1997 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E420 4.2 V8 from Denmark


Rusty as your neighbors '69 Fiat


Generally the car was reliable in a certain way, because the engine always started, and the brakes worked.


Electronic seat's memory never worked.

Electronic seats would not move some times.

Transmission broken - $7000.

Touch n' go broken several times.

Leather on the backseat split.

Air-conditioning was very slow.

Radio never worked, bought some Chinese crap for $180 that worked much better.

General Comments:

Mercedes-Benz made the car good for first impressions only. When I first drove it, the car was the most comfortable car I ever had driven. The impressions of the V8 were very good, when driving on the road it was quiet, and when pushing the throttle, you certainly got what you required.

After 1000 km.

When hitting the throttle for an acceleration from 80 to 160 km/t, it surprised me that the gearbox took 2 seconds before it shifted down, and that was a pain, when you wanted to overtake a truck.

It started early to get rusty; I found some in the trunk, and then it got worse. When I sold the car there was rust everywhere, and it was only a matter of months before it thoroughly corroded, and then you could take it to the dealer and complain.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 4th May, 2009

1997 Mercedes-Benz E-Class from Jordan


Very good


The automatic gear stuck in first gear three times in the 3 years we owned the car. It is really annoying, especially if you have to drive a long distance to get to the workshop, but to fix it you have to restart the car's computer, and last time I changed the transmission oil, there were some pieces of the metal in there, the mechanic said I would have to change the gear soon, which cost around 1400 US for a used one.

The parts are really expensive.

The audio system is only OK, and the radio receiver is kind of weak.

The response of the car is slow, especially when you use the kick down (around 2-3 seconds).

Till now I do not know how to let the air enter the car through the fan without turning the AC on.

General Comments:

It is a great car, really reliable, that does not break down much.

If you know how to drive it, it is kind of economical. The best time it gave me around 300km/20l (35 mpg), worst is 180km/20l (21 mpg), average is 220km/20l (26 mpg).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th April, 2009

1997 Mercedes-Benz E-Class 320 from North America


A hole in my wallet


Everything under the sun; you name, it seems like every month something goes bad, whether it's a turn signal, glove box latch or bulbs...

General Comments:

This is not the car for someone who does not like spending their life savings on maintaining it... You need really deep pockets to keep up with THIS baby... I guess hence the name Mercedes Benz...

Nice comfortable ride.

Transmission starting to go at 100k... everything else is great; the ride, the mileage on gas... only thing that sucks is the amount of money you have to shell out every time you fix the darn thing.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 22nd January, 2009

14th Mar 2009, 23:56

I feel your pain. I once had an older E-class and it was a nightmare as well. My transmission only lasted around 100k miles also. People refuse to believe it's faulty engineering because IT'S A MERCEDES! Poo on Mercedes. Owners' words speak volumes about these cars.

If you're talking about a cheap Chevy that nickles and dimes you to death, that's one thing. But when you're talking about an expensive Mercedes that sucks your wallet dry when it needs ANYTHING, that's a whole other story.

4th Jun 2010, 22:46

I just bought a 1997 E. It has 142,000 miles on it. Best car I've ever owned.

I recently had a 1998 Jaguar XJR, and the ride on the E is much nicer and the suspension is awesome, the car feels like a tank.

I love it, especially the E Class body style, runs as strong as ever.

9th Dec 2012, 03:52

I can understand your frustration, but your complaints don't really speak to reliability of the vehicle. A bulb. A latch. Bulbs burn out. Etc. Anyone can change a bulb. If you think those are problems, you should buy a Toyota Camry or a Honda Accord. German cars have trade-offs. If you want a magic carpet ride with that German engineered feeling, then you have to pay for it. If you don't mind a car so boring it will put you to sleep, but is virtually maintenance free for the first 200k, then buy an Asian car.

14th Dec 2012, 23:03

Turn signals, bulbs, those seem like normal wear items for a car with 100k miles. I wonder if you had any major issues go wrong. My E320 is not cheap either, but given its age, it has held up a lot better than other cars of the same year.

German cars are not like Japanese cars, they require a lot more maintenance based upon my experience, but there is the trade off of having a car that is truly enjoyable to drive, versus just having an appliance for an automobile.