Tell me about the W124 4-matic system

Apoligies if this was recently discussed; I just subscribed to this newsgroup.
I'm upgrading my old trusty '85 300SD to something a little quicker and
lighter, since I now do 90% of my driving on city streets instead of open highways. Since the area I live in receives a lot of snow and ice during the winter, I also feel a preference for AWD vehicles. I've looked at Audis - I used to own a 200 quattro, and it was unstoppable in poor weather - but honestly, having experienced the Mercedes' reliability, comfort and build quality for several years now I see no reason to buy a different brand.
My focus is on the 300E/TE, and the early W124-body E320. I was glad to discover this model had a part-time AWD system available, but I've uncovered a lot of conflicting feelings on it, mostly about the transfer case's reliability. If any of you own, have owned, or have experience working with the early 4-matic cars, I would appreciate your thoughts on the system's effectiveness and practical reliability.
I would also appreciate hearing from owners of RWD-only W124s about how their cars handle in the winter. Whichever drivetrain I choose, the car will have separate dedicated (Nokian) winter tires.
Thanks.
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I have Nokian Hakka Q and the current descendent version of it... 2WD only... never a problem getting anywhere. Always in control. Whenever other vehicle would have problem with traction... no problem with me... and best of all... I have no traction control system either...
We do have one with traction control and 2WD... again... no problem at all.
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Nobody else has comments on the 4-Matic?
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It's too complicated buy a 2-wheel drive car instead...
You asked for opinions :~)
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Martin Joseph wrote:

Bad news. Stay away from them. Too complicated and prone to breakdown. New 4matic is a redesign and simpler.
Jan
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I have heard the 4-matic drive system only operates in low, or first gear, and only up to 30 mph !? Quite unlike Subaru, or Audi's full time, all speed, transmission, and weighs twice as much
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