Probably the best car I've ever owned! We purchased our 97 E300D with confidence because it was steadily serviced and well maintained by a family member. I would snap up one with that kind of a track record. We purchased with 200K miles. The most notable repairs over the past 20 plus years have been replacing the injector seals and the engine mount. From other reviews I've read, most 210s will need that kind of care. Everything else has been typical maintenance and simple repairs. I have not had problems with the electric transmission or window motors but the service man has done simple preventative things to keep them from failing (replacing the tranny fluid and filter even though it is 'sealed' and periodically lubing the window channels and guides). Just maintain it and drive it sensibly, and it will last another 20 years.
Long term owner here. zI've had 4 MB Diesels over the years and the straight 6 engine is legendary; robust and thrifty. I do most all my own work and love the engineering that goes into MB products. I use the diesels as my daily commuter and for trips. I get over 32 mpg and its comfortable and quiet.
Probably the most underrated diesel out there. 3liter straight 6 Fastest diesel before that cdi/bluetec bullshit (don't buy into those imo) my 1997 E300 NA diesel is fast off the line even for non turbo and is reliable as hell(one less thing to go) Gets 1050km per full tank with shell v power and additive. Big and safe car with side airbags, Esp and abs. The interior is mint and at 220,000km the seats aren't even broken in to lol. What more could you ask for get one before the go up in price which they will cause all the previous diesel benzs sky rocketed in price. OM606 is the best last engine and no maintenance is required, powerful and proven at this point in age. Just look for a rust free one and you can't lose. Finally a cheap costing easy to use high output Mercedes for diesel enthusiasts. W210 for life.
This car was a total hunk of junk from the first day we drove it. The check engine light came on on the drive home on the day of purchase. It was never fixed, but to make the car even worse the radiator had to be replaced before the car could be sold. So, $3200 later we finally just got rid of the car to cut our losses while we still could. Run! Don't walk away from this car!
Figure out how to get the car to run like advertised.
This is my third MB, and my second diesel, and I have enjoyed every one. Even though the 97 Diesel in a non turbo it has plenty of go. My fuel mileage averages upper 20's around town to low thirties on the highway. I bought the car with 106K on the odo and after two years and at 135K on the odo the only major maintenance required has been changing the glow plugs, which requires pulling the intake manifold. The car is a joy to drive, and I constantly get compliments on its looks. I guess I am just fortunate because I have not experienced the problems with any of my MBs that so many others in this forum seem to have. I hope to always be fortunate enough to own an MB.
The ride, the build quality, the looks. I get excited everytime i drive this car.
Ok, I admit that those who are complaining about the cup holders may have a legitimate gripe. But everyone who gets in my car and uses it thinks the way it opens is the neatest thing. And I haven't had any problems with it.