Excellent reliability, engineering, and longevity
A/C condenser (replaced with German-made aftermarket in 2012).
Driver's seat outer bolster has worn through, right at the spot a person wearing blue jeans would slide in and the jeans rivet would rub.
Driver's window regulator failed when it iced up and broke a few teeth. Still would work, but needed help to fully raise window.
Head gasket leaks oil at the front. Replaced it twice; it is leaking again. Common, frustrating, expensive problem. Best to just let it leak.
Outside temp sensor failed years ago. Replaced, and now it has failed again, along with the LCD display in the dash.
Radio LCD screen has failed, and some buttons have come loose off the radio. One dashboard speaker blew.
Rear suspension accumulators needed replacing in 2010.
Front struts replaced in 2012 - much improved handling and ride.
Coil spring broke in 2007 on the front.
Wheel bearing (front) needed replacing in 2011.
This car is now 17 years old, and we have owned it for almost a decade.
Despite being driven continuously in a snowy climate, and never garaged, the car has no rust, and has all original brake and fuel lines. Only one muffler has needed to be replaced.
The starter and alternator are original.
The pneumatically-operated door locks have never had any problems.
We have never replaced a headlamp or fog lamp bulb.
One window regulator had a problem due to operating when iced up. All other windows, plus the sunroof and mirrors, have never had a problem.
The self-closing tailgate still works fine.
The power seats have always operated perfectly.
The engine, despite having the common m104 engine oil leak, is as smooth today as it was almost 100k miles ago, and the transmission also shifts the same.
Despite it not being a 'perfect' car, I am amazed at how many things still work perfectly properly and do not need to be replaced. Mercedes quality and engineering, at least during this era, seems to be very good. The engine is quite powerful, although the transmission is not geared for performance driving.
Brakes are exceptionally powerful. Only one rear caliper has needed to be replaced - due to freezing up during a period of sitting. ABS has never, ever, had a fault. However, the brake pads are a soft material and wear quicker than some other cars. However, the brakes on this vehicle have never squealed or squeaked.
It is a safe car, handles fairly well, and gets relatively good fuel economy.
A great Mercedes.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 15th October, 2012