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1996 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

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Consumer Reviews & Ratings

Overall Rating
8.7
Out of 10

Based on 499 Ratings for the 1996 - 2002 models.

Review this car
more rating details
  • Value
    8.7/10
    Quality
    8.9/10
  • Reliability
    8.9/10
    Performance
    9.1/10
  • Comfort
    9.1/10
    Styling
    9.0/10
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A diesel powered energizer - it just keeps going

By on Tuesday, January 03, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 137,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "dependable, fun to drive, great mileage"

Cons: "tires only last 25-30K miles"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I've owned this car for 12 years now and it's been very dependable with routine maintenance. No significant unexpected repairs and there is no mistaken the Mercedes ride and comfort. I'm told repeatedly by my dealer that the newer Blue-Tech diesels are nowhere near the car this one was. So I keep it pristine with factory parts and let it keep on going."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

wonderful car

By on Sunday, October 16, 2011

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 194,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"If you don't love Mercedes You have never drove one! This car is comfort, stability, reliability, fast"

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Currently enjoying a 185,000 mile relationship

By on Monday, September 05, 2011

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 185,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Reliable, comfortable, feeling of security ( a heavy car) ageless style, good gas milage."

Cons: "The mercilessly high prices Mercedes Benz charges for parts (and service)"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"185,000 miles thus far well worth the investment."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Great Car

By on Sunday, April 24, 2011

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

"I bought my 2000 E320 in 2007 with 105000 miles. Great car. never let me down. Only thing I replaced were tires and A/C compresser. Drove until April 2011 put 190000 miles on it then I was hit by someone running a red light. totaled but no injury to me. I want another E320"

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

quick but not without faults

By on Wednesday, November 17, 2010

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

"Bought my '99 used with 139,000, no has 204,000 miles on it. Had the computer chipped so it's really quick, but these cars are expensive to maintain if you're not doing your own work. Prone to throwing "check engine" codes for MAF, ABS, etc. Expect to replace control arm bushings, belt tensioner, water pump (plastic impellers fail), window lift mechanism (cables break). Nothing too serious and of course this is after 200,000 miles. Still starts, runs, drives like a $50,000 car and gets 30 mpg. Just can't imagine having to pay dealer prices for repairs!"

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

By on Tuesday, November 16, 2010

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

"I have owned this car for seven years. It's my Sunday driver and has only 23,832 original miles. Looks are classic, European, handsome, masculine, and timeless. The leather smells brand new every time I open the doors. The metallic green paint is rich and glossy. The straight six 230 hp engine tugs like a locomotive. Lots of torque. The Bose sound system cannot be matched. It's practical yet made for show. You can drive all day at very high speeds and never become fatigued. There are no ergonomic drawbacks.No rattles. Hugely dependable. Probably the best Benz ever designed. Striking to behold and drive. I plan to keep this car perfect for 30 more years. I cannot believe the new E-Class cars draw this much pride."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Great used MB E320 4M

By on Thursday, August 05, 2010

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
9/10

"I bought this vehicle from a wholesaler with 118,000 miles on the odometer. I had approximately 8 years worth of dealer service records with the car. After much looking, I would never buy one without having access to several prior years of dealer service records. It had a few minor issues, since repaired. The dash digital displays for temperature, time and transmission gear were toasted when I got it but the service records seem to show this was a continual problem. The good news is I don't really need them so I don't worry about it. This is the best used car purchase I've ever made (except for my Corvettes, of course). No real problems in 10,000 miles. I don't hesitate to take it on 4-6 hour trips. Rides great, handles pretty good for a luxury ride (my other cars are a BMW 525, Lincoln Navigator and a Corvette), has plenty of interior and trunk room for all our stuff, great sound system (Bose) and the security of all wheel drive. I will definitely drive it till the wheels fall off and then I'll get another, maybe an S class next time."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

2002 E320 Special Edition Review

By on Friday, May 14, 2010

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

"I saw this car advertised at $9000 w/85000 miles 4/2002. I previously owned Cadillacs, One test drive and I fell in love with the Black Birdseye Walnut interior and the nimble performance of the car. The premium sound system is the best I have heard in 30 years of car buying, With the final negotiated price of $8500 I had to trade the 2002 Cadillac Seville SLS. This car is great all the way around and the horsepower seems much greater than advertised. I am now a Benz enthusiast and had to convert from a die hard Cadillac fan. If you can find a good deal like me you won't be disappointed with your choice,"

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

By on Saturday, January 30, 2010

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

"I first fell in love with this car in 2003 when I drove it as a complimentary rental while my 2002 C240 Merc was being serviced. I finished the C240's lease and went and purchased this car. Loved it ever since. Still drives as smooth all these years later. Reliable and well built."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

excellent alround vehicle

By on Monday, October 19, 2009

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

"its is best awd wagon I have ever had. 7 pass seating is awsome when hauling grandkids. Plenty of floor spce when 2cd and 3rd row flat. Leveling helps adjust trim level for comfortable driving loaded. 165,00 miles,$60,000 when new and after 10 years still worth $10 to 12,000 retail. mileage around town 22/25 and 30 mpg highway."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

1998 E430

By on Sunday, September 13, 2009

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

"What a car. I bought it used with 115908 miles. Very powerful, quite, and comfortable. Handles great. Nothing else comes close. Worth the money."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

She's a good one

By on Wednesday, September 09, 2009

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

"Bought 1998 model off-lease at 16K miles and paid half the new car price. Has been very reliable. Window fell into door once and rear bulbs fail more than they should but I have been very happy overall.. Smooth ride, great for long trips, decent mileage. Would like a bit more acceleration but cruising/passing power is impressive. Now has 110K miles and still truckin'. This car does not deserve the 'unreliable' stigma of MB."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

A Gem of a car

By on Tuesday, August 18, 2009

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

"I bought my 2000 E430 4matic new and it's almost 10 years. Worth every penny. handles better in snow than my 4wd pickup. Safety at high speeds with all 4 wheels pulling is the best feeling. Going on 112,000 miles now and still running strong."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

By on Sunday, January 11, 2009

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

"For a vehicle that is over a decade old, the 1996 E320's reliability, handling, comfort and classic mercedes-benz style hang tough with many vehicles right off the 2008 assembly line. As the parent of a 4 year old and 5 month old, there is not another car on the market in which I would feel as secure as I do when I am behind the wheel of my E320. I owned my first MB in the early 90's. Put over 400,000 miles on it when the odomoter finally gave up. I have no doubt I'll make it just as far in this one."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Worst MB I have owned

By on Thursday, September 04, 2008

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
4/10
Reliability
4/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
5/10

"This is the 4th MB I have owned and will be my last. Paint chips easily (know issue by MB). Rust with the least little chip. Poor Dealer and MFG support. Electrical problems that cause light bulb failures. Most recent issue is the need to replace a 10 cent rubber cover for the Nav antenna...Dealer wants to sell me a whole antanna for over $400. Was able to buy a cover from a CA dealer for $90..(still a rip off). Clearly the 1996 Chrysler merger pulled MB down. I have had more problems with this one E320 in 55k miles than all three previous combined. Dealers also clearly not the same "service at any cost" as in the past."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Not what they used to be!

By on Thursday, July 10, 2008

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
3/10
Styling
3/10
Comfort
3/10

"The overall quality and value that Mercedes once represented, is no longer! Although I am a low mileage driver, I have experienced numerous mechanical problems, plastic parts breaking and maintenance issues before they were normally due. When replacing parts, many items only come as an entire unit, rather than breaking down the operating system into individual parts, which makes the replacement outrageously expensive and wasteful. I have owned eight different Mercedes models and I am certain, this is the last Mercedes I will ever own."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Beautiful

By on Friday, March 14, 2008

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

"Not as impressed as I have been with earlier model Mercedes. It is not as solid and dependable as the older models I have owned. It is a beautiful car. I have always been a fan of Mercedes but I hate to say the BMW drives and handles much better."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Great car overall!

By on Thursday, March 06, 2008

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

"The best part of owning this car is the ability to drive many different loaner models since it was always in the shop for the first few months of ownership. Boy am I happy that I bought Mercedes Extended Warranty - it really works! However, after all of these quirks were sorted out, the car has been really good. Overall, it is a great car that needs attention. Any time you hear or see anything on the warning screen, research the issue and resolve it immediately! You'll be happy that you did."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

97 Mercedes Benz E420

By on Saturday, February 09, 2008

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

"Have owned this 10 year old car for 8 years, putting a total of 122,000 miles on it. Except for 3 minor problems that required repair, this car is outstanding. When a problem does occur, it seems to cost about 50% more to repair than a typical car. With an MSRP of $55,000 new, a 10 year-old can be acquired for about $8,000...a great performance drive for little coin. The insurance rates are quite low also...because of a low claims experience. This car looks nearly new, has classical styling and a safety quotient that makes it a substantial used car for a young driver that you want to be protected in the event of a collision. Fortunately, this car has never required any body repair. Great Brakes, amazing turning radius, smooth acceleration and unequalled style makes a used E420 a great buy."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Excellent Car

By on Wednesday, February 06, 2008

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

"I've had my E320 for almost six years, and I love it. There's nothing like a Benz (BMW is the next best thing). Car is rock solid, heavy, powerful, and extremely well engineered. It handles exceptionally well, while still pampering. This particular model had a few problems. Check the transmission carefully - there were some problems with them. Both rear door window regulators broke within a few months of each other, $400 each to fix. A few other problems, but none for quite a while. Not reliable like a Honda, but then not boring like one, either. Excellent driving experience in every way."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Believe The Hype

By on Monday, January 21, 2008

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

"I have the E420 (only yr for this body and the 4.2 V8). I put over 3k miles on the car within two months of buying it ...and this was primarily driving only on the weekends. STRONG acceleration w/ the V-8 (although my Seville STS "feels" faster; BTW a Benz WILL do a burn-out). Handling is outstanding when not driving at the limit. Don't worry that the automotive press says that the BMW 540 handles better. If you're wringing that last little bit of capability you don't need to be on the streets; take it to the track. The 420 is a great highway cruiser w/ decent highway fuel economy especially for a V-8. The feeling of solidity is phenomenal; it feels like a vault. I don't like the flimsy cup-holder (well, the Germans don't believe in drinking beverages while doing Autobahn speeds; probably a good idea) and wish I had adjustable lumbar support on my particular car. So far reliable although I did replace a driver's front wheel bearing (just went ahead and did both fronts) and the radiator @ less than 90k (do yourself a favor and get an extended warranty); I see another Benz in my future.""

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Best Driving Car Ever

By on Wednesday, December 26, 2007

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

"I have owned this car for 4 years now and love it. I have owned many cars and this has been the best by far."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Rust and Repairs

By on Monday, October 29, 2007

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

"I purchased this vehicle new and took very good care of it but was rewarded with severe rust, suspension, and engine mount problems. Fuel pump failure at 106,000 miles called for a $6800 solution on top of $2400 in ancillary repairs which prompted me to scrap the car. I have owned 3 Mercedes and must say that while beautiful and high performing, the maintenance costs are extreme and the long term value very disappointing."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

great car

By on Sunday, October 14, 2007

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

"i have always been a mb guy, and always had s-classes, but i was very surprised when i got an e320. it's very comfortable, especially on the highway, handles great even at high speeds, and cheap to maintain (if you do maintanance yourself). it truly is the king of the road, and it has a lot of power. been very satisfied."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Got a MB or you ain't got it

By on Wednesday, August 15, 2007

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

"Stand it front of it, look at it and let it whisper you "wanna ride?" This vehicle has more practical sophistication than anything else in the market of similar year. More room that you know what to do with. Tie downs, cargo net, valuables cover, etc. Ride is solid and commanding. Headed for a cul-de-sac doing 35, turn the wheel and it turned responsibly with no signs of slipping, wagging, or excessive tilting. This V6 engine is adequately powerful to its class design and to the needs of our family. Is smooth when just cruising but if you step-on-it can turn into a tiger chasing a prey. It can seat 7 belted passengers and room for some other stuff. We are very grateful to the full size spare tire. No funny toy wheel to "Get-Off-The Freeway-and-park". We continued our trek without funny-wheel speed and distance limitations. This car surely feels solid and nimble, heavy but 29mpg on the highway. Speeds between 65-85 don't seem to affect mileage. Normally my spouse gets 22-23 mpg and I get 24-25 mixed driving. This car in now 6 years old and people still take it for new. We've lost the rear plates ergo is taken for new. Beautiful sound surrounds the interior through our Bose system and is nicely tuned for all around listening styles, including talk shows. Otherwise, it is quiet inside. We have a Japanese car in our arsenal and there is a noticeable difference when you pull in anywhere in the other car. When you pull in a MB you are treated as Mr. so and so. You matter, your businesses are seen as important, whether you are buying, consulting or selling. I did not set this up; it is commonly found human behavior. You experience that reaction when you are on a Mercedes. That's why I say: Either you got a Mercedes, or you ain't got it! Claude."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

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