1997 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Reviews from North America

1997 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E320

Model year1997
Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2012
Most recent year of ownership2013
Engine and transmission Automatic
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.3 / 10
Distance when acquired134000 miles
Most recent distance135000 miles
Previous carVolkswagen Jetta

Summary:

Comfortable elegant cruiser

Faults:

Nothing so far.

General Comments:

I have only owned this car for 1 month, so I can't comment on reliability or repair costs, as I haven't had any yet. I can just say that for a 15 year old car, it still feels very solid, and it is fun to drive.

It has a lot more power than I would have expected - when you step hard on the gas, it really moves. It's a rather mild mannered car, but in aggressive driving, it sort of takes on a different persona. It cruises down the highway smoothly, and it's a pleasure to drive around town as well.

I find the seats to be quite comfortable - they are adjustable in many different ways, and are rather firm, which I appreciate.

The interior is roomy, as is the trunk. I know it's an old car, but the interior trim doesn't seem as high quality as the older Mercedes vehicles I have owned (1983 300D, 1987 300D Turbo, and 1984 190E). After 1994, Mercedes started cutting some corners, and it shows in the slightly less durable leather of the seats, as well as the cracks in the dash. But every feature is functional, and all the trim pieces are intact, and still looks very pleasant.

Considering I didn't pay too much for the car, if I get a year or two out of it, I will be happy.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th January, 2013

1997 Mercedes-Benz E-Class 320

Model year1997
Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership2006
Engine and transmission Automatic
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 1 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 2 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 0 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
3.2 / 10
Distance when acquired80000 miles
Most recent distance105000 miles
Previous carNissan Maxima

Summary:

A hole in my wallet

Faults:

Everything under the sun; you name, it seems like every month something goes bad, whether it's a turn signal, glove box latch or bulbs...

General Comments:

This is not the car for someone who does not like spending their life savings on maintaining it... You need really deep pockets to keep up with THIS baby... I guess hence the name Mercedes Benz...

Nice comfortable ride.

Transmission starting to go at 100k... everything else is great; the ride, the mileage on gas... only thing that sucks is the amount of money you have to shell out every time you fix the darn thing.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 22nd January, 2009

14th Mar 2009, 23:56

I feel your pain. I once had an older E-class and it was a nightmare as well. My transmission only lasted around 100k miles also. People refuse to believe it's faulty engineering because IT'S A MERCEDES! Poo on Mercedes. Owners' words speak volumes about these cars.

If you're talking about a cheap Chevy that nickles and dimes you to death, that's one thing. But when you're talking about an expensive Mercedes that sucks your wallet dry when it needs ANYTHING, that's a whole other story.

4th Jun 2010, 22:46

I just bought a 1997 E. It has 142,000 miles on it. Best car I've ever owned.

I recently had a 1998 Jaguar XJR, and the ride on the E is much nicer and the suspension is awesome, the car feels like a tank.

I love it, especially the E Class body style, runs as strong as ever.

9th Dec 2012, 03:52

I can understand your frustration, but your complaints don't really speak to reliability of the vehicle. A bulb. A latch. Bulbs burn out. Etc. Anyone can change a bulb. If you think those are problems, you should buy a Toyota Camry or a Honda Accord. German cars have trade-offs. If you want a magic carpet ride with that German engineered feeling, then you have to pay for it. If you don't mind a car so boring it will put you to sleep, but is virtually maintenance free for the first 200k, then buy an Asian car.

14th Dec 2012, 23:03

Turn signals, bulbs, those seem like normal wear items for a car with 100k miles. I wonder if you had any major issues go wrong. My E320 is not cheap either, but given its age, it has held up a lot better than other cars of the same year.

German cars are not like Japanese cars, they require a lot more maintenance based upon my experience, but there is the trade off of having a car that is truly enjoyable to drive, versus just having an appliance for an automobile.

Average review marks: 5.0 / 10, based on 4 reviews