1997 Mercedes-Benz E-Class 200 TE S.W. 2.0 gasoline from Italy

Summary:

Fantastic car, lovely design

Faults:

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...

20th Mar 2017, 19:29

I'm the original writer again! 250,000 km now.

No other problems except light bulbs frequently burning.

Just changed the front disc brakes at 190,000 km. Original rear disc brakes, original clutch, original gearbox, original timing chain.

Oil change every 20,000 km, along with oil filter.

Consumption: 8 liters gasoline for 100 km, 10 liters LPG.

The virtues of a Mercedes Benz show in the long run.

I'm very happy with my daily driver and see no reason to change it.

20th Mar 2017, 22:37

Thanks for the updates.

I live in the UK and it seems late 90s Mercedes have a reputation for rust here, how is your car now? I note in your review you said it had none, but some were famous here for having rust at just 7 years old or less... wondering how yours is holding up at 20 years old?

And did anyone ever get to the bottom of the rust mystery on these cars? Was it just cosmetic? Cheap paint perhaps on some models shipped here in the UK?

1997 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E320 3.2 I-6 from United Arab Emirates

Summary:

Solid engine, weak transmission

Faults:

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.

General Comments:

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