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Old 05-28-2002, 11:03 AM
Michael B
Posts: n/a
260E vs. 300E

Need advice gang.

What's the pro's and con's of a 260e. I've found on that my wife likes... but all my research is on the 300e. This particular car is a 1988 260E with about 123,000 miles. All books/records... garaged... and not too much cash is involved.

Are they comparible? Same engine but different tranny?

Please help me out. I'm hooked on this website since buying my 560sl.

Thanks in advance...
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Old 05-28-2002, 11:32 AM
Posts: n/a
The 260E is basically the same as a 300E except with less engine displacement. The engine is the same configuration in most every way except bore and stroke. The only downside to the 260E will be slightly less power. Smaller engines are supposed to offer better fuel economy, but I expect that this advantage will be marginal. If the car has enough power for you and is in good condition, I would not hesitate because it is a 260.

I would recommend having any used car checked out by a technician that you trust.

Have a great day,
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Old 05-28-2002, 12:17 PM
csnow's Avatar
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Mass
Posts: 1,127
I agree with Larry.
Having driven both models with automatics, the 260 is noticably slower, but otherwise the same.

The 260 owner has reported that his fuel mileage is not any better than I get with my 300, though I do have a manual transmission.

Expensive potential problem areas include oil leaks, head gasket failures, air conditioning, and front suspension/steering issues.

I will say that I have almost 200k miles on my 300E without the dreaded head gasket failure, though I do live in a cooler climate.

Overall reliability is really very good, which is evident by how many folks are out there with 200k+ who are still happy.

I would certainly be more concerned with the overall condition than the 260 vs. 300 distinction. The W124 is a fantastic chassis.
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Old 05-28-2002, 12:53 PM
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All the problems that csnow indicated are valid, but the head gasket problem is predominantly limited to the later M104 2 cam engine, not the M103 as in the 260.

Good luck,
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Old 05-28-2002, 01:19 PM
Zeus's Avatar
Moderating, Eh?
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Canada
Posts: 1,774
Given that there are plenty of good quality used 300Es out there, I'd try to find one in a similar price range and buy that over the 260. There's more of them around for parts, service, etc. and that extra horsepower can always come in handy.

2007 E550 4Matic - 61,000 Km - Iridium Silver, black leather, Sport package, Premium 2 package
2007 GL450 4Matic - 62,000 Km - Obsidian Black Metallic, black leather, all options
1998 E430 - sold
1989 300E - 333,000 Km - sold
1977 280E - sold
1971 250 - retired

"And a frign hat. They gave me a hat at the annual benefits meeting. I said. how does this benefit me. I dont have anything from the company.. So they gave me a hat." - TheDon
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