1991 Mercedes-Benz 190 E 1.8 petrol from Australia and New Zealand


They don't make 'em like this anymore..


A couple of electrical failures - one electric window doesn't work, and the electric mirror and electric aerial have also failed. Not unexpected in a car of this age.

General Comments:

Had to hunt around a while to find a nice one, but believe me the build quality of these cars is exceptional. This 16 year old 160k model does not have a single squeak or rattle.

Comfortable to drive, and still looks great in bright, unmarked white.

Being a 1.8 litre auto, the performance is modest, but that kind of misses the point - these cars were designed with cruising in mind.

One really pleasantly surprising aspect of this car is the way it handles - turns in really sharp and tidily - a definite bonus, and I can see why the powerful EVO models are so sought after.

When I consider that this only cost me the equivalent of a 8-10 year old Holden to buy, I think it has been money very well spent.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th July, 2007

1991 Mercedes-Benz 190 e 2.3 from North America


Help help, I have a 1991 Mercedes 190e and it cranks for a long time before it starts and runs fine. I have had all the ignition tune up parts done, and the fuel system cleaned, and fuel pressure checked. What can I do to find the problem?

After it starts and runs, it starts easier, but not what I would call great. Sometimes it just cranks once and fires..

Email me at bodyman36@hotmail.com with any suggestions please

General Comments:

Great car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 31st July, 2006

18th Sep 2010, 10:03


Change the fuel pump really... That's the problem.

1991 Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.0 petrol from UK and Ireland


Overrated scrap


Grinding noise from gear change - never solved.

Faulty rear window stopped working.

Small oil leak.

Engine regularly overheated in traffic.

Faulty speedometer - read higher than the actual speed. This is apparently not uncommon in the 190.

General Comments:

This car was a great disappointment for me.

The car is very sluggish with a top speed of 107mph.

The bodywork was mint and showed no sign of rust.

The interior is very dull and the standard sound system is very weak.

I was naive enough to believe this car was similar to the Mercedes Cosworth. The 190 however is extremely heavy and is poorly balanced, and steers very badly around tight bends.

The good news is I managed to sell the car for over a 1000 pounds recently. The car looked the part, but sadly the beauty was only skin deep.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 13th May, 2006

8th Apr 2010, 00:11

If you maintain these cars, they last forever. I'm on my second one, the first one is still running and driving today. All the problems you mentioned are very simple fixes, as are all repairs on these cars.

1991 Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.6 from UK and Ireland


A smaller-version S-Class


Automatic transmission died at around 150,000 miles, car wouldn't shift properly from 2nd to D. Replaced with second hand unit at sellers cost

Idle regulator, which meant car would stall at idle, or idle would be erratic. Relatively cheap to fix, but hard to diagnose

Rear electric window mechanism (not fixed, common fault)

Radiator hose (cheap fix, inconvenient in the middle of summer though!)

Sway arm bushes.

General Comments:

Overall I used to not like the 190E, as I didn't think it was a 'real' mercedes, however I was looking for the perfect London car - i.e. relatively small, but big on the inside, classy and nice to drive, but not too expensive if dented and powerful enough for the motorway. I think I have truly found it in the straight-six Mercedes 190E. It is black on grey in colour, and looks quite good when polished. Paint has withstood weather and time very well with no signs of rust (unlike newer Mercedes with paint chipping and rust!). Interior is very solid, basically a smaller version of the 'S Class' of the era, aside from the rear window everything works, which is amazing considering the age of the car. Mercedes has replaced simple, solid, reliable design and build quality with fancy doo-dads in their new cars, most of which owners don't even know how to use.

The gearbox packing up was a surprise, especially as this is the same unit they use in the larger E320/S320 models of the time, and the diff is whining a fair bit, but I have been told this is common for mercs of this age and shouldn't be a problem. The idle problem was a nightmare to fix, as originally though it could be down to dirty/faulty leads/distributor or vacuum hose problem, however was located down to one small valve which cost a few quid to replace. I have never used MB franchised dealers to repair the car, instead I have very well trained independent mechanics which keep the cost very reasonable (less than £300 per year for regular servicing).

The engine seems to be leaking a bit of oil between the block and head, which I have been told spells impending doom for the head/gasket, however will have to watch out. All up this is a very solid, durable car which cruises very smoothly and surprises many at the lights (most think it is the puny 1.8 model, which is way too underpowered for the weight). I wish they still did make cars of this simple, quality design and build, the later model C-Class simply didn't seem to have the quality or reliability of these cars.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th January, 2006

16th Jan 2006, 07:15

Re the previous post. Thanks for the very helpful advice - although there was some oil on the engine when I originally bought the car. If it was spotless I would be more concerned as it would indicate someone had steam cleaned it prior to sale. I actually purchased the car from a friend who is also a leading independent Mercedes specialist who checked the car prior to purchase. This is not a new car and I wouldn't expect the engine to be spotless. Servicing done by other mechanics don't seem to think the oil is a problem.

21st May 2008, 06:48

I think I may have the same problem as you did with the eratic running at low revs. My car is a 1988 model 2.6 and I am currently trying to deal with an oil leak. When the engine is cold it runs fine but when up to temperature this eratic running occurs and sometimes it just won't start. Where is this idle regulator located and how do I test it?