2001 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E430 4matic 4.3L V8 from North America

Summary:

Rust and the cost of frequent repairs turned me off; now buying a Continental

Faults:

Replaced parts:

2013

Front strut R.H.

Front coil spring R.H.

Brake light switch.

2014

Front drive shaft (4matic).

Front bearing windshield (cracked due to rust in windshield drain in the car body; not a stone or any road hazard).

Rear springs (R.H + L.H.).

A/C condenser.

A/C compressor.

A/C fan.

Rust creeping (paint job).

2015

HID bulb.

Hood lock.

Water pump.

Serpentine belt.

Thermostat.

Rust creeping again (2nd paint job).

General Comments:

Mileage (kilometers) driven since purchase: 175,000 - 125,000 = 50,000km

Cost of repairs (excluding regular maintenance): CDN $5,940.

AVG. $5,940/50,000km = CDN $0.12/km.

Driving comfort and "roominess": more than sufficient.

Engine: smooth and "delivering".

Fuel mileage: good for the car's size (do not get too excited; it is "premium"!)

Transmission: hesitates at lower RPM (similar to "turbo lag"), "lazy transmission".

Not an engine or riding comfort, but the numerous and frequent repairs/replacements and the cost of car ancillary equipment (OEM or not) caused me to lose my enthusiasm towards the brand.

Decent fuel mileage does not compensate for the cost and nuisance of "incidentals"!

This was not my first MB! Previous car was a C280; not a perfect car either, but in retrospect, a better one. In my opinion anyway.

Enough of used Mercedes for me!

Next car: Lincoln Continental 1997-2002 vintage.

At least replacement parts will be less expensive and NO RUST.

P.S. Beware of those "best car ever built" or "battle ship durability" types comments coming from the overenthusiastic owners that put 5 or 6k miles on a car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 31st May, 2015

31st May 2015, 22:25

Interesting, a similar era Volvo needs about the same repairs at similar miles. This includes the shock absorbers, a few (but expensive) suspension bushings, A/C and alternator pulleys. Also the radiator fan. As for the thermostat, belts and pulleys, it's normal maintenance at these miles.

On the other side, about every single 2000s E-class I see here in my town in Canada is more or less terribly rusted. It is just pathetic. Together with the Maxima, it has to be the most rusted 10 years old car on the road. There is also the Mazda 3, but this one is in a 'class apart'.

In opposition, I have yet to see a rusted Volvo.

Finally, I wish so much my Volvo had the same interior space as the E-class. I'm really jealous when I see the Mercedes and how comfortable it does indeed look.

1st Jun 2015, 03:38

You should also consider a Town Car.

3rd Jun 2015, 05:52

I totally agree with this comment. It will change the way you think of large luxury American cars.

After spending the 80s and 90s in Volvos, my dad bought himself a 97 Aurora. He cannot believe he wasted so much time and money on Volvo. Never again will he own another import car.

3rd Jun 2015, 17:30

I admit that interior is roomy, and after all those years of use still looks presentable.

It goes for both; C- and E-class. The comfort is not an issue. It is mostly the "under the hood" and rust stuff that turned me off. As I already said in another place, when buying used cars some repairs are to be expected. The problem with Mercedes is that those repairs are too frequent and too costly.

5th Jun 2015, 23:55

I would expect any 14 year old car to have things like pulleys and shocks need replacing. I am biased as I largely drive Volvos well over 200k miles with few problems, but you just can't beat their comfort. I have tried Audi, but always got backache and constant warning lights showing. The Merc rusted, but the Volvos have always looked after me despite heavy use. Being in the UK, we don't get many American cars (only rubbish stuff like PT Cruisers and Chevy Cruzes - I can see why they are so cheap) so I can't compare to those.

2001 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Elegance 2.6 V6 petrol from UK and Ireland

Summary:

Brilliant value for money

Faults:

So far so good, no issues after 12 months.

General Comments:

Very smooth on the motorway, good handling for such a big car. The suspension is very capable of soaking up potholes and rough roads.

Cloth seats are in excellent condition and supportive, and are comfortable on long journeys.

The engine is impressively quiet and smooth, and there's plenty of legroom front and back.

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

Review Date: 17th January, 2015