I know my MB's trust me on this. The 96-99 E class is by far the best years of the E class. DO NOT buy a 2000 or newer. I have 215k on mine. Paint is starting to fade a bit, a little rattle in the Cat Conv other than that, it drives and runs like new. Chrysler ruined the name from 2000 to like 2007 or roughly around there. They tried to infuse their technology into the E class at this time and failed miserably. A 2000 E class is a K car with a MB star on the hood. The 99 is heavy, solid, and feels German. It's a little underpowered, and don't buy a 4matic if you are worried about gas. If you value your family's safety, want to to stay out of trouble, and want to look cool, buy a 99
This car is an amazing piece of machinery and is the last year of the reliable Mercedes. This car having a 4.3 liter V8 just made the car a sleeper, especially considering that it had no badging anywhere. The transmission shifts almost seemlessly. It has great power and good handling, but this particular car stood out from the pack because of the real Brabus exhaust, and the replica Brabus 19" wheels. The car sounds fantastic and it isn't overly loud. The interior of this car doesn't have the flare of Mercedes of old, but it's simple and functional, and that's all you should need. The exterior is much like the interior, simple but nice to look at, especially in the white color mine was in.
Couldn't be a happier owner.
Purchased a formerly leased car with 43,000 miles and have just crossed 275,000 miles with zero problems of any significance. Of course have had some things wear out that are normal, but the car remains powerful and absolutely dependable.
Much better car than the 1990 Lexus 400 it replaced in 2003.
Bought my 99 e320 4matic in 02 with 78K miles. A tree fell on it in a hurricane in year 2 and creased it down the middle. I thought it would be declared as totalled. It was repaired by the insurance company at a cost of $7,000. Had the transmission replaced 2 years ago.
This vehicle lgets excellent gas mileage. On the highway I get 470+ miles to a tank of gas which I believe holds 18.5 gallons (about 25 mpg highway). I absolutely love to drive this car. The header is falling down a little in the back from where the tree creased it. Otherwise, it is pretty enough. I am presently at 256,000 miles and look forward to my next road trip
I bought mine new in '99 and now has 315,000 miles and going strong. Replaced engine mounts about a year ago and shocks and struts a few years ago -- not that they absolutely had to be replaced, but it was a bit of an improvement. Body is close to perfect, as is the interior. Still has the original 16-year old battery, and last winter we had 10 consecutive days of below zero temps, and it started up every time without a hitch! This car was overbuilt (before Mercedes went to Chrysler and back). Basically, all that I've done is change the synthetic oil every 10K miles and, of course, periodic tire and brake changes. If you can pick one up which has been well maintained, you will NOT be disappointed. Very smooth and powerful ride, and still getting 25 mph on the highway (and best cruise control of any car I ever owned).