W124 Mercedes-Benz: Is the German Classic Worth It in 2023?
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Classic Mercedes-Benz models tend to do their best Swiss Army Knife impressions, and the W124 is no different. The 124 series of E-Class models existed as everything from a sedan to a wagon to a cabriolet. Better yet, the W124 Mercedes is a solid sedan for first-time classic car collectors or whimsical commuters who want a daily driver with more character and class than the market’s soulless compact SUVs. So, are the old-school Mercs worth it in 2023?
What years did Mercedes make the W124?
Mercedes-Benz produced the W124 sedan from 1986 to 1995. As a result, the youngest examples are nearly 30 years old, placing them firmly into a class of classics.
During that timeframe, the German marque offered the 124 models as a cabriolet, coupe, sedan, wagon, and even a limousine.
At the time of its production, the W124 was an impressive evolution for Mercedes-Benz. The 124 models wore an unorthodox front-end geometry with aerodynamic efficiency in mind. As a result, the angular sedan managed a drag coefficient of 0.30, per Classics World UK. Better yet, the model integrated the multi-link independent rear suspension. Just to give you an idea of how far ahead that was, the wildly popular Ford Mustang didn’t ditch its live rear axle for independent rear suspension until 2015, a full 29 years after the first W124s rolled off the line.
Is the Mercedes W124 engine reliable?
The W124 Mercedes packed many engine options, from the 2.0L inline four-cylinder mill in later models to the sleeper-spec 6.0L V8 in the tire-roasting E60 AMG. However, the engines aren’t without their issues. For instance, 300E owners have complained about faulty Electronic Hydraulic Actuator (EHA) valves.
Failing EHAs exhibit symptoms like hard starting, distinct fuel odors, and erratic revving/idle. Unfortunately, EHA failure could lead to engine problems if left unmitigated. Moreover, owners complained about faulty distributors, leading to rough operations or misfires, per RepairPal.
Still, the W124 Mercedes-Benz is a fairly reliable option. Our family S124 Wagon lasted many years with minimal drama. That, and the rear-facing jump seats were always good for a giggle between my sister and myself. Buyers should keep in mind, though, that these are classics now, with the oldest models approaching 40 years old. Unfortunately, as with all vintage, classic, or aging vehicles, components wear out, and shrewd preventative maintenance is critical.
Can you daily drive a W124?
The Mercedes-Benz W124 is a spacious sedan with fuel injection and revolutionary suspension. A well-maintained model makes an excellent daily driver among comparable classics. Better yet, the vehicle offered several diesel options. It’s nothing if not versatile.
How much does a W124 cost?
The average value of a Mercedes-Benz W124 Sedan is about $25,522. However, higher-mileage 300Es tend to sell for less than that, some for as little as $3,200.
Still, as with many classic Mercs, the brand built a few proper sleepers that attract higher values. For instance, a 1987 Mercedes-Benz 6.0 AMG, nicknamed “Hammer,” sold for $775,000 in March 2023.
Will the W124 become a classic?
The Mercedes-Benz W124 is already a classic. Its luxurious executive interior, versatile options, and iconic shape establish it as a viable classic collectible for enthusiasts with daily driver qualities.
Better yet, the consistent values across the last five years mean the sedan is a wallet-friendly option, unlike other appreciating classics.
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