The BMW M535i and the Mercedes 190E 2.3-16V, two 80’s icons that are very competitive. For example, they had both ABS, a limited slip differential, air conditioning, they even shared the same Getrag “dogleg first” 5-speed gearbox and had rear seats with two separate places.
The BMW is a genuine sports sedan, equipped with a 3.5 six-cylinder, the biggest BMW engine of that moment, good for 218bhp. What a wonderful car this is, fast and with a beautiful soundtrack. The Mercedes is very different, more modern, has a more extensive body package than the BMW, but still looks very civilized. Unbeleaveble this Mercedes did cost twice the price of a standard 190E which was even more than the BMW. Actually, the 190E 2.3-16V is a competitor of the BMW M3. The English magazine MOTOR of March 29, 1986 also considered the lager M535i was a better match for the Benz and published a “TwinTest” with the following conclusion:
“Is the BMW simply too strong for the talented Mercedes”? It looks that way. The 2.3-16V verges true greatness in some area’s -dynamically and astatically, certainly– and goes remarkably hard for a 2.3 liter car. The Mercedes is also build and finished to an exceptionally high standard and is in such short supply, that even at £ 21,245 it represents a solid investment. It’s a car of suitable experiences and understated good taste (interior notwithstanding) What it isn’t is an exciting package at a knock out price. Enter the BMW M535i. Subtlety isn’t this car middle name and, in the wet, you wouldn’t want to know it. But it’s a seriously fast car for four big people and their luggage and secure entertaining handling in the dry. Its engine is superb, its ergonomics faultless, its driver-appeal sky high. For less than 20 grand you can’t do better”
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