What is it?

It’s Mercedes’ first entry into the compact premium segment and the predecessor of the model we now know as the C-Class. It served as an entry-level model for the brand when it debuted until the A-Class arrived in 1997.

When and where was it made?

Introduced in November 1982, the 190 entered production a month later at the company's factory in the German city of Sindelfingen, followed by another plant in Bremen a couple of months later. It was also manufactured in Poland and Thailand with a total of 1,874,668 units built until April 1993.

Mercedes-Benz 190

Why is it awesome?

In the early 1980s, Mercedes was late to the compact premium segment party with the BMW 3 Series dominating the sector, followed by the Audi 80 and Saab 900. That was highly unacceptable for the marque, which invested over $600 million in developing its first compact model. Such a massive investment resulted in “massively over-engineered” car.

It was almost an instant sales success in Europe, where customers were happy to drive a cheaper but very well designed Mercedes. The car featured a patented five-link independent rear suspension, front and rear anti-roll bars, anti-dive and anti-squat geometry - as well as optionally available airbags, ABS brakes, and seatbelt pre-tensioners.

Mercedes-Benz 190
Mercedes-Benz 190
Mercedes-Benz 190

After the first few years, the model also proved to be extremely reliable with many diesel examples easily doing more than 500,000 kilometers without any major work. During the years, Mercedes created several limited editions which, among some of the rarer engine versions, are now somewhat of a collector’s items.

The 190 was also the first Mercedes to get official AMG treatment with original Mercedes new car warranty. About 200 cars were made sold at about $90,000 each.

What’s so special about this ad?

Its simplicity. Why spend tons of money on animations, guest actors, or risky high-speed scenes, when you can simply explain why your car is the best? Just say the truth – the 190 brings “new levels of driving satisfaction,” has advanced independent suspension, and high levels of comfort. That’s all, thank you.

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Gallery: Mercedes-Benz 190

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