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Old 08-10-2012, 10:50 AM
Luxury Hooptie Enthusiast
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Screwston, TX
Posts: 347
190e Reliability?

Hey y'all. I have a friend who is in need of a "new" car because her Saturn has electrical gremlins that aren't worth fixing. She doesn't really care about her car, it's just a tool to get from A to B when it's too far to ride a bike. I'm trying to convince her to look at an 80s/early 90s Mercedes cos, let's face it, they're bulletproof and they just won't die. My E300D has 271k on the clock and all I've put in into it in the past 20k miles is a new thermostat, oil, diesel, and tires.

So my question is this: is the 190e this reliable? I assume it is, because it's cut from what amounts to the same cloth, but if I'm to convince a good friend who still believes the FUD about Mercs being expensive to fix, and is soured on German cars from her terrible experiences with 90s VW products, I need more than "Oh yeah, it'll prolly be as reliable as mine, totes!"

Help me help a friend see the Stuttgart light!

2011 E350 BlueTEC, Schwartz 81k (totaled by uninsured drunk driver)
1964 Unimog 404.1 (wrongfully towed by the city)
1994 E320, Brilliantsilber 208k (transmission shuffled off after sudden catastrophic fluid loss)
1982 300D, Silberblau under a blue repaint 256k (sold for parts)
1995 E320 Polarweiss, 131k (sold for parts)
1995 E300D Polarweiss, 287k (totaled by drunk driver)
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Old 08-10-2012, 11:32 AM
ps2cho's Avatar
Registered User
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Chandler, Arizona
Posts: 3,525
Not the car for her. She needs a Honda.
2016 Monsoon Gray Audi Allroad - 21k
2008 Black Mercedes E350 4Matic Sport - 131k
2014 Jeep Wranger Unlimited Sahara - 62k
2003 Gray Mercedes ML350 - 122k
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Old 08-10-2012, 12:59 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 495
Definitely a no. Mercedes are expensive cars!
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Old 08-10-2012, 01:02 PM
tbomachines's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 7,361
Mercedea are awesome for the DIYer but for someone who takes it in to get an oil change or something, a 20 year old MB will rack up the bills in no time. And furthermore, without DIYing, that's a huge part of the car's charm that will be missed.
Current stable:
- 2004 Mazda RALLYWANKEL
- 2007 Saturn sky redline
- 2004 Explorer...under surgery.

Past: 135i, GTI, 300E, 300SD, 300SD, Stealth
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Old 08-10-2012, 01:14 PM
JamesDean's Avatar
Electrical Engineer
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: NE Ohio
Posts: 5,038
I think that they are reliable cars. I've not had any major issues on the 420, 190e that prevented me from driving them. both are decently maintained vehicles. both are approaching the age were a suspension rebuild is necessary. you'll probably find the same true for most MB's in the 80/90s vintage.

But I agree with the other posters, not cheap, and not working on them take the fun out of it because all you get a nice bills from the shop.
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82 300SD 145k
89 420SEL 210k
89 560SEL 118k
90 300SE 262k RIP 5/25/2010
90 560SEL 154k
91 300D 2.5 Turbo. 241k
93 190E 3.0 235k
93 300E 195k
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Old 08-10-2012, 10:28 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Melbourne Australia
Posts: 844
W201's, W124's, W126's and all models previous are now enthusiasts vehicles. - Not for your average daily driver non technical person.
Honda's are reliable until some part made from unobtainium breaks. (Where I live, a Honda transmission cost twice the cost to rebuild as a MB one does)

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