When Mercedes introduced the W124 E class to the world in 1985, it was released to much acclaim. It was the successor to the beloved W123, long known as one of the preeminent taxis in Europe and Africa, thanks to its good design, durability, and reliability. Being a good successor to the W123 would be a hard feat, but surely Mercedes could do this well. Alas, they were unable to recreate this success for the W124’s successor, the infamous W210.
Until the 1990’s, Mercedes made cars that were not just for the image-conscious buyer, or the European taxi driver, but also the person who wanted a car as safe and reliable as a Volvo, with advanced engineering, and a higher price tag. Essentially, it was an upper-crust Volvo 200-series or 700 series in America.
Many have said that the W124 was the last example of the “old” Mercedes. The “many” are probably right, as it was the past reliable and over-engineered Mercedes, just as the W140 S Class was the last over-engineered Mercedes.
Mercedes created what many consider one of the best cars ever made in recent times, and the argument is not hard to prove. If any further evidence is needed for this argument, just ask Paul. He will tell you how it was the best car made in the last thirty years.
It was a car built for a certain culture and time. One that we may never see again.