“There is a star – there is a ride,” is what fans of luxury cars from the Mercedes stable used to say. The most iconic monuments of this German brand are of course the W123 and W124, some say that these are the last real Mercedes. The new models may not be as reliable as their ancestors, but they still do not lack high-level luxury.
A few years ago, many people were watching with gusto for the E-class W211. This luxury limousine perfectly combines classic design with modern technology. The W211 debut took place in 2002. A year later, a station wagon version marked with the letter “T” was added to the offer.
In 2005, Mercedes carried out a modernization of diesel units. In 2006, the car also got a very discreet facelift , including the front bumper and rear lamps changed, and a few elements inside were improved.
At the same time, there was also a frighteningly fast, improved version of the AMG with 514 horsepower, which surpassed the BMW M5 and Audi S6 in power and performance. In 2009, the last W211s rolled off the assembly lines at the plant in Stuttgart, and the manufacturer presented its successor, marked with the W212 logo.
The W211 is available with rear-wheel drive or a permanent 4WD called 4Matic. There were three transmissions available in the Mercedes: a 6-speed manual or a 5- or 7-speed automatic. One of the following gasoline engines works under the hood of the E-Class:
- R4 1,8 Kompressor (163- 184 hp)
- V6 2.5 (204 hp)
- V6 3.0 (231 hp)
- V6 3.2 (224 hp)
- V6 3.5 (272- 295 hp)
- V8 5.0 (306 hp)
- V8 5.4 (476 hp) E55 AMG
- V8 5.5 (388 hp)
- V8 6.2 (514 bhp) E63 AMG
The engine offer also includes an interesting range of diesel engines from the CDI family with Common Rail injection:
- R4 2.1 (122, 136, 150-170 hp)
- R5 2.7 (177 hp)
- R6 3.2 (204 hp)
- V6 3.0 (190, 211, 224 hp)
- V8 4.0 (260- 314 hp)
As you can see, there are so many drive units that it is difficult to decide on something specific. Which engines have the best user feedback? Among gasoline engines, the 1.8-liter compressor will be the best compromise between performance and consumption. However, it is worth checking the condition of its timing chain before buying. Other engines shouldn’t be too much of a problem either, but they’ll burn quite a bit.
When it comes to diesels, the 5-cylinder 2.7 CDI variant will be the best choice. The 2.1 CDI variant is also stable. However, we must remember that in the models with mileage of about 200,000 km, the injectors may require replacement. One of the most common faults is damage to the SBC brake system pump, the replacement of which costs about $ 1,400.
Controls often fail in automatic transmissions. In addition, brake pads and discs wear out very quickly. W211 users also complain about frequent failures of electronics. This is where the following occurs most often: failure of the mirror folding mechanism, failure of the Command multimedia system.
Often there are problems with the proper operation of air conditioning, the source of this state of affairs is a defect in the software responsible for its proper operation. The cause of such problems is poor protection of the electrical system against moisture.
Mercedes users appreciate the comfortable suspension of the W211, but unfortunately it is not particularly durable. Here, mainly the wishbones need to be replaced. The ends of the steering rods are also susceptible to damage. Another deficiency, unacceptable for this class of car, is the poor anti-corrosion protection of the body, as a result of which rust begins to appear on the body.
To sum up, the Mercedes E-class W211 is a prestigious and comfortable limousine with a huge amount of electronic gadgets that make driving this car more enjoyable. Unfortunately, the large crowd of electronics generates a lot of costs to repair and faults that are difficult to diagnose.
In addition, worn-out models, especially those with diesel engines, may require very costly repairs. We will buy the cheapest Mercedes W211 for about $ 9,000, but remember that it is not a cheap car to maintain.