I read that Consumer's Reports had rated only one Mercedes a "Best Buy" - Yep! It was the 1995 E-Class. In my opinion I wanted only the best engine in my 95 - the slow-sipping diesel (27 city - 35 highway) powerplant. After a lot of internet searching I found two and bought the one with only 60,000 original owner miles!
You could pay more for a great car but you will not find a better value. This car is comfortable, quiet, dependable, and a fine ride.
Seats are outstanding - mine has the MB Tex and I like it as there is no wear at all after 8 years. Leather on cars the same age shows some signs of creasing. I'm in Texas and leather is the first to go on a car right after the warranty expires. I recommend MB Tex!
The SE editions have 10way power seats on both driver and passenger seats (a nice touch) and factory 6 CD changer in the trunk. This car also has a full size spare tire on a factory alloy wheel.
December 31, 2003 Ownership UPDATE
After having put an additional 9,000 miles on this car I thought an owner update would be in order:
I have had a few repairs - the black box (everything of electronic nature on an MBZ is contained in some type of a black box) for the windshield wiper was replaced by my local mechanic @$100. The black box for the glow plugs was replaced by me @$100. I just returned from having two 'o' rings replaced in the return fuel line @$100. I developed a small oil leak on the oil sensor and this cost $150 to replace. Total for repairs $450 + regular oil changes, etc.
I own a high mileage Jeep and remember that I needed several things replaced at or about 70-80K miles so I don't think the expenses for the MBZ are out of line. After I own the car for a year I'll give you an update on the costs for the year.
The interior is still in great shape and the car is definitely a road vehicle - suitable for long tips with the ride, noise level, and automatic a/c control you would expect from a luxury level car. I take this car on every 100+ mile trip I go on now instead of my newer JEEP.
The caveat is this: this is a dated technology vehicle. There are plenty of 'new' vehicles with better electronics and bells and whistles that rival the space shuttle. But the 95 E300 MBZ is comfortable, reliable, and easily repaired by your neighborhood mechanic - contrary to popular notion you don't need to live near an MBZ dealership.
Last thought: The 2004 MBZ diesels are returning to the US. So, you can purchase an affordable 9 year old MBZ that has the 606 (non-turbocharged) engine or you can now buy the latest MBZ with a diesel.
Amount Paid (US$):
1995Model and Options:
E300 SE Automatic