1985 Mercedes-Benz W123 from North America


Very safe and reliable


Air conditioner stoped blowing.

Vacum locking system does not work.

Car shakes violently, anyone know what causes this.

I can pull the key out of the ignition even when I'm doing 80mph.

Shocks squeak.

Slow to shift into reverse.

Slow to go into 2nd gear.

Car will not start sometimes when in park and I have to put the car into neutral to get it to start. Anyone know what causes this.

General Comments:

Aunt owned the car and gave it to me for my 16th birthday. This car is very slow, but once that turbo kicks in it can boogie. Passes many newer cars on the freeway. Most people think a car without air conditioning must be hell, but I live right on the coast in southern California. Open the windows and sunroof and drive like a bat out of hell and you have your own air conditioner. Seats are comfortable and rear leg room is great. Trunk space is abundant. I would never buy another Mercedes. My mom has owned 2 newer ones a 1997 E420 and a 2001 S500 and has had nothing, but problems.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 9th July, 2005

19th Feb 2006, 00:30

I wrote the review and have just completed a trip from the Los Angeles area to Louisiana and back and had no problems. Drove at 85+ mph the whole way. Car drove like a champ. The seats are great for long trips. The Fuel economy is amazing. I can't see myself ever selling this car.

26th May 2010, 01:03

Violent shaking may be the motor or tranny mounts. A friend just replaced those on his 300D turbo that has ONE POINT TWO MILLION MILES ON IT!!! Fixed the problem right up.

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


Great car, I love it


Rear passenger window does not work, I had to replace the air conditioner compressor when I bought it.

I don't know if this is normal for these cars but, when going up hill, I seem to lose power to the point of hesitation. I don't seem to be able to get it into passing gear when this happens.

My cruise control does not work.

I have to start the car up to open the other door locks.

General Comments:

I love this car, it was a one owner car (elderly lady) and in great shape (the car that is).

My wife says the sun roof is so big that she feels like she is in a convertible.

The car is roomy and comfortable and I love to drive it around town and to work. I drive 184 miles round trip daily to work and my right leg and foot have developed the muscle I need to step on the gas pedal.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th September, 2004

31st Dec 2011, 12:28

Sounds like you have vacuum problems.

Get it checked.

The door locks, transmission and cruise control are powered by vacuum.

1985 Mercedes-Benz W123 300TD 3.0L diesel from Australia and New Zealand


I'm planning to hold on to this wagon for as long as I can


We have never had an incapacitating breakdown on the road, but the following malfunctions continue to annoy us.

The harmonic balancer on the short drive shaft fractured its rubber spokes at about 100,000 miles. The balancer cannot be replaced (new) without buying a whole new short drive shaft. I'm running a W124 balancer, but this is too light to remove all the vibrations.

We have never managed to eliminate a problem with pulsing brakes which also started at about 100,000 miles. We have replaced the brake disks (rotors) several times, but the problem comes back each time after about 1500-2000 miles of running.

Some minor problems:

The rear suspension pump valve has failed once.

The driver's seat required new padding some time ago to compensate for a broken spring.

The tailgate gas struts were replaced at 170,000 miles.

The internal handle on the tailgate door broke.

General Comments:

This wagon is a naturally aspirated diesel which means that it is hard to chirp the tyres at the traffic lights. It is a slug on the hills. But the manual transmission gives us great control over the engine.

This wagon was imported from Holland by its previous owner, so it has long legs (autobahn gearing). It loves open road running and is as smooth as silk at speed.

Unfortunately, the big gearing means that the wagon is not really very easy to drive around town: lots of gear changes to keep the revs up, and lots of serious, sudden vibration from the drive-train if revs fall too low.

It is surprisingly economical on the open road: 28-32 mpg (UK gals). Less so around town.

Carries massive loads with ease.

Comfortable, quiet and roomy.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th May, 2004