Bargain Benz? 43k Mile 1993 Mercedes 190E

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The Mercedes-Benz W201 model series is an excellent entry point into classic Benz ownership that won’t break the bank. The Bruno Sacco-designed four-door has aged well, and while the hot ticket 2.3-16 and rare Sportline models trade hands for a fair price, you can still get into the basic four- and six-cylinder models for very reasonable money. This 1993 190E 2.3 is from the end of the production line and is said to have just 43,100 miles from new. It is offered here on Facebook Marketplace for $7,500 in Lake Ariel, Pennsylvania.

The 190E was the entry level offering for Mercedes beginning in the middle 80s and lasting for about a decade before the C-Class model line showed up. It’s not entirely surprising to see a low-mileage, entry-level specimen as I suspect many of these 190Es were purchased as retirement presents or otherwise the vehicle of choice for an elderly owner who didn’t travel much. The interior, of course, is going to be notoriously hard-wearing MBTex-style upholstery, so low mileage or not, it’s in excellent shape. The more telling indication of a high level of care, however, are the tan carpet mats that show very little in the way of staining.

The classic Mercedes gauges of the 80s and 90s were clean, easy to read, and provided lots of useful information. It’s a shame we have gotten away from traditional analog gauges in favor digital assemblies that can fail without a moment’s notice. The temperature read-out is still clear, and it appears all the gauges work.  The parking brake light is illuminated in the cluster, and I don’t see the troublesome ABS light bleeding orange behind the glass. Overall, there are no red flags here, and I wouldn’t expect much in the way of trouble if this 190E has been looked after.

The 2.3L four-cylinder put out a modest 130 horsepower, but it was still a decent performed, able to reach 60 in about 10 seconds. The 2.6L six-cylinder was a bit more robust, churning out a healthier 158 horsepower. However, as someone who used a 1991 190E 2.3 for highway duty, it was a surprisingly capable road car that made the most of its limited performance, and was a treat to use on the interstate.

The 190E shown here looks like a well-kept survivor that isn’t likely to lose value any time soon. With just basic upkeep, it will also be an easy-to-use daily driver classic. What do you think? Does this bargain Benz belong here on Barn Finds?

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  1. alphasudMember

    If the miles are true someone will buy this and flip it for double the price! Looks like a nice car and at least it’s not smoke silver like just about every MB of the era.

    Like 4
  2. Ricardo Ventura

    Looking at the gauges I see that the oil pressure is good.
    Seems like a good buy.

    Like 2
  3. Aussie Dave Aussie DaveMember

    This isn’t an190E, it’s an E190. The 190E is a very different car, the 190E is an homologation touring car special, limited production numbers,unless you yanks were blind sided,

    Like 1
    • VadGTI

      Incorrect. There’s no such thing as an E190. It’s a 190E, pure and simple. The homologation cars were the Cosworth-powered 190E 2.3-16, 190E-2.5 and the 2.5 Evo 1 and 2. Mercedes didn’t go to the letter-first (C, E, S, etc.) until the middle of the 1993 model year.

      Like 1
  4. Terrry

    I don’t know about these but I remember when the C-Class first came out, my spouse and I looked at one, and noticed how tinny and rather un-Mercedes-like they were, my wife even remarked, “our ’93 Accord is more solid”. I believe this car is probably the last of the “cheap” but good Mercedes.

    Like 5
    • Rick

      “tinny and rather un-Mercedes” not true IMHO.
      Worked at a MB store in the 80’s and 90’s. These cars were as solid as the big ones without the weight.

      Like 3
      • Don Licata

        The Mercedes of the 80s and 90 s are the best without question
        I have owned a 300cd..a 560sel and have a 85 300turbo diesel now
        Take them over any new Benz makes now

        Like 1
  5. Aussie Dave Aussie DaveMember

    This is an 190E

    Like 6
    • James


      Like 1
    • VadGTI

      That is a 190E 2.5-16 Evo II. The car in the post is a regular 190E. You don’t know what you’re talking about.

      Like 1
  6. CCFisher

    One of the last of the over-engineered “bank vault” Mercedes. The C-class that followed was engineered to a price, and it showed. Properly maintained, this car has many, many miles left in it.

    Like 2
  7. James

    Drove a 1984 190d I bought in 88 up until a couple of years ago. It’s now my little cousin’s first car.

    Like 0
  8. matthew grant

    I bought a 90 2.6 new. had to be one of the most boring cars I have owned. definitely the most boring Mercedes of the 12 I have owned. sold it 6 mos after I bought it. this one is identical to mine, if you must have one, good color.

    Like 0
  9. Alan

    Is this 1993 MB 190E still available?

    Like 0
  10. Veronica Griffith

    Is this car still available? Really interested in purchasing it.

    Like 0

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