I purchased my 2004 in October 2006 with 22K miles. He has 165K now. Drove him all over the place. He's been to ATL and back to So Cal. Weather in ATL (Snow & Ice) and high heat and humidity. Work horse. I have had him serviced at OC Benz for years and in ATL, Revolution in Decatur, GA. Yes, he has had a few issues: air compressor on back hatch; rear air shocks; fuel injector, .... but on average I have put 2K a year in maintenance and the larger items. Still drives like a dream. Plan to drive for another year or two. Love this car and would love to purchase another.
We purchased our Mercedes E320 Wagon new from the dealer and it was an incredible driving and great looking car. I took perfect care of this vehicle: kept it looking showroom perfect, always dealer maintained, and did all the services as scheduled. I was really hoping this car would last us a real long time with minimal problems. I was sadly mistaken. Early on things started breaking - even under warranty. Little things like the auto cargo shade stopped working that the dealer tried to fix. Then as the warranty expired, the real repair started. The air suspension went out right at 50,000 miles. This costs over $1000 per wheel to fix. The dealer agreed to do this repair under warranty - BUT IT FAILED A TOTAL OF 4 TIMES! When it fails, it leaves you stranded. Main oil seals failed (BIG repair $), the main computer fried in the middle of an I-10 trip and left us stranded because the AC lines sweated on the electronics. We hit a pothole driving 5 MPH and the wheel strut bent. Engine mounts failed. More and more small electronics failed: auto headrests didn't go down, steering column adjustment didn't work, window spray lines broke... The frequency and cost of repairs was really mindboggling. After the 4th failure of the air suspension (that left us stranded yet again on the interstate) and a $1300 alternator replacement we finally traded the vehicle in for close to nothing. I know many of you are saying to quit griping with the repairs - its an expensive import car. We realize that. However we really expected the quality of this car to be much better than what we got. It literally became so unreliable we couldn't trust it for much of anything. But it looks awesome and when it runs - it gives you a ride you cant beat!
... our 2004 E320 4Matic is still running like a champ! No significant mechanical issues and the car has never left us stranded. We keep it in the garage (our 2015 GLK350 gets the carport parking) and keep up on all the maintenance religiously.
Get the E500 if you want a rocketship. We're happy with the trusty M112 V6 engine. Enough power for most applications yet provides decent fuel mileage. It's a much more desirable engine than the dreaded M272 in the 2006 - 2009 E350 that was prone to balance shaft failures (there's even a class action suit against Mercedes for this now).
Handling is decent for a wagon but eats tires.
The car continues to amaze me each time I drive it. Some of the technology in this 11 year old car is just appearing in some of the brand new cars of other brands. The design and build quality are outstanding and people are still amazed that it's a 2004. Even in posh Los Angeles restaurants, the valet parks the car in the highest visibility spots.
Who needs an SUV with the amount of interior space you get in the wagon! Sound system is fantastic. Driving position is perfect.
Some interior parts are prone to breakage easily such as sun visors, the butterfly buttons on the center console, and the dreaded cup holders that never seem to last more than 2 months!
As for user interface, well, the command system is a nightmare to figure out. It's completely counter intuitive and the commands are inconsistently laid out.
When buying a used one, check for Thrust Arm bushing wear, SBC brake update (factory recall), and leaking Fuel Tank gaskets (factory recall).
2004 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E320 Rwd 4dr Sedan (3.2L 6cyl 5A)
We've nicknamed our E320 the "Water Buffalo" simply because it's the work horse. She is as reliable as any car I've owned (and I've owned a lot!), just gets you to your destination effortlessly and smoothly, pretty comfy ride, handles well, and is all round a good solid car.
Even in Los Angeles where everybody drives fancy cars, the valet still parks our E320 in the front. It just looks like an elegant and classy car.
Firm yet comfortable ride. Just a super reliable car! Keep up on the maintenance and you'll have no problems with this car. I'm not sure what kind of paint Mercedes uses, but this car has lived a hard life in the Southern California sun, yet continues to shine like it just came off the showroom! At 114,000 miles, our E320 feels like it'll run another 200,000 miles easily! If you're considering one, don't hesitate! Get it!
Suspension thrust bearings are regular failures on these cars. Expect to spend about $1,800 to repair them.