1980 Mercedes-Benz W123 230E 2.3 petrol from UK and Ireland




Power steering box (excess play).

Rust and water leaks to the interior now starting to take their toll.

Generally monotonously reliable! (but do keep it serviced)

General Comments:

A very pleasant, comfortable and super reliable car.

Quite economical and fast for its size and weight. I'm told 230E is the best engine for economy/power balance.

Cabin is well designed.

Only cost £1800 privately - what a bargain!

Previously a Jaguar / Volvo person I am now a Mercedes convert.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th February, 2001

1980 Mercedes-Benz W123 250 Saloon 2.5 petrol 6 cylinder from UK and Ireland


Classic cruiser, tough as old boots apart from rust


Rust! Lots of it, mostly sills. Water leakage into car body and boot.

Ticking camshaft due to one worn lobe, have not replaced as it works fine.

Drivers winding window.

Panel lights.

Auto transmission had slight hesitation problem in 30c+ Spanish heat, drained off some fluid and problem went away.

Vacuum operated central locking must be used within a minute of turning off the engine or else "loses" vacuum.

General Comments:

South African model, although only glass and interior were made in SA, most of car made in Germany.

Suspension is set for comfort rather than handling. Comfortable, roomy interior is basic, tough and hence in very good condition.

Only 3 gears so must be revved to keep up with modern traffic.

Rust will be the death of it.

Carb' the size of a dustbin! 15-19 mpg (imp') in UK, but oddly got 21-23 at 75mph+ on long runs across Spain!

1970s models often seem to have strange paint colours.

I have many German friends with these cars and the consesus is; 240D and 300D(non-turbo) are the strongest engines, manual 5 speed box always breaks, 4 speed box is unbreakable albeit a bit crude, they all rust after about 15 years.

Also they go a surprisigly long way off road when driven by young Germans who just don't care. Watch out for the sump though...

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

Review Date: 18th June, 2000