Join Date: Jan 2017
Vehicle: '02 SLK32 AMG
Other Toys: '05 SL65 AMG, '98 E320 4Matic Estate
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Used, but not abused is the key phrase for me when I'm looking at used cars. If a car has higher miles, but has been well maintained throughout it's life, I have no qualms about purchasing a high mileage car. For instance, my SLK32 had 139k miles when I purchased it- one owner, lived in a dry climate, and service records from the local Mercedes dealer since mile 1. I wouldn't hesitate to drive cross-country with it at all.
One of the worst things you can do to a vehicle is let it sit- that's when things that shouldn't have gone wrong, start to go wrong. When I was looking for my SL65, I got very lucky to find one with all the options that I wanted, and one that had more than 30k on the clock (not much more, mind you)! When it comes to the Benz cars with high options (such as ABC suspension), I wouldn't buy one with ultra-low mileage, as doing so is asking for trouble. The R230 forums are littered with low-mileage SLs that have ABC system and other troubles, and 90% of the issues are caused by the car sitting for weeks at a time and those systems not being exercised as they should be.
As a general rule-of-thumb, 10-15k miles per age of the vehicle is perfectly acceptable mileage for something used. If it's only done 5k miles or less/yr, be very leery. If it's done 20k miles or more/yr, check service history and use caution.