... our 2004 E320 4Matic is still running like a champ! No significant mechanical issues and the car has never left us stranded. We keep it in the garage (our 2015 GLK350 gets the carport parking) and keep up on all the maintenance religiously. Get the E500 if you want a rocketship. We're happy with the trusty M112 V6 engine. Enough power for most applications yet provides decent fuel mileage. It's a much more desirable engine than the dreaded M272 in the 2006 - 2009 E350 that was prone to balance shaft failures (there's even a class action suit against Mercedes for this now). Handling is decent for a wagon but eats tires.
Purchased this for my wife with only 20k 4-years ago and the car has been great except the transmission. The 722.6 transmission was problem in the older E320 and still is. The TCU connector seal failed which Mercedes had an updated part but then in leaked later on also. Read some forums and I'm not alone. Even the new 722.9 Transmissions are having issues. I have owned 4 Mercedes and all the transmissions have had issues.
This is a great car when it works, but we have had tons of suspension, braking and electrical problems. Fixing anything costs at least an arm and a leg. This is my very last Benz. German engineering just means "expensive to fix".
Bought this 2004 W211 Estate (wagon) used In 2012 and 84k miles for a ridiculously low price from local non-MB dealer. Since car had been serviced at local M-B dealer, I continue to bring it there for all scheduled maintenance and always work with same service advisor who knows how I like to take care of the car. Completed repairs for expected issues including radio volume control (used known repair shop in NJ), transmission connector, rear luggage cover motor, heater blend valve, rear seat latch, all front CV joint boots, front suspension bushings and springs, fuel tank sending unit. In the past year at 135k miles, completed major renovation including shocks, pads and rotors (4 wheels), new tires (previous set drove 40k), repainted all 4 wheels as previous owner rashed 2 of them up a bit, new windshield (as insurance company did not like the number of dings in the glass), repainted hood and fascia (as previous owner said she had scratched the fascia backing out of garage). Car is garaged and kept in showroom condition. Trips to Vermont in snow and ice are effortless and worry free. After 5 hrs of driving, you arrive refreshed. Check the weather band radio for national weather service forecasts. Enjoy favorite tunes with the surround sound + Sub. Load in 7 adults (2 in the rear "rumble seat") and you have a crew bus. Not expected to accelerate like an AMG V8 because it is not that...but still has plenty of torque whether full or empty. Have to watch the speedo as the quiet ride will easily send you up above the speed limit. Even though it is a wagon, it is valet parked with the high end sports cars. Cleans up very well despite its 12+ years. Expecting another 250k, at least. As dealer Quality Control wrote on recent service, "car is in spectacular condition".
We purchased our Mercedes E320 Wagon new from the dealer and it was an incredible driving and great looking car. I took perfect care of this vehicle: kept it looking showroom perfect, always dealer maintained, and did all the services as scheduled. I was really hoping this car would last us a real long time with minimal problems. I was sadly mistaken. Early on things started breaking - even under warranty. Little things like the auto cargo shade stopped working that the dealer tried to fix. Then as the warranty expired, the real repair started. The air suspension went out right at 50,000 miles. This costs over $1000 per wheel to fix. The dealer agreed to do this repair under warranty - BUT IT FAILED A TOTAL OF 4 TIMES! When it fails, it leaves you stranded. Main oil seals failed (BIG repair $), the main computer fried in the middle of an I-10 trip and left us stranded because the AC lines sweated on the electronics. We hit a pothole driving 5 MPH and the wheel strut bent. Engine mounts failed. More and more small electronics failed: auto headrests didn't go down, steering column adjustment didn't work, window spray lines broke... The frequency and cost of repairs was really mindboggling. After the 4th failure of the air suspension (that left us stranded yet again on the interstate) and a $1300 alternator replacement we finally traded the vehicle in for close to nothing. I know many of you are saying to quit griping with the repairs - its an expensive import car. We realize that. However we really expected the quality of this car to be much better than what we got. It literally became so unreliable we couldn't trust it for much of anything. But it looks awesome and when it runs - it gives you a ride you cant beat! Update: after the repeated air pack failure and the alternator going out ($3000) we traded this car in 2 years ago and bought a Volvo XC60. Beat decision we ever made!