Mercedes-Benz W123 Reviews from Costa Rica

1982 Mercedes-Benz W123 230E 2.3

Model year1982
Year of manufacture1982
First year of ownership1998
Most recent year of ownership2010
Engine and transmission 2.3 Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired180000 kilometres
Most recent distance330000 kilometres
Previous carNissan Sentra

Summary:

Over enginered Mercedes, built to last forever

Faults:

I bought this car for my father 10 years ago from the first owner (kind of like a company car) who took good care at the dealer.

The first thing we had to deal with was the hard cold/hot starting. After a few weeks of testing, we tried with 4 new injectors (around $20 each), and the problem was solved. As a matter of fact, even the torque at the low end improved. No problems since.

Change the synchros of the manual gearbox 6 years ago by an specialist (around $300), it has been working flawless.

In those ten years, we had to change 2 fuel pumps (around $100 each), A/C tensioner pulley once ($20) and belts, lower suspension and steering ball joints around ($200 for all), radiator ($200), and of course the usual tune-up maintenance (filters, spark plugs, cap distributor once, brakes) and that´s it.

The engine pulls strong, does not smoke, uses around 1 quart of oil every 2000 kms. Last year we changed the valve seals (around $20 for parts) to reduce the oil consumption. It improved somehow.

A couple of years ago I bought (in the USA) some square feet of the original Sienna color MB TEX vinyl (yes, it is available in USA, it had printed on the back "made in Germany") and a carpeter rebuild the whole driver seat: it looks like new, exact color.

It is starting to rust now under the floor and on the rear wheel arches.

General Comments:

This Mercedes has been running on Costa Rica´s crappy roads (full of potholes and bumps) for almost 28 years and I am amazed how solid this car feels and looks. All panels are aligned as the day it left the factory, the interior is almost flawless: just the carpets looks a bit used, the dash and doors panels look like new.

The only issue is regarding the awkward driving position: all pedals feels too far away, but the steering wheel way to close, and both front seats to low. This car was probably designed for taller people...

The engine in quite adequate for this chassis, and the fuel consumption is reasonable, even for today standards.

Overall, this is a fantastic car that gave Mercedes its reputation, now diminished by quality issues with the new models.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th February, 2010

9th Apr 2011, 02:25

I firmly agree with the previous write-up. It seems the same maintenance issues are recurrent in all the cars of this model I have seen. I got mine in September 2007, and ever since, it's been serving me regardless of the distance. I never liked Mercedes until I got this car. Now, I am planning to have a fleet of cars, 90 per cent of which will be Mercedes!

1979 Mercedes-Benz W123 300CD diesel

Year of manufacture1979
First year of ownership2000
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission diesel Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.4 / 10
Distance when acquired144000 miles
Most recent distance149000 miles

Summary:

Excellent car

Faults:

We changed the tires, the battery, all the electricity system, and change all the wiring.

General Comments:

It is a great car, diesel fuel is very cheap, excellent car. I really recommend this one if you can find someone who wants to sell it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th July, 2001

Average review marks: 8.2 / 10, based on 2 reviews