1982 Mercedes-Benz W123 300D 3.0 litre turbo diesel from North America


I wish you could buy a new one exactly like it


Water pump (about $65 +labor) has been replaced every 65,000 miles.

Glow plugs have been replaced as needed.

Fuel injectors have been replaced.

Lots of oil changes (about 40 by now).

Fuel filters replaced at 30,000 mile intervals.

Cruise control has been repaired.

Valve adjustments every 30,000 miles.

Headlights upgraded to halogen.

Vacuum leaks to door locks.

Front seats re-stuffed.

Dash cracked down the middle.

General Comments:

I like the body shape, and the flat floor in the trunk.

Seating is very good for my back.

Performance is noticeably fast for a diesel, has really good passing acceleration.

Fuel economy has been steady at about 22 in town, 28 on the highway.

Resale value has held very well, still retaining about 1/4 of it's value after 27 years. Perhaps more as fuel prices increase and bio-diesel becomes more available.

Paint has held up really well, as has the chrome.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th June, 2009

1982 Mercedes-Benz W123 240D 2.4L diesel OM616.912 from North America


A simple, safe, high-quality car that will last forever


New rear end (CV axles, CV boots, CV joints, differential oil).

New front shocks (old ones were mushy).

New fuel lines (old lines were leaking).

Injectors tightened (they were leaking causing a diesel fuel odor)

New W124 wheels. Old wheels were in bad shape.

New tires (old ones were badly worn).

Alignment done

All 4 hubs were re-threaded (worn out).

Parking break adjusted (car would roll when parked on a hill).

Tune up (valve adjustment, oil, filters etc...)

Headlights adjusted.

General Comments:

It's a great driver. It gets great fuel economy (up to 30-33 mpg) highway which is remarkable for a car this age. 4-cylinder Diesel, non-turbo, 4-speed manual transmission. Fun to drive around, smooth as can be. Pretty reliable so far. Had some work done to it recently to make it safe to drive since the previous owner neglected it.

It has a few things that need to be done here and there, but it's a great car to own, stylish, simple, and safe. The doors have that nice bank vault sound when you close them. It's built like a tank.

It only has 75bhp so it's slow, but the fuel economy is outstanding for a 3,300lb car. I don't need to drive fast so the slow acceleration doesn't bother me. However it would be nice to have an extra cylinder for getting on the freeway on those short on ramps.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th February, 2009

5th Feb 2009, 08:01

Hi there, you got that extra cylinder! your model is a 5 cyl... not a 4.

5th Feb 2009, 15:06

No, the old 240D is a 4-cylinder. The only 5-cylinder diesels for that age were 300D's. The newer W124 bodies had a 5-cylinder 250D, same engine as in the C250D.

25th Jul 2009, 00:31

I bought my 1982 Mercedes 240-D from a Mercedes dealer in 1990, paying $2000 over book as it was in perfect condition and just what I wanted (manual gearbox, ivory color and had relatively low miles, 76,000).

This car has been in my possession for 19+ years now and has 249,000 miles. Repairs include one clutch, one front crank seal and two water pumps. I replaced the front rotors myself at 240K miles. Brake pads front at 100K and 240K and rear pads at 150K.

Due to its low gearing, I limit it to 55 mph and I change oil (20-50 Castrol GTX) and filter every 2500 miles. Compression is 95% of new car spec. Mileage is 28 city and 36+ on highway. I fitted a K&N air filter years ago, as these are reusable after simple cleaning and re-oiling. I currently fill the tank with B-20 bio-Diesel and have done so for 2 years with no adverse results.

This is the finest, most reliable car ever made.

16th Oct 2015, 23:22

The is absolutely ZERO chance that you are getting 35+ MPG on the freeway unless it is all downhill. At best 25 city average and 31 highway.

17th Oct 2015, 10:43

35 MPG is about 14 km/L (7L/100km) - that's possible on this type of car since it's a manual gearbox. On flat American highways at constant 55 MPH (about 90 km/h) without the aircon on, but not if it's an automatic or if the aircon is on.

10th May 2016, 08:12

We had an automatic 300D W123 and it returned as much as 16km/l, 14-15 more regularly. In town driving, still 9km/l. Highway speeds of 110-140 km/h, usually. Sold at around 280,000km with little trouble. The W123 230 & 230E are better buys, even. I had a 1979 230 and my aunt a 1981 230E. Both automatics and bulletproof.