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mbeclass - 3/11/2005 12:23 AM

Can some of you veterans explain to me this :

Why are both w124 and w201 called e class,

are they both the same platform ?

What is the difference between the w124 and w201 in terms of performance , handling, and overall experience
They are not "E-Class" since the "E" in the 190E, 300E, 400E and 500E is the German word for fuel injection, eizenspritzer. Hence the reason why there are D versions for diesels and no designations for the carburator version.

The are different sizes of basically the same platform. The W201 is considerably shorter in wheelbase and overall length than the W124. They share many common design elements, most of which were derived for the W201. During the design phase of the W201 it was decided to keep it RWD and to take advantage of some suspension part sharing between the two chassis.

As far as performance and experience, the W201 is considerably lighter and more "nimble" compared to the larger sedans. While some might argue that the W124 had advantages in "being a Mercedes" there is almost uniform agreement in the intial reviews of the W201 that it felt like a Mercedes. Peter Egan at Road & Track commented that after driving the 2.6L, the drivers side door of other cars seemed "tinny."
 

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I own a W201 (2.6L 1991 model) so I could share my experience and opinion about it. Coming back to the original question raised here, I believe that in general, W201 is more nimble, lighter and offers better handling than a W124. Moreover, W201 looks better aesthetically than W124.

W124 is more comfortable and roomier.

All boils down to what your needs are and what do you looks for in a car. Both are great Benzes.
 

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Owning both a W124 and a W201 I'm not sure I agree with the last post. While the basic looks of the two are similar the 124 is better proportioned and in my opinion a better looking Benz. The longer hood and slightly flared front fenders make more of an impression.
I do agree that my 190 handles with less body roll overall but the ride quality and acceleration of the 300 makes up for the larger Benz's lack of nimble cornering.
Realistically my 300e will eat my 190e 2.3 for lunch in the 1/4 mile and treat passengers a whole lot better on a long road trip. There's no making up for all the additional room and extra 2 cylingers the 124 has to offer. A 190e 2.6 may have a better chance in the 1/4 mile but still wont give you the same ride quality the W124 provides.
In the end the 300 is the "nice Benz" while my 190 is the perfect starting point for a road rocket a-la 190E EVO.
 

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az190 - 4/20/2005 4:07 AM

Owning both a W124 and a W201 I'm not sure I agree with the last post. While the basic looks of the two are similar the 124 is better proportioned and in my opinion a better looking Benz. The longer hood and slightly flared front fenders make more of an impression.
I do agree that my 190 handles with less body roll overall but the ride quality and acceleration of the 300 makes up for the larger Benz's lack of nimble cornering.
Realistically my 300e will eat my 190e 2.3 for lunch in the 1/4 mile and treat passengers a whole lot better on a long road trip. There's no making up for all the additional room and extra 2 cylingers the 124 has to offer. A 190e 2.6 may have a better chance in the 1/4 mile but still wont give you the same ride quality the W124 provides.
In the end the 300 is the "nice Benz" while my 190 is the perfect starting point for a road rocket a-la 190E EVO.
Do not take me wrong. I think W124 awesome. However, I disagree with your comparison between a 3.0 W124 and 2.6 W201 on ride quality....remember that they have more or less the same suspension set-up and platform. It is just that W124 is heavier so it absorbs bumps with less body roll. But if one puts Bilstein comfort struts in a W201...difference is negligible.

On the looks, I personally think W201 is a clear winner. It looks leaner and meaner. It is all subjective, isn't it?
 
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