W126, W140 or C-class W202 - Gazza
Hi, I am looking to buy a used MB but am wondering what to get.

Does anyone know about the fuel consumption of W126 300SE? (Urban, 56mph & 75 mph)

Low depreciation is my first priority, then low servicing and running cost. I do all the work on my Mondeo so I am technically proficient. Also, I need aircon but not sunroof.

I do not have a price limit but I believe the less I pay, the less I lose. I do not have a time limit to find a very good example so I will be looking for the next 6 months.

I have seen 96N-reg C200 at auction in good condition with aircon for about 4800-5000 pounds at the moment.

I believe I can find a very good 91H-reg W126 300SE for about 2700-3000 pounds.

I do not know 92J-reg W140 300SE enough to comment.

I would not choose the four-headlight E-class because of the quality issue.

Out of W126, W140 and W202, which one should I choose and why? Also, what will be the potential problems and more importantly, how much to solve those problems?

Thank you very much for reading my long message.

W126, W140 or C-class W202 - Simon Templar
Garrison go to www.mercedesclub.org.uk or www.mercedesshop.com
-particularly the latter,search the archives,they are heavily into those models & will keep you busy all weekend!
Simon T.
W126, W140 or C-class W202 - Dizzy {P}
I spent many months closely studying and driving various MBs before ending up with my present 1992 BMW 5-Series Touring which, two years on, still brings a very satisfied smile to my face every time I get in it - even before I turn the key!

My favourite MB was a 1994 E280 automatic, a splendid car to drive but, in this case, with some worrying evidence of abuse and a dodgy service record which the (non-MB) dealer 'lost' when I started to ask awkward questions. Looking at the bodywork on fairly new 4-headlight models simply confirmed for me the reputation they have for poor quality.

I liked the C200, especially its 'big car' feel in a small body, however it was frustratingly underpowered. I felt that a C240 might be 'just OK' but nothing of lower power than this. I am also aware that reliability of the earlier C-Class is not always as it should be with, for example, immobilisers on N-reg and thereabouts being prone to problems. I have more recently driven the latest C240 and this had sufficient power but was very thirsty.

I looked at three or four 300SE saloons but didn't drive any. These have a reputation for being superbly reliable but very thirsty and with astronomical servicing costs, so I decided to stay clear even though I do all my own servicing and would therefore avoid labour costs. Far too big to park, anyway, especially the SE versions which seem to abound.

My own choice would be a pre-four-headlight E280 automatic if one could be found in genuinely good condition. A full service record, showing servicing at the correct periods of course, would be essential if I was paying more than a few hundred pounds. And I would definitely avoid the E200 as this is woefully underpowered. The E260 is OK but the E280 is better.
W126, W140 or C-class W202 - ajit
Recommned you check out the Mercedes ethusiast magazine - plenty of cars in your budget advertised over there. Out of your choices, the w126 would be optimaum. A c202 is to slow.. You wont get much w140 for the money. Suggest you look for a good w124 6 cyl also.

good luck

W126, W140 or C-class W202 - John S
I'd agree with Dizzy. I test drove a number of C class M-Bs a year or so back, and the C180 and 200 can feel rather underpowered, and neither I or my wife really liked them. Almost got to drive a 240K version, but it was sold before we got to it. One MB Main dealer put me off too. Looking at a 'just in' 2 year old C Class which had a seriously kerbed wheel, I mentioned that would be unacceptable. Well, said he, I could look for a better one to fit on it, but there's not enough profit in it to fit a new one. Are you serious? Goodbye.

A pal of mine has an older (K plate) 280 E, with 105K on the clock (he knew the previous owner, so genuine miles) and that has cost him quite a bit of money lately and last time I saw him there were some odd noises from under the bonnet at start-up which sounded like more expense on the way. He originally expected to keep it to mega miles, but he's now considering selling it.

In the end I bought a BMW 323 Coupe. 6 cylinders and, for me, it was a much better drive.


John S
W126, W140 or C-class W202 - Rojer
Dizzy is right. The old E-class is sheer brilliance. DO change oil often and keep those ears peeled. It will try to tell you all sorts of things. Listen.

I just got a 1996 'P' W140 S280. I've seen it in dealers for 15,999! ... I got mine private for less than 1/2 of that.

Yes, it IS heavy on fuel and I can imagine the £100 tyres wear quickly too but it's amazing!

Shop and you WILL find.

Look as hard at the owner as you do the car. NO question about the car is TOO embarrassing ... YOU are doing THEM a favour, not the other waya round.

I tried a Merc dealership. Well, okay, eight of them. the best I did was to get a 10 minute drive in an S280 on a stright road. The worst .. a 20 minute wait whilst he rang one friend, then another, then another .... incredible. To think I've been to their museum in Germany and we (now) have five Mercedes in the family too!

(recently ex 19-year-old 190E owner)

Value my car