Just the other day, Paul looked at a 1985 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16V in Germany, commenting on how in spite of a long race history in the DTM, prices on even very clean examples of these venerable W201 sport sedans have not increased anywhere as close as the BMW M3 or even the Audi Quattro. For enthusiasts, that’s a good thing since it’s one of the few affordable super-sedans of the 1980s that’s left. Performance from the 190E fell in between the Audi and BMW in most conditions, but today a pretty clean example can be had for only a fraction of the others:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16V on eBay
Model: 190E 2.3-16V
Engine: 2.3 liter inline-4
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 142,230 mi
Price: $9,850 Buy It Now
Car is my daily driver and has no mechanical issues. This is the Euro version with more HP.
New F & R brake pads and cross drilled rotors
New F & R Shocks
New Front Strut mounts
New F & R lowered Springs (I also have the stock dynamic suspension parts nothing has been cut just not in use)
New cap, rotor, plugs, wires K&N air filter
New Euro headlights and bulbs
Rear diff oil changed
The original suspension system was removed but the parts will be included, nothing was cut.
Car is missing the front jack cover and rear passenger side jack cover, will also need the leather on the door cards re-glued
For some time you could buy an Audi Quattro for about the same amount, but a recent invigoration of the market means they’re no longer in the same league; indeed, appreciation of the Audi has reached the point where Europeans are reverse-importing them from the U.S.. The same can’t be said for the 190E; not as common to see as the M3 but much more common than the Audi, most aren’t in pristine shape anymore. However, with good build quality in the W201 and the lack of quite the same the boy-racer image that the M3 enjoyed, many of these 190Es are still good drivers. That seems to be the case here, with a reasonable mileage and mechanical freshening, this car looks to be a solid driver. I really like the look of the Ronal R9 wheels, which are atypical on this model. Perhaps it’s the photos, but there appears to be more orange peel in the paint that is typical down the sides. It’s a bit strange, as well, that the car is claimed to be a Euro-spec car, but it has a U.S. speedometer, eBay accepted the VIN (which it usually rejects on Euro models) and the car has new Euro headlights. It’s the difference of about 20 horsepower, so it’d be worth investigating. There are also the typical lack of attention to detail aspects; non-original mats that aren’t vacuumed, a quick clean of the cluster would have made it look cleaner for the closeup, and leaves under the hood. Additionally there are some minor needs but overall, the car presents pretty well and is offered at $10,000 – about half what a clean ’85 Quattro would set you back, and a third or less of the M3. It’s a specific crew that really likes these cars, but they’re cult classics that should begin to appreciate before long.