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  • Best Diesel Deals on Craigslist: Saint Louis

Best Diesel Deals on Craigslist: Saint Louis

It’s all about luxury in the Louie.

Nov 9, 2020
The "Best Diesel Deals on Craigslist" series began in March 2020 with a story about a 1994 Ford E-350 that served in former President Bill Clinton's motor pool. With this rundown on Saint Louis, Missouri, we now have 16 stories covering our search for diesels being privately sold via Craigslist from coast to coast.
It's important to note that diesel-powered pickup trucks, while plentiful almost everywhere, are not the primary target of our searches. In an effort to have some fun with this project, we're looking for uncommon, unique, or even quirky diesel vehicles, equipment, parts, etc. However, there certainly are instances where the late-model pickups we're all familiar with receive their just desserts.
The search for privately sold diesels in the Saint Louis region had a low turnout of only 87 vehicles. However, there was a strikingly odd (high) number of cars with oil burners being sold in the Lou: Mercedes-Benz sedans, BMWs, and Volkswagen TDI-powered rides that it seems have been long forgotten in the last five years.
And with that being the case, our showcase highlights five examples of non-trucks (with the SUV exception) that might be what you're looking for in a diesel-powered ride. Yes, atypical for this report, but we think they're cool.

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As always, we want to know details if you follow up on one of these examples. Be sure to let us know about good diesel deals that you come across on Craigslist, too. Send info and a link to: dieselpower@motortrend.com.

1975 Mercedes-Benz 300D

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Sometimes, a little love, elbow grease, and a small monetary investment are the only things needed for a good deal to quickly become great. This iconic classic is selling at $2,998, and it appears to only have a few concerns that need to be addressed (glow plugs, battery, window regulators, door-lock actuators), because several areas are already upgraded (new front shocks, lower control arm bushings, front ball joints, and brake hoses). Sure, it might require some of your time and attention, but we're not too sure you'll find another one like it for this price.

1979 Mercedes-Benz 300SD

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Another classic, for $4,300 and with only 152,800 miles. A lot of this Benz is original equipment and still in very good shape, according to the seller. Several maintenance and upkeep tasks have been performed, but the upgrade of note is its W116 turbodiesel engine's compatibility with biodiesel (currently operating on Number 2 diesel). But with the good, there's typically some bad. For this car, heat and air conditioning are compromised, and all but one window need new motors. This is a Saint Charles listing.

2000 Volkswagen Jetta

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This ride is billed by the Park Hill-based seller as the "ultimate work car." The asking price is $2,200 for this turbodiesel (1.9L)-powered sedan that needs power steering work but is said to be very solid otherwise and gets great fuel economy (40 mpg). The potential dealmaker here is that the seller is open to possibly trading. "I'm in the market for a small work truck, or tools, hunting gear, a smart TV, mini-fridge, etc." Apparently, he'll even meet you somewhere if you don't want to drive to Park Hill.

2012 BMW X5 xDrive35d

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A compound-turbocharged 3.0L V-6-powered SUV that drives like a sports car but has plenty of cargo room for family road trips or hauling mountain bikes to the trail is hard to beat. According to the seller, this all-wheel-drive Bimmer has new tires and was recently serviced (including the air conditioning), and it's packed with standard creature comforts as well as BMW's Sports package that probably give drivers and riders a pretty cool road experience. As pricing goes, $13,500 is the number, and it's located in Defiance.

2004 Volkswagen Passat

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We'll call this one "The Gambler." In one part of the ad, pricing is listed at $2,900. However, after detailing the highlights of what appears to be a really clean ride (cold air conditioning, good heater, awesome stereo, new tires, etc.) and speculatively explaining that "the turbocharger needs to be adjusted and brakes bled," the seller says that he is "willing to take $1,200 cash." It's actually in Granite City, Illinois, and just might be the best deal in this rundown.

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