This is my second new MB but not my last. In ten years, I replaced normal wear items consistent with the mileage but not much else. Service at the dealer is somewhat expensive and I had one bad experience of being overcharged, which I complained about to the next few service advisers. They agreed and made things right. Oddly, in the last couple of years, the cost of replacing typical wearable items has gone down - generally less than estimated. The car gets 22 mpg running around and about 28 mph on the highway (at about 60 mph). The car still looks great, rides well and is totally reliable, which makes it difficult to drop $50k to replace it with a new model.
Style, reliability, all wheel drive, and gas milage. No matter what year your MB it is immediately recognized as a Mercedes Benz.
My only complaint is that the AM radio reception was initially good in my area but has definitely become poor, at best. Seems to work better in other areas, but I think this is a car radio problem not a radio signal problem.
Just traded my 01 E320 4M with 118,600 kms for a 2006 Lexus GS300. I bought the E with 80,000 kms on it and a vibration cropped up between 60 kmph and 80kmph daily until it warmed up. Not tires, but a known problem with MB and they say it can't be fixed at London ON MB. Also 2 front fenders rusting through along with bottom of the doors,my problem not MB's, and various suspension issues. CD changer and audio system was all fuzzy sounding and the drivers chair creaked like an old lazyboy. Service got expensive and it was just time to let it go. It was disappointing because we thought we would have many years of service from this car but we became afraid that it would end up being worthless.
Engine performance was great as was braking and handling.
Stand behind the product. An MB should not rust at 7 years old, we expect more.
Bought my E320 new in 2001. Overall, excellent ride, classy vehicle, virtually no maintenance until about 90K miles. Between 90 and my current 115K miles, I have probably put $3k into the car for repairs (cat covert, air, regular service) but nothing before that except scheduled maintenance. Some electrical problems started to show up at 110K miles so I may be looking again. Overall, I am very pleased with this car which looks great even after 9 yrs and 115k miles. Service at dealer has been good except for 45 minutes of shop time to replace a headlight bulb. Complained the next visit and they made it right. This is my second MB and I will probably buy another one.
In my year/model, I thought the leather seats were a bit stiff. Also, hood seems to be susceptible to road dings so much that I put a Colgen bra on after the first year.
Well where to start? This car has so many features from the electronic stability control (esp) to its Bose surround sound system. What a smooth shifting transmission. Big difference from that old 4 speed to the new and improved 5 speed with auto stick. And the 4 wheel fully independent suspension faculties and ABS brakes.
Looking for a AWD, E320-4matic is the only AWD in a sedan that glides through snow like hot knife in butter. It's quiet, responsive, and luxurious. I wish I had heated seats, but for the money, I can add seat heaters for a couple of hundred dollars. The Nav is a bit awkward, but does work as expected.
Steering wheel, Bose sound system, size, ride, and turning radius.
Improved gas mileage and improved owner's manual. A little less plastic everything, a bit more like the solid finish of the 70's and 80's vintage. A few less buttons - more like the BMW's joy stick selector, making it easier for the driver to keep focused on the road.