1985 Mercedes-Benz W123 Reviews

1985 Mercedes-Benz W123 300D turbo diesel from North America

Model year1985
Year of manufacture1985
First year of ownership2012
Most recent year of ownership2012
Engine and transmission turbo diesel Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired139480 miles
Most recent distance140314 miles
Previous carHonda Accord

Summary:

When I drive it, I'm like a kid at Christmas

Faults:

Bought the car in Florida three weeks ago, and had an independent, import repair shop check it out before starting 1,200 miles back to Texas. The only issue was a leaking primer pump, which I had replaced for $170.00, all inclusive.

Complete maintenance records show that control arms, tie rods, all bushings and shocks have been replaced, as well as the radiator and fan. Two months ago, the car ran hot (due to fan failure?), and the head warped and cracked. Repair invoice notes describe $2,400 for various related and precautionary repairs.

The rheostat on the instrument lights does not work, so their constant dim glow is only visible if there is zero ambient light. Does anyone know a source for that part, or the MB part number, for search purposes?

Also, the console switch for the emergency flashers is inoperable. Anyone know a source for that, or the MB part number?

Central locking from the driver's door is fine, but not from the passenger's side. May be a vacuum leak on that side.

General Comments:

I bought from the original owners, a couple in their mid to late 80s. The factory paint, light gray with original pin striping is superb, as are the carpets, MB Tex dark blue upholstery and carpets, which show no discernible wear. The car has clearly been pampered all its life, and I expect it to be my last car purchase, for daily use.

Maintenance records show oil and filter changes at least every six months, even if driven only 1,000 miles.

In the early 1960s, in Germany, I owned a 1958 MB 219, which I totalled and replaced with a 1957 MB 220S. I had never driven such fine cars, and have never forgotten what it was like. This W123 has the same feeling of quality and precision road feel of those earlier cars. I am now 73 years old, but can still feel thrilled over driving a fine car. This one gives me that thrill.

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

Review Date: 24th November, 2012

17th Mar 2014, 22:45

Simply remove the rheostat and solder a wire across the 2 connections at the back.

1985 Mercedes-Benz W123 300D turbo diesel from North America

Model year1985
Year of manufacture1984
First year of ownership2011
Engine and transmission turbo diesel Automatic
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.0 / 10
Distance when acquired240000 miles
Most recent distance260000 miles

Summary:

Mercedes Benz diesels are the most reliable engines

Faults:

Heater blows hot air even when off.

General Comments:

I love this car! It's a classic, good looking and reliable German car. I have had no mechanical issues with it so far, aside from fixing oil leaks.

Mercedes Benz engineers really put effort in this car, and it shows, as this car is almost 30 years old, and runs great.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th September, 2012

1985 Mercedes-Benz W123 300D turbo diesel from North America

Model year1985
Year of manufacture1985
First year of ownership2011
Most recent year of ownership2012
Engine and transmission turbo diesel Automatic
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.2 / 10
Distance when acquired246791 miles
Most recent distance261549 miles
Previous carInfiniti Q45

Summary:

Best car ever produced in all of human history

Faults:

Slight vacuum leak caused the cruise control to go out -- getting repaired in two weeks.

Jiffy Lube guy claims there is a slight transmission leak. I've never bothered to get it checked out by my Mercedes technician, because the transmission shifts as smooth as silk. Besides: I park in the driveway every single night and have yet to see a SINGLE DROP of oil or tranny fluid on the ground.

Turn signals went out. $160 to rewire.

Both centre A/C vents stopped working, however, ice cold air conditioning still blows through the outer left and right vents!!

Leather pulled away from the frame of the passenger seat a bit. Seat is still comfortable and intact, so I never fixed it.

Stereo/cassette player went out. Replaced it with a CD/MP3 player. Also, the power antennae stopped working so I had to replace that.

Passenger door lock broke, so the doors can only be locked/unlocked from driver's side.

Glove box door lock broke. Latch closes but won't lock.

First aid kit storage lid cracked and broke off. The part is no longer manufactured, so I bought a used replacement on eBay for $35.00.

Some douche bag tried to steal my hood ornament by cutting through the grille screen while I was inside a restaurant. Upper driver's side section of the plastic screen is missing. Cost me $100 to replace the whole grille (only comes as an entire assembly), but the original hood star is still there!

General Comments:

I owned a 1988 Mercedes-Benz 300SE from 2002 to 2005, and put 60,000 miles on it before I had to sell it. The transmission went out and it needed an alternator. At the time I was in a jam and couldn't afford to spend $3,500 to repair it. Instead, I sold it to my neighbour AS-IS for $1,800 (only $1,000 less than I paid for it!).

This 300D Turbo Diesel is FAR AND AWAY a better vehicle than the 300SE ever was -- HANDS DOWN!!! And that's saying something... the diesel purrs like a kitten, and from the looks of it, I should be able to pull another 240,000+ miles out of it!

Frankly, I don't see myself EVER driving anything BUT this or another Mercedes diesel ever again, for the rest of my life.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th March, 2012

24th Oct 2012, 01:57

I am also looking for the first aid kit lid... tan... and the radio. Could not find anything on eBay.

23rd Nov 2012, 23:06

Keep looking. Just because it wasn't on Ebay once, doesn't mean it won't be tomorrow. Also, keep doing general searches, using the actual MB part number.

5th Feb 2013, 09:31

I'm also looking for that lid, but in blue. Have you found one? Was your source anyone that I might contact?

Thanks, Jim

Average review marks: 8.4 / 10, based on 20 reviews