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2003 S430
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16 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Let me start by saying that I love my current '89 300E. I'm still impressed that at 167k miles it has been very reliable, comfortable, good mpg, and it gives me the warm and fuzzies every time I drive it. It's a solid car with timeless styling in my opinion. I couldn't ask for anything more.

However, I've always wondered about the W126. It has always been on the back of my mind that the top of the line Mercedes of the same era would be much better than the W124 interms of power, comfort, and that overall intangible feeling of driving a very well built automobile. I've seen a '91 420sel for sale recently. It's in beautiful shape inside and out, and has less that 100K miles on it.

I'm torn whether I should take the leap and step in to a W126. I wish I could keep both cars, but I would have to give-up the 300e to get the 420sel.

I'm sure a lot of you out there own or have owned both cars at some point or another. I'm really interested in your opinions on whether it would be a good move to get in to a 420sel from a 300e. I have the pros and cons in my head, but I'm interested in your pros and cons as well.

Thank you in advace for your input.


PS I have posted this in the W124 forum as well.
 

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1979 280SL, 1984 280SL
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5,658 Posts
You will need to drive it, and decide for yourself.

I owned an '87 300E for many years, and it was one of my favorite cars- probably for all the same reasons you like yours. WHile the two cars share some interior styling cues, they are quite different.

The 420SEL will not have the nimble feel that your 124 has- it is a bigger car, with a different suspension and longer wheelbase. The 420 will feel like the king of the road on the highway- it will also feel a bit more luxurious.

To me, the styling of the 124, while more "modern" than the 126 is also more dated- The 126 having more presence.

You wont go wrong in either chassis- just a matter of taste.
 

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3,783 Posts
Of course both are great cars, but if you think your current car is comfortable, the 420 just may blow you away. The smoothness of the ride makes even the nicest cars seem like a bucket of bolts ride quality wise.
I think chief put it perfectly regarding most other aspects
 

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1990 420SEL, 1998 C230
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42 Posts
I own a '90 420 SEL and have driven a friend of mine's 87 300E. Here's my thoughts on the two:

Drivability: the 300 E is very light and nimble compared to the 420, especially in cornering. If you take corners like I do, it can be disconcerting at first (for me, it was since I was used to driving a 98 C230 before I got my lovely 420). Also, beware of the MASSIVE blind spots on the 420....Lord knows how many Toyota's or Honda's I've run off the road in the close to two years I've had the 420. :eek:

Comfort: The 420 hands down wins this battle. The ride is plush and serene and you'll feel relaxed on a long rode trip in the 420 compared to the 300E. Like ChiefRider said, you'll feel like you're the King of the Road.

Enjoyability: Tossup. If you want a fun car to throw around town and still have some "oomph" left for the highway, stick with your 300E. If you want a cruiser to burn up the highway, yet still feel stately enough to be a King, get the 420.

If it were me personally, keep the 300E as your daily and have the 420 as your fun "out-on-the-town" car. But that's just me. Drive both then decide for yourself.
 

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W126, R107, W210 AMG, W221
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342 Posts
I can compare 300 CE and 500 SE and while they are both lovely in their own way but at the end of the day, I prefer W126.
W124 feels more nimble and tossable.
W126 feels like W221 in some ways that make you calm and happy behind the wheel.
I think you need to buy the 420 and have both in your stable. Since I got my W126, I started to understand the W124 character and started liking it even more. Just when you have the comparison, you can appreciate how wonderful these machines are. I'm comparing them every day to my W221 which is brilliant but in a different way.
Buy a W126. You will be happy you did. Plus, many parts and maintenance jobs are similar.
 

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1990 420SEL, 1998 C230
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