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1988 Mercedes 300SE
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61 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello all.

New to this forum, but I have been posting in the 126 forum for a couple months. Wife likes my 126 so much, I'm in danger of losing it! I'm considering going on the hunt for a nice 107 to distract her. She's not a performance buff, and gas milage is her main concern. So, with that in mind, which of the type is the best in terms of rugged reliability? I know it's a matter of opinion of course, but for example, I'm a big fan of my W126 300se for the fact that the bulletproof straight 6 engine design is for the most part, smooth and trouble free. SE's handle the best out of the se, sel, sec 126 group (yes, better than the coupe... I didn't believe it either). What's the best set up for a 107? Best year? Best engine, etc, all from the reliability/fuel economy standpoint? Is there a good article posted somewhere that I can read to learn more about the type and it's weak points to watch for on an initial inspection?

Thanks!

Don
 

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Premium Member
2010 Mercury Milan Hybrid, 1993 BMW 325i convertible
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6,077 Posts
bigdon said:
She's not a performance buff, and gas milage is her main concern. So, with that in mind, which of the type is the best in terms of rugged reliability?
A 280SL (European only, but many were imported) is going to give you the best mileage, hands down. A 300SL would be second best. I'd stay completely away from any 450SL, maybe consider a late model 380SL, although the mileage wouldn't be anywhere near the 280, and maybe consider a late model 560SL.

I've averaged 14 mpg with my 450SL, and it's running right to spec.
 

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Premium Member
87 300SL "Roadster" 86 420SEL "Limo" 89 420SEL The "New" Limo 87 190E 2.6 fact bodykit
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1,575 Posts
Scott is right about the 450SL. Although a powerful V8 they aren't economical and are hard to find in good condition due to the age. IMHO 280SL are a good choice and quite economical but also getting old.

I've gone down the path of a grey import 300SL. They came out with the last R107 updated big brakes and more modern suspension of the 560SL, but with the sensational M103 engine from the 300SEL/SE/E. The downside is you need a 85-89 560SL manual for the body and a I6 w126 300SE or 300E manual for the engine. With these models everywhere parts aren't really a problem.
 

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1989 500SL (R129);2001 R170 230SLK; 1992 320CE
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1,036 Posts
ScottinSoCal said:
A 280SL (European only, but many were imported) is going to give you the best mileage, hands down. A 300SL would be second best.
bigdon,


I would agree with Scott and Andrew that the 280/300SL variants are going to give the best fuel consumption.

I do not think that there will be much to choose between them there.

The 280SL has the DOHC M110 engine which might be considered more sporty than the SOHC M103 that sits in the 300SL but overall the later car has a couple more bhp and marginally improved torque. It also has the updates to brakes,suspension and wheels and the facelift around the front air-dam.

The 280SL appears to be available more often with a manual four or five speed gearbox whereas the 300SL seems to come with the variable four speed automatic and it is rare to find a maual one.

An issue with the 300SL will be finding one in the US although every now and again they appear on Ebay.... I just checked on the OurSL website and there are none listed for sale in the classifieds in the US. This does not appear to be the case with the 280SL which was produced over a longer period and came to the US in greater numbers.

The good news is that if you can find a good 300SL in the US they seem to sell at comparatively good prices being a grey import. Don`t be put off by this as the M103 engine will be very well known to any Merc Indie mechanic and parts will be readily available.

By the way they both handle very well.

If you get one for the wife you might find yourself borrowing it just as often as she does yours!

Good luck.
 

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Forum Administrator , RC Colas® & Moon Pies®
1981 380SL 151K: 2005 S500 116K
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My 380 has a dash gauge (well, I guess they all do) that tells me when I am getting good gas mileage or not so good.


I'm mostly not so good.
 
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