Sam Wong purchased this Mercedes-Benz E 200 Kompressor used for $16,500 (including all on-road costs) in 2017. Sam Wong would buy this car again because: “I recall when the W211 series was launched many years ago, and thought it was a beautiful design. The design team did a great job at modernising the Mercedes-Benz look without abandoning its traditional design cues. The facelift made it look even better. Aesthetically, I think the W211 facelift is the best looking of any E-class.”
There have been very few mechanical or electrical issues with the car, although I have been informed recently that the car needs new engine mounts, which is mainly just down to wear and tear after 14 years of use.
Occasionally, the rain sensing wipers would activate even on a clear day when the windscreen is bone dry. Then there was a steering angle sensor glitch, which was remedied. It has certainly been a very reliable daily driver, and has never failed to start first time. Everything on the car works as it should.
This particular example was built in December 2007 and was first registered in Australia in January 2008. We bought this car in 2017. It has only had one owner from new, with full logbook service history, most of which is from a Mercedes-Benz dealer, and it had only 72,000kms on the clock.
It is finished in Flint Grey, and is equipped with cashmere beige Artico man-made leather, which has held up very well over the years. Coupled with the burr walnut woodgrain trim that the hallmark of the Elegance line, I think the interior is a very nice place to be.
Despite being 14 years old now, there is not a single rattle to be heard in the cabin. Everything – and I mean everything – works as it should.
We haven’t had to spend more than regularly getting it serviced at an independent Mercedes-Benz specialist, although it’s getting to the age where it needs a few more dollars spent on maintenance on wear and tear items such as engine mounts and brakes. Yes, there are some cheap plastics around the cabin, and the black plastic headlight switch surround has become sticky with exposure to sunlight over time. But overall, I can’t really fault it.
The previous owner, who bought it new, had optioned this car with 12-way power adjustable front seats (even the head restraints are power adjustable) with three position memory (which also stores in memory the position of the steering wheel and mirrors) and the COMAND APS system (which also plays DVDs).
So even though this is the second cheapest E-class at the time (with only the E 200 Kompressor Classic being cheaper), it didn’t feel like it was lacking anything. Everything is power adjustable, including the steering wheel.
The E 200 Kompressor is powered by a supercharged 1.8-litre in-line four cylinder engine that produces 135kW at 5500rpm and 250Nm at 2800-5500rpm. I have found that to extract any decent performance from the car, I need to keep the revs up to about 3000-3500rpm when accelerating.
It also seems to hold on to lower gears going uphill, so the revs stay up at around the 3500-4000rpm range, giving an impression that it’s struggling.
It isn’t slow, but it does feel somewhat underpowered. In ‘Sport’ mode (the 5-speed automatic transmission has a selector for ‘Comfort’ and ‘Sport’ modes) the car accelerates from standstill in first gear, and generally holds onto gears longer than in ‘Comfort’ mode, where the car would start from second.
It’s not a deal breaker, but if I had an opportunity again I would try to look for an E 280 or E 350.
Judging by today’s standards, it may fall short in a few areas, notably the infotainment system. The COMAND system may have once been state-of-the-art, but now the graphics are low-res, and when using the NAV system the screen refresh rate is laughably slow. The maps are also many, many years out of date.
I understand that updates are available from Mercedes-Benz, but they also cost an arm and a leg, so it’s not really a great investment when Google Maps is so readily available. That being said, it does have an in-built DVD player, which works. Imagine watching a movie on the COMAND screen!
Front and rear parking sensors were standard, as was a PRE-SAFE system (a system that detects an imminent collision and closes all windows, adjusts seat positions and tightens seatbelts).
The power rake/reach adjustable steering wheel is rather large, and not very direct. It seems to require a bit more encouragement to respond to steering input, and certainly not as sharp as, say, a Ford Mondeo. But there is very little body roll, despite the 55-series Pirelli Cinturato P7 tyres and 16-inch rims. It remains remarkably composed through bends and corners.
It took me a little while to get accustomed to the driving position. The steering wheel is offset left of centre, while the pedals are offset right of centre, so it kind of feels like your body is twisted as you’re driving it. But once I got used to it, it became second nature.
The above is not meant to be a criticism. To me, it’s just some of the traits of an older Mercedes-Benz. It’s not a car that likes to be hurried, but drive it sedately, the way a Mercedes-Benz should be driven, then it’s a comfortable, quiet cruiser that wafts along without fuss.
There is some minor wind noise emanating from the A-pillar, but I’m nit-picking here. According to Mercedes-Benz, the W211 sedans had a drag co-efficient of 0.27, which is very good for a car that age.
It’s a spacious, comfortable mid-size sedan, and in E 200 guise, doesn’t drink a lot of fuel. Boot space is very good, at 540 litres, and the back seats fold 60/40 to hold bulkier items.
It has Bluetooth, dual zone climate control, and almost everything is electrically adjustable, so aside from the offset steering wheel and pedals, it’s not hard to find the perfect driving position in the car. Aside from a few cup holders, and maybe more power, I don’t think there’s much more I could possibly want.