Trans went out at 150000 miles. Electrical problems and an emission gremlin that has never gone away. At 200000+ miles. Oil seep that I've just lived with for 6+ years of ownership. Annoying but easy to deal with. Squeaky belt but since none of the components running off the belt has ever been replaced.. guess its not that big of a deal. Fuel pump went out but easy to repair plus it was the original. Again not a big deal.. Lots of little things but parts are easy to find, just as cheap/expensive as any car. But easier to repair than any Japanese car I've ever owned. Just need to figure out the little tricks the engineers designed to make repairs easy. This car will go 300K miles.
This car was my first MB and due to the problems and quality most likely my last. At 100K the engine (in-line 6) began leaking oil at the head. I have also had electrical problems with the dash and rear tail-lights. I could live with these issues but the other day while driving down the road my front left spring fell out! The spring pearch had rusted off. If I was going faster someone could have been killed as my spring went bouncing down the road!
I've had no mayor problems with the car, the biggest job was a transmission service @ 177,000 miles. The car has around 245,000 miles and it runs like new. It smogs fine and it does about 24 MPG. I dive it every day and about once a month i drive to LA from northern californa (about 300 miles) and it feels great. It has some minor issues like a stereo volume knob that is worn due to normal use and like any W210 the original head gasket leaks around the front of the engine (cyl 1) which didn't cause any problems other than the leak itself which if you had warranty it's fine if not its around 150usd for the gasket set.
I just purchased the car recently but love it. I have heard about the quality & performance of the Mercedes-Benz brand but am thrilled to finally experience it first-hand. The car performs flawlesly and the comfort if among the best.
I really enjoy this superb and silky smooth car. All aspects of the car has been positive. The car handles nicely and feels quite substancial. My only complaints are typical to many other Benz's of similar years both earlier and later. This car turns heads and is deserving of all the attention that it recieves. Mercedes really stepped up the look on the car. To date this is the best looking E-Class. The 2003 chassis doesn't look as beefy, beefy looks good for a mans car. The 1996 is a heavy and stiff car. This tank is built for the road and it superbly holds the road in all weather conditions. This is close to car heaven. That is so far.