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Stumbled across a single review of this vehicle which struck me as too eulogistic to be of much use.
I live in Europe where attitudes to Mercedes products are less reverential and have had a manual transmission E220 CDi since Oct.2003 (which I'd like to sell). This model with 150 bhp/340nm. has effectively been superceded since July 2006 by a revised model with 170bhp and approx 400nm. and which among some 2000 changes has done away with the brake by wire system and probably other curiosities as well. Any German-speaking reader should look at ownership surveys, such as in Auto Motor und Sport 10 November 2004 edition.
It is certainly a roomy, comfortable car to drive with good ride quality, low noise levels and fuel consumption and enough middle-range performance to perform very well on motorways. The weight, clunky manual gearbox and slight lack of low-end torque mean you're likely to be blown off by Golf turbodiesels at the lights. Once you get used to the roll angles it goes round corners quite well but probably doesn't compete with BMW, Audi in this respect.
In terms of "problems" (for people who don't mince their words, see the above-mentioned press) it has mostly been ok but I don't have the satnav or mobile tel. installation. The engine management system has occasionally reverted to "emergency" mode and cut off the revs at 3000 which isn't helpful when you're overtaking and when the reversing lights cut out (they're a sealed gas-filled assembly and you don't want to/ can't go there) the Mercedes importer got them back again after 2 attempts. After 67000km/42000 miles there seems to be a rattle in the driver^s door and a vehicle inspection service said that the front shock absorbers are coming to the end of their life.
With the benefit of hindsight, I'd have waited till they got it right with the 2006 model and to anyone considering buying one secondhand, I'd say avoid the electronic toys.
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