The W212 Mercedes E-Class is now more than 10 years old which means that it lost a huge portion of its original value and can now be bought fairly affordably. The W212 got a refresh in 2012 and it stands firmly in the upper-middle class of luxury mid-size sedans that can do both cruising and city driving admirably.
The W212 comes in many engine variants starting from the 4-cylinder option and moving up to the range-topping 6.2L naturally aspirated AMG V8. The W212 is only offered with an automatic gearbox which is known to be reliable and fairly long-lasting if taken care of adequately.
The design of the W212 is a bit more questionable as even some Mercedes Benz enthusiasts deem it to be a bit too senior-looking, especially when compared to the Audi C7 A6 and the BMW 5-Series F10 which both look more youthful, especially in S-Line and M-Sport trims.
However, the C7 A6 and the F10 5-series are not as comfortable as the E-Class, and given the fact that the W212 looks fairly subdued, it is also a great way to enjoy luxury while being unnoticed. All in all, the W212 is also a fairly reliable car that can easily do hundreds of thousands of miles without major overhauls.
Mercedes W212 – The powerplant
The W212 comes in many different engine options ranging from 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinders, a few 3.0l 6-cylinder options, a few hybrids, and the range-topping 6.2L V8. All W212 engines offer more than 200hp while the range-topping 6.2L offers a ludicrous 577hp in its top form.
The most popular engine options are the 6-cylinders, more specifically the E350 and the E400, but many people also opted for the 2.0l 4-cylinder. The best engine to go for is the one found in the E350 because it offers 300hp, smooth acceleration, and decent economy considering the car’s size and power.
All W212 E-Class models are mated to a 7-speed automatic gearbox besides a few high-end facelifted models that even offer a 9-speed auto. All engines are known to last a long time if maintained properly, but it seems like the 2.0L 4-cylinder petrol is the most reliable one because it is the common choice for taxi drivers.
All engines are quiet and smooth, except for a few diesel options which inherently sound a bit tractor-like. Lastly, the W212 is also available with an AWD 4MATIC system which is a welcome addition if you live in colder climates.
Mercedes W212 design and suspension
The W212 does look stately and expensive, even to this day. However, it seems to split hairs as far as good looks are concerned because it is not as nicely proportioned as some E-Class models are. It’s safe to say that both its predecessor and successor have had a better initial as far as design is concerned.
Suspension-wise, the W212 is offered with either a standard coil system or the Mercedes AIRMATIC air suspension. The W212 is adequately comfortable without the AIRMATIC option, but if you want the most serene and comfortable suspension, be sure to opt for the AIRMATIC air suspension.
The AIRMATIC system is not as unreliable as many believe, but you ought to maintain it continuously.
Mercedes W212 practicality and value
The Mercedes W212 is a true mid-size luxury sedan which means that it offers enough space for up to 5 passengers. The cargo space is large, but not on the same level as some of its competitors. All in all, you should be able to stretch out in the W212, no matter if you are seating in the front or the back.
Value-wise, you can get a decent W212 facelift model with all the right options and without too many miles on the clock for about $28,000 or a bit more. It is still a lovely car to own and it’s not all that far off the current mid-size luxury German sedans.
Mercedes W212 most common issues and overall reliability
The W212 E-Class is a fairly reliable car, especially when you compare it to some of its rivals. However, it’s not perfect as several common issues need to be addressed. The W212 suffers from issues such as overheating due to a faulty water pump, potential suspension issues, leaks, upholstery wear and tear, and problems with the power-assisted steering.
All in all, the W212 is indeed a reliable car that can last you for a long time, but only if you take care of it.
Is the W212 E-Class a safe car?
The W212 is indeed a very safe car because it comes with all the 21st-century safety features including collision prevention systems and all sorts of sensors, radars, and cameras that should keep you safe at most times.
Passive safety is also something the E-Class does really well because most crash testing awarded the W212 with top-notch ratings. All in all, it is a safe car which makes it perfect for family hauling duties. It’s also worth mentioning that the range-topping versions that do get all the safety features are indeed safer than those without them.
Should I buy the W212 E-Class?
If you are in the market for a used, comfortable and luxurious executive sedan, the E-Class is a great choice because it offers great all-around characteristics. If you like the exterior design you are also probably going to like the interior design as well.
The W212 indeed looks a bit too senior-friendly, but if you go for the facelifted model in AMG trim, you should be able to negate that, especially in coupe form.
Is the Mercedes W212 efficient?
The Mercedes W212 is rated for 21MPG in the city and 32MPG on the highway while the combined MPG is 25. The E350 offers the most economical engine while the E63 offers the least economical engine because it offers so much power.
All in all, all W212 engines are relatively efficient when compared to their competitors, but they certainly can’t match modern-day turbocharged 4-cylinder engines.