Mercedes-Benz 190E

Daniel Ellard ‘These are superb cars with a well deserved reputation for build quality’

  • Year: 1989

  • Mileage: 129,000

  • Acquired: 2016

  • Dream car: 1965 AC/Shelby Cobra 427

Why did you choose the car?

When working in the motor trade in the mid to late 1990s I got to inspect, drive and sell many cars. My favourites were, unsurprisingly, the hot hatches and prestige brands. I adored the build quality and engineering of the Mercedes W124s, W140s and W201s.

A bit of research unearthed this dark blue 190E with grotty front arches and spots of cement on the boot. It had an impressive service history, drove superbly and the price was low. 
These are superb cars with a well-deserved reputation for build quality. Find one with a rust-free (ish) body and it can truly be an excellent daily. 

What’s the best bit? 

It's just a lovely, smooth drive with nimble handling, great quality and boxy good looks. Quirks like the massive steering wheel, the smaller passenger wing mirror and the single 'jumping' windscreen wiper add to the appeal.

What’s the worst bit? 

Rust is always on the horizon with any car of this age. I avoid the rain.

What’s it like to run? 

Most parts are no problem. Even the local main dealer should be a good source of parts at reasonable cost. A brilliant forum run by friendly W201 loons is

Any modifications? 

The suspension was tired. I've put on a H&R 'comfort' shock and springs kit which while dropping the height by 45mm also gives a good ride. This along with the 17-inch Lenso BSXs are the only mods I plan to do really. 

Any advice for buyers? 

Check for a smooth drive, a decent service history and the dreaded rust. Research well by using the search option on The folks on there will help immensely.

To have your car featured in the magazine, get in touch via

Want to read more articles like this?