"I have owned this car for 4 years now and it is excellent! Brought it with 200000 miles. The most releiable, comfortable car AND CHEAP maintenance. Ditched my 1996 Mazda two weeks after i brought this 1988.
Those of you who are paying $450 for water pump, get a new mechanic! Parts are very easy to find and are really cheap as against the Mercedes stereotype: $$$ to maintain. Brakes last 20000 miles and cost the same to replace as they did on 1996 Mazda 626. On Mazda i had to change the brakes every 8000 or 10000 tops. Go figure.
Car is heavy on take off but no one can catch it after it has started moving. This is not a defect. This is a luxury sedan and starts off in 2nd gear when in D for comfort and for some odd reason lower emmissions. If you really want to feel its power on take off, shift to D2. It will start off on the 1st gear and you will feel the beast hiding under the hood. Let me warn you, you CAN break the engine mounts if you make a habit out of this. BTDT. The engine sits on silicon oil filled mounts. Thats why you dont even feel the engine when you are at a traffic light. but you CAN break the mounts if you are not careful at take offs. I have given it a 4 for performance just because of the slower take off but would have given it a 4.75 if the website let me.
As long as this car has been maintained, miles do nothing to it. By maintenance i dont mean costly repairs but oil changes, brake pads, keep the interior and leather clean, keep fluids topped up, proper belt tension, recommended maintenance in the service booklet and most of all dont drive like a maniac! yeah you dont feel the bump or the pothole but it is the car which takes the beating without passing it on to you.
Use proper fluids. Mercedes has a different engine and fluids from walmart will ruin it. Even you windshield washer is heated with a flash heater. Use the right oil not whatever jiffy lube pumps in. This does not mean you have to buy the expensive $90 oil change. look in your manual you will find you can even use penzoil provided it is the right kind.
This car is fully automatic and has lots of systems which work on vacuum. Now vacuum hoses are rubber and you can expect them to wear out in 20 years. Most of the problems people are complaining about is related to vacuum leaks which costs pennies to be fixed by an honest mechanic. This car is so strong that it will even run when something is broken.
I am pushing 235000 on it and it still does not give me any problems. Yeah i have maintained it religiously to the extent that my mechanic shoves me out of his shop now telling me not to waste any money. But that is me, a paranoid car enthusiastic who wants everything perfect.
I am in the market for a new car but selling or trading in this car is not a part of the equation. People give me offers to buy this car all the time but i am not selling. This is a keeper. Guess which car i will be buying next? Mercedes of course. Got a Sedan, now want a sports!"
"I've driven my 1990 300E for 16 of its 17 years. Get 30 mph highway, 22 mpg city. Better than the tiny Cooper car! Just now I'm I fixing the A/C, oil change every 3k, it runs like a top with 213,000+ miles. Will NEVER trade it; will keep in family. It's my 1st Mercedes, and I will never buy anything else. Original finish looks brand new. No one believes me when I tell them it's 17 years old."
"Have owned my 1991 300E for 13 years and put 120,000 of the 161,000 miles on it. The car will likely ride in my funeral procession. The entire exhaust system, from manifold to tailpipe tip is still original. Seats and trim show almost no wear.
Car drives like a dream: quiet, stable, and comfortable. The seats are the most comfortable I have found in any car - even new ones.
I've tracked every repair cost (including those from the original owner). They work out to about $800 per year, including batteries, windshield wipers, and tires. The engine has a slight oil leak from the head gasket (a common problem with this series). I add maybe 2 quarts of oil a year and it just keeps running. Get 30 mpg on a long trip and 22 mpg on average. Yet the car has plenty of power.
I don't know if Mercedes will ever build a car with this much quality and reliability ever again."