Mercedes E Class W211, the official car of the people who have chosen alternative paths in life to a 9-5 job, whether we’re talking about entrepreneurs or people who always have a knife tucked in the jacket. Is the Mercedes E Class W211 worth it in 2022? Find out in today’s article.
The old generation W210 was rustier than the liver of an corporate worker drinking water for the first time after returning from team building. Old, ancient, slow, and rusty, the old W210 retreated into anonymity and became either an old Mercedes enthusiast’s car or the official car of poor but aspirational albanians.
So the Mercedes E Class W211 had to come to patch the rust stain on Mercedes’ track record, a company that was beginning to lose serious sales and customers due to the dubios quality of its cars. So they set to work and created a car worthy of the three-pointed star.
Mercedes E Class W211 – The official car of the knife wielders and tattoo wearers
If the Mercedes ML was the car of the clan bosses and upper class mobsters, the Mercedes E Class W211 was for a long time the car of the regular crims, absolutely dominating the market until the launch of the A6 C6 in 2005 and the cheapening of the BMW E60. Plus, if you need to transport 5 big people fast with lots of “luggage”, the Mercedes E Class W211 is still the best of all 3.
Is a W211 worth it in 2022?
It’s worth it, as long as you buy the facelift version that launched in 2006. Like any self-respecting Mercedes, it’s always recommended to buy the facelift version because the Germans fix most of the issues then. And the Mercedes E Class W211 is no exception to the rule, fixing many issues worse than the problems most W211 owners will give you if you don’t pay the protection tax on time. And the facelifted Mercedes E Class W211 has proven to be one of the most reliable cars in recent history.
Mercedes E Class W211 Engines
- 1.8 Kompressor M271 of 163 and 181 horsepower – The E200 Kompressor is an engine more adequate for the C Class rather than for the Mercedes E Class W211. In the 163 version atleast it’s a tortured and thirsty engine, that should be avoided completely. So go atleast for the 181 horsepower facelift version because that one is less tortured but just as underpowered for the E Class. It’s hard to believe how much fuel this engine can chugg down when you really rev it.
- 2.5 V6 M272 of 204 horsepower – the E230 came very late to the party, being somewhat of a middle ground between the E200 Kompressor and the E280. As an plus point it comes with one of the latest 7G Tronic automatic transmissions and excellent reliability. It’s just that this engine is far too confusing and, like a woman in an outlet with €100,000 balance on her credit card, doesn’t know what to do or why it’s there.
- 2.6 V6 M112 of 177 horsepower – E240 represents everything that’s wrong with the petrol engines made by Mercedes in the 2000s. Big, modest performance, and very thirsty. This engine eats so much that even LPG won’t save you. Make an effort and at least go for the next engine.
- 3.0 V6 M272 of 221 and 231 horsepower – Coming in as the E280 (231 horsepower) and E320 (221 horsepower), this is the right engine for bank executives and successful entrepreneurs who want to travel about fast, in silence.
- 3.5 V6 M272 of 272 horsepower – The muscular E350 is rarer than a nymphomaniac’s decency so I’m not sure there’s much point in writing about this engine. Too big to hang around with regular engines, too small to sit next to AMG engines. Mercedes E Class W211 E350, that double cheeseburger you buy because a single cheeseburger is too little but you’re still embarrassed to order a triple cheeseburger. Ah yeah, and this is famous M272 engine, with balance shaft issues. Avoid at all costs.
- 5.0 V8 M113 of 306 and 388 horsepower – The famous E500 is a supercar, a limousine as powerful as it is quiet. I don’t think that it’s relevant to talk about running costs on this beast. Because if you’re looking for a behemoth like this, you won’t be reading about it here. But it’s actually cheaper to run than you’d expect
- 2.2 CDI OM646 of 136, 150, and 170 horsepower – The E200cdi and E220cdi are by far the most popular Mercedes E Class W211 models on the roads. Bolted to everything from the Sprinter to the S Class, the 2.2 cdi engine (2143 or 2148 cc) is one of the most reliable diesel engines ever built. There were some issues with the Delphi injectors at one time, but they have most likely been fixed by now. Avoid the 136 horsepower version because it’s as powerful and muscular as Diane Morgan. As for long lasting issues, check the injectors seals from time to time.
- 2.7 l-5 OM647 of 175 horsepower – Same 2.2 CDI engine, but with an extra cylinder. Sounds like a tractor, but at least it’s reliable like tractor and has with no particular issues, apart from the shared stuff within the Mercedes diesel family. Bonus points for not having a particle filter, so one less issue to worry about.
- 3.0 V6 OM642 of 190 and 211 horsepower – E280cdi for the non-facelift and E300 BlueTec for the facelift, this V6 is the standard engine for the big wigs such as the ML, GL, or S Class. Arriving in the Mercedes E Class W211, this Johnny Sins-powered engine suffers from occasional turbo issues but is otherwise a work of art by compression. Also, the biggest issue with this engine is the oil cooler which is mounted inside the V, and it won’t cost as much as the oil cooler as it will cost the labor as it’s alot of dismantling to be done.
- 3.2 V6 OM648 of 204 horsepower – E320cdi is the last Mohican of a bygone era. The last inline 6-cylinder engine made to do the million-mile mark. Very hard to replace the spark plugs and injectors on it, but this last salute to German reliability retires honorably in the Mercedes E Class W211 in 2005.
- 4.0 V8 OM628 and OM629 of 260 and 314 horsepower – the E400 and E420 cdi are the diesel titans of the W211 E Class. Aluminum, in fact, because they were the world’s first diesel engines built from aluminum. With such enormities, maintenance is so expensive that specific issues don’t even matter. And the automatic gearbox can’t cope with the torque and retires early.
Mercedes E Class W211 General Issues
- For the pre-facelift, pre-2006 version, serious issues have been reported with the front suspension, which has a habit of breaking down or collapsing completely. The situation was solved by the 2006 facelift.
- The SBC (Sensotronic Brake Control) pump is a famous system, reserved only to some upper class Mercedes of the 2000s. Made to provide extra braking (trust me, it really brakes), it has a lifespan of 300,000 brake applications, after which it has to be replaced at a cost of about 1000 euros. And no, it can’t be reconditioned, you will have to buy another one.
- Rust returns and kicks the pre-facelift variant in the nads and especially in the suspension. The facelift version doesn’t get away with it either, because rust, much like Johnny Sins, forgives no one.
- The 7G-Tronic automatic gearbox that came on the facelift version is more responsive than a corporate worker that will do anything, literally anything, for that promotion. Change the oil regularly and take good care of this gearbox. Much better than the old 5-speed gearbox, but also more fragile. It’s not VW-fragile, but you still have to be careful.
- V6 petrol engines have timing chain and chain tensioner issues. Such fun may cost more than the car, but why am I writing this as no one else is going to buy a Mercedes E Class W211 with a V6 petrol engine anyway.
- For pre-facelift versions that are equipped with the AirMatic suspension, note that you have to change the airbags more often than you’d like. Or you can buy one with a standard suspension. For most people it will be the same thing.
- For diesel engines, the famous “black plague” applies. Injector seals are made of gum chewed and spit over the injector with the same hate the real Slim Shady spit on that sandwhich. The injectors are no longer sealed, the dirt accumulates, and the injector dies. All in all, the injectors are a weak point for the diesel engines on the Mercedes E Class W211.
- The water pump is so generous that it starts delivering water everywhere, through various holes. Just like the trying to snort milk through your nose and passing out, the water pump prematurely faints.
Mercedes E Class W211 Verdict
I’ve already written a lot. It’s one of the most action-packed AlmostCars articles ever written. So I’ll leave you with a straight-to-the-point verdict: Buy the facelift version and you’ll get a special and comfortable car. You won’t stand out and impress the world around you, but you’ll definitely impress your and your family’s world.
Which engine do I recommend? The most popular engine on the streets is the classic E220 2.2 CDI with 150 or 170 horsepower. And if you’ve got money to spare, get an E270 CDI.