1991 MERCEDES 300E-24V (6)

They might be separated by three decades but our 300E has much in common with a new C-Class.

The Garage has housed a series of high-end Merc models recently (see New Cars). But the new C200 is the car that best lends itself to comparison with the Merc saloon on our Keeper fleet.
To bring you up to speed, the C-Class has undergone a major mid-life refresh after four years on sale. Every second part has either been replaced or updated. Dimensions and cabin space are comparable with our W124 300E-24v, and if you look at typical performance markers, there’s little between the cars in bald terms.

However the way power is generated and served is vastly different, of course. The C200 has half the engine capacity (1497cc twin-scroll turbo four) and twice the gears (9G-tronic is standard). EQ Boost with its starter-generator and 48v battery delivers a big torque boost below 2500rpm.

The C200 feels so light on its feet that few would expect it to weigh the same as the 300E-24V Sportline. Both cars are relaxing, refined cruisers. The C200 impresses with the smoothness of its shifts and remarkable overall efficiency. Its 66-litre tank makes a 1000km range achievable.

Where the Sportline excels is in the comparatively silent and unstrained delivery of its power, and the feelgood factor from steering a car that other drivers seem to instantly identify as being a bit special. It’s also arguably more of an experience to ride in the superbly crafted W124, whether you’re seated in the front or back.

Owned one? Share your Mercedes experience: keepers@kiwigarage.co.nz


VARIANT W124 Sportline saloon

COLOUR Smoke Silver

UPHOLSTERY Bone leather

ENGINE 2,960cc straight-six

POWER 172kW (231bhp)

TORQUE 265Nm @ 4600rpm

TRANSMISSION 5-speed auto, RWD

0-100km/h 7.8 secs

WHEELS 17-inch alloy


WEIGHT 1480kg

EMAIL keepers@kiwigarage.co.nz



Transformed by Sportline tweaks and smart options, our old-school favourite makes a statement of intent.


Sportline tweaks transform an otherwise conservative saloon built to satisfy a local race ace.

MERCEDES 300E-24V (3)

NZ-spec W124s all had an upmarket air about them but not the aura of this special-order Sportline.

MERCEDES 300E-24V (5)

Marque experts have strong opinions about which engines and transmissions are ideally matched in certain models.