1993 Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.3 from North America

Summary:

A near perfect automobile to own

Faults:

The front brakes were replaced at 50000 miles.

General Comments:

This car is the best car I have ever owned. Wonderful handling, quiet, comfortable and smooth. Perfect size. Very reliable. A real pleasure to own.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd October, 2001

1993 Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.6 gasoline from North America

Summary:

Nice Mercedes for the price, but be prepared to spend $600.00 a quarter to keep it running

Faults:

The car had an oil leak when purchased, which was accounted for in the purchase negotiation. Turns out the head gasket needed replacing (fairly common for this model, according to our current technician). Had the work performed at the dealer (who is definitely now NOT our current technician). Cost: $1200.00.

Soon after head gasket replacement, the car overheated. Dealer was unable to diagnose a simple thermostat malfunction and replaced several parts including the expansion tank. Cost $175.00.

At approx. 63,000 miles, the water pump began leaking. Took the car to the local Mercedes guru. Belt tensioner also was bad. Cost for pump and tensioner replacement, plus 60K service (might as well go ahead) : $1,300.

Water pump failed again after one year, replaced by the guru free of charge even though it was out of warranty. He stands behind his work.

Transmission shifter bushing failed at approx 65,000 miles. Transmission must be lowered to replace. Cost: $325.00.

Air conditioner began leaking freon at 75,000 miles. Leak was in high pressure hose to the condenser. Cost to replace the hose and recharge the system: $650.00.

"Check Engine" light came on at 81,000 miles. Apparently the problem is in the air injection system. "Further diagnosis and repair" will be needed.

Rear shock absorbers are leaking and will soon require replacement.

Hood insulation liner is worthless as it comes from the factory. Deteriorates rapidly, particularly in the Texas heat.

Rear dome light switch failed at 77,000 miles.

Etc.

Etc.

General Comments:

Overall a beautiful car to look at. Very safe, and built like a tank, especially for the low-end of the product line.

Paint and interior have held up very well. I don't know what MB Tex is made of, but it's the best stuff in the world for auto interiors. Feels and looks like leather without all the hassle.

Performance is good for such a heavy car, owing to the power and torque of the 2.6 engine. The downside of the larger engine is multifaceted. It generated enormous amounts of heat (possibly responsible for many of the failures), and it completely fills the engine bay, requiring the removal of large numbers of components for even simple repairs, which layers on a lot of labor cost.

Handling is precise, if not a bit on the mushy side. New shocks will probably help. Brakes are absolutely incredible. ABS system works flawlessly. Stomp them hard and you feel like you've hit the arresting hook of an aircraft carrier.

Would I buy another 190? Probably not. An E320, or even a larger but older model, say a 560SEL might be attractive, though.

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

Review Date: 31st July, 2001

24th Nov 2001, 14:21

Interesting review. Fortunately, this is not the rule for a 190e with this number of miles or even 200k miles. This might have been a lemon, or, perhaps an odometer fraud or some other kind of shady biz such as a high-mileage engine swap or some other mischief.

As for the larger engine being the problem, actually it is not. The higher temperatures are not an issue, and actually, it is the smaller engines that produce (in general) more heat. The (basic) inline 6 used in this model has been used for over 25 years and the bugs have been solved long ago. Actually, the 2.6 engine used in the 190 e's is still a currently used engine, same no. of horses too.

Moreover, at the risk of being too wordy, people often think the seat material is vinyl but it is not --- Mercedes does not use vinyl. Of course, this perception can be an advantage for the buyer if the seller mistakes the leather for vinyl.

10th Apr 2005, 09:49

I hate to admit it, but I think you got hosed with the repair costs. With a little mechanical know-how and some personal initiative, you could have saved yourself a LOT of money.

30th Sep 2007, 13:23

Mb-tex is vinyl... it looks like leather, but actually, it's just good old-fashioned plastic (though reputedly high quality stuff). if I'm not mistaken, leather was a good $1000 (or more) as an option on this car when new.

1993 Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.3 from North America

Summary:

Simply the best

Faults:

Other than brakes at 40 & 75 thousand miles I have only changed oil & filters. I just bought my third set of tires. Nothing has gone wrong.

General Comments:

I don't drive the car in the winter due to the amount of snow that falls in northern New York State. I have a 4 wheel drive pick-up truck for winter transportation.

This vehicle has been very good to me. I am tempted to buy a good second one to garage until this one wears out. Take care of these cars and they perform for a long time.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd April, 2001

1993 Mercedes-Benz 190 E Fuel Injection from Germany

Summary:

A Mercedes is a Mercedes

Faults:

Taking the German highway (Autobahn), contrary to other comments, the rear was very unstable in turns at speeds around 180kmh. Had the feeling as if the car was "swimming" slightly.

Otherwise no other distubances.

General Comments:

Wonderful for a long-distance drive down to Switzerland or Austria for a skiing weekend.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th November, 2000

1993 Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.0 petrol from UK and Ireland

Faults:

Occasional strange high pitched whirr from the ventilation system. Remedied by switching it off for a while.

General Comments:

Awesome mechanical reliability. The two litre certainly makes a difference to the driveability. This is my second 190E and the only thing that will stop me buying another is if I get richer.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th January, 1999

9th Oct 2002, 22:13

Great comment about mechanical reliability.

This model is all business with no pretense!