2000 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E430 4MATIC 4dr Sedan AWD
Owned my 2000 MB E430 4matic for 5 years. bought with 160k, now has 202k... very few issues outside the norm.. transmission module was biggest at $800. Trans has had some slight slippage past year but only 1-2 gear at part throttle... never gotton worse. Absolute TANK in snow! Drives quiet, decent power, quality paint and interior... gonna pass down to my son in 4 years....
I am the original owner and bought it new in 2000. I mainly use it when I need 4WD or hauling so it still has only 75k miles. The engine, transmission, and brakes are great and have never needed any service, but the rest of the car is junk and it has problems that are characteristic of this model and year, as noted online by other owners. Mercedes will not admit or correct them since they emerge after the warranty expires. 1. This wagon is prone to rust around the fixed rear window in the rear hatch. I had to have it fixed in a body shop for >$600. It affects about 1/3 wagons, but you don't see that as you drive around anymore because most of us who still own ours have had it fixed. 2. The CD player in the rear wheel well has problems with the transport mechanism. I had it fixed twice at my expense but it kept jamming so I gave up and don't use it. 3. This model year had terrible (and known) problems with the insulation on the wiring under the dash. Mercedes used an environmentally friendly material that broke down prematurely and the wires shorted out. My dashboard clock and outside temp. readouts have been useless for years. It would cost thousands to get under the dashboard and replace the wiring, so I just stuck a cheap digital clock on the dashboard. 4. The releases on the rear seat backs that allow them to flip down have an elaborate cable linkage that broke (at different times) on both rear seats despite little usage. (If one broke it could be bad luck, but both breaking means there was a design flaw.) 5. Both rear window regulators failed (at different times) and had to be replaced because the rear windows would not move. 6, The volume control knob on the radio doesn't work properly so I use the + and - buttons on the steering wheel. 7. The on-off button on the radio has stopped working reliably, so I often just lower the volume with the steering wheel button, instead of turning the radio off. 8. After only 60 K miles the car needed new shocks. Mercedes shocks are Bilsteins, and for this model I was quoted $2,000 by Midas, not by the dealer who would surely have been higher. I'm not putting that kind of money into such a flawed car.
Problems #1-4 are well know to Mercedes owners in chat rooms, but Mercedes will not admit any of them or correct them. I keep the car because the engine and transmission are flawless, the cargo capacity is enormous, and the 4WD is essential in the snow. I would never buy another Mercedes and my daily transport is a 2014 Lexus ES Hybrid. Toyota products are absolutely flawless - I've owned two Priuses, a Camry Hybrid, and now a Lexus Hybrid, and have never fixed a single thing on any of those technologically complicated cars. They have all been passed down to my children and grandchildren and are still in the family with high mileage yet remain flawless.
At this age you can expect things to need repairing. I have an excellent Mercedes mechanic who keeps the Maintainance up. Not sure I could afford it if I had to go to the dealership. They charge more than double than my mechanic.