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Mercedes-Benz 190 – everything you need to know

November 10, 2022

Mercedes-Benz 190 also successful in motorsport

The Mercedes-Benz 190 was popular not only among the masses, but also in motorsports. Indeed, the German automaker achieved several motorsport successes in the popular DTM championship. Based on those DTM cars, some seriously sporty 190 models also appeared, just think of the 190E 2.3-16v, the 190E 2.5-16v EVO I and the EVO II. That last one even had 235 hp, still nice power. These EVOs are sought-after classics today, but the regular Mercedes-Benz 190 is also in demand.

Is the Mercedes-Benz 190 a reliable car?

The Mercedes 190 is on the books as a reliable car with engines that can run longer distances without problems. Copies with 500,000 or more kilometers are no exception. Moreover, parts are still readily available because there are still some 190s driving around. Often the 190 is used as a youngtimer, but specimens with a diesel engine do lose popularity. It is mainly the versions with a gasoline engine that are currently preferred.

Mercedes-Benz 190 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class


Competitors of the 190 are cars such as the BMW 3 Series (E30) and Audi 80. The Mercedes-Benz emphasizes comfort, except for the EVO models. The supply of used Mercedes-Benz 190 models is huge and prices are relatively favorable. Make sure you have a watertight maintenance history.

Points of interest Mercedes-Benz 190

Areas of concern for a Mercedes-Benz 190 are rusty rear brake discs, faulty license plate lights and lighting in general. Also note the center muffler of the exhaust system, the condition of the shock absorbers and general rust problems. Lower side doors, fender edges, inner wings, sills and brake lines are all prone to rust. The four-cylinders may have problems with the head gasket and check oil and water leaks. The frame mounting points are also prone to wear and tear.

Distribution chain

And we merrily continue with points of interest: the 1.8-liter and 2.0-liter engines have different distribution chains, namely narrow (Simplex) or double wide (Duplex). Duplex is preferred due to longer service life. Simplex chains can break more quickly. Lubrication of the windshield wiper is also necessary, then it will keep working smoothly.

‘Sound’ and ‘saw’

The engines and transmissions generally perform smoothly. With “clunk”-like noises, there may be problems in the transmission, rear axle or worn universal joints in the driveshaft. Is there a “sawing” sound coming from the rear axle? Then start saving.

Nice car though, that 190!

Startled by these points of interest in the Mercedes-Benz 190? Don’t! Because as mentioned, the 190 is generally a very reliable car. Moreover, there are always people with knowledge ready at 190-knowledge portals. This is evidenced by the high mileage of some used ones. Just carefully check the maintenance history and run the car carefully. All agreed? Then the enjoyment can begin, because the 190 still drives very pleasantly. Little understeer, pleasant damping, rear-wheel drive, direct throttle response and pleasant brakes. The 190 can easily last a few more years.

Mercedes-Benz 190