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  #1  
Old 07-08-2002, 06:25 PM
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Location: England
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500E vs. 190E 16v

Okay. Right now I can't afford either of these (even the 300TE isn't mine), but I just *know* I will have one of these one day. So it remains to decide which one.

I like the auto in my 190E 2.0 too much to switch to a manual, so I would probably be looking at an auto 16v. I'm in the UK, so get choice of 185 bhp 2.3 and also 205bhp 2.5.
How does the 16v fare with the auto? I hear it would be less 'sharp' (although a 2.0E isn't sharp, it can be made to be sharper by nifty working of the shift lever)

And then, there's 500E. Does this handle as well as a 190E 16v?
Does it feel a reasonable size, or at all 'nimble', like my 190E is?

I *don't* want a 'freeway/autobahn car' - I have regular use of an Audi A8 4.2 with 300hp, but don't really love driving it, as it's too big to drive quickly anywhere but on the freeway - and where's the point in that?

I guess I'd have to think about cost of running and repairs, though I could do much of the work myself.



later
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190E's:
2.5-16v 1990 90,000m Astral Silver
2.0E 8v 1986 107,000m Black 2nd owner
http://www.maylane.demon.co.uk/190esmall.jpghttp://www.maylane.demon.co.uk/190esmall2.jpg
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  #2  
Old 07-08-2002, 07:08 PM
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Well, I've had a 190E 2.3 Liter with a 5spd and now have a 500E so I might be able to provide you with some insight on this.

The 190E is certainly a fun car to drive especially in 5spd form. It isn't very powerful but definitely holds its own. It is a very tossable and nimble car and sticks like glue with the right set of tires. I installed Koni shocks and struts all the way around as well as Eibach sway bars and springs. I also had 205 tires on 15 wheels. The car could take a 90 Degree turn at 35mph!

The 500E is quite a bit heavier and definitely feels heavier when you drive it. It does however handle extremely well and can be considered athletic.

I recently took mine into the mountains for some spirited driving, where there are multiple switchbacks and tight turns over a 30 mile span just to give you an idea. The car handled superbly and every other car had to use the turn offs (a widened area of a two lane road to allow faster cars to pass) to get out of my way. It's especially nice to have 325 horses pulling you up a steep winding hill! My speeds were much much faster than posted limits, don't want to incriminate myself though.

I think the biggest thing you'll notice about a 500E is that is totally effortless to drive extremely fast. The car doesn't require the attention of a 190E and doesn't have the driver involvement. It has descent road feel and is quite comfortable also. It is also much much more stable on the highway.

I'd recommend either car, just depends on your tastes. As far as maintenance I would imagine both cars would be equal. The 190 is much older, although simpler and will probably need some new hardware. The 500 is newer but much more complicated, but you can still do most of the minor repairs yourself.

Go out and test drive them, you'll know immediately which you prefer.
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92 500E
84 190E 2.3 5 Spd
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  #3  
Old 07-09-2002, 09:25 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Carlsbad, CA USA
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My $0.02...
I'm fortunate enough to own one of each so here's what I think.

The two cars are really not comparable...different cars created with different goals, but...

The 16V is smaller and lighter, in terms of nimble handling, feel, and 'fun factor' the 16V wins hands down. Having said that, much of the enjoyment I get from it is solely because it has a manual transmission. I've never driven a 16V with automatic but I have to imagine some of the 'sportiness' is lost.

The 500E is larger, heavier, and much faster. It handles really well but I'm always aware of the mass.

Overall, I think the 500E is a better all around car. On the street at 7/10's it's faster, corners as well or better, and V8 torque always makes me smile.

If you search this site, you'll see where a basically stock 16V was just about as fast as a 500E on the track. So, take your pick, decide what you want, and just do it!
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  #4  
Old 07-09-2002, 05:04 PM
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Flip a coin...there's no way to lose with either one.
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  #5  
Old 07-09-2002, 06:48 PM
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Thanks guys, some very useful & interesting input there. How much do you guys generally pay for 500E's there? In the UK I'm looking at around 10,000 = $15,500 for '93 models with highish (say 100,000) miles.

Madly, I've also seen '92 2.5-16v's at the same price, although only with 46,000 miles and probably in nicer condition. Higher mileage 2.3s are more sensibly prices at around $4,000 - 6,000.
I'd prefer a low-mileage, completely un-modified model, and wouldn't want to change anything except the radio & speakers.


I still can't afford any of them, though :-(
Oh well, if I could have the car of my dreams at this age, what would I do for the next 50 years?


later
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190E's:
2.5-16v 1990 90,000m Astral Silver
2.0E 8v 1986 107,000m Black 2nd owner
http://www.maylane.demon.co.uk/190esmall.jpghttp://www.maylane.demon.co.uk/190esmall2.jpg
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  #6  
Old 07-09-2002, 10:18 PM
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Location: Austin, Tx
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Wow, well I don't know about the UK, but stateside those things are expensive. People have realized that they are rare, and are marking them way up (30-40k territory).... sucks for people who don't have all that money to throw around...
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  #7  
Old 07-10-2002, 08:32 AM
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Well, 500Es aren't too expensive here in the US (for a 100,000 mile one) I've seen them around $20-25K. E500s command more, obviously, and are harder to find.

We only have the 2.3-16 here in the US and a lower mileage one can be had for $10-15K...higher mileage ones as cheap as $6K.
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  #8  
Old 07-10-2002, 11:39 AM
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I've become recently more fond of the 190-16V styling and noted though that the W124 offers updated aesthetics (stateside)- - including R134A

-fad
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  #9  
Old 07-10-2002, 01:08 PM
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Pentoman... whereabouts are you?

I have a 500E and can take you for a spin depending on where you are.
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  #10  
Old 07-10-2002, 01:42 PM
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If you decide to go for the 16v, get the 2.5-16.
500E is a great car, but it's mainly meant for autobahnstorming rather than a slalom course (although it's quite capable of doing both.)

I actually enjoy driving the 16v more because, with a manual box, it's a FUN car to drive. Especially in the city. the 500E is great on the country roads, hwy, and mountain switchbacks, but it's a larger car and harder to find parking for.
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'94 W124.036 249/040 leder; 8.25x17 EvoIIs
'93 W124.036 199/040 leder; 8.25x17 EvoIIs, up in flames...LITERALLY!
'93 W124.036 481/040 leder; euro delivery; 8.25x17 EvoIIs
'88 R107.048 441/409 leder; Euro lights
'87 W201.034 199/040 leder; Euro lights; EvoII brakes; 8x16 EvoIs - soon: 500E rear brakes
'70 R113.044 050/526; factory alloys; Euro lights
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  #11  
Old 07-10-2002, 03:29 PM
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Brian - thanks for the offer, but living in Bristol and working a lot, it'll have to wait for another time :-(

And i just noticed the dreaded 'Autobahn' word in there.. which is rather disappointing, I'm not too keen on a car which is mainly suited to the autobahn, as there is obviously compromise elsewhere.. I think the 16v is nudging ahead very slightly here for me.

Does anyone know if there are versions of the 2.5-16 without a catalyst (or if they even came *with* a catalyst), and what year they came about?


later
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190E's:
2.5-16v 1990 90,000m Astral Silver
2.0E 8v 1986 107,000m Black 2nd owner
http://www.maylane.demon.co.uk/190esmall.jpghttp://www.maylane.demon.co.uk/190esmall2.jpg
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  #12  
Old 07-10-2002, 04:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by pentoman
Brian - thanks for the offer, but living in Bristol and working a lot, it'll have to wait for another time :-(

And i just noticed the dreaded 'Autobahn' word in there.. which is rather disappointing, I'm not too keen on a car which is mainly suited to the autobahn, as there is obviously compromise elsewhere.. I think the 16v is nudging ahead very slightly here for me.

Does anyone know if there are versions of the 2.5-16 without a catalyst (or if they even came *with* a catalyst), and what year they came about?


later
I think all 16vs were equipped with cats. the N/A versions had 2 pre-cats as well. 2.3-16s were available from 1984-1988 and 2.5-16s were from 1989-1991...i think.

The thing to remember is that the 16vs are 4 bangers and have quite buzzy drivetrains. ie. you KNOW you're doing 100mph 'cause you can hear it.

the 500E can pull 130 mph without trying and it'll feel as rocksteady as it does at 55 mph.

the 16v is a more dynamic car to drive because it's smaller, lighter and therefore, far more "tossable" than a 3800lb mid-sized sedan.

by the same token, the 500E is more roomy. I HATE sitting in the back seat of a 190E. too cramped back there.
__________________
'94 W124.036 249/040 leder; 8.25x17 EvoIIs
'93 W124.036 199/040 leder; 8.25x17 EvoIIs, up in flames...LITERALLY!
'93 W124.036 481/040 leder; euro delivery; 8.25x17 EvoIIs
'88 R107.048 441/409 leder; Euro lights
'87 W201.034 199/040 leder; Euro lights; EvoII brakes; 8x16 EvoIs - soon: 500E rear brakes
'70 R113.044 050/526; factory alloys; Euro lights
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  #13  
Old 07-11-2002, 05:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by yhliem

by the same token, the 500E is more roomy. I HATE sitting in the back seat of a 190E. too cramped back there.
Heh.. what are you doing sitting in the back?! Shouldn't you be driving!?
I sometimes sit in the back of mine if I'm adjusting audio setup, or fixing something, and you're right there's no room in there. But at least I don't have to drive when I travel with friends.. I hate the extra miles and the sluggish performance with any more than 1 person on board



Ah yes, one more thing I forgot to mention - ride quality. How are the 2 cars? I love my 190's ride - supersmooth and the low mileage means there's no knocks or bangs. I don't mind too much if the car is jostled about a little by changes in height of the road surfaces, but I don't want, say, poorly surfaced roads and other sharp intrusions to come into the cabin. How's the 16v on this?

Jeez I'm starting to sound real 'pernickity' now huh?

later
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190E's:
2.5-16v 1990 90,000m Astral Silver
2.0E 8v 1986 107,000m Black 2nd owner
http://www.maylane.demon.co.uk/190esmall.jpghttp://www.maylane.demon.co.uk/190esmall2.jpg
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  #14  
Old 07-11-2002, 06:11 PM
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Location: British Columbia, Canada
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I've found the 16v to be more of a "sports sedan" than the 500E and as a result, has a harsher ride while also having more body roll (which can be solved with diferent anti-sway bars).

The 500E, again, was intended as a long distance commuter and has a firm, but more supple ride.

Both understeer when pushed to the limit (which is indicative of MBs conservative approach). But this too can be adjusted through suspension tuning.
__________________
'94 W124.036 249/040 leder; 8.25x17 EvoIIs
'93 W124.036 199/040 leder; 8.25x17 EvoIIs, up in flames...LITERALLY!
'93 W124.036 481/040 leder; euro delivery; 8.25x17 EvoIIs
'88 R107.048 441/409 leder; Euro lights
'87 W201.034 199/040 leder; Euro lights; EvoII brakes; 8x16 EvoIs - soon: 500E rear brakes
'70 R113.044 050/526; factory alloys; Euro lights
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  #15  
Old 07-12-2002, 05:54 PM
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Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: New Milford, Ct
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Another two important points are that the 500E drive only, whereas the 16V can be had in right drive. Plus, the 500E will cost you almost 70 quid to fill the tank, and you may only see 250-300 miles from a tankful.

The 16v is much friendlier on the wallet. I know, I've had both here in the States.

Where in Bristol do you live? I was there last week, I lived in Bristol until I was 25.
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