I personally feel that it would be somewhere between difficult and impossible to compare older models to newer models without having one in your stable to drive often.
Although I could do without all the gadgetry of my 203 car, it has proven to be every bit the Mercedes of any other that I've ever owned. Had I not bought it and driven it, I would not attempt to compare it to the other MB's that I have owned and driven. I think that would be an assessment made based on incomplete data.
Have a great day,