A lot of the reviews here seem to be based on whether you get a good one or bad one. But I think your odds of getting a "good one" are generally good. Perhaps the "bad one" people are more vocal. I didn't intend to buy a car to fall in love with when I happened to buy the E420, but wow, have I fallen head over heals. This is an amazing piece of engineering. I would say that the one I bought was in about the worst shape, but I still found the car amazing. I just put on new shocks, engine mounts, cats, and OMG this car is like brand new and better than I could have imagined. Just writing about it makes me want to go out for a drive.
Our car now has 74k on it, we purchased with 54k 2 years ago. It had some issues with some of the seals, but we've turned it into our family car and a daily driver. Heck, before we bought it the car averaged 5.4k a year. We replaced a 1996 Maxima (250k miles), with this car, and honestly the older Maxima had more advanced features. However, having said that you can't image the status upgrade this car will give you, if that's indeed important to you. But seriously, this was not our first European auto, but we were a bit suprised by the price of maintenance and the lack of performance upgrades on the market.
Power from the V8. I like the single windshield wiper. You can't beat the status. The 420 in this trim is rare, most in this body style are the smaller engine 320, you've got a bit of a sleeper here. Don't try to take newer sports sedans from a standstill
The cupholder is the single most over-engineered piece of plastic I have ever seen.
Bought this '97 model after crashing my wife's Altima, best thing to have happened! The wife thought it was too big, but she wouldn't let me use it now! Well built, luxurious and stately. People have a hard time believing it is 10 years old. No problems so far, but the fuel efficiency on premiun gas isn't great. Not complaining though
Rear wind shield automatic sun screen, the sound system speakers!
Factory installed stereo with no CD player, changed mine to one with MP3 player plug in.
I bought this car 1.5 months ago with only 67,500 miles and it drives great! Previous owner took great care of this car and it shows. Only basic maintenance required over a nine year period! I had this car thoroughly checked by a mechanic and myself on rack and was amazed at the great condition of this car. If you take care of these cars they will last for a long time. I plan to get 300,000 miles from this car.