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.

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

1997 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E240 2.6 from Costa Rica


Good car, but be ready to spend..


I bought a few months ago an E240 with 120000 KMS (around 75K miles) from my neighbor, who took great care of this car. I could see from her receipts the latest repairs: tune-up, engine mounts, ball joints, brakes, new battery, etc.

The car has no rust whatsoever, and everything is working fine, even the genuine Becker cassette-radio, which I love. It comes with 8 speakers, and the sound is amazing.

A few weeks ago I changed the engine coolant with the genuine MB, and some O-rings next to the oil filter housing to stop an oil leak.

A month ago, the belt tensioner pulley broke (just the pulley), leaving me in the middle of nowhere December 31 afternoon... You have to buy the whole part ($80-$400 depending of the brand), because the dealer does not sell just the pulley, but it's an easy job. Seems this is pretty common on those V6 engines.

I am planning to change the auto box fluid, and send the 6 fuel injectors (easy to get off) to be cleaned. Perhaps a new engine radiator soon to avoid any autobox fluid get mixed with the engine coolant (from all the posts I have read, I am getting a little concerned about this model, mostly about the autobox problems). My family owns a Mercedes 300E 1990, a 190E 1987, a 230E 1982 and a E220 1993, and those cars need maintenance indeed (mostly by myself), but the autoboxes seems to be bullet proof as long you change the fluid regularly.

General Comments:

This car is really comfortable, even more than my former 1990 300E. It's roomier, silent, and the interior, after 12 years, still looks like new.

The only flaw is the dash, that is beginning to crack because of the sun and summer heat.

This car is heavy and the engine (170HP) is adequate and smooth, but not as powerful as my older 300E.

My other regret is the missing legendary "thump" when you close the door. This sound is gone with the W124.

If you are looking for an E-Class, I would recommend to go for the E320. It has more power, and I read that the fuel economy is the same.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th February, 2010