What is clear among all the negative comments is that it is crucial to get a good independent mechanic who has lived Mercedes Benz. Do this BEFORE buying a Merc, and ask their advice on years and model type. Mercs are innovative and have been at the forefront of automotive technology for over a century, but with innovation comes risk, and the risk is buying a new car that is also a new model. As for any make, avoid this. The end of the model run is usually best as all the design faults will have been ironed out. Second hand will mean all of the running faults will have been ironed out or known. Finally allow about 20% of the purchase price to bring the vehicle up to scratch. Prevention is cheaper than reactive repair. I have owned four Mercedes and the one I had the most trouble with was a 3 year old A-class. This was because it was a new model, and nearly new (23,000 miles). All the other Mercs I bought had already over 80,000 miles on them and my latest one - a 1997 E300TD - had 108,000 miles when I bought it. I have had other cars but they seem to be more of a problem except for SAAB. These really don't rust or chip!
I've had my E240 for 4 years now and the only comment I recognise is the not going into reverse after an emergency stop. It does go after a 5 second wait and as I don't do emergency stops regularly, it's hardly a major concern. Other than that, gear changes are imperceptible unless I do something silly to upset it mid-change. The seats are great over my 1-2 hour each way daily commute and whilst it isn't the fastest ship in the world, it silently and effortlessly keeps up with the traffic. The engine is the smoothest thing I have driven since a V12. Reliability has been mixed. It has never let me down, but the odd repair has been costly. Key failures have been Air mass sensor and Oxygen sensor which left me limping home and an irritating whistling fan regulator which I felt was unreasonably expensive.
Mercedes Benz E240 Elegance 1999 Dublin Ireland.
I have owned an E240 1999 for the last 13 months, it had 52000 miles on it when I bought it now has 83000.
I have had annoying problems with the headlights, tail lights, climate lights, cigar lighter / light, electric back window motor replaced, new air mass meter, bushings, and steering rods.
The gearbox also has that false neutral between forward and reverse when I stop quickly (not emergency), the dealer service is abysmal, the headlight was in to get adjusted 3 times, bulb 3 times, seals twice (front and back), filled with condensation and it cost a fortune and still wasn't right for the NCT (Ireland's MOT) and then the guess what oh yes their recommendation replace all the lights, oh yeah. Brought to independent expert who sanded the contacts and all was well again. Do these MB guys know their stuff or are they there to just rip you off - very disappointing.
The paint is now fading on the back drivers side, it wasn't crashed I checked it out with an expert. This is a full MBSH car with a body warranty of 30years, think I'll be on to them.
Whatever about the parts, the labour is ridiculous in my dealers up to €120 an hour which might be acceptable if the work standard was acceptable.
Other than those problems, it's a comfortable car, gets 18 - 37 mpg avg in town 23. It uses 1lt of semi synt oil about everyone 2k miles (keep it topped up - Don't OVERFILL), get 20-25k out of a set of Conti premium contact tyres, brakes 8-10k miles, handled well and is reliable overall.
I didn't own an old one, but I heard build was better, I always wanted a Mercedes, but thought electrical probs etc were a thing of the past for me, unfortunately not.
However, still like the car and would buy another one.
I am on my 5th Mercedes. The current model, (New in 2003)a 270 CDI has given several problems. It has been in the the "shop" or out of action for over 6 weeks of its 3 year life.
1. About 30k miles - Turbo charger failed preceded by months of the car stopping on the road and not restarting until I had switched off, waited for 5 minutes and then try to restart.
2. Flat battery - I was not informed of a recall about an electrical problem.
3.Odometer - When the electrical problem was fixed the car was returned with the odometer reading MPH when set to metric. "Not our fault" said the dealer.
4.Keyless entry refuses to work occasionally - still not cleared up. And last, but probably not least, the gearbox: Just before the warranty was up, I had noticed a rumble in the gear box and mentioned it to the dealer. It has now been in 3 times for the same problem and it is still not resolved. End of warranty and over 3000 euro for a new gearbox has been mentioned. I had intended to buy a new S-Class but none are available until 2007. With the rate of attrition on my current model I reckoned it would be only fit for the scrap heap by then.
Bye Bye Mercedes and Hello 7 Series.
I bought my Mercedes E 240 Elegance 6 months ago and I have all sorts of problems with the car. One thing I have realised is that when the weather changes, the car temperature also changed.
To the March 5th poster:
I wouldn't recommend you buy a 7 series. They are so bad that a dealer in Los Angeles actually had a sale on recalled 7 series that fell under California's lemon law. And several quality ratings organizations here in America have said it is the most unreliable car sold on these shores.
Unless you need a huge car, go with a 5 series. Don't know about the reliability of the new ones, but my 2000 528i was flawless.
We purchased an E class Kompressor Mercedes Benz in 2005, and before the warranty had expired, we had noticed a whine in the back of the car. After some investigation, we were told that the differential in the back axle had gone, and it had to be replaced at a big cost to us. Was wondering if other owners of this type experienced the same problem? Would love to hear of similar experiences.
By the way, we live in Ireland.
I drive a 2002 E240 Elegance. Superb I'd say, but the air conditioner switch keeps failing. Compared to my 1995 300E 4matic, I am not too impressed. Some squeaks here and there. Good car, but could have been better.
I own a 2000 E240 Elegance estate and have driven it since it was 1 year old at 10,000 miles to now (November 2010) 91,000 miles.
It is a very nice car which has a great ride and lovely quiet and sooth engine. However, it is large and complex and you cannot run these cars on peanuts. Mine still has FSH.
Expect the rear springs to go and need replacement, expect a poor paint job requiring respray (have it done properly), expect front suspension to go, and in important things that's about it. The engine is bullet proof.
I have no intention of getting rid of it. Enjoy. I agree however that they (Mercs) are not as strong as previously, I used to drive a 1992 190e - now that WAS solid.
I have an E240 on an X reg. I have had it for 5 months.
So far I have replaced the front shock absorbers, and the front anti roll bar with the down links.
I have changed both rear drive shafts due to rust, causing the sensor rings for the ABS to come out.
Then I changed all the brake pads and discs, plus rear parking brake shoes. Next the brakes kept sticking on; this turned out to be the master cylinder.
It has had one new front wing caused by rot. I have the other one to do.
Also the tailgate is rotten and the number plate illuminator is about to fall out.
It is a lovely car to drive, but a wreck to own. £1700 spent so far. Perhaps I'm just unlucky.