Buying review of the Mercedes-Benz E-class (W211) 2003-2009 Common Issues Engines Inspection

Categories :

Hello everybody,

Welcome to the buying review of the E-class W211. This car was built between 2003 and 2009.
It came in two body types, the sedan and the wagon. The C219 is based on this E-class but was labeled the CLS 4 door coupe, this car will be discussed in a future video.

In this video we will talk a bit about the car itself, some engine specifications and try to answer the big question, is this car reliable ?

General information

This car was unveiled in january 2002 at the bruxxels motor show. The W211 is bigger then its predeccors offering more interior space, the Wagon was also pretty big. Fuel consumption was also reduced on this generation with almost 1 liter per 100 kilometers. Also this model was the preferred car for the Taxi business here in Europe, especially with the CDI diesel engines.

Some of these cars reached the 1 million kilometer mark, its spacious interior and plenty of room for luggage made this a perfect Taxi. The Mercedes might be costly to buy at first, but it is one of these cars that last long and has a strong and efficient engine and holds its value for a long time. This results in low costs for every driven kilomter making it ideal for the job of transporting people.


The car was facelifted in 2006 for the 2007 model year. The E-class is the backbone of Mercedes, it offers some of the features that you will find on the S-class and is positioned above the C-class, right at the middle of the Mercedes line-up.


Many engine choices where available, there is an engine for everyone.
Starting with the inline 4 engine, moving on to the v6 and v8 engines. It has a few diesels and petrol engines to choose from, AMG also worked on the E-class with the E55 and E63.

Bigest engine was the 6.2 v8 in the E63 AMG which replaced the E55 AMG in 2006.
The E55 had 5.4 liter supercharged v8. For people that drove lots of miles there are also a few frugal diesels available. Starting with the inline 4 2.2 diesel in the E200 CDI.

Transmission wise there is still a 6 speed manual available, but the great majority of cars was equiped with a 5 speed or 7 speed automatic gearbox. The 5G or 7G tronic.

Now to the big question, is this a reliable car.

Back then advertised as the most beautiful Benz at the time, I agree that’s true until the CLS showed up.
It was available with a 3.2 V6 which was new for this generation and was relatively untested.
The v6 engine has more problems then the 5.0 liter V8 which was available for a long time.

Despite being a Benz, it has a lot of reported problems which seriously affected it reputation.
This resulted in many people not buying a Benz anymore during the 00’s decade.

It even caused BMW to sell more 5-series since the E-class started to develop a terrible reputation for reliability. Dispite this, the E-class is still the best sold car in its class in Germany where it leaves competitor BMW and AUDI far behind them when it comes to marketshare for luxury executive cars.


Most early production models of this car should be avoided, mechanically improved versions of the E-class appread in 2007. It has the new upright grill and a new front bumper that did not look as well integrated as the old one did. When you seriously concidering to buy this car I suggest you take a look at MBworld forums, this is the place where you can read about most of the issues related to this generation E-class.
Partly since this is a well appreciated car among enthausiasts, secondly because this car is well documented.

DIY mechanics

The advantage is that there are lots of do it yourself tutorials online, if you have the space and tools, you could work on your e-class yourself. Some of the same issues of the previous generation the W210 can be found on the W211, but lots of issues have been reported.

Some of the issues with these cars:

  • Steering controller issues
  • Brake sensitivity issues
  • Failing door locks
  • Airsuspension failing to work.

Worth buying a W211 E-Class ?

As of 2018 these types of car are not that expensive anymore, if you have some knowledge about do it yourself maintenance on cars, you can do some of the maintenance yourself. This will cut maintenace costs and it is quite a lot of fun. Either go for 2007-2009 production years, or go for early productionmodels with proven technology. The service history on used cars are extremely important.

It is also recommended to flush out the autmatic gearbox regularly to prevent small issues to get out of hand. The 5G and 7G automatics are quite reliable and refined, but flushing will extend its longevity.

There are also reports of electronic issues with the ignition keys. The keys contain a code that is unique, this code will let the car start. If you need new keys, you can only have that done at your Mercedes dealer, this is still a quite pricy exercise. Your ECU also need to know the new code, in order for you to accruire a new key you need to proper documentation.

Thanks for watching this buyers review of the E-class W211, I hope it was useful for you, if so subscribe to my channel.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *