1997 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E320 3.2 I-6 from United Arab Emirates
Solid engine, weak transmission
Transmission computer decided to keep it in second gear after 2 weeks of showing symptoms of failure.
Most likely some internal bits will need replacing. I was planning to do them at the end of the week, but the car decided I was pushing things by a day, and decided to break down one day before my appointment with the garage.
This is a normal situation with these 722.6 gearboxes after 100000 miles. They need to serviced immediately after this milestone, or else they will break down on you.
Other than this, nothing else has gone wrong with the car, just a bulb here and there.
One side front headlamp lens seems to be fading out a little. This may be due to the extreme weather mixed with sandy winds and highway speeds.
Car is 14 years old. Sold initially in Japan and then brought to the middle east. Most likely it was babied in Japan, so the body is rust-free, interior is immaculate. Everything is still tight as a drum, the typical Mercedes Benz smell still lingers on after all these years.
Again for its age, the car drives superbly. Handles well enough, brakes are strong and seats are adjustable in every way, as is the steering. Engine is the M104, the last year it was used in this car. I had the same engine in the '87 W126 300SE back in the day. But that had the bullet proof 4 speed auto tranny, unlike here, with the computer controlled 5 speed and its bag of issues. Mercedes sold these cars saying that the transmission would never need any servicing, but that was outright lie, and now very recently Mercedes have indirectly admitted so.
One has to be fully aware of this car's flaws before buying it. And the only way to do so is to go onto many of the online forums and read the FAQS against this model (W210 chassis).
This way you will be ready to check the car and make a decision before buying it.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 26th August, 2011