I have a '94 and a '97. The engine is fine, no head gasket problems on either. The cam covers do leak, but MB has a new sealant that works. Neither of mine leak there any more. The trans is not the new electronic model, they arrived in "97. Just make sure the trans is serviced on schedule.
I have not heard of any body problems on the '96. If this is from a dealer all the records are on the computer, get a copy. Ed