I purchased this car as an ex-demonstrator (2002/52-plate) and have driven approx 12,000 miles per year. Fuel consumption good to excellent (over 50mpg on long runs cruising at the speed limits). Seating comfort is adequate but not special. The bodywork tends to rattle on poor road surfaces.
The car 'lost' five mudflaps and both front wheel arch liners during my ownership - and I don't go 'off road'! Every rear bulb had to be replaced at least once. In addition, plastic interior fittings tended to come adrift (seat belt covers, speaker fittings etc). I also had the wheel nuts replaced under warranty (eventually) because the were rusting (on alloy wheels!)
The main dealer servicing expensive and not great but only once a year. Some minor problems could not be identified or resolved (for example, the rear wiper would not switch off - it's probably the control unit overheating, but it couldn't be fixed!) or parts are very expensive (a new driver's side anti-dazzle wing mirror glass cost over £200!).
In all, it's an expensive disappointment. It was the second (and last) Mercedes I shall buy - I'm going back to BMW.
I've owned it since new and covered 50,000 miles with only one minor electronic glitch, which was sorted immediately by the main dealer.
Servicing is very expensive, although intervals are long. The standard seats are not particularly comfortable.
I replaced the previous version of this car in Septemebr 2004 with a new car fitted with a Diesel Particulate Filter. I have experienced an increase in fuel consumption of around 25% despite minimal changes in the vendor and government published consumption figures.
The degraded consumption has been confirmed by Mercedes in writing as within their expectations and also that they are currently working to resolve the problem.
Otherwise the new version is marginally better in many ways e.g.roadholding, power and finish. Buyers should be aware of this increased cost of ownership not reflected in the sales literature provided.
Comfortable, practical, economical and good to drive. Ride and road holding are great, mine has the lower suspension and bigger wheels and tyres.
The interior doesn't feel that special and quality could be a lot better. Now covered over 25K miles and only had one minor problem.
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