They are great cars, and when well maintained are pretty robust.  If I had the 
opportunity to find a nice late 90s model I would consider it depending on my 
needs.  If anyone asked me for an opinion on them, I would say you'll be fine 
as long as you buy a 96 or later. The later models are far more reliable and 
efficient for a lot of reasons and are relatively trouble free if they've been 
properly cared for.  In my case I have the 94, which is a problematic model 
year. That's been exacerbated by it being stored for a period of time in a bad 
environment, which would be a bad thing for any car with lots of 

So my distaste for them presently is primarily motivated by the one that's 
giving me fits. Next, it's a horribly inefficient car. Average gas mileage 
(using premium fuel) has been a little over 16 mpg over my ownership.  It costs 
a lot of money to operate.

Contrast this with Tommy's former 98 S420 that my oldest son drives:

Nearly 300k on the clock
Everything except the rear sunscreen works
Averages around 19 mpg
Extent of repairs over 1 year of ownership: 2 ignition (COPs) coils for a grand 
total of about $150

What really made me turn the corner was the purchase of the 350SDL.  Minimal 
electronics, cheap to repair/maintain, reliable, average fuel mileage 22 mpg 
with less expensive fuel.

There's no question the W140 is a far finer and more luxurious car, and a much 
better ride. However, I'll gladly trade all the bells and whistles for lower 
costs, less maintenance, and reliability.  I can close the doors myself, thank 

I would also point out that the W140 wasn't what pushed me into a W126 diesel, 
the 2003 S430 (W220) did. That car is even more complex than the W140 and 
requires a much higher degree of involvement as far as troubleshooting and 
repair. In a nutshell, it scared the hell out of me when I started getting into 

Given the choice, if I was going to buy a vergasser today I would look for a 
W124/300E or a W126/300SE/L. Those are about the latest and most complex gas 
models I would want to mess with.  In the meantime, I'll continue to troll for 
diesels, ideally OM603s when possible. The six cylinder diesel is a fantastic 
engine compared to the OM617. In my opinion, performance is nearly equal to a 
decent gas car.

Klatta klatta!


Sent from my iPad

> On Sep 21, 2016, at 1:18 PM, Rick Knoble via Mercedes <> 
> wrote:
> Dan firmly states:
>> ‎No W140s, thank you.
> Strange how opinions change over time, with wisdom, knowledge, and 
> experience....
> Rick 
> Who was pining for a 140 a while back, after a list member was waxing 
> ecstatic about them...
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