Redesigned for 2003, the E-Class provides a superb driving experience, combining a very comfortable ride with agile handling, a quiet cabin, and excellent fit and finish. Except in interior space, it compares favorably with the larger S430 that we rated excellent in a previous test, and is much less expensive. The 3.2-liter V6 that we tested in the E320 made the car quick, yet relatively fuel efficient.
    Alerts
    There are 5 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

    Reliability

    We expect the 2022 E-Class will be less reliable than the average new car. This prediction is based on data from 2019, 2020 and 2021 models. Select the used car model year to see reported issues with those similar past models.

    Overall Reliability
    The 2003 Mercedes-Benz E-Class has been recalled 5 times by NHTSA. View Recalls
    Research Years * Redesign year
    Worse Better
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    03*
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    Overall Reliability Verdict
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    POTENTIAL TROUBLE SPOTS
    Engine Major
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    Engine Minor
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    Engine Cooling
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    Transmission Major
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    Transmission Minor
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    Drive System
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    Fuel System
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    Electric System
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    Climate System
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    Suspension
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    Brakes
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    Exhaust
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    Paint/Trim
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    Body Integrity
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    Body Hardware
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    Power Equipment
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    In-car Electronics
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
    Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey for over 300,000 vehicles, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how 2000 through 2021 vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system. NA indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.

    Learn more about car Reliability.

    Recalls
    PROVIDED BY
    VISIBILITY
    Dec 20, 2019
    A detached glass panel can separate from the vehicle and become a road hazard, increasing the risk of a crash.
    Summary:
    Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC. (MBUSA) is recalling certain 2001-2011 vehicles. The bonding between the glass panel and the sliding roof frame may deteriorate, possibly resulting in the glass panel detaching from the vehicle. For a full list of the affected models visit: https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/rcl/2019/RMISC-19V918-4126.pdf
    What should you do:
    MBUSA will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the glass panel bonding and replace the sliding roof, as necessary, free of charge. The recall began July 10, 2020. Owners may contact MBUSA customer service at 1-800-367-6372. MBUSA's number for this recall is 2020040011.
    For more information:
    Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
    NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 19V918000
    Potential Number of Units Affected: 747928
    ELECTRICAL SYSTEM
    Jul 07, 2008
    IN THE EVENT OF A VEHICLE CRASH, THE ELECTRICAL FUEL PUMP MAY NOT RECEIVE A CRASH SIGNAL THAT IS REQUIRED FOR THE FUEL PUMP TO DISCONNECT AND PREVENT FUTURE FUEL DELIVERY AS DESIGNED.
    Summary:
    MERCEDES-BENZ IS RECALLING MY 2006-2008 M-CLASS, R-CLASS, MY 2005-2009 SLK-CLASS, MY 2005-2008 C-CLASS, MY 2003-2004 AND 2006-2008 CLK-CLASS, MY 2003-2008 E-CLASS, MY 2004 AND 2008 CL-CLASS, MY 2008 CLS-CLASS, MY 2004 AND 2007-2008 S-CLASS, MY 2003 G-CLASS, AND MY 2003-2004, 2006 AND 2009 SL-CLASS VEHICLES. A SOFTWARE CALIBRATION NUMBER (SCN) CODING RECEIVED ON THE AFFECTED VEHICLES DURING A RECENT WORKSHOP VISIT WAS INCORRECT. DEPENDING ON THE MODEL YEAR AND MODEL AFFECTED, THE RESULTS OF AN INCORRECT SCN CODING CAN AFFECT A NUMBER OF VEHICLE SAFETY AND EMISSION FUNCTIONS INCLUDING THE FOLLOWING TYPES OF FUNCTIONS: (1) THE FUEL GAUGE READINGS MAY BE INCORRECT; (2) A STUCK FUEL-LEVEL SENSOR MAY NOT BE DISPLAYED IN THE INSTRUMENT CLUSTER; (3) THE OBD SYSTEM MAY CAUSE THE CHECK ENGINE LIGHT TO ILLUMINATE INCORRECTLY; AND, (4) THE SPEEDOMETER MAY BE OUT OF TOLERANCE.
    What should you do:
    DEALERS WILL RECODE THE SCN FREE OF CHARGE. THE RECALL BEGAN ON AUGUST 30, 2008. OWNERS MAY CONTACT MERCEDES-BENZ AT 1-800-367-6372.
    For more information:
    MERCEDES-BENZ RECALL NO. 2008 070001.CUSTOMERS MAY CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY: 1-800-424-9153); OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV.
    NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 08V303000
    Potential Number of Units Affected: 404
    SERVICE BRAKES, HYDRAULIC
    Apr 01, 2005
    IN THE HYDRAULIC BACK-UP MODE, THE DRIVER HAS BRAKING POWER SUFFICIENT TO STOP THE VEHICLE, ALTHOUGH GREATER BRAKE PEDAL PRESSURE IS REQUIRED AND THE BRAKE PEDAL TRAVEL WILL BE NOTICEABLY LONGER.
    Summary:
    ON CERTAIN VEHICLES, THE SENSOTRONIC BRAKE CONTROL (SBC) SYSTEM MAY PREMATURELY SHIFT TO THE HYDRAULIC BACK-UP FUNCTION MODE, DUE TO DETERIORATION OF THE WIRING HARNESS CONNECTION, OR DUE TO PREMATURE FAILURE OF THE HYDRAULIC PUMP.
    What should you do:
    DEALERS WILL INSTALL A BRACKET AND REPLACEMENT GROUND WIRE TO THE SBC PUMP UNIT ON ALL VEHICLES FREE OF CHARGE. ADDITIONALLY DEALERS WILL INSPECT AND REPLACE THE SBC PUMP UNIT IN SL VEHICLES PRODUCED DURING A LIMITED PRODUCTION PERIOD. THE RECALL BEGAN ON AUGUST 8, 2005. OWNERS MAY CONTACT MERCEDES-BENZ AT 1-800-367-6372.
    For more information:
    MERCEDES-BENZ RECALL NO. 2005070007 AND 2005110001. CUSTOMERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV.
    NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 05V133000
    Potential Number of Units Affected: 204000
    SERVICE BRAKES, HYDRAULIC
    Jun 22, 2004
    IF VEHICLES ARE NOT ROUTINELY SERVICED AND HAVE EXTREMELY HIGH MILEAGE COMBINED WITH A HIGH NUMBER OF BRAKE ACTUATIONS, OR A HIGH BRAKE ACTUATION FREQUENCY, THE PUMP MOTOR OF THE SBC MAY RUN OUT OF PERMISSIBLE TOLERANCES, THEREBY TRIGGERING THE HYDRAULIC FUNCTION MODE.
    Summary:
    ON CERTAIN VEHICLES, THE ELECTRONIC MONITORING SYSTEM OF THE SENSOTRONIC BRAKE CONTROL (SBC) IS DESIGNED TO MONITOR THE PRESSURE GRADIENT WITHIN THE HIGH PRESSURE LINE OF THE BRAKE SYSTEM. IF AN UNACCEPTABLE PRESSURE GRADIENT IS DETECTED, THE SYSTEM WILL SWITCH, AS IT IS DESIGNED TO DO, INTO THE HYDRAULIC FUNCTION MODE.
    What should you do:
    DEALERS WILL INSPECT THE SBC HYDRAULIC UNIT, REPLACING IT IF NECESSARY. THE RECALL BEGAN ON OCTOBER 21M 2004. OWNERS SHOULD CONTACT MERCEDES-BENZ AT 1-800-367-6372.
    For more information:
    MERCEDES-BENZ RECALL NO. 2004 050014.CUSTOMERS CAN ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S AUTO SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-DASH-2-DOT (1-888-327-4236).
    NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 04V296000
    Potential Number of Units Affected: 143387
    STEERING
    Aug 07, 2003
    THE LOOSENING OF THE NUT COULD RESULT IN A SLIPPING OF THE CONNECTION OVER TIME, INCREASING THE RISK OF A CRASH.
    Summary:
    ON CERTAIN PASSENGER VEHICLES, THE NUT ON THE BOLT WHICH CONNECTS THE STEERING GEAR TO THE STEERING COUPLING MAY NOT BE TIGHTENED CORRECTLY.
    What should you do:
    DEALERS WILL INSPECT THE VEHICLES AND TIGHTEN THE NUT ON THE BOLT IF NECESSARY. OWNER NOTIFICATION BEGAN AUGUST 21, 2003. OWNERS SHOULD CONTACT MERCEDES-BENZ AT 1-800-367-6372.
    For more information:
    MERCEDES-BENZ RECALL NO. 2003-08003.CUSTOMERS CAN ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S AUTO SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-DASH-2-DOT (1-888-327-4236).
    NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 03V289000
    Potential Number of Units Affected: 554
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