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Recently I took a look at an E39 Touring M-Sport, explaining how I’d finally come to see the appeal of the load lugging variants of my favorite German sedans. I couldn’t possibly leave things there without taking a look at the W124 estate. There’s one parked near where I live that proudly displays Mercedes “high mileage” award emblems in its grille. I’m not surprised. Practical and durable, the W124 possesses the kind of old school Mercedes build quality that leads many of their original owners to hang onto them for as long as possible.
I daily drive an E34 525i. I have to admit that while I like the BMW, I don’t love it. What I mean is: I haven’t developed the kind of visceral emotional attachment to it that I shared with my previous car, a 2.6 190E. There’s just something missing, and lately I’ve been thinking about getting back into an older Benz. It would have to be comfortable, safe, have a passenger airbag (a not unreasonable request from my wife), get fair gas mileage (ruling out V8s, sadly) and have that legendary Mercedes build quality that makes the doors close with a reassuring “thunk.” A W124 keeps coming to the top of my list. We went camping last weekend and spent a gorgeous few days out in the far western reaches of Maryland. While the E34 served us well, when I got home I kept thinking about how cool it would have been to have had a Mercedes wagon on the trip.
If you want a reliable, low-key and classy way to ferry around a bunch of people and their stuff, there are few options out there better than the W124 estate. You get all the virtues of the W124 sedan – impeccable 80’s era Mercedes build quality, classic styling and an over-engineered chassis offering good levels of safety and comfort – with the extra cargo space and versatility of a longroof. And since these cars were often bought new by wealthy, practically minded people, who saw fit to invest in them rather than sell them on, it’s still possible to find mint condition examples that have been meticulously maintained by their former owners. This low-mileage 300TE appears to be such a car.
The W124 Mercedes-Benz Estate is a favorite around this site and personally one of my favorite cars that were ”honest”. They had the enormous task of following the legendary W123 Estates and giving Mercedes wagon buyers just a little more. It had to have the same quality of the W123 but be a little faster, a little more comfortable, hold a little more and live up to the standard that Mercedes was known at the time. Without saying, the W123 Estate is still king in the used Mercedes wagon market, but if you don’t want to spend a bunch of money on a car that is over 30 years-old at it’s youngest version, the W124 300TE is still a great buy. This example on the beaches of New Jersey can still give you everything you want from a Mercedes-Benz Estate.
We’re in the midst of planning another Wagon Week here at GCFSB, but until then, let’s take a look at one of our favorite 5-doors, the Mercedes-Benz W124 estate. Long before SUVs like the ML, GL and GLK roamed the earth, Mercedes’ mainstream utility vehicle was their mid-sized estate vehicle. While a few coach builders produced estate variants after World War II, Mercedes’ first in-house effort was the W123 estate of the late 1970s. This car has become the darling of the biodiesel set, attracting folks looking for a bit of panache with their free motoring. The W124 estate did an excellent job of picking up where the W123 left off, combining the classic hallmarks of Mercedes-Benz style with a good balance of luxury, utility and durability that kept customers coming back to the showrooms. This W124 estate for sale in Florida has escaped the ravages of hard duty, showing just under 80,000 miles on the odometer.