1991 Mercedes-Benz 190 2.3 litre gas from North America


Pretty sedan with substance


On one of the Continental tires, the tread started to separate. Replaced tires.

The thermostat housing (made of plastic) broke.

Clutch pedal has excessive travel.

Previous owner replaced (among many other things) the complete exhaust system, and the head was removed and valves ground.

General Comments:

I purchased this car off a friend who had had it special ordered from the factory. He complained of very poor service by MBZ, and spent a fair amount of money on it before I purchased it from him in L.A.

Once I owned it, I replaced the tires and installed quality sheepskin covers on the front chairs. I found the seats, even with power adjustment and pneumatic lumbar support to be borderline uncomfortable. Once the covers were on, it was comfy.

It had regular oil changes and the brake pads were replaced when required. I moved north to Canada and only sold it as it didn't suit the northern climate (namely the winter). Besides, Canadian mechanics seemed as if they equated a MBZ driver with delivering copious bills for repair.

If you can find a good one, get it. They're solid and corner really well. With the 4 cylinder and 5 speed, I had to throttle the car to get it moving, but it never ever balked. Never burned oil either. They're quiet inside too, if you like that. The interior is inviting with real wood and MBTex upholstery is tough.

I think it's a great car for a teener learning to drive. It has an airbag and it's built like a vault.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th October, 2009

1991 Mercedes-Benz 190 190E 2.6L 2.6L from North America


Great car, I love my Baby Benz!!!


Plastic headlight cover broke (fog lights) at 110k.

Fuel distributor $500 at 105k.

Small oil consumption, just keep up on the level.

Passenger rear window broken, 100k.

Valve cover gasket, 100k.

Trunk leaks on passenger side.

All air vents no longer close.

General Comments:

Overall this car is great!!! I love my baby benz and would buy another one in a heart beat. The price of ownership is a little high, but if you keep up one the regular maintenance, it is workable.

The paint and interior look great! Black leather interior resists wear very well. Blue-black metalic paint job looks great and holds up well in the Texas sun.

The car handles very well, and even though it is no sports car, the 2.6 inline six gives power whenever you need it.

25-30 mpg in the city.

30-35 mpg on highway.

The car feels very safe and some what comfortable.

I am 6'1 and 200lbs and I fit.

The rear passenger seating is very small; other grown adults will not be happy.

The car is very overengineered. But it works, for a car that is almost 18 years old, and most of the little things still work like new.

If you are mechanically inclined, it is an easy car to keep running. There is a lot of information on-line.

If not, it will cost a lot to have it worked on.

I also own a 260E, same engine, and I have not had one thing go wrong with that engine.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 31st October, 2008

1991 Mercedes-Benz 190 2.6 from North America


One of the best cars ever..


For some reason the left passenger window stops working.

The engine would heat up a lot until I replaced the thermostat with one that was set up at a lower temperature, the original one would open up at a very high temperature. (not really a fault since I live in Los Angeles)

The head gasket likes to leak oil after a couple of years, as all German cars do.

For a period of about 2 months, some fuses kept going out. One of those fuses went out twice.

The throttle cable rubber broke (keeps the throttle cable in place, if rubber brakes you cannot accelerate). The rubber was 16 years old however, so it's no big surprise. However, I think it was rather stupid of Mercedes engineers to secure this cable to the engine with rubber, they could have used metal. It was slightly embarrassing though to get home at 15 mph.

Other than that, maybe several other minor issues, but nothing major though.

General Comments:

Overall this is a great car. Reliability has been pretty good; however, most things have been replaced proactively.

The radiator was changed, the water pump, the smog pump (CA car), et cetera... were all changed before they "had a chance" to break down.

The car handles well, fuel economy is pretty good, a 5 speed automatic would have made it better though.

The car's interior is better than most of today's car such as Nissan, Toyota, Honda, and other such cars. Luxury cars probably have a slight advantage although I've heard that many entry level luxury cars (3-series, c-class, IS) are full of cheap plastic. The 190 is definitely not like that, it has a quality feel to it.

However, the interior (dashboard) does develop some rattles at high rpm, usually at around 5 thousand rpm, and also when I go about 80mph it sometimes rattles for a bit, but if I slow down or speed up it goes away. If you look on this website, you will find tens or maybe even hundreds of people complaining about rattles in their new cars, this car is 17 years old, so I think it deserves a break about this, and even at their worst, the rattles are minimal.

The 2.6 I have is slightly underpowered sometimes, especially when accelerating from a stand point on a hill. I have heard manuals have the same issue, although they probably fare a bit better than an automatic. I have found out that the best way to accelerate sometimes is by giving it full throttle, not kick down. Full throttle is about 3 quarters of the way down. Still, it's underpowered many times, which is my biggest complaint.

AC in these cars is pretty good, I still have the original AC system in it, not the updated R140 or whatever it's called.

If buying a car like this, records are extremely important (actually they're important for any car). Check the car thoroughly and take it to a mechanic. They're pretty reliable but parts are not cheap, so be expectant of that...

To sum things up, this car is what Mercedes should be making now, the successor C-class and all the C-classes after that suffer from bad reliability (along with most of today's Mercs).

They should really look back at their best cars and see what made them so... and then put all that into their modern cars, because I definitely would not buy a new C-Class, I just don't trust Mercedes anymore. I have heard they are getting back up though, so maybe in a few years they'll be at the top of their game like they used to be.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 4th June, 2008

8th Nov 2009, 22:21

I totally agree. Mercedes should be putting this level of build quality in all their vehicles now-a-days. Unfortunately, they only reserve this kind of effort/expense on higher lines in the company. I have had two 190e's, one 88 and one 91. Best purchases I had ever made. I would like to buy another one for parts so I can have one for life. That way I'm always guaranteed a good car no matter what other vehicles I have in the shop!