1991 Mercedes-Benz E-Class 300 E 3.0L from North America
Supreme ride, comfort and safety, known to make dictators/CEOs drunk, and want to stay in power!
*Ignition coil failed and car died on me 75 miles from home. Occurred shortly after car passed 200.000 miles.
*Stalled while returning home from work on a cold night and almost caught on fire (exhaust was red hot and glowing, with whitish smoke rising into the car). Ignition system needed a tune-up. (New plugs and cables, distributor and rotor).
*Was overheating when I bought it.
*Loses coolant from the water pump area once the AC is turned on, leading to engine overheat. I don't use the AC anymore.
*Wooden trim on right passenger door coming off.
*Plastic hose at base of antenna worn and torn, and intermittent antenna function.
When I was younger and growing up in Cameroon, Africa, I always admired the Mercedes Benz E class. It was the ride of the government ministers and businessmen who had made it. So when my trusty Camry started making noises during driving, I knew it was time for a change.
Late one night, I typed in "Benz" on craigslist and saw an ad for a 1991 Benz that "may need a new engine" listed for $1,800. Went to check it out the next day and it was love at first sight. It was very clean, with new tires and obviously had been very well maintained. The paint was still shiny, the leather seats had no rips, the dash no cracks, the alloy wheels no curb rashes. Everything worked. It started on the first try. I listened hard for any funny noises. There was none, but however, I noticed it was loosing coolant. So I took it home for $1500, with a big smile on my face.
After topping the coolant level completely (takes about 5 minutes of a slow flow of water with engine running to purge air bubbles), the coolant leak stopped.
Didn't do any oil change or tune up, hence the problems I had which were quickly resolved.
Since then, car has proven to be extremely reliable, quiet, smooth, and safe. It has an unrivaled presence, and conveys an air of old money if you always keep it clean inside and out.
I plan on keeping this car for a very very long time, and made a resolution to religiously do all preventive maintenance on schedule. Still looking for an experience more painful than getting to the end of a trip, and having to leave my tightly engineered and exceedingly luxurious Mercedes Benz 300 E.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 7th January, 2007