A look back at the Mercedes-Benz 190 (1983 – 1993)

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Seeing as it’s one of those early January days when not much in the way of exciting car news is out and about, we thought we’d take this opportunity to revisit another true classic of yesteryear. You never know what you’ve got till it’s gone, and never has that rang truer than the…

Mercedes-Benz 190

It was as the 1970s began to draw to a close that Mercedes-Benz elected to add a third model line to its range. In the uncertain financial situation of the time, the company – then based in Stuttgart – thought it would be a good idea to field a fresh entry-level edition that could sit beneath the extremely popular W123 range. Therefore, if the perilous economic situation took a further turn for the worse, they’d have a product ready to go.

What they came up with was quite fabulous. Styled with its inimitable lines, designed by Head of Design Bruno Sacco, the Mercedes 190 was an icon from the moment it left the drawing board.

Ultimately, the predicted recession of the 1980s turned out not to be quite as biting as everybody expected and Mercedes was left free to develop the 190-Series; until it was a vehicle truly capable of rivalling the BMW 3-Series.

 

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From the moment it appeared in showrooms the 190-Series was hugely popular, almost two million were built during an initial production run that lasted for ten years.

Nowadays the 190 has become something of a sought after item by collectors, mostly due to a diverse range of engines, robust build quality, and high levels of day-to-day reliability. Decent examples are currently being snapped up for bargain prices, though you’d be lucky to find one for under a grand.

 

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