We are the original owners of a 1997 E-320, Dealer Service is recommended for these cars in addition to an extended warranty.
I completely agree, I have owned a Mercedes 190 E that I bought second handed and I was able to put 300 thousand miles on it. The Most important thing when you buy a German car is to find a decent mechanic that knows how to work on German cars, and to my surprise I have found that most dealerships that sell German cars are INCOMPETENTS. I currently own a 2004 VW Passat V6 4motion and I would have never bought another German car if I didn’t have a good mechanic around.
How to find that magi mechanic? Any ideas? I am planing to buy a 97 E 320 with 102K on it. As far as I see it should be a good car to own, but with these second hands you just never know.
To the first commenter, yes a reputable MECHANIC (dealers steal) who is familiar with german vehicles is important.
But you make a bold claim that "European spec vehicles are way ahead of US and Canadian spec vehicles" The straight six e320 is actually fairly simple mechanically.
I see plenty of 10 year old American cars that have excellent drivetrains (not to mention cheap to service).
Oh and the reason that they did not release the Benz CDI vehicles here is because NY and California have strict pollution standards, unlike Europe; not because the US has lesser quality fuel.
BTW, this was also the first E Class under the DiamlerBenz coop, and when Mercedes lost its reliability and got into the business of making sexy, expensive luxury cars that also made money at the service department.
Mercedes are not what they used to be! It is not the case,that you need a good mechanic for the E Class. What you need is luck and more luck. The E Class W124 was a fine bit of kit. It may be the most well built car on the road and are all good for 300,000 miles. The replacement to the W124 is not as good. The engine is capable off high mileage etc but the build is not up to scratch. They rust badly! It is common practice to weld 9 year old ones and yes, it does affect areas that will make the car fail an MOT. What a shame, the W124 was so good and the replacement was so bad. I love the shape, but the money you will throw at this car just to keep on top of the rust is not worth it. The W124s are now worth more than the replacement, and they are still passing MOTs without repair.
Whenever someone complains about a Mercedes, BMW or a Land Rover, it seems everyone's response is "You need to find a good mechanic" like that makes it any better. It is still a vehicle that apparently needs to be at the mechanic often. A vehicle that gets 300,000km with constant and expensive service requirements is not an engineering marvel... a vehicle that gets 300,000km with little more servicing than oil changes is.
I am a proud owner of a Mercedes Benz, 1997 E320. My Dagmar has 202,920 hard miles on her, and she is finally broken in! I am very hard on cars, and proceed to drive every car I have ever owned straight into the ground. Dagmar is putting up one heck of a fight, she still enjoys getting out and topping 120 mph! Hold on tight!
We aren't even certified by the FAA. It will be a sad day when we part. I love my third and hopefully last MBZ!
Capistrano Beach, CA.