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1992 300SE
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Discussion Starter #41
One of the W211 E320 Wagons I was looking at sold. The other one I found is a 2006 E500 4Matic Wagon with a bit over 200k miles. Has all the service records since new to current. Anything to be aware of on a W211 approaching higher mileage?
 

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W221 & Audio Moderator
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I have owned three W210s - a 1999 E55 AMG, 2001 E55 AMG, and 2001 E320 4-Matic. I have owned an E320 CDI with nearly every option (only available that way for the 2005 MY in the US). I think owning three W210s speaks volumes about my experience with them. I currently own the 2001 E320 4-Matic, and it has never had to go to the dealer or independent for repairs. The M112 V6 and M113 V8s are some of the best engines MB has manufactured over the past couple of decades. As you have likely read, one common issue with northern W210s is rust, so that is something that should be on your list to look for no matter the vehicle if it is a northern vehicle - particularly a W210. I am in North Carolina, and none of mine have had any rust at all, and all have been North Carolina or Georgia vehicles.

The E55 is just as reliable as the others - plus giving you a much more aggressive feeling - the throttle response is much better than the E430, and nearly every option is standard. It will go through tires faster as it requires higher performance tires, and of course it is not available in 4-Matic. I have had my 2001 E320 4-Matic for a little over two years now, and paid $2600 for it. I could tell it was well maintained, clean Carfax and VMI, and was a one-owner. Traded in at a new car dealership and wholesaled to a smaller dealer that didn't know what he had. It had a few miles on it - 160k, but drove fantastic. It was due soon for a set of tires so I put new tires on it and it has driven wonderful since - now almost at 190k. It was obvious the original owner spared no expense on it as the money was invested to upgrade the Tele-Aid from Analog to Digital, and is still functional, and the COMAND had one of the last sets of navigation maps on CD-ROM in their original leather wallet in the glove compartment (3/2010), and it still functioning great. Not as useful as it once was, but is useful in some situations.

A few non-critical complaints you may hear from W210 owners (and I can attest to it as well) is that the cluster on the 2000-2003 develops dead pixels on the temperature display and the gear selector/clock display. The center display rarely gives any trouble other than a blacklight occasionally failing, which can be remedied in less than 10 minutes by replacing the bulb.

And that leads me to the other complaint - they like to eat light bulbs for some reason. I have never had a Xenon fail (all three W210s had/have them) but the parking lights, for lights, etc. for some reason like to go out more than other vehicles. Nothing dangerous - just unusually and slightly inconvenient.

The 4-Matic has never caused any issues and works excellent in the occasional winter weather in the NC mountains, and the ESP is great.

Compared to the W211-

I loved the W211 as well, however I will say that the W211 had more control module bugs than the W210 - requiring software updates done at the dealer. The interior of the W210 looks more luxurious (to me) as there are zero "blanks" used in them where optional equipment was not ordered for that particular car. If you did not opt for heated seats or Xenon lamps - you get a different wooden panel for the center console that has no provisions for those three switches. In the W211 on the CD Changer door, you could see an array of "blanks" for heated/ventilated seating, rear sunshade, etc.

I personally (and this is personal preference) like the feel of the suspension on the W210 a little better, but that is up to the individual. And for what these cars are priced at now, they are an excellent bargain. I recall when I talked the seller down from $3200 to $2600 and we finalized everything, I commented how nice it will be to have an AWD car vs truck for bad weather. He asked me how I could tell it was AWD, and I responded "It says it right there on the trunk "4-Matic." He responded "is that what that means? I thought that was the four speed transmission! I may have kept it if I had known!" and he was serious when he said that!

FYI - 1998 was the first year for the M112 and M113, and the first year 4-Matic was available in the W210, however they did not have the designation on the trunk. I believe MB offered later to affix the emblem to the owners of them after delivery and some chose to do it and some didn't - so there are 1998 4-Matics running around incognito!
 

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Registered
1992 300SE
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29 Posts
Discussion Starter #43
I've looked at a couple W211s. I found a 2008 E350 4Matic. I looked at that and drove it yesterday. Walked away from it because I could tell that car was neglected. The transmission felt odd to me then it shuttered when I came to a stop. So I wasn't interested. I may have to take a trip down South to find one. I've found a few nice examples in Mass or Connecticut, but I don't want to make that drive down and getting it back here is likely to be a PITA. I really like the W211 but it seems that I may have to look more into W210s. I am going to inquire about another E500 Wagon today. I also found a 2003 S500 that looks very well cared for but I don't know if I want an S-Class. I really want a wagon, a V8 Wagon is even more appealing. I appreciate all of the feedback I've been given. Y'all have been great.
 

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W221 & Audio Moderator
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The 722.9 7-speed did have a crazy amount of software updates in an attempt to address the shifting complaints, but it was mostly resolved my 2008. The 722.6 that was in 4-Matics seem to be very reliable.
 
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