'97 E320, which I bought new, is a combination of new and good old. The
body is new, a clean sheet of paper design rather than an update of old.
The transmission, starting in '97, is the new, electronically controlled
5 speed overdrive, absolutely first class. And the engine is the very
smooth 24 valve old straight six, a fine engine but with a reputation
for oil leaks from its valve cover and front cover. Later models use the
This car glides along at speed and we average 26 mpg on trips. Ours has
32K miles and has been problem free with the exception of the oil leak
that was a warranty repair at 18K.
This model, with low mileage, now sells for about 50% of its original
Whether this car is the "best" depends on YOUR priorities.