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Im considering purchasing my first Benz. After researching, I think the E class fits my needs and family. I found a 1997 very sharp 1 owner E420 w/148k thats in my price range. (asking price $8500)Please tell me what i should look for, what info is vital, pros/cons etc... Thanks in advance for replies.
 

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pudycatz said:
Im considering purchasing my first Benz. After researching, I think the E class fits my needs and family. I found a 1997 very sharp 1 owner E420 w/148k thats in my price range. (asking price $8500)Please tell me what i should look for, what info is vital, pros/cons etc... Thanks in advance for replies.
basically, w210 seems to have similar "problem" with E320/E420 or E430.
For the engine part, I never have any problem w/ my V8. (knock wood)

Other than spark plug connector and ignition wire (go bad), I really wouldn't worry about the ENGINE.

It is usually the tranny, differential, body rust, that going to cost you an arm or leg.

Like most people will suggest, ask the seller to have the car do "complete check up" at your local mercedes dealer at your cost. (trust me, spend around $300 to make sure everything is well worth it)

Just think that differential will cost you around $2000 to replace
Tranny will be around $6000 to replace
etc...etc....

Good luck~
 

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Search this forum for "spring perch" and make sure your car is inspected for this issue. The mounts that connect the springs to the body can rust and give way, with catastrophic results. If identified before they give way, it can be repaired. It's not a cheap fix, but's it's absolutely vital on these cars. I very strongly recommend a pre-purchase examination by a qualified shop that works on these cars every day. There are independents that do a good job, but make sure they specialize in M-B.

My 1997 e420 was perfect except for the spring perches, so I went ahead and bought it and had them repaired. It cost me $850 at a very reasonable independent. The dealer will probably charge more like $2000. In general, you will spend more on maintenance and wear items than you spend for a Japanese or American car. Look at the DIY instructions for oil changes on this site and you will likely be willing to pay a little extra to make sure all the little o-rings go back in the right places.

It is a fantastic automobile and I love driving it every day. I find it very hard to drive other vehicles (my wife's minivan particularly), as none compare to this car. My kids (aged 10 and 13) and their friends love to ride in it. Gas mileage is 17mpg of premium with a moderately heavy foot in mixed city/highway driving. I get about 25 on steady interstate driving at 75mph. At 80mph that dips down to about 21 mpg. I had an opportunity to take a 100 mile trip at 100mph recently and managed 19 mpg. The car is quiet, comfortable and stable at 100mph for extended periods of time. If it checks out OK and you can budget the maintenance, buy it. You will never find that much car for that money anywhere else.
 

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86 560SEC, 87 560SL, 2002 ML500, 2017 E400 Wagon
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We have had very good luck with our E420. We bought it 3 years ago and it had clearly been garage kept all its life and well maintained. Maintenance has been about $1200 per year on average (usually one big thing per year, climate control fan (800), one of the xenon's died (400) and then usual stuff like brakes and oil changes). Our car is fortunate to have none of the rust problems (check around the door seals, and like mentioned above, the spring perch towers).

Overall, the E420 has been more reliable than my '01 E320. As far as my family is concerned, the E420 is a keeper.
 
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