Let's see... out of both my cars (Toyota Celica and E420, both 95s)
I bought my E420 from Hatch and Sons. www.hatchandsons.com
I paid a lot for it to be honest but they did put 4 new brake pads and discs, 4 new shocks, new belts, resprayed the bumper, and some other little stuff I don't remember.
They warranteed it for 1/2 a year and during that period I brought it in because my AC kept cutting off ( I swear it was the relay). They replaced the fan clutch because it was noisy and replaced the relay finally. The AC was great after. I brought it in a few times after to have a few things adjusted (free of charge) and it's been flawless ever since.
The M119 (though unfortunately it's not in its 5.0 liter form), is really smooth. It's not that fast but the SOUND... and the smoothness is just amazing. I've had people who know nothing about cars sit in the car and comment "wow... nice sound" when the engine rips past 2500rpm.
The 500E is something else obviously
The E420's nicer interior is also a welcome plus.
I drove and almost purchased a dark blue E320 Special Edition with cream interior, all leather, burlwood and everything.
It was fast..... and the M104 sounded beautiful! But the M119 definitely makes the W124 a really fine automobile. (It's even nice with a 2.0l carburated I-4 engine
in the 200 form)
sorry for being long winded. If I had the choice.. I'd definitely go the V8 way
im definitely biased though...
Either one is an awesome car.
BTW, yeah... the way the E420 accelerates above 60mph is amazing. It's just so effortless.
The celica's been pretty reliable...
It needs a new rear wiper motor $400 installed at the dealer, and two ABS speed sensors ($800) and the fender is so soft I could change its shape by pulling/pushing it out by hand.
then again.. it's a Toyota