Author Topic: Opinions on 280se  (Read 436 times)

rosenfe

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Opinions on 280se
« on: 12 February 2017, 09:04 PM »
I have owned 2  1979 300sd ,but now am interested in 116 chassis 280se. What are your opinions about the se vs 300 sd

13B

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Re: Opinions on 280se
« Reply #1 on: 13 February 2017, 03:52 AM »
If you are after performance go for one of the V8s.

The reported MPG figures back in the day were 13MPG for the 450SEL and 6.9, about the same for the 350SE, 15MPG for the 280S and 280SE, and 26MPG for the 300SD.  Given that the 280SE has roughly the same acceleration as the 300SD you are paying more for the petrol to do the same job if you choose a 280SE over a 300SD.

The V8s, particularly the M117 give an enormous power and torque increase over the 5 and 6 cylinder brothers, while using only a little more petrol than the 6 in the 280SE.  The reason for this is the 280SE is a relatively small 2.8L engine for the size of the car and has to work hard keeping that heavy car moving.  The 4.5L M117 is just about the right sized engine for the car's size so it doesn't have to work nearly as hard as the 6, so you're not "on" that gas as much.

I know I know the 6 cyl fans hate when I say this and while I am glad they are happy with their cars, I will admit I am V8 biased so take what I say whichever way you like.

Just my 2c worth.

Ian.

450SEL 6.9 #5440 = V MB 690 , 450SE # 43094 = 02010 H , 190E/turbo # 31548 = AOH 68K

daantjie

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Re: Opinions on 280se
« Reply #2 on: 13 February 2017, 11:55 AM »
If you are after performance go for one of the V8s.

The reported MPG figures back in the day were 13MPG for the 450SEL and 6.9, about the same for the 350SE, 15MPG for the 280S and 280SE, and 26MPG for the 300SD.  Given that the 280SE has roughly the same acceleration as the 300SD you are paying more for the petrol to do the same job if you choose a 280SE over a 300SD.

The V8s, particularly the M117 give an enormous power and torque increase over the 5 and 6 cylinder brothers, while using only a little more petrol than the 6 in the 280SE.  The reason for this is the 280SE is a relatively small 2.8L engine for the size of the car and has to work hard keeping that heavy car moving.  The 4.5L M117 is just about the right sized engine for the car's size so it doesn't have to work nearly as hard as the 6, so you're not "on" that gas as much.

I know I know the 6 cyl fans hate when I say this and while I am glad they are happy with their cars, I will admit I am V8 biased so take what I say whichever way you like.

Just my 2c worth.

Ian.

Agree with Ian here.  The M117 is a super smooth V8.  Let's face it, the 6.9 is too much power for most any day - to day driving.  In the 450 SEL the power delivery of the 117 is very nice, just right IMHO.  Also, let's not forget that the 117 was arguably one of the best engines ever made by Benz.
Daniel
1977 450 SEL 6.9 - Astralsilber

midnitesunmerc

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Re: Opinions on 280se
« Reply #3 on: 15 February 2017, 12:04 PM »
If you are after performance go for one of the V8s.

The reported MPG figures back in the day were 13MPG for the 450SEL and 6.9, about the same for the 350SE, 15MPG for the 280S and 280SE, and 26MPG for the 300SD.  Given that the 280SE has roughly the same acceleration as the 300SD you are paying more for the petrol to do the same job if you choose a 280SE over a 300SD.

The V8s, particularly the M117 give an enormous power and torque increase over the 5 and 6 cylinder brothers, while using only a little more petrol than the 6 in the 280SE.  The reason for this is the 280SE is a relatively small 2.8L engine for the size of the car and has to work hard keeping that heavy car moving.  The 4.5L M117 is just about the right sized engine for the car's size so it doesn't have to work nearly as hard as the 6, so you're not "on" that gas as much.

I know I know the 6 cyl fans hate when I say this and while I am glad they are happy with their cars, I will admit I am V8 biased so take what I say whichever way you like.

Just my 2c worth.

Ian.

Correct - my 280SE is sluggish around town and I find I have to shift the transmission manually just to keep up with traffic on the avenues or uphills - out on the highway above 4000rpm it's a different story and it loves to cruise in this range and above.

As for fuel mileage, I think the best I did on my long drive back from California was 20mpg (imperial gallon).

1977 280SE Colorado Gold
1979 280SE Euro model (parts only)

Scotty

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Re: Opinions on 280se
« Reply #4 on: 15 February 2017, 02:43 PM »
My 1978 280 SEL has done 325k and runs very well. I don't know whether the engine has been reconditioned but on a trip I can get in the mid- high 20s mpg - 27 from memory has been the highest, driven quietly. Don't know about around town. I find the power more than adequate in town, providing you plant your foot and don't take off gingerly. Don't really car about mpg. From the comments above maybe mine has had work done but I don't know. Sixes are cheaper to buy and run, and you still get all the style bar the rumble of an eight.

I bought my 280 because it came up locally, right colour etc - not because it was a six. An eight would have sufficed.

beagle2022

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Re: Opinions on 280se
« Reply #5 on: 15 February 2017, 03:54 PM »
I agree with Scotty.  My 280sel works hard on hills in town at low speeds, but once over 4000rpm it flies along nicely.  The motor is busy but I have learned to appreciate that.  At 312,000 kms I am sure the engine is noisier than when it left the factory. And fuel consumption in stop-start traffic is awful, but on the highway it returns about 12 litres per 100kms.  Not sure what that is in MPG.  I have removed ALL the stupid 1970's pollution gear.
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s class

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Re: Opinions on 280se
« Reply #6 on: 16 February 2017, 12:10 AM »
I used a 1980 280SE as a daily driver for about 15 years, adding 350 000km to its odometer in that time.  Performance was more than OK at coastal altitude, but in Johannesburg (1600m elevation), its a little strained. Handling is nice and crisp with the lower engine weight.   My pick of the 116 family for daily driver duty would be a 450SE.  The engine is still light enough for handling to be OK, and performance is useful.  I have also used by AMG6.9 as a daily for a couple of years, and the fuel consumption is punitive, even with new injectors, timing chain, everything properly set up.  Performance is vicious, but really a bit more than needed.  And its a handful in the tight and twisty stuff due to the massive engine weight. 

Not sure where you're from, but my cars are all euro spec, so the 280 has 185hp.  THe US spec 280 has a LOT less power, which I would think would make it a bit too lethargic for modern traffic. 

My 280SE is now on 565 000km IIRC, and I'm getting started on a full rebuild.  The intent is to return it to daily driver duty after the rebuild. 

'77 6.9 Euro, '78 6.9 AMG, '80 280SE, '74 350SE, '82 500SEL euro full hydro, '83 500SEL euro full hydro , '81 500SL

ptashek

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Re: Opinions on 280se
« Reply #7 on: 16 February 2017, 05:23 AM »
Comparing the 280 to a 450, I'd go for the 450. Much more power, but first and foremost far better torque. And the fuel economy isn't much worse either.

I can easily get 14.5l/100km in motorway traffic, all day any day. In city traffic it's not that great, so the split of city/rural mileage would be my deciding factor between the two.

The 350 is somewhere in between, revs much nicer then the 450, outpowers the 280 but isn't that much better on fuel than the other V8s.

Also as s-class said - if we're talking US models, I'd probably not even consider the 280.
1979 "Icon Gold" 450SE (history, restoration pics)
1977 "Milan Brown" 350SE (parted out, parts for sale / swap)

midnitesunmerc

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Re: Opinions on 280se
« Reply #8 on: 16 February 2017, 11:29 AM »
I would have certainly preferred a 450SE/SEL but I happened to buy the 280 that became my parts car first so it just made more sense to buy a similar car for a driver; I had intended to get the first car on the road but it soon became obvious that it was just too far gone to pour money into.
1977 280SE Colorado Gold
1979 280SE Euro model (parts only)

shaggy

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Re: Opinions on 280se
« Reply #9 on: 15 April 2017, 12:30 PM »
The (Euro) 280SE is a very different car to the V8's in my opinion.

All the above comments are true but the 280 is lighter and this makes the car feel more agile. Also, the m110 engine is a still very much a classic and is absolute bullet-proof. It certainly feels 'busy' and strangely lacking in refinement for such a chunky, square, chrome-dripped car, but it's certainly not without charm.  And more fuel efficient, although only marginally.

marku

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Re: Opinions on 280se
« Reply #10 on: 16 April 2017, 12:15 PM »
The bigger the better. Would have had a 6.9 if I had come across one before the 450 but in retrospect the 450 is still relatively easy to work on so perhaps it was for the best.
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