I much appreciate the thoughts and ideas -- I assume the full-size 126s (esp. the SELs) are about the best crash protection of the affordable Benzers (I'm not going to put daughter in a 140 yet) -- I would have thought that the 201s were not bad, the 124s a bit better. We may or may not switch, dependent on what comes along in a 190/300 -- I'm just getting bugged by her continuing to want something smaller and more maneuverable.
Any thoughts on the crashworthiness of the 107 560SL/380SL series? While it's a convertible, it feels pretty sold and heavy, and with only one passenger, you do gain the accident-lessening aspect of not having backseat passengers (I understanding that the likelihood of a crash involving teenage driver goes up geometrically with higher numbers of passengers).