Our 1999 E300 Turbodiesel is our third new diesel MBZ, having purchased the 1972 and 1985 models (same color scheme, also!). Obviously, my husband and I are very pleased with these cars. We test-drove both the diesel and the gasoline E320 models one right after the other, and found surprisingly little difference between them in performance, comfort and noise. Externally, they are identical as far as I can tell. The difference is, of course, the diesel engine under the hood. This was the last model year for U.S. sale of diesels for an unknown period of time, and that fact encouraged us to buy one in mid-1999. Being a diesel, the car does not have spark plugs, so requires less maintenance. The car just recently had its first maintenance at 13,000 miles and just required an oil change. It gets very good diesel mileage, and now we can take round trips from the San Francisco Bay Area to Lake Tahoe or Reno on a tank of fuel (could not do this on our older models).
If you are looking for a dependable, low-maintenance, long-life car (I'm driving the 1985 model now as "my" car, and it has about 200,000 miles on it now), consider one of these cars---if you can find one for sale, that is!