1993 Mercedes-Benz 300-Class Review
Edmunds' Expert Review
Most helpful consumer reviews
300SE 4dr Sedan
To start with an absolutely vital piece of information is (300) means its the inline 6, (S)=S-class (E)=Fuel injected. Being the M104 engine in the early 90's Merc thought it was a great idea to be "environmentally friendly" So some cars from 91-93 had bio-degradable engine wiring, and 94 and on had these harnesses... They were easily damaged by heat, meaning they usually fail around the intake manifold and other parts with extreme heat, causing mis-information to be sent to the computer making the engine search for idle, rev up and down, sometimes stall, and sometimes bog on hills as if it was towing a large trailer. The easiest way to tell is the wires around the intake and fuel injectors, wires should be soft and flexible with bright solid coatings.. if the wires are crumbling or missing coatings or appear to have (dry rot) don't buy the car unless you have deep pockets for a whole new harness. ONCE you understand this issue, you can understand that these are amazingly durable dependable cars, almost indestructible and smooth as glass. They glide down the road like a yacht on smooth waters, then take a corner flat as a pancake.. its un-explainable, NO other vehicle in existence gives this ride quality from a mechanical suspension! That being said, you could of had AIR RIDE in these cars, Do not buy one with it.. Make sure it has regular coil springs and gas shocks, the air models are far more expensive to maintain and will fail you almost as consistently as you need fuel.. Wich is the other issue, they get amazing fuel mileage if your on flat or mild hills, but as soon as you need to go up a hill or are in stop/go traffic expect to burn half a tank within a couple hours of driving.. and its a 26 Gallon fuel tank that requires 93 octane MINIMUM (10.5:1 compression engine) So the moral of the story? These cars are incredibly easy to work on yourself (surprisingly) and have a huge following with plenty of tech support and guys willing to walk you through maintenance procedures (to avoid visiting benz service aka, empty your pockets and remortgage the house) so, work on it yourself or be wealthy... there is no in-between. The good though? the car really doesn't need anything special, they take regular oil (NOT SYNTHETIC) synthetic oil makes them leak, they also take regular transmission fluid... again nothing special for the 91-93 cars. They take regular sized tires... nothing expensive. And its an S-Class, you have the peak of quality in engineering.. the most expensive car EVER made.. over 1 Billion dollars to get that steering wheel in your hands, and you feel it compared to even a brand new Benz, its just not.. the best.. so, you know what that means! The W140 is the King of the S-Class at the price of a Toyota Camry, and the difference? you can drive a W140 through the side of a bunker and out the other and keep going.. where you hit a bird with a Toyota and you'll probably die. That's about it! Oh don't crash it though, they don't make em like this any more.. and never will again (;
300E 2.8 4dr Sedan
I've owned 3 Benzes, all bought with some miles on them. Our W124 300E 2.8 is the remaining Benz in our garage and though it has 189k on its clock, it is still the most solid car of anything I've driven or ridden in, new or old. Safety is #1 in my book, as it saved the life of our daughter who was hit in the rear by a car doing 50mph. The Benz was properly repaired. I will always own a Benz. Every year, I put money in it to keep it going, but it soldiers on with class and style and is a blast to drive. Absolutely, it is one of the best Benzes ever made and one of the easiest to maintain. Great mileage, as well, as it still gets 28-30mpg on the i-state at 70mph.
300D Turbodiesel 4dr Sedan
This is a great car for those who don't mind keeping up with a 17 year old car. The car is great but there are normal maintenance items plus original seals and parts that eventually have to be replaced. Keep in mind that if you take it to a European car shop you would pay around $120 per hour or labor; prices for parts bought on the Internet are comparable to those of other makes. If you enjoy doing fixing it yourself, like I do, there are plenty of Internet resources to help you. The car is fun to drive and has an MPG around mid 30s (gotta love the diesel). If you are thinking about buying one see if the diesel injection pump has been resealed; they start leaking diesel at around 150k miles
300E 4dr Sedan
After 200,000 trouble-free miles, my 300E was totaled in a 50 mph rear-end strike by a Chevy SUV. All four doors still open perfectly despite the car being crushed up to the rear window.As an engineer I understood the strength of this body, so I bought another 1993 300E 3.2 to drive for another 17 years. A wonderful solid car, albeit not flashy, just excellent.