Wagon purchase decision - Page 2 - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-02-2007, 09:25 AM
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Actually, the S211 Wagon didn't arrive until 2004, so the 2003 wagon is an S210.

Kent Christensen
'07 GL320CDI
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-02-2007, 10:40 AM
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Vehicle: 2013 VW Golf Sportwagen TDI, 2011 Mazda 2, 2000 E320 4Matic Wagon (retired),1994 C280 (retired)
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Originally Posted by MackM

I'm a new member looking for some feedback. My wife's looking to buy a "pre-owned" C class or E class wagon (not the R class) and I'm hoping those of you with with Mercedes experience can share your thoughts with this neophyte. Any model years to avoid? Pros/cons that you can think of. I'm particularly interested in hearing from members who owned a wagon and can share their experiences.

Thanks in advance to everyone willing to help out.

We've owned a 2000 E320 4matic wagon for about 7 months. We bought the car with about 70K miles on it. So far we have been very happy with it. We had it inspected by a trusted mechanic who specializes in MB products. Don't consider the purchase of a used MB without this step.

There are a few things to look out for. The first is to make sure the car has had the Harmonic Balancer (main crank pulley) on the engine replaced if it is one of the years that is part of the recall. There is plenty of info on this site about that. You shouldn't have to worry about the spring perch issue on a wagon as for some reason it does not seem to affect wagons. However, it is easy for a mechanic to inspect for rust in this area so have them do it. You should definitely check for exterior rust and pay close attention to the doors. What you want to do is gently pull back on the rubber weather strip that surrounds the door frame and look for rust in this area. Do this on all four doors all the way around the door. It is very easy to do yourself.

The transmissions on either the C or E from these years are a potential source of problems because MB has claimed that they don't require the transmission oil to be replaced and are "fill for life" units. This is garbage, of course, but too many people bought this from the dealer and didn't change the fluid. You can't check the fluid yourself without the special tool from the dealer (no dipstick comes with the car) so this is another reason that a mechanic who specializes in MB is important. They can check it and give you an idea if it has been replaced or not. You also want to verify that the car has only had synthetic motor oil used because petroleum-based oil is not up to withstanding the 10K mile oil change interval that MB recommends.

I'm not sure what you are accustomed to driving, so I'll assume you have no MB experience. These cars involve much more maintenance than Hondas/Toyotas, etc. Be prepared to pay more for everything. Be prepared to have to do more, as well. If you're ready for the responsibility that comes with one of these cars you will never go back. I bought ours for my wife as she was going to be commuting to and from work every day with our infant son in the back seat, about 60 miles a day total. I don't worry as much with them in the car. She got rear ended a month ago and all occupants were completely uninjured. That makes the price of maintenance (and gas, which costs much more than her old Honda) more than worth it.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-02-2007, 11:00 AM
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Date registered: Oct 2006
Vehicle: 2004 E320 Wagon, 1991 420SEL, 1987 560SL
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Have 2004 E320 Wagon

Last September the MB dealer in Tulsa traded for a 2004 E320 wagon with 35,000 miles. It was sold at that dealer originally and had the CPO warranty; also an attractive color with a few nice extras. It drove and looked as new. I just recently went back to the dealer for my first service visit to get a C service, which was paid for entirely by Mercedes on 2004 model vehicles. My total bill was $25 because I wanted the tires rotated. Can't beat that.

It averages 22mpg in town driving and high 20s on the Interstate. There is enough cargo space for my needs, and for bigger items there's an ML430 in the family.

I feel I bought the wagon at a sweet spot in its lifetime: new enough to qualify for the CPO and with enough depreciation to make it very affordable, plus low, low finance charges for CPO vehicles through MB financial. When the CPO expires in 2009, I could be back for another one.

Bruce in Tulsa
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-03-2007, 01:19 PM
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Date registered: Dec 2005
Vehicle: W211 E320 Bluetec R129 SL500 - $1300 car ........ Ford F350 6l
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Originally Posted by MackM
How does the ML compare to the E wagon in terms of service record, reliability, etc.? If I could impose for some more information, it would be much appreciated.
You've got no idea what can of worms have you opened here
Generally ML have bad reputation for reliability, but this is still hit or miss issue.
Our original ML runs 8 years with only single MAF issue.
The German-quality 99 wagon in 2 years of my ownership took MAF, front CV joint ($1200 ouch) and has some engine oil leaks.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-03-2007, 01:50 PM
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I dont want to open a ML vs E dispute, It is like the K&N crap. My brand new ML was a piece of junk, no car could be in for repair once a month. I made a lot of friends at MB and helped the diagnose a problem no one would get their hands on. I supplied when, and the circumstances, and how the problem occurred and how to duplicate. My E has been great, not as good as my 300 TDT but good! MB has this issue about loading up cars, the Cabs are no longer MBs in europe why?
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post #16 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-12-2007, 11:16 AM
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I'll recommend a 2000-2002 E320 wagon (W210) with all wheel drive, called "4matic". The 4matic makes gas mileage a little worse, but it seems to provide better grip and much more confidence in rain and snow.

I bought my 2002 E320 wagon (supposedly CPO....) at 37k mi and, after putting 11k mi on it, I'm still pleased with it. Good luck.

Getting my Benz back on the road one step at a time
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