Mercedes-Benz W124 (1985 – 1995) Review

Mercedes-Benz W124 (1985 – 1995) At A Glance


+Roomy and hard wearing inside, solid build quality that disguises miles well, still has class especially in estate and coupe form

-Rust on front wings can make a nice car look shabby in no time

Replacing the W123 was a case of more of the same for Mercedes-Benz. Although the style was very much rooted in the 1980s, closely mirroring the recently-launched 190E, much of the engine range and running gear were carried over from the older car.

Considered by many aficionados as the final 'hewn-from-granite' Mercedes-Benzes, the W124 is a satisfying ownership proposition. But there were plenty of advances - the multi-link independent rear suspension, was a significant improvement, while the all round passive and active safety performance was significantly better than before.

The W124 featured advanced crash protection, such as a bodyshell structure that crumpled progressively in certain areas. But active safety made a huge leap forward, thanks to the adoption of anti-lock braking as standard in the up-spec cars, before being progressively introduced across the range with the passing of the years.

Finally, we shouldn't forget that rather cool eccentric-sweep panoramic windscreen wiper, which worked exceptionally well offering the greatest swept area of any car then on offer. The disappointment is that it's not been adopted by more rivals. There truly was a W124 for everyone, with a range spanning the entry-level four cylinder cars, right up to the V8 powered 500E.

There aren't many weaknesses – the engines go on forever, but rust nibbles away at the edges, and many people are finding profit in breaking rather than repair.

Ask Honest John

My Mercedes E-Class has to pay ULEZ the same car with a larger engine but is exempt, is this right?

"I have a 1995 Mercedes W124 convertible. I love the car but it is not ULEZ compliant. I have recently seen the same model and year for sale that is stated as ULEZ compliant and I have checked against its number plate and it is indeed correct. The main difference is my car has the E220 engine and the sale car has the E320 engine which I would think is worse. Whatever surely the age disqualifies the cars anyway. Am I missing a trick? BTW the mileage on my car is considerably lower. "
The criteria for ULEZ charging is based on the nitrous oxide (NOx) emissions of a vehicle, rather than CO2 emissions which have previously been used to calculate VED rates. Although the E320 is a larger-capacity engine and will likely use more fuel than your E220, this does not necessarily mean it has higher NOx emissions.
Answered by David Ross

How much is my 1995 W124 Mercedes 280TE Estate worth?

"I have a 1995 W124 Mercedes-Benz 280TE Estate, a seven-seater with a black leather interior and around 178,000 miles. How much do you think it is worth?"
The best way to get an accurate valuation on a car of this age is to look for similar examples already for sale. As with any classic, the right car to the right buyer is worth considerably more. Prices of good rust-free W124s have risen considerably over the past few years and as yours is a 280TE Estate, it's quite sought after, despite the high mileage. We found a 1993 280TE W124 with slightly lower miles than your example for sale at £3300. Depending on the condition and service history of your car, we would expect it to be worth a similar amount. However, we think keeping hold of it and maintaining it to a high standard would be a good long term investment. Good estate W124s are only going to go up in value.
Answered by David Ross

How much is my 1992 Mercedes-Benz 230 CE worth?

"I have owned a 1992 Mercedes 230CE for 14 years but advancing age is making a two-door not practical. The car is automatic, 115,000 miles, in silver blue metallic. Condition very good. FSH and always garaged since 2006. MOT to Aug 2020. Body restoration 2012 and gearbox rebuild 2018. Can you give me an idea of what my car is worth, please?"
As a rough guide, you'll probably find one of these on a dealer's forecourt for £5k+, while a good one in the classifieds would be around £3.5k-£4k with 'okay' ones about £2.5k. The best advice I can offer is to have a look for similar examples and price yours accordingly. These models are proving increasingly popular. For more advice on selling your car, go to:
Answered by Keith Moody

Where can I get new or good condition parts for a 1991 Mercedes-Benz?

"My friend has a 1991 Mercedes 260E and needs a new radiator. Any suggestions where he can get one that is new or good condition? "
You could try GSF, EuroCarParts or Online Automotive - as well as eBay or some scrap yards. It may also be possible to repair the faulty item.
Answered by Keith Moody
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