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Old 06-21-2001, 11:02 PM
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Hi There.... relatively new to this forum. Wrestling with a little situation, that I believe you may be able to help me with... I'm defecting to the Mercedes camp, having been a Jag loyalist for many years. However, after many episodes of the car acting up which cost me dearly (such an expensive mistress), I've decided to part ways. I'm looking to purchase a 95 or 96 E320... Apart from the new body style, are there many other significant changes between those two years? Any reason I should go with the 96 as opposed to the 95? My wife seems to prefer the S320... Is there a whole lotta difference between that and the E? I've heard there are two major problems with those model/years: Wiring Harness in the engine compartment prone to catching afire and a leaky head gasket. Are there any other known issues? Thanks for all your help!! I would very much appreciate any input from you guys in helping me with my decision. On a parting note... anyone interested in a high maintenance mistress? Lovely, but merciless on the wallet!!! Cheers... Roger
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Old 06-21-2001, 11:55 PM
Ashman's Avatar
Service Advisor
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Sherman Oaks, CA
Posts: 4,748
I agree with John here,

But for me I love the W124 Chassis, and I love the look of the 94-95 E320/E420/E500/E320 coupe/E320 Convertible/E320 Wagons.

I think you would be very happy with any of the cars john mentioned, but my personal tastes would lean towards the above mentioned W124 Chassis cars.

There is something about the look of a W124, that is just timeless to me.

Then again mercedes car styling has always been several years ahead of its time.

'92 300CE - Sold
2004 C240 - C7 Wheels
2015 ML350 - P1, Pano, Ash poplar wood, Sport Dinamica interior, Running Boards Keyless go.
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Old 06-22-2001, 12:09 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 387
Had an interesting conversation with my mechanic (shop owner) about a very similar subject. He owns 2 S class cars. But, for longevity, he says stick with the E class W124s, and the 3.0 and 3.2 liter engines. He has an E420 for sale that I would LOVE to have (actually, Mamma would love to have it - she's not real impressed with the 0-40 on the 300E...), but he says we're much better off with what we have! And that's knowing that he'd love to sell us the E420... Bottom Line: I'd go with a W124 all over again. They are nearly bullet proof, with all flaws well known.
Bill Streep
San Antonio
'57 190SL (toy)
'08 S5500 (mine)
'09 CLK550 (wife's)
'06 SLK350 (daughter's)
'11 GLK350 (daughter's)
'03 CLK310 (spare)
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Old 06-22-2001, 07:13 AM
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I drove a '96 W210 car about 75,000 miles after buying it new in April '96. I have driven a W124 car over 100,000 miles, and 123 cars about 700,000 miles.

The 124 is indeed a great and basically reliable car. Given that it is early eighties design and technology, it was far ahead of it's time. The 210 car on the other hand is nineties technology and design and is definitely a step up as far as driving experience goes. The 210 car is a much better combination of the solidity of a Benz but the driver experience and handling of a BMW.

If one costs about the same as the other, my choice would most definitely be a 210 car. If the 124 car can be had for significantly less money, I would have no problem choosing it for value.

My $0.02,
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Old 06-22-2001, 07:31 AM
engatwork's Avatar
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Soperton, Ga. USA
Posts: 11,234
Rog I may be willing to part with my 1995 E320 (W124) - 107k miles. Wiring harness and head gasket replacement has been done.

Email me if you want to discuss. Since purchasing the 300D I hardly ever drive the E320 and hate to see it just sit in the garage. Anyway, I want another early 80's 300D.
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Old 06-22-2001, 11:06 AM
G-Benz's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Dallas/Fort-Worth
Posts: 5,711
Rog, I feel for you on the Jaguar issue. It was a love/hate relationship.

I too owned a Jag...a beautiful teal blue 1992 XJS V12 convertible with the camel interior and top. Even procured some chromed factory wheels from the dealership.

The car was purchased for my wife as a driver, but I convinced her at one time to enter it into a Jaguar car show in the concours class. It took a 99.64 out of 100, good enough for fourth place.

I was smitten by the car, except that it lived in our garage one week, and the dealership in the other week. Sometimes I would take the car in when the "check engine" light went on, only to bring it home the same day, and have it come right back on when I pulled it into the garage.

Not a single electrical problem was spared, and nearly every A/C component needed attention at one point or another. In the four years we owned it, we put about 12K additional miles on it, but the repair tab was up to $6000! It would have been more, except that the warranty covered the first two years of that period.

Finally, after getting the news of having to replace an alternator, and evaporator to the tune of $3600 parts and labor, I just had to let it go.

I felt bad trading her in, and she did look beautiful, but came back home on my wife's birthday with her replacement...a white Mercedes-Benz 500SL...which has yet to have any of the problems that plagued the old Jag...

By the per the other posts in this thread, the W124 chassis is a good choice. Ours is a daily driver, and I love it!!!
2009 ML350 (84K) - Family vehicle
2001 CLK430 Cabriolet (71K) - Wife's car
2005 BMW 645CI (124K) - My daily driver
2012 Mustang V6 (60K) - Daughter's car
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Old 06-23-2001, 12:25 AM
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Thanks everyone for your helpful and gracious replies.... I sincerely appreciate the time you took with all your suggestions, and they will definitely help us with our decision. I'll let you all know what we come up with, which hopefully, will be within the next week or so.... I kinda gravitate towards the older body style, while my wife is a fan of the W210 chassis. If history repeats itself, as it so often does, I think she'll be happy....
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