1985 Mercedes-Benz W123 300d 3.0 liter turbo diesel from North America


1 car, 1 lifetime


The ignition switch went out at 250,000 miles.

General Comments:

The car is extremely well built; fit and finish are 1st rate.

The one I bought had been a 1 owner and well taken care of. She'd been garaged since new and the original paint still looks nice.

The 123 model handles very well; mine has over 250,000 miles and tracks true, brakes true, and is a pleasure to drive.

The driver's seat springs and padding are about due to be replaced, and the cover on the drivers side is showing some wear, but for 23 years old, it's still in presentable shape.

Around town she'll get 20 to 22 mpg, and on the highway around 30 with the A/C off, and 25/26 mpg with the A/C on.

I've seen some of the Mercedes diesel cars with over 1 million miles on them with the original engine. Like I said earlier, she is 23 years old with 250,500 miles on her, but she keeps going, and going, and going on and on; the Energizer Bunny could learn a thing or two about endurance from a Mercedes diesel!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd February, 2008

1985 Mercedes-Benz W123 300 TD 5 cylinder turbo diesel from North America


Absolutely one outstanding piece of machinery


Air conditioner failed and so converted it to modern refrigerant.

Rubber boots torn on rear axles.

Driver seat sags on one side.

The automatic transmission was rebuilt at 350,000 miles.

General Comments:

Hardly fair to list things that have 'gone wrong' with this car considering the miles on it. This really is one of the most reliable, comfortable good looking classic cars on the road. If one looks after it ie changes oil/filters every 3000 miles and has a garage that knows what it's doing around vintage german autos maintain it - I see absolutely no reason why I will not get 1 MILLION MILES out of this vehicle. Absolutely one outstanding piece of machinery. And the stories I have heard of survival from horrendous accidents are legendary. I honestly cannot imagine why anyone would buy a new car when these cars are available for under 5k USD.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th May, 2007

1985 Mercedes-Benz W123 280E 2.8 petrol w/fuel injection from UK and Ireland


One of the greats


All brake pads needed replacing (£200)

Re-conditioned steering column (£400)

New door/boot rubbers all round (£200 inc. fitting)

Erratic central locking

General Comments:

The W123 series (1976-1985) was the last chrome smothered Mercedes. It was also one of their greatest ever vehicles.

These cars were the epitome of quality when I was a child, hence my nostalgic purchase. The intervening years have seen them collapse in value to the humiliating "bargain basement", sub £1000 bracket - my bracket!

My car was smoke silver with an all black MB Tex interior. We nicknamed it Darth Vader.

Incidentally, MB Tex is more durable than the hide of a dinosaur. A quick wipe with a wet cloth and it will glisten as per showroom standard.

The body was in excellent condition and mechanically it seemed fine. I insisted on a new Ministry of Transport certificate (UK Government's yearly safety test) from the dealer. He was from Essex. It duly passed...somehow. The mechanic who later serviced the car told me it should never have got through and that I'd been "done"...by an Essex man... a new low. Rest assured I reported the MoT station.

£1500 later I had no reason for regret. The car was supremely reliable. It started first time every time throughout my tenure. It had a firm, but comfortable ride and a tremendous, leonine road presence. Any old Mercedes has a regal bearing, it in decent enough condition.

The engine was rated at 185bhp. It provided excellent acceleration. I managed a top speed indicated at 125mph with revs to spare. Highly impressive for a 20 year old car.

These cars are supremely solid. They exhibit the traditional, reassuring bank vault slam when the doors are closed.

It was, however, surprisingly cramped in the back for a largish car (over 15 ft). The fuel economy was also very poor. I would estimate an overall figure of 20mpg, which is worse than my 420SEL.

Rust is also an issue, as with any 70s design. W123s suffer around the wheel arches epecially.

I decided to sell when a mysterious humming sound made itself known from the rear. A mechanic advised it was wear within the axle and a £600 fix. It was time for another banger...

NB These cars are highly regarded in West Africa due to their extreme longevity. An unfortunate corollary is the spate of thefts, especially in the London area, to ship them overseas.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st October, 2005