Used Mercedes-Benz E-Class (W212) - From RM 50k, reputable business sedan at recession-friendly prices

Arvind · Oct 2, 2022 10:00 AM

Used Mercedes-Benz E-Class (W212) - From RM 50k, reputable business sedan at recession-friendly prices 01

Across its 5 generations, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class has set the benchmark for understated luxury, comfort, and dependability. It is pretty much the car that started the executive sedan genre. 

The fourth generation E-Class, codenamed W212, introduced a new design language and improved technology, whilst addressing build quality and reliability issues, a common dilemma of the preceding W211 generation.

Used Mercedes-Benz E-Class (W212) - From RM 50k, reputable business sedan at recession-friendly prices 02

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Starting at just a smidge over RM 50k in today’s money, the W212 can be had for roughly the price of a used Toyota Camry of the same production year. Thus, is the W212 E-Class a compelling and stylish option or should you be worried about high maintenance bills later? Let’s find out.

The W212 E-Class range offered in Malaysia

First launched in 2009, the W212 E-Class sedan was initially offered in the sole E300 Avantgarde variant, priced at RM 456k. The E300 was powered by a 3.0-litre naturally aspirated V6 that produced 231 PS and 300 Nm of torque, mated to 7-speed (7G-Tronic) automatic.

Used Mercedes-Benz E-Class (W212) - From RM 50k, reputable business sedan at recession-friendly prices 01

The entry-level E200 CGI and mid-range E250 CGI variants joined later in 2010, with a retail price tag of RM 370k and RM 410k respectively.

Both variants were powered by the (M271) 1.8-litre turbocharged four-cylinder that developed 184 PS and 270 Nm in the E200, and 201 PS and 310 Nm in the E250. Power was sent to the rear wheels through a 7-speed automatic.

Used Mercedes-Benz E-Class (W212) - From RM 50k, reputable business sedan at recession-friendly prices 02

The facelifted W212 E-Class broke cover in 2013 with the E200 and E250, both in Avantgarde trim. The facelift exercise for the W212 E-Class was considered one of the most significant model revisions ever by Mercedes-Benz.

In addition to the thoroughly redesigned front fascia – doing away with the split headlight design – the facelifted W212 presented newer engines, improved safety features, and a revamped rear end featuring new bodywork on the rear doors and quarter panels.

Used Mercedes-Benz E-Class (W212) - From RM 50k, reputable business sedan at recession-friendly prices 03

(Bottom) Note the restyled headlights and svelte lines of the W212 facelift

Both variants featured the new (M274) 2.0-litre turbocharged inline-four which produced a meatier 184 PS and 300 Nm (+30 Nm) in the E200, while the E250 brought a heftier punch with 211 PS and 350 Nm (+10 PS / +40 Nm) of torque.

The E200 Avantgarde was priced at RM 367k while the E250 Avantgarde retailed for RM 406k.

Used Mercedes-Benz E-Class (W212) - From RM 50k, reputable business sedan at recession-friendly prices 04

Later that year, the range-topping E400 AMG Line joined the W212 range, coming in at RM 494k. The (locally-assembled) most powerful non-AMG W212 featured a 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 that discharged 333 PS and a whopping 480 Nm of torque.

In 2015, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia up the ante with the locally-assembled E300 BlueTEC Hybrid – the first diesel hybrid to be commercially available in the country at RM 349k. Power was derived from a 201 PS / 500 Nm 2.1-liter turbodiesel aided by a 27 PS / 250 Nm motor sandwiched between the engine and 7-speed automatic transmission.

Used Mercedes-Benz E-Class (W212) - From RM 50k, reputable business sedan at recession-friendly prices 05

The 2.1-litre turbodiesel hybrid in the E300 BlueTEC offered a claimed fuel efficiency of just 4.1-litres/100km

In 2016, the W212 was succeeded by the W213 E-Class which was launched in four CBU variants, with prices starting at a hefty RM 396k for the entry-level E200, although CKD production eventually dropped prices to between RM 320k for the E200, up to RM 390k for the E300 AMG Line.

  • 2017 Mercedes-Benz E 350 E AMG (CKD) 2.0

    RM 223,000
    RM 2,444
    /month

    1,283 km

    4.5 years

    Kuala Lumpur

  • 2016 Mercedes-Benz E 200 2.0

    RM 182,800
    RM 2,003
    /month

    99,432 km

    6.5 years

    Kuala Lumpur

  • 2016 Mercedes-Benz E 200 2.0

    RM 185,900
    RM 2,037
    /month

    63,034 km

    6 years

    Petaling Jaya

Reasons to get one and the variants of choice

Used Mercedes-Benz E-Class (W212) - From RM 50k, reputable business sedan at recession-friendly prices 01

The W212 E-Class can be considered the last of the old guard Mercs, before Mercedes’ paradigm shift to sportier, youth-baiting models – thus W212s are the swansong salute from an era of Teutonic character and stately class.

For one, there’s an analogue clock highlighting the centre of the dashboard, Mercedes just doesn’t do that anymore. Thus, the W212 E-Class typically appeals to an older class of buyers who appreciate its understated prestige, overall refinement and space but aren’t looking for a sporty car to tear down a B-Segment road.

Also read: Buying your first BMW: From RM 15k, a used E46 BMW 3 Series is a perfect starter’s choice

Used Mercedes-Benz E-Class (W212) - From RM 50k, reputable business sedan at recession-friendly prices 02

With that said, for those looking to play it safe, the logical options would be the facelifted E200 or the E250 variants for their relatively uncomplicated powertrains. However, pre-facelift E200 CGI, E250 CGI, and E300 V6 variants are still viable options at a lower price point, though requiring more preventive maintenance at the outset.

On the other end of the spectrum is the impressive E300 BlueTEC Hybrid - mountains of torque, extremely fuel efficient and beautifully specified. But the downside, however, is its complex hybrid powertrain that requires no less than three batteries.

Used Mercedes-Benz E-Class (W212) - From RM 50k, reputable business sedan at recession-friendly prices 03

The most expensive being the 0.8 kWh lithium-ion traction battery that not only powers the electric motor, but all the 12-volt electrical system – replacing this costs approximately RM 50k. Thus, it’s no surprise that the depreciation hits the E300 BlueTEC the hardest.

Market prices of the W212 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Prices for pre-facelift 2009 – 2013 units of the E200 CGI range between RM 50k and just under RM 80k, whereas the more powerful E250 CGI start at just above RM 55k and settles in at RM 80k as well.

Used Mercedes-Benz E-Class (W212) - From RM 50k, reputable business sedan at recession-friendly prices 04

The E300 units pretty much sit within the same price range and offer a silky smooth naturally-aspirated 3.0-litre V6 if you can stomach the roadtax costs.

The facelifted W212 models from 2013 have a larger price spread, starting around RM100k for earlier E200s and rising up to RM 140k for the (2016) final production year models. You can roughly add a RM 10k premium for a corresponding production year E250.

Also read: Used Porsche Panamera (970) - How much to maintain and repair, can you join the big boys club for just under RM 200k?

Used Mercedes-Benz E-Class (W212) - From RM 50k, reputable business sedan at recession-friendly prices 05

Given its prestige and established reliability, W212s offer sturdy used value even after 6-7 years, retaining close to 50 percent of their original value.

The W212's main rival, the F10 BMW 5 Series does not offer quite as good resale value over the same period. 

Here’s a shortlist of the basic running costs between the two models.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class W212 Basic costs 
Variant E200 E250
Roadtax (RM) 380
Tyre size 245/45 R17 245/40 R18
Tyres/pc (RM) 450 - 600  500 - 800
Battery (AGM DIN 80L) 1,200

Used Mercedes-Benz E-Class (W212) - From RM 50k, reputable business sedan at recession-friendly prices 06

As always, look for unmodified units with a comprehensive service history which allows you to properly plan and execute subsequent maintenance.

Common problems of the W212 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Used Mercedes-Benz E-Class (W212) - From RM 50k, reputable business sedan at recession-friendly prices 07

No car is perfect and that goes for the relatively hardy W212 E-Class as well. Specialist workshop Benz Elite Auto highlights the following common problems that buyers need to be aware of:

Mercedes-Benz E-Class W212 common issues
Part Symptom Cost
(RM)
Water pump  Overheating  3,000
Oxygen Sensor Check engine light, rough idle 700
Engine mounts Increased vibration 1,700
Wheel speed sensor ABS/Traction control check light 300/piece
Mass air flow sensor Check engine light, rough idel 3,200
ECU (E300 V6) Failure to start, engine malfunction 4,200 (OEM), 10,000 (Ori)
Belt tensioner pulley Belt squeal, pulley rattle  800
Transmission control module (TCM) Rough gearshift, withheld gearshift, limp mode 7,300

Besides the above checklist, there are also cases of auxiliary battery malfunction in some W212, but replacements are relatively cheap, at RM 300. 

Also read: Used Honda Civic (FD) for under RM50k - How much to maintain and repair?

Used Mercedes-Benz E-Class (W212) - From RM 50k, reputable business sedan at recession-friendly prices 08

Here’s a simplified table of the basic maintenance schedule of a W212 E-Class and the relative costs:

Mercedes-Benz E-Class W212 basic maintenance costs
Maintenance / Interval Items  Cost (RM)
Oil change / 10k km Engine oil and filter 450
Air filter / 20k km Engine air filter 150
Cabin filter / 20k km Dust and pollen filter  50
Brake service / 60k km Brake fluid 300
Brake pads - F/R (∼ 80k km) Replace brake pads 380/280
Transmission service / 60k km ATF oil and filter 1,000
Replace coolant / 100k km Coolant 230
Spark plugs / 100k km Replace spark plugs 400

As with any car, maintenance is key, take good care of a W212, and it'll serve you well. 

Conclusion

Used Mercedes-Benz E-Class (W212) - From RM 50k, reputable business sedan at recession-friendly prices 09

The W212 came at twilight between the old and new ages of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, and in many ways, combines the best of both worlds in a stylish and characterful package. 

Buying any Mercedes-Benz E-Class is more than just a logical decision, it's an emotive expression of one's achievements.

Used Mercedes-Benz E-Class (W212) - From RM 50k, reputable business sedan at recession-friendly prices 10

That said, prospective buyers must cognizant of the maintenance requirements to ensure a pleasurable ownership experience. 

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Arvind

Senior Writer

Arvind can't remember a time when he didn't wheel around a HotWheels car. This love evolved into an interest in Tamiya and RC cars and finally the real deal 1:1 scale stuff. Passion finally lead to formal training in Mechanical Engineering. Instead of the bigger picture, he obsesses with the final drive ratio and spring rates of cars and spends the weekends wondering why a Perodua Myvi is so fast.

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