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I've been thinking of getting one and since they're sort of cheap now, I thought i'd ask and see what people thought of them? what reliability issues? are they even reliable? and what features to look for? I know for sure I don't want automatic shocks and will probably swap out to coilovers. would also like to get a manual but i know those are rare. But which year to look for? What issues? etc. thanks

 

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I don't think these came in manual in the US bub

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I believe that this was one of the better E classes after the W124. I don’t think they came in manual in the US.

I’d go to the model specific forum in Benzworld.org to get more guidance.


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Well, let's narrow it down a bit. Do you have enough money for a 2009 E350 with the sport package? That'd be the only one I'd buy. You'll skip almost all the headaches commonly associated with the W211 that way. I'd watch out for:

-Worn front control arm bushings
-Window regulators
-Bonus if cats have been replaced
-Panoramic sunroof can leak
-I'd have the timing chain/timing chain tensioner inspected if over 100k

Otherwise you should be in for smooth sailing. Any German car from the mid 2000s is subject to random electrical faults but those vary from car to car.
 

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W211s were not available with a manual transmission in the US.

Definitely get a post-facelift car, 2007-2009. Don't get an early car. SBC brakes are evil crap that can kill you, the climate controls are harder to use, 5 speed auto in the 320 v. 7 speed in the 350. Quality standards in the facelift cars is higher, noticeably better reliability.

Airmatic isn't that common in a 6 cylinder- I believe it was standard in the E500/550.

Don't get one with a panoramic roof- they leak and can break, very expensive to fix.

Check the engine number on mbworld- the balance shafts can fail on these cars, that's another very expensive fix.

Buy the very best condition car you can afford- I've seen some 100k+ mile cars that almost look new, so if it's well taken care of, these cars last.
 

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My in-laws have one (2008). They bought it with sorta high miles, around 120K. The only think I noticed that needs attention are busted motor mounts-it sounds rougher on acceleration than it ought to sound. A broken ground wire on/close to the trunk lid caused some weird issues. It was an easy fix.
 

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Definitely stick to 2007+ to avoid SBC. That said, my parents' 2004 E320 4Matic (bought new in late 2003) was still reliable when we got rid of it with over 190K miles in 2016 - it just needed a lot of suspension stuff replaced.

If you see a scary red "charging system visit workshop" warning, you probably just need a new secondary battery (the one under the hood). Main battery is in the trunk.
 

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My parents 1999 E320 sedan was generally reliable until they got rid of it last year when one of the rear shock mounts rusted through.
 

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The M272s in a certain range has balance shaft worn sprockets deep into the engine. They'll fail and grenade the engine. Not worth the labor fixing it before it fails.
 

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2007+ W211 is the one to get as many already pointed out. But depending on your budget, I suggest also looking at W212... newer platform and better construction and material quality all around.
 

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A friend had a clk55 for a while, similar year. Interior was nice, but he took full advantage of the carmax warranty. Obviously different engine and suspension and roof and stuff, but the car and the local dealers service waiting area were both nice places to be.

I got a free hat when I dropped it off for him one time.
 

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I have a diesel so can't comment on the gas engines, but I love mine, no issues (and I have a pano and love it :p ) Crispyfritter had one that ticked a lot of the 'issues' all at once, leaky trans on to control module comes to mind. So maybe he'll chime in with some woes.

Definitely stick to 2007+ to avoid SBC.
I love SBC, a great system IMO (while it works :laugh: ). The warranty on these was extended to 25 years or something (the card is in the manual and I'm too lazy to go check :p ).
 

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I inherited a hand me down 2007 E300 from my parents, with 4Matic. The car has just under 40k miles on it, and a few fender scrapes due to a 90-yr old driver :)

It's an intensely boring car to drive (maybe the 4Matic kills it, but the engine, tranny and suspension tuning are lethargic).

Reliability has been a mixed bag:
- Both front wheel bearings have been replaced (right after the rotors were done)
- Crank position sensor (I think) also went bad and car had to be towed to the indy mechanic
- Now there is a strong raw gasoline smell from the cabin (something with the fuel delivery system now)

Otherwise, the interior is very well built, trunk is quite large, and it's a comfy cruiser for long trips. Depends on the condition of your model and what maintenance has been done.
 

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I had a 2003 E500 for several years, '05 thru '08, It was okay. The biggest issue was the very tight firewall. Neither the dealer, nor my regular European shop could get the valve cover gasket in easily resulting in a steady oil weep.

The car wasn't all the comfortable either. I bought it after my 1998 BMW 528i was totaled. I missed the BMW. I happily sold the MB and haven't looked back.
 

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Having serviced my dad's 2006 E350 4matic for 3 years/80k I have to only add one very important advise: stay away from 4 matic. If his was RWD I would say the car has been bulletproof. The cars like to chew transfer cases if not maintained properly. You also get a 7-speed tranny compared to 5 speed on AWD models.
 

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I inherited a hand me down 2007 E300 from my parents, with 4Matic. The car has just under 40k miles on it, and a few fender scrapes due to a 90-yr old driver :)

It's an intensely boring car to drive (maybe the 4Matic kills it, but the engine, tranny and suspension tuning are lethargic).

- Now there is a strong raw gasoline smell from the cabin (something with the fuel delivery system now)
These cars aren't sporty, and they really weren't meant to be. You need to fix the fuel leak ASAP- there is either a TSB or a recall on the fuel line to remedy this issue.
 

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The trans is 7 speed on the E350s, including the 4Matics. 5 speed is the older transmission on the E320 and E500. If you don't do the transmission service at 40/45k, you're going to kill the transmission and transfer case.
There is no 7 speed all wheel drive W211 in existence anywhere in the world. All 4matics came with 5 speed slushboxes. Only LCI RWD (2007-2009) E350 and E550 came with 7G-tronic.
 
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