190E - what's the problem?

    I just got the latest copy of "Mercedes Enthusiast," which includes an article on the 10 Most Significant Cars. Surprisingly, not all of
the choices were cars that positively influenced the history, and they were particularly rough on the 190 (the "Baby Benz"). They were also somewhat vague.     I know that the 190 originally started as a 4-cylinder model that was somewhat underpowered in US spec, but they also produced the 2.6L V6 and the Cosworth 16V models in the range which seem nice enough, and I'd always read that quality was typical Mercedes-Benz.     So, what's the problem? Or was LJK Setright just being especially rough on them?     Emanuel PS - Oddly enough, next month's issue is supposed to have a 190 Buying Guide, but that will take a while to get to the US.
--
http://home.att.net/~epbrown01/1966-rolls.jpg
http://home.att.net/~epbrown01/1983-porsche.jpg
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
This model was produced at the height of fuel crisis early 1980. It's quite small for a MB, a weak engine for such heavy body (very nice and thick sheetmetal and I think the 2.6 is minimum required engine for this car), spotty reliability and somewhat of a fuel hog. Enter the 300E of 1986, which is world apart in roominess and build quality for not much more money. I know, since I still own both since 1990.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The W201 was one of the most significant models in modern Mercedes history and one of the best selling sedans it ever produced. First, it was the lightest sedan the company ever made since the 1930's. Second, it introduced the monowiper, the 5-link rear suspension and had one of the lowest coefficients of drag for a sedan. In addition, the build quality, and stiff platform made the ride and sound level of the smaller chassis nearly identical to the bigger models. The W201 was the chosen platform for Mercedes official return to road racing via the 16 valve Cosworth head 2.3 and later the 2.5L Evo and Evo II. (Check "Mercedes' Enthusiast" early summer issue when they track tested the 16v, Evo and Evo II at Hockenheim) With total production from 1983-93 of over 1.8 million units, ranging from carburated models, diesels, to the DTM race models, "der kinder benz" should be remembered a bit more fondly.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
> As some comments here indicate, the best models are either the 2.3-16v or

FYI, the 190 did come with a manual tranny in the US. I know the 2.3 was available with a stick, though they're very outnumbered by the automatics. The 2.3-16 was available with either a Getrag 5-speed dogleg racing tranny or a (no-cost option) MB auto. Many 16V enthusiasts (myself included) won't even consider one with the automatic. It kills the driving experience of the high-revving engine. I'm not sure if the 2.6 was available with a manual or not, but I believe so. I'd look for a Sportline if that's what you're interested in.
Oh, and you are correct, the Evo cars were never imported to the US (not to mention the 1.8 or the 2.0).
Bill Balmer 190E 2.3-16 first 16V in the US featured in Car & Driver - March, 1986
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 19 Aug 2003 17:46:26 GMT, "Cossie"

    I know the manual was available - it was even standard, but apparently around 95% of buyers opted for the automatic transmission. When searching for one, I limited myself to cars within 1000 miles of Chicago - every manual I tracked down was outside that radius. I eventually settled on the best 2.6 auto I could find.     I've seen mention of Sportline models on the web, but nothing defining them from the rest of the range - what was this, an options package of some sort?     Emanuel
--
http://home.att.net/~epbrown01/1966-rolls.jpg
http://home.att.net/~epbrown01/1983-porsche.jpg
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

mostly to do with the suspension - stiffer springs, shocks, anti-roll bars etc
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Right. Plus a tighter steering ratio, I believe. They also came with a slightly altered interior, with red piping on the black seats and red "Sportline" logos. I just thought that the nature of the beast might lend itself more to buyers who would've opted for the stick.
By the way, I'm in the Chicago area too. When you get your 2.6 (or before) , check out the 190 revolution web site. Lots of great info. plus occasional get-togethers in different areas, including Chicago.
Bill Balmer 190E 2.3-16 first 16V in the US featured in Car & Driver - March, 1986
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I have a '92 190E 2.6...black with grey "MB Tex" interior, got it at 52000 on odometer now has 117000. I have had less trouble with this car than any previous, by far, small stuff, temp sensor, power window switch, rr power window motor. all DIY. Now due for timing chain replacement, valve seals and guides,and bypass hose, and head gasket, 1300.oo not bad for 5 years, and starts and runs like new. First get yourself a catalog from Performance Products for your Mercedes 190E 1992. complete diagrams, drawings and prices of all replacement parts. Next take a look at this site, I stumbled across looking for stereo upgrades www.2phast.com/190e/default.htm this guy has some great ideas(400e brakes)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Good advice. Also, for a web forum dedicated to the W201, there's www.190revolution.net

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I have a 1993 190E 2.6 Sportline, and it doesn't have red piping on black seats--that was a limited-edition model, as I recall--at least here in the U.S. I remember seeing one of those models at my dealer in late 1993. And you can see one here: http://tinyurl.com/kndz
My Sportline is Pearl Black metallic with a grey leather interior. I've seen a couple of other Sportlines in other colors--none with seat piping.
According to the window sticker, the Sportline package cost $3,000.00 in 1993. I can't find my list of Sportline options, but they include at least the following:
- Special suspension: Firmer front dampers and rear shock absorbers, higher spring rates, lower-height springs, stiffer anti-roll bars. - 7J X 15 8-hole alloy rims with 205/55 ZR 15 tires - Automatic locking differential - Sport seats, front and rear (no center arm rest in front) - Rear headrests (adjustable) - Smaller diameter steering wheel with thicker rim - Tighter steering ratio - Special black smooth auto shift knob with Sportline logo - Sportline badges on front quarter-panels
I had a 1987 190 with 4-cylinder engine and stick shift previously. Obviously quite a difference . . .
The Sportline handles much, much better, but you obviously pay for it in the ride quality. I prefer the Sportline for fun and for day-to-day use, but the standard suspension was far more comfortable for long-distance driving. And after 10 years, I continue to miss the front center armrest.
As far as product quality goes, my 1993 has been essentially trouble-free--head gasket being the only major issue. A friend of mine is a 20-year Mercedes service representative, and he says that the last couple of years of 190 production are essentially "bulletproof," and he had warranty statistics to back up his claim. All significant design and assembly problems had been basically corrected by then.
Carroll Bloyd
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Hmm - I've always heard it referred to as the "sportline interior". Thanks for the info. I learned something today - I can go to bed now.
Bill Balmer
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 21 Aug 2003 02:12:03 GMT, "Cossie"

interior is the rear seats - there are only two, no matter what the color scheme.     Emanuel
--
http://home.att.net/~epbrown01/1966-rolls.jpg
http://home.att.net/~epbrown01/1983-porsche.jpg
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Went through one set of major expenditure some years ago (GBP 1500 I think) but thought it worthwhile as it was otherwise in good condition and I felt it would be hard to get something comparable for the money elsewhere.
I don't know what my actual acceleration is and don't much care. My rant was more general, as lots of cars manage the range I mentioned but in this and similar newsgroups there is an unhealthy (in my opinion only, of course) fixation on 0 - 60 times.
Now if people discussed the 50 - 70 mph times, there would be a useful topic...
DAS --
--
NB: To reply directly replace "nospam" with "schmetterling"
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.