Our car now has 74k on it, we purchased with 54k 2 years ago. It had some issues with some of the seals, but we've turned it into our family car and a daily driver. Heck, before we bought it the car averaged 5.4k a year. We replaced a 1996 Maxima (250k miles), with this car, and honestly the older Maxima had more advanced features. However, having said that you can't image the status upgrade this car will give you, if that's indeed important to you. But seriously, this was not our first European auto, but we were a bit suprised by the price of maintenance and the lack of performance upgrades on the market.
Power from the V8. I like the single windshield wiper. You can't beat the status. The 420 in this trim is rare, most in this body style are the smaller engine 320, you've got a bit of a sleeper here. Don't try to take newer sports sedans from a standstill
The cupholder is the single most over-engineered piece of plastic I have ever seen.
Bought this '97 model after crashing my wife's Altima, best thing to have happened! The wife thought it was too big, but she wouldn't let me use it now! Well built, luxurious and stately. People have a hard time believing it is 10 years old. No problems so far, but the fuel efficiency on premiun gas isn't great. Not complaining though
Rear wind shield automatic sun screen, the sound system speakers!
Factory installed stereo with no CD player, changed mine to one with MP3 player plug in.
I bought this car 1.5 months ago with only 67,500 miles and it drives great! Previous owner took great care of this car and it shows. Only basic maintenance required over a nine year period! I had this car thoroughly checked by a mechanic and myself on rack and was amazed at the great condition of this car. If you take care of these cars they will last for a long time. I plan to get 300,000 miles from this car.
Bought new in '96, an excellent package in terms of its exterior size, interior space and cargo volume. Handles well and is a pleasure to drive, especially on the freeway where it just glides along. Highway fuel economy has been as high as 27.75 mpg (Model's EPA was 20/27). IMHO, in good condition the E320 is a screaming used car bargain, but only if its in good condition.
'97 was the last year of the 217 HP smooth powerful straight six engine and first year of the electronic 5 speed automatic - 5th is an overdrive gear so at 65 mph the motor is turning only 2,250 rpm. This model has dual front airbags and side door airbags in all four doors.
The '97's single windshield wiper is OK, but has been replaced in newer models. I wish the car's heater would stay off until the motor was sufficiently warm to provide heat, something I have on an '80 model M-B!
Car had problems all after warantty period. Horn stopped $140. Outside mirror Broke $450. Left rear window fell down for no reason $300. Head gasket blew.(very common on these cars) $1950. Complained to dealer and Mercedes and got nothing. Will never buy another.
Better engineering, manufacturing and quality control. They should have fixed most of these problems no chage or at an adjusted price as they were common on the car I have since learned. Corporate attitude is poor toward customer.