1997 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E320 from North America

Summary:

I'll never drive a Mercedes ever again

Faults:

Things that had to be fixed/replaced during my nightmare ownership (in no particular order):

1) Alternator (twice)

2) Had to rewire car because it didn't meet Canadian regulations (warranty, but this is pretty ridiculous for such a car)

3) Rust on door

4) Transmission rebuilt at 50000kms ($4000)

5) Replaced dash display

6) Steering fluid reservoir BLEW UP while driving

7) Moon roof broke ($3000)

8) AC condenser broke at 80000km ($3000)

9) Right headlight due to water and mold damage

10) Both taillights due to water and mold damage

11) Rust on door

12) Multiple sensors

I kept this car in a clean, dry, indoor garage. There are many other problems, in all it cost me over $30000 on maintenance and repairs for this car over ~8 years. Service is really bad too, I would not recommend this car manufacturer to anyone I like.

General Comments:

This is seriously the worst car in the world.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 14th July, 2006

16th Oct 2006, 14:24

Well this is very rare. Mercedes standards are ahead of all country vehicle standards so sounds like your Mechanic was spinning you a yarn there. The faults you describe sound like the car was not only poorly serviced, but even damaged in service. Not all garages can service a Mercedes properly, even dealerships. Probably the most crucial part of owning a European prestige car in the States or Canada, is to get a decent mechanic located BEFORE you buy. Euro spec cars are way ahead of US & Canada spec vehicles, with the Mercedes CDI models not imported for three years because the fuel quality in the US and Canada was not up to Euro spec. Quite often, these vehicles suffer at the hands of mechanics used to dealing with more basic engineering. Very unlucky?

1997 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E320 3.2 I-6 from North America

Summary:

The best thing Mercedes has done in a while

Faults:

Three of the windows don't roll up and down.

General Comments:

This car is the total package. Its both sport and luxury. The motor is amazing. It gets 30 miles to the gallon which is great for a I-6 cly. that has a top speed of 160mph. I know the top speed of the car from experience. By the way if you intend on taking yours as fast as I've taking mine. The lines on the highway turn into one solid line at 150mph so don't freak out and let off the throttle.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th March, 2006

2nd Jul 2006, 20:29

I am surprised you were able to get your E320 to reach 160mph. I can barely get my 2004 E500 over 130mph. But that's because where I live, highway traffic is very common. (south-eastern Florida). I had owned a 2000 mercedes e320 wagon that was very powerful and swift. It got me from zero to sixty in less than 8 seconds and easily got me to 130 mph speed limiter.

1997 Mercedes-Benz E-Class 300DT Elegance 3.0 litre diesel straight 6 from UK and Ireland

Summary:

Superb. Highly recommended

Faults:

3 glow plugs dead (1 welded into the head!) - replacements £7 each, but tricky to remove.

Signs of rust - check behind the door rubber seals. Mine has been resprayed at some point in the past. A few bubbles here and there, especially around the wheel arches. Nothing major though, just keep on top of it and you'll be fine.

Corroded coolant pipe to rear of engine (feeds heater matrix for cabin warm air) - fixed for now with coolant additive, but will need attention soon. Not a big job really, but difficult to get to. The car has a massive coolant reservoir with an electronic 'low coolant' warning so its easy to keep an eye on.

Front suspension bushes split (tyre wear and faint knocking)

Wheel nuts stuck (poor servicing by last owner, no copperslip used, I warmed the wheels up to remove them)

Leaky diesel spill pipe in head (cheap to replace)

Oil black as ink (7 litres to refill, £15 ish)

Changed all the filters (not expensive, air filter was a fiver)

Power steering fluid slightly low (only available from Mercedes dealers, they won't say which type it is - about £8 a litre)

General Comments:

Its beautiful to drive, really quiet and refined. At speed, you can barely hear the engine which at 75mph is only turning at about 2500 rpm.

Acceleration is brisk, although traction isn't great when the road is greasy. The traction control cuts in a little too enthusiastically for my liking.

Autobox is nice although a little jerky when accelerating hard.

Seats could do with lumbar support, but they're OK.

Headlights are poor - I recommend upgrading the bulbs, as the reach is very limited.

Steering wheel has no height/reach adjustment that I can find.

Window wiper is quite clever, it detects when the car is stationary and automatically changes to intermittent operation, until you move again.

Aside from the above though, I think the car is excellent. It feels very well built, hardly any rattles or squeaks at all. Plenty of cubby-holes to put your things in, although it could do with a better cup holder.

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

Review Date: 29th November, 2005