Mercedes-Benz W124 Reviews from Finland

1994 Mercedes-Benz W124 E500 V8 32v gas

Model year1994
Year of manufacture1994
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission V8 32v gas Automatic
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.7 / 10
Distance when acquired72000 kilometres
Most recent distance135000 kilometres
Previous carMercedes-Benz 190

Summary:

Wonderful understatement

Faults:

New air conditioning compressor and evaporator at 100.000 km.

New auxiliaries belt tensioner at 130.000 km.

Maybe shocks soon.

General Comments:

Gentleman quality bruiser.

Fast enough, feels balanced and good even on the Nordschleife of the Ring.

Restful character through total competence from the engineering era of Mercedes.

Minuses: no glove box, air con barely adequate.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th September, 2007

1988 Mercedes-Benz W124 E230 2.3

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership1998
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission 2.3 Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.3 / 10
Distance when acquired150000 kilometres
Most recent distance210000 kilometres
Previous carFord Escort

Summary:

Over Engineered, Low Maintenance, Reliable, Comfortable! A car for the lazy man..

Faults:

Exhaust Rusted through - In Finland an exhaust replacement every 5ish years is pretty normal.

Door Return mechanism broke - This happened on two doors, cheap to replace. Trying to get the side panel off to replace it was pretty challenging. Like trying to open a can of tuna without a can opener.

Accent Piece on the door fell off. New mounting plugs from Mercedes dealer cost about a tenner (10€) and was remounted in the parking lot of the dealership.

Front Speakers crackling. Bought some new kenwoods from local car audio place.

Front right spring snapped - this cost about 100€ to replace at the local garage.

Wind screen wiper jammed up - I took it to local garage fearing the motor/gearing had serious issues, they greased it up and was good as new again!

General Comments:

As you can tell from the list of things that have gone wrong with this car you can tell that I'm highly satisfied with it!

My dad bought this car in 1998 and he gave it to me on the condition that I don't sell it. We imported the car from Germany to London and since then we made a move to Finland a couple of years ago.

Very little has gone wrong with the car through our ownership of it, and the things that did go wrong were very simple and cheap to fix.

This is the last in a line of "money no object" over engineered cars from Mercedes. It seems like after the W124 line the engineers had their hands tied behind their backs.

I have a pretty standard version of the car, I wish it had some more mod cons.

I would recommended this car to anyone who wants a hassle free driving experience with very little maintenance!

Fuel Economy could be improved, but I think a lot of that has to do with my lead foot :-P.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st May, 2007

1986 Mercedes-Benz W124 300D 3.0 diesel

Year of manufacture1986
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 3.0 diesel Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.0 / 10
Distance when acquired540000 kilometres
Most recent distance546000 kilometres
Previous carBMW 7 Series

Summary:

Value for your money and great comfort!

Faults:

After purchasing the car I naturally did some serious repairing to fix every problem found in the pre-purchase inspection. Parts (OEM, but not from the dealer) cost some 500€, did most work myself and had a mechanic buddy of mine work on the engine.

The initial parts list included engine hydraulic valve adjusters, the rubber parts for the top of front shocks, a couple of joints for the front suspension and since the rear brakes weren't working too good I purchased EVERYTHING possible that was replaceable for rear brakes and handbrake system, except for the calibers for which I just got an overhaul kit.

Naturally I had the oil changed (premium Mobil 1) along with the oil filter, both diesel filters and air filter prior to starting to use the car. Doesn't quite count as a fault, though :-)

Actual problems so far:

The transmission started slipping on 2nd-3rd change. Fixed in a few minutes by adjusting the transmission pressure from the pressure switch on the side of the transmission. Thank you MB engineers! Wish Bimmers had this kind of switches too, would have saved me lots of money on my former 750i.. Cost: 0€

The 17-year old power steering hose busted as I started the car in extreme -33C. Cost a few bucks plus about a litre of ATF220.

There was an unfortunate oil leak right after the oil change. A sort of valve, the kind you see on the coolant system to protect the block from breaking if the coolant freezes up, just on the oil system this time, had been slightly open, blocked by remains of inferior motor oil and started leaking after some driving with the highly cleansing premium oil. My buddy changed it for free, but I lost 50€ worth oil which had just a few hundred km on it :- (

General Comments:

The car has been working like a charm, it started even at -28C WITHOUT the electronic block heater when I forgot to turn it on one morning. It has ample space especially in the trunk, magnificent comfort, typically outstanding German ergonomic controls and I simply love driving it. It is very economical and ecological, I get around with about 7-8 litres of diesel per 100km in winter time using spiked winter tires. Will be interesting to see how the summertime figures are, typical car consumes a litre less in the warm conditions using normal tires.

I've had the car for less than 3 months and nearly 5000km and to my great surprise this half a million km driven (about 300,000 miles at the moment) old diesel clunker still doesn't use up ANY oil. I was sure I'd had to add some since the car has, after all, seen a lot of kilometers in its time.

The parts, even the original ones, are rather inexpensive as long as you don't buy from the dealer, the overall reliability seems unbeatable for a car of this age even if you don't take the mileage in account, economy is great and although 109hp in a car of this size (with auto tranny I might add) by no means makes it a drag racer, it does pack enough punch to make overtaking easy and you certainly can keep up with any regular family-sized cars on the market. I'm glad I bought a 300D and not a 200D after all. ;-)

I have the habit of changing cars on an annual basis or sooner, but I have a hunch that "Snow White" is going to stick around for quite a while. Unless I get an acute case of car fever once again and buy one of those late model -94-95 ones.

Whatever the case, I'm not likely to buy any other brand than Mercedes-Benz cars ever again.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd March, 2003

9th Feb 2006, 07:09

Hi I like reading about your 300D and I agree entirely about Mercedes-Benz cars. I am driving a W124 200E of 1991 vintage, petrol driven in Singapore where the average temperature is 29C. I also have had no major problems and none that are very expensive to fix. It's been about a year now owning this Merc and time just flies. Always a pleasure to drive... have you changed your car yet, by the way?

18th Aug 2009, 01:16

I just got a 300d year 1986 with 70 thousand km. What is bugging me is when I'm doing the shift from first to second, the car start to bump. How can I fix it or what is wrong with it?

30th Oct 2010, 18:07

Wait till you buy a 1993 and up Mercedes Benz... your attitude will change!... Everything Mercedes built after 1993 is pretty much close to Kia Quality!... Those old Mercedes were the best, but they have nothing in common with the new series!

Speaking about Kia.. or Hyundai.. they have long surpassed the overall quality of MB!... Only people with big egos will pay the big bucks to drive those (so called) high end cars! Reliability and high quality is no longer part of MB vision!

5th Aug 2011, 20:08

Hi, I'm Hadaina from Nigeria, I'm thinking of buying a MB 1986 200e w124 that is third-hand. Considering its age and handling, how much do you think the fuel consumption (city/hwy) will be?

Also how much would the maintenance cost be in US$ per year if driven everyday?

Useful hints will be appreciated. This is my email

bayoweb02@gmail.com.

Average review marks: 8.7 / 10, based on 3 reviews