"Have owned my 1991 300E for 13 years and put 120,000 of the 161,000 miles on it. The car will likely ride in my funeral procession. The entire exhaust system, from manifold to tailpipe tip is still original. Seats and trim show almost no wear.
Car drives like a dream: quiet, stable, and comfortable. The seats are the most comfortable I have found in any car - even new ones.
I've tracked every repair cost (including those from the original owner). They work out to about $800 per year, including batteries, windshield wipers, and tires. The engine has a slight oil leak from the head gasket (a common problem with this series). I add maybe 2 quarts of oil a year and it just keeps running. Get 30 mpg on a long trip and 22 mpg on average. Yet the car has plenty of power.
I don't know if Mercedes will ever build a car with this much quality and reliability ever again."
"I've driven my 1990 300E for 16 of its 17 years. Get 30 mph highway, 22 mpg city. Better than the tiny Cooper car! Just now I'm I fixing the A/C, oil change every 3k, it runs like a top with 213,000+ miles. Will NEVER trade it; will keep in family. It's my 1st Mercedes, and I will never buy anything else. Original finish looks brand new. No one believes me when I tell them it's 17 years old."
"This is my first Benz... I already hope it will be my last... I am in love with this car. I've been into cars since I was a pre-teen and at 30, I can honestly tell you, I love this car.
If you can find one of these in good shape, you will also fall in love with it... The first day I owned this car, I pulled into a Marathon station to fill up. A guy pulled in right behind me, looked he was about 50. He looked at the car, looked at me, and gave me an *awful* dirty look which said, "How can you already own this car??!"
I now take that as a compliment. Before I bought this, I bought another used car which had a mechanical problem shortly after buying it... so when I got my Benz, I was afraid to hit the gas at all, because I remembered my other used car, which broke.
This car has no effort no matter *what* you tell it to do. I mostly enjoy the comfy seat, and driving it slow... not to mention all the looks I get.... but when I ask it to move, it amazes, yet seems absolutely effortless. The engine noise is almost non-existant...... This car acts like it is a god on the road, whether driving slow or fast. It acts on what you tell it with seemingly no effort whatsoever. It seems this car doesn't have to try no matter what you tell it to do.
I have loved cars for 20 years... and it took me less than a week to fall in love with this car. It made me feel good to hear about the people driving theirs with 300 or 400 thousand miles-- because mine only has 150!
If you find one of these in good shape, give it seven days.... and you will be in love, as I am. Mine has the smaller 2.6 engine yet can stream to 120 MPH and want more with no problem, smooth as ice. But also, when I drive as usual, easy on the gas, the fuel economy is not bad at all! The best of all worlds! And I'm *still* chilling out in my comfy seat! And still getting the looks from everyone!
I guess if I had a complaint about this car it would be that I didn't find it before I did.... I absolutely love the car. It's actually even more than I expected.
I will say, and other people have said this... and I agree... If you are going to drive it in snow, new tires (preferably snow tires) will be good. The car *will* slip around without good tires. I am planning to put some new snow tires on it and put a couple cinder blocks in the trunk, for a little extra weight over the drive wheels. People say that it's not too bad in the snow, even though it's back-wheel drive... but I agree that some good tires will help, if you are doing that.
I LOVE THE CAR!!!!!"
"weve owned this car since it was new in 88. this car is older than my kids! weve had many BMW's and mercedes over the 21 year span since buying this car, but this is the only one out of all of them that has stayed. this really is an amazing car, it outlasted our 95, and 04 s classes and required WAY less cash to repair, and it didnt need reparing that often. this really is a piece of history and i reccomend buying one before the skyrocket in value."
"I currently drive a 1989 300E and i can proudly say my "old" car is so much better than most of my friends newer Japanese/domestic cars. Not only does my 300E look better, but take a ride with me and it's evident you're riding in a classy tank. My Odometer stopped working at 180,547, i'm guessing it has around 205k miles on it now. It's still smooth as silk. My interior is one of the best out there! No kidding! People can't believe the interior of an almost 20 year old car can look like mine. It's truly immaculate!!
So why am i looking to get a newer car next year?
Well for 1. a luxury car is a luxury car forever. Period. Repairs are not cheap on luxury vehicles. I bought the car almost 4 years ago for $2400 and recently took it to an ind shop where my father used to work (German car specialized only) and the repairs for my AC would run $1800. WHAT?! I think not. My 300 also burns oil, but it's minimal, especially considering the age of the car and the fact that it's still running on all original parts! (with the exception of my Behr radiator).
If my AC wouldn't cost what the car is currently worth to fix, i'd totally get another 2-3 years out of it. Cars aren't built like this anymore! My father has an 1986 420 SEL with 353,000! and it's still going! LOVE IT!
I would not recommend this car to my friends only because none of them would know how to take care of it or be able to afford the maintenance. The front seats are also incredibly uncomfortable, just awful for sitting in traffic or long commutes. No cup holders also makes life a little difficult at times. Gas mileage is impressively.....poor.
But with some money and a good mechanic, these classy tanks will run for ever!"