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After a bit of wheeler dealing, I picked up a white M reg E220 auto in lovely clean condition taking it as a p-ex on my rather lovely Jag XJ6. The bodywork was unblemished and quite remarkable con sidering it was 13 yaers old. The blue velour trim similarly was unmarked and evrything equipment wise in perfect working order. Not that any of this came as a surprise to me since out of all the Mercs I've had the pleasure to own (7) there has never been much to complain about apart from the wallet bursting fuel consumption of my W123, beautiful and original as it was.
What we had here stood testimony to the much deserved and redoubtable reputation of Mercedes Benz. The 190 presents itself as one of the best mid sized saloons on the market. That market is dominated by the German marques and they are largely unchallenged, certainly by British marques of volume mid sized saloons with the exception of my revered Jaguars(even with their faults I still love 'em).
Solidly built from the best materials, it's what I've come to expect from the pioneering car manufacturer. The ride, handling and performance of the 190 are evidence, if any were needed, of the pedigree of the marque. The mechanicals can whip you effortlessly, quickly and extremely smoothly to where you want to be and the fuel consumtion wont take the smile of your face as you travel first class to your destination. The insurance group on these old babies is easy on the pocket too and shouldn;t troubke the careful drivers amongst us. Maintenance D.I.Y style is cheap and they are fairly easy to work on.
Outdated and superceded it maybe but the Mercedes 190 can still be picked up in great nick and at pocket money prices. It will deliver some much needed driving pleasure even when it's stuck in a bank holiday traffic jam.
I own a 1991 Mercedes 190D and have to agree with another reviewer in that it is the best car I have ever owned. To put this into perspective, it passed the MOT this year only needing the headlamp reflector cleaned a bit. This contrasts with my other (much newer) car that cost £235 to get through!
Yes, the Mercedes is described by Parkers as 'unrefined' and I would agree with this to a degree. Mine has power steering, an electric sunroof and electric mirrors. That is about it for comfort, good old fashioned windy windows, no aircon or any other comforts. What it does have is a bomb proof engine and superb design. The car has covered 193,000 miles and always starts first time, rain, shine or snow. The manual gearbox is s a bit 'clunky' at times and the drive train is a bit fierce on pick up (a drive link that has been wobbly for the six years I have owned the car) but generally still drives nice and smooth, goes roughly where you point it and stops in very good time.
The car is still relatively comfortable to sit in, even with the legendary slightly off centre driving position and the usual left hand camber set up.
Servicing costs are low. To be honest, I have spent less on maintenance on this car in six years than I have on my other car in 15 months! One can also pick up second hand parts quite cheaply from specialist breakers or through the internet.
There is plenty of room inside for four adults, although the back is not huge. The boot is a fair size and takes most of my drums with ease, although the opening could be bigger.
I would recommend any Mercedes owner also joining the Mercedes Owner Club as you get a monthly magazine and discount off parts at GSF Carparts' already reasonable prices.
Mercedes have not scored too well on the quality and reliability surveys of recent years,shame.They seemed to have used cheaper materials and maybe cut a few other corners along the way but hay most companys are cutting back to survive.
Pre noughties cars were well over engineered,made to last and this shows.
My Dad was looking for a posh motor,a Merc,something for Mum to drive around in ,had to be an auto and not too big.This was back in the mid 1990s and I located a very nice 1989/90 reg 190 E well equipped smart smoke silver,about 3/4 years old reasonable miles 40,000 ish and for just under £10K.A reasonable price at the time and well worth it.
It is the 2.0 litre model,plenty of oomph for a small saloon and not bad on the juice,giving about 30 mpg at best.I have driven it loads of times over the 17 years they have owned it,a real pleasure to drive,smooth autobox wit instant kick down.I was quite suprised at how good the performance was and it cruised well on the motorway,70mph @ 3500 revs.Theirs has black cloth interior,very hard wearing,bullet proof bodywork,no rust showing,I can't believe they still have it today about 17 years on now! It has just gone over the 100,000 mile mark and it does not show it.Its a shame Mercedes do not make them like this anymore but if they did they probably would have gone out of business!
Running costs have always been reasonable,it seems to eat up the miles and fly throug MOTs year after year without much trouble.My Dad does take great care checking the oil and water,getting the annual sevice done by a local independant.This has served him well and kept Mother happy.I am sure it will outlast them both and become a classic collectable!
Find a good one,plenty of service history is a must,pay a little more,forget bangers they will cost mega bucks to fix.
Thanks for reading my review and I hope you found it interesting.If this has been useful to you and you take time to leave Your rating it will be appreciated and hope you will take a look at my other reviews sometime.I also leave reviews on the Ciao website about this and other items,many thanks!
Brought this car (a H reg, metallic blue, 190 E 2L petrol automatic) in early 2000 selling on in 2006 and I still think wistfully of our time together! A neighbor summed it up when she said the car was 'beautiful'.
But enough of looks what was it like to drive! Well again the word here that best sums things up is comfortable, nice comfy seats (like sitting in a big armchair) and a good overall drive position. Comfort been important since I was at the time logging some long miles due to working far from home. Steering and braking was also nice and positive and helped inspire confidence and the auto-box was pretty smooth with the 2L engine sufficiency powerful to move what is quite a heavy vehicle.
Downsides well it was pretty thirsty (typically getting 30 or so mpg) and because the rear seats didn't fold down you only had limited boot space (which is why I reverted to a hatchback once this was sold).
Clearly this is now a model that is getting on in yrs and while it can be picked up pretty cheaply you can perhaps expect there to be issues given the vehicles age. One in particular I am aware of been a problem with cold starts, basically the car doesn't want to from cold but will then work fine once warmed up. If your going to view one have a feel of the bonnet to check it hasn't been pre-warmed and if it has be a little on guard.
Finally I'd also definitely check out some of the dedicated forums and fan sites for this vehicle for further tips on buying and running this model. There's still plenty of enthusiasts out there who love this vehicle!
My 1991 190e 4 cyclinder 2.3 litre is a dream. It may be considered a classic now in 2008, but I have had people mistake my sub-compact "Baby-Benz" as brand new. It still has a "showroom shine". This little Mercedes has 230,000 miles on it and is still running strong, plus looking almost new, inside and out, as well as under the hood (bonnet to my Brit friends). It has the classic Mercedes elegance, unlike the new ones that look like a homogenized Lexus or something. Love this car and intend to keep it forever and a day. Don - St. Charles, Missouri, middle of the USA
A wonderful car! Mine is the injection model 190e with 1995 cc engine. It is white with black interior, and there is a light gray trim along the lower section of the car. A few year ago I had it converted to LPG, which makes it very lo cost to run! There is no loss of performance. I it has 160,000 miles on the clock and has had very few problems. I had new rear shockers on last year, and this year (2008) I am having a new steering box fitted. One of the few problems is that being very low on the ground, it doesn't like speed bumps. (who does)! I intend to keep it as long as I can. It is a great car, very comfortable and reliable. Apart from the Gas conversion, I intend to keep it as new specification. I would reccomend the 190e to any one, but I think the 1800cc may be a bit light on power.
The Mercedes Benz 190 is probably the best car that we have ever owned. My wife bought it in 1992, from her brother. It was registered in 1989 and is the carburretor model, with manual transmission. It is cream, with the lower trim panels painted a bronze colour - very attractive. It has black cloth interior. My brother-in-law was the second owner and it had 32,000 miles (genuine) on the clock when we bought it. It has now covered over 119,000 miles but is now (temporarily) off the road (see below) I have serviced it myself, but three repairs have been consigned to the local Mercedes Dealer - a new rear suspension bush, a new centre section for the exhaust (no extra cost for the Main Agent to fit it - and not available from other suppliers) and some replacement brake pipes. Bodily it is still perfect (in spite of NEVER being garaged), but the ineterior is starting to show wear on the driver's seat. The engine burns just a little oil and the carburretor will soon require an overhaul (cost of £78 including VAT has been quoted by a carburretor specialist). The Main Dealer costs, when I have used it, are on the expensive side, but the service is of a very high quality and cannot be faulted. A set of tyres lasts about 40,000 miles, and the exhaust has been replaced (one section at a time) only once which is very good for a car now 13 years old. It is quite heavy on brake discs, the front being replaced for the fourth time, and the rear have been replaced twice. A major problem caused grief. It was very cold and I was working in my study when I heard a loud noise outside, sounding like something falling from the roof. My wife, Heather, also heard the noise and we both went outside but could see no problem. The next morning, again I could see no problem with outside of the house, but a week later, I found on the driveway a piece of curved metal, about 4 inches long by about 1/2 inch round cross section. Three weeks lat
er, I started wondering about that noise and wondered about the Merc, which had been parked outside the study window. I jacked up the front of the car. My worst fears were confirmed - the metal was a piece of the front off-side coil spring, that had fractured, leaving a broken and incomplete front spring that I had since driven over 1,000 miles on ! A new set of springs from Euro Car Parts (advertised in Autotrader) for about £55, and a new set of shock absorbers (struts) cost £90. Fitting was not easy, and extra tools cost £30, but it was worth the effort. When I removed the nearisde spring I found that this had also fractured, and a piece was about to break off. It seems that this is a common fault with Mercedes cars- even 'S' types ! So if you are looking at any Mercedes cars, I suggest that you get them on a lift in the garage workshop and check the springs. The car was sitting a little low at the rear, so I thought that the rear springs and shock absorbers would need attention. However, when trying to replace the rear springs, I found the new ones too large. I established that the 190 carburettor model needed special springs (expensive !). So I substituted a set of 'lowered springs' front and rear (£50 the set from Euro-Car Parts !!), but one of thesehas proved impossible to 'seat' properly. Thus the car is 'off the road' until the weather improves. Economy 25 mpg around town, up to 42 mpg on a run. Comfort Very comfortable in the front but no quite so good in the rear seats. I can drive 450 miles non-stop, when necessary, which is not possible in other cars I have driven for such distances. Conclusions We paid £7,000 (the net sum that my brother-in-law had been offered against a low mileage Audi). The current value is probably about £1,500, maximum, since I have seen many 190E (fuel injection) models at about this price. Definitely a bargain car at these sort of prices, as long as you buy one with no apparent faults and with a good body and interior. Parts prices from specialists are low, and you don't have new-fangled electronics and lambda sensors to worry about. It has been run as a third car/hack. I don't think we will ever part with it. Ouyr son has taken an interest in it and is considering running it when he is 21 years' old. Like our Renault Espace it is very much part of the family. © Sidneygee 2002
By miles and miles the best car I have owned. God knows why I sold it (traded it) for the ordinary-by-comparison C-Class. The beast was black and beautiful. It's spec gave it the air of real luxury and there was something reverential about driving this road god from a to b. It was typical Merc: heavy, occasionally ponderous, fabulously comfortable and majestic. It is cars that this that got merc it's name of making the best cars in the world. They do, rivalled only by Lexus, but I made on e hell of a mistake selling ours.