I have a 99 E-Class here in America, and with 19k miles, it's got paint chips everywhere on the front end. My Chevy Tahoe (SUV) has 100k miles and zero chips, and it's been used offroad. Says something about Mercedes' paint quality. Thumbs down. Otherwise a bomb-ass car.
I'm thinking that the paint chips due to more "environmentally friendly" paint. The same problem exists with new BMWs as well.
Paint chips. Paint chips. Paint chips. They do make me want to cry! Other than that, I'm pleased with my E430. I love the elliptical front lights and the smooth power to pass up people on rural roads.
I have owned a 1983, 1984 and 1985 MB. After over 200,000 miles on each of these cars, the combined number of paint chips on all three cars is less than the number of chips I have on my 1998 E-320 (opal). The paint on the recent MBs has gone down in quality. It has become such a problem for me that I am selling the car.
Just bought an '01 E55 AMG trading in my '97 E320 with 92K miles from new. The '97 high miler had just a few stone chips: the '01 model was so pitted I insisted the garage respray the bonnet & wings before delivery.
The only previous time I've seen this scale of problem was on my Porsche 928SE after some fast driving when a gritter lorry came my way. Went through a hail of grit and had to re-paint the bonnet.
Could it have something to do with the speed these cars get to between corners?
This is funny! You guys are so peeved at chips you go as far as selling your cars! LOL!
Have you guys seen the new E55 (350kw plus)? Good thing you older E55 owners have sold your cars - what with their crappy paint quality and all. If you really want a sublime car that most people would not think twice about, you should have bought Audi's RS4 station wagon - err, Avant. Great seats and you can take your poodles with you. No problems with paint chipping either.
We had a '99 Merc E240 Elegance. It was metallic silver. We had the car until 200 000kms (125000miles). We live in South Africa and we have some of the worst roads in the world. Potholes everywhere, which means gravel and small rocks flying everywhere! Our car was manufactured locally. In the 200000kms we had it, of which a great deal was long distance, high speed driving, it managed to collect 5 noteworthy stone chips. 2 on the bonnet, another 2 between the headlights where the body is actually plastic, we also had a large chip on the back of one of the side mirrors. The plastic front bumper had quite a few minor chips which could only be seen close up.
Once our electronic security gate closed into the side of the car as my mother was entering the driveway. The car had a green mark from the front door up to the rear bumper. I buffed it out in 10 minutes. Afterwards no sign of the gate's impact could be seen.
We thought that the quality of the paint was excellent.