The W123-generation Mercedes-Benz had been around for a while by the time this particular brochure dedicated to the 230E was issued in August 1980, but it was still a highly competitive executive saloon: ‘In the 230E, the 2.3-litre four-cylinder fuel-injection engine enables high speeds to be reached and maintained effortlessly’.
This was certainly a better-performing model than the entry-level 200E, with its 2299cc four-cylinder powerplant offering what Mercedes called ‘great flexibility’ and an ‘economical use of fuel’. But fans of the W123 were perhaps more impressed by the car’s superb build quality and its reputation for high-mileage reliability.
There’s always a downside though, and in this case it was the 230E’s 1980 list price of £9450 – which meant it was up against better-equipped saloons like the £9303 Ford Granada 2.3 Ghia and the £8899 Volvo 264GL. Still, the prestige of driving a brand new Mercedes never did come cheap.