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  #1  
Old 05-23-2017, 02:37 AM
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W124 VS W211 E320...?

So reading comparisons of the older 124 with the newer E320s I find the older one preferred for many reasons. Im a big fan of the 94.95 E320 and thoroughly impressed with the engineering and the machinists tell me the engine is top quality alloys and design. But honestly, my interest in these cars is due to their ridiculously low resale which allows me to get into a really fine car for peanuts.

And I truly enjoy working on the car and solving its issues. Once a problem is accurately identified and corrected it stays fixed and works great! Other cars Ive owned, an MG for example, fall apart faster than they can be repaired!

So I originally looked at the W211 and these were running 6,500 to 9K but now Im seeing very clean W211 wagons in the $3000 range and it's very tempting! But am I asking to get sucked into repair work that would triple that number with any transmission issue or electronics failure?? Im really not tempted by the W210, in comparison I really prefer the W124 but the 211 seems great.

Sticking with the 124 for now but just watching the market. It seems with all the new car sales there is a surplus of trade-in cars driving the used market way down. (just my guess)

Thanks for any advice or comments, esp from W211 owners, 04 or so.

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  #2  
Old 05-23-2017, 05:48 AM
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Look up the icarsoft i980 or MBii. It makes diagnostics and repair of a w211 a piece of cake. I used to have the same fear the electronics in more modern MBs until I picked up a dirt cheap w203 c320 wagon. After a bit of research and the right CANBUS tool, I brought the transmission out of limp home mode, fixed the power seats, cleared the SRS light, fixed the AC, swapped a 3 spoke steering wheel with functioning buttons. This thing doesn't even have a dipstick but I have 3 different methods of measuring the oil level. When I got a misfire code, I knew immediately that it was cause by cylinder 3, sparkplug B (12 sparkplugs). The plug wire boot had popped put.

If you're at all handy don't let the electronics spook you. Yes the 124 is nice (I still have mine) but a 211 even nicer.
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  #3  
Old 05-23-2017, 06:18 AM
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rather have Everybody needs TURBINA! car
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Old 05-23-2017, 10:10 AM
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The good news is the w211 is much newer.
The bad news is the w211 is much newer.
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  #5  
Old 05-24-2017, 05:49 PM
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diagnosing a W211 with a cloned star or a good scan tool is a piece of cake, diagnosing the W124 is oldschool oscilloscope, DMM and a bunch of slow tools - which are dirt cheap though.

The machinists are spot on abt the magnificent engines that were put in between the W124 fenders. Its really a great machine but are getting aged with time.

The W211 can run circles around it though, but whenever you buy an early W211 always ask for the SBS brake module replacement. If it has not been replaced then its a 1400 dollar ticket because it has an expiry timer of time and usage (usually 10 years or some number of brake applications). I always advise to keep that money aside when buying a W211 and it wont hurt a bit - its just part and parcel of buying this car.
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  #6  
Old 05-25-2017, 04:10 PM
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So yes, extremely helpful! and this SBS module issue may explain the sudden drop in some sale prices! So I will look into this brake module and what happens after the life limit, failure or just expiry date..suggesting likelihood of failure. My 214 is prety solid now after $2000 in parts and the work by the previous owner. Just trying to inform myself for the next adventure in Merz ownership. I am totally ruined for VW ownership and never was a Japanese car fan. Looking forward to the next car..which will hopefully be a W211 wagon.
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  #7  
Old 05-25-2017, 04:55 PM
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I've owned a W124 of some sort since 1993. Currently, I have a 94 cabriolet that's more of a toy then a driver.

The beginning of the end for W124s as my daily cars began 4 years ago when I picked up an E320 CDI. An Uncle and two cousins already had one (or three!) and I was pretty impressed by the cars.

There really is no comparison to the W124. The W211 is so much further ahead of the W124s, it's amazing. I've owned many MB diesels, including the three W124 versions (87 300TD, 92 300D 2.5, 95 E300 diesel) and the W211 CDI handily beats all of them in terms of acceleration, and mileage.

Comparing the different models, the W211 is as big a leap over the W210 as the W115/W114 was over the finbacks, and the W124 was over the W123s.

As I said, no comparison. The W211 skunks the W124 by every driver's measure. With the right tools (electronic) one can argue that the W211 is easier to work on, as well.

I've also noticed the prices. I'm casually looking for a W211 wagon, myself.... Although, I'd want an 05 or newer one. And one without the air suspension (Which I think was often, if not always, on the V-8 cars.).

Don't get me wrong, I love my W124 cab. But, for a car that is driven daily, well, I'll take the CDI.......

Jim
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  #8  
Old 05-25-2017, 05:10 PM
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The "newness" doesn't bother you guys on the later cars? I haven't been around many since the w211 was new still but it was just that, "new". It's a merc and nice car and it seems obvious that it would surpass older models by most normal tests form the driver's seat and all, but the old world was just.. gone? I didn't see it or feel it anyway. It's still there on the w124, the ghosts and whiffs of it's heritage. The w124 was, is, a car that was a king among it's so-called peers. The later cars, I never saw it. Nice cars, tech, progress, etc, all good stuff. Just does not inspire. Later FWD Volvo's had same problem, technically superior in every way to the old 2/7/9's, but they just weren't..
I almost want to say weren't worth the trouble compared to what else is available but that's not quite right.
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  #9  
Old 05-26-2017, 11:12 AM
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The W124 once sorted out feels like a well oiled solid built machine and you the driver are part of it.

The W210 and W211 feel quite a bit numb and plasticky but thats the trade to step up.
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  #10  
Old 05-29-2017, 04:29 PM
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Yep, the W124 inspires well deserved nostalgia with amazing details like the AC cooled return fuel line and the little intake air fan for the cabin temp sensor and on and on..And Im so disappointed to see the trademark mono wiper abandoned in the W211. What these can be bought for makes them an irresistible bargain but theyre becoming so outdated..I will never part with my 124 for the pittance it would bring to sell so I suppose I will use one car for muddy dogs and tool time service and hope to acquire a W211 for the more presentable role..
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  #11  
Old 06-14-2017, 02:10 PM
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This is an interesting thread, to me, because it skips over the 210. I've had all three, 2 124s a 210 and now a 211. I absolutely love the 211. I have a 4matic which is more ponderous than the rwd. But it feels solid and delivers the power. I purposefully avoided air suspension. But my e350 is fully loaded and presents the very best ride quality of any mid level production auto.

One thing I would add is that I loved my 124, especially the 87 300d. But not all 124s are equal. The later year gassers, 94 and 95 and that special animal, the 500e are on my bucket list. As objects of design, they are timeless. I would not say that about the 210 or the 211.

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