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Discussion Starter #1
I'm searching for a wagon, mostly for the third row seating, and I'm in the Mid-Atlantic area. The car will be used for hauling kids around, and will surely get lots of juice spills and food all aver it, maybe even lots of exterior scratches. So I'm not too worried about the interior or exterior. I would like to make sure I don't buy a maintenance nightmare though.

- Is there a list of problem areas to look when buying a 2004+ E series wagon?

- Is there a maximum mileage where these cars can become maintenance nightmares? Or are these cars that will be reliable up to 200k miles (or something crazy like that)?

- Minimum price I should expect to pay for a good one? (I keep seeing 70k+ mile cars in the $15k range. Is there something wrong with these cars, or is that a fair price?)

Thanks for any help offered!
 

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Super Moderator
99 ML430, 00 ML320, 05 E500 4matic Wagon
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I ended up with one in 63k mileage range for $19K over a year ago. It has every option
except Distronic. Also it is a 4matic.
For 04s the pricing you are seeing is correct.
The drive trains if properly serviced by previous owners will go 200k. It is some of the
electronics I have seen failures on.
The third row seating is handy when the passengers are under 120lbs, but not rated
for a higher weight than that.
The cargo space as a wagon when the third row is not in use is very nice to have.
I would opt for the E500. That extra grunt is really nice and the MPG difference is not
a large one by any means.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks Noodles. With a driveway that's currently full of:
- A 12 MPG (at best) 1973 450 SL w 68k miles
- A 20 MPG (at best) 2006 Honda Ridgeline 3.5L w 42k miles
- A 19 MPG (at best) 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4.0L w 87K miles

This car is going to be our highway cruiser. I'll take all the mileage I can get. I actually just looked up the MPG and was shocked to see how low it is:
- 24 mpg (max) for e320 2wd
- 22 mpg (max) for e320 4wd
- 20 mpg (max) for e500 4wd
Wow. I was expecting to get some kind of significant gain coming from an SUV (need to be done with 1998 Jeep). I guess I should look at it as a small increase in mileage with the ability to cart more kids around.

Time for a few test drives!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Prices look tempting on the e320 wagons from the 1998-2003 era (w210 series, right?). Do I dare look at one of these? Or are they past their prime? Wrong forum for this question?

(I really prefer the w211 series styling, so maybe that alone answers my question.)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Can you buy a wood steering wheel?

I drove a 211 for the first time. It was a $19k priced 2005 75k mile e500 4matic. I could not believe the power. Dare I say, more than I could handle?

I learned that there are subtle styling changes that I like starting in 2007. I also learned that some models have the wood steering wheel which I really like.

I'm considering taking my time and widening my search. With the power I felt in the 500, I assume I'd be fine with the 320... unless it's likely to drive like the old 1998 ML that I drove. That thing would not accelerate at all! Do the 320s get tired over time, loosing considerable power?

The $19k car I drove was at the local Benz dealer and is "certified" whatever that means. I'm seriously considering negotiating on the car, but:
- I see some lower mileage cars farther away
- I've seen some wood steering wheel models
- I've seen some 320s (better mileage)
- I've seen a 2007 e350 w wood, low mileage asking $32k... but that's getting out of my expected price range.

None of the above were at a benz dealer, let alone local.

QUESTION 1:
I know you've got to drive them to really know for yourself, but does anyone have any input on the 320 & 350 motors?

Question 2:
Any ideas on how much I might expect a benz dealer to come down from that $19k asking price? (There were signed of reductions from $21k, but who knows.)

Question 3:
If I really want a wood steering wheel, does anyone have any suggestions? Should I buy the best car, and shop for a used steering wheel?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I drove a 2006 e350 (not 4matic) wagon today and it was pristine and silky smooth. I've decided the car MUST have the following features:

- Power Lift gate (definite must for the wife)

- 4Matic (I could be persuaded to change my mind, but right now, I don't see why I shouldn't demand this feature in my search)

- Wood Steering wheel (possible to add later I guess)

- Silver(ish) color to hide dust?


Assumed Standard features must have:
- Heated Seats (standard right?)
- programmable seats (standard right?)
- Leather (standard right?)
- CD
- rear window shade screens

I think the car I saw tonight had everything but the 4Matic, and was black, just like the e500 I drove the other day. Black looks great when clean, but we are not super clean folks.
 

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Super Moderator
99 ML430, 00 ML320, 05 E500 4matic Wagon
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I get 22mpg on the highway.

Over the last 8600 miles it is at 18.9 combined driving mileage.

If really put the boot to it I can drop those numbers to about 16 and 13. I rarely drive it
that hard.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I get 22mpg on the highway.

Over the last 8600 miles it is at 18.9 combined driving mileage.

If really put the boot to it I can drop those numbers to about 16 and 13. I rarely drive it
that hard.
Wow. That's significantly better than the EPA estimates for the 2005 e500 4Matic Wagon. That is what you drive, right?

EPA mileage est. (cty/hwy): 14/18 mpg
 

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99 ML430, 00 ML320, 05 E500 4matic Wagon
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That is what I drive. I am like a grandpa with it most of the time.

The numbers surprised me. That is on non RFG fuel. RFG with a 10% ethanol blend cost me
10-15% in MPG. I mention that for people that live in regions that mandate RFG.
 

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Hi, I just joined today with the very same question. I'm looking at 2008-2009 E350 wagons (blue or flint gray). I have always wanted one a long time...a very long time...since my first car I bought was a 1964 220b. Well I am toying with getting one. I would keep a car 10 years if I liked it, and I know I would like the wagon. I had an older daily driver a few years back (81 240d (4spd)...bought for $700!...sold for $600 after 2 years!!); rust and all it never let me down and I only got rid of it because I got a company car. Now I am getting an allowance and while really expensive, I think if I keep it longer than the common $25-32k car, it may be worth it. I see a few CPO's at $46k (between 10-25k miles) and wanted to spend closer to $40k. Man, I more afraid of owning a $40k Mercedes than driving my old 240d 60 miles everyday. I do my own oil/filter changes and have a really good mechanic. I drive about 18k miles per year and just can't seem to get off the fence. Any opinions?

Thanks.......Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'm considering buying an e500 4matic today. Asking almost $18k and not at an MB dealer. 89k miles. Battery symbol on. Cupholder appears broken. I need to need to negotiate down.

Things to look for before laying down a deposit?
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
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