Date registered: Jul 2005
Vehicle: 99 ML430, 00 ML320, 05 E500 4matic Wagon
Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Quoted: 1011 Post(s)
RE: Positive comments on longevity and quality of your 96-06 Benz
Well my 1990 300E is the most solid car I have ever owned.
I am on my second ML. If I hated the first one I would not have gotten another one. Both purchased new.
It had its share of issues, I had a good dealer and MB stood behind the product. At 124k miles it is still solid. I just did shocks on the rear. It just got its second set of front lower ball joints.
Really big issues MB handled. I got a new engine at 72k mile under a campaign. When the trans let loose at 112k MB bought the $6000 trans and I paid $660 labor for the install. Seemed more than fair.
A lot of the ownership experience seems to come down to the servicing dealer. If they are straight and have a good rapport with MBUSA a lot of support is there for the cars.
For example, the dealer I left had the service manager from Germany retire. He was in MB service for over 40 years. He had a hotline to MB and they trusted him. If he said this should be covered they did cover it. When he retired the new SM and his crew were worthless. So I went to another dealer and built a strong relationship where I get fair treatment. Case in point, during the ball joint repair the wheel speed sensor had gotten frozen in due to corrosion. It broke during removal. The SM had the tech clean up the corrosion and get a new one ($88) and put it in at no charge to me.
I used to live in Tenafly long before I owned Benzes. So I can't tell you who is good, but there are a lot of members from NJ and they can help guide you to a good servicing dealer.
These cars are far from flawless, but the driving dynamics, the safety and styling still make them at the top of my list regardless of what the press says about reliability. That being said I think the E class is one of the higher quality built models and will make you happy. If you plan to keep it more than the factory warranty then I would suggest the MB extended warranty that suits your situation for length of ownership and expected mileage before moving on to another car.