The mention of Mercedes will strike you with an image of a stylish super prestigious vehicle.
For many years, Mercedes has been known for its impressive balance of opulence, practicability, and performance.
All vehicle models in the Mercedes lineup are elegantly designed with special emphasis on durability, safety, comfort, and top-of-the-line luxury features.
Mercedes-Benz is generally the first choice for drivers looking for a high-end luxury car.
These vehicles are built for the long haul and offer plenty of power and comfort to justify their price range.
But like any other machine, the Mercedes is also likely to develop some problems during its useful years.
When shopping for a used Mercedes, it can be overwhelming to choose one from their extensive list of models and trim levels that will give you a great user experience.
What Used Mercedes has the Least Amount of Problems?
The Mercedes-Benz that was released after the year 2008 has the least amount of problems. The 2009 E-Class W211, 2005 C55 AMG, and the 2016 W212 Mercedes model years reported the least amount of problems.
These models are part of the earlier range of Mercedes E-Class (W211-W213), and the much older C55 AMG (W203).
Every year, Mercedes has endeavored to update its vehicle models on their lineup.
Every new model comes with enhanced features, both inside and outside, that helps to accentuate the elegance and opulent styling that has been the hallmark of Mercedes for many years.
Mercedes E-Class (W-211 – W213)
The E-Class has the reputation for being reliable since its release.
The original E-Class was the 1986 to 1995 W124.
This vehicle was a great classic luxury vehicle that can be bought at a reasonable price.
Besides, buying classic models doesn’t mean you will miss out on many of the features that the new model years offer.
The classic models came packed with sufficient comfort, safety, and high-end performance features albeit not as advanced as those in the new models.
Mercedes E-Class W211 triumphed between the years 2008 and 2009.
This model year had a good history of dependability and luxury, although the early models had some minimal quality problems as reported by CarComplaints.
After the redesign in 2006, the models were substantially better than before.
A good example of this lineup is the 469-hp E55 AMG that falls in the W211 generation, which was among the top-performing sedans in the world at the time.
Whereas the early E-Class models had problems, the W212 E-Class models from the year 2010 to 2016 had far fewer problems.
Consumer Reports’ reliability score for this generation is above average.
Satisfied consumers reported that the model year was as well built as the W124 generation.
Also, this generation offers a lot of luxury amenities.
The Mercedes E-Class comes equipped with a rearview camera, traction and stability control, and an automated braking system.
These features complement the smooth handling to give the E-class now a fun-to-drive experience.
Like the W211, the E63 AMG also came in an AMG configuration.
While it developed some small issues along the way, it was generally a more reliable vehicle compared to peers of its class and price range.
The latest E-Class is the W213. This generation has also reported fewer problems.
Models that came before 2020 did not feature touch screens but came with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay with a classier and comfortable interior compared to the S-Class.
The Older C55 AMG (W203)
Old is gold is the adage that applies to this generation of Mercedes-Benz.
Despite being an old generation, these model years have shown stunning above-average reliability.
On both consumer reports and J.D Power, Mercedes from this model year have been highly dependable and are a good buy for buyers under budget who love the experience of a classier and more comfortable vehicle.
An older Mercedes W203 C55 AMG that was on the market from the year 2005 to 2006 is also a good choice if you don’t mind an older model.
The C55 AMG sports a 5.4-liter V-8 engine that provides 362-hp and 376 pound-feet of torque.
This potent machine is capable of handling any terrain.
Coupled with a robust five-speed automatic transmission, this car is easy to handle and offers a smooth and very quiet ride in the city and on the highway.
Choosing Mercedes C55 AMG means sacrificing a few options, navigation systems, in exchange for a more powerful engine under the hood.
AMG or not, the C55 offers a quiet ride and is well suited for your daily commute within and outside the city.
The C55 is among the top Mercedes models that had few problems reported, according to the CarComplaints.
This vehicle has an above-average reliability score on consumer reports followed by positive consumer satisfaction ratings.
Problems reported for the W211-213 and the C55 AMG
Even though the model ranges W211-213 and the C55 AMG had high-reliability scores, they also had some problems that are worth noting when you are shopping for these vehicles.
Mercedes Medic reported that the air suspension of the E-Class is prone to failure over time.
The struts and the air compressor would fail and are quite expensive to repair.
To cut the costs, when they fail, normal shocks and springs can be used in place of these.
Another option is purchasing a model that doesn’t come standard with this feature.
Heavily modified W211 E-Class from 2000 and 2009 have fewer problems than older models.
A cracked radiator and faulty hydraulic brake pump were among the top issues reported for this generation.
Also, the crankshaft position sensors would fail even on the latest versions.
The W211 and W212 are both susceptible to small electrical problems.
Some model years in this generation reported cases of the failed wiper motor, which would frequently occur.
Power window regulators would also malfunction when the window trim was out of alignment.
The slow shift of the transmission was also a common problem that was reported for this model year.
Most other Mercedes E-Class problems were because of normal wear and tear over time.
Like any other vehicle, transmission and engine mounts may deteriorate over time.
Plus, UV exposure can cause interior trim to fade.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Which Mercedes-Benz model is the most reliable?
The reliability index on Consumer Report shows that the Mercedes-Benz E-Class is the most reliable model.
Over the years, this model has received enhancement on its exterior and interior styling, safety, infotainment, and performance features.
This has helped to address most of the problems that were reported from the previous years.
What model years of Mercedes should I avoid?
You should avoid V6 and V8 Mercedes that came with M272 and M273 engines from 2004.
This is because they had many major reports concerning the timing chain.
Most of the early M272 engines were reported to have this problem in the years 2005, 2006, and 2007.
Why are some latest Mercedes models less reliable?
As a result of the extensive addition of more advanced high-tech features and technologies, the Mercedes Luxury lineup has received below-average reliability scores.
This is because these new features provide more sources of errors.
A lot can go wrong with these features.
Is it worth it buying a 12-year-old Mercedes-Benz?
Yes, as long as it is properly maintained, a Mercedes-Benz vehicle that is 12 years old can give you over 10 more years of great service.
The reliability of most of the Mercedes vehicle models is dictated by their condition and not age.
What are some of the most common problems with Mercedes-Benz vehicles?
Regardless of whether you purchase a new or used Mercedes-Benz, you should be prepared for some problems.
This is normal for any machine because of the normal wear and tear.
Although this can also be triggered by the manufacturer’s fault.
Some of the common problems include engine misfire and occasional oil leaks.
Structural damages are also a common occurrence on the insulation.
Suspension problems, as well as defective catalytic converters, corrosion, and low brake pressure, are among the problems reported on CarComplaints.
Do Mercedes-Benz vehicles last longer than other models?
Yes, the Mercedes-Benz is built for the long haul.
But the durability and reliability of these vehicles will vary from one model and model year to another.
If properly maintained, some models will show signs of problems after over 50,000 miles while other models can travel beyond 200,000 miles without any signs of major problems.
If you are looking for a dependable used luxury vehicle, you may want to consider a simpler more affordable brand.
However, new luxury cars are not that much prone to failure and are easily available nowadays.
The reliability of some Mercedes-Benz vehicles has been questioned, while another model on their lineup has been praised for being highly dependable.
Even though it is easy to get classic Mercedes-Benz vehicles at an affordable price, some buyers may not prefer the very old model years.
In the United States, the maximum age of a secondhand car is 12 years.
Because of this, it is wise to focus on Mercedes released from the year 2008 while evaluating their dependability.