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How does a 116 compare to a 108?

Author Topic: How does a 116 compare to a 108?  (Read 8441 times)

gregdeklerk

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How does a 116 compare to a 108?
« on: 02 May 2007, 07:37 AM »
After our recent club meeting, it seems that 108's are very popular and their prices are on the increase. I know some of the members on this forum own 108's too. S class said he likes the exhaust tone of a 108!! I was wondering how these cars compare to the 116 as I am afraid that if I look for a 108 and buy it, it will compare poorly to the high standard of the 116.

I have driven a 280SE 108 for a couple of months and found it to be heavy on fuel!! I just think a late model 108 with double headlights and white wall tyres looks quite pretty!!

What do you guys think?

Grant V

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Re: How does a 116 compare to a 108?
« Reply #1 on: 02 May 2007, 07:49 AM »
The W116 is indeed of a high standard. I think that you cannot really compare the two cars, becuase they're from two entirely different generations. The W108 is basically a re-skinned Fintail - the suspension arrangements are virtually identical, whereas the W116 has an entirely new suspension set up, and it shows.
The only "W108" I have ever driven was a 6.3, and the only W116 I have ever driven is a 6.9. I find the 6.9 to be light years ahead of the 6.3 in terms of driving comfort and ergonomics.
Each of these cars represents their own identity for their time and must be driven with that in mind.
"You've bought another bloody car?!? We should have you committed!" he shrieked, storming out of the room

oscar

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Re: How does a 116 compare to a 108?
« Reply #2 on: 02 May 2007, 08:17 AM »
Each of these cars represents their own identity for their time and must be driven with that in mind.

Hi Guys,

Firstly I agree completely with Grant's statement above and it can be said again for exterior and interior styling, but I will compare the interiors and why I prefer the w116.

I think the 108 with Americana lights look great.   Externally they appear very attractive.

Though I think the interiors seem sparse.  Quite ironic for me to say so as many 108/9's have more internal options than my 350 or are on par.  I do like their double centre front armrests and chromed angled caps where the seat and backrest meet. 

A matter of personal preference, I'd rather the more modern look and feel of the w116 interior.  Modern dash, bulky door moulds, bulky steering wheel and prominent center console and gearbox tunnel.  The exterior of a w116, classy and sleek.

Never driven a 108, only sat in one.
1973 350SE, my first & fave

s class

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Re: How does a 116 compare to a 108?
« Reply #3 on: 02 May 2007, 08:21 AM »
They are very different cars.  the W116 feels like a modern car, the 108 can feel dated when you drive it.  Having said that, I love the feel of the 108.  Talking specifically 280SE, they should have smooth supple rides, engine is very quiet at idle.  Performance is considerably less than the 116 280SE.  Seating position is higher in the 108 - I always find I feel like a king sitting in one.  Love it.  But not to drive every day. 

Ryan

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

Martin 280s

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Re: How does a 116 compare to a 108?
« Reply #4 on: 02 May 2007, 08:58 AM »
They are very different cars.  the W116 feels like a modern car, the 108 can feel dated when you drive it.  Having said that, I love the feel of the 108.  Talking specifically 280SE, they should have smooth supple rides, engine is very quiet at idle.  Performance is considerably less than the 116 280SE.  Seating position is higher in the 108 - I always find I feel like a king sitting in one.  Love it.  But not to drive every day. 

Ryan

When I drive my 108, I know I'm in an old car, it just feels vintage, set up high and proud, against low and sleak (W116). Off idle the sound of the M130 motor is music, it also feels a bit more spritely than the M110. My w108 is super spartan inside but still a charm. After giving it a much desevered overhaul I'd like it to be my daily driver.
Well loved and cherished...
Lady Geneviève - 1976 - W116 280S
Lady Audrey - 1994 - W140
Lady Galatea - 1999 - BMW K1200 LT

michaeld

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Re: How does a 116 compare to a 108?
« Reply #5 on: 02 May 2007, 08:35 PM »
Somewhere in Paris, France, I hope that Denis is reading this thread, removing his glasses, and saying, "This looks like a job for..."

Seriously, Denis knows his stuff, and I'm pretty sure he's written about 108s.  You might do a search for 108 by user Denis.  In addition to our other wonderful contributors, of course!

It seemed like Denis has driven or knew the story of about every car ever made, and should have written all the Wikipedia articles for Mercedes cars.


gregdeklerk

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Re: How does a 116 compare to a 108?
« Reply #6 on: 02 May 2007, 09:59 PM »
So if i pose the question 108 or 350SE 116, the answer will be the latter? I am getting itchy feet with no space in the garage!! :(

BC

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Re: How does a 116 compare to a 108?
« Reply #7 on: 02 May 2007, 10:39 PM »
Quote
I am getting itchy feet ...

Either you have tinea or you need to migrate?  ;D
Regards,
BC
BC really didn't write that - he didn't; it was someone else...
What BC would have said was - 'Migrate and you will have room for both'.
« Last Edit: 02 May 2007, 11:08 PM by 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.

gregdeklerk

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Re: How does a 116 compare to a 108?
« Reply #8 on: 02 May 2007, 11:23 PM »
Quote
I am getting itchy feet ...

Either you have tinea or you need to migrate?  ;D
Regards,
BC
BC really didn't write that - he didn't; it was someone else...
What BC would have said was - 'Migrate and you will have room for both'.

So you are saying if I rub in some Lamisil, my garage space problem will be cured?

BC

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Re: How does a 116 compare to a 108?
« Reply #9 on: 02 May 2007, 11:32 PM »
Dear Greg,
Lamisil will cure only tinea. :(
Moving to Ozland may well cure the lack of garage space. ;D
There is an 'either' in the post that a sharp young attorney like you would detect. ???
There is a secret agenda on this forum to convince all 116 owners to migrate to Ozland and bring their cars. :o
I'm sure you have already sensed the existence of our fiendish plot?
It should NEVER be a question of 108 or 116. Rather, it should be a question of how many of each.
Regards,
BC
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.

s class

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Re: How does a 116 compare to a 108?
« Reply #10 on: 02 May 2007, 11:51 PM »
Greg, a 350SE or a 108 is a personal choice.  Its not like comparing a Corsa to a Fiesta.  116 and 108 are different.  It depends what you want - modern powerful motoring like a 350 or classic style and class like a 108.

Ryan

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

WGB

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Re: How does a 116 compare to a 108?
« Reply #11 on: 02 May 2007, 11:53 PM »
Mercedes enthusiast a couple of years ago did a road test between a 6.3 and a 6.9 (Both original examples from the Mercedes Museum I think). The comments were that they were very different cars and that the 116 was a much more modern relaxing drive if less involving.

Bill

Grant V

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Re: How does a 116 compare to a 108?
« Reply #12 on: 02 May 2007, 11:55 PM »
Greg,
I think you should consider what you want from the car and what it has to offer.
If you want someting older with it's own charm and character, then buy the 108. If you want something more modern, also with it's own charm and character, then buy the 350SE.
I enjoy driving my Fintail, but I know that when I start it up, it's going to be a slower, more gracious drive. When I'm in the mood for a bit of fun and feel like a hooligan, then I take the 6.9. So maybe you should buy the 108, so that you have someting to choose from to suit your mood.
"You've bought another bloody car?!? We should have you committed!" he shrieked, storming out of the room

CraigS

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Re: How does a 116 compare to a 108?
« Reply #13 on: 03 May 2007, 12:33 AM »
I have the advantage of having cars from the '50's, '60's and '70's, so will outline my thoughts. This is going a bit beyond the 108/9 vs W116 debate, but may be of interest.

300b 1955  - This is a very big, heavy car, running on cross ply tyres. The engine is a 3Lt 6 cylinder that was originally designed for a fire truck ! It is the same engine as the 300 SL Gullwing and Roadster, albeit with twin carbs instead of fuel injection. It is a 4 speed manual column shift. It feels stately, and attracts a lot of attention. It is not fast by any means, it is noisy, especially when travelling at 70 mph - especially engine noise because of the gearing, but it drives very smoothly and steering (no power assist) is easy, especially at speed. Absolute road presence.

220s 1958 Hydrak - If you have never had the pleasure, and I use this term lightly, this is a very good car to drive. It will (almost) keep up with modern traffic, but the gear ratio's again make it labour a little. Very comfortable at 60 mph, and the brakes (drum) work extremely well for an old car. The hydrak takes some getting used to and you cannot leave it with a valet to park !

220 SEb 1962  Automatic  - I am not a great fan of this car, and I'm really not sure why I bought it. It doesn't have the character of the two previous cars, it isn't any more powerful than the 220s, and is to my mind, lacking in personality. Maybe I need to drive it more !

300 SEL 6.3 - One of my favourites. This is a no holds barred, hot rod in a brick shaped sedan. There is not a lot of sophistication about it - except for the mechanicals, but in terms of style, it holds it's own. The gearbox is harsh, the air suspension hard, steering is a little wayward, but that engine ! Accelerate a little hard, and it will kick down to start in 1st gear and you know you are alive. It has extraordinary handling and even though it feels like it would break away at any moment, it is always manageable. Enormous glass area makes you feel that everyone can see you.

450 SEL 6.9  - The difference between the two generations is chalk and cheese ! The W116 is sophisticated, quiet, modern, and you feel a lot more cocooned than in a 6.3. The engine is smooth, almost silent, the gear changes imperceptible and you feel as though you don't really need to drive it like a 6.3. It almost drives itself. The seats are more comfortable, and is generally a much more modern package - but not as much fun !

280 CE - I have always like the shape of the coupes, but there is no comparison to a 6.9. The 6 cyl engine is slow, especially when coupled with the automatic. It is more of a leisurely drive, and could never be considered sporty - even though it was designed this way. Being a W123, they are extremely reliable, capable of huge mileages, and generally feel bomb proof.

michaeld

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Re: How does a 116 compare to a 108?
« Reply #14 on: 03 May 2007, 01:54 AM »
BTW,
FWIW, I have read that the 108s were more tempermental to maintain and harder to work on.

Anyone else on that?