Advice for buyers
What should I look for in a used Mercedes E-Class estate?
There’s not much to be worried about when buying a Mercedes E-Class Estate of this generation. Nevertheless, it’s worth keeping an eye out for certain problems.
Listen for suspension creaks and clonks on your test drive, and if you have a chance to inspect the brake discs through the alloy wheels, do so, because the E-Class is a heavy car and will wear its suspension and brakes relatively quickly.
Check there’s no white or blue smoke from the exhaust, and if you’re driving an automatic, check the transmission changes up and down smoothly without lurching or holding on to gears.
Maintenance is essential with complex cars such as this, so keep an eye out for signs that money has been spent. Look for premium-brand tyres, and make sure they match from one side of the car to the other, and of course, make sure you buy an example with a full service history, preferrably from a Mercedes dealership or an independent specialist.
What are the most common problems with a used Mercedes E-Class estate?
The biggest thing to keep your eye out for with an E-Class of this generation is the rear suspension. It’s a compressed air system and has been known on some examples to fail, leading to the rear of the car dropping. It could be a simple fix, but it can also be quite expensive.
Early diesel models were known to suffer from injector failures. These should have been replaced under warranty by Mercedes, but there could be a few odd examples still kicking around, and they won’t be cheap to repair if they do go wrong.
Is a used Mercedes E-Class estate reliable?
It seems to be. Very few owners complain of problems with their E-Class Estates, and the What Car? Reliability Index backs that up with a commendably low score for the E-Class as a whole. In those terms, it compares rather well with its rivals, all of which seem to be considerably less dependable.