1992 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.6

When I got my first job out of grad school, I needed a cheap daily driver to commute to work. Everyone told me to just buy a Honda and be done with it. But I knew that wasn’t going to work. I wanted something unusual, safe, classy and preferably German. And that’s how I came to buy a W201. I didn’t really know much about them at the time. But a nice looking example popped up for sale near me, and as soon as I drove it I was hooked. The 190E rides like a shrunken S-class: luxurious, sturdy and solid. The straight six motor is creamy and robust. And the design of the car is really quite handsome, under-appreciated even, especially when seen from the rear three-quarter angle. True, the 190E is not fast, the KE-Jetronic fuel injection system is a real pain when it goes wrong and, owing to the gearing on the old school four-speed automatic, the 2.6 is not as fuel efficient as it should be (the 2.3 isn’t much better either). Still, a nicely kept W201 can be a neat and satisfying entry point into budget-friendly German motoring. Provided you pick a good one.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1992 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.6 on Central NJ Craigslist

1989 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.6 manual

I’m a purist at heart. I like older cars that have survived into the present while remaining practically bone stock and unmodified. But I also realize that there are many different ways to love and appreciate cars, and the stance scene – with its lowered ride heights, deep dish rims and negative camber –  is just another of them. So even though I don’t quite understand it, or find it all that appealing, I respect the craft, and the obsession that goes into creating these cars. This modified 190E caught my eye on the Benzworld classified forum. It’s riding low, but not too low, and while the wheels really don’t quite fit, they are at least very handsome. And with an “Avantgarde” interior taken from a European spec car, the inside on this one’s a bit of a treat too.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.6 on Benzworld

1992 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.6 Sportline


Good examples of the Mercedes-Benz 190E are getting harder to come by. This was Mercedes first foray into the compact luxury segment but are revered today as having the old school build quality that long term fans of the marque know and love. Even more uncommon are late model 190Es decked out with the Sportline option, which came with a sportier suspension and upgraded interior. This 190E 2.6 for sale in Pittsburgh has 77,000 miles on the clock and in addition to having the rare Sportline option, has the even more rare 5-speed manual gearbox hooked up to the silky smooth M103 2.6 liter inline-6.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1992 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.6 Sportline on Craigslist Pittsburgh

1993 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.6

It’s no secret that several of us here at GCFSB are fans of the W201. The last time I wrote one up, I mentioned my habit of scouring the internet for nice examples, a form of self-torment since losing my own car to an accident earlier this year. While the 2.3-16v Cosworths have some serious 80s DTM street-cred, most of the ones for sale are tired and in need of a lot of work. The Sportline models, a limited run of mostly stock W201s upgraded with stiffer suspension, tighter steering, lower ride height and some interior trim tweaks, are a tempting alternative. But sellers often demand large premiums for these cars on the basis of their relative scarcity. To tell you the truth, I don’t think they are worth the extra money. I test-drove one prior to buying my own 190, and I thought the harsher ride was ill-suited to the car. Since the engine and gearbox are unchanged from the ordinary models, the sporting pretensions of the Sportline just don’t make a lot of sense to me. No, to my mind the best W201s are the stock, low mileage and unmolested examples that show up from time to time in seemingly mint condition. They represent the W201 at its best: a classy but affordable form of basic transportation.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.6 on eBay

1993 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.6


To wrap up the production of the W201 in 1993 and make way for the W202, Mercedes-Benz decided to give buyers a little extra something. That something was two ”Limited Edition” W201 variants. They comprised a 2.3 which was more of a luxury version and a 2.6 which was geared more towards sport. Both versions were limited to 700 cars each. The 2.6 didn’t come with any engine performance upgrades but did get different shocks, stiffer springs, roll bars, a quicker-ratio steering box, lower-profile tires and wider wheels borrowed from the S and SL. All the 2.6 cars were painted in black and the interior got some very non-conservative treatment with heavy use of red accents throughout.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.6 on eBay

1993 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.6 Limited Edition

They weren’t produced in big numbers, but we’ve seen a couple 1993 Mercedes-Benz 190E Limited Editions appear on GCFSB as of late, both in 2.3 and 2.6 form. This 190E 2.6 Limited Edition for sale in Florida has extremely low mileage and certainly appears as such. These 2.6 Limited Editions came equipped in black over black and red leather with carbon fibre trim, tighter suspension settings and sport seats. The carbon fibre trim has been replaced by wood trim in this example, which, in my opinion doesn’t really complement the more sporting look of the interior. It’s not terrible, mind you, but I would have preferred the stock look in this case. Given the small number of these 190Es built and the smaller number that still exist in good shape, you’ll want to look this example over a bit more closely.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.6 Limited Edition on eBay

1993 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.6 Limited Edition

The 1990s would bring about a shift in Mercedes-Benz naming language, but the year before the C class would arrive, the original baby Benz, the 190E, would have one last shout in the form of two Limited Edition models. The 190E 2.3 Limited Edition would be offered only in Emerald Green over parchment leather with burlwood trim. The 190E 2.6 Limited Edition, like the one we see here for sale in Missouri, was offered solely in black over black and red leather with carbon fibre trim. While the 2.3 Limited Edition was tuned more towards luxury, this 2.6 had a bit more aggression with the Sportline spec. On offer were tighter suspension settings and sport seats, among other features. This 190E 2.6 Limited Edition is especially attractive, having had one owner for many years with low mileage showing on the odometer.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.6 Limited Edition on eBay

Now Legal for Import Double Take: Mercedes-Benz 190E Sportlines

Look closely and you might mistake these two Mercedes-Benz 190Es and you might mistake them for any other run of the mill W201. Dig a little deeper and you’ll notice they are sitting just a little bit lower on their haunches and a small badge on the lower front fender: Sportline. This was an option that added a tauter suspension and differing interior trim to the usual baby Benz package. While the 190E 2.3-16, 2.5-16 and Evo models carried the performance torch for the W201 lineup, the Sportline option gave buyers the ability to have something just a bit different than your run of the mill Mercedes sedan. First up, we have a 1990 190E 2.6 Sportline for sale south of Munich, Germany with just 53,000 miles on the clock.

Click for details: 1990 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.6 Sportline on Mobile.de

Tuner Tuesday: 1989 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.6 – REVISIT


The ex-Vlad 1989 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.6 with plenty of modifications that we wrote up nearly two years ago has resurfaced for sale again. Offered by the buyer from last time around after covering only 3,000 miles, the asking price is close to what the seller paid. However, a few things of note – several items are no longer working, the bodywork is cracked and – most notably – the BBS RS wheels are an optional extra for $3,000. Has the W201 market appreciated 50% on a questionable example like this in a year and a half?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.6 on eBay

The below post originally appeared on our site in April, 2014:

1991 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.6


For me, the 190E almost defines the perfect Mercedes-Benz. I’m not a fan of huge cars, so the W201 certainly works on a size basis for me but still embodies all the great things I loved about this brand from the past, including timeless design, solidity and dependability. This 1991 190E 2.6 for sale in South Carolina has the tasty combination of the inline-6 paired to the seldom seen 5-speed manual gearbox. The rare shade of Bornit Metallic makes this baby Benz all the more attractive.

Click for details: 1991 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.6 on eBay