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  #1  
Old 11-28-2001, 05:51 PM
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190E 2.3 vs 2.6 (car for teenager)

I am considering getting my 17-year old daughter a 190E (preferably a 1993 as I understand that the later versions are superior to the earlier years and a Starmark warranty is available on '93s bought from M-B dealers).

In particular, I would appreciate any advice on the 2.3L 4-cylinder vs the 2.6L 6-cylinder motor, and any other observations on the later 190Es generally.

She's currently driving an '88 420SEL (for crash protection reasons) and finds the SEL's size a bit unwieldy. She has been driving safely for a year now and has expressed a preference for the maneuverability of a C230, which she has tried out but I find a bit expensive for what you're getting -- thus my thinking of the 190E.
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  #2  
Old 11-28-2001, 06:16 PM
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At first I would say the 2.3 cause its smaller ( I was a teenager once) but if she's kept a 420 saftly below the speed of sound she can handle the 2.6. Its the famous M103 that's a very good engine. A local indie shop steered me away from the 2.3.
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  #3  
Old 11-28-2001, 06:19 PM
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My brother had a 1985 190e 2.3 and it was a great little car. He drove the hell out of it, and didn't maintain it at all, and it was still very reliable.

He drove it from sonoma California, to Los Angeles, on one tank of gas with hardly a drop of oil in the engine, and the car was fine still. It took 5 quarts of oil when I finally met up with him just a few miles north of los angeles to buy him gas and put in oil.

The car lasted for 3 years after that incident, and only had minor repairs, alternator, radiator, etc. Never anything major.

The 2.3 is a very capable car, great gas mileage, and will easily do 120 mph on the highway if wanted.

the 2.6 is also very nice, smooth and gets great gas mileage.

If you ask me you can't go wrong with either car, I'd go for the newest one you can afford.

Alon
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  #4  
Old 11-28-2001, 06:39 PM
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My youngest son(17) has had a 1986 190E 2.3 for over a year now. He loves it! Only real failure was the waterpump & that is cheap for me. Just did 150K service last weekend.
EITHER car should do fine if properly maintained.
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  #5  
Old 11-30-2001, 05:58 PM
jfujimoto
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Off-the-line, the 2.3 is rather sloooooooooooow. But once you get moving, it's adequate. Replacement parts are also relatively inexpensive.
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  #6  
Old 11-30-2001, 06:19 PM
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The 2.3 8V is cheap to look after, and reliable. The 2.6 is faster, smoother, and will hold it's value a bit better. It's also a bit tougher for DIY thanks to the more crowded engine bay.

If I were looking, I'd try to find a one or two owner 1993 190E 2.6.
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  #7  
Old 11-30-2001, 11:48 PM
PaulC
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Your insurance man might like the 2.3 over the 2.6, but if a 420 is too unwieldy, how about a 300E? Why move down to the smallest Mercedes if you're concerned about crash protection?
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  #8  
Old 12-01-2001, 10:26 PM
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The W201 and W124 perform very similarly in crash performance. "Platform sharing" from way back...
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  #9  
Old 12-02-2001, 01:52 AM
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I had a 91' 2.3 that I bought in 99' with 60k miles and all records. Paid $10k for it!(ugh) Problem was it had major A/C problems(typical) after I bought it and it was slow from a stop.

I had a hard time reselling it due to the fact people thought something was wrong with it when stepping on the gas. NO POWER! When it gets rolling it is fine though. It will cruise all day at 80 and 85mph or better.

I only got $6k for it when I sold it because the paint had started to fade the day after I bought it and the A/C was gone. However I wish I still had it sometimes!

Next time I will find a nice 92' or 93' 2.6. Much smoother and quicker ride. It is not super fast but it will hit the road right!

I hace an 85 190 2.3 with 150k that I bought with a bad tranny. I hope to get it up and going soon. I only gave $800 for this one.

Good luck!

later,
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  #10  
Old 12-03-2001, 11:28 AM
PaulC
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I'm certain that both the W201 and W124 did well in crash testing, but in the land of SUV mania, I subscribe to the belief that a heavier car with a larger crumple zone is safer than a smaller, lighter car simply for the reason that the heavier car will decelerate more slowly on impact with a heavier vehicle, exposing the passengers to lower peak G-forces.

If circumstances beyond my control force me to unsuccessfully play chicken with a Chevy Avalanche, I'd rather do it in a W124.

C43AMG, I respectfully submit that the best approach would be to keep your daughter in the 420SEL and accept the inevitable parallel parking misadventures as a cheap price to pay for cocooning her in a tank.

Last edited by PaulC; 12-03-2001 at 11:37 AM.
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  #11  
Old 12-03-2001, 12:21 PM
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The weight difference between an early W124 300E and the W201 190E 2.6 is not that much. The car is a little bigger (about a foot) but not enough to make a huge difference in crash performance.

As an aside, the A-Class and the C-Class do as well in crash testing as an S-Class.

The lust for "safe mass" is one thing that has lead to SUV-mania in the first place. Hopefully this lunacy is over, and we can get back to driving real cars. BTW, engineering is everything. The GM, Dodge and Ford full size trucks are crap in crashes. They may have weight, but they are made of cheap materials and the passenger spaces fold like cardboard boxes. Ironic that so many people buy them for safety, and they are terribly unsafe.
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  #12  
Old 12-03-2001, 04:45 PM
PaulC
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RE: The death of SUV mania

Let's assume that the lust for new 20 foot-long personal vehicles ends this instant. Even in saltbelt communities, it's not uncommon for an SUV or 1/2 ton pickup to have a 15 year lifespan. Obviously, as these vehicles age, depreciation will allow younger, less experienced drivers to step into these vehicles. Result? You and I sharing the road in our 2,200-pound 2012 Mercedes E 200's with 17 year-old wildmen in rusty Ford Expeditions. Regardless of the wonderful achievements in structural and material design that may occur in the next decade, this mismatch will spell trouble for small car passengers. Absent the immediate sentence of all 4,000+ lb. vehicles to the crusher, I recommend GRADUALLY downsizing over a term of many years while minding the quantity of Sherman tanks still remaining on the road.

We had a 190E in our family for several years, and I enjoyed driving it. But - it sure looked small sitting at the stoplight in front of a GMC Yukon!

Last edited by PaulC; 12-03-2001 at 04:51 PM.
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  #13  
Old 12-03-2001, 05:18 PM
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I much appreciate the thoughts and ideas -- I assume the full-size 126s (esp. the SELs) are about the best crash protection of the affordable Benzers (I'm not going to put daughter in a 140 yet) -- I would have thought that the 201s were not bad, the 124s a bit better. We may or may not switch, dependent on what comes along in a 190/300 -- I'm just getting bugged by her continuing to want something smaller and more maneuverable.

Any thoughts on the crashworthiness of the 107 560SL/380SL series? While it's a convertible, it feels pretty sold and heavy, and with only one passenger, you do gain the accident-lessening aspect of not having backseat passengers (I understanding that the likelihood of a crash involving teenage driver goes up geometrically with higher numbers of passengers).
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