1990 Mercedes-Benz S-Class 300SEL GAS M103 from North America


The ultimate long distance cruiser


AC needed to be serviced. Very expensive to get it recharged. But once recharged it is frigidly cold.

Chronic oil leak. Seems to be standard issue on these engines. Not a big deal I add a quart every tank and a half.

Rear window lift mechanism has broken twice already. Seems to be a common issue with these cars.

General Comments:

The W126 chassis cars are the last of the engineered to out live you Benz's. I did a lot of research prior to purchasing this car and it paid off for me. Remember its cheaper to pay more for a well taken car than to restore an abused car. My car is absolutely luxurious. The ride is quiet and extremely smooth. A common complaint and I have it too is that the wood creaks. This car is rock solid and gives you a feeling of safety and security. The handsome looks still bring me many compliments. Now I have to admit that the car is under powered. It's a huge car for a 3 ltr engine so merging and on ramps are difficult. Once you get all that steel rolling it's a sweet highway cruiser. I typically cruise at about 75 to 80 mph 3600-4000 rpms. This car just eats up miles and still feels new. One of the main reasons I purchased it was that I live in Virginia Beach and my son lives in Vermont. I make the 12 hour ride and come out of the car feeling fresh with no aches or stiffness. Plus any back seat passengers have an enormous amount of leg room plus their own ac/heater vents. All in all this is a wonderful car that I will keep for many years to come. I am told by my indy that the short blocks simply do not wear out and that the heads only need some attention after 200-250k miles.

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

Review Date: 4th May, 2005

30th Aug 2005, 00:22

Good feedback on the 1990 300SEL. I also live in the Tidewater, Va area and am interested in the early 90's 420SEL models. My brother in law used to work for the local mercedes dealership and said both the 300 and 400 series were well made and reliable. looking through the cars for sale I'm torn between a 300SE/SEL or 420 SE/SEl models. I like the size of the 400 models. Since I'm looking at late 80's/early 90's models, the mileage varies from low 100K to 200K or more. What models from the two does everyone prefer and why. Its hard to find a good site that gives easy to find reliability data on these cars. Please email feedback to me at gevanglobalservices@cox.net Thanks.

1990 Mercedes-Benz S-Class 300 SEL 3.0L Straight 6 from North America


Nothing rides like an S-Class


The ac has to be converted to the new more enviromentaly safe system. The heat did not work, so I replaced the thermostat.

General Comments:

I have driven or ridden in many different models of luxury vehicles. The Mercedes Benz S class is like no other. It is in a class all unto itself. My 300 SEL glides down the road with ease. If needed simply press on the accelerator and the power just kicks in. There is an obscene amount of leg room for both driver and passenger. The dashboard styling with the burl wood and the leather seats lend to a beautiful appearance.

Repair costs are high. If you intend on working on this type of car on your own, be sure to torque to the exact specifications.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th October, 2003

13th Jun 2005, 13:23

I was happy to hear that you are pleased with your 300 SEL.

I just bought a used one yesterday with 160,000 miles. Everything looks great in this car. It actually looks better than cars that are NEW!! Whom ever had it, took really good care of it. I mean no rattles, just really smooth and quiet.

I can really relate to what you said about the leg room and the smooth driving. Its, great...

But on the other hand, can you let me know what type of expenses you have come across to keep this car maintained?


3rd Mar 2011, 11:57

Original poster again.

Still own the 300SEL. At this point, I use it to take my sons to the park etc during the summer. It is big and comfortable to drive. The A/C is ice cold. I spend my free time tinkering with this and that. Everything works and it drives great. Still my favorite car. At this rate, it might get past to one of my kids. Just a great, great car to own. Still just glides down the highway!

1990 Mercedes-Benz S-Class 560 sec 5.6 lITER from North America


A safe, reliable inexpensive car to own


Air Conditioner needed a recharge at 109000.

General Comments:

This is the most enjoyable car to drive. Best that I have ever owned. The owner maintenance is easy and well documented. Support from web sites solves most problems without dealer charges. Owner maintenance is critical to keep repair costs down but there are few failures if the car is correctly maintained.

The car has great visibility from all sides.

Safety on wheels epitomized with an affordable price tag.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th June, 2003