Great car if you can afford the repairs!
Transmission replaced at 165,000 miles. Cost: $2500.
Sunroof repaired around 120,000. Cost: $1200.
Replaced water-pump at 180,000 miles. Cost: $1700.
Lower radiator leak at 180,000 miles, was repaired.
Entire suspension (front struts, ball joints, etc.. and rear shocks) replaced at 170,000 miles. Cost: $2500 (approximately)
Brake Rotors replaced at 170,000 miles.
Air conditioning repaired at 170,000 miles.
The sound-dampening pad under the hood has deteriorated very badly and needs to be replaced, for about $150.
The automatic antenna no longer goes up.
2 of 4 air vents on the dashboard no longer close.
I have loved this car and will hate to give it up, but it is beginning to cost A LOT of money.
The handling is impressive, and while it is not quick from a stop the engine always has more left to give you, no matter what speed you are going.
Braking is incredible, and coupled with the great handling, the car feels very safe at any speed.
The interior has held up remarkably well, the leather wrapped steering wheel and shifter still look good, and the wood on the dash is mainly intact. The wood around the shifter has cracked a bit from sun damage, but the car is never garaged. The seats have not cracked or ripped at all.
It's a much better car than I think its designation as the "baby Benz" would have you believe. There is really no comparison between it and the 3 series BMW's from the same era; it is more comparable to the 5 series in performance and appointments. According to two mechanics I have spoken with it also has a better engine than the 300Es, which have a tendency to blow their head gaskets over about 125,000 miles, a $3000 repair.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 7th December, 2005