1987 Mercedes-Benz W124 300D 3.0 turbo diesel from North America
"This ladys stacked- and that's a fact. Ain't holdin nothing back"- The Commodores
When I bought the car, it needed new pads, rotors, and calipers all around... Cost me a pretty penny, but obviously worth it.
No radio - replaced.
Transmission blew on the test drive at the garage; they replaced it with a brand spanking new one.
Power headrests don't work.
Power seats won't work with doors closed.
The HVAC system - seriously forget about it if it doesn't work. THERE IS NO HOPE. Mine worked fine with no AC. Then it developed a very annoying, peculiar "tweet" squeaking noise. The fan slowly slowed down until I heard a rather loud CLUNK one day and little plastic bits spit out of the passenger side vent, and now no fan operation works at all.
Rear headrests don't work.
Design - The car is designed with the driver in mind with the exception of the fact that there are no cupholders.
The seats are extremely comfortable even on long distance trips.
The gauge cluster is informative, simplistic, and vibrant - but not too vibrant.
The back seats are comfortable and the material used on the seats are impenetrable and stain PROOF, yet soft as leather. It baffles one's mind how they do it...
The doors shut solid, the sunroof is quiet and feels "strong".
All buttons and switches in the car give a nice, strong, reliable feedback. The car is designed outstandingly.
Mechanics - The 3.0 6 cylinder turbo diesel ain't your pappy's cammmed sprayed and blown 454 big block, but it certainly holds its own. It's got more than ample power on the highway and around town. 0-20 is slow, but once the engine RPM raises above 2500, the turbo kicks in and you're pressed back into your seat. It actually takes some time to get comfortable with the odd powerband.
The engine isn't all that easy to work on yourself, but it's absolutely do-able with the right tools and patience. Don't believe what people say about these cars being expensive to keep; parts aren't expensive, BUT THE LABOR IS! So get yourself a manual, a beer, and hunker down and learn something about your car.
The car will cruise on the highway comfortably and quietly, and hug the road at 100mph for hours on end (referring to the autobahn of course.. not our american highway system. anything over 75 is illegal, kids.). The transmission shifts smooth and sure. I wish there was an overdrive feature though, however without one you still return MPG in the 30's on the highway.
Rants - Can't stand the fact that the car uses vacuum controls for everything from the locks, to the climate control, to the gas cap lock, to just about everything else. It will drive you nuts, but when you get everything connected and going right, she's smooth as butter.
Raves - It performs, hugs the road, returns great fuel economy (diesel is pretty expensive right now, but minimal refueling makes up for it), is EXTREMELY comfortable; I've napped many a time in my car. THE CAR IS A TANK.
Final opinion - Buy this car if you are looking for a commuter with a tank-like build, built with Mercedes quality. It will last you and your kids (these cars are known to reach upwards of 400,000 miles with more reported) decades if you treat it right. DO NOT USE GREEN COOLANT, AND DON'T LET IT OVERHEAT. Regular oil changes and maintenance and you will have a stylish companion for life.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 13th January, 2008
16th Sep 2009, 23:30
My 1987 M/BZ TD has 214,000 miles on it and runs like new.
Some maintenance is required, however it's minor compare what you get in return.
27th Jan 2011, 23:13
1987 M/BZ is one of the best purchased I have ever made.
Bought her one year ago with under 200,000 miles. Now she has over 298,000, and I'll never sell her.
She gets 30-32mpg on the highway, very comfy mode.
Uses a qt of oil every 3500 miles or each oil change.
Everything works except the cruise controller. Built like a Sherman Tank with engineering in mind.
The engine bottoms are bullet proof. The head you have to watch not to overheat.
The electronics are trouble free; very, very dependable car.
5th Mar 2011, 10:59
You're driving a car. Why do you want or expect cup holders in an old car? By the way, the 300d is the best old car ever...