When I purchased the car, the following were inoperative:
Both rear windows.
Sunroof (would go up but not open fully, needs new pulleys and cables).
Shifter would not go into manual mode (did not check during test drive).
Defective Light was illuminated.
Because it was winter, I could not test the A/C. It needed a new compressor, proprietary tube and recharging.
The dealer installed new Dunlop tires. Unfortunately they are the wrong size - one size too large in width and one size too large in ratio. Because of this, the speedometer reads 5% low.
Since owning I had to replace a set of rear brake pads on one wheel (other wheel was OK, the caliper was sticking).
Just recently the car was rear-ended and someone hooked the front with a trailer hitch, breaking the lower bumper cover and pulling the cover out about 3 inches (7.5 cm).
Most of the problems with the car were caused by previous owners not being able to afford to repair defects when they happened.
In the case of the rear windows, on the passenger side, the regulator and motor were missing; the window was held up with zip ties. The driver side rear window had the cable wrapped around the regulator. Repairs were about $400 per window.
The shifter defect was caused by spillage of a drink. It was rectified by the extremely high heat inside the car from our very hot summer last year. The heat 'melted' the sugar, allowing the shifter to be used for manual shifting.
I replaced 6 lights and finally got them all to work because of the accidents. One of the lamps, the Standing Lamp, is proprietary and was very difficult to locate. Although a Sylvania product, I could not locate locally, finally finding the match online in Arizona.
I have not replaced the tires, as I can compensate for the speedometer error.
I have been driving M-B's since 2000. My previous M-B was a 1990 300E, which my youngest totaled while learning to drive. I was without a daily driver M-B for 5 years. I found this car about 150 miles from where I live. This was the best I could find. As it was mechanically sound (I brought my mechanic to check it out), I figured I could live and repair its deficiencies.
The ride is pure Mercedes, stable and secure. Steering is tight and I do not notice any over/under steer. Brakes are firm and the car stops in a straight line. Acceleration is brisk, considering the mass of the car being moved by a 3.2L six. The seats are comfortable, especially on longer trips. The climate control works very well. M-B finally got it right.
Everything about the vehicle is well made, the fit and finish is excellent. Mileage is very good, much better than the EPA rating. I get 20 MPG combined and 30 MPG on the highway at 70 mph.
The only thing that could make this car better is if it had 4Matic.
The W210 series are now very affordable. Parts are readily available. The drivetrain is virtually bulletproof. Buy the best you can find. My car cost $5400. The repairs (not including the sunroof) have come to $3400.
In the end, is it all worth it?? A resounding yes.