I agree with your mechanic...
If I had to make this choice I would go with the E320 or even an E420 if you can.
I think the build quality of the W124 is excellent and both the M104 and M119 engines are bullet proof.
Find one of these that has never been wrecked and that has books & records. Pay a good Mercedes Tech to check it out for you. These cars have a timeless design and will last a very long time.
The C230 is underpowered unless it has the supercharger. The C280 and C230K are fun to drive but don't seem to be constructed from the same quality materials as the W124.
...just my $.02
Bill Wood - Webmaster