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The car that thrives on abuse by Ed - Victoria, Australia on 11/07/2008. Trim: 1988 Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.3, Owned more than 10 years.
Pros: After having owned a 1980 Alfa Alfetta, (which was a great drivers car I must admit) I am enjoying the reliability of my 1984 190E Benz. I have barely spent a cent on the car, I have never had it serviced and fill it with sump oil from the tractor (it is burning a bit of oil nowadays so I don't feel like spending money on new oil). It's comfy to drive and pretty economical. I drive it trough rough paddocks and on bad roads - I treat it like a red headed stepson and it still keeps going - bullet proof
Cons: Bits and peices are failing here and there - seat sags, some plastic nobs broken, burns oil, lost a bit of power and sqeeqs and groans here and there. But I have done nearly 400K km and never spent money on fixing these things so really, these shouldn't count as cons. I wouldn't recommend the 190E for someone who likes a bit of power, it is really a dull (but comfortable) drive - young drivers will not pull the babes with this car.
Overall review: possibly the cheapest form of motoring you can get - super reliable. If you are half handy and don't mind living with a few faults, then you won't be spending money on servicing and spare parts. I was quoted $250 for a reconditioned brake booster!!! I pulled it to bits and put an 80c O-ring in it and it has been fine. Still, I do hanker for some power sometimes when I feel like having a crack at the traffic lights Grand Prix....
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