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1991 Mercedes-Benz 2.3: REVISIT

The mint, low mileage 1991 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3 located in Texas that we featured in July is back up for sale. It’s not the powerhouse of the 190E crew, but with mileage this low, this car has a lot of life left in it and would be a great buy for someone seeking old school Mercedes engineering mixed with a good dose of economy.

1991 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3 on eBay – REVISIT

The below post originally appeared on our site July 26, 2012:

The Mercedes-Benz 190E was the car that introduced consumers to the idea that of a compact Mercedes-Benz. This small luxury sedan would eventually be revered for its longevity and brought the idea of Mercedes ownership closer to upwardly mobile consumers in the 1980s. My father drove a 1992 190E 2.6 for a few years and while it wasn’t the most exciting car I had ever driven, I remember it fondly for it’s smooth power, excellent build quality and durability. It’s getting harder to find nice examples of the Baby Benz, as it was called, these days. But two have cropped up this week, one with the 2.3 liter four cylinder engine, the other with the 2.6 liter inline six.

First up, we have a 1991 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3 with a very low 50,000 original miles for sale in Texas.

1991 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3 on eBay

Hi Folks,

Up for grabs is a beautiful low mileage 190E finished in Pearl Blue over Blue. Car has been garged and well maintained. It gets compliments everywhere I go. You just don’t see very many in their orginal well preserved state any more. I am a huge Mercedes fan and really enjoy driving and caring for older Mercedes. We are in the middle of a move, and the wife would prefer I not bring along all the toys. My prior Benzes included included a 92 300D diesel, an 83 300SD and and an 85 300D.

This car was owned by an elderly couple and then transferred to the son and subsequently, grandson, who I purchased it from (hence the multiple owners). When I purchased the car last year, I went through the entire car to ensure its roadworthiness. It was used sparingly by us for in town driving.

MECHANICAL:The 2.3 L four cylinder engine is smooth and efficient, with adequate power. Only 50k original miles. Transmission shifts smoothly through the gears. It drives efforlessly at 70 MPH. No leaks. COLD AC and heat. Recent service highlights include:

– AC recently serviced, with a replaced AC relay. I had the system checked for leaks (which there were none) and topped off. It blows very cold.
– New Bosch Alternator and Battery
– New spark plugs/wires/rotor
– New accessory belt tensioner.
– Replaced heater valve. Heat works great.
– Replaced radiator last year. New radiator hoses replaced aging hoses.
– New air filter
– Suspension is tight.
– Slight vibration at idle and may benefit from new motor mounts.

EXTERIOR: Finished in pearlblue (perlblau) paint (code 348), the exterior is in great shape. No fading or oxidation, even on the roof. No RUST or oxidation anywhere. Lower plastic panels are in great shape. Has been mostly garaged. Sunroof delete model so more headroom and no leaky or clooged drains to worry about.

– The headlight and tail light lenses are in great shape and not faded.
– 15″ inch OEM wheels in good shape with fairly new tires.
– Windshield is in good shape. Has a tiny chip. No cracks.
– There are shallow hail dings in the trunk. They do not show up well in the pic and can only be seen up close.
– Small crack in the right rear bumper trim, but I have a replacement trim to accompany it. Has a small ding right above it.

INTERIOR: Matching blue interior is in great shape and well preserved thanks to being garaged. NON SMOKER.

– The dials and the needles in the instrument cluster are bright and orange, and not faded, another sign of being garaged.
– The seats are firm and supportive, without any tears or sagging. The mesh storage inserts behind the front seats are still taut. They usually sag in cars ofthis vintage.
– The Zebrano wood is in excellent shape without any cracks or delamination.
– Headliner is perfect. Sun visors are perfect.
– OEM factory radio and speakers are in good shape.
– Clock and temp indicator work great.
– Carpets are in good shape. No unsightly stains. Driver’s side floor mat has some wear.
– All power windows work great. Functional power side view mirror.

In summary, you are getting a wonderful piece of German engineering that will continue to provide years of motoring bliss. The car is not new and not perfect, but is very clean for a 21 year old. It is not concours but can easily be. They don’t quite build them like this anymore. Be realistic in your expectations and you will not be disappointed.



  1. Larry
    Larry October 2, 2012

    Apparently, the seller is no longer “in the middle of a move,” so the excuse “the wife would prefer I not bring along all the toys” has been dropped. Maybe he just wants to sell the car now. Fair enough, but it hit $4200 the first time, then $4500 the second. The seller can keep relisting, but that’s not likely to bring a 33% premium (up to the nearly $6000) the seller wants anytime soon. Market sets the value, not the seller. It’s low mileage, yes, but a 21-year-old 190 2.3 with a less desirable color combo, an accident history, four prior owners and some needs. Maybe I’m wrong, but I think he should have taken the $4500.

  2. Sam
    Sam October 2, 2012

    How I love the W201. It was Bruno Sacco’s personal favorite of all his brilliant designs.

    I second Larry’s analysis. This car is a lot of BLUE, I couldn’t wear denim in this thing haha, although I like that the lower panels are darker than the body, versus the other way around. But $6,000 just seems too much, especially with all the baggage this one has. It also goes to show that (relatively) low miles don’t always indicate a simple and clear history.

  3. Wes
    Wes October 3, 2012

    In December 2007 I offered $325k on a house which had an asking price of $340k. The seller (who btw was then living in another state and would have made money even after paying his RE agent) made a ridiculous counter offer, said that he wouldn’t make any repairs at his counter offer price and generally acted like a big baby. I walked. The house stayed on the market for another 6 months and the seller hired and fired 2 more real estate agents during that time. In June 2008 he sold for $326k. The point is that some people get married to an idea of what their house or car is worth regardless of what the market is telling them. I think that this is one of those situations.

  4. Larry
    Larry October 3, 2012

    You are spot on with that assessment, Wes. I know that is how some people think, but I have a hard time wrapping my head around how people can somehow choose to disregard what the market so clearly is telling them in favor of their perceived valuation.

  5. Paul
    Paul October 3, 2012

    Larry, I only need to look at the current mortgage crisis as a prime example of market disregard. As I lifelong renter, though, I can LOL all day about that mess.

    PS I really like the exterior color of this 190E, but I can’t help but think how much I’d be all over this car if it A) had the 2.6 engine and B) had the light tan or gray interior trim.

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