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Mercedes E-Class Wagons (E320, E500, E55 AMG)



  • Hi,

    We are looking at buying a certified used E320 wagon for our family. Our main reasons are is room, safety and quality. Oh yeah and the fact that it's good looking vehicle doesn't hurt. We are considering a silver two wheel drive 2002 or 2003. Does anyone have an input or suggestions on this vehicle? Is there anything to watch out for or any preferred years? Any input would be appreciated.


  • eliaselias Posts: 2,147
    bogdan, having a performance car eat tires in 10k miles is not particularly unusual even if you don't have a leadfoot. i bet your E500 had/has very soft tires, maybe more so if you got a sport/AMG-ish package? probably they are V or Z rated tires. also, it is possible for an alignment problem to cause the tires to wear more quickly too. if there were a differential issue with your car i believe you'd be able to hear it. bad differentials tend to be quite noisy.

    rolandthrust, you are most welcome for the ideas. i'm not sure of all the details of what roadforce alignment means, just something i've heard of. it reminds me of spinbalancing the tires/wheels while they are on the car, which is also possible - that's a much older technology. if your benz dealer folks have
    not heard of these balancing/alignment techniques, i bet the dudes at a local speed shops could point you in the right direction. you mention a pulsating/whine. "whine" makes me think "differential". if your benz had 4matic i think it has 3 differentials, plenty of complexity there, plenty to go wrong. does the pulsating/whine only occur when you are on the gas & in gear? if it disappears when you shift to neutral or lift your foot from the throttle at speed ,that gives a big clue as to the root cause.
  • I have 05 E55 with stock AMG alloy wheels.

    Had to replace 2, and third repaired. Tires were bent. I live in high end neighborhood. If these wheels get bent where I drive, they aren't meant to be driven on normal roads.

    The symptom was wheel vibration over 60 mph, got worse in turns, and when decelerating. Drove with shop steward. He should me how outside front wheel trade was cupped.

    MB USA told me to shove it.

    I would have your front wheel checked.

    Since I put on the new wheels and new Michelin PS2s car has been great.

    Best of luck.

  • Does anyone recomend a rear shock absorber for the 300te wagon?
  • Guys, reading some of these posts, I wonder, "why buy an E Series wagon?" The E Series wagon is more money, more hassles, less cargo room, less reliability, less all weather capability, not as good seating (Volvo seats are the best in the industry, far superior to M/B or our Cayenne seats) or modern an interior, etc. than a Volvo XC. The performance packages seem not to work (tire wear and so forth.)

    Now, I'll grant you it has more status (for some unknown reason) when you drop Seamus off at Andover. Come end of semester, he and his friends I think would rather throw all their stuff into an XC for the trip home.

    I admit a Volvo XC sometimes is like a walk into Fajulla (see my post #1566 on the V70 Wagon Experience Board) but the Volvo seems to be a much better alternative. Or, at least a less self-defeating one.
  • garyh1garyh1 Posts: 386
    I think you have overlooked an important point. The E wagon has a third row, with total seating of 7. Yet it doesn't look or handle like a minivan or SUV.

    Perhaps the R does this even better now, but back in 1994 when we had 2 young children, after looking at a few minivans and the Volvo wagon, my wife took one look at the E320 wagon and fell in love with it. BTW, it still is in the family, now being driven by my 17 yr old daughter, who of course hates it because it is a wagon (yeah, don't we all feel so sorry for her).
  • w210w210 Posts: 188
    I find the Volvo headrests rather uncomfortable, there are better headrests out there offering similiar safety without forcing your neck to twist unnaturally.

    We used to own a 1999 XC and found the engine very harsh, the transmission rough, and the car underpowered overall.

    Even the AWD system was horrible, slow acting giving essentially a front wheel drive feel.
  • W210, I think you'd find the current version ('01 +) far different.

    But in search of deeper meaning and the answer to my question of "Why do otherwise rational people buy the E Series wagon", I consulted the MB web site. Gee, I thought that Porsche really knew how to tuck it to you with options such as "soft look leather" for $600 to replace the ordinary, non-wrestled in leather with a soft look. But MB is gaining fast.

    For a mere 6k MB offers a "designo edition" which if I understand correctly offers better wood and softer leather in the cabin and a different paint job on the outside. Think about it. For 6K (yeh, I know that your bond fund has been on a 10% tear lately and the 6K will soon be $6600 if invested but if you spend it, worth perhaps 2K at trade in time) you too could have a "designo edition".
  • w210w210 Posts: 188
    I actually don't mind the 2001+ XC but my wife finds it not very attractive and we picked up an Audi allroad instead. The chipped Audi is much faster than the XC, I also like the fact that the all inclusive maintenace program means I don't have to worry about dealerships ripping family members off.

    And the XC headrests really make me feel uncomfortable forcing my head forward, especially annoying for long trips..

    I must say however, the E-class feel much more solid than both the Audi and the XC, and my E is the one with a hard suspension model (E55 sedan).

    I think Porsche is still the king in killing you with options!
  • Well the dealer just installed a new fangled Hunter alignment system that gives the closest thing to a road force balance on my brand new Conti touring (OE) third set of rubber in 24,000 far they seem to be holding up HOWEVER..was told to bring in every 2000 miles for rotation and whatever else. MBNA still insists this is "normal wear"..The Pirelli company does not!!...R Thrust
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,042
    A reporter from a national newspaper would like to speak to consumers who have purchased a high-end or high-performance wagon, such as the Audi A4 Avant, Mercedes-Benz E55, Dodge Magnum RT or the Volvo V70R, as examples . If you would to speak with the media, please respond to with your daytime contact info. and city/state of residence no later than January 6, 2006.


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  • gtr3gtr3 Posts: 1
    This feature can be overridden. The override can be incremental. The service department had to spend time on the telephone, but did disable the feature after almost a day of trying. However, the passenger seat was still not going to its full rearward position. After I told them it still was not acceptable they took it back, and the next day it was fixed. Tell you service department to get on the phone to MB, and that you want full rearward travel, and that you know it can be done.
  • mie320mie320 Posts: 2
    I have three all wheel drive wagons, a 1998 Volvo V70 XC, 2004 MB E320 4-Matic, and a 2005 BMW 325xiT. blckislandguy asks why buy an E class? There are several reasons I chose to get an E class over another XC when I gave the XC to my son. One reason is that I really didn't like how it drove. The steering on the new XC didn't feel very well connected to the road compared to the E320, and especially the 325. The steering seemed closer to our Ford Excursion than the E320 or 325. I also drove a V70 R and the steering "looseness" was gone in that car. The 1998 that I have seems to have much better steering. Secondly, the handling didn;t feel as crisp or smooth as the 325 and E320. What I mean by that is that bumps are felt more in the Volvo but at the same time it doesn't seem to handle as well. The XC also seems noisier when driving, especially during hard acceleration when the turbo 5 screams some really aweful sounds. My third reason was that the new (2001+) XC does't have good visibility for changing lanes for me. I loved my 1998 XC, and would have kept it but my son needed a car in college (colorado) and the XC is perfect for that. Overall, the Mercedes seems to be a more refined car, which it should be since it costs significantly more. The cost of maintenance should not be downplayed either. So far I havn't had to pay for anything on the Mercedes out of pocket, but the Volvo has been quite expensive to maintain. There are many 1000$ shop visits for various sensors. (ex. ABS sensor failed, about $1000 to fix) I expect the Mercedes will have similar problems once it gets more miles. I hope this helps.

  • Mie320, without having extensively driven the E Wagon, I'll concede the noise and steering issues. I do think that the 2001+ XC (the one I am familiar with) has much better all weather capability with more traction directed up front (and, yes, one does feel some torque steer), better fogs (front and rear), more ground clearance, more load capacity, and IMHO a nicer interior especially the center stack. I won't argue if you with more experience in the E Series finds it more refined. I just don't think it is worth the upcharge of perhaps 20K (34K or so vs. 54K or so).

    The service experience at MB may be more upscale. It may even be akin to the treatment at a good restaurant. I have become an expert on the mid-market service experience at Volvo and can tell you it is akin to the experience you would get at a casual dining place like Applebees: very casual and certainly not very cheap.
  • blckislandguy, some of your points are valid. However, I disagree about many of them. First, I think that the Mercedes interior is far, far better. The wood in the Mercedes is better placed and looks nicer, the leather is higher quality, and the overall appearance is nicer I think. If you are comparing to the 1996-2002 E class, then yes, the Volvo may have a nicer looking interior, but the new one is just wonderful. I can't compare the all weather traction between the E320 and the 2001+ Volvo, but the E, and even the 325xi that I have, have far better all weather traction than the 1998 Volvo XC that I have. The newer Volvo's use a Haldex AWD system I believe, and that provides better traction I'm sure. The Mercedes also has electronic stability control standard, which helps a lot on ice/snow and even rain. My Volvo only has traction control, and even that only works up to 30 mph or so. AS for the foglights, we rarely get fog here. However, I have bi-xenons on the E320 which are amazing. The amount of light they provide is better than any other headlight I have seen. They are a lot better than the bi-xenons on my 325xi, and they make my 1998 Volvo XC's look terrible (which they are). Interior space seems about equal. I havn't compared the EPA numbers, but I imagine they are a little deceiving. The E320's back end is angled fairly sharply forward, which reduces cargo space. Practically speaking, this space is rarely used, so there really isn't to much lost. On the other hand, the Volvo basically has a right angle at the back, which maximizes theoretical cargo space, but in practice that space is rarely used. As for service, they are practically the same, except I get a loaner whenever I take the Mercedes in. The dealers have the same owner (Barrier motors) and they share the same parking lot. You really can't go wrong with either car, and it's just up to each person to decide which one they like most.

  • sullyaksullyak Posts: 30
    I have read about the 2007 320 CDI V6 4-matic sedan. I am very curious as to weather or not they will also be offering it in a wagon. I called MB but they couldn't tell me. Does anyone know?

  • wkaiser1wkaiser1 Posts: 2
    I just returned from my dealer (MB, Manhattan). I was looking to lease a 2006 E350 NON-4matic. My salesman said there are none left in the country (well there are 8 on the west coast) I can only get a 4matic wagon and they also are in short supply. I wanted the non-4matic because it had the 7 speed automatic (4matic has only 5 speed auto) and that I do very little winter driving. Does this suggest to anyone out there that the 2006's are depleting their last inventories and the 2007's are near?
  • albellalbell Posts: 185
    I would suggest calling a few more local dealers. In the NE, most of the wagons sold are 4-matic, but I can't believe all the inventory is gone. I have been told things in the past by the salespeople at MB Manhattan that I knew to be untrue. Its one of the reasons I no longer shop there.

    "Trust, but verify."
  • I'm getting ready to change the fuel filter in my 1990 300TE 4-matic...geesh- where is the fuel filter located? my dealer told me in the rear compartment by the tool kit... not so. HELP- thanks- Jeff
  • 87path187path1 Posts: 2
    We have a 2002 E320 4matic wagon and love it. The general consensus from Mercedes enthusiast forums is the last year of the W210 model E class is the best one. This would be yr 2002 for sedans, 2002-2003 for wagons. A lot of the problems that plagued the 1996-2000 years were ironed out by 2002. The biggies were rust problems (front spring perches and door seals)and motor mount wear. Awesome sources for e320 (or any benz) research are, and Two of these have w210 specific forums with lots of helpful people, plus several do it yourself write-ups.
  • eliaselias Posts: 2,147
    our data with Y2K E320 4matic wagon is consistent with other postings indicating that was a buggy year for E320. we never had motor mount or rust problems. we owned it for about 5 years. problems we did have with the car are too numerous to list. it did become more reliable after its first year - like the "bathtub curve" of reliability for extremely complex systems such as commercial aircraft!
    i'll never expect reliability out of a mercedes, but i think the features/ride/comfort/safety are so incredible that i would consider another Benz purchase - diesel for sure!
  • we just purchased an E320 4MATIC! While we are still learning how to operate everything my wife noticed there is CARPET between the threshold and the door.
    We can't keep it clean! Does anyone have any suggestions on how to cover or clean this area?
  • rktekrktek Posts: 1
    I have an 03 E500. Has anyone had a problem with the electric door locks? The drivers side lock bounces up and down when the key is pressed. Sometimes the catch does not reset it's self. I cannot figure out how to remove the interior panel to see if something has become disengaged. any advice other than go to a dealer. Thanks
  • I just purchased a wagon and my dealer claims that this adjustment cannot be made. Could you let me know where and which service person you dealt with?
  • I am wonderin what year you ended up buying and what you finally thought! We are looking at a 2003 - E320. THanks.
  • kevfirstkevfirst Posts: 1
    I find that my E500 (2004 wagon) doesn't want to coast; I have to "drive" it forward, even down steep gradients. As soon as I lift my foot off the gas, it slows right down - as if it was changing down gears. I've checked that it's not locked into a low range (cleared by holding the shift lever to the right for a couple of seconds). But it feels like the car is down-shifting to avoid free-wheeling.
    Is this a feature of the design or might there be a problem with my particular model? Maybe I've missed something obvious. Help!
  • rockypaulrockypaul Posts: 104
    Ordered the 2007 model and have now had it for a year and 4 months.

    Has been a joy in all respects.

    Have not posted of late and returned to find Edmunds format a pleasant upgrading.

    Just checking in.
  • My grandmother is offering to 'sell' me her 1996 Mercedes E320 with only 15,000 miles (she can no longer drive). I am a Toyota Camry/Honda Odyssey owner and have never considered a Mercedes until now. The E320 is rear wheel drive and I live in a winter climate (roads are mostly clear though) in the foothills near Salt Lake City. Any comments on the reliability of the E320, winter handling, history of problems ... would be appreciated.
  • 2004 E500 4matic wagon...recently upgraded the dvd (275.00) from MBNA...since then have intermitant problem where screen says "navigation activate ..please wait"...sometimes this wait is for an`s unacceptable. Dealer in Tampa thought it was due to car overcharging and after repair ,it again worked intermittantly with same problem.It`s caused us grief as I`ve been traveling extensively and depend on it. Anyone have similar problem or thoughts on what may be causing this? Should I ask to have unit replaced?
  • For a new E320 Wagon, my N.E. New Jersey dealer offers to absorb $2400 worth of remaining lease payments on my current '04 CL500, against a sticker of about $60K on the wagon. A 39-month no money down - lease with a 50% residual prices out just under $1000/month incl. NYS sales taxes (which I would pay up front). However, there's a program now in place to finance a purchase at a 3.45% interest rate, up to 66 months with no pre-payment penalty. Dealer says there's no more than a token reduction off sticker to be had, though I haven't shopped the car or pressed. He also tells me that this interest rate, or any incentive program for that matter, is very unusual on this model. Finally, he says the E-Class will be remodeled for 2010, at which time the wagon may be eliminated from the US product line altogether. I usually lease my cars, but this lease feels expensive relative to cost, while the finance option sounds attractive at first glance. So, buy or lease? Should I expect more price flexibility in either case? Is the possible discontinuance of availability a plus (for later resale) or a minus (outdated styling)? Thanks for any advise you have to offer.
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