E320 buyer here - question

I'm seriously looking into buying an E320 4MATIC. My price range is no more than $25,000 dollars so that puts me into a 98-99 year range with higher miles. I would buy the car at a Mercedes dealer with starmark and
records. I have looked and driven a few cars and find them to be exquisite and have not been able to fault the car on any level. My one concern is the reliability and quality. Carpoint.com rated the car as 5/5 in this area , and said good things. Any real world experience to back this up? Any horror stories? From my experience the car feels sturdier than a bank vault.
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wrote:

Much has been said about the 4 matic, mostly bad, if you can live without it you might be better off. without the 4 matic that car is one of the last of the great e classes
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The E-Class is very reliable and if well maintained, has a reasonable cost of ownership considering how long it will last. I bought two W210's (E320) recently to replace high mileage 300E/300TE. One of them has about 85K miles and is still superb. It is a mint car and still rides and looks like new. You should be able to bargain for a very nice 98 E320 with 80-90K miles for about $17-19K (non Starmark,). I do not know what the 4matic option adds to the price. The Kelly BlueBook "Private Party Value" is a good target price to shoot for, even at dealer. End of December is the best time to drive a bargain.
There is noise on this forum about the newer MB's quality, but I just do not see it in the my E320s.
I think that good service records are worth more than Starmark. Good dealer records means the car had regular critical maintenance and was gone over by factory techs on a regular basis. Ask to see the book. The Starmark makes it very hard to bargain on price. One of the E320's I bought was at an MB dealer and was a Starmark car. I got it for $4k less by dropping the Starmark. That is one expensive warranty!
Always run a Carfax - a dealer should print one for you for free, or get online.
Enjoy your new E-Class Larry!
Scott D

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One of the E320's I bought was at an MB dealer and was a Starmark car. I got it for $4k less by dropping the Starmark. That is one expensive warranty! ___________________________________________ Not expensive if you have to replace the AC evaporator ($3,000), or perhaps a harmonic balancer ($1,000 and up depending on damage when unit comes apart) or wiring harness ($2500)......and these are things that have a known and repeated history of failure. And that's not to mention all the other things that can a do go wrong with the newer MBs. Everyone I know that has a Starmarked car has had much more warranty work done than what the additional cost of the warranty was at time of sale.

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It is indeed a calculated risk. It is just that my view is that even if I loose big time, I'd still rather pay our local, honest, hard working, independent MB mechanic $6500 for all three of those, than to pay a pack of insurance suits $4000 on the chance that they "might" go bad.
Scott D

a harmonic balancer ($1,000 and up depending on damage when unit comes apart) or wiring harness ($2500)......and these are things that have a known and repeated history of failure. And that's not to mention all the other things that can a do go wrong with the newer MBs. Everyone I know that has a Starmarked car has had much more warranty work done than what the additional cost of the warranty was at time of sale.
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| It is indeed a calculated risk. It is just that my view is that even if I | loose big time, I'd still rather pay our local, honest, hard working, | independent MB mechanic $6500 for all three of those, than to pay a pack of | insurance suits $4000 on the chance that they "might" go bad. | | Scott D
What bothers me is that after paying $4000 to the insrunce suits the claim might still be denied.
Anyone who believes 'you can't cheat an honest man' has never had to deal with an insurance company on a claim.
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As long as you brought it up :^) .....of the 7 used MBs I have purchased, I bought a warranty with only one (cost 'appx $1200 extra). The A/C compressor bearing failed badly - screeching and grinding. The warranty/insurance company denied my claim because the A/C was still blowing cold. "Take us to court" was their final answer. Local Mercedes dealer confirmed compressor was bad but could not get the claim honored. The compressor froze up a month past the warranty period.
Scott D

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I paid 18500UDS for a 97 E320 with 50K on it...
For some reason the AC system is defunct even after replacing the blower/regulator and the control pannel... 1500.00
Now the head gasket seal is gone on the I6 ... seems the factory used bad ones (imagine that) well there is another 1200.00!
In all you had better have deep pockets! Mercedes Benz will not offer a recall on these items! Its a nice riding car but some of the design decisions are questionable and the dealer service departments in my area dont know how to diagnose the real problem...
On Sun, 14 Dec 2003 16:50:55 -0500, Scott D wrote:

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You might want to consider the V8. I get 27 MPG with mine at 80+ MPH and the power is wonderful. Of course you can't get 4-Matic with the 8 cylinder. I bought my '99 with 32k on it and it now has 67k. In my opinion the '99 is the sweetest of the 210s. Other than the typical E-Class maladies (seat tracks, control arm bushings and window regulators all replaced under warranty) the car has been wonderful. Maintenance is the key. Remember this is not a Honda, if you fail to maintain it you will be sorry. Ownership comes at a price but nothing feels better on the highway than a Mercedes.
MC

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I thought Mercedes-Benz offered E430 4Matic in its W210 chassis for US market.
Oliver
Mark Conklin wrote:

[snip]
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I did actually look at a 97 E420 this summer, sorry I let that one go. As far as the engine, I didn't notice much difference in smoothness or acceleration. On paper (0-60) the V8 barely beat out the V6 (6.7 vs. 7.0). I can see the V8 being a better engine to keep over the long haul, generally they tend to be more trouble free and robust. If I had the extra money for one, I'd love to have it, but my budget is $25k and most are more than I've got.
A previous poster commented that the 4MATIC was troublesome...can anyone shed more light on this? I live in Minnesota with terrible winters, the 4MATIC is one of the prime reasons I want the car.
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*Larry Olson wrote:

Then I think you should take a look at this ad:
http://www.mercedesshop.com/shopforum/showthread.php3?s=&threadidq723
--
Thomas



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A previous poster commented that the 4MATIC was troublesome...can anyone shed more light on this? I live in Minnesota with terrible winters, the 4MATIC is one of the prime reasons I want the car. ___________________________________________ Pass on the MB and get a good SUV with 4-wheel drive. 4-Matic is very costly when it breaks and it will break. And you shouldn't be driving that MB in that foul weather anyway. Or how about using the SUV in the winter and drive MB in the summer? Yeah, that's the ticket.

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The 420 in the 210 chassis from 1996-1997 and the 430 from 1998-2002 are not the same engine. The 430 is a newer 8 cylinder version of the modular engine that is the E320 from 1998 up. After 1998 the V8 is rated at 0-60 in 6.2 seconds vs the V6 at 7.1. Some say the 420 engine with its DOHC is smoother than the 430 but the power ratings are identical. I have driven both modulars (V6 & V8) but never the 420 or the inline 6 from 1997 or earlier. I have never regretted buying the V8.
MC

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