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#4551400 - 10/22/17 08:11 PM 2005-6 Mercedes Benz E320 CDI opinions?
Shaman Offline


Registered: 07/27/04
Posts: 2361
Loc: Frankfort, Kentucky
With diesel prices hovering around mid grade prices lately, and looking for a decently powerful RWD sedan, the E320 CDI I6 seems to check alot of boxes. Most reading I have seen has been positive, but local examples are 175-190K miles, which seems a bit high for my first jaunt into German cars, and into diesels.

Does anyone have comments on the cars in general, and things that I should look out for when test driving?

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#4551431 - 10/22/17 08:53 PM Re: 2005-6 Mercedes Benz E320 CDI opinions? [Re: Shaman]
tig1 Offline


Registered: 01/03/09
Posts: 13661
Loc: Illinois
Be sure to have a fat check book for future maintenance. My daughter has four MB, ranging from a Large Sprinter MB conversion van(diesel), a SL 500, and two sedans, which one is a Blue Tech diesel. She can afford the vehicles, but the maint cost is very high.
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2007 Ford Fusion 227,000 miles
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#4551443 - 10/22/17 09:01 PM Re: 2005-6 Mercedes Benz E320 CDI opinions? [Re: Shaman]
Chris142 Offline


Registered: 06/05/03
Posts: 16822
Loc: Deplorable in apple valley, ca
There is a reason they lose value so fast
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#4551454 - 10/22/17 09:06 PM Re: 2005-6 Mercedes Benz E320 CDI opinions? [Re: Shaman]
14Accent Offline


Registered: 08/03/17
Posts: 392
Loc: MN
Quick peek around my area shows CDI's going for the same money as a very clean E500... There's no question I would go for the gasser. The 5.0 is a proven motor. Gas mileage be [censored], go for the fun one.
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#4551475 - 10/22/17 09:24 PM Re: 2005-6 Mercedes Benz E320 CDI opinions? [Re: Shaman]
Wolf359 Offline


Registered: 04/27/12
Posts: 4753
Loc: MA
I have a 2008 E-350. I'd go for either the E-350 or the E-550. The 2003-2005 years weren't that great. Plus I prefer the 2006+ facelift. Those 2003-2006 models had SBC brakes. That was brake by wire. The pump goes out anywhere from 80-120k as depending on who you read, it has a counter where once you hit 300-600k activations, you get a warning message to replace the brakes. When it goes, you only end up with 10% of your braking power according to MB, but to people that it happens to, they feel like they have no brakes. It's about a 1k repair at an indy mechanic as the reman pump is in the $800-$1000 range mail order. At the dealer it's about a 2k repair. Before the reman pump, it was more like 3k+. They had an extended warranty on it for up to 10 years, but anything you buy now is probably way over that. At 175k, it probably had the pump replaced, but may be time for it to go again.

I also wasn't a big fan of them because they didn't sell that many of them so you're limited as to who knows how to fix them. There were several threads that just died because no one had answers. When there were answers none of them applied to the gassers. There's probably two main forums out there to read up on, mbworld.org and benzworld.org.

The only reason I stayed away from the E-500/E-550 is that they both had airmatic suspensions. Those were about 1k a corner at the dealer although Arnott makes replacements with lifetime warranties for about $500 a corner plus installation.

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#4551821 - 10/23/17 10:32 AM Re: 2005-6 Mercedes Benz E320 CDI opinions? [Re: Shaman]
Rolla07 Offline


Registered: 11/05/11
Posts: 4737
Loc: MTL, CANADA
Only way Id get a luxury car is via a lease (if I had the money, which I do not!)
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#4551834 - 10/23/17 10:43 AM Re: 2005-6 Mercedes Benz E320 CDI opinions? [Re: Shaman]
Audios Offline


Registered: 11/19/11
Posts: 887
Loc: Lyndhurst NJ
They're not bad cars as compared to the later diesels. The V6 had many more issues than the earlier ones, one of them being a 2000$ oil leak deep down in the V. Thers also no ADblue or DPF to worry about. We just had one in recently, he needed the glow plug control module and new goos plugs, around 1200$. He also has a fault for the variable intake manifold, which is another 1500 or so. They're still mercedes vehicles so the repairs and maintenance will be higher, but they will hold up. It has the earlier 5 spd auto which was reinforced as compared to the newer one, and has less complicated electronics, although there are still some big ones like the SBC mentioned already. I havent seen one with 300k, the highest one we have is 235k, with nothing serious to report on with brakes failing or being weak.
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#4551904 - 10/23/17 11:49 AM Re: 2005-6 Mercedes Benz E320 CDI opinions? [Re: Shaman]
aquariuscsm Offline


Registered: 12/30/06
Posts: 18170
Loc: Dallas,Tx USA
My friend had I think a C250 for awhile. She dumped an ungodly amount of money into it on repairs regularly. It was only maybe 5 years old and left her stranded every other day it seemed. She called me one night in tears because it left her stranded on I45. That's all it took,she had it hauled off to a junkyard and bought an Infinity Q60 Coupe. Funny thing is,she'd traded her Infinity G37 Coupe in on that Mercedes,and went back to an Infinity!! She said getting rid go the G37 was the biggest mistake she ever made. It never broke down one single time.
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#4552259 - 10/23/17 06:05 PM Re: 2005-6 Mercedes Benz E320 CDI opinions? [Re: aquariuscsm]
Wolf359 Offline


Registered: 04/27/12
Posts: 4753
Loc: MA
Originally Posted By: aquariuscsm
My friend had I think a C250 for awhile. She dumped an ungodly amount of money into it on repairs regularly. It was only maybe 5 years old and left her stranded every other day it seemed. She called me one night in tears because it left her stranded on I45. That's all it took,she had it hauled off to a junkyard and bought an Infinity Q60 Coupe. Funny thing is,she'd traded her Infinity G37 Coupe in on that Mercedes,and went back to an Infinity!! She said getting rid go the G37 was the biggest mistake she ever made. It never broke down one single time.


The C class was known to be worse than the E class. Also early 2000 models when they were part of Chrysler were bad too, they got a little better afterwards, but it took a while.

As for the variable intake, I didn't know that was also on the diesel. That's somewhat common on the M272 gasoline engine which was from 2006-2011. The intake gets gummed up and a piece breaks off or the rods break. You can get a new unit for around $400, reman is around $300 or you can just buy the parts to fix it for under $100. But you sorta have to take off a lot of electrical, fuel rail, injectors etc., to get at the intake. There's a couple of youtube videos on it, they speed through the whole thing in a half hour, but I'm going to guess it'd probably take 4-5 hours at a garage or longer. Seems to happen anywhere in the 120-160k range.

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#4555088 - 10/26/17 12:21 PM Re: 2005-6 Mercedes Benz E320 CDI opinions? [Re: Shaman]
nthach Offline


Registered: 01/02/04
Posts: 3898
Loc: California
That generation of E-Class was the more problematic of them - it was conceived during the DCX era of Daimler and Mopar-style cost cutting made its way from Auburn Hills to Sindelfingen, the interiors do look nice but they had a Mopar-ish feel to it.

I don't know about the powertrains - but the braking system if it had Sensotronic brakes is the low point on those. Rumor has it that Mercedes recalled all the Sensotronic-equipped cars and retrofitted a conventional power booster/master cylinder setup into them.

I've haven't heard too much about the diesel engines - they are also the first ones with a DPF and you can't run more than 20% biodiesel in those. Mercedes did play around with DOCs and EGR on diesels in the late 1970s-early 1980s, the first attempt on the W123 240/300D was a disaster - but the newer attempts weren't as problematic. Daimler also owns Detroit Diesel, and 2005-2007 was when more Mercedes was being integrated into Detroit - if that was true for the car diesels, treat it like a little truck engine.

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#4558746 - 10/29/17 08:23 PM Re: 2005-6 Mercedes Benz E320 CDI opinions? [Re: nthach]
Wolf359 Offline


Registered: 04/27/12
Posts: 4753
Loc: MA
Originally Posted By: nthach
That generation of E-Class was the more problematic of them - it was conceived during the DCX era of Daimler and Mopar-style cost cutting made its way from Auburn Hills to Sindelfingen, the interiors do look nice but they had a Mopar-ish feel to it.

I don't know about the powertrains - but the braking system if it had Sensotronic brakes is the low point on those. Rumor has it that Mercedes recalled all the Sensotronic-equipped cars and retrofitted a conventional power booster/master cylinder setup into them.


The 2003-2006 were probably the worst. The early ones also had bad radiators and antifreeze got into the transmission which toasted the transmission. But anyway, those years also had the SBC. There was no recall, but they had a 10 year extended warranty on the SBC pump which has mostly expired by now. Still see people asking about brake failure messages. When they did a face lift on the car in 2007, they got rid of SBC due to all the complaints and went back to a conventional braking system. They were still used in the S class though because in theory it's a better braking system, just a bit too expensive for the average E class owner to fix, it was about 3-4k at the dealer.

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