1977 Mercedes-Benz W116 SE 2.8L straight-six from Australia and New Zealand
Class, luxury, comfort and safety; a car in a league of its own
• Small leak in the radiator.
• Alternator wasn't working when I bought the car.
• Cruise control won't stay engaged, unless the lever is held in place.
• Air conditioner needs re-gassing.
• Front passenger window is not properly connected to the track.
• Fuel warning light is broken, as is the dashboard light for the far left panel and the reverse lights.
An all-round excellent car, built by Mercedes while at the top of their game.
The car sits on the road very smoothly, bumps oftentimes go past unnoticed. The seats are absolutely perfect, giving comfort for long drives, which, when combined with the suspension, make for one of the most relaxing driving experiences I've ever had. The arm rest in the center console provides even more comfort.
The rear suspension is self-leveling, and has set heights depending on what gear the car has been put into (for example, when put into reverse, the suspension raises the car, while the rear is lowered when put into drive.) The car was obviously built with luxury in mind, and it certainly shows. To this day, it is one of the most comfortable cars I've ever had the pleasure of driving.
The performance is also quite decent. The car isn't what I would call 'fast', and is more of a cruise machine. That being said, however, the car can fly along comfortably at 180km/ph+ quite easily once up to speed. 0-100km/ph time is approximately 10.5 seconds, with excellent braking distance thanks to the ABS. The car struggles somewhat when driving up hills due to its weight, and will lose a substantial amount of power depending on the steepness.
The interior is almost all leather, with carpeted floors and dash. For their age, the seats are in almost pristine condition, as are the controls on the dashboard. The steering wheel has a little worn off at the top, and as a result, the metal frame can be seen, but this isn't a problem. The car's original radio had been removed and replaced with a CD/iPod player when I bought it, and the stock speakers had also been replaced. The boot has much more space than one would at first think. I'd even go so far as to compare it to the boot space in a Land Rover Discovery V8i.
All buttons and electronics work flawlessly (with the exception of those listed above). Electric windows all work, speakers are perfect, the stereo has zero faults, de-mister is operational, as are virtually all interior lights.
Handling-wise, the car is quite heavy to steer, even with power steering (although, this is a non-issue at higher speeds). However, that being said, the car has a turning circle similar to that of a small hatchback, and will do a U-turn on a narrow road with ease.
The body is very solid, built like a tank and very nice to look at. The car comes with a variety of safety features such as crumple zones, a drivers air-bag and Anti-Lock Brakes.
Overall, this is one of the most thoroughly-built, dependable and comfortable cars I've ever driven. It turns heads when in town and feels like it's in a class of its own. Very stylish car, very classy and highly recommended.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 14th April, 2011