. Mercedes C Class - sigmallp
Thanks, David. A dealer has offered £24K. There are some great deals for the new Volvo S40 1.6 and Citroen C5 HDi Exclusive at just over £12K. Which is the better car in your opinion and why?
S40 vs. C5 vs. Mercedes C Class - Dan J
New S40 should be in dealers February 2004...
S40 vs. C5 vs. Mercedes C Class - DavidHM
Okay, if you like no space, questionable crash protection, dated styling, an underpowered engine and basic trim, then the current S40 is undoubtedly the car for you.

Seriously, apart from a slightly prestige badge, the S40 is outclassed in every way by more modern rivals. For that money you can get a larger, safer, faster, better equipped, better looking Mondeo Zetec - I know it's a Ford but it really does everything brilliantly. Try www.newregcars.co.uk

As for the C5 - that's an excellent price for this spec, it's very well equipped, the styling and interior are a bit of an acquired taste, by which I mean I don't like or dislike them especially but you might go either way. It's also a decent performer, and while you might lose a bit in depreciation, you'll do no worse than the Volvo and have a much more pleasant experience getting there, and being a diesel it will be much more economical too.

The subjective build quality isn't the best and allegedly the HDi engines aren't great at high mileages (although that probably isn't such an issue for you after your current car).
S40 vs. C5 vs. Mercedes C Class - sigmallp
Thank you, David. I will definitely look at your suggestions as you are a man of great experience indeed!
S40 vs. C5 vs. Mercedes C Class - DavidHM
Some experience only, please; I'm a bit of a car nut (my first word was 'car', apparently while pointing to an Allegro or some such monstrosity) but I'm not in the trade.

I do have some legal education, I have sold finance products in the past, and I am a natural port of call about four or five times a year when friends or family buy cars. Anything else is just filling in the gaps, so please don't take my comments too seriously.

I hope (and think) they're helpful but at the same time it's very personal to me. I just spend too long on this site to bother with any kind of disclaimer :-)
S40 vs. C5 vs. Mercedes C Class - sigmallp
Thanks, David. I will let you know what eventually happens....
S40 vs. C5 vs. Mercedes C Class - Phoenicks
Its a shame you have to sell your current car, but life can be a bit of a pink fluffy dice sometimes.

Regards the choices you mention i would find alternatives to 2 of the cars you mentio.

The C5 has good points but personally i feel they are outweighed by the bad. Firstly it does nothing that any other car of it size can generally do. In some instances (like the mondeo) others do them a lot better. If you are going from an S Class Merc to a Citroen the build quality and quality of plastics will be a real shocker. A lot of parts feel very flimsy and will rattle like hell at 60k miles where a \'quality\' reputation manufacturer wont at 160k miles. The discounts are very good, but with a new car the depreciation is savage, and the effect of those great discounts will definitely knock on down to resale when you sell. Certainly they already have a poor residual standing, let alone when the dealers are knocking 18-20% of the new list price. I would avoid.

If you\'re talking about the old Volvo it has pretty much no redeeming features. Old, slow, heavy, dated looks and interior, and with below average resale already, the imminent new model will knock it down even further.

The C Class in 180 or 200 guise is so slow. The 230K and above are reasonable but not amazing. still better than both the above. Just make sure you get a well specced one.

For £12k i\'d go 2nd hand A4 or 3 Series, and should be able to pick a S or T 323i with the creamy 2.5 6 cylinder engine for that money. Alternatively on a new car maybe try the Focus or even the Honda Civic.

I\'m not definitely right but i hope it helps a little.
S40 vs. C5 vs. Mercedes C Class - Phoenicks
p.s i meant the C5 does nothing BETTER that any other car of its size can generally do.

sorry about that!...
S40 vs. C5 vs. Mercedes C Class - Mondaywoe
Well.......I agree that some of the plastic parts on the C5 are a bit flimsy - but if you treat the car with respect, they don't break, rattle or creak at all. Let's face it, the car is unbeatable value for money, so corners have to be cut. For my money I'm more than happy to save £1-2k on purchase price and just take a little more care when flicking switches etc.

I would suggest that there are one or two things that the C5 DOES do a little better! The suspension eg, is absolutely unique - pile the boot high with junk, or hitch up a heavily loaded trailer and the car instantly self-levels.

The 2.2 HDI is pretty much unequalled. It is one of the very few diesels with the particle filter system. This makes it exceptionally clean burning. My tailpipe still shines brightly inside after 20,000 miles (The C5's one is similar :-) :-) )
Performance is storming but very very refined. Unlike the Mondeo it starts first time - every time! Totally without temperament.

How about the emergency braking assistance? About a week after I bought the car two young deer suddenly ran out in front of me. The car stopped dead, the hazard warners automatically triggered and the animals were unscathed. If I'd been driving the old Xantia I would have hit them - and Xantia's have fearsome brakes at the best of times!

Handling? Well like Rolls Royce's traditional response to questions of engine performance, it's 'adequate'. So adequate, in fact that you take corners with considerable panache.Why? because they don't roll! Scary until you're used to it! Then there's the push button suspension control - it stiffens for more 'enthusiastic' driving and learns your driving style.

Interior room? I can't think of a more roomy car in the class.Unlike big saloons, the hatchback style of C5 makes it extremely versatile (sorry Pug 405)

Yes, it has it's faults (all cars do)- but there are some outstanding features too. Do drive one before deciding. If it suits your lifestyle and priorities it can be a compelling option.

Graeme
S40 vs. C5 vs. Mercedes C Class - sigmallp
Thanks, Graeme. I have seen the C5 and like it very much - for the current price of under £14K it is a lot car and is pretty much unbeatable. However, based on the helpful comments given here, I will also look at the Audi A4 s/hand.
S40 vs. C5 vs. Mercedes C Class - sigmallp
Thank you very much for both your messages. It is a shame as you said that the S320 has to go! I had not considered the A4 and will now do so - it is good advice indeed!
S40 vs. C5 vs. Mercedes C Class - Dan J
Hmm... The current Volvo S40 1.6 is a lot of motor for the money, however "old fashioned" it might be. The stereo is wonderful and I believe even the 1.6's come with full leather now as well. Volvo are also offering the cars to staff at even more discount than they normally attract to shift them. This is only ever done for one reason - to shift either a large car park full of them or because there is a stock pile of a specific engine at the factory. Vauxhall did the same thing with the run-out 1.6 Vectra which has now been replaced. If you want a new car it is a good discount but do bear in mind these cars are quite old-fashioned now and it's value will drop significantly when the new S40 is launched in the new year.

My advice is to go and test drive all the cars you're interested in. You might find a 20 minute drive changes your mind from a car you were very interested in or vice versa!

Good luck...

S40 vs. C5 vs. Mercedes C Class - sigmallp
Hi, Dan. Thanks for your advice. I agree -- like the offers on the C5 the current offers on the S40 1.6 are very compelling and I will look at it as well. It seems to compare with the current Mitsubishi Carisma deals but I did not like that at all.
S40 vs. C5 vs. Mercedes C Class - Stargazer {P}
I suspect the good offers on the 1.6 S40 are largely because this engine variant is the poorest seller and they want to shift stock before the new model is introduced.

This begs the question why is the 1.6 a poor seller? I find the 1.8 is barely adequate to move quite a heavy car at a respectable speed, The 1.6 I test drove had to be worked through the gears and the engine worked hard to make reasonable progress.

Ian L.

(V40 1.8 and also drives S40 1.8 regularly)
S40 vs. C5 vs. Mercedes C Class - Dan J
I suspect the good offers on the 1.6 S40 are largely
because this engine variant is the poorest seller and they want
to shift stock before the new model is introduced.


As I said!

It seems to be the trend that people don't tend to buy the smallest engine in a car line-up. They are often lacking on equipment/spec as well and it seems that manufacturers get a stockpile of these cars (Mondeo 1.6 prev model, Vectra 1.6 prev model, current 1.4 Focus, Volvo S/V40 1.6 etc etc etc) because fleet never take these cars generally and with cheap loans the public would rather pay a few more quid a month for the next engine and spec up. They are often the ones that good deals will be had on during run out.

Couple this with cars getting ever larger and you find each time a new model is introduced you lose the bottom engine.

Cavalier 1.4 > Vectra 1.6 > New Vectra 1.8
Sierra 1.3 > Mondeo 1.6 > New Mondeo 1.8
This begs the question why is the 1.6 a poor seller?

As above. No different with outgoing Mondeo and Vectra 1.6's.
I find the 1.8 is barely adequate to move quite a
heavy car at a respectable speed, The 1.6 I test drove
had to be worked through the gears and the engine worked
hard to make reasonable progress.


It does the job no problems. If you want to set the road alight you'd never consider a 1.6 car of this size anyway!

 

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