I owned a couple of MBs back in the 80s and while they were reliable (boringly so), they were just not fun to drive. I recently purchased a 1999 E430 just because it looked good on the lot and had only 30000 miles on it (in June of 2007!). I must say these cars have come a long, long, way. This thing is powerful, smooth, and handles like it's on rails. It gets 31 mpg on the Interstate (in cruise control)and averages 25. If you need a great used car for a real bargain price, look at one of these wonderful machines.
Engine - powerful yet economical.
Cup holders are lousy. It looks like a company as competant as MB could make a great cupholder or two.
After much research and driving most competing models, including BMW 5 series, Lexus LS 400, Mercedes e320, etc. the e430 proved to be the car for me. 30+ mpg hwy at 75 - 80 mph. Quiet, comfortable, most E320 options are standard. This car feels soft but as soon as you push it a bit in hunker's down and handles! Great stereo and seats! Find a reputable independent shop and maintain it well. Find a well maintained carfax certified model. It'll never be as care free as a Camry, but it will never drive like one either!
Stereo, seats, power, mpg if driven gently. Classic looks also.
Conservative look may not appeal to some, but doesn't stand out to the highway patrol either!
I have owned this car for about 6 months now - had 75K miles on it when I bought it, now has 83K miles. It feels solid and drives wonderfully. But shortly after I bought the car, it started breaking down; piece by piece. And the repairs are so darn expensive. All in all, I would not recommend this car to anyone as what you will pay for repairs will probably exceed what you've paid for the car itself. Unless you have saved up an additional $10K for repairs and you are willing to spend all of it, do yourself a favor and stay away from this car.
Very comfortable, great performance, fun to drive.
Improve build quality! Also make the parts less expensive.
I expected to have issues with a 7 year old car but it has been excellent. I drove it 23,000 miles this year (hwyway and in town) without an problems. I had one catyltic converter replaced under warranty. I had a two dash light bulbs burn out but the dealer sells the tools to quickly remove the a/c and speedo units so I did it myself for $30. The head light lenses need to be buffed out ($75) and it would look much newer than a 99. It uses oil, but MB says to expect a quart every 625 miles but it does much better, around 2000 miles. I am not totally sold that 0W40 mobile one is exactly right for this car even though that is the MB recommendation.
The driving pleasure. The still like new black leather interior,