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Old 03-27-2012, 02:58 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Joliet Illinois
Posts: 309
E320 Buying Advice Please

I'm looking to buy a used E320 in the $9,000 to $15,000 range, probably something between a 2001 and 2006 and have a few questions:

1.Are there any years that are better than others?

2. What are some of the common trouble areas for this model so I can be on the lookout for them.

3. Is it wise to stay away from the 4-matics if you really don't need AWD?

BTW I'm now driving a '88 260E with 255,000 miles that I maintain myself and know inside and out, but I suspect the newer models have their own unique problems.


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Old 03-27-2012, 04:02 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: MA
Posts: 217
you are spanning two model version there - W210 and W211.

There is lots of info on these, one thing to obviously consider is end of life for W210 will have all the fixes in place, early W211 will be at the beginning of the cycle.

As to 4-matic, we have that on a 2002 wagon that we bought with about 30K mi and is now close to 140K. I have needed to replace both front axles due to split boots. The axles complete can be had amazingly cheaply now (Its not worth a rebuild you just replace), and its a relatively easy repair to do yourself.

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Old 03-27-2012, 07:51 PM
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 189
if your getting a 210, go towards 2002, and the w211 you might want to consider one after 2007, cause the facelift but 2008 is probably best.. i know the 2003 - 2004's had a ton of issues (especially the airmatic suspension), and the 2007's had motor mount issues
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Old 03-27-2012, 09:15 PM
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Southern California, U.S.A.
Posts: 8,538
I'd say get a W210 chassis E320 from 2000-2002. They are all the same.

The first few years of the W211 chassis from 2003-on had a ton of quality issues. I'd avoid them.

If you can afford a model year 2007 E350, they were face lifted and all of the bugs were worked out.
Paul S.

2001 E430, Bourdeaux Red, Oyster interior.
79,200 miles.

1973 280SE 4.5, 170,000 miles. 568 Signal Red, Black MB Tex. "The Red Baron".
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Old 03-28-2012, 01:37 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 3,726
I thought 2007 3.5 was the height of the balance shaft problem, which was serious stuff.
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Old 03-28-2012, 03:47 PM
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Location: Mount Pleasant, SC
Posts: 103
I just bought a 05 from the second owner (20K - 98K) He had zero problems with Car in the 78K miles that he owned it. Had all maint performed at the MB dealer. I the troublefree continues with my ownership. Very impressed with this car....

05 E320
86 930
05 Range Rover HSE
95 Range Rover SWB
63 Series IIa
Several boring BMW's for this kids....
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Old 03-28-2012, 05:09 PM
Jim's500E's Avatar
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Manchester, Connecticut
Posts: 1,325

Go for the latest model W211. I have spent the last 6 months looking at a new wagon/sedan for the wife. The last of the W211s would be our best bet on a solid car.

Just my 2 cents.

1992 500E
2007 CLK63
2003 Audi RS6
2001 Audi allroad
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Old 03-28-2012, 07:10 PM
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Location: Mount Pleasant, SC
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Oh, I paid $11K for mine.

05 E320
86 930
05 Range Rover HSE
95 Range Rover SWB
63 Series IIa
Several boring BMW's for this kids....
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Old 03-29-2012, 11:44 AM
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Location: Plano, TX
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I've owned several 210 and several 211 cars. In my opinion, the problems with the 211 are greatly overstated. Many of the early teething probems in the 211 were attributable to software. Well, guess what? The software has been updated and those early cars are fixed, and newer models were good straight from the factory.

In general a newere 211 is going to be more reliable than an older, higher miles 210. No rocket science there. The upside to a 211 is that it feels like a nicer car than a 210. The interior materials in particular are more attractive and higher quality.

There are some downsides to a 211. It is without question a more complex and complicated car than a 210. For example, it has 2 batteries - the customary big (group 49) Mercedes battery in the trunk, and a smaller motorcycle battery under the hood. The 2003-2006 model 211 cars have SBC brake-by-wire electromagical brakes. Benz has warranted the SBC unitl for 10 years, but after that an SBC fault results in an expensive repair.

My $0.02? In your price range I'd go for a 2005 E320. That is the last year before the new engine/transmission was introduced. The drivetrain is as solid as can be. Oh, and don't buy one with airmatic suspension, though it's quite rare on E320 models.
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Old 03-29-2012, 11:53 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: bristol,tn
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I have been scared of the newer E Class,now a 190e I will buy.The forum is full of E,and M class troubles from engines to spring and wheels rusting off.
I'll stick with S Class used.

yep published author , the runaway files, by tennessee nate
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