Selling your classic car? It's FREE to list your car on Honest John Classics | No thanks

Which engine version would you recommend in the Mercedes-Benz 190 W201?

My mortgage payments finish this month and I would like to celebrate by fulfilling a long-standing wish to run a Mercedes-Benz 190 (W201). I would have this as a "keeper" and run it until either one of us reaches the finish line. I have read and saved many press articles written by yourself and other professional motoring journalists, such as James Ruppert of Bangernomics fame and now Autocar. My first thoughts are for an auto box, but am really unsure which engine other than 4-cylinder, unless you can let me know that the 6-cylinder 2.6-litre is not overly thirsty compared to the 2.0 and is by far and away the only long term winner. I understand that MB diesels are very long-lasting, given due care and attention (which I very much will), though a late LE 2.0 petrol sounds like my ideal car, if I can find one that suits.

Asked on 27 July 2013 by FS, via email

Answered by Honest John
The one to go for is a 190E 2.6 auto, but they are highly sought after and prices have risen way past £10,000 for a really good, high spec, rust-free, lowish mileage one. Some useful information and links here:

Avoid Ks and Ls with catalytic converters.
Similar questions
I'm looking for a comfortable, reliable, economical commuter car to cover 25,000 miles per year. I currently own a 2009 Citroen C5 2.0-litre auto diesel. This gives me 35-40mpg so not great! But I'm 6'4''...
With a budget of £10,000, what Focus or bigger-sized diesel auto would you recommend secondhand? I'm running 30,000 miles per year, so it shouldn't be too expensive to run in fuel/parts, and needs to be...
I'm thinking of buying a Mazda 6 Tourer, but the auto version that I want is only available with a diesel engine and 19-inch wheels. Have the DPF problems been sorted and is the ride ok on these wheels?
Related models
Smart and compact Mercedes-Benz, excellent performance in six-cylinder form, and good value