Advice for buyers
What should I look for in a used Mercedes E-Class saloon?
Mercedes-Benz was determined to restore its reputation for quality and engineering integrity for the fourth generation E-Class, after a less than perfect showing with its predecessor. It worked too, which is great news for used buyers because it makes checking over a car relatively straightforward.
Do, though, ensure the electrics all work as intended, and that there are no warning lights showing, because while generally reliable the E-Class is still a technically complex car. Also listen for any creaks from the suspension and ensure the brakes feel strong, because on a big, heavy car these items will wear more quickly.
Cars with an automatic gearbox should shift smoothly up and down the gears, and there shouldn’t be any significant smoke from the exhaust, unless you’re accelerating particularly hard in a diesel. A full service history carried out at either a main dealer or an independent Mercedes specialist will go some way to reveal if a car has been well cared for; at the other end of the scale a lack of any documentation is almost certainly cause for concern.
What are the most common problems with a used Mercedes E-Class saloon?
There were reports of fuel injector failures on early diesel E-Class Saloons, but these should have all been replaced under warranty. Just be aware, though, that if not, the repairs aren’t cheap.
Other than that, there are isolated faults with the electronics such as parking sensor failures, which underlines why it’s so important to check these features before you buy. Note, too, that some cars also won’t only accept the first five digits of a postcode for the satnav, which can be extremely frustrating. Models without this feature can usually be upgraded, but make sure you take the cost of this into account when negotiating on price, or insist the seller does it for you as a condition of purchase.
Is a used Mercedes E-Class saloon reliable?
The E-Class Saloon scores a good rating in the What Car? Reliability Index, with the biggest area of concern being the electrics. Even so, it seems there are fewer problems associated with running a Mercedes E-class than one of its rivals, and Mercedes has a better reputation than most luxury car makers in the JD Power Vehicle Dependability Study.