My 94 E320 has required more unscheduled maintenance than vehicles I have owned from other manufactures.
My 2000 Nissan Maxima from 232 to 29000 miles required no unscheduled maintenance except rotors. My 1989 Mitsubishi Galant required minor unscheduled maintenance from 86000 to 156000 miles. Even my 98 Pontiac Montana did not require any critical unscheduled maintenance in 20000 miles.
In 10,000 miles of driving, I have concluded that MB is an overpriced, overrated car with mediocre engineering.
From the placement of the AC Evaporator to the obsessive use of vacuum, MB engineers do not seem to be aware of design for manufacturing and ease of maintenance. To replace the Aux fans, the radiator has to be removed!
Interior volume compared to car size leaves a lot to be desired. In over hundred years of automotive experience, they were unable to figure out engine cooling system and alternator capacities. MB states that in loaded cars, in hilly areas and high temperatures, with AC, the engine cooling system will exceed its design limits. Unacceptable for a car that calims "Engineered like no other", but Ford's "Quality is Job one" is not any more accurate.
They failed to learn that Testing and Development has to be done before components are put into production, like head gaskets and wiring harnesses.
The single wiper arm has a hard time keeping water off the windshield and transmission leaves a little to be desired.
A slightly different perspective!
I will add that I like the E320's ride, its straight line stability, 50/50 weight distribution, comfortable seats (very well designed), inline 6 engine and NVH control except for some roadnoise in rainy condition form the rear wheel wells. Low wind noise levels. So MB engineers did get somethings right during the 100 years!!
One final coment in defence of German and US automakers, the Japanese consumer is extremely picky, they actually look the vehicle over, from body gaps to seals, they demand perfection, some even take their shoes off when sitting in the car, unlike US and German consumers who just start the car, move the shifter to D and drive. So maybe the US and German automakers never felt the need to pay too much attention to details, especially MB, where 70% of the consumers do not keep their cars for more than 50000 miles and get all the service done at the dealerships. Ironically, the Japanese consumer does not keep his/her car for more than a few years, although the cars are designed for a far longer life.
In Japan (many years back) I noticed that cars had side rear view mirrors on the hood, is it beacuse of the narrow streets or just a trend?
94 E320 58000 Miles
Last edited by zafarhayatkhan; 07-13-2003 at 09:21 PM.