1990 Mercedes-Benz 190 D 2.5 diesel from UK and Ireland
Future bulletproof icon of Mercedes engineering at its best
Suspension wear and tear - shocks, springs, bushes.
Front wing replaced as corroded.
Leaking rear window, needed replacing (seal).
ABS sensors on the way out.
Some of the exhaust rotted, replaced.
Engine mounts replaced.
Minor engine parts, pulley damper, gearbox cooling pipe, radiator replaced.
This is an auto. I wanted a manual, but a RHD manual 2.5D is incredibly rare.
This engine (and even auto box) will go well past 500,000 miles. They are not indestructible, and do need regular maintenance, but you are rewarded with solid engineering and simplicity.
Easily as comfortable as modern cars, and handles very well. Put winter tyres on and snow/ice is no problem. Most RWD owners fail to do this.
The pinnacle of Mercedes engineering in build quality, while keeping electronics minimal.
Many reports of these 190s having engine problems in the US and Canada is down to poor quality fuel and poor quality repairs. European fuel quality is different, especially diesel fuel.
While SVO (veg oil) can be used in these diesel engines, they do need extra filtration, extra heat exchangers, different injectors, and dino-diesel to flush for the end of day run, except much further south where temperatures stay above 15C overnight. The fuel pump will cope fine. Some fuel line O-ring seals may need replacing with SVO, and SVO will clean out dino-diesel sludge, so best replace the fuel filter and tank filter (hard to get to) after first two tanks of SVO.
These cars can corrode. Early treatment/repairs is essential to stop the rot taking hold. Any 190 forum will tell you where the common rot points are, but these cars are easily the best built. The G-Wagen of the same era also.
I have two colleagues in Germany who have sent photos of their odometers, one at 333,333km and the other at 555,555km.
Body work and gearbox issues can seem to make continued use of the car uneconomic. However, even a recon auto box for £1,500 will still be a better bet than another second hand car for £1,500.
All cars are potential money-pits. At least the 190 responds to cash input, and is a better investment than almost any other car, short of vintage classics.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 8th February, 2013