Surprisingly enjoyable classic! The GLE trim level and the B23E engine make all the difference
No major faults in the year of ownership I enjoyed before writing it off.
Alternator failed. Cheap and easy to access replacement ($300).
There were of course consumables to be replaced, which is expected. Brake rotors/pads and timing belt were due for replacement when purchasing vehicle.
The B23E engine, with continuous fuel injection, in the 240 is fantastic! With the standard exhaust (and with probably a few imperceptible leaks) it is raughty and characterful. Unlike the sound of many modern day 4 cylinder cars. It has strong mid-range performance and puts out 100~102kW (134-136hp) peak, which was very similar to the Mercedes 230E W124 of the day. Still acceptable performance.
3 speed transmission shifted smooth and reliably, but limited set of ratios means 1st seems too tall (slow initial response) and 3rd a little short (not entirely relaxed at highway speeds). This was rectified for MY1984 vehicles and later with either overdrive or an extra ratio.
Fuel consumption by today's standards is generally average to poor with the B23E. It requires 97 Octane Fuel. Latter B230F engines (in later models and/or different market) could facilitate better fuel economy and did not require premium fuel.
Steering was lacking in feel, light and power assisted. Handling was predictable and grippy until you hit the limit. The RWD setup inspires confidence. The car felt almost agile in hasty urban dashes.
GLE (or GLT in N. America & Europe) trim is definitely the pick. Power windows, and gauges, with distinctive 15" Virgo rims make the GLE stick out from the bland 240 GL, DL counterparts. The GLE's black trim and grille in place of the sickeningly gaudy GL chrome gives the car a more timeless look.
Comfortable interior with good space for driver and front passenger. Back seat has average space ideally seating only 2 adults. Boot space moderate.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 16th July, 2010