I bought this used in October 2014. Only thing I have done to it is oil change, Gas to ac unit and it has been running great. Yes maintenance is higher than other cars, but other cars don't compare. Do your own research, but I used to have a 1990 420 SEL back in 1998, and it had over 100,000 miles on it. Loved it until I sold it. These cars are great, luxury wise and ride wise. Creature comforts. I can go on..I have 162,000 miles on my E-Class now.
I purchased this car from a dealer that had it sitting for 4 years. It had a few minor problems that I have repaired myself. This car is the family favorite by far, its very fun to drive. We just took a 2000 mile round trip at 75-80 MPH and got 30 MPG !!!. I have never ridden or driven a vehicle that rides or handles like this car. My wife LOVES this car. The problems we've had are minor and easily repaired by myself and the prices for parts are not any different than my Ford diesel truck or my Jeep. Just shop around, google is your friend.
I purchased a pre-owned 2003 Mercedes- Benz E320 from a collegue in April of 2005. It had 23000 miles, but it was in great shape (save a broken cupholder). In August of 2005, while stopped in traffic on the way to Cape Cod, a Chevy Blazer traveling at approximately 75 miles an hour stuck the rear of my E320. I can't really remember it, but my car flipped 5 times, landing roof down, in the middle of the interstate. I should be dead. Instead, I walked out with nothing but a couple of bruised ribs & a new outlook on life. Look at the negative reviews---all arbitrary complaints about little inconveniences. Mercedes-Benz. saved my life. The safest car on the road. BMW cannot even touch M-B safety.
Bought my 2003 E320 with 35,000 in August 2007. Also bought an extended warranty through Mercury Insurance out of Oklahoma City for up to 5 additional years or 100,000 miles for $3,000. The warranty paid off. Parkplace Motorcars in Dallas maitained it and I never had to spend any money on it for 5 years other than normal wear and tear. Its been a great car and now has 101,000 miles. Ready to put new Michelin tires now. I intend to keep it unless someone who appreciate a well maintained/documents car and offers me what I can't refuse. My wife drives it like her own baby.
Nothing but failures, suspension, AC/Heat, computer, sensors, on and on. When running the car is a joy to drive. However, the maintenance expense before and after the warranty is the worst I have ever experienced in all my years of owning cars. The experienced has been nothing but a let down of my expectations of owning a certified pre-owned vehicle with less than 20,000 miles when I purchased it. Definitely has lowered my opinion of the franchise.
The E500's V8 has a flat torque curve throughout its rev range, while the tranny upshifts right at the 6,000 rpm redline. These shifts are positive and seem perfectly timed for maximum acceleration, which is good because you can't keep the transmission from upshifting, even when it's in manual mode. Our best time came with traction control off and a bit of wheel spin when starting out. In terms of refinement and power, this one is tough to fault.
The electronic brakes being fitted to new Mercedes-Benz products are undeniably effective in terms of stopping distances. Our test car stopped in 120 feet on its first braking attempt and 124 feet on its third and final run, so fade was nearly non-existent. However, braking feel remains an issue with this system. When pressed into maximum service the pedal gave minimal resistance for most of its travel, and then got "squishy" as it neared the floorboard and stopped moving. The upside is that there was absolutely no ABS vibration in the pedal, and the only noise to be heard was a slight whine that continued for a second or two after the car came to a stop (the whine was completely inaudible as the car slowed). Bottom line: these brakes are great in terms of outright function, but they need work in the "feel" department, even if improving them involves fabricating the sensations normally associated with hydraulic brakes.
The solid nature of the E500 under normal driving circumstances had me convinced that it would do well in slalom testing. However, I didn't take into account the combination of a high-torque engine and low resistance all-season tires. The Continental ContiTouring radials made an otherwise stable vehicle feel downright treacherous in the slalom, especially if I applied even a hint of throttle. Further contributing to this situation was the somewhat bizarre inequity between the manufacturer's suggested tire pressures. The front tires called for 26 psi. while the rears were supposed to be at 32 psi, this despite the fact that all four tires are the same size. We, of course, do all testing with the tires set at factory recommended pressures, but having the rear tires set so much higher than the fronts undoubtedly added to the rear end's tendency to come around. Body roll and steering feel were fully adequate for a luxury sedan, but overall slalom performance was disappointing. Karl Brauer