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Wagon Week: 1988 Mercedes-Benz 230TE 5-speed manual

Wagon Week is back here at GCFSB. We’ve decided to start off not with one of the high-horsepower hyper wagons the Germans are known for, but rather, a workhorse of sorts. With the end of W123 production in the mid 1980s, the W124, now named the E-class, would take over the middle of the lineup for Mercedes-Benz. The W123 estate was the first such mass produced vehicle for Mercedes-Benz, and the W124 range would include a successor for the 300TD. The W124 estate has now itself become a bit of an icon, representing the durability and magnificent engineering that Mercedes built their reputation on. This particular W124 estate was one that was not sold here, the 230TE. With a 2.3 liter four-cylinder engine, it won’t win any acceleration contests, but with the 5-speed manual gearbox, you’ll be able to make the most of the power it has.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 Mercedes-Benz 230TE on eBay


Year: 1988
Model: 230TE
Engine: 2.3 liter inline-4
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 204,600 km (127,000 mi)
Price: Reserve auction

This is a fully operational 1988 MERCEDES-BENZ 230TE 4 cylinder 5 speed manual transmission wagon, which has covered only 204,600 Kilometres (127K Miles) since new. It was originally sold in Germany and imported to Canada about 10 years ago. It has been maintained properly by MB dealer and independent specialist. The car is registered in British Columbia, Canada. As it can be seen from the photographs, this vehicle has been properly enjoyed and it is in far from perfect cosmetic condition. There is minor rust on the lower rear quarters, and more serious on the drivers side front fender. Fully functional mechanically – it can be driven anywhere. The interior is very good, some cracks on the dash (see pictures), no sun damage, rips, etc. This car is equipped with some unusual options: ABS, Traction control, (working) rear hydraulic suspension, Manual seats, orthopaedic drivers seat. Manual windows, power door locks all lights and instruments work, the sunroof does not. It drives very well and it is very economical. It has good winter tires. Very recent spark plugs, cap and rotor. Lots of maintenance records.

For more information, or to schedule viewing appointment in Vancouver, please call Splendid Automobiles Inc. (604) 516-6002 or visit

Independent party pre-purchase inspection at your expense prior to bidding is welcomed and encouraged.

A NOTE TO OUR USA CUSTOMERS: As this vehicle is over 25 years old, it is exempt from US EPA and DOT compliance requirements. It is fully admissible to USA and NO modifications are required. We can assist you with shipping arrangements worldwide. Canadian residents are required to pay GST, BC residents pay PST and GST. No tax will be collected from non-Canadian residents.

We ship worldwide.


I really like this 230TE. These Benzes of the 1980s and 1990s have an honesty about them that newer cars lack. The good thing about W124 estates is that prices are relatively affordable, at least for US market versions. The W123 estates which preceded this car, however, have been fetching strong sums as of late. It’s always hard to price a car in a market in which it wasn’t originally sold, but it’s doubtful this one will fetch more than their six-cylinder and diesel counterparts that we saw here stateside. This example also has some issues that need sorting, as well, but it could make for a nice example for the Mercedes estate enthusiast to improve upon.



  1. Ry
    Ry October 20, 2014

    Paul did you come across this too? I had just emailed it last night! Funny…I like it and would totally cruise in this.

  2. Bushwick Bob
    Bushwick Bob October 20, 2014

    I live and die by the 124 wagon. They are awesome vehicles – the cargo space, the comfort, the tankishness. By the looks of it the SLS is functional, too.

  3. sam
    sam October 20, 2014

    but how much fun is the 4-cyl pulling w124 size and weight around?

  4. Ry
    Ry October 21, 2014

    @Sam – I hear what you’re saying, but shouldn’t be any pokier than the diesel, right? And I looked up the specs, this drivetrain is a hair over 3200lb, that’s a couple hundred pounds lighter than the I6 w/ automatic too. A Honda Civic Si it ain’t, but at least you have 5 forward gears to keep it in its rev range.

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