1990 Mercedes-Benz W124 300E 3.0 from Costa Rica


Best Mercedes ever built


Engine requires 5 seconds to start. Problem not fixed.

Broken sunroof rails at 125K, easy to fix, but hard to find used parts and very expensive at the dealer.

Over voltage protection relay changed recently, $US40.

New radiator changed recently, $100.

General Comments:

I bought this car when gas prices start to rise two years ago.

The car seemed well maintained; interior was almost flawless and engine running smooth. Despite the low gas mileage, this is a fantastic car from any angle: beautiful timeless design, built like a tank, very easy to work on for a do-it-yourself-er, reliable, and parts, no matter how small or insignificant, are available through the dealer, usually at affordable prices.

The car came with almost all comfort and security items available (ABS, airbag, sunroof, leather seats, electric seats with memory, A/C, etc.,), and is a wonderful day to day driving car, even for today standards.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th June, 2008

4th Nov 2008, 17:49

I also had the over voltage protection relay replaced. it was causing the car to cut out at low revs,on corners. here in Australia the cost was US$400!

3rd May 2009, 13:33

Simple fix for your bad slow starting. The m103 series engine has a seventh injector, which enriches the fuel, which isn't always necessary and causes bad cold starting. Disconnect this and she will start first time.

29th Jan 2010, 16:22


The 5 seconds starting problem turn out to be one of the 2 fuel pumps. How could I missed that? This car has 2 fuel (small) pumps, only one was working when I purchased the car. So I changed both fuel pumps along with the fuel filter, and voila! The car starts right away.

1990 Mercedes-Benz W124 300E 3.0 from Australia and New Zealand


Easy and secure motoring


Had an intermittent cut out at low revs (ie when cornering!) that seems to have been resolved with a new fuel pump. Only repaired last week, so not definitive.

Update 2008: It was the over voltage protection relay causing the cut outs. Dealer fixed in a few hours, cost $400 though. Have found another garage now. The dealer managed to spoil the paint, and someone stole ALL the floor mats when they had it too (they swapped them for some thinner tatty ones!); they refused to accept that it had even happened. Nice. They half fixed the paint problem. Avoid.

General Comments:

What can I say after driving Datsun 120Y's around for the last 10 years? I suppose that's to be expected when the Merc's new front discs and pads cost more than a 120Y.

Comfort and handling are excellent. Nice quiet smooth ride that gets around 10L per 100kms.

Has MBtex upholstery, which still looks very good at 17 years old. Don't like the glossy wood laminate in the console, but otherwise the interior feels good to be in.

The well placed quality speakers are a joy too.

Feel (and apparently well founded) a sense of security when driving.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th December, 2007

1990 Mercedes-Benz W124 300E-24 3.0 Fuel Injected petrol from Australia and New Zealand


I'll own this for life, it's that good


Wheel alignment went out.

Becker radio only worked on LHS.

Top neck snapped on radiator.

LHS front door lock wire came off mounting.

General Comments:

This has been the best car I've owned, end of story. This car was $150,000 new in 1990 and now still feels like a $150,000 car. It was the top of the line 300e with the 24 valve head putting out 230hp with all the options. Sunroof, colour coded bumpers, wood trim, leather and the list goes on.

I bought it from an accountant's wife who had only clocked up 92,000km, so the car was basically like a four year old Benz. Leather and carpets were as new, no seat sag, no dash cracks... nothing falling off.

It really is amazing vehicle, the last of the "over engineered" Benzes. And the over-engineering shows. The panel fit is still perfect, paint is like new and nothing rattles on the inside. Electrics still work, no problem. Even the rubber looks like new.

The 3.0 litre 24 valve motor pulls hard to the 7,000rpm limit, peak power really being discernible after about 4000rpm. The only problem I've had (which I was expecting) was when the radiator top neck which snapped off.

The suspension is smooth as a magic carpet ride (even at high speed after all these cars were designed for autobahns) and the handling and steering taut all these 17 years later. A friend with a three year old top of the line Holden says it feels better than his car.

Having said that there are things which date the car. Yes, it has ABS, but no it doesn't have airbags. It's lacking a CD player however thanks to wireless MP3 players, I just route this through the FM radio. I had to get the Becker repaired and it still sounds gorgeous.

The four speed starts in second gear and can be a little clunky if one accelerates hard. However the second gear start-off can be over-ridden by fitting an S class module for more spirited starts off the line.

Every day, I really look forward to driving this car. Do yourself a favour, forget the diesels and 260s or (god forbid) the 230's and seek one of these out which has been serviced regularly.

I'll probably own this car for life. It's that good.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th April, 2007

22nd Oct 2008, 09:10

I bought the '91 version of this car in 2005. It had run 282000km and evn though it was 14 years old, it worked and felt like a brand new car. I had to sell it just over 4 months ago as I was leaving the country I had it in and at 313000km it still felt new. I've also yet to see a car with a tougher body.