1991 Mercedes-Benz 190 190E 2.6 2.6 liter Straight 6 from North America


Great car if you can afford the repairs!


Transmission replaced at 165,000 miles. Cost: $2500.

Sunroof repaired around 120,000. Cost: $1200.

Replaced water-pump at 180,000 miles. Cost: $1700.

Lower radiator leak at 180,000 miles, was repaired.

Entire suspension (front struts, ball joints, etc.. and rear shocks) replaced at 170,000 miles. Cost: $2500 (approximately)

Brake Rotors replaced at 170,000 miles.

Air conditioning repaired at 170,000 miles.

The sound-dampening pad under the hood has deteriorated very badly and needs to be replaced, for about $150.

The automatic antenna no longer goes up.

2 of 4 air vents on the dashboard no longer close.

General Comments:

I have loved this car and will hate to give it up, but it is beginning to cost A LOT of money.

The handling is impressive, and while it is not quick from a stop the engine always has more left to give you, no matter what speed you are going.

Braking is incredible, and coupled with the great handling, the car feels very safe at any speed.

The interior has held up remarkably well, the leather wrapped steering wheel and shifter still look good, and the wood on the dash is mainly intact. The wood around the shifter has cracked a bit from sun damage, but the car is never garaged. The seats have not cracked or ripped at all.

It's a much better car than I think its designation as the "baby Benz" would have you believe. There is really no comparison between it and the 3 series BMW's from the same era; it is more comparable to the 5 series in performance and appointments. According to two mechanics I have spoken with it also has a better engine than the 300Es, which have a tendency to blow their head gaskets over about 125,000 miles, a $3000 repair.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th December, 2005

18th Dec 2005, 04:35

Re: previous post. I'm the 2nd owner of a '91 190E 2.3 5 speed. In the two years that I've owned it I've only changed oil and tires. The car is slow, yet it's nice to drive and is well built. It isn't sporty in the least. I've installed sheepskins as the seats are rather firm. I would check previous owner's paperwork/history before buying. Also, ask Mercedes owners where they take their cars to be serviced. Perhaps have it checked before buying. My friend had the car serviced in Tel Aviv and was always ripped off by the dealer. The Mercedes dealers near me in Southern California aren't any different.

1991 Mercedes-Benz 190 1.8 petrol from UK and Ireland


Reliable, comfortable transport that doesn't show its age


Fuel pump failed causing hesitation, 140 Pounds to fix.

Temperature sender failed causing cooling fan not to come on, 15 Pounds to fix

Thermostat failed, 6 Pounds to fix

Some wear to the rear diff causing slight whine and slightly clunky low speed maneuvering.

General Comments:

The 2 litre car is the one to go for however this 1.8 has enough performance if you use the whole rev range. There isn't a lot of torque low down however. Things get a bit noisy if you go above 3000 revs.

The gearbox is a wide ratio type which takes some getting used to. First gear is very low which is good for hills etc, but the gaps between gears are quite large. At 30mph neither 3rd or 4th is quite correct. I now find that I tend to use the lower gears more as there isn't much more noise, but you can accelerate fast if needed.

Handling is fantastic, the rear wheel drive and sophisticated rear suspension means you can balance the car nicely through corners.

Motorway driving is also great, its possible to drive at 80-90mph for hours on end without discomfort.

Practicality is OK, great in the front seat. Both seats can lower down to give lots of headroom (I'm 6'3"). And the seats can go a long way back. Back seat space is terrible behind me however. Fine behind an average sized person.

The boot is a reasonable size, but does not fold.

The car is 14 years old and all the mechanical components are still very solid. It doesn't roll on corners for example. The car is easy to service and the component quality is very high. The wheel bearings for example are about 3 times the size of those on my VW Jetta.

Fuel consumption is about right for the size of car. I get about 30-32mpg on general driving, driving the shortish journey to work. This doesn't seem to change on long journeys.

Parts are quite easy to get at places like Eur Car Parts and German & Swedish. Prices are fairly reasonable. Not that much more than VW.

I've only used the main dealer once and they were very helpful. I wanted a wheel-bolt. They sent me one in the post for free the next day. Although it was slightly too long and I had to shorten it!

If I were to buy another 190 I would go for the auto gearbox as the manual doesn't really suit the car. I would also try to find one with leather and air conditioning. Although rare these don't really push the price up. I would also go for the 2.0 or even the 2.6 straight six. The 2.6 has about 168bhp and the auto does 0-60 in about 8 seconds compared to about 11 seconds for my car.

All in all this is a very good value car, very very solid and you can pick up a nice one for less than 2000 pounds.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th August, 2005

11th Oct 2008, 01:44

Hi! It's not a comment but a question regarding Mercedes Benz 1991 190 2.0E. I had a problem with this car lately...

1. When the engine runs, in 20 minutes the engine lost power. When we accelerate it creates more black smoke; seems like exist fuel.

2. When we removed the spark-plug, more black carbon deposits.

We already cleaned, remove the muffler division and insulator, and changed the spark-plug, but same results...

3. What is the remedy or solution?

16th Sep 2011, 05:32

Thanks for a great review friend!

Actually looking at a '91 model with 143k klms, A+++ condition, costs 3000euro here in Greece (Sept 2011).

Thinking about it!