Pros: Beautiful Styling, Smooth Ride, Great Gas Mileage
Cons: No cup holders, no fold down rear seat and no traditional glovebox
This car is absolutely perfect. It looks great, rides incredibly smooth, gives 35 MPG and goes about 700 miles between fueling stations.
In town Driving: Smooth ride that absorbs even the most annoying potholes or speed bumps. Incredibly tight turning circle, easily make U-turns just about anywhere or squeeze into tight parking spots. The visibility in this car is great with no blind spots and an A/C system which is ice cold.
Highway driving: Very smooth, firm, quiet ride with tight steering control and excellent feel. The key here is good tires. When replacing MB tires, stick with OEM Michelin or Continental tires, they are quieter and smoother than the Pirelli's or other brands, but thats another Epinion.
Traction: Wet & Snow traction is awesome thanks to the ASD. I'm not sure exactly what it stands for, but what it does is that anytime slippage is detected, it automatically locks the differential and turns both wheels simultaneously at the same speed and lights up a triangular light in the instrument cluster warning you of slippery conditions. There is also a variant known as ASR which also makes that to work in conjunction with the ABS braking system that help control all 4 wheels using brakes and the locking differential that is available on newer models. But ASD works great helping me get up my steep driveway even in the snowiest of conditions.
I honestly cannot think of anything I don't like about the car other than the fact that there are no cupholders, no fold down rear seat for long objects and there is no traditional glovebox. There is a lockable cubby in the center console which holds stuff, but it is too small to hold the owners manual. And I use the ashtray as a change box.
Other niceties included in this car that I love include:
Real (not that fake stuff) Zebrano Wood interior trim, comfortable seats made of MBTex, leather like comfort but far more durable and easy to clean. Leather is fine too, but I've seen MB Tex that is 25 years old and shows little wear.
If you've got kids, I'd prefer the MBTex over Leather.
Lighted door bottoms so you can see where you're stepping, single windshield wiper that cleans more than most two wiper systems, AM/FM/Casette/6disc CD changer with 5 speakers (awesome) and things like automatic window/sunroof closing & window opening when you lock or unlock the car (and hold the key for a few seconds). Many of these luxuries can be found in newer luxury cars but this was all there back in 1995 and it all works extremely well.
The biggest drawback is that with such great gas mileage in a luxury car that hardly requires fueling, the concept of buying an SUV (which I would love to have) or any other car for that matter is not appealing as who wants to spend time or money fueling it up. As it stands now, I refuel about once every two weeks for ~$50 a month.
The car replaced my 1989 Mercedes 190E 2.6 with an inline gas 6 cylinder engine. If one would compare the two, the diesel is slightly noisier but just as smooth. In fact, many of my friends had not realized that the car was a diesel. But if you've spent any time in Europe, you will notice that diesel engines have come a long way. You will also notice that nearly every taxi cab in Europe is a Mercedes Diesel, that's because they drive them for 600,000 km (around town) before the engines need any major work. This car does not have the diesel smoke or smell and has great pick-up (thanks to direct injection and 4 valves per cylinder) even at highway speeds. The ride is a little soft for a sport sedan, but nonetheless very controlled. With traction control, anti-lock brakes, multiple airbags I feel incredibly safe.
And don't forget, this car is a Mercedes Benz, built like no other car in the world!