C class vs E class - Estates

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MikiSpaga

Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2021
Messages
50
Location
Warwick
Car
E350 2012 Estate
Hi folks,

Having sold my previous C250 2011 CDI ...I have reached the stage where I can't get the same pleadure out of driving from any other car except the Merc...

So, I started looking back into them.

I am only looking into petrol engine estates. Due to the need for extra space. 2011 to 2012

What are the most common malfunctions on the C class and what are the most common malfunctions for the E class?

Am I wrong to assume that they share the same engines? So one fault will be the same in the other?
What would be the pro's or con's in the C vs E part?
C class seemes a bit smaller in interior size and boot size compares to the E. But I have not tested an E yet.
Is it worh going for the cheaper and older 2008 2009 E? Are those engines more reliable?

Any info from people that have owned them or still do would be beneficial.
Personally I would enjoy a newer car but the 2008 or 2009 E class has a certain look to it that I can't find in modern cars.
 
Buy an E-class! Much more space and a 'proper' Mercedes.😉

I miss my E-class estate. It was such a brilliantly versatile vehicle. Used to love being able to drop the seat, chuck in my MTB, and head for the hills.

Then, when family holidays came, loads of space for passengers and loads of luggage in the back.
 
2010 onwards is a bit of a sweet spot for e class styling and kit imho.
And there are a few V6 petrols about.....(or 250 CGI 4 pots)

If it's space you need (both for rear passengers and cargo) the forum will steer you towards an E class

Saying that, this c class looks nice
 
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We're on our second petrol C Class estate, having gone from a 2007 V6 C230 (S203) to a 2019 C300 (S205). 2011 to 2012 would be an S204 - I've no experience of those, but would definitely recommend looking at an S205 if you could stretch to one (2014 onward). Spacious, refined, and well equipped ... a big step forward from our previous S203. We routinely take 4 adults in ours and the boot is plenty big enough for anything we've needed to carry - 2 or 3 dogs, shopping from Costco, a full-sized wheelchair, etc. With the back seats down we've carried furniture, sheets of plywood, uncut lengths of downpipe & guttering, etc. and it's been great for runs to the dump.

C300 medium.jpg
 
I have an S204 2012 C250 diesel (estate). I recently transported a massive fridge freezer in the boot with the seats down, it was a tight squeeze and the boot wouldn't close. But did it no problem. I would imagine it would have fitted in an E class easily.

I do like the compact estate size of the C class, but could see why an E might be better if space is a major factor in buying.

Currently in my 5th year of ownership and I really cant see anything out there that I could imagine replacing it with, so I wont.. ;-)


Cant comment much on the petrol versions, I am sure they are good, but the M271 engine (I think found in this era of mercs) has issues with timing chains failing early and cost ££ to replace.

I am sure others will comment on this.
 
Enjoy your search.

You need to actually drive them because no amount of internet surfing can make up for sitting in one.

Searching for a petrol engined estate is a nightmare thanks to Gordon Brown and The Greens. Very few petrol were sold originally and they now sell very fast second hand because Londoners can't buy Euro4 diesel any more. You have to price petrols against other petrols, not against diesel.

Build quality is enormously different between C and E. Maybe this is relevant to you. Ditto vehicle length.

I'm not aware of common problems on 2010/11 C or E. (I've had two E500's from this era). The challenge is actually finding one with the right mileage and maintenance history.
 
Enjoy your search.

You need to actually drive them because no amount of internet surfing can make up for sitting in one.

100%

Searching for a petrol engined estate is a nightmare thanks to Gordon Brown and The Greens. Very few petrol were sold originally and they now sell very fast second hand because Londoners can't buy Euro4 diesel any more. You have to price petrols against other petrols, not against diesel.

When we were looking for a petrol estate a couple of years ago there were plenty of S205 C200s around, and also quite a few C300/350 hybrids. The C300 (which is what we ideally wanted) was rare though. We did also look at E Classes but excluding AMGs those were almost all diesel, apart from a few E200s which didn't really appeal.

Build quality is enormously different between C and E. Maybe this is relevant to you. Ditto vehicle length.

Historically, yes. But the W205 closed the gap significantly and was even compared to the S Class by Autocar!

The W205 represented a significant step forward for Mercedes’ small saloon car, not least because the extensive use of aluminium in the body structure lowered the car’s overall weight by up to 100kg compared with the version that came before it. When we first reviewed the car, in 2014, we awarded it a strong, four-star rating, praising its very slick and modern cabin, its four-fifths-of-an-S-Class styling and its mature blend of ride and handling.


On material quality and standard of finish, the Mercedes is breathtakingly good. Among the highlights are shining, stippled metallic air vents and air-con controls, which are the first thing that your gaze alights on.

But they set a standard that the rest of the cabin effortlessly continues. The below-the-line mouldings are every bit as solid and smooth as the more visible plastics.

The minor switches for releasing the bootlid and disabling the rear windows are as classy as the door lock and headlight consoles. Mercedes simply looks to have over-spent its rivals on absolutely everything – and has outperformed the standard set by many full-size, £60k limousines in the process.


As mentioned it's also larger than previous C Class models, although not as big as an E Class of course.
 
If you want an estate, how about a curveball option - the CLS Shooting Brake?🤔
 
When we were looking for a petrol estate a couple of years ago there were plenty of S205 C200s around, and also quite a few C300/350 hybrids. The C300 (which is what we ideally wanted) was rare though. We did also look at E Classes but excluding AMGs those were almost all diesel, apart from a few E200s which didn't really appeal.
Historically, yes. But the W205 closed the gap significantly and was even compared to the S Class by Autocar!
Understood, but the OP is looking for a 2011-2012 S204.

Personally, and all these things are personal, when I got into a C350e, it just made me shudder with how plastic it is, and how poorly the uncharged hybrid engine worked. (A piece of MB main dealer "can't be bothered" used stock.)

A 2017 C350e didn't look, touch or feel "S Class" to me, from its handles to its infotainment.

That said, having sat it a lot of new S and E's this winter, I dispair of the latest model aesthetics and build quality.

At the end of the day, it's all down to personal taste and specific model availability. I could be tempted by a great 2012 petrol C350 but the chance of finding one? Virtually zero.

Screenshot 2023-04-14 at 11.14.49.png
 
Understood, but the OP is looking for a 2011-2012 S204.

Personally, and all these things are personal, when I got into a C350e, it just made me shudder with how plastic it is, and how poorly the uncharged hybrid engine worked. (A piece of MB main dealer "can't be bothered" used stock.)

A 2017 C350e didn't look, touch or feel "S Class" to me, from its handles to its infotainment.

That said, having sat it a lot of new S and E's this winter, I dispair of the latest model aesthetics and build quality.

At the end of the day, it's all down to personal taste and specific model availability. I could be tempted by a great 2012 petrol C350 but the chance of finding one? Virtually zero.

View attachment 139449
Yes, I agree with the driving sitting in one. 100% I will do this. I work in the automotive business for over 10 years. I'm not satisfied with the build quality of todays or modern cars. That area of C and E, for me, repent kind of the last true merc designs.

I'll have a look on the links you folks sent. I'm not worried about maitenance work on them...as I know some issues here and there. But as said....I had to sell my original C250 2011 cdi...I can't seem to find the same pleasure in other cars
 
Enjoy your search.

You need to actually drive them because no amount of internet surfing can make up for sitting in one.

Searching for a petrol engined estate is a nightmare thanks to Gordon Brown and The Greens. Very few petrol were sold originally and they now sell very fast second hand because Londoners can't buy Euro4 diesel any more. You have to price petrols against other petrols, not against diesel.

Build quality is enormously different between C and E. Maybe this is relevant to you. Ditto vehicle length.

I'm not aware of common problems on 2010/11 C or E. (I've had two E500's from this era). The challenge is actually finding one with the right mileage and maintenance history.
Yes, I keep hearing of the diesel push in the past. Now it's back to petrol or electric.
 
I have a 211 E Class estate and size wise it’s excellent. Could fit an under the counter fridge in it without having to put the seats down.
 
having sat it a lot of new S and E's this winter, I despair of the latest model aesthetics and build quality.

I have no first hand experience of the build quality but I must admit I struggle with the aesthetics of the more recent C's and E's I've looked at.

Struggling to want one just on that level tbh.

Clearly I'm not in the right demographic.
 
I have no first hand experience of the build quality but I must admit I struggle with the aesthetics of the more recent C's and E's I've looked at.
Struggling to want one just on that level tbh.
Clearly I'm not in the right demographic.
The people who were driving me around in these newer Mercedes & SUV’s recently also felt that they’re not the target demographic too.

The thing they noted - not sure if it’s true - was that two thirds of the World’s billionaires are now Chinese and Indian. So all the growth is in those markets, not in The Old World.
 
The people who were driving me around in these newer Mercedes & SUV’s recently also felt that they’re not the target demographic too.

The thing they noted - not sure if it’s true - was that two thirds of the World’s billionaires are now Chinese and Indian. So all the growth is in those markets, not in The Old World.

This is mirrored in some of the analysis around the CPTPP trade body the UK's signing up to

The members currently represent around 15% of global GDP, similar to the EU.

By 2050 the CPTPP will be running at 30%, the EU at 10%.
 
I actually started looking at E400d's the other day. I've never had a diesel but I'm sure one of them would be good for the long family trips I do. Probably a bit of a ticking time bomb around town, though, what the EGR, DPF etc

My old neighbour sold his 211 5.5 500 for a 400d. He does London to Herefordshire and back frequently so it's perfect for that. I'll ask him if his wife also does the school run in it. And if so if it's causing problems or not.

Then there's the AdBlue issues........
 
I think the choice is who big an estate you need/want. The 205 and 213 are the same car underneath. The only difference are the front external wings/bumper to make the fron overhang longer and the the rear floorplan after the rear axle is slightly longer. Therefore, the E is not actually that roomy in the back for passengers with a tall driver. I am 6'3" and sit with the front seat about 2" from its furthest rear travel and there is about 6" between the seatback and the rear seat base. That said the boot is massive, but that's why I bought it! For example, we can fit our caravan awning in the space under the boot floor (where the 7 seat rear facing seats would fit into if they were fitted). Note, if you buy an "e" model then you could find a battery box behing the rear seats, meaning you don have a flat boot floor (!).

I suspect economy might be better with a C (W205) but I can get 55mpg with not much effort... The only downside to the E (when in UK) is that parking spaces are too short. It is 4.96m long and always overhangs a supermarket or motorway service parking bay.

No issues with DPF on either of our cars and talking to local taxi drivers, none with their town based cars either (part of why MB spent +€1Bn developing the 654 engine).
 
This is mirrored in some of the analysis around the CPTPP trade body the UK's signing up to

The members currently represent around 15% of global GDP, similar to the EU.

By 2050 the CPTPP will be running at 30%, the EU at 10%.
Only difference in standards for the Chinese market is the fact that you're required to pass flamability tests on each component that is in the car (interior more or less).

Other markets don't have this requirement.
 
I actually started looking at E400d's the other day. I've never had a diesel but I'm sure one of them would be good for the long family trips I do. Probably a bit of a ticking time bomb around town, though, what the EGR, DPF etc

My old neighbour sold his 211 5.5 500 for a 400d. He does London to Herefordshire and back frequently so it's perfect for that. I'll ask him if his wife also does the school run in it. And if so if it's causing problems or not.

Then there's the AdBlue issues........
I keep reading about nox sensors, dpf & egr build ups of diesel and ad blue. Personally I'm going to stay away from diesels. I had the C250 cdi 2011 until a month ago and I dreaded any issues with that. One of the reasons for selling it...although I regret it
 
I think the choice is who big an estate you need/want. The 205 and 213 are the same car underneath. The only difference are the front external wings/bumper to make the fron overhang longer and the the rear floorplan after the rear axle is slightly longer. Therefore, the E is not actually that roomy in the back for passengers with a tall driver. I am 6'3" and sit with the front seat about 2" from its furthest rear travel and there is about 6" between the seatback and the rear seat base. That said the boot is massive, but that's why I bought it! For example, we can fit our caravan awning in the space under the boot floor (where the 7 seat rear facing seats would fit into if they were fitted). Note, if you buy an "e" model then you could find a battery box behing the rear seats, meaning you don have a flat boot floor (!).

I suspect economy might be better with a C (W205) but I can get 55mpg with not much effort... The only downside to the E (when in UK) is that parking spaces are too short. It is 4.96m long and always overhangs a supermarket or motorway service parking bay.

No issues with DPF on either of our cars and talking to local taxi drivers, none with their town based cars either (part of why MB spent +€1Bn developing the 654 engine).
I do beliebe I'm sold on the E class estate. I was looking at the years specified but seeing the 2014 E class has the gear shifter moved up around the steering wheel, I would much preffer that one. For the extra cabin space in the front.

Do the newer generation (facelift E classes have the same issues with the gearboxes as the C classes 7G tronics? The ECU/speed range sensor in it)
 

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