When I bought it the handbrake cable worked, but the lever wouldn't stay up. The clutch slave cylinder was going bad, and actually went while I was driving in traffic one afternoon. The car wouldn't go into gear, so I had it towed home. The next morning things were fine and I managed to drive the car to a local Mercedes mechanic. I decided to purchase a new master and slave cylinder as I wanted not to have to worry about them for a while. They were installed in less than a day, and I had the handbrake cable repaired as well.
I bought both master and slave cylinders for about 200 pounds. I wasn't charged for repairing the cable as it only needed a spot weld.
The AC required a recharge, and this was done for about 20-30 pounds.
The trunk lock was missing; that thing you push to open the trunk. So there's just the space where it should be.
Car needs some toe links and control arm bushings, as well as a pair of front shocks.
The problems above were not encountered but inherited. So basically in the short space of ownership, nothing has gone wrong with it.
This is the quietest car I have ever been in, and for something that is 21 years old that surely says a lot about the quality and comfort. The seats are more comfortable than they look, and mine have no tears whatsoever. A tin of "Tuff Stuff" got them looking like they were unwrapped from plastic yesterday!
I like the layout of the dash. The controls are simple and straightforward. The AC blows cold, but there is not much force. It's more like a fresh breeze and not like an arctic blast. Can be lived with. The sunroof is not electric, and I like having it there. I also like the way the handle is finished in chrome; it adds a classy look, while still being durable and functional. The windows are also manually operated.
One interesting thing about the driving experience is the way the clutch operates. The pedal is not tough, but firm enough to feel. However the engagement is far more aggressive than the pedal makes it seem. I get tires downshifting third to fourth, even coming off the clutch slowly. I think the clutch will definitely last throughout my ownership.
The performance is more than adequate, and will get you out of any situation easily. Acceleration is strong in all gears, and the car just feels capable. The brakes are strong, and the pedal feedback is good. The steering is light, but there's nothing that can turn tighter than this, making it very very easy to park or maneuver. Visibility is good, and looking out of the windscreen down the bonnet at the three pointed star, makes it clear that you are in something old, but special.
One thing I have to say though is that the gearbox is not very easy to operate. Finding reverse is tricky, and you have to know how. The lever in my car seems a bit too big though. Shifting it is easy, but the box seems quite vague. Sometimes you go for second when you have actually selected 4th. The first gear is very very strong though, and seems a far way off from second. What I do is move off in second and shift to third when going faster than about 30 mph. It's not a sporty car to shift, but if you get used to it, you can feel like a rally driver.