1983 Mercedes-Benz W123 Reviews from North America

1983 Mercedes-Benz W123 300D turbo diesel

Model year1983
Year of manufacture1983
First year of ownership2013
Most recent year of ownership2014
Engine and transmission turbo diesel Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.0 / 10
Distance when acquired183000 miles
Most recent distance186000 miles

Summary:

A timeless, powerful, well built beauty, but it needs TLC

Faults:

Rough idle only at the start.

Typical oil leaks for this car.

Run on sometimes after the key is turned off.

General Comments:

Bought this car with 183K on it for $4500. Beautiful looking, and some light rust on the rear wheel wells.

Start right up, but idles rough for 10 minutes. Once on the road, it is very powerful and smooth. A real pleasure to drive, but it is over 30 years old, so is not engineered like we are used to today.

Good mileage; 33 MPG.

I love this car, and its classic looks are absolutely beautiful. Not perfect, and I expect it will keep me busy.

I have work to do on this vehicle, namely valve adjustment, diesel purge, rack damper adjustment, fluid filters (engine, trans, rear, power steering), track down oil leaks, vacuum review, body work... Etc etc.

I look forward to maintaining this car, and having it for many years.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th January, 2014

1983 Mercedes-Benz W123 300D 3.0 liter 5-cylinder turbo diesel

Year of manufacture1983
First year of ownership2010
Most recent year of ownership2012
Engine and transmission 3.0 liter 5-cylinder turbo diesel Automatic
Performance marks 4 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 3 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.0 / 10
Distance when acquired345000 miles
Most recent distance355000 miles

Summary:

It would be a great car for a first time driver, or for someone who is in no hurry

Faults:

Key stuck in the ignition due to steering wheel locking mechanism failure... common at around 300000 miles. Required some minor dash removal, a new key, tumbler, extraction of the wheel lock, some grinding and pounding, but it is better than new.

I accidentally started the car with no way of turning it off (no ignition switch installed). Can't pull the plugs, the battery, the coil wire, etc. as there are none. Even pinching the fuel lines was absurd. I was freaking out.

General Comments:

Comfortable, safe, although this is my 2nd, and both cars had the same ignition switch problem, and this one has the vacuum door locks not working, no dash lights, no overhead light, and no heater/ventilation unit working.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th June, 2012

1983 Mercedes-Benz W123 3.0 turbo diesel

Model year1983
Year of manufacture1983
First year of ownership2010
Most recent year of ownership2012
Engine and transmission 3.0 turbo diesel Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired270000 kilometres
Most recent distance291000 kilometres
Previous carBMW 3 Series

Summary:

300D - The best car ever built

Faults:

AC didn't work when I bought it. It was a $500 repair.

I had to replace the flex discs. I did the work, $80.00 for parts.

The start solenoid went bad. $40 part on eBay and one Saturday afternoon to replace it.

I rebuilt the front suspension and steering system. $300 in parts plus $90 for an alignment. I probably spent 16 hours on this job.

General Comments:

This is an awesome car. Probably the best production vehicle ever built, in my opinion.

The car looks great. It has a real classic look to it. It has real bumpers!!

It is a little slow to start, but it just zooms along the interstate. It has great passing speed.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd January, 2012

1983 Mercedes-Benz W123 300D 3.0 turbo diesel

Model year1983
Year of manufacture1983
First year of ownership2010
Most recent year of ownership2011
Engine and transmission 3.0 turbo diesel Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.8 / 10
Distance when acquired312981 miles
Most recent distance323345 miles
Previous carMercedes-Benz W115

Summary:

Best, safest, and most reliable car humans ever created

Faults:

Tie rods needed replaced at 315,000 miles.

Transmission flares badly between second and third gear upshift (started recently at 320,000 miles).

Rubber fuel lines needed replaced.

Heater stops occasionally.

General Comments:

This is by far the best car I have ever owned. It handles real nice, and is very reliable.

It has the usual maintenance issues, due to the fact that it has over 500,000 Km.

Minimal oil consumption, and good mileage.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd January, 2011

1983 Mercedes-Benz W123 240D 2.4

Model year1983
Year of manufacture1983
First year of ownership2008
Most recent year of ownership2010
Engine and transmission 2.4 Automatic
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 5 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 2 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.0 / 10
Distance when acquired164000 miles
Most recent distance167000 miles
Previous carToyota Corolla

Summary:

Other than minor issues, I LOVE IT!!!

Faults:

New alternator pulley installed wrong, oscillated & snapped.

Rebuilt alternator, belt snapped after 100k. I put it on too tight.

Can't determine if the new battery isn't being charged, or the positive terminal is grounding out via contact with the hood.

Sun-roof will not open.

I LOVE this car. I plan on owning it forever...

When running, it is a dream...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st September, 2010

1983 Mercedes-Benz W123 DT 3.0L OM617

Model year1983
Year of manufacture1983
First year of ownership2008
Most recent year of ownership2010
Engine and transmission 3.0L OM617 Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.3 / 10
Distance when acquired162000 miles
Most recent distance216000 miles
Previous carMercedes-Benz W123

Summary:

Beautiful, just beautiful handles like a dream

Faults:

Not much, bought from a little old lady from California who didn't drive it much and kept it garaged.

Had a problem with it starting, and after replacing the battery and starter, found out it was a $3 part the connector that goes over the battery cable...

Rebuilt the vacuum pump, only a $50 rebuild and got great instructions off of mercedesforum.com. Step by step instructions from people who love these cars like me.

Other than that, runs/drives like a dream, beautiful car, roomy interior, great engineering and performance, won't drive any other... it's a 123 for me!!!

General Comments:

The turbo model is the only way to go, the non turbo is too slow on take off, that was my first car, this is my 2nd 300DT and I absolutely love it... feels good to open the moon roof and see the stars... great cars.. best ever built.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th May, 2010

Average review marks: 7.7 / 10, based on 26 reviews