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Travis_K
Travis_K New Reader
7/12/08 4:35 p.m.

Anyone ever had one? What kind of gas milage? How reliable are they, or how cheap/simple to repair when they break? What maintaince needs to be done at a certain time that is likely to be neglected by the typ of people seiing one for $1200? Would one be a good car for 250 or so miles a week of freeway driving? I like how they look and i see tons of them for sale cheap, i was just curious what they are like. I know they are slow, but for what id be using it for it wouldnt matter.

Feedyurhed
Feedyurhed New Reader
7/12/08 9:12 p.m.
Travis_K wrote: Anyone ever had one? What kind of gas milage? How reliable are they, or how cheap/simple to repair when they break? What maintaince needs to be done at a certain time that is likely to be neglected by the typ of people seiing one for $1200? Would one be a good car for 250 or so miles a week of freeway driving? I like how they look and i see tons of them for sale cheap, i was just curious what they are like. I know they are slow, but for what id be using it for it wouldnt matter.

Weird story. When that model first came out I received a letter from MBNA to test drive the car for a few days. I don't know why they picked me but it was a promotional deal through MB to bring new buyers into the fold. Naturally I was all over that. There were a few rules as I recall, I couldn't go out of state and I there was a limit on daily miles of 200 or so. Anyway, other than that all I had to do was show up at the local Merc dealer and drive away, which I happily did. The only problem was that it had the reverse effect on me than what they intended. I was struck by just how "normal" it was. Meaning boring. It was well put together but slow. Really nothing special. I was expecting something else because of it being a MB but nope, just slow and boring. Now that doesn't mean it was bad just not my cup of tea. Did I mention slow?? If it ever happens again I hope they offer me an AMG version of one of thier cars......... I think I may be more suitably impressed.

I am sure this has not helped you at all in your decision making process but your post brought back an interesting (but slow) automotive memory for me.

mel_horn
mel_horn HalfDork
7/12/08 9:46 p.m.

IIRC, the 2.3 is the Cosworth version and a couple did pretty good at Summit Point a few years ago in ITB (I think)

You ARE speaking of the W201 chassis of mid/late '80s, right?

midknight
midknight New Reader
7/12/08 11:14 p.m.

The 2.3 16v is the Cosworth version. Regular 2.3 was 130hp IIRC, pulling a heavy car for its size. I had a 2.6 which was a bit better. Not nearly as slow. These all had electrical issues, especially annoying things like window switches and motors going out. Not the cheapest to maintain back then, but average for a Euro car.

integraguy
integraguy New Reader
7/13/08 6:00 a.m.

At one of the garages I go to for tires and such, the owner's mother had a mid '90s C 230 which she recently replaced with a newer C class. I heard the owner say once that when they first got the older C his mother was told at the dealership that her car needed to have the oil changed at a certain interval (I think it was about 3,000 miles) or the engine would not hold up. After they had had the car awhile M-B extended the interval between oil changes. Being a mechanic and since his mother is late middle age, I'm sure if he thought the small Merc wasn't a good car, she wouldn't be driving it.

The car you are looking at sounds like a late '80s or early '90s 190. They are reasonably well built but as others have pointed out, the engine is not really powerful enough for such a heavy car. But hey, folks love those old Volvos and they are even more underpowered in non-turbo form.

When you get into the price range you are talking about, you are looking at a car that if necessary, you can abandon on the side of the road after you've removed your plates. If this is going to be your sole transportation, it is even more imperative that you have it checked over THOROUGHLY. If you are commuting on a freeway 25 miles each way every day it's very important that all systems, especially brakes and shocks, are functioning.

Luke
Luke HalfDork
7/13/08 6:10 a.m.

I've looked at these older Mercs before, too, and ultimately it was the scarcity of manual trans equipped versions that put me off the model. They feel very solid, but also very boring. I'd rather a 'beater' E30 Bimmer for ~$1200.

Sorry that didn't actually answer any of your questions,

Travis_K
Travis_K New Reader
7/13/08 8:48 a.m.

Yes I was refering to the w201. The only problem with an E30 instead is that an under $2k e30 has 275k miles, crappy paint, no maintaince records at all, etc. A 190e for the same price at least usually looks way nicer, I dont really know anything about them so thats why i was asking. lol I kinda want a mercedes for some reason, and the 190 is the only one that the fuel costs wouldnt be prohibitlvely expensive.

porksboy
porksboy HalfDork
7/13/08 9:32 a.m.

I was a Mercedes mechanic in the mid 80's for the larges dealership in the south. That being said I cut my teeth on the W201 and W124 chassis. My experience with the 201 is that the first 2 to 2.5 model year runs had MAJOR issues. These were covered under warranty provided the usually cheap owners brought the car to the dealership for service and repairs. A lot of the 201 customers were should we say strapped for cash and were driving the 190's so they could say, "I drive a Mercedes". They didn’t necessarily do the maintenance in a timely manner or at the dealer and a lot of issues were not corrected. Those cars have probably gone away thru neglect so you wont see them.
I can email you a list of things that I would see and repair on the cars if you would like, but suffice to say that just before the car went out of warranty I would log about 35 shop hours on warranty repairs.
The regular 190E was an 8-valve 2.3 litre OHC gas engine. Don’t remember the HP rating. Usually with an auto slush boy, occasionally with a 5 speed.
The 190D was an 8 valve 2.3? litre OHC diesel engine, usually with a 5 speed.
The 190E 2.3 16v was the 2.3 litre 16 valve OHC gas Cosworth engine, Usually with a 5 speed but some times a slush box.
The 190E 2.6 was a 2.6 litre 12 valve 6 cylinder gas engine, Usually with a slush box but can be found with a 5 speed.
At the end of the model run there was a 2.5 litre turbo diesel.
The 124 are an entirely different kettle of fish and a subject for another day.

kellym
kellym New Reader
7/13/08 9:43 a.m.

the 3.0L engine from the 300e w124 series bolts into the 190e making for a more interesting ride

GlennS
GlennS HalfDork
7/13/08 10:44 a.m.

some of them were cool

porksboy
porksboy HalfDork
7/13/08 10:54 a.m.

If you are looking for a 190 to put a 3.0 litre 124 engine in start with a 190E 2.6 the 3.0 is the same physical dimension as the 2.6 litre and the chassis for the 190E 2.6 has a radiator support that is notched with a removable upper to allow for the longer engine length.

Sultan
Sultan Reader
1/26/12 10:55 p.m.

I am bringing back this old thread because my son is looking at getting one.

The OP's questions weren't really answered. So here at the questions.

Anyone ever had one?

What kind of gas milage?

How reliable are they, or how cheap/simple to repair when they break?

What maintaince needs to be done at a certain time that is likely to be neglected by the type of people seiing one for $1200?

Thanks everybody!

m4ff3w
m4ff3w GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
1/26/12 11:08 p.m.

Can't speak for the 2.3, but the 2.6 is a great car. Fuel economy is the only fault.

We've put 30k miles on ours in 1.5 years.

Poor fuel economy, best of 22mpg highway 18mpg in town.

Ours has over 1/4 million miles, we got it just under 200k. I've done a water pump, some relays, blower motor (EASY job, !)and window switches. I can't get the power seats to work. They get 12v but not enough current to move them.

dean1484
dean1484 GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
1/27/12 6:57 a.m.

I had one with the 2.6. Fun tosssble car. I put some tokikos at all four corners and new yokohamas. This transformed it from a regular sedan to a really fun DD. Ohya it looks like there is a back seat but it is unless. I would look at a c class 2 series if I was to do it again.

docwyte
docwyte Reader
1/27/12 9:10 p.m.

I'd love to get a 2.3-16v. E30 M3 type of performance for WAY less $$.

pilotbraden
pilotbraden Dork
1/30/12 10:38 a.m.
docwyte wrote: I'd love to get a 2.3-16v. E30 M3 type of performance for WAY less $$.

That might be the best car that I have ever owned

4cylndrfury
4cylndrfury SuperDork
1/30/12 11:07 a.m.

just to add fuel to the fire...

Conquest351
Conquest351 HalfDork
1/30/12 11:19 a.m.
4cylndrfury wrote: just to add BOOST to the fire...

FTFY

I would think boosting the Cosworth would be pretty badass. Same motor that was in the Cosworth Escorts and all the RS500's right?

MG Bryan
MG Bryan Dork
1/30/12 11:26 a.m.
Conquest351 wrote:
4cylndrfury wrote: just to add BOOST to the fire...
FTFY I would think boosting the Cosworth would be pretty badass. Same motor that was in the Cosworth Escorts and all the RS500's right?

Nope. Escort and Sierra Cossies ran YBs, which are Ford based. The 190 2.3 and 2.5 Cosworths were WAs (WAA and WAB respectively) and were, not surprisingly, Mercedes based.

Conquest351
Conquest351 HalfDork
1/30/12 11:30 a.m.

Ah... Well, still...

Boost it.

Sultan
Sultan Reader
1/30/12 12:07 p.m.
MG Bryan wrote:
Conquest351 wrote:
4cylndrfury wrote: just to add BOOST to the fire...
FTFY I would think boosting the Cosworth would be pretty badass. Same motor that was in the Cosworth Escorts and all the RS500's right?
Nope. Escort and Sierra Cossies ran YBs, which are Ford based. The 190 2.3 and 2.5 Cosworths were WAs (WAA and WAB respectively) and were, not surprisingly, Mercedes based.

So nice!!!!!!!!

failboat
failboat HalfDork
1/30/12 12:55 p.m.

I think my neighbor has one of these sitting in his yard. I am pretty sure it still moves under its own power because last summer it moved from his back yard to the front yard. Ive been meaning to ask him what the deal is with it. He doesnt seem to be using it very much.

AaronBalto
AaronBalto Reader
1/30/12 2:31 p.m.
Rusted_Busted_Spit
Rusted_Busted_Spit UltraDork
1/30/12 2:43 p.m.

Too bad that is an Auto car.

conesare2seconds
conesare2seconds Reader
1/30/12 2:53 p.m.

Um, they don't get spectacular mileage even with the 2.3 and are supposed to require premium fuel. If you really would like to have the solidity of a Benz, consider a 300E of the same vintage. Lots more car for about the same mpg and maybe the last MBZ that was really over-engineered.

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