Apoligies if this was recently discussed; I just subscribed to this
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.