Bought for $22K. Wiring Harness is the only major issue ever ($1,700 to fix). This car regularly travels 800 mi RT to Gulf Shores, 300 mi RT to Spartanburg...and she just is great on the highway. Avg fuel is 28 in the city and 34 on the highway. I've put 120K miles on this car and she now has 223K total miles. Even my mechanic thinks this is an awesome car.
I drive some 6000 miles every year on the snow and ice in the mountains and the electronics takes care of the occasional error. This car has has minor corrosion problems all corrected under guarantee at no cost to myself.
This Mercedes has been the least reliable vehicle I have ever owned. The electronic engine control hooks to an antitheft interlock which fails randomly. The dealership is happy to take my money but unable to solve the problem. Hence I can be anywhere and try to start the car and have it disable the vehicle, leaving me stranded. The Mercedes club people know of this problem and tell me that Mercedes made a replacement computer that disables the lock out, but will not sell it to me. The us Mercedes people were uncooperative. Since I bought the vehicle used, they state that someone could have changed my computer before I bought it. Yeah, sure.
The new 4 valve deisel is a work of art. There is plenty of power for accelerating and the broad tourque curve makes highway cruising at 75 effortless. Unforntunately, many little problems with various systems have had the car spending days at the dealer. The dealer took several tries to get it right each time! very bad. At 95,000 miles the legendary Mercedes deisel stopped! I was informed that the bad fuel in this country gummed up the vanes in the induction unit and it cost $3,500 to repair. This is rediculous. One buys a deisel to prevent this sort of thing.
when we purchased this vehicle in nov of '96 we were so happy. then we found out it had a german smaller gas tank. the dealership replaced it tthe proper size tank. then we started to have a series of reliabilty problems, such as the following: glow plugs not working (8 times),care stalling while in motion (10 times), 3 blower motors, 2 control modules replaced, order pump for ww wipers.if you wish i can you copies of the work orders. It just to much effort to wrie here. MB did extend the warranty to 75,000 miles and the were good in providing a loaner car with no cost to me. The problems have with this car up to this writing. richard snyder