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Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Sedan
Jan 22, 2008 (8:19 pm)
My grandmother is offering to 'sell' me her 1996 Mercedes E320 with only 15,000 miles (she can no longer drive). I am a Toyota Camry/Honda Odyssey owner and have never considered a Mercedes until now. The E320 is rear wheel drive and I live in a winter climate (roads are mostly clear) in the foothills near Salt Lake City. Any comments on the reliability of the E320, winter handling, history of problems from previous owners ... would be appreciated.
#6658 of 6720 Re: 1996 E320 [sseell2]
Jan 23, 2008 (4:54 am)
Model year 1996 was the first year of the W210 E-Class, and the E320 was the first version of that model to be released. I was working at MB-USA at the time (in Montvale, NJ) and many of my co-workers managed to put their E320s into the ditch during inclement weather. For whatever reason, the early W210 E420s didn't seem to be quite so touchy, and later E320s seemed to become as docile in the snow as did their V8 sibilings. I don't know whether it was of the rear suspension, the ESP software or some combination thereof. Regardless, you WILL need a set of winter tires if you want to drive that car around when the snow flies, other than that you should be good to go.
In addition, that car was one of the last MBs sold here in the U.S. that used their I6 engine (the same engine that powered previous models of the E320 and 320 E), and that particular engine seems to be fond of trashing their head-gasket somewhere around the 100,000 mile mark.
WIth those two things in mind, I would jump at the chance to buy her car were I in your shoes, it's a wonderful ride.
#6659 of 6720 how good is an e350...?
Jan 23, 2008 (9:54 pm)
two questions as I shop:
1) is MB's faux leather ok? I'm not a great lover of leather in cars, but my experience with vinyl seats is, well, not so great. They're offering 27mo leases, so it doesn't really have to hold up that well, but any opinions appreciated.
2) the Consumer reports ratings are, frankly, pretty impressively bad. I drove and liked the car a lot, but how much trouble do folks have with their e class cars?
#6660 of 6720 Re: how good is an e350...? [stevej2001]
Jan 24, 2008 (7:02 am)
I prefer leather, but Mercedes Benz leatherette (Tec vinyl) wears like iron. It lacks leather's aromatic smell and slightly softer texture, but it really holds up.
My '07 E350 has given me no problems and is rock solid.
#6661 of 6720 Re: 1996 E320 [shipo]
Jan 24, 2008 (3:00 pm)
The 96 E320 did not have ESP or anything remotely like it. All it had was a limited slip differential. I live in central Massachusetts and see way too much snow for my liking.. So the first thing I did was to buy a set of four really good snow tires when I bought the car used in 1998. I never really had a problem getting around with it and in fact came through a couple of really tough storms in the NY/Connecticut area on my way home from Florida in late February. I was able to make good headway on the interstates even with 3-4 inches of snow while most non-MB vehicles (including 4WD vehicles) were going much slower... Of course I've driven in snow for over 40 years so I've learned to keep a feather foot on both accelerator and brake to avoid rapid changes in torque. Keep in mind that it snows like heck in Germany too, so any German car has to know how to handle snow.
I now have a 2001 E320 that is better in many ways because it has a first gear lockout for winter driving as well as ESP (it's first year on the E320) which is barely short of amazing in the way it controls the torque and braking on the individual wheels to help keep you out of trouble and deliver power to the wheel(s) that can handle it.
Shipo is right about the head gasket issue. I had to replace it on my 96 at about 120,000 miles. And another less mentioned, but frequent problem, is the front suspension bushings seem to wear out around the 70-80,000 mile mark. It can be expensive. The one you may buy might have the problem at a lower mileage just due to aging of the rubber. Other than that the 96 was more durable than the 2001 which has had a failed wheel bearing, failed catalytic converters (both!), and a number of other things that did not go wrong on the 96. But it also has had the same front end bushing problem!!
If her car has only 15K miles, you can still get 70-80K wonderful miles. It is a terrific car. Maintenance is a little higher than with the Asian cars; it will need brake pads and rotors at least every 40K miles, but I've never replaced shocks before the 110K mile mark and the E320 is fairly easy on tires for such a big heavy car.
Enjoy the great ride !!!
#6662 of 6720 Re: ESP availability
Jan 29, 2008 (5:23 pm)
Correction. ESP was available on 1999 E cars. Ordered a E300 Turbodiesel with ESP. It was a rather rare AND expensive option.
#6664 of 6720 2007 Mercedes E350 shock problem
Mar 19, 2008 (6:24 pm)
After I took delivery of a new 2007 E350 I notice a rattle in the chassis. The dealer has replaced all of the shocks and struts but now has a problem because the front of the car is too high. They say they don't have parts for this chassis. The car has been at the dealer for two months.
I served a lemon law notice on MBZ and we are negotiating a new car. Has anyone else had a similar problem?
Mar 20, 2008 (8:03 am)
We purchased a 1976 280. last week. Looks like it sat for a while.
The gas guage was working fine, until Monday. It started bouncing then just quit. Any ideas?
#6666 of 6720 Being charged for defective parts
Mar 22, 2008 (10:48 pm)
Mecedes wants to charge me $2600 to repair my 2004 E500. I brought my car in for an oil change and to check-out message that was some time appearing on my console and dissapearing. the message stated the the auxiliary battery convert was unavailable, after having the car inspected, I was told that the 300 small aux batery (failed midtronic test); 560 batery voltage regulator (faulty & puting out unsufficient output volts), and 1600 rear differential seals (leaking rear diff fluid). the car is weel taken care of and only has 30,000 miles. garage kept and in perfect physical condition. always keep to service maintainence schedules. Sounds to me like this car has some defective parts. What do you think?