I bought this vehicle with 132K miles on it from a mechanic that had owned it for 5 years.
I had it in my possession for a little over a year.
The main reason I bought the car was for transporting my road bike.
In terms of functionality, it performs admirably, the wagon bodystyle is very good at hauling around the road bike and makes Costco trips a breeze.
Performance - The engine power is adequate and the transmission shifts smoothly.
Fuel Economy - On the highway you can achieve near 30MPG with cruise control; however, city mileage is near not so pleasant, 12 or 14 MPG.
Handling/Ride Quality - Handling is okay and ride quality was a bit floaty.
Cargo capacity - The wagon is large and performs better than many SUVs for hauling purposes.
Tech - I was pleased to find that this 2000 model year had a relatively good navigation system (with traffic) and Bluetooth, pretty high tech for the time.
Third row seats - These rear facing seats are GREAT, the owner's manual says persons under 5'3" shouldn't sit back there; however, I have driven guests around that are 5'10" and have been more comfortable than a SUV with three row seating.
Reliability - When I took owenership of the vehicle it was in VERY good condition, but over the first few months small electrical glitches surfaced.
The on board computer would say that a bulb was out, but all were functioning.
The computer would also say coolant was low, but it wasn't.
The vehicle also began to develop an odd thumping sound from the rear suspension that was too intermittent for a proper diagnosis.
When I downsized from having both the MB Wagon and Lexus IS, I would have kept the wagon if it weren't for the MPG and the weird electrical issues.
I purchased this wagon with 82k on it and now it has around 117k. It has had a few repairs, but nothing truly outrageous. It drives very well, especially at high speeds on the highway. This wagon can take on 85 mph all day. I have averaged about 21 mpg, with about half highway and half city. The 4Matic AWD is truly a dream. One nice touch is the third seat. It's not habitable by adults, but my children think its a novelty to sit in a rear- facing seat. One maintenance item to watch out for: the rear window regulators WILL break, and they are about $400 to replace from the dealer. Try to find a European auto mechanic rather than always bringing it to the dealer.
Dealership is just a total rip-off, some reliability issues. Cupholders are horrendous. Many of these cars have a tendency to burn oil. Mine goes through about two quarts every five thousand miles. Fix the window regulator issue.
I just love this car, had few problems some even very expensive- air condtion went down 1100$!, window regulators broke 2 times 300$ each, engine mounts 600$ but I do not see a problem in it, I bought it used and expected things to go bad at some point. It is like a beautiful women expensive to maintain but fun to ride ;). I feel sick when my wife makes me drive her Volvo s70. Ten volvos s70 are not worth one used out tire of my E320 Mercedes. My next car ?!? - MERCEDES!!!!!!!
This is my third benz but first of the 21st century. I stayed away after hearing about issues after the DM/Chrysler merge, but was convinced by my mechanic that the w210 chassis are well constructed and reliable vehicles. While I still own my classic MBs, this is a fine vehicle with modern amenities like powerful A/C, ventilated seats, side curtain airbags. Powerful V6, 4matic, stability and traction control make this an all weather warrior. Car is new to me so I will report back later on reliability.
driving comfort and safety features.
My wife wants a better cupholder. I could care less. I find there is wind noise with the sunroof open at speed. Doesn't occur on my older MBs.