Author Topic: Are W126's better than W116's?  (Read 15070 times)

Nutz

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Are W126's better than W116's?
« on: 13 December 2006, 04:45 PM »

I'm always trading punches defending W116's against the W126 crowds remarks.I've never owned one so maybe someone here has some real world comparisons.What makes the W126 in their eyes better? I'll admit I do like the appearance of them  :-X

BC

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Re: Are W126's better than W116's?
« Reply #1 on: 13 December 2006, 04:54 PM »
The 126 is a plasticised version of a 116. Nothing does chrome like a 116. I recently pulled into the local dealership in the 116 (OK - so I parked at the front door for effect - flaunt it while you can is my motto) and was swarmed by salesmen who had not seen one in the flesh! 'Look at the chrome' they cried, in amazement. 'Wow - how can something so old look so beautiful' said one of them. 'Hey - look at the leather!!!!' Pure amazement!! Try that in a 126 and you will see the objective difference. "Wow - look at the plastic' has a slightly hollow ring to it....
Regards,
Brian
1979 450SE. Silvergreen/Ivory leather. For sale.
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Nutz

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Re: Are W126's better than W116's?
« Reply #2 on: 13 December 2006, 05:44 PM »
What about performance and handling?

Des

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Re: Are W126's better than W116's?
« Reply #3 on: 13 December 2006, 09:19 PM »
What about performance and handling?

I heard that the W126 560SEL has nearly the same power and torque as the mighty W116 6.9, but better fuel ecconomy.
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Mforcer

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Re: Are W126's better than W116's?
« Reply #4 on: 13 December 2006, 10:02 PM »
I agree that a W126 is just a W116 with plastic instead of chrome. It is the chrome that makes a W116 so special when compared with newer cars.  Looking at the engines etc, there isn't much of a change apart from the use of aluminium blocks and newer injection systems. Anyone should expect refinement over ten or so years of development but there isn't anything amazing with a W126 compared to the W116.

Even MB didn't think the change was large enough to warrant bumping the model code more than from W116 to W126 (why wasn't the next S-Class a W136?) :P

As for performance and handling, this can't be the major selling point when talking about 20 or 30+ year old cars... The best part of old cars is the style and class and in this respect there is no doubt that a W116 beats a W126 easily. The W116 will always be a an older looking car with performance and handling characteristics good enough (or even better!) compared to much newer cars. The W126 will always look like a newer although dated car, but without the newer cars performance and handling characteristics.

I always did like the SEC W126 for being a big 2-door but I also remember my first impression of one which was that the interior was all to similar to the W116. But that is one of the best things about MB cars... generally there is a gradual evolution of the cars rather than revolution.
Michael
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Nutz

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Re: Are W126's better than W116's?
« Reply #5 on: 13 December 2006, 11:08 PM »
I agree that a W126 is just a W116 with plastic instead of chrome. It is the chrome that makes a W116 so special when compared with newer cars.  Looking at the engines etc, there isn't much of a change apart from the use of aluminium blocks and newer injection systems. Anyone should expect refinement over ten or so years of development but there isn't anything amazing with a W126 compared to the W116.

Even MB didn't think the change was large enough to warrant bumping the model code more than from W116 to W126 (why wasn't the next S-Class a W136?) :P

As for performance and handling, this can't be the major selling point when talking about 20 or 30+ year old cars... The best part of old cars is the style and class and in this respect there is no doubt that a W116 beats a W126 easily. The W116 will always be a an older looking car with performance and handling characteristics good enough (or even better!) compared to much newer cars. The W126 will always look like a newer although dated car, but without the newer cars performance and handling characteristics.

I always did like the SEC W126 for being a big 2-door but I also remember my first impression of one which was that the interior was all to similar to the W116. But that is one of the best things about MB cars... generally there is a gradual evolution of the cars rather than revolution.

That's beautiful  ;D

oscar

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Re: Are W126's better than W116's?
« Reply #6 on: 14 December 2006, 01:21 AM »
I agree with all of you but has anyone done a back to back comparison or close enough to one? 

The extra features used to grab my attention like all the electrical bits and motors but that doesn't make it a better car.  Like someone said in a thread long ago, you don't need a radio in a w116.  You don't need anything above what the top 116 sel models have. 

Having put a 70's Becker Monza in mine, I rarely listen to it.  It just looks good.  On Monday just gone I took the 350 to Wagga 200km away, I listened to the car.  I listened to the news at one stage but that's it, then the music was a distraction to what I really wanted to hear. A bit corny? No way!

Infact, when I got to Wagga, my mechanic showed me a 300sel he had just acquired.  The PO's were original and ordered and bought the car whilst in Switzerland, drove round Europe, then brought it back to Aus.  It has had new rings and things done to the engine, modest mileage on the clock (200k km I think, very approx).  Unmarked cream leather interior, it appears to be a good 126.  I was asked if I wanted to buy it.  I couldn't get interested in it.  They just don't grab my attention.  I don't like the squarer cluster, striped door linings, thinner seats, plastic bits,- oh and the poxy economy thingy.   First saw one in a Holden I think years and years ago.  Just plain gimmicky and distracting.  The cluster itself lacks style. 

Actually, growing up in the 80's I hated 80's styling, music and fashion, and thought the 70's were  8) even though everyone else thought flared jeans looked dumb.   There's too many features in the 126 that takes me to a place I don't want to be.  If you don't believe me, look at the parallel striped door lining on the interior moulds of many 126's. YUK!  Have I mentioned the cluster? :P ;D It's got 80's written all over it. I like taking the mickey out of the 80's though, the movie The Wedding Singer a favourite, and if I had a 126, I'd  cover that blue dash with a dash mat that looks like a synthesiser.

If I ever got one, it'd be for convenience sake being more modern with a modern look and blending into the rest of traffic. Throw in a V8 version for the thrill factor, and preferrably the 560sel for all the bells and whistles.  Given the choice between a top condition 6.9 and a top condition 560.

6.9, easy.
1973 350SE, my first & fave

s class

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Re: Are W126's better than W116's?
« Reply #7 on: 14 December 2006, 03:39 AM »
I've driven the following 126's :

300SE, 500SE, 560SEL, 560SEC.

300SE's always feel underpowered compared to my W116 280SE.  The v8's are nice, but they lack the character of the W116.  The W126 chassis (especially the later ones) is more refined and quieter than the W116, but you loose the sense of immediacy with the road.  The 560SEC is quick - and due to its quietness you don't realise just how quick you are going.  I find it is a brilliant car, you quickly get huge confidence, but at the end of the day for my money its just TOO accomplished and it gets in the way of the fun of driving, something the W116 doesn't do.

I know that the 560 is supposed to be close to the 6.9, but it doesn't have the same sense of torque and thrust off the mark.  Its more refined and less of a beast.  For my money the quadcam 500 engine in the W140 is MUCH quicker and better sounding than the 560. And the M119 500 in the W140 is a beast - don't be deceived by the styling of the car. 

Ryan

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AMG69

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Re: Are W126's better than W116's?
« Reply #8 on: 14 December 2006, 03:41 PM »
throw a four speed auto in a 6.9 (like the 560) and say a 2.95 diff ratio and its good bye 560.... :D

Throw in all the options available on the 6.9 (leather, heated front and rear seats, reclining rear seat, orthpod seats, curtains etc etc) add some bigger rims and hey presto -  to me its still the better car.!
sigh....sitting back contemplating the next purchase..!

s class

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Re: Are W126's better than W116's?
« Reply #9 on: 16 December 2006, 12:13 AM »
styria,

Very well put, thanks.  I remember when the W126 was first released.  Locally they were referred to as "the plastic Mercedes".  The gen 2 version did a lot to fix that, and I think you are right, they have attained timeless elegance. 

Relatning to 560 vs 6.9, for me the 6.9 is just so much more special and exotic.  I can't quite picture Ronin being filmed with a turd brown 560SEL. 

Of the 560SEL's I've driven, most had shagged suspension, but one was in excellent condition and it was quite a unique driving experience.  It felt very slow, even doing 80 through a residential area, due to the quietness and stability.  Out in a less trafficked area, I was able to push along a bit, and I got a hint of what it might be like at very high speeds - super confident, quiet and sure footed and totally effortless.  I presume a well sorted 6.9 will give a similar experience?

If all goes well this weekend, by tomorrow I may know what a well sorted W140 feels like too  :-\

'76 6.9 Euro, '78 6.9 AMG, '80 280SE, '74 350SE, '82 500SEL euro full hydro, '83 500SEL euro full hydro , '81 500SL

carl888

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Re: Are W126's better than W116's?
« Reply #10 on: 20 December 2006, 09:33 PM »
Hard question to answer, and reading some of the ill informed responses, not many 1st hand experinces either!  If you are worried about the chrome, go and buy a Cadillac!

I think the biggest differences between the two is refinement.  The 126 is significantly better in terms of noise insulation and having a much lower Cd and Cx over the 116 allows superior fuel consumption figures, not to mention top speeds.  Even the base 280 S 126 still did 200 km/h in Automatic form.  I think the 116 with the metal door handles and high quality chrome is a work of art and the beautiful twin crease on the bonnet is such a lovely view from the drivers seat.  I'm old enough to recall when 108's were all the rage and 116's were looked at as big, ugly 1970's barges but they really have stood the test of time very well IMO.  But to consider aesthetics alone is to misunderstand Mercedes Benz engineering.  You can't see the ABS, Zincrox rust protection and better crash performance from the outside of a W126.  To drive there is not much to split them, I find a W126 is a bit more refined on the highway and around town a little more nimble.  It's lovely to open the sunroof of a 450 though and listen to the V8 burble waft you along. 

When I was looking for a car, I really didn't care what I bought, but I just wanted the best example I could find.  If you get a good 116 or 126, and you get 20 years of good, fun realiable motoring, then that's all that matters. 

An Australian 560 SEL with 248 BHP will do 0-100 in 7.1 and reach 238 km/h, the 296 BHP Leaded Euro version does 0-100 in 6.6 and does 246 km/h.  No 6.9 Euro or otherwise will get near one I'm sorry guys.

Regards,

Carl.

     

BC

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Re: Are W126's better than W116's?
« Reply #11 on: 21 December 2006, 01:40 AM »
Well I guess I am one of the un-informed!! So be it!!
When I began looking for a Benz, of this style, 6 years ago I looked first at the 126 in various guises and was impressed by the smoothness of power delivery and ride comfort. I looked for the best available examples and found some that were certainly concourse condition. Build quality was excellent and appointments were certainly up to contemporary expectations. However, what was missing was the mechanical feel and affiliation with road sense that I like. I found it with the 116. Clearly the 116 is a ground-breaker in terms of safety and handling in a car so large and refinements came with each successive 126 model, but, in my humble opinion, at the expense of the driver's engagement with the car as a mechanism. Yes, the 116 steering is a little more hard work on a twisting hairpin road than is a 126 but equally it can be more sensitively balanced by judicious use of the accelerator. No, the 116 does not have ABS but then a skilled driver can modulate braking under many circumstances. The sound of the V8 rumble whilst driving with the windows down is a true pleasure (if that's what you like) and engages the aural senses more satisfactorily that the muted sounds of the 126 engines.
The 116 I bought was the best example I could find after a long search. The previous owner had fanatically changed both oil and filter every 3000ks since new and I have never regretted buying it over a similar 126.
Chrome? The 116 does it tastefully. A Cadillac? I regret; I must decline.
Each to his own.
Regards,
Brian Crump
1979 450SE. Silvergreen/Ivory leather. For sale.
2001 ML320. Titanite Red/Java leather.
2007 CLK350. Cubanite/Pebble Beige Leather.
1993 Silver Spirit II. Dark Oyster/Parchment Leather.

Des

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Re: Are W126's better than W116's?
« Reply #12 on: 21 December 2006, 01:57 AM »
An Australian 560 SEL with 248 BHP will do 0-100 in 7.1 and reach 238 km/h, the 296 BHP Leaded Euro version does 0-100 in 6.6 and does 246 km/h.  No 6.9 Euro or otherwise will get near one I'm sorry guys.


6.9's when new were road tested to 150mph, thats 240kmh,

The factory 0-60 time was 7.5, much like the top speed I would say this is also under rated.

Fuel consumption isn't an issue, well it shouldn't be with a luxury car, if it is you have the wrong car.

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BC

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Re: Are W126's better than W116's?
« Reply #13 on: 21 December 2006, 02:13 AM »
If fuel consumption were an issue one could buy a Trabant. Perish the thought!!!
Regards,
BC
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And a few Lancias in the garage awaiting restoration....
1979 450SE. Silvergreen/Ivory leather. For sale.
2001 ML320. Titanite Red/Java leather.
2007 CLK350. Cubanite/Pebble Beige Leather.
1993 Silver Spirit II. Dark Oyster/Parchment Leather.

Des

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Re: Are W126's better than W116's?
« Reply #14 on: 21 December 2006, 02:42 AM »
6.9's have a rev limiter?

1977 W123 230 
1977 W116 280S *new*
1980 W123 250
VW Beetle "Oval Window"
VW Golf Mk1
Volvo 240GL
Volvo 740GLE