The problems listed are common on these models as well as the 300e. Flex disk, water-pump, tensioner and other rubber seals. This car is almost twelve years old now, and it is not surprising. If you are going to buy this car be prepared to spend money on repairs. Make sure you have all records or don't buy it!
This car is so much fun to drive. It is slow off the line, but once it gets going it goes 80 MPH no problem, and feels like you're going 50.
Solid as a rock, feels like a tank, this thing is heavy! Craftsmanship is incredible, and handles much better than my 97 Toyota.
Auto trannie shifts hard and is awkward at first, but you get used to it. This is common on the 300e's also.
Parts for this car were assembled in different factories, and then completed in another. This was supposed to cut down on cost. This is a solid car that is a pleasure to drive, but I wonder how much quality was sacrificed to make it? I've had mechanics tell me they are essentially the same thing as the 300e, and had others shake their head in disapproval upon mention of this model.
I certainly like this model, and see that all my repairs have been based on time, and parts that eventually weaken and wear out. Although there is something in the back of my mind that tells me that a 300e would have been a better buy.
Need a new oxygen sensor and muffler now. Rear control arm bushing, and track rod on the way out also. A lot of work in one year. Probably going to a C Class in January.
My advice on repairs is this: don't go to dealers! They are twice as much, slow, and will do the most expensive repairs first, before doing the cheapest. Take all afternoon in the phone book and call around for a good mechanic that works on Mercedes.