The 2003-2006 Mercedes-Benz E500 is a future classic

The W211 does not get the love it needs which is fine because it’s keep the prices of these vehicles reasonable for those of us that appreciate them. The 2003-2006 Mercedes-Benz E500, also known as the W211, is the third generation of the E500 replacing the W210. For our Mercedes-Benz fan boys, I did not make a mistake and I am well aware the W211 model year goes from 2003-2006 but I have removed the 2006-2009 model years from this post for good reason.

The engine and transmission on these are bulletproof and they come nicely equipped. They came equipped with the 5L V8 engine, codenamed the M113, which produced 302 horsepower and 339lb feet of torque. The engine was mated to a 7 speed automatic or a 5 speed automatic transmission. You had the option of RWD or 4WD drivetrains so you can find a variety depending on what you’re after there but if you go RWD you’ll get the 7 speed automatic versus the 5 speed automatic with the 4WD. Personally, I’d recommend getting a RWD model as they will be more fun.

They all come nicely equipped and can be acquired in a wide breath of options. This is the first E500 in a decade (from the production year) to feature dual windshield wipers. You’ll also get the cool headlight windshield wipers, and various controls for seating. The entire interior is finished in stitched leather and premium sound systems. One option that is problematic will be the air suspension on the 4WD models which has a known failure point. This is fixable although it can be expensive if you aren’t doing it yourself.

Now for the 2006-2009 model years that I have not included here. The main reason is because the timing chain and timing gears on these are horrible. Most of the time it requires a new motor which will result in you spending almost as much as the car cost you. It’s just not worth going for these.

The best part about these vehicles is the performance. You are getting a high quality, luxurious sedan that can run with the horses. You’ll get 0-60 in about 5.7 seconds, and it’ll run the quarter mile in 13.9 seconds. But the real fun is the spirited driving you can do with these as the suspension just eats up the corners and the gas peddle will push you through the them. It’s one of the most fun I’ve ever had driving a sedan.

These can be found with 60-70,000 miles and RWD for about $10,000 across the country. If you want 4WD you’ll be looking at $12-13,000.


About Nick

Nick resides on the West Coast and lives for cars. He has a unique passion for old American FWD V-8 vehicles and his current daily is a 2004 Buick Century. He does also have a 2003 Porsche 996 Turbo, and a 2018 Kawasaki ZX-10R.