1997 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Review

Used E-Class for sale
List Price Estimate:$1,139 - $2,446
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1997 Mercedes-Benz E-Class appraisal values can range from $278 - $1,803.
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Edmunds' Expert Review

  • Beautiful nose, light-hearted design, rock-solid construction, and the panache of owning a Mercedes. What more could you want?
  • Hmmm... I'd like it more if Mercedes-Benz gave me one to keep.

Vehicle overview

Mercedes-Benz introduced an all-new E-Class for 1996, sporting a distinctive countenance, larger dimensions, door-mounted side-impact airbags and more standard equipment. First out of the blocks was the E320, equipped with a 217-horsepower, 3.2-liter inline six; and the E300 Diesel. Later in the year, an E420 V8 was released, putting 275-horsepower to the ground through the rear wheels.

Styling follows familiar Mercedes themes, but the front end of the E-Class is quite a departure from previous Benz models. Round headlamps, available with new gas-discharge technology, contain low beams as well as parking lights and turn signals. Smaller inner lights serve as high beams. Fog lamps are integrated into the bumper covers. The result is a crisp retro look that gives the E-Class a large dose of personality and presence.

Occupants are treated to a automatic climate control system that can be set for driver and passenger comfort, and filters dust, pollen and odors from the air. The usual burl walnut trim covers the instrument panel, and E320 models come with standard leather seating. A three-position memory feature is standard on all models, and it positions the driver's seat, steering wheel, headrests and side-view mirrors for up to three different drivers. Cupholders are provided front and rear.

E-Class is equipped with improved antilock brakes, new standard traction control systems, child-safety locks on the rear doors, dual airbags and new inflatable restraints in the doors. E420 models can be ordered with an Electronic Stability Program (ESP), which helps drivers keep the car under control in hazardous conditions. An infrared remote security system is standard.

The revamped E-Class should compete very well with the new BMW 5-Series and the Lexus LS400. Its understated elegance, newfound personality, and superb engineering will prove to be an irresistible blend of attributes in the luxury car class.

1997 Highlights

The Mercedes-Benz E300D and E320 receive the driver-adaptable five-speed automatic transmission. The E-Class also has a smart sensor to determine if anyone is sitting in the passenger seat and to determine whether or not to deploy the airbag. The E420 can be had with a Sport Package.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 1997 Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

4.63 out of 5 stars
Fantastic car
luckysharkey,02/09/2015
E420 4dr Sedan
Just bought the car a week ago and I am very happy. Even with 275k miles on it, it still runs like new. 20 years later it still has more style then most cars going down the road. great gas millage as well, for a 90's car.
4.13 out of 5 stars
My experience w/ E320
Stewmeistr,03/16/2009
E320 4dr Sedan
I find that finding someone who won't take advantage of you while fixing these cars is a very rare find. My suggestion is to get a code reader and diagnose problems yourself. Goto an online store like Az autohaus to buy parts or ebay and get parts to put on yourself. Most aren't tough, but will save you alot of money. Known problems are air mass sensors($), the ac fan relay. Ours has been relatively inexpensive to own, but I can see how you could get taken with one of these cars. The dealerships will charge big $ for simple problems. Good luck, these cars still drive better than new cars. Made with quality, but some bad parts spoil the bunch. Great mileage though and smooth power.
3.63 out of 5 stars
One of the Best Cars Ever Owned!
Artmeus,06/09/2009
E320 4dr Sedan
I have owned vehicles from Lexus to Cadillac. My Lexus LS400 I put over 30,000 Mi on it with nothing but problems. The Caddy Proved to be a money pit also. So Far I have now owned 3 Mercedes Benz. I had 2 Class 2002 models (leases) for 3 years and had zero problems. I decided several years ago to pay cash for a 1997 e320 sedan 6 cylinder model. I have put over 120,000 mi on this beast and the only problem was to replace the heater sensor 15 bucks. With normal maintenance changing the oil every 3000 mi, It has been a solid car " A Tank." This has to be the most durable and most dependable car ever owned! Annual Maintenance costs are lower than both Lexus Autos I owned. Highly Recommended!
5 out of 5 stars
1997 E300 Last Best Mercedes built
Rob webber,03/18/2016
E300D 4dr Sedan
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.

Safety

IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Acceptable

More about the 1997 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Used 1997 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Overview

The Used 1997 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is offered in the following submodels: E-Class Sedan, E-Class Diesel. Available styles include E420 4dr Sedan, E300D 4dr Sedan, and E320 4dr Sedan. Pre-owned Mercedes-Benz E-Class models are available with a 4.2 L-liter gas engine or a 3.0 L-liter diesel engine or a 3.2 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 275 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 1997 Mercedes-Benz E-Class comes with rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 5-speed automatic.

What's a good price on a Used 1997 Mercedes-Benz E-Class?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 1997 Mercedes-Benz E-Classes are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 1997 Mercedes-Benz E-Class for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 1997 Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

Can't find a used 1997 Mercedes-Benz E-Classs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Mercedes-Benz E-Class for sale - 11 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $12,801.

Find a used Mercedes-Benz for sale - 1 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $22,771.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mercedes-Benz E-Class for sale - 9 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $13,601.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mercedes-Benz for sale - 1 great deals out of 5 listings starting at $22,546.

Should I lease or buy a 1997 Mercedes-Benz E-Class?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Mercedes-Benz lease specials
Check out Mercedes-Benz E-Class lease specials