1989 Mercedes-Benz S-Class 300SE 3.0 inline 6 cylinder
Everyone should own one at least once
This one owner 1989 300SE is all original paint and interior, showing nearly no wear.
Mechanical issues: heater required new monovalve - which is common on all W126 Mercedes after 60k miles, new driver's window switch, and a repair to passenger seat headrest lift mechanism (was working, but got out of alignment).
Cosmetic issues: Replaced drivers armrest due to minor nicks, antenna seal from slight cracking, and touch up of minor road nicks.
These W126 Mercedes are built like bank vaults. You are always aware of the weight of the car, even at speed... and speeding is easy to do, as 45 feels about the same at 100.
The 300SE is the 6 cylinder version - getting almost 20 MPG highway/18 city. Its larger brothers - the SEL (4 inches longer in the back seat) with the V8's are less efficient, with the 5.6 litre just drinking the stuff at 12 MPG.
In SWB form, the cabin is still roomy for five, and the car is more fun to drive than the LWB models. Pickup from a standing start is "acceptable", but once at cruising speed, the number of cylinders is of no concern.
The quality of materials used is exceptional. Many consider these Series 2 W126 cars (1986-1991) as the pinnacle of Mercedes quality and sedan design - which has become iconic.
LOW mileage (under 100k) is the key to value, as the cars are expensive to repair both mechanically and cosmetically. Used parts - however - are plentiful on sites like eBay. Nice low mileage examples sell for $10-$12k, which is a bargain considering what they went for originally - and if maintained, they will last 400k miles or more.
In summary - the W126 sedans are a great car and great investment.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 25th February, 2013
I purchased a 1991 model, very rough. Paid under $2500 so what would one expect. The body showed faded paint along with several areas of rust. The car leaked fluids from every orifice, oil from the head gasket, power steering leaks from the hose, rear differential leak, and a transmission leak at the seal.
Even the interior showed its 200,000 mile usage, with broken buttons, switches and cracks in the wood. If this car remained with its current owner, this car was heading for the salvage yard.
Now to my point, this was a premeditated purchase for use on a upcoming reality show, Carstarzindy.com.
We spent close to an additional $$$ fixing every leak, replacing every suspension component, replaced the original thumpy thuddy transmission with a nice rebuilt one, with a two year unlimited mileage warranty.
Tires, brakes and rotors were replaced. All fluids, from oil to coolant, rear diff and brake and so on, were drained and replenished with OEM brand type.
The interior was pulled, all the seat springs along with seat supports were then wrapped in brand new ALLANTE upholstery. The same material used on high dollar marine vessels.
The car then went to a reputable body shop and 72 dings and dents were removed, and all the rust cut from the body. Then sanded, primed and given six coats of the original smoke silver paint.
We bought this car back to showroom condition and it now has 220,000 miles.
This car will be driven on the Carstarzindy show by Blake Steele, the show's mover and shaker.
Please visit Carstarzindy on Facebook.
Just bought my fifth Mercedes, had to part with my 1991 560 SEC in 2007. I bought a 1989 300SE that is in like new condition at 101,000 miles, and is a beauty to drive.
These (automobiles) are as good as it gets. IF you want a car, don't come to MBZ. With proper maintenance, any of the W126 cars will outlast a human.
A good specialist in this area is recommended for a mechanic. It FEELS SO GOOD to be back in a W126, LOVE the coachwork and interior; probably the most identifiable Mercedes flagship models ever built... except of course for the Gullwing era.