1989 Benz - what should the rpm's be at 70 mph?

Asked by Sep 07, 2014 at 07:51 PM about the 1989 Mercedes-Benz 300-Class 300SE Sedan

Question type: General

1989 Benz 300SE - what should the rpm's be at 70 mph? It currently run at 3500 RPM - feels and seem like it should be shifting into another gear.  It shifts on about 15-20 mph then again at 40-45 mph.

4 Answers


That does sound high. Can you feel or manually engage all 4 gears?

I bought the car used about 6 months ago and it's always been like this. A friend was riding with me and mentioned they thought it should shift again. Should it have a forth gear? Do all 300SE models have a forth gear? If I supplied the VIN number would that help? Thanks, Rick


You definitely have an issue. Your RPM's at 70 should be around 2000 to 2500 - depending on your model and transmission for that year. Besides giving you terrible fuel mileage, those RPM's on a regular basis could be hastening the demise of your engine. That year came with a 4 spd automatic. Your MPG should be around 15 city and 17 hwy. When new, it was subject to the Gas Guzzler tax because of its low fuel economy.

1 people found this helpful.

I think a previous answer has confused km/hr with mph. 2000 - 2500 rpm is normal for 70 km/hr. 3500 rpm at 70 mph is also normal. You have four gears; however, these models start in second as an economy measure, which makes them feel sluggish, and fourth is a 1:1 ratio. Overdrive gears did not come in until 1991. You will get all four gears if you bury your foot to the floor when starting. You should get about 10.5 litres/100 km fuel economy with normal driving.

Your Answer:


Looking for a Used 300-Class in your area?

CarGurus has 165 nationwide 300-Class listings starting at $3,980.


Mercedes-Benz 300-Class Experts

  • #1
    James Ramond
  • #2
    Tom Demyan
  • #3
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used BMW 3 Series
1,053 Great Deals out of 30,235 listings starting at $900
Used Mercedes-Benz SL-Class
62 Great Deals out of 2,851 listings starting at $4,500
Used BMW 5 Series
417 Great Deals out of 17,012 listings starting at $1,653

Content submitted by Users is not endorsed by CarGurus, does not express the opinions of CarGurus, and should not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by CarGurus. Please refer to CarGurus Terms of Use.