1997 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E230 2300 from Malaysia


Classy, solid engineering, but maintenance is needed


Water jacket plug leaked, causing overheating at 240,000km.

Front suspension and engine mountings replaced at 250,000km.

Steering rack excessive free play - replaced at 260,000km.

Transmission failure at 275,000km - overhauled.

Head gasket leak - replaced and top overhauled at 285,000km.

General Comments:

Bought the car in 2011 at a fraction of its original new purchase price. Mercs at this age, if they have a credible service history, are a seriously good buy - provided you continue with required maintenance and upkeep.

(Malaysia is one of the few places in the world where the price of a new E class is equivalent to an average urban home. Given the fact that the former depreciates rather quickly, and repair costs are reasonable, it's a no-brainer to buy these cars used).

Serial # alpha code is ADB, indicating its South African build origin. Built 1997, warehoused through the Asian Financial Crisis and registered in Malaysia 1999. It had been company maintained and chauffeur driven most of its time.

Although generally well maintained, the grey leather had cracked and was reupholstered in new leather. Becker radio volume control was unpredictable - replaced with a Sony head unit, original speaker units maintained.

Rides superbly, stable at speed, hugs the bends and handles much better than the W124. The tall 5 speed transmission and Michelin XMs on standard 15 inch alloys afford a relaxed, comfortable and quiet 2.5k RPM cruise.

Despite its age, the engine having the luxury of synthetic lube throughout, has remained tight with negligible oil consumption over the 10,000km service intervals.

The blown head gasket was a gradual age-related issue, manifesting itself in coolant consumption and lumpy starting in the morning.

This has been my second Merc that required transmission rebuilding. This 722.6 box has a lot more electronics and is trickier to sort out.

Despite these issues, I am still satisfied with the car - the solid engineering, comfort, safety and the image more than compensate. A good part of this has to do with the independent specialist I use to keep costs reasonable.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th June, 2013

1997 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E320 from North America


Comfortable elegant cruiser


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 200 TE S.W. 2.0 gasoline from Italy


Fantastic car, lovely design


Nothing went wrong except the radio; that was fitted posthumously.

General Comments:

A good station wagon, my daily driver.

Although a little bit slow for its weight, it has wonderful brakes, good road holding, perfect comfort, acceptable consumption (8 liters for 100 Km. running with gasoline, 10 liters running with LPG).

It was hit by a truck, and I came out of it with no harm at all.

No signs of rust at all. I bought it used for very little money, and it was an absolute bargain.

I don't understand why other people despise it so much, saying it isn't a "true Mercedes". It has more plastic than my 1988 500SE, but it is definitely more comfortable and with less internal noise from the interior.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st May, 2012

3rd Mar 2014, 02:59

I'm the original writer. 190,000 km now. I had some little problems that show that the quality of this car isn't as good as that of the former models.

The light bulbs burn frequently.

There is water in the projectors.

Had to change the heads of the steering system, 170 Euros.

The automatic climate control was not pumping enough warm air. Mercedes suggested to buy three pieces together for the repair, at about 1,000 Euros; luckily my mechanic found the way of buying only one by a different brand, 180 Euros.

All in all, a good car, would buy it again, but not very different from the quality/reliability of a Ford or Opel...