Date registered: Mar 2003
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The W140 300SD will have a bit more headroom and an inch more shoulder-room than the W126. But it is not a long wheelbase model. Front legroom is the same.
The W140 300SD is a smaller car than the SDL in that the rear seat has less leg room. It is a short wheelbase model, after all.
The W126 is longer, but thinner and shorter.
The W126 300SDL/350SDL is the biggest Mercedes diesel ever sold in the United States to this very day.
The W220 has less shoulder-room than a W126, and less leg room up front. It has more head room in the rear as well as slightly more legroom. This was mostly due to MB resolving to make their rear seat cushions paper thin (older S-Class cars had thick coil-spring bench seats similar to a Serta mattress with horsehair padding).
The W126, although only 71.7 inches wide, wastes no space in the interior. Newer Benz's have much larger dimensions but they are poorly carved out in this respect. They are too wide, long, and tall for the amount of cabin space they provide.