Mercedes-Benz W124 E280/300/320 - Best Euro Buys #5

By: Unique Cars magazine

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The W124 Series was developed to fill a gap between Mercedes-Benz ‘compact’ cars that had flourished for decades and the big S Class.

Australia’s first exposure to the new shape came in 1986 via the 230/300E sedans and a 300D diesel with only 80kW but plentiful torque.

The 300E was initially priced at less than $80,000 but came with a huge options list. Within two years the base car had soared to $107,000, including leather seat trim and standard ABS.

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They cost a fortune when new, but can now be great value

That prompted M-B to slot the less powerful but also less expensive 260E into a range that, by 1988, commenced with the insanely costly ($88,000) 230E.

| Future classics: Mercedes-Benz W124

The 300CE coupe (February ‘88) took the W124 into a new arena of the prestige market. Until that time, buyers of a sporty Benz had been forced to accept the short-wheelbase 560SL or spend $225,000 on a 560SEC coupe. At $130,000, the 300CE packed its compact shape with features including ABS, a sunroof, power front seat adjustment and leather trim.

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Mark ‘Higgo’ Higgins has been a serial offender with W124s and had this to say: I have owned a few W124s and, while Herman the German Mk III gave me a bit of trouble, it had already travelled over half a million kilometres.

| 2019 Market Review: Mercedes-Benz 300-560 sedan/coupe 1987-2006

The W124 was very advanced in all areas for its time, like all Benzes back then. It was also the last of the ‘proper’ Benzes, like Guido’s W126 land yacht, plus the W202 series. And Benz owners know what I am talking about.

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The 300E packed plenty of punch and could eat up the miles in total comfort and they were as safe as a Swiss bank.

 

From Unique Cars #442, July 2020

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