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Old 11-30-2003, 12:57 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Bridgetown, Nova Scotia
Posts: 549
What year?

I am considering trading my '90 300 sel on a newer model year. As new as I can afford to go is probably 96 or so. My car now is a great car but I would like to get the later technologies available. Any suggestions on what years I should consider? I hear the 92-93 are not so good. I like the 6 cyl engine, easy and affordable to operate but I do not know anything about the 320 or larger v8's any suggestions anyone?
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Old 11-30-2003, 06:02 PM
sixto's Avatar
smoke gets in your eyes
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 20,124
If you want a LWB 6cyl it'll have to be a 95-up S320. The quick way to tell if you can't see the car is to look for a WDBGA33 VIN rather than a WDBGA32 VIN for the SWB model.

Get the latest year you can afford. Get a Starmark car if you can. I believe all the S320s have 5-speed transmissions while the V8s got the 5-speed in 96. The V8 fuel and ignition systems were revised in 96 or 97. Not sure about the S320.

A forum member who goes by akry has several comprehensive posts on year-to-year differences in the W140 line.

My 91 300SE was a good car but when I got the S420 I never looked back. A few repair bills might change that but only from a financial perspective. To this point I find the S420 to be well worth twice what the 300SE is worth.

I've posted what I like about the W140 over the W126 but I'll recap:

- softer ride; comparing LWB 126 to LWB 140
- better handling despite softer ride; damn roll is still there
- more detached from the road; I don't care for road feel
- smaller steering wheel, lighter steering
- softer seats and softer leather; seems to wear better too
- quieter
- heat from dash vents
- when push came to shove, my 300SE couldn't keep up with an ES300, my S420 will keep up with many 'vettes

I'll leave to someone else to comment on the negatives.

95 S420
87 300SDL
83 300SD ... $1100, see cars forum
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