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W124 Mercedes 1500km review - WellKnownSid

My New Year's present to myself was a 3 litre 1988 Mercedes E class. Here's a quick report of our first 1,500km together.

Firstly, wow - what a car! Despite being 22 years old, it's astonishingly better than the W203 C class I owned from new and had up until a few years ago. Quieter, smoother, more refined - not a squeak or rattle to be heard.

Just to hammer home how hushed the cabin environment actually is - I was driving through a small village when I became aware of a faint intermittent whistling noise - after some searching, I realised it was the sound of the air passing through a slightly blocked left nostril!!!

Performance wise, I have no complaints either. I've yet to take her much above 4,000 rpm, but she feels every bit as powerful as the 180bhp in the manual suggests. Of course with a car like this, the journey becomes every bit as enjoyable as the destination - and it's more about wafting around in comfort than trying to get there fast.

Problems so far? Not a great deal to be honest. I shall be getting the tracking done (feels a wee bit out), and a re-gas of the air con will be needed before summer. The rear door hinges could do with an oil.

Fuel economy - first fill was 11.5l/100km (25mpg) - but after a bottle of injector cleaner and some driving around it's now steadied out at around 9.9 - or almost 29mpg in old money. For a 22 year old straight six with mechanical injection, that's astonishing.

Everything works - including the leak-free sunshine roof and the memory seats, the automatic gearbox oil looks like it was changed yesterday, and in 1,500km the engine hasn't consumed a single drop of oil - which is always a comforting indicator on something of that vintage.

Likes? I love the 'eighties squareness' of the front end, and my son loves the aircraft style 'fasten your seatbelts' warning.

Regrets? My biggest regret is not buying one sooner.

Edited by rtj70 on 15/03/2010 at 20:11

W124 Mercedes 1500km review - gordonbennet

Good car i hope it gives much pleasure.

Ive still got a 320ce of 96 vintage but i have to say i think the pre facelift cars like yours were better made, the 230e H reg we had was more comfortable and rode better than all 3 facelift 124's we have owned, which were 95 300D saloon, 94 320 estate and the current coupe, the body work felt tougher too whether it was of a thicker guage or just better assembled i don't know but swmbo feels exactly the same, it rode pot holes and undulations as if they weren't there...mind you the tyres were 65 aspect whereas i forsook some ride comfort by going larger lower profile to stop some of the ample body roll, it worked but at a price.

You're doing better than me on fuel but my car gets driven somewhat enthusiastically and i rarely better 25mpg.

W124 Mercedes 1500km review - barney100

Suggest you should have put this in the 'German cars bad ' thread! i have a 3.2 Clk 2000 vintage with 118k and its a joy to drive. thankfully many peoplenever condider getting one so when the time comes for me to change there will be more around to choose from. Enjoy W124!

W124 Mercedes 1500km review - WellKnownSid
Suggest you should have put this in the 'German cars bad ' thread!

I know what you mean!

In this part of Spain, cars don't seem to rust at all - so it's a bit like living in a museum sometimes - with a lot of older Citroens and SEATs on the road that you've probably not seen in the UK for 20 years.

The W124 is massively popular here, obviously because they just keep going mechanically. In fact, all the German brands are quite well represented in the 80's and 90's cars whereas Fords and Opels from the same era seem quite rare - perhaps it's an aspiration thing.


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