|Premium midsize car; Built in Germany|
|Good condition price range: $2,600 – $10,500*|
1998 Mercedes-Benz E320 4-door sedan
1998 Mercedes-Benz E320 4-door wagon
1998 Mercedes-Benz E300 diesel 4-door sedan
1998 Mercedes-Benz E-Class interior
1998 Mercedes-Benz E-320 4-door sedan
With its exceptional quality and strong performance, the E-Class deserves strong consideration among premium sedans. Best choice for value is the E320. With any model, high resale values translate to hefty prices on the used-car market.
Mercedes-Benz redesigned its midrange E-Class sedan for 1996. New styling was highlighted by four oval headlamps, giving the sedan a fresh face. Wheelbase grew by 1.3 inches, and overall length by 2.2 inches, helping to make the rear seat markedly roomier. Dual front and side airbags were installed, as were antilock braking and traction control. Two models went on sale at first: the E320 with a 3.2-liter inline 6-cylinder gas engine that made 217 horsepower, and an E300D, with a 134-horsepower diesel engine. Both models used a 4-speed automatic transmission. An E420 sedan with a 4.2-liter V8 engine arrived in spring 1996 as a ’97 model, with a new 5-speed automatic transmission.
Introduced on the E420 with its V8 engine, the 5-speed automatic transmission went into all 1997 models.
Mercedes’ midrange series earned a number of changes for 1998, led by the addition of a station wagon body style and optional all-wheel drive (AWD). This year’s lineup included the diesel 6-cylinder E300D, which added a turbocharger and intercooler to deliver 30 percent more horsepower and 57 percent more torque than the previous nonturbo model; a gas-powered E320, which switched from a 3.2-liter inline 6-cylinder to a new Mercedes 3.2-liter V6; and an E420 sedan with 4.2-liter V8. The new E320 wagon seated seven, using a 2-place third seat. All-wheel drive was a new option for the E320. All E-Class models now had Mercedes’ “BabySmart” child-seat recognition system, “Brake Assist” feature, and electronic “Smart Key” ignition/locking system.
A new side-impact head protection system for front and rear passengers went into 1999 models. A new limited-edition, high-performance E55 sedan joined the lineup, with a 5.4-liter V8.
Mercedes dropped its E300 diesel model, but added an all-wheel-drive E430 V8 sedan and standard rear side airbags. All models got minor styling revisions and new wheels. Automatic transmissions added Touch Shift, with a separate gate for manual shifting. E320 sedans and wagons, and the E430 sedan, were available with 4Matic all-wheel drive. All models now had the antiskid Electronic Stability Program. New options included a voice-activated phone, in-dash navigation system, and audible parking-warning system.
A Sport Package was newly optional for 2001 E320s and E430s. It included firmer suspension, special upsized wheels and tires, and “aero” lower-body styling.
The E320 Special Edition sedan was introduced this year with new 17-inch alloy wheels, black bird’s-eye maple interior trim, and other amenities. To this, the new E430 Special Edition added xenon headlamps and headlamp washers. A redesigned model was in the works for ’03.