... 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).
This is a great car when it works, but we have had tons of suspension, braking and electrical problems. Fixing anything costs at least an arm and a leg. This is my very last Benz. German engineering just means "expensive to fix".
Great car. Feels very solid and tank like as should any Mercedes. I should advise any interested buyers to highly consider the more expensive E500 wagon cause 221 hp isn't going to keep this two ton wagon up to speed with any Porsches. All in all a still excellent buy (not cheap though). My previous 2000 E320 wagon looked almost exactly the same even though there was a redesign last year. Very comfortable and relaxing to drive for long and quick trips. navigation system isnt that complicating, ride quality is amazing, and 4MATIC works great in foul weather. My rear window just randomly stopped functioning but other than that reliability has been decent. I timed a 0-60 run of about 8 seconds
COMMAND, 4MATIC, silky smooth ride and transmission
Needs more power! 0-60 in 8 seconds is not your typical Benz! Needs to be more distinguished from previous model
This is a superb touring vehicle with
comfort, and all-around good
performance. Original tires,
Continental ContiTouring, were a
problem. The rear tires had little
wear left on them at 7000 miles, the
fronts would have lasted a little
longer. Upon complaining, MB service
dept told me they were a high
performance tire with a very soft
compound. I think they were
unsuitable for 98 per cent of the
users who purchase this car. Advice
if buying this vehicle? Look at the
DOT rating stamped on the sidewall.
Anything less than 400 ask for a
different tire. I replaced them with
Bridgestone Potenza's with a 50,000
mile treadwear warranty. There's no
difference in ride, comfort or
Quietness and handling.
Match the tires to American roads, not
the Autobahn, and don't try to impress
prospective buyers with a too-soft
tire which will seem great for ride,
but with an unsuspecting buyer being
stuck for premature tire replacement.
This car is absolutely fantastic. I
have owned many other luxury imports,
including several MB's and this car
beats all of them HANDS DOWN! The car
is the perfect size- when I am driving
alone it doesn't feel excessive, when
I need to take clients out it is
luxurious and comfortable, and when I
take the kids our the 3rd row keeps
them (and their mess) out of the
passenger compartment. The car just
plain feels right. From a handling
perspective, the car sticks to the
road like glue. I have owned a Porsche
911 and this sticks as tightly as the
Porsche. I don't know if it is the
rubber, the 4Matic, or what, but it
all works beautifully. I cannot
describe how happy I am with this
First and foremost, the traction.
Next, the overall solidity and
smoothness of the vehicle. Finally,
the electonics (incl. the voice-
activated controls, the GPS and the
integrated phone are great.
Not much to improve, but, if I had to
name something, I'd say the wiring and
phone should be Bluetooth capable and
I wouldn't mind slighly better gas
mileage (22-23 mpg highway thus far).