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Garage => Test Drive => Topic started by: Nutz on 13 December 2006, 04:45 PM

Title: Are W126's better than W116's?
Post by: Nutz 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
Title: Re: Are W126's better than W116's?
Post by: BC 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
Title: Re: Are W126's better than W116's?
Post by: Nutz on 13 December 2006, 05:44 PM
What about performance and handling?
Title: Re: Are W126's better than W116's?
Post by: Des 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.
Title: Re: Are W126's better than W116's?
Post by: Mforcer 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.
Title: Re: Are W126's better than W116's?
Post by: Nutz 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
Title: Re: Are W126's better than W116's?
Post by: oscar 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.
Title: Re: Are W126's better than W116's?
Post by: s class 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
Title: Re: Are W126's better than W116's?
Post by: AMG69 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.!
Title: Re: Are W126's better than W116's?
Post by: s class 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  :-\
Title: Re: Are W126's better than W116's?
Post by: carl888 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.

     
Title: Re: Are W126's better than W116's?
Post by: BC 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
Title: Re: Are W126's better than W116's?
Post by: Des 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.

Title: Re: Are W126's better than W116's?
Post by: BC on 21 December 2006, 02:13 AM
If fuel consumption were an issue one could buy a Trabant. Perish the thought!!!
Regards,
BC
450SE - 1979
230E - 1986
ML320 - 2001
CLK350 -2006
And a few Lancias in the garage awaiting restoration....
Title: Re: Are W126's better than W116's?
Post by: Des on 21 December 2006, 02:42 AM
6.9's have a rev limiter?

Title: Re: Are W126's better than W116's?
Post by: AMG69 on 21 December 2006, 03:12 AM
I recently had my 6.9 at an indicated 240kmhr....assuming the speedo is slightly out it is reasonable to assume it was doing at least 230kmhr.  It had nothing left - but it was rock solid.  Oh, the fuel gauge moves pretty quickly at that speed!
Title: Re: Are W126's better than W116's?
Post by: carl888 on 21 December 2006, 04:51 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.



Des, I'm sorry, this is just plain wrong, no 6.9 has ever been offically timed at 150 mph.  The fastest time ever recorded for a 6.9 AFAIK was the European test that Paul Frere did at 236 km/h I believe. 

Regards,

Carl.


Title: Re: Are W126's better than W116's?
Post by: carl888 on 21 December 2006, 04:58 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 Brian Crump

I think that's a good way of putting it Brian, the 116 certianly feels more "Earthy" than the 126, you really feel connected to the road a bit more.  Maybe in refining the 126 there just a bit more rubber between the road and the seat!  I really like the design of the 116 centre console, I can't think of any car today that you could operate the ventilation controls without taking your eyes off the road, imagine what the 116 must have felt like when it was new 35 years ago. 

Regards,

Carl.

Title: Re: Are W126's better than W116's?
Post by: bahnstormer109 on 23 December 2006, 02:50 AM
as a 116 owner, i really only like the 126 for the ABS brakes, and those hot little puddle lights in the bottoms of the doors!

oh, and power seats are cool too, but thats just the 'options' junkie in me talking.

cheers,
Paolo.
Title: Re: Are W126's better than W116's?
Post by: Des on 28 December 2006, 03:20 PM
Des, I'm sorry, this is just plain wrong, no 6.9 has ever been offically timed at 150 mph.  The fastest time ever recorded for a 6.9 AFAIK was the European test that Paul Frere did at 236 km/h I believe. 

Regards,

Carl.


Hi Carl
I found the reference I was vaugely referring to:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercedes-Benz_450SEL_6.9

scroll down to the heading:

Autobahn cruiser versus race track

Quote
Top speed was factory-rated at 140 mph (225 km/h), but some journalists testing the car saw speeds approaching 150 mph (241 km/h). Among those journalists was Brock Yates.
Title: Re: Are W126's better than W116's?
Post by: AMG69 on 28 December 2006, 03:37 PM
still reckon mine was doing at least 230kmhr - on a dead straight road with no wind....(indicated 240 but I suspect speedo is "out"; one day I'll invest in a GPS and then there will be no arguments about speed!
Title: Re: Are W126's better than W116's?
Post by: oscar on 28 December 2006, 05:59 PM
one day I'll invest in a GPS and then there will be no arguments about speed!

Can't your other half "borrow" a radar gun?  Alternatively, drive past one on the highway and see how the courts determine how accurate your speedo is. ;D
Title: Re: Are W126's better than W116's?
Post by: Des on 29 December 2006, 01:38 PM
found this on the web, pity it doesn't show the tacho, 6.9 at 249k's

(http://www.500sec.com/images/speedopix/new/249kmh_6_9.jpg)
Title: Re: Are W126's better than W116's?
Post by: oscar on 29 December 2006, 02:13 PM
I swear, even with a 1/1000th of a second exposure you can see that fuel guage falling :D

Good find Des!  Hypothetically, if we're to be sceptical and say there's a discrepancy in accuracy, by what percentage, or what would the true speed be? 

I'm going to say it's under estimating true speed and it's doing 250. ;D
Title: Re: Are W126's better than W116's?
Post by: Des on 29 December 2006, 02:20 PM
i used to own a GPS device and when fitted to my w123 230 with correct tyres the speedometer would read 10% higher than what you were actually doing, keep you from getting a ticket

if it said 60k's you were doing low 50k's compared to what the GPS tracker said you were doing

never tried it in my 6.9 though
Title: Re: Are W126's better than W116's?
Post by: behrthermostat on 29 December 2006, 06:19 PM
What I find cute about the 126 are the options for the rear passengers - reclining rear seat, electric-powered rear sunshades, and of course, rear a/c ducts.

But the 116 feels more like a tank than the 126 (re: STEEL bumpers).
Title: Re: Are W126's better than W116's?
Post by: carl888 on 30 December 2006, 01:15 AM
found this on the web, pity it doesn't show the tacho, 6.9 at 249k's

(http://www.500sec.com/images/speedopix/new/249kmh_6_9.jpg)

Hi Des,

A great pic.  I have a question though.  I thought the first gear maximum mark on the speedo for 6.9's was at about 108 km/h, whereas in that pic it's about 95 (Where a 450 is) but the speedo is calibrated to 260, what gives???

From what I can tell, a 6.9 should do exactly 237 km/h flat out, that's the rev limited top speed of the engine.  If we assume that the speedo is about 6% optimistic (Which in my experience seems to be on the mark) the speedo should indicate about 250.

Regards,

Carl.

Title: Re: Are W126's better than W116's?
Post by: Des on 30 December 2006, 01:23 AM
Good point about the shift points, I didn't even realize till someone on here the other day mentioned what they were for, I had some vague notion that they were to do with speed limits in certain areas, so you would hold your car at the speed.

this is my speedometer which as you say has the higher shifting marks

(http://members.iinet.net.au/~vengeanceweapons/pics/000_0240.JPG)
Title: Re: Are W126's better than W116's?
Post by: robertd on 30 December 2006, 02:10 PM
Hi guys,
I have previously posted information that I think answers this question.
The two 6.9's I own have the following speedo/tacho combinations
 1977 Euro (High compression engine) gear markings 95,150. Redline 5000
 1979 Oz    ( with anti pollution crap)     "      "        105,170.    "       5300
I read somewhere that to compensate for the lose of power on engines with the anti-pollution gear, the engines were tuned to produce their peak power at higher revs.
This would explain the anomoly.
Regards Robert
 
Title: Re: Are W126's better than W116's?
Post by: Mforcer on 31 December 2006, 03:32 PM
still reckon mine was doing at least 230kmhr - on a dead straight road with no wind....(indicated 240 but I suspect speedo is "out"; one day I'll invest in a GPS and then there will be no arguments about speed!

I tested my speedo recently with a GPS unit and found the GPS to indicate about 5-10% higher than my speedo was indicating and have also found the same in other, newer cars I have tested. I think my speedo is more accurate than the GPS.
Title: Re: Are W126's better than W116's?
Post by: carl888 on 31 December 2006, 03:43 PM
Hi guys,
I have previously posted information that I think answers this question.
The two 6.9's I own have the following speedo/tacho combinations
 1977 Euro (High compression engine) gear markings 95,150. Redline 5000
 1979 Oz    ( with anti pollution crap)     "      "        105,170.    "       5300
I read somewhere that to compensate for the lose of power on engines with the anti-pollution gear, the engines were tuned to produce their peak power at higher revs.
This would explain the anomoly.
Regards Robert
 

Hi Robert,

Happy New Year to you and all w116's.  Hmmm, that's interesting, because the gearing is the same for the EU and Australian cars.  So the red line marks are different on your two 6.9's?  As the 6.9 seems willing to pull to the red line in top, that makes the Australian version the fastest?  Seems odd. 

Are you around in January?  I'd like to make a trip to see you!

Regards,

Carl.



Title: Re: Are W126's better than W116's?
Post by: oscar on 08 January 2007, 03:07 AM
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. 

Hi Carl,

Throwing a quote in from the first page.  Firstly "ill -informed" Absolutely  :D  I'll admit, W116 bias and prejudice against other MB variants is a developing trait in me ;D I can't help it.  It would be entertaining to see the comments on the same topic in a W126 forum.

Nonetheless, I was reading over this thread again for some info and wondered what "Cd and Cx" means?
Cheers,
Simon
Title: Re: Are W126's better than W116's?
Post by: carl888 on 08 January 2007, 03:36 AM
Hi Simon,

The Cx and Cd are really the same thing, the coefficient of drag, the Americans tend to use Cd, the Europeans Cx.  This is quite a good blurb about aerodynamics, have a read here:

http://www.citroen.mb.ca/cItROeNet/miscellaneous/aero/aero01.html

Regards,

Carl.



Title: Re: Are W126's better than W116's?
Post by: robertd on 08 January 2007, 02:44 PM
G'Day Carl,
I am on annual leave for the next couple of weeks, with some sort day trips here and there. It would be great to catch up, I look forward to hearing from you. I'd better go and tidy the shed.
Regards Robert
Title: Re: Are W126's better than W116's?
Post by: oscar on 10 January 2007, 05:55 AM
Thanks Carl, that's a great in depth article and a great read even if the formulas go over my head.  Disregarding the concept cars, it's amazing  how production cars follow a trend, bring out something that you'd think can't be streamlined any further, yet the next model they do.  I posted a picture a long while back of a beautiful Citroen DS near Tocumwal that was on a drive with other Citroens.  Sometimes I see new cars designed with aerodynamics in mind that seem to sacrifice looks.  The DS IMO is one of those older cars that retains style and still achieves an aerodynamic design.  It's interesting to see the lengths the manufacturers will go to to determine drag.  I also learned a new term for spoilers - corrective adjuncts!

Robertd, I was just catching up on newer photos on the gallery and saw your shed and cars.  Very, very nice. :) Have you typed a complete list of cars elsewhere that I've missed? Just curious on what the 108/109's are and the stripped 116. Cheers.