To many people, the Mercedes E350 is all the car one would ever need. It is a mid-size sedan that can be a perfect family car while also being more than plush enough for VIP transport or Uber blacks. The E350 has been around for decades now and Mercedes is aware that the E350 badge holds immense weight within the luxury sedan segment.
Those that buy the Mercedes E350 once, tend to become long-standing E350 customers who simply upgrade whenever there is a new model. With such a rich history of powerful engines, opulent luxury features, and a premium badge, the E350 truly is one of the greatest luxury mid-size sedan models to ever come out.
However, not everything is sublime in the world of Mercedes E350 history which means that some model years are not as good as others. The worst Mercedes E350 model years include the 2006 Mercedes E350, the 2007 Mercedes E350, and the 2010/11 Mercedes E350.
It seems like these three model years have garnered more owner complaints than other E350 model years which does mean that they tend to experience problems more commonly. Either way, these can still be good used cars if you go for an example that has been kept in good condition or simply if the price is right.
2006 Mercedes E350
If we consider the costs required to keep a Mercedes E350 running, the 2006 E350 seems to be the one with the highest number out of them all. One significant problem is the failure of the balance shaft, a costly repair that involves a deep dive into the engine. It is said that many owners paid up to $4850 to fix this problem.
Additionally, the Sensotronic Brake Control (SBC) system has been prone to failure, leading to serious safety concerns. Electrical issues ranging from faulty sensors to malfunctioning power seats and windows are also commonly reported.
Moreover, the 2006 model lacks many of the advanced safety and infotainment features that are now standard, such as advanced driver assistance systems, making it outdated for modern driving. Given its age, parts may also be less readily available, leading to expensive maintenance and repair costs. All these factors make the 2006 E350 a model year to consider avoiding. However, if you like it and manage to find one worth its asking price, there is no reason to disregard it completely.
2007 Mercedes E350
The 2007 Mercedes-Benz E350 shares many of the same drawbacks as its 2006 predecessor, but with a few differences. Balance shaft failures continue to be a concern in this model year, and resolving this issue can be an expensive undertaking. The Sensotronic Brake Control (SBC) system, which has been linked to brake performance problems, is another worry.
Electrical gremlins also plague this year, manifesting in issues like malfunctioning sensors, electrical shorts, or inconsistent infotainment system behavior. While the 2007 model may offer marginal improvements over the 2006 version, it still lacks the advanced safety features and modern infotainment options now considered standard in newer vehicles.
The 2007 E350 has also been part of a relatively important suspension recall which wasn’t the case with the 2006 model. Lastly, the 2007 E350 also seems to be experiencing certain fuel system issues where a strong smell of fuel can be felt inside the cabin.
2010/2011 Mercedes E350
The year 2010 was a big year in E350 history as it was the year the new W212 E350 came out. It brought a lot to the table as it was a big upgrade from the previous W211 E350. Even so, these years have been known to face powertrain problems, particularly involving the engine and transmission.
Some owners report issues with idle vibration, unexpected gear shifts, and even instances of the engine stalling. Additionally, these models have also been criticized for electrical problems that affect various systems from lighting to the infotainment unit.
Lastly, the suspension has also been a major problem with the 2010/11 generation, more specifically, failing air struts with AIRMATIC models and even corrosion which can lead to premature fracture. Both of these can cost a ton of money to repair.
Should I Buy a Mercedes E350?
If you are after a mid-size premium, luxury sedan that can do it all, the E350 should be at the top of that list. There are many reasons why that is the case. First of all, the E350 comes with a fairly potent 300hp+ 6-cylinder engine that won’t break the bank compared to older E500 V8 models with not that much more power.
It is a spacious sedan with loads of space both in the front, the back, and the trunk. It has lots of luxury features and the brand-new E350 might as well be the most technology-infested sedan on the market. It has appeal, it looks elegant and expensive, it uses high-quality materials, and can last for decades.
Which Cars Rival the Mercedes E350?
The Mercedes E350 is rivaled by the likes of the Audi A6 3.0L and the 6-cylinder BMW 5-Series. Other rivals include top-spec Volvo S90 models, and potentially the Jaguar XF. The German trio tends to be more popular all across the world while the Jaguar and the Volvo tend to play catch up for the most part.
Out of these three certified luxury mid-size sedan kings, the E350 tends to be most comfortable and opulent in its design, the BMW tends to be the most driver-focused and aggressive-looking while the A6 tends to sit in the middle of the two while looking futuristic and sharp.
Which Engine is in the New Mercedes E350?
The upcoming 2023/24 Mercedes E350 sadly is not going to feature a six-cylinder engine. Instead, the E350 is now going to rely on a 2.0L 4-cylinder with 255hp and 273lb-ft of torque. It is also going to be backed with Mercedes EQ mild-hybrid technology for better fuel efficiency and more consistent power delivery.
This can be paired with either Mercedes RWD or the 4MATIC AWD system depending on how much you are willing to spend.