w124 estate petrol or diesel?

citroennut

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hello ladies and gents,

it's been a couple of weeks since my last post ;) and have decided that as i'm sick of modern cr*p cars (MB inc.) i'm going to look for a good 124 series. i've had two or three of these in the past (230's) and know how good they are. problem is i'm not sure whether to go for a 280 or a 300d, reckon there are too few well specced 220's about. i have a round trip of 20 miles to work with 50-50 dual carriageway and town driving with longer runs at the weekend, so probably 8-9k per year with this car. fuel consumption will probably have very little in it, what about servicing? you can see the quandry.
i appreciate that this question will probably have been asked before, but couldn't find an answer in the search.
any advice is greatly appreciated.

cheers
simon
 

turbopete

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personally id go for the diesel. it will probably be around 10mpg better than the petrol version. servicing costs will be similar id imagine. possibly slightly more for the petrol as theres spark plugs to change. to me,, it depends if you can live without the extra power you would get from the 280. if you can, id say diesel is the one to buy! and easier to sell, should you ever want/need to
 

roadhog

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At that sort of mileage I'd go for a petrol, 280 or 320.
 

simon_wall69

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It depends on whether you want to go fast or not...the diesels are very highly regarded but are slow. Servicing at an independent will be pretty much the same. The diesels do about 35mpg and the petrols 20-30mpg.

If you do go diesel you are better off with the later multivalves.

You are probably better off finding the best car that you can for the money, they are getting old and there are a fair few dogs and, moreover, they are still sought after so the good ones get snapped up.

One important matter though: make sure it is auto - the manual gearboxes are clunky and ungainly.
 
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citroennut

citroennut

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It depends on whether you want to go fast or not...the diesels are very highly regarded but are slow. Servicing at an independent will be pretty much the same. The diesels do about 35mpg and the petrols 20-30mpg.

If you do go diesel you are better off with the later multivalves.

One important matter though: make sure it is auto - the manual gearboxes are clunky and ungainly.

thanks guys,

have got the going fast thing out of my system now, roads round here don't allow much of it anyway, and if i do, i get there gently - price of fuel, so a diesel is not a worry, roadhog, reckon a 320 wee bit too thirsty.
simon, would automatically have been an auto and a later 606 engine :smile:
simon
 

Juddian

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W124CE/1996/3199cc/LPG'd
Probably get meself banned here, but it might be worth looking for a BMW E39 5 series estate in the stead of a W124, if one proves difficult to source for a reasonable price.

Don't get me wrong i love my coupe to bits, but these are getting pretty old now, and lets be honest they're not without their own set of problems too, some of which are expensive fixes.
Unlikely to find a 124 estate under 100K miles too, and many will have done over twice that, be wary some owners will have been running the Diesels on any old burnable muck they could get hold of.

We had a 320 estate with virtually every extra offered including a sumpguard!
It came with the most comprehensive service history i've ever seen and it was truly grim reading, the original owner spent thousands keeping the thing going over 10 years, virtually every electrical extra needed fixing...more than once with the aircon, the prices charged by MB were truly staggering...almost rip off standard from one particular SW dealer, quite why the chap continued to go there beat the hell out of me.


The E39 seems to be very robust, came with a multitude of engines and runs right up to 2003/4, and apart from minor blemish points doesn't suffer rust like our cars of that vintage do, also if you can manage a reasonably large petrol, and you can as you were going to anyway, are good value.

I hope you find a good 124 but just threw the BMW in as something to bear in mind.

I'll get me coat on the way out.;)
 

turbopete

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The E39 seems to be very robust, came with a multitude of engines and runs right up to 2003/4, and apart from minor blemish points doesn't suffer rust like our cars of that vintage do, also if you can manage a reasonably large petrol, and you can as you were going to anyway, are good value.

I hope you find a good 124 but just threw the BMW in as something to bear in mind.

I'll get me coat on the way out.;)

except that the ride quality isnt as good as a merc, parts are even more expensive than for mercs, even from factors, the interiors, in my view, arent as nice, and there are many bmw's in this area that ARE starting to suffer with rust in much the same way mercs did. perhaps things have gone full circle? even though ive got niggles with air getting into the fuel, theres no way id EVER consider swapping my 210 for a 5 series. not voluntarily, unless it was a ridiculously good deal. then id just swap it again for another merc!
 

roadhog

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...be wary some owners will have been running the Diesels on any old burnable muck they could get hold of.
But that's what they're made for! OM stands for Oel Motor, Diesel just happens to be what they sell at the pumps. :rolleyes:
Agree on the E39 except that they're not as well put together as the W124 and they rattle.
 
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citroennut

citroennut

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Probably get meself banned here,

I'll get me coat on the way out.;)
ok ;):D

had a 730i a long while ago, nice. but still!
the last 124, a 230, i bought had 199k on the clock, sold it with 248k and to this day regret selling it. best modern car i have ever had, couldn't fault it. a guy phoned up about 4 years after selling saying he had just bought it and wondered if it had any history. to cut a long story short he had looked at that one and another 6 years younger but mine sounded better. when he bought it it only had 140k on the clock :roll:, that said he only paid £400 and it had new tyres and exhaust,

simon
 

simon_wall69

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Probably get meself banned here, but it might be worth looking for a BMW E39 5 series estate in the stead of a W124, if one proves difficult to source for a reasonable price.


Unlikely to find a 124 estate under 100K miles too, and many will have done over twice that, be wary some owners will have been running the Diesels on any old burnable muck they could get hold of.

I hope you find a good 124 but just threw the BMW in as something to bear in mind.

I'll get me coat on the way out.;)

That's me chucking any old burnable muck in!

Must agree about the E39 - it does have its problems as well - buy my old 528i was a fantastic car. I really like the E34 as well - but the estate boots are nowhere near as commodius as the W124 boot and they just don't have that class.
 

Bolide

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I'd take a good E280 over a diesel - and I drive an E300 Diesel

The E280 has a lot more torque which makes it nicer to drive. The diesel is the best long-term choice but most Brits are not making long-term decisions at present

An E300 Diesel will deliver 32-34 mpg and an E280 25-27 mpg average. Not a huge £££ difference

It's also a lot easier to get a decent spec E280 - most have leather & a/c

Nick Froome
www.w124.co.uk
 

Axcontrols

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I had a 1990 (G) 300TE Auto, Dark Metalic Grey paintwork, Cream Leather.

I drove that for around 12 years - ran like a dream - never let me down once.

Longest journey I did in that was from South Wales to Pitlochry in scotland where we stayed for a couple of days (we'd hired a cabin and my brother (who'd driven from denmark to meet us in pitlochry) wouldn't believe the merc was already 10 years old) then a couple of days later up to Lochness then the next day from Lochness right back to south wales in a single leg.

Averaged about 30MPG on that trip and I wasn't hanging round.

If I was looking for one now it'd be a 300 estate, leather, aircon etc etc. I'd try to get the mid 90's face lift version - very good looking car.
 
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citroennut

citroennut

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nick, been on your site already and admired the cars but perhaps not the prices!, may phone you though. does a 280 have more torque than a diesel? the choice is for long term though. i suppose i just like classic cars and these are a modern one.

simon
 

Alex M Grieve

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I'd take a good E280 over a diesel - and I drive an E300 Diesel

The E280 has a lot more torque which makes it nicer to drive. The diesel is the best long-term choice but most Brits are not making long-term decisions at present

An E300 Diesel will deliver 32-34 mpg and an E280 25-27 mpg average. Not a huge £££ difference

It's also a lot easier to get a decent spec E280 - most have leather & a/c

Nick Froome
www.w124.co.uk

Spot on Nick. I had a 280TE for 2 years. Averaged 27 mpg (better than the 190 it replaced) and was quick.

There is not a lot in it fuel consumption wise, but the performance of the 280 is distinctly better.
 

simon_wall69

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nick, been on your site already and admired the cars but perhaps not the prices!, may phone you though. does a 280 have more torque than a diesel? the choice is for long term though. i suppose i just like classic cars and these are a modern one.

simon

Being NA all the w124 diesels lack torque. The actual power figures aren't bad, but don't let that fool you!

The petrol sixes pick up much better than the diesels.
 

television

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My 123 280TE would never better 27mpg,,the same as my 124 300TE
 

tjamesbo

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1999 CLK430, 2007 VITO 3.0V6 , W124's (1994 320TE , 1993 220TE ) , 07 2.5 X-Type
I have a 220TE which I have owned for 7yrs now I used to long for a good diesel and spent ages looking for a reasonable one over 3yrs or so Problems I found were.

Majority had old fashioned cloth
Majority had plain wheels - no alloys
They had been obviously used as high mileage workhorses and were tatty
If the mileage was low, the price was astronomic, 2-3k more than an equivalent 280 or 320 and the economics of purchasing a diesel then caved in unless you were planning on doing mega starship mileages.

As a result of this i failed to find one, but watched interestingly as the price premium of diesel over petrol even further negated the benefits of diesel

As Bolide says its only a few MPG more ... my 220TE returns 27-28 and 32-34 on a run.

My 220 te did everything i wanted the diesel to do, Tow a Caravan to the Alps every year with 5 kids, luggage, and an Outboard Engine in the Boot
Now tows my Ski Boat a 1.5ton Ski Nautique with 5.7V8 on board

They really are wondrous cars 211k and it still runs beautifully and has the power if you boot it into the 16v territory ( ie over 4000RPM )

Not as torquey as a 280 or 320 or 300D but hey they are cheaper / more economical and the engines dont have the " wiring loom issues " of the sixes.
 

fullmeister

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It depends on whether you want to go fast or not...the diesels are very highly regarded but are slow. Servicing at an independent will be pretty much the same. The diesels do about 35mpg and the petrols 20-30mpg.

If you do go diesel you are better off with the later multivalves.

You are probably better off finding the best car that you can for the money, they are getting old and there are a fair few dogs and, moreover, they are still sought after so the good ones get snapped up.

One important matter though: make sure it is auto - the manual gearboxes are clunky and ungainly.


Change the gearlever bushes and they are ok (ok not riflebolt slick but this is no racer ) plus little to go wrong on the manual , mine has done 240,00 miles now same box.
 

Axcontrols

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and the economics of purchasing a diesel then caved in unless you were planning on doing mega starship mileages.

A lot of people are buying diesels because of the lower 'day to day' running costs but when you really sit back and do the maths - (total cost of ownership) - then they need to drive to the moon and back before it actually pays for itself.

Diesels do have a reputation of running forever - and they do - but in my experience very old ones can be pigs to start when it's very cold (low compression till the cylinders get oiled a bit) Mind you I lived in the north of germany where temperatures of minus 20 were common so maybe my opinion is skewed a bit. Here in south wales it hardly gets below freezing.
 

Alex M Grieve

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A lot of people are buying diesels because of the lower 'day to day' running costs but when you really sit back and do the maths - (total cost of ownership) - then they need to drive to the moon and back before it actually pays for itself.

Interesting point. I have driven diesels since 1985, and enjoy the super torque and the infrequent fill ups. All else being equal, I would have one every time.

MB diesels seem to cost no more than their equivalent MB petrol model (at least the ones I have had, E and S Class do), so it makes for an easy purchasing choice. They fetch a higher residual than the petrol cars, especially diesels with lower mileages like mine.

So, I think I am winning all the way round the block, and driving the car of my choice too.
 


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