Mercedes-Benz W124 Coupe and Cabrio (1987 – 1997) Review

Mercedes-Benz W124 Coupe and Cabrio (1987 – 1997) At A Glance


+Extremely good looking coupe and convertible, with nice pillarless side window arrangement, solid build quality that disguises miles well, good ones are still capable of turning heads

-The usual W124 problem of rusty front wings, look out for expensive examples that aren't as good as they might be underneath

The sleek coupé version of the indestructable Mercedes-Benz W124 was based on a shortened saloon floorpan, and proved to be an entertaining and enjoyable drive, especially in six-cylinder form. As with the saloon, it was a styling masterclass, overseen by Brunco Sacco's design team, and despite being so closely based on the four-door, its new coupe roof was elegant and beautifully integrated. Despite the shorter wheelbase (down 4in from the saloon), the CE was extremely roomy inside for such a pretty car, and was easily capable of accommodating four adults on long trips - at high speeds.

It was originally launched in 230CE and 300CE form, with the smaller car featuring the smooth 2.3-litre fuel injected four. But the star of the range was the 300CE, which even today, drives far better than it looks. It was originally powered by a 188bhp 12-valve engine, but this was joined for the 1990 model year by a 24-valve version with 231bhp - and this is the one to have for most people. As with the saloon, you could also order the CE with self-levelling suspension. You may have to pay a little more than suggested for one of those, especially if it comes with manual transmission. 

The Cabriolet was a relatively late addition to the range, being launched in 1991, initially in 300CE-24 form. A little more than a year later, the models were realigned as part of the minor facelift to become the E-Class, becoming the E320 and E220 in 1993. It was the the most expensive model in the four-seat open-top class, with the Saab 900 and Audi Cabriolet gaining more sales on the back of their lower prices - but today, this is reflected in much higher values for the Mercedes-Benz. The super-desirable E36 AMG coupe and Cabriolet are both sought after, and are attracting serious values today. Coupe production ended in 1996, with the Cabriolet being phased out a year later.

Ask Honest John

Can you recommend a 4-seater cabriolet with a reasonable boot?

"November’s London to Brighton Veteran Car run has awoken my fresh air gene. What can you recommend as a suitable 4-seater cabriolet, preferably petrol and with a reasonable boot, top down for around £15,000?"
If you can find one, a Mercedes-Benz W124 E320 Sportline convertible 1994-1996. I spotted one recently with a perfect hood and an asking price of just £4,500. (It might be an E220, and at the time of writing it’s still sitting next to the Grotto pub on Monument Hill in Weybridge.)
Answered by Honest John
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