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Estate, 300TD, Wagon: W123 vs. W124

  #1  
Old 02-28-2016, 03:33 PM
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Default Estate, 300TD, Wagon: W123 vs. W124

I posted this here, as it seemed the proper place. If not, please move to the appropriate section, thanks.

Really on the fence about this. Will be purchasing either a W123 or W124 300TD-T Estate in the near future, but not sure which one to get. Will be using it to drive from Seattle to Los Angeles (1,200mi) about 4 times a year, plus using the car daily in the local LA or Seattle area. It will get used a lot. There are a series of moderate mountains with curves in southern Oregon/northern California, very enjoyable to run through. I drive quickly, and having a 1.9L Jetta TDi presently, learned over time how to make up for a lack of power (though that li'l rascal is quite 'torquey') with momentum.

The dilemma is this: I found generally from research that the OM617 is more reliable than the OM603 (#14 head, rod-bender), but gather that the W124 estate will have substantially more power, quieter, more comfortable, and better driving dynamics for my purpose (mountains, curves, most comfort over long distances, daily local use) than a W123. True? But the W123 is quite a bit 'more reliable' (iron head, etc.), parts more plentiful.

Is the W124/OM603 enough of a 'better' car for my purpose to deal with known 603 engine issues, or is it only marginally better than the W123/OM617, thus making the W123 the better choice? I'd be grateful for the input of those who have driven both and can tell me how much 'better' for my purposes the W124 Estate is than the W123 Estate. Is it? Of course all constructive input on this subject is most gratefully welcome.
 
  #2  
Old 02-28-2016, 10:47 PM
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Thank you for your input. My experience searching eBay/Craiglist/PeachParts, etc. so far is that the W123 Estate is generally more expensive than the W124 Estate for similar condition. Perhaps further into collector status. What I am trying to find out is what the driving dynamics of one vs. the other are like. The abilities and comfort of the car are the first priority, unless there's not a lot of difference between the two in that regard. Perhaps I wasn't clear enough.
Originally Posted by ForcedInduction View Post
Both are very expensive, to buy and maintain because of their wagon specific parts. But the W124 is generally the same price as an equivalent condition W123.
 

Last edited by EstateFan; 02-29-2016 at 12:19 AM.
  #3  
Old 02-29-2016, 07:14 PM
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Thank you for your input about W124 series in general. I've driven several W123 Estates, W124 Estates are scarce on the ground here. Having a diesel wagon now, and some degree of self-control, I am indeed being patient in my search.

There is a very nice W124 Estate for sale (with probably a #22 head) in Canada right now, but he is asking too much and is an expert in all things, thus making discussion difficult.

The particular sea of W123s I am fishing in has only 28k+ cars to choose from, not 1.4M. Though my experience so far with buyers, sellers, dealers, and enthusiasts has shown that the W123 Estate is indeed at least approaching 'collector status', I shall clutch your opinion to my chest as though from on high.
 
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