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Great Car, Solid Value, Will buy E-Class again by An MSN Autos Consumer on 09/15/2010. Trim: 1999 Mercedes-Benz E430, Owned 3 years.
Pros: Quiet (only S Class and Lexus LS rated quieter), powerful, effortlessly drives like a dream, 30mpg hwy. Car is well built but not that complicated - you'd be surprised how many things you can do do yourself. Benzworld dot org has a very active and excellent forum on this model (w210). Extremely thorough and well organized.
Cons: Car does not handle like a BMW - good road feel but suspension is soft - perfect for Hwy driving, which is what I needed and a factor in my purchase of this car. Not as much fun on twisty roads. Maintenance costs are higher than other cars - find a good independent mechanic or do it yourself.
Overall review: Great car as most others have already posted. Now is a great time to get an older e430. Pick one up with around 100k on the odometer for about $8000 privately, and you've got 150-200k miles to go. They have depreciated much and are often cheaper than the less powered e320 because people are afraid of fuel costs. Hwy mileage is virtually the same, so don't let 275 horsepower fool you, the car is very fuel efficient. Had mine 64K so far (169k on car) and things have been great .I have spent approx $600 per 10k on maintenance, repairs, tires, oil changes (I pay to have it all done). Adding depreciation, I'm spending a total of $1300 per 10k miles for everything. That's cheaper than a new Accord I figure, and this car is better in most, if not all, respects. Be sure to do a car fax and get maintenance records as there are neglected examples out there. I like to buy from people in neighborhoods I cant afford - they tend to service their cars well.
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