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. The 3.2-liter V6 made the car quick, yet relatively fuel efficient. This engine was subsequently replaced by a 268-hp, 3.5-liter V6. Demerits include a transmission that's a bit slow to respond and some awkward controls.
Alerts
There are 3 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit,
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A 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.
2000
2001
NA
2002
NA
2003
NA
2004
2005
NA
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A 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.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS standard. Rear side and head protection air bags standard from 2000. ESC standard from 2000.
Road Test

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. The 3.2-liter V6 made the car quick, yet relatively fuel efficient. This engine was subsequently replaced by a 268-hp, 3.5-liter V6. Demerits include a transmission that's a bit slow to respond and some awkward controls.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear, 2 third
Drive Wheels
AWD , Rear
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
wagon
sedan
Transmissions Available
  • 7-speed Automatic
  • 5-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 3.2-liter 6 turbodiesel (201 hp)
  • 3.5-liter V6 (268 hp)
  • 5-liter V8 (302 hp)
  • 5.5-liter V8 supercharged (469 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2006 Mercedes-Benz E-Class owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Fuel leaks

"Leaks on the fuel tank. Problems the dealer has recognized and replaced it for free"

Anonymous, CA (2006 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E350 3.5-L V6)

"replaced 2 fuel injectors"

Anonymous, NJ (2006 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E320 CDI 3.2-L 6 Cyl diesel)
Oil leaks

"Leaking Cam plugs and Oil Centrifuge cover"

Edward M., CA (2006 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E350 3.5-L V6)

"Valve cover gasket needed replacing to stop oil leaking"

J A., BC (2006 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E320 CDI 3.2-L 6 Cyl diesel)

"slow leak in oil system. Just need to add a quart every 6 months"

Michael W., TX (2006 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E350 3.5-L V6)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Display screen difficult to see

"Screen goes dim and then becomes normal shortly after"

Chris C., MA (2006 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E500 5.0-L V8)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"Map disk reader failed and needed replacement. As Mercedes no longer supports replacement parts, we had to wait until Mercedes accrued enough used parts to provide us with a refurbished one"

Anonymous, CA (2006 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E55 AMG 5.5-L V8 supercharged)

"I noticed the GPS would not program the address of our house the day after we took delivery of the car. I called immediately, was told it would be covered under 90 warranty. Dropped the car off and after 2 weeks a fighting with the dealer it was repaired at no cost to me"

Anonymous, PA (2006 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E350 3.5-L V6)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Gear selector or linkage

"79000 miles. Driving on Hwy, cannot shift down - car is in "default" mode. Other times, it may get stuck in first, second, or third gear. To "clear" the shift mechanism, you can stop the car, stop engine, restart engine, then re-engage the transmission - then it may work perfectly for weeks or months before getting "stuck" again. Dealer says that the fix is about $2500"

Terrence T., CA (2006 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E350 3.5-L V6)
Slipping transmission

"Stepping on the gas caused transmission slippage and then the car got stuck in first gear. Exclusive Motors repair service repaired it by replacing the transmission control module for $1,600"

Randolph F., CA (2006 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E350 3.5-L V6)
Transmission computer

"Stepping on the gas caused transmission slippage and then the car got stuck in first gear. Exclusive Motors repair service repaired it by replacing the transmission control module for $1,600"

Randolph F., CA (2006 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E350 3.5-L V6)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

What Owners Say

Cooling fan

"Electric radiator cooling fan stopped. Cost for part alone was over $1000 dollars, because it includes a built in computer module"

Herbert W., VA (2006 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E320 CDI 3.2-L 6 Cyl diesel)

"Stopped working. Very expensive to replace, over $1200"

Anonymous, NH (2006 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E320 CDI 3.2-L 6 Cyl diesel)
Overheating

"Overheating was due to the defective electric radiator cooling fan described elsewhere"

Herbert W., VA (2006 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E320 CDI 3.2-L 6 Cyl diesel)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

A/C compressor

"There is no more A/C. Doesn't work"

Anonymous, ON (2006 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E350)
Blower (fan) motor

"Noisy blower motor"

Peter L., CA (2006 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E350 3.5-L V6)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Electronic or air suspension

"Lost suspension"

Anonymous, AL (2006 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E500 5.0-L V8)
Steering wheel vibration

"The right front of the vehicle hit a large pothole. The impact broke the wheel and caused a large bubble in the tire. In addition, suspension bushings were broken. A major steering vibration resulted from the incident"

Ken L., PA (2006 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E350 3.5-L V6)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Exterior lights (other than headlights)

"Third break light needs replacement"

Anonymous, ON (2006 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E350)
Wiper motor or washer

"Have not had it looked at yet but feel it is the motor"

Anonymous, MA (2006 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E55 AMG 5.0-L V8)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Emission control devices (includes EGR)

"Check engine light came on. Two valves had to be replaced"

Barry H., NJ (2006 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E350 3.5-L V6)
Fuel pump

"80000 mi, wouldn't start. Identified as fuel pump which is internal to the fuel rank. Entire unit must be replaced-$2200 parts, $1000 labor. Ouch!"

Terrence T., CA (2006 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E350 3.5-L V6)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Timing belt or chain

"Balance shaft gear wore out. Engine must be removed to replace this. Total cost was $7000 of which MB paid 50%"

Anonymous, CA (2006 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E350 3.5-L V6)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Battery (not hybrid or electric)

"11 year old main battery finally died"

Edward M., CA (2006 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E350 3.5-L V6)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Loose exterior trim or moldings

"Loose stainless step plate. Drivers front door"

Anonymous, FL (2006 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E320 CDI 3.2-L 6 Cyl diesel)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Driveshaft or axle

"Had to replace the front drive shaft due to u-joints failing"

Chris C., MA (2006 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E500 5.0-L V8)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Tailgate, hatch or trunk

"The trunk latch is electronically controlled. It stopped keeping the trunk closed. It cost $1200 to repair!"

Anonymous, PA (2006 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E350 3.5-L V6)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Exhaust leaks

"replaced gasket"

Anonymous, NJ (2006 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E320 CDI 3.2-L 6 Cyl diesel)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

"Unusual but transmission needed to be replaced at 194000 miles"

Anonymous, NH (2006 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E320 CDI 3.2-L 6 Cyl diesel)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

Change Vehicle