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350SLC, 500SLC, 300TE, 190E2.3 Sportline
687 Posts
190E Sportline

I have owned my 2.3 Sportline 5-speed manual for a few months now. The only reason I purchased it was due to its rarity here in Australia (possibly the only manual Sportline). I must admit that I really am enjoying it. It is nice to drive a manual again (although presumably you are looking at an auto). The suspension offers great cornering with minimal body roll and the faster steering ratio and smaller leather wheel gives nice steering feel. The ride is ok until you get onto poor surfaces, initially it seemed little different from the 180E (190E 1.8) I owned a few years ago. I would need to drive a non Sportline again to confirm that impression.

I find that the front seats look more comfortable than they are. This is the first car I have had where I have to remove my wallet from my back pocket to avoid discomfort. On a long trip recently it also took me several attempts at adjusting the seat to avoid lower back pain. The leather also squeaks. The front seats in our 300TE are more comfortable and don't squeak (MB Tex). The bucket style rear seats on the other hand feel great.

As much as I would like to have the 2.6 (I love the 3.0 M103 in our TE), I find the 2.3 (M102 8v) suits the 190E well. It is surprisingly torquey and tractable from low revs and whilst not as smooth as the six, cruises quietly. On my recent interstate trip "tyre roar" on our coarse bitumen roads was the only noticeable noise. The four also fits the engine bay well making for easy repair and maintenance. Presumably the less mass out front would also make for sharper handling.

The Sportline looks the part with its lower ride height, 7 x 15 wheels with 205/55 tyres, rear spoiler and deep bucket seats front and back.
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