Before I go in depth with this car, I must admit that I actually hate most German cars as I think they are overpriced for what they are, unreliable, a pain in the butt to repair and have next to no resale value after a few years. However I do like the Mercedes W123, W124 and the W201 (the baby Benz) and the W126 as I consider these the last of the reliable and well built Benzes that made.
As I know the folks at the dealership and the whole sale guy, he just handed me the keys and told me to spend as much time as I wanted with it.
This E320 is a 1994 model and is the first year the E was moved from the back of the model number to the front of the model number. It has a 231hp 3.2l Straight 6 engine.
The key is the familiar square headed key with the big hole in the center (A Mercedes trademark for years).
Before getting in the car, I notice the massive door latch striker this is what gives old Benzes, the vault like thunk that you hear shutting the door. It is a very solid feel.
Upon getting into the car I am greeted by the comfortable and well worn looking MBTex and the classic 3 gauge pod cluster .
The car starts right up and runs quietly without a hint of engine chatter or ticking.
The car has been a one owner car since it was bought new in 1994. It has lived in Maryland all its life and does show some wear and tear, rust and paint fade. It does live in rock salt land. Still that does not detract its stately look.
Unlike the car it replaced(the W123) which in its base form made snails seem fast, this car hauls. It is no super car with rocket acceleration but the power of the engine is more then enough to motivate the metal quickly. As old as this thing is, the car has been taken care of and still retains a smooth ride with comfort on a bumpy road.
The interior shows the German spartan setup that a lot of Benzes have. Everything you need and no fancy brougham touches. Plus no touch screens, heat sensing buttons like the later Benzes have. This one is all old school with knobs, buttons and switches. This one has dual airbags and ABS.
The classic Benz wheels had aftermarket protectors added, which kept brake dust form accumulating on the wheels but also reduce the air flow to the brakes. Probably not an issue in normal driving.
This lived in the center console but you could also control some features with the unit above the rear view mirror
I got a chance to have this car for the weekend and it performed well for its age and despite it being 24 years old this year, felt more solid and Benz like then the 2017 E Class I drove for a couple of days early this summer.
It did have its fair share of issues (saggy headliner some fender rust and busted power antenna) but nothing that could not be easily fixed for cheap. A fine way to drive through the weekend.