This time we took a 1992 W124 Mercedes Benz 230E for review
E Class of Mercedes is the midsized sedan offered by Mercedes Benz with smaller being C Class & next to E Class is S Class which is the top tier sedan. This car is commonly known by the chassis code W124 which was first introduced in 1985 and it stayed in production till 1995. This car was successor of W123 and when this car was launched the class model lineup of Mercedes was yet to exist which is why the initial models of this car were known like 230E, 300D etc. This car was offered in all the body types namely estate car, sedan, coupe and convertible.
In 1994 when Mercedes Benz changed their model lineup to the class system that they have today this car was among the first few to receive that along with a facelift. So the 230E became E220 (as the engine was changed to a smaller engine for better efficiency).
In my opinion this car is one of the last few real Mercedes built to date. This car comes from an era when Mercedes Benz was known for its reliability and it was considered that cars built then were over engineered vehicles built to last.
The car we reviewed had Mercedes M102 2300cc in-line 4 cylinder engine generating 130hp at 198nm torque with top speed of 204 km/hr. This car was offered in both 4 & 5 speed auto & manual transmission options. The car we reviewed however was a 4 speed manual transmission car. This car was ahead of time for its time in-terms of what this car offered. The car was equipped with a lot of things with ABS being one of the key features. The car comes with a big fuel tank of 70 liters capacity. Other engine displacements included a wide range of options starting from 2000cc to 6000cc Petrol & 2000cc to 3000cc diesel engine options.
In Mercedes Benz of that time it is not easy to mention all the variants however to summarize it we can say there were a wide range of options to choose from to custom build your vehicle. One could choose between leather & fabric seats, sunroof, auto or manual transmission and engine choice as per the linking.
The car we reviewed has standard fabric seats, powered windows, manual independent climate control air condition, passenger side powered mirror etc however W124 is not restricted to these options, this car did come with the option of leather seats & sunroof, automatic transmission. After the facelift in 1994; airbags, powered memory seats and a few more options were also added in the offerings.
Space shouldn’t be a concern when you’re talking about a Mercedes Benz. This car offered plenty of room for passengers as well as the trunk space was ample. The car can accommodate 5 adults very comfortably but if you wish to squeeze in you can always make room for 4 adults at the back seat.
Apart from the fact that this car has now started looking old I really don’t find anything that I don’t like about this car. Even the modern classic looks aren’t something that I don’t like. I like them so for me there isn’t any turn off. If you consider handling a car of this size in a big city to be a turn off then sure that could be one but then these cars aren’t practical to be driven on daily basis anyway.
This isn’t a daily runner car so the fuel efficiency isn’t that good. If you drive with a light foot then the max you can get would be around 7km / liter in this car.
Okay so this car doesn’t drive anything like the cars today, the feeling you get when driving one of these is as if the car is gliding, you see the standards were very different then than they are today. This car has a lot of body roll but the seats are extremely comfortable and so was the drive, car come with ABS so the braking was very good which is something you need with so much power that the car offers. Oh yes the acceleration is extremely good in this one.
The car we reviewed would cost somewhere around 1 million but if we look at the market then these W124s start at 600,000/- and go upto 1.4mil depending on condition, engine, year and options.
This car is something that you’ll drive around to enjoy yourself or if you wish to look different and not someone from the lot. This is an old car so maintenance and reliability are questionable but if you get a well maintained car then this car is a very good weekend ride if you like a modern classic.
Looks & styling – 5/10
This car falls in the middle here, this isn’t a new car so it lacks the looks of those fancy new cars but at the same time this car isn’t a total vintage classic so it also lacks the old looks, this is from the era of 80s n 90s where cars weren’t exactly good looking but for some this car is very good looking resulting in the score of 5.
Features – 6/10
This car for today lacks a few features but for the time this car was made it had fairly good options and considering the face the car we reviewed didn’t have that many features but the same W124 is offered with memory seats, airbags & sunroof as option bumps the score to a 6.
Practicality – 3/10
This car is big, heavy on fuel and expensive to maintain but it cannot get the absolute worst scores here because the seating capacity & cargo space is very good in it which results in the low practical score of 3
Value for money – 5/10
This is a debatable term, for those who like & understand these cars this car is a lot of value for money but then there are people who would rather get a brand new Suzuki Wagon R in this price than getting this car and for them this car lacks value resulting the score to be a middle 5.
Easy to maintain – 4/10
This car isn’t easy to maintain but it’s not impossible to maintain either. While most of the major parts are available locally since these cars were once very common on the roads the price of spare parts isn’t cheap in any way and if you manage to damage some not so usual part then good luck sourcing that. Adding all that up and the final score on maintenance is 4.
Resale – 4/10
While this car isn’t something totally out of market the demand of this isn’t very high either resulting in the resale score being 4.
Fun to drive – 8/10
Now this is where the game changes, this car is a lot of fun to drive and it is actually something that you buy to enjoy but this car doesn’t get a perfect 10 because there are other cars out there which are a lot more fun to drive but then this car isn’t that bad either so the end score is 8.
Comfort – 8/10
Just like fun factor the comfort is also very good in this car. These old school Mercedes were known for their comfortable drive which means this car gets an 8 because again, there are cars out there more comfortable than this one.
Quality – 8/10
Remember in the beginning I said these cars were over engineered and built to last? Well the quality factor is only less than a 10 to 8 because now after 26 years the car does show some signs of aging in terms of interior cosmetics which is why the quality score is 8.
Total - 51/90