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300D Mountain Performance

Old 01-04-2011, 08:30 AM
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Default 300D Mountain Performance

My wife and I just retired to Southwest Virginia within the Appalachian Mountains. We currently have an opportunity to purchase a 1987 300D with approximately 70,000 miles. Before we travel for three hours to see this vehicle, I would welcome a few meaningful comments regarding this vehicle's competence in hill country.

We are still using our 1998 Nissan Frontier four banger as our daily driver. While in generally good condition, this little truck is dramatically under-powered for the mountain slopes that surround us. It's foot to the metal on every upslope, and foot quickly off pedal going down. It is very hard to maintain an even speed as the engine alternately screams its head off and subsides into idling silence. There are other real issues such as lack of interior space and no cruise control, etc. that also have become major irritants.

I've always admired the Mercedes sedans of the '80s and always wanted another diesel (1980 Peugeot eons ago). However I strongly suspect that the 300D would be a poor choice for my environment. My question isn't whether or not this car is the best vehicle for such terrain; rather, will it perform smoothly while maintaining speed under these conditions. We really do not want to fight it up and down hill and dale all day long!

Thanks in advance for any insights.
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