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Home » Mercedes-Benz E-Class [W212](2009-2016) Problems, Review, Faults and Information

Mercedes-Benz E-Class [W212](2009-2016) Problems, Review, Faults and Information

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class W212 came on the market in 2009, when it replaced the previous Mercedes-Benz E-Class W211. This is the fourth generation of the model which took the code W212 for the sedan and S212 for the Station Wagon. In 2011 there were important updates on a technical level and in 2012 it underwent a first restyling which did not bring any very obvious changes. In 2013, however, there was a second more global restyling whose most evident novelties are the new headlights and taillights, updated interiors and updated steering wheel. In addition, there have also been updates on a technical level. In 2016 it was replaced by the next generation Mercedes-Benz E-Class W213. Let’s see the Mercedes-Benz E-Class W212 review with the most important information, faults and common problems.

Table of Contents

Review of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class W212 restyling facelift with all the information, defects, issues, faults, weaknesses, problems and maintenance costs.
Mercedes-Benz E-Class W212 restyling

Impressions, Interior and Comfort

Mercedes-Benz E-Class W212 is a high-end car. The fourth generation of this model is more powerful, heavier (despite the many aluminum elements) and more complicated electronically than its predecessor. It has also become slightly larger and more comfortable.

Many expected an improvement in terms of reliability as the previous Mercedes-Benz E-Class W211 had so many problems (especially in the initial production period). Unfortunately, however, there have been no great improvements from this point of view. The new W212 got the same automatic gearboxes and engines as the previous generation, albeit slightly modernized and improved. Fortunately, after the restyling there have been technical changes that have also brought about improvements in terms of reliability. We will talk about it in detail later.

In this article we will see if the maintenance costs will not be exaggerated to use a similar car.

Platform and Body

The platform of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class W212 is not entirely new, it is a modernized version of what was on the previous W211. This is a classic platform with a longitudinally installed engine and basic rear-wheel drive. Optionally it was possible to mount the 4MAtic all-wheel drive.

The front suspensions are MacPherson with semi-virtual steering axis (double joint) in aluminium, the rear ones are 5-arm multilink. On the Station Wagon versions there were rear pneumatic shock absorbers. Optionally it was possible to have the electronically controlled Airmatic air suspension.

In contrast to the two previous generations, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class W212 has not opted for a soft body design. It was decided to go back to the boxy shapes that existed before the Mercedes-Benz E-Class W210. After the restyling, however, they changed their minds and the car became rounded again. The new design has greatly changed the impressions received of the car which has become more modern and technological. A lot of work has also been done on aerodynamics, which is very good here, resulting in a Cx of just 0.25.

Review of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class W212 pre-facelift with all the information, defects, issues, faults, weaknesses, problems and maintenance costs.
Mercedes-Benz E-Class W212 pre-facelift

Aesthetically, the car is attractive, both before and after the restyling, especially in the more equipped versions.

The fourth generation Mercedes-Benz E-Class is available in two body styles: sedan (W212) and Station Wagon (S212). In reality, there are also Coupé and Cabriolet versions, but these have received different body codes: Mercedes E Coupé C207 and Mercedes E Cabriolet A207. These replace the previous CLK class.

The German car has a length of 4868 – 4895 mm, a width of 1854 mm and a height of 1471 – 1512 mm. The wheelbase is 2874 mm. The weight of the car varies from 1540 to 2035 kg depending on the version.

Comfort and Practicality

The interior space is more than sufficient both in front and behind. The previous generation already offered a good result in this respect and here the situation has improved further. Even 5 adults will be relatively comfortable, but for long journeys it will be better to leave in 4.

The trunk/boot has a volume of 540 l in the sedan and 695 l in the station wagon (by completely folding down the rear sofa, it can reach 1950 l).

Even the poorest Mercedes-Benz E-Class W212 are very pleasant on the road, but it must be said that the richer the trim level, the greater the level of comfort will be. In the rich versions, comfort is exceptional thanks to the new active suspension, improved aerodynamics and many useful options. The cars equipped with Airmatic pneumatic suspensions which further increase driving comfort will be particularly pleasant.

All together it makes the Mercedes-Benz E-Class W212 a pleasant car both in and out of town. Even on longer journeys you shouldn’t get tired and shouldn’t feel any discomfort.

Interior and Equipment

in this photo you can see the interior compartment of the mercedes-benz e class w212 s212 with the steering wheel, the stereo radio, the seats and the dashboard central panel cockpit
Interior of a pre-facelift Mercedes-Benz E-Class W212

The interior design combines a classic and modern style. The interior is well structured and offers excellent ergonomics. The materials are pleasant to the touch and can be resistant over time if well treated. With not too careful use, the leather upholstery could begin to show the first signs of wear as early as 100,000 km (60 k miles).

On some elements, serious signs of wear may appear at high mileage. First of all, of course, the most used elements wear out: the steering wheel trim, the gear knob, the climate control buttons and more. At high mileages, wear and tear on the seat upholstery is also unavoidable.

The good part is that all traces of wear and tear present in the cabin can be eliminated if desired. Some pieces can be replaced, others can be repainted or restored.

The soundproofing is very good and the interior remains silent in any situation.

In terms of equipment, the situation is very good. Of course, there are also some Mercedes that are poorly equipped, but still have everything needed for comfortable everyday use. However, there are also very well-equipped cars with many useful systems that significantly increase the luxury. Among the most interesting options we have: full LED headlights for the first time on an E-Class (only on the restyling version), electric leather seats with heating and cooling, cruise control, excellent multimedia system and much more.

The excellent Command multimedia system is still current, even if it is not the most modern today. In general it manages to offer many features and very high audio quality.


Mercedes-Benz E-Class W212 is also very safe. Many new systems have appeared including: night vision (on restyling removed), radar for the emergency braking system, monitoring system for non-visible areas, intelligent airbags and the body has also become more resistant.

In the EuroNCAP safety test, the Mercedes-Benz E Class W212 got 5 out of 5 stars. Crash safety is quite good, but to decrease the risk you need good tyres. Tires are almost the most important thing for safety on the road.

Reliability and Issues

Gearbox and Transmission

On the Mercedes-Benz E-Class W212 there can be both manual transmission and 3 types of automatic transmission. The manual gearbox is 6-speed. The automatic transmission can be a 5-speed 5G-Tronic (722.6), a 7-speed 7G-Tronic (series 722.9) or a 9-speed 9G-Tronic (series 725.0).

Manual transmission

The manual transmission shouldn’t give you any serious problems. Clutch and flywheel serve long enough if you drive properly.

5G-Tronic automatic gearbox

The oldest automatic transmission that can be encountered on the E-Class W212 is the 5G-Tronic from the 722.6 series.

The 5-speed automatic transmission is rarely encountered on this model, usually on cars with a 4-cylinder engine produced up to 2011. It is a pity that it is so rare as it turned out to be very reliable. It is a gearbox that we can find on many other models of the brand. At the beginning of its production (when it was still mounted on the E-Class W210) it suffered from some childhood problems, but then it has been updated several times until it has become little problem.

Due to the partial lockup of the torque converter, the lockup system of the converter can already be found worn out at 150,000 km (95 k miles) on some cars. At this mileage it usually happens on cars with powerful engines or those used aggressively. With quieter use, the torque converter will fail no earlier than 200 – 250 thousand km (125 – 155 k miles). The first signs of wear will be rough gearbox operation the inability to engage mode “D” until the car warms up. At first the problems only show up when the gearbox is cold, but as the situation gets worse they will also feel when the gearbox is hot.

After 150 – 200,000 km (95 – 125 k miles), in addition to overhauling the torque converter (due to the wear just mentioned), it may be necessary to change the solenoids and clean the hydraulic block where accumulations of dirt could be found if the oil has not been replaced regularly. For the same reason, the control board can also suffer and the speed sensors can fail. Many do not replace the gearbox oil at all and as a result its life is shorter than in gearboxes on which it is replaced regularly.

One of the most important things is to change the oil every 40 – 60,000 km (25 – 35 k miles) together with the filter. This will improve the operating conditions and therefore lengthen the life of the unit. If the gearbox breaks down, the cost of repairs will be large. If treated very well, it can even go 200 – 300,000 km (125 – 185 k miles) without major problems.

7G-Tronic automatic gearbox

The 7-speed automatic transmission that is mounted is the 7G-Tronic of the 722.9 series.

The 722.9 7-speed automatic transmission could give serious problems (especially if it is an early production transmission). It is faster, more modern and more interesting than the old 5-speed gearbox, but it has also added many problems.

This gearbox also suffered from many “childhood” problems in the first period of production. Over the years, it has been repeatedly modernized and improved, so over time it has become more reliable.

One of the most famous weaknesses of this gearbox is the flimsy hydraulic block. Furthermore, these units can tend to overheat and the torque converter could not last very long. High operating temperatures ruin the electronics, solenoids and hydraulic block. The first interventions may be necessary even after 100,000 km (60 k miles).

As already mentioned, the complex electronic system suffers greatly due to the high operating temperatures. On the other hand, modern electronics offer the possibility of diagnosing the gearbox well. A good mechanic will be able to discover many problems just by connecting the computer and reading the various parameters.

The torque converter locks up very aggressively (acts almost like a wet clutch) and is almost always at least partially locked. This causes accelerated wear of the locking system. As a result, due to heavy wear, the oil becomes heavily soiled with wear fragments. Dirty oil can lead to the destruction of the oil pump (it can even happen at 100,000 km or 60 k miles) and accelerated wear of the entire unit.

Over time the 722.9 gearbox was updated and the situation improved. There have been recalls intended to fix the problems. The 722.9 gearboxes produced until 2009 are more problematic and therefore on the Mercedes-Benz E-Class W212 it behaves relatively well, especially when compared to the non-modernized versions that were mounted on the Mercedes-Benz E-Class W211, Mercedes-Benz C-Class W203, Mercedes -Benz S-Class W220, Mercedes-Benz S-Class W221 and other brand models.

The mechanical parts of this gearbox are well made and shouldn’t cause problems if you don’t drive with damaged hydraulic systems and if you pay attention to the quality and quantity of oil. Mechatronic can break, especially if the oil is not changed regularly. The symptoms of this problem are: difficulty downshifting, error message, gearbox in limp mode or complete blockage of the car.

A modernized 722.9 automatic transmission can live for many miles if well treated. To lengthen life, it is advisable to replace the oil regularly, fit a lower temperature thermostat, add a large heat exchanger and add an external oil filter. These recommendations are ultimately useful for any modern automatic transmission (they are all quite overloaded).

9G-Tronic automatic gearbox

Since 2014 you can meet the 9G-Tronic 9-speed automatic transmission of the 725.0 series. It is encountered very rarely, on certain versions of the car.

As already mentioned, the gearbox is still recent. It’s only starting to spread, so you’ll have to wait for full reliability statistics. Be that as it may, there is already some information about possible problems. It has already had some childhood defects but fortunately these are fixed under warranty.

Since it is based on the previous 7G-Tronic, it can be assumed that it will have the same problems with the torque converter, with the mechatronics and at high mileage with the mechanical part. Obviously with correct use, the problems will not be noticed for so many miles.

Drivetrain and Transmission System

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class W212 are with rear-wheel drive or with 4Matic all-wheel drive. The drivetrain in general is quite reliable and durable. Cars with rear-wheel drive generally don’t give problems up to high mileage.

The 4Matic all-wheel drive system is also very reliable. With weaker engines and smooth driving there shouldn’t be any problems up to high mileages. On the other hand, the sporty AMG versions and those with powerful diesel engines are at risk. On these there may be problems with the front differential or transfer case, but only at high mileage and aggressive driving.

Suspensions, Steering and Brakes

Standard suspensions have medium durability and strength. In general they should reach at least 100,000 km (60 k miles) without any particular problems, even with large rims and on roads in bad condition. All this thanks to the new suspension structure which has been made simpler and more reliable. Up front are MacPherson-type suspension. The rear suspension is multilink, but has been updated and is quite strong.

To maintain great comfort, it is best to always fit original spare parts (or high-quality spare parts if you opt for third-party manufacturers). However, it must be kept in mind that original Mercedes parts are not cheap.

The adaptive shock absorbers here are already installed as standard and it must be said that they are expensive. Luckily they last long enough, but they are not immortal. Sooner or later, large investments will have to be made.

The Airmatic air suspension has also been modernized and on this model they are much more reliable than in the past. Protection from road dirt has been improved, the pneumatic part has been reinforced and the management electronics are also more reliable. In general, there shouldn’t be any major problems for at least 150,000 km (95 k miles). Here, however, not only the mileage matters, the age of the various elements also matters a lot.

If you plan to buy a Mercedes-Benz E-Class W212 with air suspension, you need to pay attention to the condition of the air springs and the compressor. If these break, the car will have difficulty walking.

Steering system

Depending on the version of the car, the E-Class W212 can have electric power steering or the classic hydraulic power steering.

The electric power steering has no particular problems. The hydraulic one, on the other hand, is less reliable. The weak point is the pump which does not live long. This suffers particularly if wide tires are fitted. If the pump is in bad condition, it can spread chips throughout the system, ruining other expensive elements including the rack.

If there are no problems with the pump and you drive calmly on good roads, the rack can even last 300,000 km (185 k miles). Around 100 – 150,000 km (60 – 95 k miles) it may be necessary to replace the tie rods and tie rod ends.

Brakes system

The brakes are of high quality, work well and are reliable. It can let down the life of the discs and pads. This is because of the many security and stability systems. Furthermore, the weight of the car also affects a lot. Obviously, it also depends a lot on the driving style.

Electronics and Electrical System

The electronics are complex, but under normal conditions they are reliable and shouldn’t cause any particular problems. Serious problems usually arise from external factors. Among these we can mention: penetration of water which comes into contact with cables and control units, accidents that damage the system and interventions by unqualified people on the electronic system.

Better not have power surges. This means that it is not good to discharge the battery too much and it is not good to start the car with a flat battery by connecting it to another car. The alternator must be also monitored.

The complicated electronics may have some current leaks in some places. Because of this, after a few days (or even a night) of parking, it can be found with a completely flat battery.

One of the systems that often causes power outages is the “Keyless Go” keyless access. This suffers greatly from interference and could activate spontaneously.

The great complexity of the electronics mounted on the Mercedes-Benz E-Class W212 does not allow major maintenance to be carried out without a computer and special software. Furthermore, even without problems (leakage) the complex electronics require a lot of energy. If you leave the car standing for a couple of weeks, you risk that it won’t start on its own anymore.

The owners sometimes complain about central locking malfunctions. Xenon headlight bulbs burn out relatively often.

There are cases of strange functioning of the electric windows and subsequent definitive breakage of these. In some moments, the horn and parking sensors may stop working. Usually these problems are related to contacts or cables.

In general, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class W212 is full of control units, cables, sensors and electric motors. This all works fine while the car is still young, but nothing is immortal. Sooner or later they will start to fail and parts prices are high.


The Mercedes-Benz E-Class W212 on the used market aren’t exactly young, but they can’t be called too old either. For now they demonstrate a good resistance to corrosion and no particular traces of rust should be found. Small traces of rust can be found on cars used in places with a particularly severe climate. If, on the other hand, the traces of rust are large, the car probably suffered some accidents and then was badly repaired.

The paint is of good quality, performs quite well and if treated correctly retains its beauty even after so many years. Chrome elements, on the other hand, can lose their shine after only a few years of life.

The water drain channels under the windshield become clogged easily and water begins to accumulate. The latter can come into contact with some electronic elements and cause damage. Door seals also wear out after 4-5 years and water could seep into the cabin causing various problems.

The exterior plastics are not very resistant and can be damaged. The prices for new original elements are exaggerated, so it is better to find a car with the plastics already in good condition. Headlight washer covers often come off and fly off. Even the headlight washers themselves cannot be called extremely reliable.

The panoramic roof may start making noises over time due to dirt accumulating in its mechanism. If this is ignored, the electric motor could burn out. The water drain channels also get clogged more easily on the panoramic roof than on the normal sunroof. It would be perfect to clean the mechanism and the drain at least once a year. However, cleaning must be done very carefully since many elements are quite fragile.

The headlights and taillights, before the restyling, quickly lost their waterproofing and began to accumulate moisture. Penetrating moisture can damage the electronics and in particular the ignition modules of the xenon headlights and the management modules.

After restyling the situation has improved and the headlights no longer accumulate moisture. However, the LED daytime running lights may stop working. Some workshops know how to repair them, while others offer the replacement of the headlight. A new headlight will obviously cost a lot.

There are also cases where the LED low beam headlights stop working. These should in theory last a very long time, but in fact they can break. Evidently they suffer from high temperatures and in fact they generally stop working in summer and in traffic.

If the taillights stop working, check the various contacts well and possibly clean the traces of oxidation.

Engines and their Problems

Diesel engines list :

Version Engine Power Top Speed Acceleration Fuel Consumption
E200 CDI BlueEfficiency 2.1 l OM651DE22LA 136 hp 210 km/h or 130 mph 10.2 s 5,2 l/100 km

US: 45,2 mpg

UK: 54,3 mpg

E200 BlueTEC 2.1 l OM651DE22LA 136 hp 210 km/h or 130 mph 10.2 s 4,7 l/100 km

US: 50 mpg

UK: 60,1 mpg

E220 CDI BlueEfficiency 2.1 l OM651DE22LA 170 hp 228 km/h or 141 mph 8.7 s 5,3 l/100 km

US: 44,3 mpg

UK: 53,2 mpg

E220 BlueTEC 2.1 l OM651DE22LA 170 hp 228 km/h or 141 mph 8.4 s 4,6 l/100 km

US: 51,1 mpg

UK: 61,4 mpg

E220 BlueTEC 4Matic 2.1 l OM651DE22LA 170 hp 222 km/h or 137 mph 8.2 s 5,1 l/100 km

US: 46,1 mpg

UK: 55,3 mpg

E250 CDI BlueEfficiency 2.1 l OM651DE22LA 204 hp 240 km/h or 149 mph 7.8 s 5,8 l/100 km

US: 40,5 mpg

UK: 48,7 mpg

E250 CDI BlueEfficiency 4Matic 2.1 l OM651DE22LA 204 hp 238 km/h or 147 mph 7.9 s 6,3 l/100 km

US: 37,3 mpg

UK: 44,8 mpg

E250 BlueTEC 2.1 l OM651DE22LA 204 hp 240 km/h or 149 mph 7.5 s 5 l/100 km

US: 47 mpg

UK: 56,4 mpg

E250 BlueTEC 4Matic 2.1 l OM651DE22LA 204 hp 238 km/h or 147 mph 7.8 s 5,5 l/100 km

US: 42,7 mpg

UK: 51,3 mpg

E300 CDI BlueEfficiency 3.0 l OM642DE30LA 204 hp 240 km/h or 149 mph 7.9 s 6,8 l/100 km

US: 34,5 mpg

UK: 41,5 mpg

E300 CDI BlueEfficiency 3.0 l OM642DE30LA 231 hp 250 km/h or 155 mph 6.8 s 6,8 l/100 km

US: 34,5 mpg

UK: 41,5 mpg

E300 CDI BlueEfficiency 3.0 l OM642LSDE30LA 231 hp 250 km/h or 155 mph 6.8 s 6,1 l/100 km

US: 38,5 mpg

UK: 46,3 mpg

E300 BlueTEC 3.0 l OM642LSDE30LA 231 hp 250 km/h or 155 mph 7.1 s 6 l/100 km

US: 39,2 mpg

UK: 47 mpg

E350 BlueTEC 3.0 l OM642DE30LA 211 hp 240 km/h or 149 mph 7.8 s 6,8 l/100 km

US: 34,5 mpg

UK: 41,5 mpg

E350 BlueTEC 3.0 l OM642LSDE30LA 252 hp 250 km/h or 155 mph 6.6 s 6 l/100 km

US: 39,2 mpg

UK: 47 mpg

E350 BlueTEC 3.0 l OM642LSDE30LA 258 hp 250 km/h or 155 mph 6.4 s 5 l/100 km

US: 47 mpg

UK: 56,4 mpg

E350 BlueTEC 4Matic 3.0 l OM642LSDE30LA 252 hp 245 km/h or 152 mph 6.7 s 6,4 l/100 km

US: 36,7 mpg

UK: 44,1 mpg

E350 BlueTEC 4Matic 3.0 l OM642LSDE30LA 258 hp 250 km/h or 155 mph 6.6 s 5,8 l/100 km

US: 40,5 mpg

UK: 48,7 mpg

E350 CDI BlueEfficiency 3.0 l OM642DE30LA 231 hp 250 km/h or 155 mph 6.8 s 6,8 l/100 km

US: 34,5 mpg

UK: 41,5 mpg

E350 CDI BlueEfficiency 3.0 l OM642DE30LA 265 hp 250 km/h or 155 mph 6.2 s 6 l/100 km

US: 39,2 mpg

UK: 47 mpg

E350 CDI BlueEfficiency 4Matic 3.0 l OM642DE30LA 231 hp 245 km/h or 152 mph 7.1 s 7 l/100 km

US: 33,6 mpg

UK: 40,3 mpg

E350 CDI BlueEfficiency 4Matic 3.0 l OM642DE30LA 265 hp 250 km/h or 155 mph 6.7 s 6,6 l/100 km

US: 35,6 mpg

UK: 42,8 mpg

Petrol/Gasoline engines list :

Version Engine Power Top Speed Acceleration Fuel Consumption
E200 CGI BlueEfficiency 1.8 l M271DE18AL 184 hp 232 km/h or 144 mph 8.5 s 7,2 l/100 km

US: 32,6 mpg

UK: 39,2 mpg

E200 2.0 l M274DE20AL red. 184 hp 233 km/h or 144 mph 8.2 s 6,5 l/100 km

US: 36,1 mpg

UK: 43,4 mpg

E250 CGI BlueEfficiency 1.8 l M271DE18AL 204 hp 240 km/h or 149 mph 7.8 s 7,6 l/100 km

US: 30,9 mpg

UK: 37,1 mpg

E250 2.0 l M274DE20AL 211 hp 243 km/h or 150 mph 7.4 s 6,1 l/100 km

US: 38,5 mpg

UK: 46,3 mpg

E300 3.0 l M272KE30 231 – 245 hp 247 km/h or 153 mph 7.4 s 9,3 l/100 km

US: 25,2 mpg

UK: 30,3 mpg

E300 BlueEfficiency 3.5 l M276DE35 red. 302 hp 250 km/h or 155 mph 7.1 s 6,9 l/100 km

US: 34 mpg

UK: 40,9 mpg

E300 4Matic BlueEfficiency 3.5 l M276DE35 red. 252 hp 250 km/h or 155 mph 7.4 s 6,9 l/100 km

US: 34 mpg

UK: 40,9 mpg

E350 4Matic 3.5 l M272E35 272 hp 250 km/h or 155 mph 7.2 s 9,6 l/100 km

US: 24,5 mpg

UK: 29,4 mpg

E350 CGI BlueEfficiency 3.5 l M272DE35 292 hp 250 km/h or 155 mph 6.8 s 8,5 l/100 km

US: 27,6 mpg

UK: 33,2 mpg

E350 3.5 l M276DE35 306 hp 250 km/h or 155 mph 6.3 s 6,9 l/100 km

US: 34 mpg

UK: 40,9 mpg

E350 4Matic 3.5 l M276DE35 306 hp 250 km/h or 155 mph 6.6 s 7,5 l/100 km

US: 31,3 mpg

UK: 37,6 mpg

E400 3.0 l M276DE30AL 333 hp 250 km/h or 155 mph 5.3 s 7,9 l/100 km

US: 29,7 mpg

UK: 35,7 mpg

E400 3.5 l M276DE35AL 333 hp 250 km/h or 155 mph 5.3 s 6,9 l/100 km

US: 34 mpg

UK: 40,9 mpg

E400 4Matic 3.0 l M276DE30AL 333 hp 250 km/h or 155 mph 5.3 s 8,5 l/100 km

US: 27,6 mpg

UK: 33,2 mpg

E400 4Matic 3.5 l M276DE35AL 333 hp 250 km/h or 155 mph 5.3 s 7,7 l/100 km

US: 30,5 mpg

UK: 36,6 mpg

E500 V8 5.5 l M273E55 388 hp 250 km/h or 155 mph 5.2 s 10,8 l/100 km

US: 21,7 mpg

UK: 26,1 mpg

E500 V8 4Matic 5.5 l M273E55 388 hp 250 km/h or 155 mph 5.4 s 11 l/100 km

US: 21,3 mpg

UK: 25,6 mpg

E500 BlueEfficiency 4.7 l M278DE46AL red. 408 hp 250 km/h or 155 mph 5.2 s 8,9 l/100 km

US: 26,4 mpg

UK: 31,7 mpg

E500 4Matic BlueEfficiency 4.7 l M278DE46AL red. 408 hp 250 km/h or 155 mph 5.2 s 9,4 l/100 km

US: 25 mpg

UK: 30 mpg

E63 AMG 6.2 l M156E63 525 hp 250 km/h or 155 mph 4.5 s 12,6 l/100 km

US: 18,6 mpg

UK: 22,4 mpg

E63 AMG 5.5 l M157DE55AL 525 hp 250 km/h or 155 mph 4.5 s 9,8 l/100 km

US: 24 mpg

UK: 28,8 mpg

E63 AMG 5.5 l M157DE55AL 557 hp 250 km/h or 155 mph 4.2 s 9,8 l/100 km

US: 24 mpg

UK: 28,8 mpg

E63 AMG Performance 6.2 l M156E63 525 hp 300 km/h or 186 mph 4.5 s 12,6 l/100 km

US: 18,6 mpg

UK: 22,4 mpg

E63 AMG Performance 5.5 l M157DE55AL 557 hp 300 km/h or 186 mph 4.2 s 9,8 l/100 km

US: 24 mpg

UK: 28,8 mpg

E63 AMG 4Matic 5.5 l M157DE55AL 557 hp 250 km/h or 155 mph 3.7 s 10,3 l/100 km

US: 22,8 mpg

UK: 27,4 mpg

E63 S AMG 4Matic 5.5 l M157DE55AL 585 hp 300 km/h or 186 mph 3.6 s 10,3 l/100 km

US: 22,8 mpg

UK: 27,4 mpg

Bi-fuel engines list :

Version Engine Power Top Speed Acceleration Fuel Consumption
E200 NGT BlueEfficiency 1.8 l M271DE18ML NGT 163 hp 224 km/h or 139 mph 10.4 s 8,1 l/100 km

US: 29 mpg

UK: 34,8 mpg

E200 NGD 2.0 l M274DE20AL NGD 156 hp 220 km/h or 136 mph 10.4 s 6,6 l/100 km

US: 35,6 mpg

UK: 42,8 mpg

Hybrid engines list :

Version Engine Power Top Speed Acceleration Fuel Consumption
E300 BlueTEC Hybrid 2.1 l OM651DE22LA + electric engine 204 hp 242 km/h or 150 mph 7.5 s 4,3 l/100 km

US: 54,7 mpg

UK: 65,7 mpg

E400 Hybrid 3.5 l M276DE35 + electric engine 306 hp 250 km/h or 155 mph 6.7 s 9,2 l/100 km

US: 25,5 mpg

UK: 30,7 mpg

problems and issues with petrol, gasoline, LPG, CNG, methane and diesel engines mounted on Mercedes-Benz E-Class W212 S212


Diesel Engines

The range of engines is very large. If you want more reliability, it will be better to opt for a diesel engine. Everything is simple here, there is one 4-cylinder and one 6-cylinder V6 engine. Both are available in different power versions.

2.1 l CDI OM651 diesel Engines

The 2.1 l CDI engine (also known as 2.2 l CDI) featured here is from the OM651 family.

The 2.1 liter diesel engine is very popular. It should be noted that Delphi piezoelectric injectors were mounted on the early models. These injectors were problematic, they could leak or run erratically. Due to these problems, very serious damage could appear (for example the destruction of the pistons due to leaks). Only the weaker version was saved because it mounted simple injectors.

After 2011, the piezoelectric injectors were replaced with electromagnetic ones and it is important to check whether the affected unit participated in the recalls. Furthermore, the control unit has been changed, which at the beginning often gave way.

On this unit the chain is positioned behind the engine (between engine and gearbox) and due to this choice, its replacement is more difficult. The timing kit serves for many miles (it can even reach 250 – 300,000 km or 155 – 185 k miles), but when the time comes to change it, the cost of the work will be high due to the complexity of these.

Often problems with the timing kit are caused by some worn tensioner which can however lead to more serious problems if not changed in time. Among the first symptoms of wear of the timing kit there will be an increase in operating noise.

When these engines reach high mileage, coolant leaks may appear (usually from the pipe under the fuel filter) and occasionally the turbine begins to whistle. The latter could “die” around 250,000 km (155 k miles).

3.0 l V6 CDI OM642 diesel Engines

The OM642 3.0 L CDI V6 engine is a well made engine, it has been produced for many years and has received great popularity.

The best choice for the Mercedes-Benz E-Class W212 is considered to be the 3.0 diesel (OM642). This 3.0 l was Mercedes’ first diesel V6. It is a modern and complex engine, with an aluminum cylinder block and cast iron liners, aluminum heads with hydraulic compensators, a complex Common Rail injection system with piezoelectric injectors, a turbine with variable geometry and much more. This engine manages to combine good power, relatively low fuel consumption and good reliability.

Unfortunately though, it’s not a totally perfect engine. Of course, the great complexity also increases the number of possible problems and defects. At large mileages you must be prepared for the expensive repair of the injection system, turbine and intake manifold. Timing chain lengthening is almost inevitable after 200 – 250,000 km (125 – 155 k miles).

Engines with heavy oil leaks are encountered. Plus, the oil pump isn’t too reliable. Both of these aspects must be kept in mind, the engine cannot handle oil pressure losses well and in these conditions the bushings can fail.

Otherwise the OM642 engines are still very reliable. Knowing the weak points and taking care of these units, it is possible to reach even 400 – 500,000 km (250 – 310 k miles) without fatal defects. Badly treated engines, on the other hand, will give serious problems already at 200,000 km (125 k miles).

Common problems of diesel Engines

If you plan to buy a Mercedes-Benz E-Class W212 with a diesel engine you have to be very careful about the condition of the DPF filter, oil and coolant leaks.

In addition to problems with the injection system and DPF filter, you can also have problems with the EGR valve getting dirty and stopping working.

Petrol/Gasoline Engines

Petrol/Gasoline engines are generally less resistant than diesel engines. They can be 4-cylinder, 6-cylinder or 8-cylinder.

The 4-cylinder petrol engines were first of the М271 series and then of the М274. The 6-cylinder engines were initially of the M272 series and then of the M276 series. The 8-cylinder engines were initially of the M273 series and then of the M278 series. The M156 and M157 series engines were mounted on the AMG sports versions.

1.8 l M271 Engine

The 1.8 l M271 petrol engine is interesting and widespread.

This engine is available in two versions: with turbine (code M271DE18AL) and with mechanical compressor (code M271DE18ML). Here we mainly find engines with turbines, but on the NGT version there is a compressor.

The M271 engines have good general endurance and also quite good power due to the supercharging they are equipped with. However, they also have some important weaknesses both in the initial version (with compressor) and in the modernized version (with turbine).

The timing chain and camshaft gears almost always wear out already at 100 – 150,000 km or 60 – 95 k miles (in some cases even at 60,000 km or 35 k miles).

The signs that the chain has stretched are: loud noise for a few seconds when starting the engine, irregular running of the engine and engine failure warning light on. Camshaft sprockets generally wear only if you continue to drive with a stretched chain, so you can avoid this problem by replacing it early. The replacement of the gears also involves the replacement of the phase shifters and the costs are very high. Even the phase shifters themselves do not demonstrate great reliability, have a fragile structure and are particularly sensitive to poor maintenance.

Unfortunately the chain stretch problem was never fully resolved. A chain that is too stretched could also slip and cause pistons and valves to crash. If this happens, in the worst cases the damage is so serious that it is now advisable to change the engine. A used engine in good working order may cost less than repairing the defective engine.

The mechanical compressor has a good life. If it starts rattling, it’s most likely time to change the bearings. Better not to wait too long, otherwise you risk breaking the compressor itself.

On these engines of the first years of production, there may also be problems with the crankcase ventilation system (the valves of the system get stuck and the pipes get dirty).

The BlueEfficiency engines are equipped with direct injection and consequently inherit its various problems. Among the most famous are: breakage of the high pressure pump, breakage of the injectors and dirt of the intake valves. One of the most common problems with the E200 CGI versions is white smoke after a cold start. This is usually solved by reprogramming the ECU and changing the turbine gasket.

On engines with turbine there is the problem of the oil level rising due to petrol penetration. Obviously this leads to degradation of the oil and bad consequences if you are not careful.

2.0 l M274 Engine

The M274 series of petrol engines has been produced since 2011 and has been installed on many models of the German company.

The М274 engines are modern, quite complex and offer good performance while maintaining low fuel consumption. The 2.0 l M274DE20AL engine is mounted here from this series. This has the aluminum cylinder block capped with a 16-valve aluminum twin-cam head and direct injection with piezoelectric injectors. It uses a variable valve timing system on the intake and exhaust shafts. The timing chain lives about 100 thousand km (60 k miles). The service life can be increased with proper use and maintenance.

Of course, these aggregates also have some weaknesses.

The first among these are the typical noises of the defective phase shifter. It usually occurs when starting a cold engine after 100 thousand km (60 k miles) and indicates wear of the phase shifter. Until November 2014, version A2700500847 was installed, which turned out to be too fragile. So it was replaced with version A2700501147 which seems to look better. On some cars the problem was fixed by a recall. If the noise appears, you need to go to the workshop and fix the problem before having serious damage to the engine.

The second frequent problem is that of overheating. Engine temperature problems are usually caused by the pump and thermostat. These can break or malfunction. There was also a recall for the pump intended to increase its reliability. It is a good idea to periodically clean the radiator.

There are many cars on which the alternator belt begins to whistle. It’s a typical weakness.

The service life of the turbine is often about 100-150 thousand km (60 – 95 k miles). Depending on the driving style, it can live longer or shorter. You need to know how to properly treat the turbine. With proper use there should be no problems for at least 170 – 200 thousand km (105 – 125 k miles).

For normal operation of these engines, it is necessary to use a good oil and replace it every 8 – 10,000 km (5 – 6000 miles) maximum. In addition, these engines need a good warm up before starting (especially in the cold period of the year). With proper use and with a little attention, the pistons can live even more than 250 – 300,000 km (155 – 185 k miles). In mid-life, however, there will be investments to be made in the turbine, phase shifter and timing chain.

M272 and M273 Engines

The 3.0 l M272 and 3.5 l M272 engines are mounted from the M272 family. The 5.5 l is mounted from the M273 family. The problems are about the same for all of these engines.

The M272 and M273 series engines have proved problematic in the past on Mercedes-Benz S-Class W221, Mercedes-Benz E-Class W211, Mercedes-Benz ML W164 and others.

The main problems they had are: small longevity of the mechanical parts, short-lived timing system and its high replacement cost, problematic intake manifold, fragile catalytic converter, the appearance of leaks over time and the risk of the appearance of scratches on the walls of the cylinders.

Fortunately, modernized versions of these engines were fitted to the Mercedes-Benz E-Class W212 and many of the problems were resolved, but not all. The timing kit now lives an average of 200,000 km (125 k miles). However, the problematic intake manifold and the risk of having scratches on the cylinder walls remained.

The alusil cylinder coating is very fragile and cannot tolerate any kind of dirt (risk of scratching). So you have to be very careful to have a clean intake, to always have the filters in good condition, to always have the intake manifold in good condition, you must not allow any overheating of the engine and you must change the oil often (at least every 10,000 km or 6000 miles).

The malfunctioning thermostat on these engines leads to the engine failing to warm up and mixing small amounts of gasoline with the engine oil. Of course, the oil loses its qualities and the engine wears out faster.

M276 V6 Engines

The M276 V6 petrol engine series has been produced since the end of 2010 and has been installed on many models of the German company. Both the 3.0 l M276 and the 3.5 l M276 engine are present here. They are modern engines that have replaced the previous M272s. They have solved most of the problems previously present, but still have some weaknesses.

The mechanics say that among the petrol engines the least problematic are those of the M276 series. These only in the first years of production had problems with the timing chain tensioner. The latter did not work properly and when the engine was started the chain could stretch and damage the gears.

In 2013 these issues were resolved and there were recalls to upgrade previously produced engines as well.

These units have direct injection, relatively simple timing system (but replacement is expensive anyway) and cast iron cylinder lining (much more resistant and long lasting than the alusil used on the M272).

On these engines the problems with the pistons are almost non-existent, but the possible problems with the new injection via piezoelectric injectors have been added. Due to the low pressure of the oil pump (failure of the valve A2781800415) the engines have become more sensitive to overheating and oil quality.

At high mileage there will be failure of the phase shifters and the catalytic converters can be destroyed. Particles from destroyed catalytic converter can get into the engine and scratch the cylinder walls.

In general many of the possible defects have already been resolved under warranty and there should now be no critical problems.

M278 V8 Engines

The M278 series V8 engines have become much more economical (in terms of fuel consumption) than the previous M273s. However, they cannot be called more reliable. They have direct injection with injectors that don’t last very long and tend to break (even before 100,000 km or 60 k miles). The injectors cannot tolerate overheating. It can be said that the problems are similar to those of BMW direct injection engines. In addition, these engines also have a turbine which adds more probability of having some issue.

The life of the timing kit has shortened and now it may be necessary to intervene as early as 60,000 km (35 k miles). It is generally the fault of short-lived tensioners. When the timing kit is worn, there will be the typical rattling noises after a cold start. If you do not pay attention to the noises and continue to drive, the phase shifters will also be damaged.

Low reliability also demonstrates the oil pump. The bad part is that when this fails, the engine experiences great stress and the likelihood of scratches appearing on the cylinder walls is great.

The engines of the M278 series instead of solving the problems of the previous M273, added others. These M278s are included by many among the worst engines of the Mercedes brand of the last period.

M156 AMG Engines

Engines of the M156 series were fitted to some AMG sports versions. They are engines that are not exactly without problems. In fact, American buyers have reported the manufacturer twice, complaining of the insufficient reliability of these aggregates. The material of the camshafts is unsuitable and scratches on the cylinder walls are possible.

M157 AMG Engines

The AMG engines of the M157 series are based on the M278 engines and in fact repeat their series of problems.

However, it must be said that generally these engines are better maintained (more frequent oil changes, use of high quality petrol) and have a lower operating temperature, so scratches on the cylinder walls are less common.

They are also mechanically strengthened: they have stronger camshaft joints, chains and valves of higher quality.

Conclusions and Advice & Tips for buying used

Mercedes Benz E-Class W212 is a very comfortable and pleasant car. It is difficult to draw any final conclusions regarding reliability. It really depends on the version and usage style. We can say with certainty that the maintenance costs are not low, but this is normal for a German premium car. At the same time, a car maintained in the right way will give a lot of satisfaction and will not disappoint.

The main competitors of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class W212 are: sister Mercedes-Benz CLS, Audi A7, Audi A6 C7, BMW 5 Series F10/F11, BMW 6 Series F12/F13/F06, Volvo V80 II, Volvo XC70 and other similar cars.

The most important thing is to find a car in good general condition.

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