Mercedes Benz is a car company that has been in business for over 100 years. Since then, Mercedes has created many different models, but few of them were as highly regarded as the models from the 1980s and the 1990s.
Arguably, the best Mercedes model from the 90s is the 1991 Mercedes 500E. The car is a direct result of a Porsche/Mercedes joint venture. The 500E offers an iconic Mercedes design, and is nicknamed “the four-door Porsche.”
Another excellent 90s Mercedes is the W140 S-class. This legendary flagship first debuted many features that most state-of-the-art luxury cars offer today.
The Mercedes 500E
The 500E is a definition of a sleeper or a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The car was subtly designed, but offered impressive performance and a motorsport pedigree backed by Porsche. The 500E is one of the most popular “modern classic” Mercedes models, and for a good reason.
The 500E could easily have be mistaken for a regular Mercedes 90s sedan, but this car offered a 5.0-liter V8 with 326hp, a 0-60 time of 6.1 seconds, and a top speed of 250km/h (155mph). These types of numbers were usually associated with the highest performing sports cars from this era.
The 500E cost almost double the price of a regular 300E, and more than 10k units were sold. Finding one in decent condition nowadays could still cost as much as $60k.
The car was made in Porsche’s plant in Sindelfingen and was the first car to introduce a feature known as “standard deck engine,” which meant the engine sat lower in the car for improved performance.
The 500E and the Audi RS2 were cars that pretty much started the Mercedes AMG division and the Audi RS division. The status that modern AMG and RS models enjoy has a direct link to these two models, and because of this, and many other reasons these two will forever be remembered as original autobahn rocket ships made in collaboration with Porsche.
The Mercedes W140 S-class
Another great Mercedes from the early 90s is the W140 S-class. The W140 is widely regarded as one of the most over-engineered Mercedes models of all time. The W140 S-class is the first car in history to offer Electronic Stability Control (ESP). This system is a standard in every new car nowadays, but it debuted in the 90s Mercedes flagship.
A luxury sedan such as the W140 is a car with a goal of maximum comfort for the occupants, so Mercedes debuted many new features to improve the driving experiences. These include double glazed windows for a quieter drive, 4 zone climate control, traction control, navigation, and even voice commands.
Furthermore, the W140 S-class also offered sot-close doors, soft-close trunk, side curtain airbags, and rain-sensing windshield wipers. Pretty much all of these features that are standard nowadays debuted in the W140.
But the thing that sets the W140 apart from the rest the most is the fact that this S-class is the last sedan manufactured by Mercedes with the “money is no object” mentality. The S-class that followed was no match for the W140 because it was plagued by many different cost cuts.
The W140 and the 500E were cars made to offer the most luxurious and the most performance-oriented experience Mercedes could offer in the 90s. But the 190E from the 90s is every man’s Mercedes.
The 190E was sold from the early 80s to the early 90s, and not many other models will be remembered as fondly as the 190E. That’s mostly due to the fact the 190E was and still is a bulletproof car, highly regarded for its indestructibility and the ability to accumulate enormous miles on the odometer.
More about our favorite Mercedes from the good ol’ days
Which is the best Mercedes Benz model of all time?
It’s hard to find a Mercedes that enjoys a more legendary status than the iconic 300SL. The car was launched in 1954 and was capable of hitting 163mph, earning the title of the fastest car in the world at the time. But the greatest thing about this Mercedes was the ability to travel in unparalleled comfort at such speeds.
Furthermore, this car is often regarded as the most beautiful car ever made. While beauty is surely in the eye of its beholder, the looks of the 300SL are hard to fault. The demand for these is so high that nowadays, a 300SL will set you back a couple of million dollars.
Which is the most reliable Mercedes from the 90s?
Mercedes offered many reliable models in the 90s, including the aforementioned 190E. Models like the W124 are also widely regarded as incredibly reliable Mercedes offerings. This 3.0-liter turbo-diesel was built like a tank, and they can still be found everywhere.
If one questions the reliability of the W124 Mercedes, it is highly recommendable for them to watch the Grand Tour episode in which James May uses a wagon like this to transport a fish tank throughout Africa.
Another great example of Mercedes reliability is W126. The W126 is the second-gen S-class and is also widely regarded as another reliable vehicle.
Which is the best 90s Mercedes to buy?
Mercedes cars from the 90s are incredible, very well built, look good, and fairly powerful. One such model is the R129 Mercedes 500SL. The 500SL offered style and substance with many different safety and technology features still relevant to this day.
The 500SL was offered with a 5-0 liter V8 making 322hp, capable of impressive acceleration times, and sounding like a muscle car in the process. You could get one of these for as little as $15k, and a nice one too.
The greatest drawback of the 500SL is its price. This car was cheap for a long time, and because of this many of them were neglected, but if you manage to find one in decent condition, go for it, because the 500SL is one of the best Mercedes convertibles of all time.
In the 1990s, Mercedes was the leading car manufacturer in the world. No other brand could match the levels of engineering muscles Mercedes was flexing, and for this very reason, a 90s Benz will usually be a viable option.