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1988 Mercedes-Benz 190 (W201)

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  • Mileage~59,792
  • TransmissionManual
  • Engine2.0L
  • LocationCoventry


1988 Mercedes-Benz 190 (W201)

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Glyn Parry
Professional Consignor

Mercedes-Benz's first step into the compact class was always going to be an engineering tour-de-force and the 190 W201 they didn't disappoint.

Mercedes-Benz weren't about to risk their considerable reputation on introducing a duff model into a new segment for them - the compact executive class. Consequently Mercedes poured over £600M into the development of the W201 between 1974 and 1984 when the car launched. In fact, subsequently, even Mercedes Benz referred to the car as "over-engineered."

The car proved a huge success, opening up the prestigious world of Mercedes-Benz ownership to a whole new demographic and becoming a forebear to many premium compact cars that followed. Over its single model life of 1982 to 1993 a whopping 1.874M W201's were sold worldwide.

This particular example is hard to beat, coming to sale from the original owner, just ~60,000 miles covered and in exceptional condition.

This auction listing was written from information supplied by Glyn after meeting David the owner, and having visited and photographed the vehicle.

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Secure Auctions

We verify all our sellers and buyers to keep our community safe whilst also providing the highest levels of website security.

Full Transparency

8 out of 10 people that buy cars via our service don’t feel the need to visit due to the transparency and thoroughness of our listings.

Vehicle Delivery

We're there every step of your buying journey and will even arrange pick-up and delivery of your new vehicle.

Meet the owner

This car has been part of our family for over 30 years -it has done everything we have asked of it delivering comfort, security and practicality on the way.

David bought this car from Gerard Mann Mercedes Benz-Dealers in 1988. The car appealed to him for its blend of premium quality and prestige but in a compact and affordable package. Something that was somewhat of a novel proposition back then.

Since then the car has been lightly used for the full range of family transportation duties, something it has done efficiently and without issue or complaint. It is only now that lack of use (only 10,000 miles in the last 15 years) that have prompted the family to find owner number two for this ground-breaking compact executive car.

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Arctic White suits the 190 very well indeed, extenuating the simplicity and solidity of the Bruno Sacco design - it's a design that has aged very well indeed.

Wheels and Tyres

The steel wheels are clad in the original ABS plastic wheel trims and give the 190 a streamlined, windcheating look. The Continental 185/65 15 tyres maintain the period correct sidewall ratio and all appear to be very lightly used with plenty of tread remaining.


The bodywork appears to be in excellent condition with no obvious dents, dings or scrapes in evidence. The thermoplastic front and rear valances are in the original grey finish and appear to be in excellent condition too.

The legendary engineering prowess of Mercedes-Benz in this era is very evident in the tolerances and accuracy of the panel gaps.


The Arctic White paintwork on this 190 presents very well and belies its age. The car clearly polishes up to lustrous shine and no areas of lacquer deterioration, discolouring or crazing are in evidence.

Glass and Trim

The glass appears to be original, unchipped without areas of delamination or fogging.


Despite being designed as a "compact" car the advanced packaging techniques used have delivered a surprisingly spacious and eminently practical modern classic.

Seats and Carpets

The grey cheked fabric seats and complimentary grey carpets gave the 190 a very modern and minimal ambiance when the car was launched. That impression remains today and the car interior is a comfortable and practical place to spend time.

Everything appears in excellent condition, much as you would expect from a car that has done fewer than 60,000 miles in the last 33 years.....and fewer than 10,000 in the last 15!


The clarity and readability of the instruments of Mercedes of this era are a delight to behold. As you can see from our on the road video everything appears to work as it should and gives the driver a comprehensive understanding of the operation of the car.

Steering Wheel / Gear Stick

The large, flat bossed steering wheel is in excellent condition and retains the deep texturing to its rim, underlining the light use this car has received.

The well placed gear lever is in equally fine condition with the knob and gaiter both appearing in almost factory-fresh condition.


The 2-litre engine is as robust as they get - in some circles the current miles is considered 'just run in'!

Engine and Gearbox

The 1997cc 2-litre M102 in-line four cylinder engine in the 190 went on to provide excellent reliability, even at high mileages. Given this car has done fewer than 60,000 miles to date and has enjoyed a full Mercedes Benz service history, it is no surprise that this car runs very well indeed with all mechanical systems reported to be working extremely well.

Suspension and Brakes

This Mercedes may have been the baby of the range back in 1988, but it benefited from the same fastidious engineering approach as its bigger siblings. Consequently the suspension, brakes and running gear all enjoy a reputation for longevity and quality.

This particular car is certainly no exception and the suspension is compliant and free from unwanted noises and the brakes are strong and progressive.

The Drive

Even by today’s standards, drivers of the 190 report it to be comfortable, smooth and agile, with light and accurate steering. It is a deceptively spacious car providing comfort and practicality in equal measure for driver and passengers.

If you’re looking to buy a reliable, modern classic or a daily driver with a difference, then this could be the ideal car for you. There are lots to choose from out there, however, most that are submitted to us we have to reject. It's only the best examples we consider for our service, like this one.

Electrics and Other

David reports that all e;electrical systems are working as you would expect and that was certainly born out during our brief trip in the car.

History and Paperwork

A full-house of stamped and notated service book entries combined with a such a low original mileage has got to make this among the most original 190s remaining today.

The original service book is stamped up to date for your piece of mind. There are even numerous hand-written notations in the book detailing the work done and oils and fluids used.

Service by Gerard Mann
At 868 miles
Then lest serviced @ 59,600 by GSW Automotive
Between services frequent oil changes ( not recorded).

In addition, David will be happy to answer any of your questions about his car in the comments below.

We’ve done all our usual seller checks including photo ID, V5 and also actioned a HPi check on the vehicle.

We've summarised our own view on the car based on information gained from the seller in the listing above, however, and as you can see, we go to great lengths to photograph and video the car in hi-resolution detail - this has been done for you to make your own assessment from the comfort of your sofa. So please sit back, have a cuppa and take your time to review everything on this listing in order to make your own assessment on the vehicle's condition. Viewings are also welcomed with all our listings, so please get in touch with us to arrange a suitable time - we just need to speak to you first and receive a valid photo ID before confirming.

If there's anything you're unsure about, no matter how small, then please first ask the owner in the comments area below before placing your bid/s, as bids can't be retracted and form a binding contract if you win the car - just like a traditional auction house.

Service History
Date Type Mileage
02.03.21 MOT 59,780
19.02.20 MOT 59,715
19.02.19 MOT 59,228
21.02.18 MOT 58,990
24.02.17 MOT 58,420
24.02.16 MOT 57,813
24.02.15 MOT 57,421
25.02.14 MOT 56,780
25.02.13 MOT 56,093
28.02.12 MOT 55,413
24.02.11 MOT 55,069
01.03.10 MOT 54,647
03.03.09 MOT 54,294
27.02.08 MOT 53,296
19.02.07 MOT 51,020
22.02.06 MOT 48,691
Key Details
  • Model190
  • TransmissionManual
  • Reg. DateMarch 1988
  • CC1997cc
  • Mileage~59,792
  • HistoryGood
  • ColourArctic white
  • Interior ColourGrey
  • Interior TrimFabric
  • Chassis #WDB2010232F473975
  • Engine #10292420042982
  • Matching #sYes
  • Last Service11/2020
  • RestoredNo
  • Engine RebuildNo
  • MOTYes Exp. 02.03.22
  • MOT ExemptNo
  • Road Tax ExemptNo
  • HPi ClearYes
  • Former Keepers0 - First Owner
  • Tyre TreadGood
  • Tyre BrandContinental
  • Tyre AgeUnknown
  • Security SysN/A
  • Master KeyN/A
  • # of Keys2
  • Brake LifeGood
  • BrakesGood
  • VisitedYes
  • Sale TypePrivate
  • OwnedFrom New
  • Key FeatureOriginal 1 Owner Car

Vehicle Sold

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Ask Questions
Post a comment or ask the owner a question about the car.

Hello David, this is a lovely car and I can see you have really looked after it. I am a big Merc fan and always looking for interesting cars for my collection. Can I ask (i) does the sunroof work ? (ii) what was the oil leak (mentioned in the MOTs) ? Has that now been fixed ? (iii) do the hazard warning lights work ?
Kind regards, Neil


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