Appalling - where do I start?
I run a chauffeur company in London, so I probably have more experience with this model and brand than most people. Against our better judgement, we bought Mercedes again two-and-a-half years ago when updating our fleet.
This was because of many assurances from different dealers and Mercedes Benz at Maastricht (Mercedes' European customer 'service' centre - buy one of these, keep it for more than 30,000 miles and you too can have the pleasure of dealing with these people) in both verbal and written form regarding what we could expect from Mercedes.
We sought these assurances because of poor performance with our last bunch of W210s. The cars have so far had seven (count them) recalls - the dealer's attitude towards customers is reassuringly 'if you don't like it, **** off.'
We even have one car that is so bad (and Mercedes have been unable/unwilling to fix it over five visits in the last three months) that we have had to chuck it back to our contract hire company for them to deal with, as life is just too short.
If you are considering one of these, and you're a masochist, then by all means continue. If not, BMW will supply you with a 730d for the same monthly contract fee as one of these (E220 CDI if you want to know). Guess what I'm going home in tonight!
There are so many things to praise on this car. It feels like a quality car, nobody seems to want to steal it, for a big car it drives well and very easily, it has amazing economy for its size and engine and it makes the driver feel safe.
However, it's not perfect. Take off from a standing start is poor. I would expect better acceleration than this. Maybe it's the fault of the traction control system but it still should be better.
The worst things are the known faults which perhaps Mercedes itself should be fixing. The front passenger airbag sensor can fail. It costs around £400 to fix and that's a price from an independent specialist! I informed Mercedes about this and other issues and the response has been poor. A case manager was supposed to have been contacting me but I've been waiting two months to hear anything.
Somewhere inside my E320 CDI, there is a good car trying to get out but my car has been blighted by problems and a less than efficient dealer.
To be fair, it has never actually left me stranded on the side of the road but it has been back to the garage on innumerable occasions for suspension, electrical and trim problems to be rectified.
My car was a very highly specified ex-demo but I would advise against spending money on some of the extras fitted to it. The 18-inch AMG alloy wheels wreck the ride, especially in conjunction with the Airmatic suspension. I've even gone to the expense of buying a set of 17-inch alloys for my car.
The panoramic sunroof is a complete waste of money and sits on top of the roof when open so it's noisy.
The keyless ignition seems totally pointless to me and all the Thermotronic luxury climate control does is give your kids in the back more buttons to play with.
Extras worth having are heated leather seats, the Comand system with telephone kit and the Bose sound system.
If, like me, you want a comfortable, refined and economical business vehicle for ploughing up and down the motorways, the E320 CDI is pefect. The engine is torquey and surprisingly powerful, although it is a trifle raucous when accelerating.
Its economy is also excellent for such a large car averaging, in my case, about 32mpg in a mix of town and motorway driving. However, don't expect sporting handling, even with the Airmatic suspension. The car can be hustled
Build quality is excellent and much better than BMW.
Fuel consumption is slightly better than my old 320dse - I’m getting about 43miles to the gallon compared 41 I used to get with the BMW. For the size of car, this is excellent.
I do about 30,000 mile per year and I spend a lot of time in the car, so comfort is high on the agenda. The drive is quiet and very smooth so it's hard to stay awake it's that comfortable.
The interior is superb, very well laid out and is classy in look and feel.
Talk about gadgets and toys so many!
I thoroughly recommend having the factory phone kit wiring option and buying the cradle to fit your mobile phone. The quality is very good compared to others I've tried - people can actually hear what you are saying.
Touch wood no problems so far, thoroughly recommend, much better than the competition.
Order a brochure, find your nearest dealer or book a test drive
I've had 6 VWs now including this one and it is a mixed bag. In no particular order the economy is poor despite the FSI badging and in town never…
Why is there so much whining about the rear sets? It's small - it's called a "mini" (hint). It didn't get any smaller after you bought it, so deal…