1989 Mercedes-Benz W126 300SEL 3.0 petrol six from Australia and New Zealand
Still in love with this car
Cruise control stopped working.
Water pump needed to be replaced.
Rubber hoses from the radiator to the transmission had to be replaced.
Driver's window switch replaced after the contact wore out.
Radio head unit replaced with a modern CD head unit.
I first wrote a review on this car in 2010 after only covering 13,000km. The car was my only car for 18 months, and during this time it covered some 30,000 mostly highway kilometres. Since mid 2011, it has been my second car and has only covered an extra 13,000kms. It also sat completely still in storage for all of 2014 with its wheels off, battery removed and fuel preserving agent in the fuel tank. Amazingly, it started first time when I returned home from overseas earlier this year.
It now only comes out for weekends and the occasional mid week blast. Despite often sitting for long periods of time, the old girl always starts and runs beautifully. I still feel privileged driving the car.
I have a list of cosmetic improvements I would like to get done over the next couple of years. Nothing major. Just little things to improve the overall look of the car.
I've driven a W220 S-class, ridden in a W140 Benz and travelled in numerous more modern 7 Series BMWs. My car is so refined, comfortable and spacious that I don't feel that I am missing anything. And because the interior is so simple, it feels much better made. It is lacking the performance and efficiency of the newer models, but the wafting ability is superb.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 10th June, 2015
11th Jun 2015, 10:22
The W126 certainly does feel special in a wonderfully analogue way. I have a 1991 300SE, which is used daily. Its performance, particularly the lazy old world transmission, is dated by modern standards. It is still capable of very brisk acceleration, and grips, turns in and brakes surprisingly well given its weight and size, but it's heavy and really needs familiarisation to drive briskly. The sheer weight of the controls would terrify any driver who has never driven a large pre 1990's euro.
It's rather impractical for modern life, but every time I use the "modern" vehicles in our household, I'm always a little bit depressed at the prospect of having to replace it one day, because I just can't find anything modern, reliable and affordable that makes every trip such an occasion.
11th Sep 2015, 19:24
There's always the Lexus LS400. That's my daily driver.
In the meantime, I have a 1990 300SEL as a future restoration project.