Faults due to MB:
- Central locking.
- Climate control electronics - fan speed 1 and 3 won't engage, have to tap the air conditioning panel to turn the backlights on; heat is sometimes supplied even when the coldest
temperature has been set.
- Power mirrors packed up.
- Tie rods quit easily.
- Squeaky body.
- Flooded rear light lenses, rusted the light circuits and killed off the fog lamp.
Faults on my part:
Filled up with biodiesel once. Clogged the 4 injectors ($200 each) --> engine couldn't start well --> fried the starter motor ($600 aftermarket) and killed the fuel pump ($1100).
Overall very happy with the vehicle. Used it as a daily commute, delivery vehicle, and it's excellent for touring! It currently gets around 7.5l/100km around town. On occasional spins in the hills, I once got 6.8.
The clutch is very stiff, and 1st and 2nd gear might be jerky if you can't balance it properly.
Acceleration is so-so, but then this car is already yesterday's technology.
The cabin is spartan, and it is hard to believe MB put an open parcel shelf as the glove box. The air conditioning does not seem to cope well, and the demister takes quite a while to clear the windscreen. Perhaps it is time to change the AC filter, which I read online that the pedals' connecting rod has to be removed to access.
The van seems to be a backyard project by MB, as the overall design flow is rather haphazard and not well thought out. Although you can see that 'euro flair' in the design, it seems to miss out on the simple reliability and practicality of the Japanese vans. (Nothing seems to fail on an albeit pig sluggish Hiace).
The engine bay is very tight, and I've heard that changing the clutch is a very major exercise. Nonetheless, I have not experienced many of the horror stories (fingers crossed) of the many posts here and maintenance (and running) costs have been quite economical. I probably only had about 2 tyre and brake changes since new, and the clutch is still holding well.
Apart from the biodiesel disaster, there have been no other major maintenance items on the van. However, the panel work is now very battered, and I would like to do it up some day!