1984 Mercedes-Benz W123 300D Turbo Diesel 3.0 Liter turbo diesel from North America
Luxury, Beauty, Simplicity, one hell of a solid car
As purchased its problems include:
-Missing hood star and broken (jury rigged for now) hood latch pull.
-Driver's side rear window doesn't work.
-Heat and A/C don't blow into the car (blower motor probably blown)
-1 speaker works, CD deck is after-market and cheap.
Those things are extremely minor in comparison to what DOES work well on the car.
-Cruise control, all gauges (including clock, which is perfect), lights and switches work great.
-Interior in fantastic shape, sunroof large and properly working, no cracks, tears or stains, heavy duty rubber mats.
-Original paint still shiny and presentable, only a few imperfect spots and 1 dime sized paint bubble.
-Engine starts every time with minimal cranking, strong power, no smoke (except a few light colored puffs on cold starts that seem to be normal for MB diesels)
-Transmission is smooth shifting yet firm, responds quickly and uses the pulling power of the turbo diesel engine effectively.
-Runs excellent on #2 all or combinations all the way to B100, custom 2 tank Veg system coming soon.
It is just a fine running and driving car, the suspension and sprung seats make for a ride that is unrivalled in its control of all bumps. It will run at 80mph all day on the freeway and return 22mpg. 100+ mph is possible as well if the situation calls for it.
I have a lot of respect for the designers of this car, because while it's luxurious and well equipped, it is simple and easy to repair. Parts are reasonably priced as well and the diesel engine requires nothing but regular preventative maintenance (adjust valves and check timing chain every 12k, change oil and filter every 3k along with fuel filters) and it will just keep running the same day in and day out.
Though this car is considerably slower than my previous Audi A6, it has so much character and is so rewarding to drive that I don't regret it for a minute. The 28mpg average (compared to 19 on premium for the Audi) makes a good case for it as well, even with more expensive diesel/bio-diesel fuels.
I recommend these cars highly and I think mine will be a trusted companion for years to come. I'm learning each day about its design and care and hope to be able to keep it on the road to 1 million miles!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 20th May, 2008
13th Jan 2014, 02:49
Update: Now 296000 miles on the car. Have replaced the rear differential ($500 with everything, including labor and used diff, works great). Nothing else has been done other than 3k oil and filter changes, and fuel filters every 2nd oil change. AC is still inoperable, and the heat only works at lower speeds; think there is a climate control servo or vent door issue.
13th Jan 2014, 13:12
Wow! Amazing - and then again it's cars like those which made Mercedes. I hope you're able to get the heater and air con fixed. Your climate control system must be the push button vacuum type, rather than the dial ones in other countries. Hopefully you can find more info on the web to assist you.