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View Poll Results: Would you buy one today?
Yes 208 51.61%
No 195 48.39%
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Old 29th May 2020, 10:36   #1
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Default Pre-worshipped car of the week : Used Mercedes E-Class W124

The W124 is one of the last over-engineered, mechanically-simple and electronically-minimal cars from the Mercedes stable. Launched back in 1985, they sold over 2.7 million units worldwide. In India, the car was manufactured by the Mercedes-Tata JV for a short while. It got a somewhat negative reception as well-heeled Indians were aware that the next-gen W210 E-Class had been released worldwide.

Enthusiasts love the W124! This car, when maintained well, is known for its durability, reliability and engineering. Small details like the unique single arm wiper and hidden gas struts of the boot (they stay hidden when you open the boot) make you smile. The W124 is from an era when no corners were cut in Mercedes cars, and no “easy roads” were taken.

Positives:

• Timeless styling, old-world charm. Still looks fantastic
• Simple & solid engineering. Minimal electronics
• E220 petrol is fast, even by today's standards. RWD too
• Practical due to a good cabin, lovely suspension, comfy rear seat...
• Features like ABS, front airbags, dual-zone AC, cruise control etc.
• Your social status will take a boost, thanks to the three pointed star
• Depreciation on good W124s has stopped. You can use & resell for the same money

Negatives:

• Its a 25 year old car! Maintenance, problems & niggles are a given
• Comprehensive insurance almost impossible. Be ready for total loss in a big crash / theft
• Most examples are worn out. The few good ones are expensive and hard-to-find
• E250D is s-l-o-w (a Swift diesel will leave you for dead)
• Some "over-engineered" parts won't be cheap
• Regular spares available, but other stuff can take time to order
• E220 guzzles petrol. Think 6 - 7 kmpl in the city

Related Threads:

Akshay4587's ownership thread

achtung's long-term review of his E220

bIte tHe bulLet's Herr Kampfpanzer

E250Dreamcar's Review

W124 E-Class Support Group

Search! There is lots more information on Team-BHP

Mod Potential:

Lots of extras & accessories available internationally. But we would recommend that you instead spend any modification-money on the stock mechanicals instead. Bring it back to "new" condition as much as you can. At the most, get some nice rims & subtle cosmetic enhancements.

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Here are some examples on sale (1999 83,000 km, 1996 69,000 km, 1997 1,19,600 km, 1996 1,45,000 km).

Pictures of the 1999, 83,000 km done E250D W124 with an asking price of Rs. 4 lakh:
Pre-worshipped car of the week : Used Mercedes E-Class W124-images1080x10809.jpeg

Pre-worshipped car of the week : Used Mercedes E-Class W124-images1080x108010.jpeg

Pre-worshipped car of the week : Used Mercedes E-Class W124-images1080x108011.jpeg

Pre-worshipped car of the week : Used Mercedes E-Class W124-images1080x108012.jpeg

Pre-worshipped car of the week : Used Mercedes E-Class W124-images1080x108013.jpeg

Pre-worshipped car of the week : Used Mercedes E-Class W124-images1080x108014.jpeg

Last edited by GTO : 29th May 2020 at 12:41.
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Old 29th May 2020, 12:44   #2
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Default Re: Pre-worshipped car of the week : Used Mercedes E-Class W124

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Indian Car Scene. Thanks for sharing!

Voted NO! Those who know me will be surprised, but let me elaborate. I’ve driven lots of old Mercs and 99% of them are worn out & dreary. They feel “too old” and clearly need a mechanical restoration. The tightness is no longer there, the handling is sloppy and a modern hatchback will leave it for dead on the twisties. Sure, I love W124s, W140s & W126s, but I like them for what they represented when they were “new”, not how they are when “old”. I don’t have the time to spend on bringing a W124 back to shape either.

If I had to buy an old Merc, I would prefer to get something newer, faster, fresher…for not that much more money. How about a well-maintained 6-cylinder E280 CDI for 5 – 6 lakh rupees instead?
Pre-worshipped car of the week : Used Mercedes E-Class W124-annotation-20200529-121409.png
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Or a Jetta 2.0 TDI which I consider to be the "modern-day W124"
Pre-worshipped car of the week : Used Mercedes E-Class W124-5.jpg

Last edited by navin : 2nd June 2020 at 23:38. Reason: edited
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Old 29th May 2020, 13:02   #3
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Default Re: Pre-worshipped car of the week : Used Mercedes E-Class W124

Voted HOT!

The W124 E Class is a near modern classic I definitely would love to own in the near future. The 250D might be slow, but the presence it offers will definitely make up for it. I somehow don't fancy the later W210. Also, I'd pick the W124 for the minimal electronics and manual gearbox it offers.
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Old 29th May 2020, 13:16   #4
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Default Re: Pre-worshipped car of the week : Used Mercedes E-Class W124

Voted no, but NOT because I am not attracted to the car! I love the shape, but at this age a car like this deserves a 'money / time / effort no object' restoration right from powder coating of the frame bolts. In other words, in order to dependably enjoy this car, a 'remanufacturing' level of effort would be needed.

Had I personally been in a different situation in life, where I could undertake such a project, I would have voted 'Yes'!

Last edited by vipul_singh : 29th May 2020 at 13:17.
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Old 29th May 2020, 13:36   #5
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Voted "NO"!

How come there is '99 W124? I thought the series ended in '95.

This would be more a collectors car than a drivers'. It's not just the 4lakh odd that you may pay for the car, but also expensive (and some regular) additional works (transmission rebuilds; suspension rebuilds; head gasket failure; fuel pump issues on high mileage ones; wiring harness issues). The overall initial cost could go up to 10lakh considering the investments to make it a bit better.

Would really make no sense in buying this car unless one is also building museums for their collection!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Or a Jetta 2.0 TDI which I consider to be the "modern day W124"
Off topic. Apologies!

That Jetta looks pure love! An all time classic. Every bit drool worthy

Last edited by Aditya : 30th May 2020 at 07:04.
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Old 29th May 2020, 13:58   #6
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Default Re: Pre-worshipped car of the week : Used Mercedes E-Class W124

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miyata View Post
The overall initial cost could go up to 10lakh considering the investments to make it a bit better.
So true! To bring a W124 to absolutely pristine condition will cost a couple of lakhs and a whole lot of time. For that money (and cost of time), it's just better to buy something newer instead. I had toyed with the idea of getting a W126 or W140 and test-drove a couple. It was one of those "never meet your heroes" moments.
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Old 29th May 2020, 14:04   #7
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Default Re: Pre-worshipped car of the week : Used Mercedes E-Class W124

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
I had toyed with the idea of getting a W126 or W140 and test-drove a couple. It was one of those "never meet your heroes" moments.
In my opinion, the core reason for lusting after these older vehicles has to be 'looks' (and perhaps exclusivity). Modern cars are at another level now when it comes to the drive itself, generally speaking.

Once we understand that it is looks and exclusivity that we are after, it becomes easier to commit to such big projects
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Old 29th May 2020, 14:30   #8
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Default Re: Pre-worshipped car of the week : Used Mercedes E-Class W124

Quote:
Originally Posted by vipul_singh View Post
In my opinion, the core reason for lusting after these older vehicles has to be 'looks' (and perhaps exclusivity).
True. See how many enthusiasts love the Contessa & Sierra even today. Over & above the timeless styling, I would say the top reasons for owning one of these would be:

- Nostalgia.

- Love for the particular model (based on what you read). Certainly was the case with me & the W126.

- Getting a badge for cheap. You can get decently running W124s for <2 lakh rupees.

- Desire to have a project / pet car.

- Maybe you grew up in awe of one?

- Emotional bond like me and my Jeep.

Last edited by GTO : 29th May 2020 at 17:00.
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Old 29th May 2020, 15:26   #9
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Default Re: Pre-worshipped car of the week : Used Mercedes E-Class W124

If you are into Mercedes then this question is absurd. It is an obvious yes. I mean the W124 is legendary and the last old school Mercedes.

I saw a bunch of kids in their C63S the other day in Khan market, I was quite indifferent.
However if it was a nice W123/ W140/ W124/ W116/R129 or something, I would have been excited to chat up!
These old benzo's are really special, you either get it or you don't.
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Old 29th May 2020, 16:09   #10
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Default Re: Pre-worshipped car of the week : Used Mercedes E-Class W124

Voted for no, despite hearing a lot of good from fellow BHPian and great friend Viraat13, who I personally think has great knowledge of all cars german not only limited to W124(he's owned three).

I say no because:
1. NGT issues in NCR
2. Very hard to find spares at Mercedes
3. Needs mechanics who've worked on old Mercs
4. I love the Germans but don't shy away from saying love limited to a certain age
5. Can give up any time or anywhere
6. No features I can enjoy
7. I prefer turbo petrols in all my new purchases
8. At the end of the day, it is a Mercedes and as easy or as tough to maintain as a Mercedes.
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Old 29th May 2020, 16:16   #11
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Default Re: Pre-worshipped car of the week : Used Mercedes E-Class W124

Voted Yes. Give me a classic less electronic straight shooter any day.

P.S : The above opinion is not just limited to W124.
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Old 29th May 2020, 16:52   #12
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Default Re: Pre-worshipped car of the week : Used Mercedes E-Class W124

I would stick to practicality, and voted No. If you are getting it free from some family, friends or acquaintance then it fine to keep it as project car. But to buy something like this I can't see any benefit unless some emotional strings attached.
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Old 29th May 2020, 17:25   #13
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Default Re: Pre-worshipped car of the week : Used Mercedes E-Class W124

I voted no.

Its too old for me. If I had an emotional connect with it, then perhaps yes. But since I have none, its a no.

I would not consider buying it unless I am building a classic car garage, which I may never do.
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Old 29th May 2020, 19:17   #14
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Default Re: Pre-worshipped car of the week : Used Mercedes E-Class W124

I have had the use a W124 and own a Jetta

The Merc comes into its own on a highway and in high speed cruising. Show it tight curves and the long wheelbase and recirculating steering will induce a little more understeer than expected.

A manual W124 is underwhelming, notch gearbox, long travel clutch. Mercedes never made great manual boxes. The 4 cylinder petrols engine are just about adequate.

If it is an automatic, 6 cylinder, I'm game. Otherwise, I'll pass.

Is the Jetta like a modern W124?

It runs it close, perhaps
  • Spartan Interior
  • Long Distance Muncher
  • Pliant ride

However
  1. It lacks the ultimate indestructibility - cam belt, DMF, injectors
  2. It lacks the presence to unconsciously bully other cars off the road

Last edited by ajmat : 29th May 2020 at 19:56.
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Old 29th May 2020, 19:50   #15
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Default Re: Pre-worshipped car of the week : Used Mercedes E-Class W124

The timing of this thread was just too much of a co-incidence for me. I was discussing the W124 (and the exact same Pune example shown above) with a BHPian, just when the thread came live! He decided to skip it though - because it's a 250D.

But - I have not yet decided on a vote. W124 is just timeless and if I could afford multiple cars, it would certainly be a brilliant additional to the garage as a collectors item. I randomly keep searching for these cars in the used market and dream about owning a perfectly restored one someday.

However- for someone who can only maintain one car or two at a time, maximum, it's a very risky proposition to have such an old machine to rely upon.

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 29th May 2020 at 19:52.
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