The main problem with these older Mercedes is people who cannot afford to maintain them get them because of the cheap price.
These cars can take allot of abuse and you will not see many cars from 80s and 90s still on the road.
But everything requires up keep, even new cars.
I have a new BMW that I like, but it's not the same love affair as with my 300e.
I drove 2011 E-class before I bought my BMW and still think my 300e is a better car than the new Mercedes E-class. The new E-class is heavy and tiring to drive around town.
The smoothness of the transmission and engine is legendary. Even after 18 years, car rides like a dream.
If you can find one that has been well maintained you will be very happy.