The Mercedes 300-Series has evolved alongside the evolution of the automaker itself, encompassing dozens of vehicles from the venerable German brand. In general, these vehicles have offered discerning car buyers luxury, efficiency, and performance, all wrapped up in a stylish German package. From the original Type 300, first introduced in 1951, all the way up through the latest offering from Mercedes-Benz, the 2013 E300 BlueTec Hybrid, these flagship vehicles have exhibited all of the excellence of Mercedes, establishing the automaker as the premiere luxury brand of the 20th and 21st centuries.
Today, used 300-Series Mercedes populate the pre-owned car market, with buyers eager to get their hands on these prime examples of German engineering. Buyers looking to purchase a 300-Series should realise that when buying a Mercedes-Benz you’re not just buying a car, you’re buying a lifestyle.
You can trace the heritage of the latest 300-series all the way back to the original T300. The Mercedes-Benz Type 300 was first offered in 1951. These were magnificent cars, and they were to be the brand’s flagship vehicle throughout the 1950s. The largest cars available from the automaker, the Type 300s could be compared to the top range of today’s modern Mercedes-Benz S-Class, and they represented everything that the German car manufacturer stood for: power, exclusivity, luxury, elegance, and excellence.
There were both four-door and two-door Type 300s produced in the 1950’s, with the four-door rivalling the Rolls Royce Silver Cloud in performance and luxury. Made to target businessmen and politicians, these original bearers of the ‘300’ moniker featured a radio, a mobile telephone, and a dictation machine. Popular with the German chancellor at the time, Konrad Adenauer, he even went as far as to install writing desks, curtains, sunroofs, and sirens in his Type 300. These original 300s were available in many body configurations including coupes, convertibles, and limousines.
As automobile technology changed and advanced, so did the 300-Series. With each new offering in the line, Mercedes made sure to incorporate all the latest technology and features into the cars. For example, even in the 1960s, the 300s featured power steering, air suspension, and an automatic transmission, alongside the classic luxury features like expensive wood and leather. Mercedes made a concerted effort to put their most cutting-edge technology into each 300 in the series, resulting in a line of cars with a near-royal pedigree and an unmatched automotive heritage. Today, new 300s are still available from Mercedes, but the classic and beautiful cars of old can only be found on the pre-owned market.
Over six decades, the 300-Series has gone through such a mind-boggling number of engines, powertrains, and transmissions that it is beyond the scope of this article to catalogue them all here. Let’s take a look at three representative examples from key periods in the history of the model. The original standard of the 300-Series, created in 1951, was the Type 300. The first version of this particular car featured a 3.0L straight-6 engine, which produced 85kW.
As the years and decades went by, engine technology improved dramatically. These technological advancements resulted in the introduction in 1977 of the Mercedes-Benz 300D Turbo, which had a 3.0L diesel engine with an output of 92kW and 245Nm of torque. The latest model in the 300-Series is the 2013 E300 BlueTec Hybrid, which combines a 2.2L V4 diesel engine (150kW of power and 500Nm of torque) with an electric motor that produces 19kW of power and 280Nm of torque. This latest and greatest 300-Series consumes just 4.1L/100km.
Countless trims, versions, and models have come out of the Mercedes-Benz 300-Series. However, across all of these vehicles, Mercedes has always equipped them with the height of luxury and convenience. While some in the range feature tail fins, others are turbocharged. Some come equipped with handy (but out-dated) mobile phones, and newer models will come standard with in-dash GPS. Generally speaking, the models in the 300-Series range come with such a wide variety of trims and body configurations that you should be able to find a 300 to suit your needs. From coupes to convertibles, and from sedans to estate versions, there are 300s out there for just about anybody (who has the budget, of course).
Over the years, the Mercedes-Benz 300-Series has faced competition from other major luxury automakers. Whether old, such as BMW, or new, such as Lexus, other brands have always tried to overtake the brand’s dominance of the luxury car market. However, none of those brands has ever managed to beat out Mercedes, or its 300-Series, in overall terms of luxury, performance, or popularity. The 300-Series remains a testament to the Mercedes-Benz commitment to quality and the driving experience in general.