Mercedes-Benz makes some of the best SUVs out there.
They’re reliable, fast, good-looking, and packed with features.
They also cost a lot, as the cheapest new SUV from this luxury German brand has a starting price of R674,000.
If you have your heart set on an SUV from Mercedes-Benz, however, there are several second-hand marketplaces where you can find one at a lower price.
To see just how little you have to spend to get yourself into one, we scoured these online marketplaces to find the answer.
Mercedes-Benz ML270 CDI
After spending an undisclosed amount of time on the Internet switching between eight sites that all have Mercedes-Benz SUVs for sale, I was able to find what may be the cheapest working model in the country.
My only condition was that the car must still be able to drive.
What came out on the other side was a 2002 Mercedes-Benz ML270 CDI that is listed for R35,000 on OLX.
The SUV is around 19 years old, has 300,000km on the clock, and is fitted with a 2.7-litre, turbocharged diesel engine.
The motor is mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission, and – when it was still new – it generated 120kW of power and 370Nm of torque.
The ML270 was the entry-level diesel model in its day, but was still fitted with powered front seats, leather upholstery, and class-leading infotainment systems.
It had luxury features such as cruise control and powered windows and mirrors; and innovative safety systems like brake assist and an electronic stability programme.
It was produced from 1999 to 2004 and was quite popular, as 173,247 units were assembled during its short lifetime – according to the company.
The South African starting price for the Mercedes-Benz ML270 CDI AT in June 2002 was R454,000.
This means that this specific example depreciated a total amount of R419,000 – equating to roughly R22,000 a year, or R1,838 per month for 19 years.
What’s wrong with it
It seemed to be in good condition for its price, as most of the paint job is still in a good state and all the wheels are still there.
The same couldn’t be said for the rear bumper, however, as this part is missing due to the gravel roads that the current owner frequently travels.
But, if you’re spending less on a German SUV than on a new TV, you will have to make some sacrifices.
Reading the OLX listing description further, it stated that the only real problem with this ML is the gearbox – as it struggles to get out of second gear.
According to the ad, the engine is still good, the car is accident free, and the licence is up to date.
If you have R35,000 burning a hole in your pocket, and you know a car mechanic who owes you a few favours, this ML270 CDI might just be a fun project for you.