Like others, we bought the car thinking we'd keep it for a long time. After 6 years and many, many trips to the dealer we are saying bye to the Benz. Thankfully, the warranty covered replacement of the entire dashboard assembly, brakes, phone, hatch and various other electrical issues. Unfortunately, post-warranty I was stuck with the bill for the struts, rotors, hatch (again) and a new $100 key! Like others, it's burning oil at a rapid pace. The car drives well, is very stable and eats up highway miles. Performance in the snow is fantastic - better than our Land Rover! Cargo/people hauling space is great.
Stability, solid feel of chassis and interior switches. Cargo capacity and people capacity. Performance of 4Matic in the snow. Indestructible leather (survived unscathed after 6 years with two small kids; cleans up well)
Quality - MB should take responsibility for the known issues beyond warranty (Oil consumption, for example). They lost me as a repeat customer.
I bought my E430 Sport used after owning several VWs, since I have all but given up on American cars from the likes of GM, Ford, and Dodge. I really liked the German-made VWs, so I felt comfortable buying another German car, and Mercedes is a very prestigious brand. Let me just say that I have not been disappointed at all! My E430 purrs like a mountain lion, and is rock solid at speed. The car really comes alive at speeds above 90 mph. I love getting on an open stretch of road and opening it up around 80-85 mph. The rush from there on up to the top speed is exhilirating! Fuel mileage has also been a pleasant surprise. Fuel economy has averaged around 25 mpg with 50/50 highway-city driving.
Smooth but powerful V8. Excellent mileage for a car of this size and performance. Whisper-quiet ride on almost any type of road surface. Trunk fully opens automatically when you hit the trunk button; no need to hit the button and then lift the trunk lid yourself.
Cupholder is a little flimsy when holding a larger than average cup/glass.
Our 2000 Desert Silver E320 is great fun to drive. It is a wolf in sheep's clothing. When driven easily, it is quiet & dignified. However, stomp on the gas or use the manual-shift feature & the car takes off like a rocket. Handling is also superb. Interior design is traditional Mercedes and looks like a million bucks as does the exterior (particularly the front-end). While the powertrain & cosmetics are first- rate, the electronics need much improvement in the way of reliability. Most recently, the CD player has stopped working. The radio unit thinks that the CD magazine is empty when it is full. Result? CD player inoperative. The 2003 E-class does not look as good (inside & out). Great car.
Exterior & interior styling are great. Road performance is excellent. Interior wood is beautiful. Body is solid & robust. In fact, the sheet metal feels about twice as thick as that used in our new '05 Lexus RX330. Brand cache is good for snob appeal, if you are into that. Gas mileage is excellent.
Improve the reliability of the electronics. The problems many people experience are, I believe, due to poor component design, not problems at the assembly line. Example: make the visor vanity mirror open all the way instead of only to 90. Cover is fitted with tiny plastic tips that break off easily.
Bought the car with 48000 miles, and have replaced every light at least once. One electrical problem after another. Paint is the worst I have every seen, chipping. Everytime there is a problem cost is at minimum $1,000. I would NEVER own another MB. Overrated poorest quality car I have ever owned.
This car is great! Very safe and comfortable. The handling really is amazing, and it gets great gas mileage. Navigation has been very handy and the Bose speakers sound good. Wish I had heated seats as they are cold in the mornings.