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W124 Wagon - which one is better in the US?
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Posted 6/28/2012 12:44 AM
folidol
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Date registered: Jul 2006
Location: NYC
Vehicle(s): Bombardier subway car
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W124 Wagon - which one is better in the US?

After years of checking in at the G-wagen forum, I decided to venture further... I have been bitten hard by the Station Wagon bug, and started considering a W123 or a W124 (Diesel all the way). Among the latter, I have no idea which one makes the most sense in the US, the 3.0L 6-cyl Turbo or the later 2.5L Turbo. I know that generally speaking, it's better to stick to the later years of a model... but I know this isn't necessarily true with all lines (especially the G-class). One fact is that there's almost no W124 TDs in the market (compared to W123s), I don't know if this is because they are few and far between, or because their current owners just won't let go of them.

A side thought: To my surprise, I found little activity in the W124 forum. Would you say in retrospect that the W124 ended up being a transitional model, or perhaps the shoes of the W123 were too large to fill?

My idea is to find a versatile car mostly for weekend/daytrip/errand use, not as a daily driver... Something mechanically simple and reliable which doesn't require to be in the shop 2 out of 3 times I use it.

Any tips are appreciated, thanks.
#205108
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Posted 6/29/2012 2:13 PM
alaskagwagen
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Date registered: Jan 2012
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RE: W124 Wagon - which one is better in the US?

Ah, another Gwagen owner wandering into 124's. I made the plunge after several 460's/463's, a 123 series 300TD'and a 126 series 350SD two years ago with a $450 91 300CE that needed a bit of work. Working on it sold me on the 124. I always was told by the experts that the 123 was the last of the "real" Mercedes. I now have to disagree. The 124 is smaller and has more plastic but it is designed and built like nothing I have seen. I now have the coupe (for sale) a 92 300TE, 93 TE 4matic and an 87 300TD (which has a factory rebuilt 350 engine in it). The station wagons are the cat's meow. I am 6'4" tall and can comfortably sleep in one. They can carry a lot of stuff inside or on top and the self leveling suspension just sucks it up. The dogs love it. The TD with the 350 engine is very fast but the M103 TEs are as well. They all drive like a dream. Ever since my 68 Saab station wagon, I have loved station wagons. The 123 300TD was nice but very large. The 124 series are just the right size.

The TD belongs to my daughter and she is waffling on whether she wants to keep it or take over one of the TEs we have in the driveway. I got the first TE for $1500 and the 4matic I just got from Oregon for $2700. They can come cheap if you look. The TDS are as rare as hen's teeth and I have always been a diesel MB guy but the gas engines are pretty nifty. I loved the 124's so much that I bought my wife a 129 series 1994 SL500 for her anniversary and got it all fixed up for her. The 129 was based on the 124 and is probably the most impressive car I have ever worked on or driven. She is in love with it.

So, I say go for a W124, you will never look back. Parts are plentiful and the cars drive like a dream. The corrosion issues of the 123's were fixed on the 124's from what I can tell. They are just superb. If you were closer you could come drive some and see.

If you have any more questions, ask away!

This may be sacrilege but the most active W124 forum is on Benzworld. There are links in the stickies there that lead to a lot of great info including complete manuals etc.

Have fun!

Adam
#205177 - in reply to #205108
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Posted 10/19/2012 4:29 PM
Ed Mclass
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Date registered: Apr 2006
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Vehicle(s): 1958 180a, 2010 GLK, 2000 G 500, 2005 SLK 350
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RE: W124 Wagon - which one is better in the US?

We have owned 5 W123 300TD Wagons and 3 300TE models and one W210, E320. It really depends on your style of driving which is better. Highway I prefer the W123, City the W124 models. W123 parts are easy to find. W124 parts are mostly available new only.
#208361 - in reply to #205108
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