1978 Mercedes-Benz W116 280SE 2.7 F/Inj.




General wear and tear; spark plugs, points needed replacing. Central locking system takes getting used to -- it shouldn't.

General Comments:

With the exception of a bit of normal wear and tear, this car is certainly a beautiful ride. It floats along like a boat, so may not be suited to sportier drivers, however it is about as comfortable as a car could be. Also, it is uber-reliable. With 375000 on the clock, it starts every turn, blows no smoke, and rides like a dream. The largest problem I am facing is that this is my first car. After owning a Mercedes, what can one upgrade to?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th January, 2006

14th Jan 2006, 03:41


In a few months I shall be purchasing my first car (hopefully). I have been doing much research and after observing/riding in the vehicles that my friends drive, as well as much research I have decided on getting a Mitsubishi Magna (between the years of 1996 and 1998). However, after looking at recent Mercedes Benz vehicles from the mid seventies through the eighties I have seen some beautiful pieces of machinery! From this I have become intrigued by the possible idea of purchasing one of these beauties instead.

I am however reluctant to purchase a car from this era due to possible running costs and repairs should the need arise.

Can anyone please assist in this decision? What are the build qualities like in this era of Mercedes and what do you suggest?

Any help would be great!

1976 Mercedes-Benz W116 450sel 4.5 liter V8


A beautiful,well engineered car that can give much pleasure and reliable service


Rear suspension needed replacing.

Sun roof seal failed and leaked water.

General Comments:

My W116 is very nimble for a big car and is very manoeuverable, with a small turning circle.

Handles very well and is safe and easy to drive.

Is very comfortable, quiet and they always look very classy. Shop around and be prepared to pay extra for one that is in top condition, it will save you money in the long run as parts and dealer service can be quite expensive. If maintained well they represent good safe motoring value. If you are going to buy one, my advice is to spend the money to get a dealer to check it out before you purchase as they know what to look for and how much a fault will cost to fix. Get a good one with no rust, manual windows with low kms, they are around.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st November, 2004

21st Jan 2005, 20:53

Excellent survey as an owner of a 1977 450SE that is in absolutely mint condition and has been kept that way from day one. I am the 3rd owner (for the past 12 years), the vehicle is an absolute delight and is kept in show room condition. The engineering was superb in those days. Mercedes built a car and then put a price on it. Unfortunately today it's the opposite. I will stick with my 450SE as I don't want to know about this new stuff which is designed to attract ultra egos.

1st Dec 2005, 18:37

My Dad owns a 1978 Mercedes 450SE sedan. It runs on LPG, so it is cheap to run. He has had it for the past two years and loves it. It has been reliable and safe. I am 14 and I want to buy the car from him when I can drive. It is powerful, attractive and it was a good price. It has traveled almost 500,000 kilometres and is still going well, it has been serviced regularly, but the engine is slowly getting worse and it might need to be rebuilt ($10000) so Dad might be getting rid of the car... Unfortunately.

1974 Mercedes-Benz W116 280 SE 2.8 petrol


Every time I see my car I smile!


Electric fuel pump sometimes refuses to pump.

Clock in dash keeps it's own time.

Some of the fuel injection sensors got a bit flaky and needed to be repaired.

One of the suspension ball joints wore out.

It goes through a bit of oil...

General Comments:

Fantastic car. The ride is sublime, especially considering the age and distance it has traveled.

Car is disturbingly agile for its size. Great fun to throw around corners!

I used to hate automatic transmissions until I drove this car. Very smooth changes and responsive manual shifting.

It is the perfect car for long road trips with friends.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th July, 2003

17th Sep 2005, 23:15

Well, I just bought my first car.

A 1974 Mercedes-Benz W116 280 SE.

Like you said, it sits amazingly well to the road.

She's a real treat to drive compared to the little colt I've been driving prior.