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350SLC, 500SLC, 300TE, 190E2.3 Sportline
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Discussion Starter #1
My wife's parents have owned a 1983 230E (W123) since about 1985. They are considering a change but don't know what to get. The W123 has served them well requiring little more than a water pump and A/C compressor in over 200,000km. They would like to stay with a Mercedes but would like something a bit smaller . They have concerns with reliability and repair costs of some of the newer cars and I don't believe they will find anything that will match their W123 in this regard.

They do not require a 6 cylinder so the M104 ( W202, C280 and W124, E280 & E320) head gasket, oil leak and engine wiring harness problems should not be an issue. The W124, whilst being a superb car and more modern than the W123, is probably older than what they are after although a late 220E or E220 might be worth considering. The W210 (E230 or E200K) E-Class is larger than they require and is probably still too expensive. Finding a sufficiently "young" W201 (190E) would be difficult.

The W202 C-Class probably fits the bill. They would most likely go for a C220 or C200 although even a good C180 would be considered. The C230 would be nice but was rare in Australia and we did not get the Kompressor version.

Can others make suggestions as to what might be the car to replace their trusty 230E?

Thanks
 

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Always Remembered RIP
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520 Posts
I've had several W123s and they have all been excellent.

I now have a C180 and have n...


I've had several W123s and they have all been excellent.

I now have a C180 and have noticed two things; Although the car runs very well and is reliable, it isn't a patch on my old 230CE. It doesn't match it's build quality and so I would be suprised if it's the same in 5 or 7 years time.
Secondly, when I was looking for a C-Class I veiwed a hell of alot of bad examples. Mainly worn and oily engines on 70,000 mile cars, but also electrical things like windows and ariels would be faulty, something I never experienced on my W123s.

I would choose wisely or look at some W124s. Also consider BMWs and Audis, my mother has had a Audi 80TD for years now and at present has over 218000 miles on the clock, returns 50mpg urban and still looks good (galvanised body).
 

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350SLC, 500SLC, 300TE, 190E2.3 Sportline
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690 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your comments

It is interesting what you say about build quality. Many long term Mercedes owners comment that whilst the newer models offer more features and generally better handling and safety, they do not give the reliability, longevity or general feel of quality of the older models. Whilst I would not consider our '90 300TE (W124) unreliable, I would say that in the just over four years we have owned it, it has not been as reliable as the '80 300TD (W123) we owned for the four years before that. My '73 350SLC (W107) has also been pretty good over the 20 years I have owned it. On the W124 forum where I usually spend some time, I read of many annoying and often expensive problems, a pity considering that many believe the W124 to be perhaps one of the finest cars of all time. We certainly love ours and hope that it will serve us well for many more years to come. There also seems to be many electrical and electronic related problems in the newer models and problems related to the additional technology in these cars.

My wife's parents have had a very good run with their '83 230E (W123) and probably figure it is a good time to update before age does start to take its toll. Their preference for a C-class (W202) is based on price, availability and size. So long as reliability is not a problem and it is not costly to maintain then it would suit them well. A good E220 or 220E (W124) would be OK, it's just that it is not quite as new a design as the C-class.

Thanks again for your input. Do any others have comments on this or suggestions as to what they should buy?
 

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S430,190E 2.6,SL500
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I would strongly recommend the W124 E-Class over the W202 C-Class. The 124 is, without arg...

I would strongly recommend the W124 E-Class over the W202 C-Class. The 124 is, without argument, one of the most reliable cars around. Buy a late model year 124, 1994 or 1995.
 

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89 300TE
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290 Posts
Hey Greg,

I just came from a 1997 C200. For me, the engine was underpowered and with t...


Hey Greg,

I just came from a 1997 C200. For me, the engine was underpowered and with the a/c on and five aboard the cars progress could be measured with the minute hand on a clock. It felt very sturdy though and the fuel economy was fantastic. It was easy to park and had a very good turning circle and was quite nimble. One thing though, it didnt have charm to it like a W124 does. Now I have a 94 E280. Some people say that im silly to go and sell a car I had bought new and buy a second hand car. This is the third W124 and must say for its age, nothing really comes close. Ive never looked back
 

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Registered
89 300TE
Joined
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290 Posts
Hey Greg,

I just came from a 1997 C200. For me, the engine was underpowered and with t...


Hey Greg,

I just came from a 1997 C200. For me, the engine was underpowered and with the a/c on and five aboard the cars progress could be measured with the minute hand on a clock. It felt very sturdy though and the fuel economy was fantastic. It was easy to park and had a very good turning circle and was quite nimble. One thing though, it didnt have charm to it like a W124 does. Now I have a 94 E280. Some people say that im silly to go and sell a car I had bought new and buy a second hand car. This is the third W124 and must say for its age, nothing really comes close. Ive never looked back
 
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