1997 Mercedes-Benz E-Class 300DT Elegance 3.0 litre diesel straight 6 from UK and Ireland
Superb. Highly recommended
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)
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