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I bought my first Mercedes in 1963 from the agents in Dortmund and have used various models since then. The current car is a 2001 E220 CDi Avantgarde which had only gone 4200 miles when I got it three years later, since when another 183000 miles has been added. As a comfortable, spacious and economical saloon it is hard to beat but beware of certain problems, which may have been sorted out on later models. The first is rust as I have had both front wings and the bonnet replaced at no cost under warranty. More seriously the front suspension collapsed due to a design fault with the lower coil spring housing. Fortunately I was stopping for a red light at the time otherwise the result could have been fatal. Roadholding is also not brilliant as it is easy to lose the rear end, but driven sensibly I can average up to 55mpg, and that is with a five speed auto. Last week I managed exactly 60mpg on a trip from Milton Keynes to Penrith. Do not buy a manual because of the foot operated parking brake.